Once March rolls around I’m usually nostalgic for spring break. Even though my college days are in the past, I still do staycations or long weekends to prevent burnout. And since San Diego has plenty of beautiful beaches and destinations that put you in insta-vacation mode, it’s easy to unwind and unplug. Pacific Beach is one of those spots that makes me feel like a tourist in my own town.
The Oceanfront Boardwalk runs from North Pacific Beach to South Mission Beach, for about 3.5 miles of concrete walkway. The boardwalk is great for walking, biking and people watching. One of my favorite places along the boardwalk is Tower23 Hotel, a boutique hotel with sleek, modern glass exteriors overlooking the ocean. A welcome cocktail is delivered to your room upon check-in, setting the tone for your stay. While at the hotel, I like to hang out on the rooftop area that has lounge chairs, umbrellas, fire pits, and a beautiful view of the ocean. Guest rooms have a private balcony so you can keep the sliding glass door cracked for ocean sounds and smells—especially nice while taking a bubble bath in your in-suite jacuzzi tub. The hotel’s central location puts it within walking distance to several great hangouts like Pacific Beach Park to stare at the ocean, The Baked Bear for ice cream sandwiches, and Kono’s Cafe for breakfast burritos.
But you don’t have to go far to have a fantastic meal at Tower23, because the hotel restaurant JRDN is one of the most popular eateries in Pacific Beach. A contemporary seafood restaurant and steakhouse, JRDN is located adjacent to the boardwalk with indoor/outdoor seating. I recommend going during sunset for cocktails to enjoy the view, but staying for dinner. Try the oysters on the half shell or the ahi tuna poke as an appetizer. The squash blossoms and crispy Brussels sprouts are also delicious. I tried foie gras for the first time at JRDN in the form of their pb+j (served with peanuts, berry jam and biscuits). You can’t go wrong with any of the butcher’s cuts or the Tower23 burger. For a refreshing cocktail, order a mai tai or chili mango margarita. JRDN gets busy during the summer, so be sure to make a reservation and get there early before valet parking is full. You won’t be sorry.