Off Campus Life
Get a life outside of campus! Explore what San Diego has to offer, from food and drinks to natural escapades to urban nightlife! Only a bus (or ride from a gracious friend) away from campus, here are some highlights you won’t want to miss.
Living Room Cafe
1010 Prospect Street La Jolla 92037 (6AM-1AM Sunday-Thursday, 6AM-2AM Friday-Saturday)
A coffee house that works as hard as you, Living Room Cafe is tucked away from an upstairs wine bar to suit late-night study grinds and coffee grounds. As its namesake suggests, it’s as cozy as the winter-edition catalog of Pottery Barn, and is the perfect place to get papers done or waste an afternoon watching Stranger Things. Classic items like cappuccinos and chai are able to stand against signature drinks like the Cafe Jaffa, an orange mocha blend. And unlike most coffeehouses that serve unsustainable pastries, Living Room Cafe generously provides bagel sandwiches, frittatas and pastas alongside traditional scones and muffins. Try this place once, and you’re almost guaranteed to become a regular.
7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego 92111 (10AM-9PM)
A new face to the Convoy food scene, Boba Bar has made its way down from LA, bringing iconic Hong Kong egg waffle cones housing generous scoops of ice cream and a wide range of boba milk tea flavors, from lavender to taro. Its relatively far location is offset by decent prices and a minimalist aesthetic. With Pinterest-esque calligraphy embellishing the walls and Instagrammable treats, Boba Bar is a unique duality that feeds both the stomach and millennials needing to photodocument everything.
4917 Convoy St San Diego 92111 (11Am-12AM)
Taiwanese classic turned San Diegan favorite, Share Tea isn’t just another boba place on Convoy. Specializing in traditional milk teas, Share Tea also features blends of matcha and red bean, Earl Gray brews flavored with everything from fruit to chocolate, and a unique pineapple cake ice blend. And if you want to deviate from what’s already on the menu, toppings like egg pudding and mini boba can be paired with any tea, milk, coffee or slush blend to customize the perfect drink. While no food is served here, the drinks are big enough to satisfy, and good enough not to share.
3343 Adams Ave San Diego 92116 (Open 24/7)
Get a head start this school year by finding your favorite coffee shop study spot before finals week! Only twenty minutes from UCSD, Lestat’s Coffee House, located in North Park, provides a perfect hangout and study spot. The walls are captivatingly decorated with paintings for sale by local artists and the menu includes a wide selection of drinks and sandwiches. The place is often packed, so make sure to allow some extra time to find parking and a table to sit at!
Torrey Pines Trail
N Torrey Pines Rd La Jolla 92037
If breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and easygoing hikes are on your radar, the trails offered at Torrey Pines State Reserve are a must-see. Located conveniently off of North Torrey Pines Road and Genesee Avenue, this natural park is the perfect getaway when the campus gets tiring and workloads become overwhelming. With six different hikes available — all of which lead you to the beach — and beautiful scenery year-round, this is a must-do for all UCSD students.
Ho Chi Minh Trail
9883 La Jolla Farms Rd La Jolla 92037
Noted as one of the top ten hikes in San Diego, Ho Chi Minh Trail is the ultimate quad and calf workout. A relatively steep downhill trek, coupled with tightrope-esque paths across planks, leads straight into the ocean: a well-deserved reward. And while the climb back up is not the most pleasant, the experience — and pictures to prove badassery — are well worth it. So grab your Chacos or go barefoot for an adventurous time.
Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail
12020 Black Mountain Rd San Diego 92129
Located in the heart of suburban Carmel Valley, Los Penasquitos Canyon is seven miles of landscape that looks like a Nature Valley bar, all of which center around a waterfall. With fields to frolic in, water to jump in, mountainous hills to climb and shady groves to rest in, Los Penasquitos is home to universal terrain for every type of nature lover. However, be aware of what entrance you take; depending on the kind of hike you desire, one entrance can lead you through a tranquil pasture, while the other leads you down (and then back up) a steep and rocky hill.
3146 Mission Blvd San Diego 92109
With retro vibes, oceanfront views and thrilling rides, Belmont Park is the often underrated and underappreciated cousin to the likes of SeaWorld and Legoland in San Diego. Established in the 1920s in Mission Beach, Belmont Park boasts attractions for locals and tourists alike, and is one of the only places in San Diego where you can ride a rollercoaster overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Extreme bonus — they serve Disneyland’s iconic Dole Whips, sans eight-hour lines and a creepy Tiki Room filled with animated birds.
614 5th Ave San Diego 92101
The Gaslamp Quarter is located next to the Convention Center in downtown San Diego, only a 30-minute drive from UCSD. Most famously known for its Saturday night bar scene, the large area is also a National Historic District with a lot to offer its visitors. Possible entertainment includes visiting local breweries, eating at popular restaurants, stopping by live music venues and comedy clubs, shopping at small boutiques and, most satisfying of all, people-watching.