NM Travels: Holiday in San Diego - Neiman Marcus
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NM Travels: Holiday in San Diego

Megan O'Sullivan

July 20, 2016

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July 4th is the new New Year’s Eve. The highly anticipated holiday somehow approaches quicker than expected, leaving us last-minute, noncommittal types to do what we do best: wing it. In this case, I was winging it via window seat aboard a plane, San Diego bound.
Departing from D/FW Airport on Friday afternoon, I had no set agenda other than an Instagam-inspired to-do list (for this I’ll thank San Diego native @blankitinerary, as my itinerary was quite literally blank). By the grace of Pacific Standard Time and the breezy California climate, I landed at magic hour in palm-tree happiness. Below I share my bare-necessities packing list, along with the top five must-see places in what locals call the Sandy Eggo.

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With patriotism in mind, I packed a go-to Zimmermann blue-and-white striped tee along with Rag & Bone denim jacket (similar here and here). I can’t go anywhere without at least one pair of fresh kicks, and I have to give credit to NM Contemporary Buyer Robyn Chauvin for introducing me to this particular pair. Statement sunnies are also a staple, such as these, which can be thrown into a versatile tote bag alongside a solid read. I’m currently rereading The Alchemist, but also recommend My Paris Dream by fashion editor Kate Betts. This memoir is an addicting page-turner perfect for passing time on the plane.
Upon arrival, I met up with family members who happened to double as the best tour guides in town. Thanks to their local expertise, I bring you the top 5 spots of San Diego:
 
1. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD)
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Instagram opportunity seekers, gather round. San Diego’s downtown contemporary museum hosts a cutting-edge presentation of diverse artists and installations. With another location in La Jolla, the museum has a constant flow of extraordinary exhibits. A current piece in the downtown location includes Korean artist Do-ho Suh’s installation of his New York apartment, recreated with polyester and stainless steel tubes.
 
2. The New Children’s Museum
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A newly renovated creative space, this museum was at the top of my to-do list. As someone who will never outgrow arts and crafts, I was so excited by the innovative and interactive exhibits. This museum provokes curiosity and imagination for all attendees, whether age five or eighty-five.
 
3. Torrey Pines Hiking Trail
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It would be wrong to visit California and not take advantage of the great outdoors. Torrey Pines is part of a natural reserve in La Jolla, a stretch of ocean-side hills and trails. I recommend taking a morning hike and rewarding yourself by spending the day on the beach, taking in the views.
 
4. Balboa Park
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Upon arriving at Balboa Park, I immediately realized I was the only one there without a selfie-stick. A tourist attraction by nature, the Spanish architecture and delightful gardens are worth any lines or crowds you may run into. The recreational space resembles a smaller version of Madrid’s Parque del Buen Retiro and offers green space, museums, shops, restaurants, and the famous San Diego Zoo.
 
5. Café Gratitude
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This cafe is not only aesthetically impeccable, but it’s also 100% organic. A vegan menu with a twist, each drink and dish is labeled as an adjective, such as “powerful” or “gorgeous.” One must order by practicing positive affirmations, and when your server delivers the meal, they reaffirm, “you are gorgeous.” My favorite item on the menu, “thrilled,” was whole wheat French toast piled with berries and buttermilk cream. “Thrilled” was an understatement.

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Already eager to return, I’ve added the concept shop, Pigment (@shoppigment), and La Jolla’s yoga studio-cafe, Trilogy Sanctuary (@trilogysanctuary) to my San Diego to-do list. Needless to say, this happy town is the perfect playground for a sunny weekend of arts and eats.

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