Visitors’ Guide to a Relaxing San Diego Getaway

There’s no doubt about it — San Diego is an exciting place to be. But the theme parks, nightlife and active social scene are just one side of “America’s Finest City”. Our coastal paradise has a softer side, too. For every roller coaster, there’s a breathtaking beach. For every hopping Gaslamp club, there’s a beach Yoga class. It’s just as easy to unwind here as it is to live it up. With that in mind, here are some of our favorite ways to relax in San Diego.    

Have Coffee on the Beach

(Photo: @betterbuzz)

San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline are the picture of serenity any time of day. Still, some moments are calmer than others. If you want to listen to the waves roll over the sand while the sun rises at your back, then why not grab a cup of your favorite morning brew and take it out to the sand? Take a quick morning stroll to our neighbors at Portside Coffee & Gelato for a waterfront wake up, or visit nearby Ocean Beach’s best-kept secret Newbreak Coffee & Café for a beachfront brew with stunning ocean views. Our previous post on the area’s best coffee shops can clue you in to even more great spots to check out. No matter which of our beaches you’re closest to, chances are it’ll just be you and the birds enjoying the solace of nature’s most complacent vistas. 


Indulge in a Bayfront Brunch 

Once you’ve got your morning pick-me-up picked up, it’s time for brunch! If there’s a more anxiety-alleviating activity than digging into some early-morning favorites like steak and eggs, chicken and waffles and chilaquiles (topped off with a fresh-squeezed Mimosa, of course), we have yet to find it. Good thing the chefs at Humphreys SoCAL Dining & Music are the brunch experts on Shelter Island. Stop in and spoil yourself silly with us.


Visit a Garden 

Garden in San Diego

Cooling your heels in a carefully cultivated green space is bound to relieve stress. Thankfully, San Diego is brimming with gorgeous gardens certain to tame tension. Balboa Park isn’t just such a space in its own right, it encompasses several spaces that are renowned for their tranquility. Alcazar Garden features lush vegetation, ornate water features, and even a shady pergola perfect for a restful break. The Japanese Friendship Garden’s koi ponds and bonsai trees celebrate unity and harmony. And the famous Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden is a festival of fragrance, color and lush beauty. 


Enjoy the Water

Visitors from all over the world come to our coastal city looking for a waterfront reprise from everyday life. So what could be more soul-soothing than spending an afternoon out on the water? Whether your idea of relaxation involves paddle boarding, boating, surfing — or you’re in search of the more relaxed pace of kayaking or sailing activities — San Diego has plenty of opportunities for you to spend a chill day out on the ocean or bay.


Plan a Picnic 


Thanks to our always-perfect weather, it’s always picnic season in San Diego. There are so many amazing places to bring a blanket and basket that we’d run out of space if we tried to tell you about all of them. Still, some of our favorites include the aforementioned Balboa Park, Sunset Cliffs and La Jolla Hermosa Park. Shelter Island’s Shoreline Park is also a stunning spot that’s just steps from our front door. Whether you choose to pack your own leisurely lunch or entrust local experts (like the friendly folks at Pop-Up Picnic) to take the reins on the planning, you’re guaranteed a great experience.


Take a Bike Ride

Two bicycles on a beach in San Diego

San Diego is such a beautiful city that it really has to be experienced outdoors. So if you’re the pedal-pushing type, you’ll definitely want to take a two-wheeled trek into tranquility here. Luckily, there are endless opportunities for serene cycling in and around the area. If you need a few tips on places you might get started (including the Shelter Island Loop just outside our front door), feel free to take a look at our previous post, “Scenic Bike Rides Around San Diego”. The best part? With our Half Moon Inn resort pass, guests can take advantage of daily free one-hour bike rentals


Catch a Stunning San Diego Sunset

(Photo: @halfmooninn)

The West Coast has the incredible privilege of watching each day come to a close as the sun slips beyond the horizon. Solace-seekers who are truly in pursuit of inner peace revel in watching dusk fall each evening. If you’re lucky you may even catch the elusive “Green Flash” — a.k.a., the moment the sun dips beneath the sea. If you’re looking for the most stunning spots to catch the sunset here in San Diego, take a look at our previous post “Best Places to Watch Sunsets in San Diego” for an insiders’ guide on locals’ favorite places. 


Chill Out at Humphreys

At the end of the day (literally!), the best way to relax is by getting some quality rest in sublime surroundings. Our tropical-feel accommodations at Humphreys Half Moon Inn make resting up for the next day’s adventures easy! Plus, our stellar service, thoughtful amenities and great rates won’t add to your stress levels, either. When you’re ready to join us, take a look at our Special Offers page, and select the money-saving San Diego travel deal that’s right for your graceful getaway.