San Diego is one of those cities that gives me instant envy whenever someone tells me that they live there. The temperature there is pretty much perfect all year round and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. If you only have a day to spend in San Diego, you can still pack in a lot over the course of several hours. I’m sharing three mini road trips that you can take in one day that are guaranteed to give you incredible views.
I was invited to experience and test drive several of the new Kias during my visit to San Diego during their influencer event. The hard part was selecting which vehicle to start with. It was kind of like being a kid in a candy store and being told that you can try anything that you want and you WANT to try EVERYTHING. Where do you even begin???!!!
I also wanted to SEE everything. There was a lot of San Diego and a short amount of time to see it. My riding companion was Tatanisha from the site A Worthey Read . She is also a lover of travel and crammer of all things fun so we got along great and were both on the same page to fit in as much as possible while driving as many different vehicles as possible.
We started at the parking lot located across from our host hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego. We definitely got the Rock Star treatment during our stay.
Check out the views from my room and the hospitality suite! I loved being near all of the action downtown.
For our 1st test drive we selected the Kia Sorento SXL.
We were given a map that included local destinations in the area. We mostly stayed on course for the long drive that took us on a beautiful drive through the mountains near Missions Trail Region Park with a pit stop at Krispy Kreme. My kind of itinerary!
I was a huge fan of the large panoramic sunroof which enabled us to see more palm trees and gorgeous skies that day. It really made the vehicle feel so much bigger!
Tatanisha and I took turns so that we could each experience what it was like to drive each vehicle which included backing up when we made a short stop for a photo opp at the historic Sweetwater River Bridge built in 1929. Backup cameras are the best!
La Jolla Beach
We deviated from the map a bit to enjoy a few moments at La Jolla Beach. We scored an amazing parking spot close to the beach with a great view. The side venture off the course was totally worth it.
It had been about 20 years since my last visit to La Jolla but I still remembered the sea lions that enjoy sunbathing there. They were not at their usual spot during our visit but I did see them from afar.
I’m seriously jealous of those who get to visit this beach all the time! I could have spend hours there that day but we had more places to see and more vehicles to drive!
After our visit to La Jolla, we returned to swap out vehicles and enjoy a lunch of fish tacos at Tin Fish conveniently located across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel.
Cabrillo National Monument
Our 2nd test drive was in a Kia Sedona to Cabrillo National Monument where you can learn more about Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who was the first European to set foot on the West Coast of the United States (located at 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr.)
The views were absolutely breathtaking on both sides of the peninsula from this location. It gives you such a great perspective of the bay. This park is such a gem!
As a habitual over packer, I thought it would be important to check out the trunk space while checking out the views from the back of the van. I found plenty of room for people like me who constantly find themselves saying I’m bringing this “just in case.” Our ride didn’t feel like a typical mini van and it still had ample room for overpacking and lots of passengers.
We didn’t have a lot of time for exploring but I would recommend walking up to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse if you have the time.
Make sure that you stop by Fort peninsula National Cemetery on your way out of the park. You will notice the tombstones on your drive way to Cabrillo.
Chicano Park and Coronado Island
Our last final mini road trip was in the Kia Soul EV. We stopped to check out the street art at Chicano Park dedicated to the cultural heritage of the area and then we ventured across the bridge to Coronado Island.
I LOVE street art and anything by the water so this mini trip had both.
This car was so quiet that I could barely tell that it was on! It also had a surprising amount of room and pick me up for an electric car. I was really surprised at how easily it picked up speed while I was driving it.
You will want to really take in all of the detail of the artwork at the park. The artists are storytellers who have used their paintbrushes to be the voices of those stories and history they felt needed to be told.
After the murals we made our way across the nearby bridge to Coronado Island.
There is a wonderful beach there along with the famous Hotel Del Coronado that has been featured in several movies and was the largest hotel in the world in 1888.
Thanks again to Kia for the opportunity to test drive three different works of art and innovation while visiting gorgeous scenery.
We started our adventure around 9:30am that day and had time to stop for scenic pics at 3+ destinations, lunch, swap out at each vehicle downtown, and return around 5:15. I think that we did pretty good for packing in a lot in a little time.
If I would have been given more time, I would have definitely taken a few more Kias on a few more adventures. Each vehicle had features that I loved but I think that out of the 3 test drives, the Sorento was my favorite. The third row seating option “just in case” would make it easier to ditch my minivan for an SUV for my family of 4. I really loved those panoramic views too!
After all 3 test drives I have a new appreciation and understanding for why Kia customers are so loyal. Great style, value, top industry awards across multiple categories and a 10 year- 100,000 mile warranty are hard to beat!
And I’m still jealous of everyone who gets to call San Diego home but I’ll be content to visit.
You can find out more about the New Kias from their website.
Thanks again to Kia for hosting my visit. All opinions are my own.