Trip Report – San Diego

My wife and I took a weekend trip (Friday – Sunday) down to San Diego in April 2016 as a celebration of the end of busy season at work. Most of the trip was paid for on points with the exception of food and activities.



During our weekend in San Diego, we stayed at The US Grant Hotel. For more information on how we afforded to stay at this luxury hotel check out this post.


The hotel had a historic charm and the service was great from the moment we stepped foot on the property. Gotta love the turn down service with chocolates.

The room itself was a good size with a comfortable king bed. The bathroom was equally as spacious with a walk-in shower. The flat panel TV was a little bit old, but it worked just fine.

The location of the hotel was pretty convenient. However, we found ourselves walking several blocks to the waterfront as well as other areas of Gaslamp District. It is worth noting that they were performing construction on the large mall across from the hotel, which I’m sure we would have spent more time at had it been open.


IMG_2038Cafe 222 – My wife found this place using Yelp. It had good reviews and we wanted a place to eat breakfast before our couple’s massage. There was a little bit of a line when we showed up around 8:40am, but we were seated within 5 minutes. The line got significantly longer as we were leaving around 9:30am. We were seated outside on a patio area, which must be rented by the restaurant from the neighboring apartment complex during the weekends. We placed our orders and the food came out super fast. My wife got a ham and swiss scramble and I got the Super Biscuits and Gravy, which came with eggs and sausage. The food was delicious and we really enjoyed the restaurant setting. Would definitely recommend as a great place for breakfast!

Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop – Because of our flight getting delayed, we had some extra time on Sunday to explore downtown San Diego. When we were in Seaport Village, the smells of Ben and Jerry’s waffle cones filled the air. However, after looking at the prices $6+ for a single scoop ice cream cone. We opted to head back to Gaslamp District and get ice cream at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop. It has a vintage ice cream parlor feel to it. I wasn’t hungry, but my wife got a mint chocolate chip ice cream scoop in a waffle cone. It was a cute little place and definitely worth a stop if you’re walking along 5th Avenue in Gaslamp District.


USS Midway Museum – This was actually not part of our original plan, but as we were walking along the boardwalk, my wife saw the aircraft carrier and really wanted to go. It opened up at 10am and we got in line to buy our tickets around 9:45am. Per the suggestions of one of the volunteer docents, we went straight up to the “Island” tour. I would highly suggest doing this because the line gets long and they can only allow 20 or so people per tour group. We also really enjoyed the talks about taking off and landing on the aircraft carrier. The cost of admission also includes a self-guided audio tour, but we didn’t really use this because we ran out of time. Overall, I think the USS Midway Museum is a must see attraction if you’re in San Diego.



Flagship Harbor Cruise – We had reservations for the 1:45pm harbor cruise. Looking back I wish these reservations would have been later so we could have spent more time at the USS Midway Museum. With that being said, we did enjoy our time on the 2 hour harbor cruise. It was a nice chance to relax and see everything, but nothing to write home about.



Seaport Village – This cute little village along the San Diego waterfront has some great little shops and entertainment. We enjoyed strolling around and doing some window shopping.

Gaslamp District – Tons of bars, food, and entertainment. Do I need to say more?


Couples Massage at Aww Day Spa – My wife had been bugging me that she’d never had a massage before. We wanted to get one on our honeymoon, but the price on the cruise boat was ridiculous. Anyway, this wonderful day spa had couple’s massages for $170. They also emailed us a couple days before and said if we vote for them for this contest they’d give us 30%. Add on the fact that Cardcash had SpaFinder gift cards, which could be used at this spa, for 20%. I ended up buying $100 worth of gift cards for $79. We ended up saving around 48% before gratuity. Not bad. Anyway, the couples massage was relaxing and we would definitely visit again.

Other Notes

We used Uber to get from the airport to the hotel and Lyft to get from the hotel to the airport. Our Uber driver was alright, but didn’t really care to converse. The Uber ride cost us $9, but I had some credit on my account so that was effectively free. When we were trying to get to the airport, there was an Uber surge, which made the price twice as much. Therefore, we opted to go with Lyft, which didn’t have surge charges and cost us $6.80. Not bad. Other than that, we pretty much walked everywhere. I just viewed it as training for our upcoming Disney World trip.

Overall, San Diego is a great little city to visit. We definitely enjoyed the sunny weather. Staying at The US Grant was great and unique. There are a lot of other great redemption options in San Diego as well. We primarily stayed in downtown San Diego, but there’s plenty of other stuff to do in the surrounding communities (i.e. Sea World, Legoland, San Diego Zoo).