Forget that sense of loneliness, make a list of old and new dreams to pursue and things you’d like to do and pack your bag: now that the children have left the nest, it’s time to create new memories and enjoy new experiences together with all that extra time on your hands.
Whatever you decide, the idea is to plan something with your partner that will be meaningful to both of you, something to look forward to when you are feeling down about in your empty nest.
And now that travel restrictions are being lifted, what better time than this to explore San Diego? With its unbeatable weather, laid-back attitude, sparkling beaches and vibrant culture, America’s finest city should be at the top of every empty-nesters list.
The best things to do in San Diego now
San Diego has several popular attractions to offer: Sea World San Diego, LEGOLAND California, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, the Cabrillo National Monument, several casinos, and many historic parks and museums. However, there are more things for empty nesters to see and try to mark the beginning of the next phase of their life.
Get ready to take notes.
- The Art of Love
For couples aiming to inspire amour, Balboa Park, with its charming gardens, dreamy architecture, delicious eats and thought-provoking exhibits, is the place to go. However, if you are more into arts and crafts, the San Diego Museum of Art, which has nationally renowned collections and features artworks by well-known artists as Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe, Diego Rivera, as well as the recently transformed Mingei International Museum, are the right spots for you. Do you prefer music and shows? Then, head to the Old Globe, one of the top regional theatres in the country with more than 20 productions gone on to play at Broadway.
- Pair Care
For those ones who prefer to relax, San Diego offers up an abundance of places to stop. Spa Kingston in Bankers Hill, for instance, elevates the classic couples’ massages with hot stones, a rosemary scalp treatment and a rose petal foot bath along with dark truffle chocolates and chilled glasses of champagne. Trilogy Sanctuary in La Jolla is also a great place to consider: an eclectic spot with a wellness studio with a variety of yoga classes, including outdoor aerial options, and a rooftop vegan café with ocean views.
- Table for Two
If it is true that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, then San Diego’s culinary scene offers something for foodies to fall head over heels. One of the hottest new restaurants is East Village San Diego’s Callie, the creation of celebrated Chef Travis Swikard, which combines flavours of Mediterranean Coastline with fresh, local ingredients in an eclectic setting influenced by the golden hues of a Californian sunset. For those who want a feast for the eyes as well as the palette, Seneca, the InterContinental San Diego Hotel’s rooftop restaurant, provides a playful yet sophisticated ambiance along with eye-popping views of the San Diego Bay. The tableside hand-stretched mozzarella is a must.
- Love Potion
San Diego is also perfect for couples who want to drink it all in while sipping on creative cocktails in even more inventive environments. Within Common Theory Public House a friendly pub serving over 30 rotating beers on tap in San Diego’s Asian district, is Realm of the 52 Remedies. Known as one of San Diego’s swankiest and best speakeasies, this drinking den’s opulent décor features a glowing jade bar surrounded by a mix of Asian and Tiki accents. Another option is Young Blood, one of San Diego’s newest speakeasies, offering a curated 90-minute, three-course cocktail experience in the amber lit and intimate bar.
- Picture Perfect
San Diego is a target-rich environment for great pictures. Sunset Cliffs, as the name claims, provides San Diego scenery with its picturesque sandy bluffs framing the Pacific Ocean and amazing sunset views. It might be a hike, but Potato Chip Rock in East County offers a thrilling precipice for pictures, too. And how about the Communal Coffee in North Park? It’s not only a great place for a romantic coffee date but also a spot where couples can grab a beautiful bouquet and record it all for prosperity in front of its popular “Coffee & Flowers” mural.
Last but not least, for those couples who dream of storybook moments, San Diego delivers in the romance department. The Gondola Company takes couples on a 50-minute private gondola cruise around the canals of the Coronado Cays. End the day with a lovely stroll and a magic movie night offered by the Seaside Cinema: a Bali-inspired boho setup with pillows, market lights and a portable movie screen to enjoy a rom-com right on the beach. The formula includes picnic options with champagne and rose petals add-ons that can be set up anywhere around San Diego.
How to Get to San Diego
The nearby airport is the San Diego International Airport which is just a few miles northwest of the city centre. This busy airport is well-connected with the other parts of the country and the world. Take a bus or taxi from the airport to get to downtown San Diego.
If you are coming from Los Angeles, direct trains are available from LA Union Station and 3 other rail stations every 3 hours. The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner takes around three hours to reach Santa Fe Station in San Diego. The train ride offers some of the best coastal views of Orange County.
You can also drive your own or rental car to get to San Diego from Los Angeles. The route is very scenic and there are plenty of great places to stop between these two cities.
There are also several bus companies such as Hoang Express, InterCalifornias, and LuxBus that run services to connect San Diego to other California cities.
Where To Stay
A number of hotels offer special packages and amenities throughout the year and will work with you to create unforgettable moments, should you be celebrating a special occasion.
- Cosmopolitan Hotel
Located in a historic building dating back to 1869, this Old Town San Diego hotel offers guests rooms with Victorian-style furnishings and features an on-site restaurant and bar. San Diego International Airport is 5 miles away. Each room includes a balcony or a patio with views of historic Old Town State Park or the hotel outdoor courtyard. The Cosmopolitan Hotel offers an on-site full-service restaurant and bar open 7 days a week for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.
- Rancho Bernardo Inn
Spread across 265 acres of beautiful grounds, Rancho Bernardo Inn offers visitors a luxurious and relaxing getaway in North County San Diego. The destination resort boasts a championship golf course, award-winning spa facilities, delicious cuisine, and a choice of fun leisure activities.
- Estancia La Jolla
Located in the heart of La Jolla on Torrey Pines, the Estancia La Jolla is almost like a little slice of Santa Barbara in San Diego. If you and your partner are in the market for a little rest and rejuvenation, the Estancia should be catapulted to the top of your list. Lounge in a poolside cabana for two, or indulge in one of their many spa treatments. Their full-service spa is equipped with a eucalyptus steam room, a private deck with a soaking tub for two, nine private treatment rooms, including a couple’s bungalow, and more.