The sand and sun and fun in San Diego mean it's a perfect place for a girls getaway. With a vibrant atmosphere that extends from downtown all the way to the outer edges of San Diego County, there are options for a weekend (or week if you're lucky!) away whether you live near or far. These eight top ideas for a girls getaway in San Diego include a variety of locations depending on the interest of you and your friends, from trendy hotels to exciting nightlife neighborhoods. Read on to figure out which one sounds the best for you and your closest girlfriends.
Need an excuse to stay at the Hotel del Coronado? How about a girls weekend? The Hotel del Coronado is an iconic San Diego hotel located across the San Diego Bay from downtown on a little strip of land called Coronado. On that strip of land is the stately, elegant red-roofed Hotel Del, as its commonly called by locals. Stay at the Hotel Del for your San Diego girls getaway and experience the 5-star restaurants, stunning ocean sunsets from the al fresco bars and lounges, and an opulent spa. The rooms are also upscale and have access to sparkling pools -- or the sandy beach and the glistening Pacific Ocean just steps away. For an elegant ladies weekend, plan your trip in November or December when you can also partake in the Hotel del Coronado's famous afternoon tea, complete with mini sandwiches, high-end tea, and champagne.
If your idea of a great girls getaway includes drinks, dancing, and sand, then Pacific Beach (PB) is probably the place for you and your friends to head. Located about 15 minutes north of downtown San Diego right along the Pacific shoreline, this beach community of PB knows how to party. Walk up and down Garnet Street checking out the scene and then pick your favorite looking bar, most which have outdoor seating. Popular spots include Bub's Dive Bar and PB Cantina. Closer to the beach on Mission Boulevard are the Duck Dive and Firehouse. For ocean views, head to PB Shore Club, Lahaina Beach Club or JRDN at Tower 23.
At night, check out PB's evolving dining scene, which is starting to include more and more gourmet restaurants that still hold onto PB's laid-back vibe. 5-star worthy meal in flip-flops? Sounds good. Keep those flip flops on or change into heels (either is generally fine in PB) to head to one of the dance clubs -- Johnny V and Thrusters Lounge are all fun choices. For breakfast, you can't miss brunch at Crushed, plus try its mimosa flight. For a place to rest your weary heads after all that dancing, check out the trendy, oceanfront rooms at Tower 23 or the amenity-heavy convenience of the Catamaran Resort and Spa in south PB.
Make a getaway to downtown San Diego easy by staying at a hotel that has nightlife, day activities and pampering possibilities all under one roof. The hotel? The Hard Rock. With a hip design and sophisticated vibe, the Hard Rock Hotel has swanky, modern rooms, and some have separate living areas from the bedroom which is ideal for hanging out before hitting the hotel's best features. Those include three clubs, including a dance-centric one on the bottom floor and an outdoor rooftop pool lounge (be sure to spend some time at this one during the day as well as into night). Before hitting the club at night, eat (and make reservations beforehand) dinner at Nobu Restaurant, which is located in the hotel. Need to rejuvenate yourself after a night of dancing? Hard Rock Hotel San Diego's Rock Spa will have you and your girls feeling blissfully relaxed and pampered so you're all set for more cosmos and conversation.
For those looking for a variety of nightlife, but away from the hustle and bustle of downtown San Diego and its party-focused beach communities, Carlsbad is an ideal place to head for a girls getaway. Located 30 miles north of downtown San Diego, Carlsbad is a small North County city home to a charming downtown area called the Carlsbad Village, which is located right next to the beach. Lining the streets of Carlsbad Village are boutiques and cafes to explore during the day (when you're not relaxing on the beach). At night, you can get a delicious meal at any number of places depending on your mood. Try upscale French at Paon, pizza and locally brewed beer at laidback Pizza Port, comfort food at 83 Degrees, gastropub fare at the Compass, Mexican cuisine at Fidel's, or the amazing seafood pizza (or other seafood entrees) at Jay's Gourmet Pizza and Seafood. Next, you and your ladies can visit one of the nightlife spots, including Relm Wine Bar, the Alley for live music and dancing, or the speakeasy underneath the Land & Water Company restaurant. Stay in one of the oceanfront hotels along Carlsbad Boulevard and get an ocean facing balcony where you can sit and catch up on each other's lives as you listen to the waves crash.
Girl getaways don't always have to be about the wine and cocktails. How about bonding over apple pie instead? If that sounds good, head to Julian for your weekend away. Located an hour east of San Diego at the base of the Cuyamaca Mountains, Julian is San Diego's little mountain town. Julian even occasionally gets snow during the winter. The prime time to go is in the fall during apple harvest or between Thanksgiving and Christmas when the town is lit up with lights and has festivals nearly every weekend. In addition to apple pie, Julian has a wine tasting room, craft shops, candy stores, a charming general store where you can get sweets and savory snacks (plus some delicious Julian apple cider) and... an old-time photo studio! What better way to commemorate a weekend away with the ladies than playing dress up and having a photo taken of all of you looking as if you've been best friends since the 1800s? You can do so at Grandpa's Old Time Photos.
For a local group of ladies who don't have a ton of time to travel, but want a wine weekend away, Temecula is a perfect choice. While Temecula isn't technically in San Diego County, it is located right across the county border in Riverside County and takes less than an hour to get to from San Diego (if traffic cooperates). Once there, you and your friends can take your pick from dozens of wineries. Rent a limo for the day to really make the girls getaway special.
Popular winery favorites to visit include South Coast Winery Resort & Spa with its massive tasting room and grounds, Callaway Winery for some amazing vineyard views while you taste, Danza del Sol Winery for some impressive red vintages to sip and Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyard for some of its famous Almond Champagne. South Coast also has wonderful villas you can book for the weekend to stay in, which provide convenient access to the onsite pool, spa and gourmet restaurant. In town, you'll find more accommodation and restaurant options, especially by Old Town Temecula, where you can learn about the California Railroad that once went through the area.
Prove you ladies don't need a man to help pitch a tent or build a fire and do it on your own during a camping girls getaway in San Diego. Setting up a campsite won't seem so bad when you do it with ocean views at one of San Diego County's beachside campgrounds, found in both Cardiff and Carlsbad. These book up early, especially during summer so plan your weekend away well in advance, then get ready for some s'mores and sharing stories around the campfire. A fun campground game is Heads Up, an app you can download that is a bit like charades, but with words.
Shop 'til you drop with your best girlfriends on a getaway to La Jolla. In particular, the area of La Jolla Village located by the La Jolla Cove is an ideal place to head with your girls since it has a variety of high-end fashion boutiques. There are also homeware stores where you can drool over your dream living room set. La Jolla Village has a number of restaurants ideal for a ladies night out as well, including the rooftop, ocean view ambiance of George's Ocean Terrace, international fusion fare at Whisknladle, and al fresco sashimi eating at Sushi on the Rock. La Jolla Village has a number of hotels, but the "Pink Lady," aka the Valencia Hotel, might be the top choice for a relaxing women's weekend away since it has an onsite spa, ocean views, and a blissful pool.