A Beachy Anniversary Getaway at the Empress Hotel in San Diego

When you think of California, the first thing that more than likely comes to mind is Los Angeles or San Francisco. But you’re forgetting about one magical city in particular. San Diego is truly the hidden gem of Cali. Its beautiful blue beaches, perfect weather, relaxing atmosphere and overall chill vibes have people coming back year after year.

This year for our anniversary/my birthday, Tim and I went to the stunning town of La Jolla, San Diego for the weekend. We stayed at the Empress Hotel, which (in my opinion) is definitely the cutest, most quaint hotel in all of San Diego. From the moment we walked in, we felt at home.


The staff was so kind and welcoming, the entire theme of the hotel was beach vibes and our room in particular was out of a movie. The first thing I noticed after opening the door? Rose petals on the ground. They led from the doorway all the way to the bed, where they were then arranged in the shape of a heart. On top of that, a bottle of champagne and an assortment of chocolates were on the coffee table. Tim had arranged the entire thing in honor of our special weekend! Sneaky guy. It was everything I could have hoped for.

After settling in, we decided to take a walk down to the cove. A few things you can expect when adventuring to La Jolla Cove:

  • Seals. LOTS of them.
  • Picturesque boulders (which make for a good photo op, might I add)
  • Clear blue water as far as the eye can see
  • An array of water activities, from snorkeling to surfing
  • Adorable beachside shops

Being the ocean lovers that we are, this was the perfect setting. We walked down to the cove and decided to grab a few photos with the seals. Yes, you can get extremely close to them without them batting an eye! There were mama seals, papa seals and cutest of all: baby seals.


Afterwards, we strolled around La Jolla, stopping in some cute shops along the way and grabbed a bite to eat at a local vegan burger spot (the food was delicious, by the way)!

On day two–OUR ANNIVERSARY<3–we decided to make the 30 minute drive to a nearby mall and do some shopping. Westfield UTC is an all-outdoor mall, complete with a variety of stores, from Banana Republic to Free People. We then headed back to the hotel to take a quick nap before spending the rest of the day relaxing by the beach and eating dinner by the water. Unfortunately, Tim got extremely sick on this day, but powered through for the sake of our trip and our anniversary.

Before heading back to LA on day 3, we drove up through the mountains to Mt. Soledad; a stunning viewpoint of the entire city located at the tippy top of La Jolla. We took a deep breathe in and embraced while watching the waves crash and feeling the breeze on our faces.


Overall thoughts:

  • If you’re planning on visiting La Jolla, the Empress Hotel is the place to stay! Friendly staff, beautiful hotel views, delicious food. Overall, a win-win.
  • Make sure to visit Mt. Soledad, as you won’t get a view like that any other place in the city
  • Go during the off-season when the beaches aren’t as packed, but the weather is still beautiful.

Have you been to La Jolla? What did you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!

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