From hiking trails to a classic steakhouse, these recommendations are the perfect itinerary.

Torrey Pines State Reserve with Black's Beach, San Diego
Rocky89/Getty Images

Sunset’s Insider Guide series highlights seasonal diversions and secret travel tips from local experts.

Alicia Perry

Courtesy of CH Projects

Meet the Insider: Alicia Perry, beverage director at Consortium Holdings

Location: San Diego, California

Alicia Perry is a born-and-raised San Diegan who’s been working with Consortium Holdings for nearly eight years. The company is known for crafting some of the city’s top-tier cocktail bars and restaurants, and most recently unveiled a massive seven-outlet F&B project at the Lafayette Hotel. The 1940s property has been meticulously restored, bringing Hollywood’s golden-era glamour and high design to the North Park neighborhood. Here are Perry’s recommendations for what to explore on your next visit.


The Lafayette Hotel Interior
The Lafayette Hotel

Kimberly Motos

“Naturally, I can’t help but recommend The Lafayette Hotel. With its rebirth being so close to our hearts, we aimed to create a space that would remain energized and supported by its local community—all the while evoking interest of travelers both nationally and globally.“ 


Torrey Pines Beach
Torrey Pines

John Apps/Unsplash

“I would start off my morning with a visit to one of my favorite coffee shops in North Park, Hawthorn Coffee. Otherwise, make a quick trip up to Bird Rock, and enjoy an almond croissant from Wayfarer Bread, a bakery that focuses on artisan loaves. Trekking north up the coast, Torrey Pines is a great hike. Otherwise, the Solana Beach area is great, Seascape Surf to be exact.”


Cowboy Star Banana Pudding
Banana pudding at Cowboy Star.

Cowboy Star

Following a long day out in the sun, Perry says, “I’d make my way back down to the central area for dinner and a cocktail, starting at Cowboy Star,” a classic steakhouse “that provides a consistent yet elevated experience. The space itself is warm, inviting, and certainly dignified.” 

Reservations are released at the beginning of the month for the following month at Soichi Sushi. “The wait-list alone sets the tone. The experience is unmatched, intimate, engaging, and refined. Chef Soichi Kadoya, now a Michelin one-star, provides a thoughtful and distinguished dining experience.”


Realm of the 52 Remedies Interior
Realm of the 52 Remedies

James Tran

“Sitting under the skylight at the The Lafayette Hotel Lobby Bar while taking in the sun and enjoying a Pimm’s Cup or Brandy Crusta is the way to go. Walking into the Realm of the 52 Remedies, you can’t help but to be enamored of the decor inspired by ancient Chinese medicine. The cocktail list is inventive and alluring, yet approachable. It’s a memorable experience driven by genuine hospitality.”


Casa Y Cocina Interior
Casa y Cocina

Elexia de la Parra

“Some of my favorite shops include Pigment, Shop Good, Casa y Cocina, and Revival Vintage Eyewear. I tend to make my way to that block [around Ray Street and North Park Way] and poke my head in. You’re guaranteed a one-stop shop to find the perfect gift or something special.”