This post was most recently updated on May 30th, 2018
Point Loma is my next ‘Dine & Do’ location. It’s a community of San Diego, and it’s also home to Liberty Station, an increasingly popular place to be these days. I’m going to let you in on one of my really fun date ideas — in fact, my husband and I just did this last week!
What makes Liberty Station unique is the fact that it’s not what it used to be — that’s right, it’s gone through quite a change from former Naval Training Center to a busy Point Loma hub of restaurants, public market, arts district, and much more. In fact, there’s so much you can do at Liberty Station, it might be hard to decide. But for this date, our daughter decided for us. She knows we like to explore new places AND she also knows we like to take photographs.
What we did in Point Loma
My daughter created a photo scavenger hunt for us and directed us to go to Liberty Station. She gave us 15 categories to photograph, and we had a blast! So here we are…walking all over, checking out art and dance studios, peering in windows of galleries and event venues, taking close-up photos of fresh-baked bread and colorful yarn in a fiber store, or ducking into archways and plazas, snooping around on upper floors of converted barracks, and trying to figure out where to take a few selfies, too!
Photo Scavenger Hunt Categories
I highly suggest you try this. You can do it just for fun, to help you explore and see things in another light, or to take some seriously great photos! And hey, if you do take this seriously and post your photos on Instagram, be sure to tag me at @postcardsandpassports so I can see your handiwork! If you want to see my entries for the scavenger hunt, check out my Instagram here.
4-Something falling apart
5-An item close-up
7-A flag (there are a lot of these at Liberty Station!)
8-A window or doorway
10-A mural or other art
11-Something that moves
15-Your feet standing on top of a pattern
This took us about two hours, and we could have spent more time taking photos, but seriously, I got hungry! And my daughter planned for that, too, when she instructed us to go to Soda & Swine for lunch.
More to do at Liberty Station?
Oh my! Yes! Maybe you’re not into photo scavenger hunts. I’m going to list a few ideas here but then I’m going to direct you to another blog post I’ve written entirely about what to do at Liberty Station. You can visit museums and art galleries, you can take an art class and take your own painting home with you (so much fun!), or you can take an evening stroll along the coastal Esplanade or relax on a bench and watch the boats go by. Take in a movie at the luxury LOT theater, or attend a dance performance at the Dorothea Laub Dance Place. And on the first Friday of every month, there’s Friday Night Liberty. In fact, if you come next week, you may run into me, ’cause I’m going to celebrate my birthday there! I’m looking forward to meeting artists, and enjoying dance, theater, and music performances between 5 and 9 pm.
Dine in Point Loma
Just so you know, there are a lot of great restaurants at Liberty Station, and I still haven’t tried them all. Soda and Swine was a new one for us. The minute I walked up to the entrance, I was delighted with the games, weathered benches, easy-to-understand ordering instructions, and the arches that perfectly framed beautiful views. And I wasn’t even inside the restaurant yet!
Inside, I was greeted by plenty of Instagram-perfect views: bright red stools, a foosball-game-turned-into-table, skylights, urban-industrial lamps, bud vases with cactus blooms, an antique cash register, and lots of texture: bricks, wood, glass, bronze…and even built-in lights in the restroom mirror that blink “YOU LOOK FINE” when you stand in front of it!
But you probably want to know about the food!
Soda & Swine focuses on three things: meatballs, pies, and vintage sodas. Unique! I love that these are all comfort foods, too. I order the hen (chicken) meatballs with mushroom cream & provolone in a skillet and a stevia-sweetened Virgil’s Root Beer. Mmm…so good! I would have liked to try a piece of pie as well, but my daughter had suggested we make a visit to Le Parfait Paris for French macarons, so I had to save room for that.
When we left, we were asked if it was our first visit. “Yes”, I answered. And then I received a tip: “Come back at night sometime. There are lights built-in to the walls that glow gold, and it is so pretty!”
So — even more Instagrammable photos to look forward to!
More dining options in Point Loma at Liberty Station
First I have to show you our dessert! We went to the Liberty Public Market, which is housed in the former Mess Hall of the Naval Training Center. Here you will find just about everything: imported cheeses, an olive oil/balsamic vinegar station, empanadas, baked treats, ice cream, burgers, roasted meats, ramen, crepes, candy, seafood, pasta, tacos, and…well, much more than I can write here.
They also have crafty items, too: wooden watches, candles, jewelry, flowers, etc. But I digress…
Here’s our dessert!
And if you’re wanting something different than what the market offers, here are a few more suggestions:
Tender Greens — super healthy and very flavorful meals that taste homemade!
Banyan Kitchen & Cafe — comfortable living-room-style dining with cool decor and chocolates
Fireplace by the Patio — Grilled fare with mostly outdoor seating and firepits
Solare — elegant Italian dining (they have cooking classes, too!)
How did we end our ‘Dine & Do’ date experience?
The prescribed ending location for our date was a visit to the USS Neversail, a land-locked 2/3 size model of a naval ship used for training when all this was the Naval Training Center. It was a gentle reminder of the history of Liberty Station, and it led us to a few more photo-worthy sites, too. There’s a coastal access esplanade (walking path) here and a pedestrian-only bridge for better views of the San Diego harbor. Walk across the bridge and under another, and you’ll find yourself on the harbor with views of the not-too-distant San Diego downtown and the marina at Harbor Island. Romantic? Yes! We also brought home a souvenir with us: a bottle of cranberry pear balsamic vinegar from Baker & Olive, so I can make tasty salads at home.
I do hope you’ll visit Point Loma and customize a ‘Dine & Do’ date for you and your loved one at Liberty Station. It’s a relatively new development and a jewel of an attraction for San Diego to add to its collection. Plus, if you’re always looking for new date ideas, there are many options here for you!
More ‘Dine & Do’ date ideas for the San Diego area:
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