A Woman’s Guide to San Diego

Looking for the ultimate woman’s guide to exploring San Diego? In this article we will prepare you with a comprehensive guide for all things San Diego: where to stay, what to wear, where to hike, and the best restaurants so you can make the most of your time. 


Why San Diego? If you’ve been, you understand why. San Diego is a coastal city in southern California with nearly perfect weather. You have nearby beaches, mountain foothills within driving distance, and can enjoy the outdoors year round. This unique topography makes for stunning views and great hiking all within close proximity to a major city. It is for this very reason that people flock to San Diego, to make a home or just visit for the weekend. Not only does San Diego have some of the best recreating options, but it also is a very lively city to visit. If you’re planning a trip to San Diego, this article will provide everything you need to know to ensure your trip is one for the books!

Where to Stay:


If you’re looking for a conventional and comfortable stay close to the action, the following hotels will be suited well for you:

-Hilton San Diego Bayfront

-Doubletree by Hilton Hotel San Diego - Mission Valley

-Wyndham Garden San Diego near SeaWorld

-Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown

-The Westin San Diego Downtown


Rentals -

-Unique Geometric Dome

-Small, quaint casita

-The West Star - a yacht on the San Diego Marina

-Urban treehouse in Little Italy

-Small beach cottage

What to Pack:

Packing depends on seasonality and weather patterns. Before you go, be sure to check weather forecasts. Below is a general guide, as the temperatures do not vary much in San Diego! 

All Season Packing List-

Average temperatures: Low of 50 degrees, high of 77 degrees (fahrenheit) 


  • Hiking Pants: Quick-dry, lightweight, durable - we recommend this pair!
  • Hiking Shorts: Stretchy, durable with secured pockets - such as this pair.
  • Technical Tanks/Tees: Lightweight, quick dry, tank tops or t-shirts
  • Sun Shirt:  sun shirt to keep skin protected in the summer months - we recommend a shirt like this one.
  • Jacket: Lightweight, water-resistant, such as an ultralite puffer or windbreaker
  • Hiking Boots: Good Traction and Tread is recommended
  • Hat: Either baseball cap or hiking hat with strap
  • Socks: Specifically hiking socks, that are padded to protect your feet from blistering
  • Swimsuit 
  • A few cute outfits for exploring San Diego or dinners out
  • Sports Bras
  • Base layer for warmth on early morning or sunset hikes

For Hiking

  • Snacks
  • Phone Protector Case: durable phone case to prevent breakage if it falls
  • Backpack with water storage 
  • Map of the area or other navigation device


  • Camping supplies if you plan to camp
  • A picnic blanket 
  • Chargers + cables
  • Phone and/or camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Compact first aid kit


  • Cleanser, moisturizer, and any other regular skincare products
  • Travel-sized shampoo, body wash and conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • SPF
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Any makeup products you plan to wear
  • Hair dryer and/or curling/straightening tools
  • Toothbrush + toothpaste 
  • Ponytail holders/scrunchies  
  • Body/facial wipes
  • Feminine products if needed
  • Brush
  • Chapstick

Where to Hike:

Sunset Cliffs Park Trail -

  • Rating: Easy 
  • Elevation gain: 95 feet
  • Distance: 1 mile out-and-back
  • Estimated time to hike: 30 minutes


Bayside Trail

  • Rating: Easy
  • Elevation gain: 350 feet
  • Distance: 2.4 miles out-and-back
  • Estimated time to hike: 1.5 hours


Fortuna Mountain Trail

  • Rating: Moderate
  • Elevation gain: 1,400 feet
  • Distance: 6.2 mile loop
  • Estimated time to hike: 3 hours


Ruffin Canyon Trail - 

  • Rating: Easy 
  • Elevation Gain: 340 feet
  • Distance: 2.4 mile out + back
  • Estimated time to hike: 1.5 hours


South Fortuna Mountain via South Fortuna Trail -

  • Rating: Moderate
  • Elevation gain: 1,100 feet
  • Distance: 4.4 miles out + back
  • Estimated time to hike: 2-3 hours

Torrey Pines, Guy Fleming, EB Scripps Overlook, Red Butte and Razor Point Loop -

  • Rating: Moderate
  • Elevation gain: 440 feet
  • Distance: 3.7 mile loop
  • Estimated time to hike: 2-3 hours



Where to Eat/Drink:

Breakfast Spots:

-Cafe Topes

-Wayfarer Bread + Pastry

-Farmer’s Bottega

-Nomad Donuts

-Hash House a Go Go

-Hob Nob Hill

-Morning Glory

-Cafe 21 Gaslamp

-Breakfast Republic

Lunch Spots:

-Parc Bistro Brasserie

-Mediterranean Room


-Little Frenchie

-Cafe Gratitude San Diego

-Grater Greens

-Native Foods

-Vitality Bowls San Diego

Dinner Spots:

-Juniper + Ivy

-The Smoking Goat Restaurant

-C Level Lounge



-Ironside Fish + Oyster


-Elote Cafe


Must-Do Activities: 

  • Sunset at Sunset Cliffs
  • Bike riding on Coronado Island
  • Walk through Balboa Park
  • Beachy drinks at Bali Hai
  • Seeing the seals at La Jolla Cove
  • Watching sunrise over San Diego Harbor
  • Camping at San Elijo State Beach
  • Check out Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for the day
  • Take a cruise on the San Diego Bay

We hope this gives you some major inspo for planning the perfect trip to sunny San Diego! Is this city on your travel bucket list?

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