San Diego – Countryside, Suburbs and Downtown

San Diego – Countryside, Suburbs and Downtown

Have you ever heard of Jamul, California? We never had and sometimes ignorance is the best way to start off a trip. If we don’t know where we’re going there’s zero preconceived notions or expectations.
This is exactly how our trip through San Diego County started. All we knew is that we’re staying at Thousand Trails Pio Pico campground in Jamul, a town that’s no more than a tiny dot on the map.

jamul california

Turns out it’s a beautiful countryside retreat for the city dwellers and a quiet base camp for travelers.

california countryside

Oh and it’s a heaven for bicyclers, bikers and off road junkies! Even we couldn’t resist exploring all the back country dirt roads…and yes people looked at us very curiously when they passed!

off road smart car

Chula Vista is a suburban community on the way to San Diego and home to one of our YouTube fans. Sunny noticed Jason right away walking around at the campground and she was so excited to have us in her neighborhood she invited us for dinner to talk all things RV (they are getting ready to hit the road full time) and stuff us full of fabulous Korean delights!  It was by far our best San Diego dining experience!

dinner with friends

There is nothing better than making new friends on the road. It’s our favorite part of the full time traveling lifestyle. If you see these faces camping next to you, make sure and say hello…and ask Sunny for her mussel recipe, you won’t be disappointed!


San Diego was a 30min drive from the campground so a day trip into the city was a no brainer.  Of course we’ve been to San Diego before but it’s one of our favorite big cities, and sometimes we need a little urban culture after living in the “sticks” for an extended period of time.

san diego

The Gaslamp Quarter is a historical neighborhood in downtown packed with great people watching, cute shops and tons of foodie hang outs.  Sure its a little touristy, but you’ll also find plenty of locals enjoying the never-ending people watching.

gas lamp quartergas lamp quarter

We settled on Café 21 for lunch and had a very interesting (though not so tasty) Bloody Mary…It was like a $15 salsa verde gone wrong.

crazy bloody mary

The sangrias were beautifully displayed, all house infused and would’ve been a much better choice.  Oh well, next time.

house sangria

Luckily the food was great and served fresh from nearby farms.

cafe 21

After walking off our funky buzz, we headed over to Coronado Island for some beach time. Coronado is laid back and upscale all at the same time. The Hotel Del is historical, beautiful, and a definitely touristy…but always a must stop! The moo time ice cream shop is kind of a traditional stop for us and even if you don’t like ice cream, there’s no way you can resist the overwhelming smell of waffle cones.

hotel delcoronado island

Jason’s aunt Cindy once lived on the Island and our first big trip together as a couple was to visit her.  We have loads of fond memories of being a young new couple, holding hands, making out on the beach, getting sun burns and still trying to impress each other. Good to know things haven’t changed too much.

having fun on the beach

Seems we weren’t the only ones falling in love on the beaches of California.

sandy hearts

So there you have it, a brief roundup of our short visit in San Diego County.  If you are planning a trip through the area and looking for a place to park it (or rent a cabin) Pio Pico Campground is a beautiful location.  Check out the video we produced for the campground and you can see for yourself.

Two pieces of advice: 1. There are two ways into the campground and highway 94 is not so safe for Big Rigs 2. Cell service is limited so make sure you have a signal booster if you need to be connected like us. Oh yea, for that town of Jamul….I don’t think we ever found it, must be really tiny!

Looking for more fun?  Check out these places:

coachellafly like a bird hang gliding yadkin valley

Disclaimer:  While we were compensated to film the campground (thanks Encore!)…all of our experiences and opinions are not purchased and are still our own.