The Art of Travel: What to Do In San Diego

 

Last month, we headed west to San Diego for a long weekend trip — and ended the weekend plotting how we quickly we could move there, hah! I love the Spanish cultural and architectural influences and the balmy weather was a serious treat (especially since we avoided the snow back in Denver). A few of my favorite things? Tons of fresh seafood, all the desert, and of course, the ocean! Read below for some of the sites we enjoyed the most, and be sure to add your name and email to the mailing list below — you’ll be the first to know when we our San Diego map print is available!



 
amy zhang creative | san diego map illustration | san diego city guide
 
amy zhang creative | balboa park illustration | san diego travel guide

EXPLORE —

  • BALBOA PARK — You could easily spend an entire day (or three) just exploring everything that Balboa Park has to offer (seriously, it’s massive). It’s home to tons of natural and historical San Diego sites, including the zoo, several museums, theaters, and gardens!

  • MUSEUM OF MAN — One of the many museums located in Balboa Park, the Museum of Man is an anthropological museum with lots of interesting, interactive exhibits. Along with the permanent exhibits, we also got to see their current showcase on the history of cannibalism — spooky, but fascinating!

  • OLD TOWN — Although the park is pretty touristy these days, I think Old Town’s history makes it well worth a visit. The original settlement was formed in 1769 and was the first in California! Today, there are reenactments in the historic park, plus tons of restaurants and shopping in the surround neighborhood.

  • MORE — Coronado Island, Pacific Beach, Potato Chip Rock

  

EAT —

SHOP —

  • PIGMENT — Chances are, you’ve seen this gorgeous store on Pinterest or Instagram — talk about some serious decor inspiration! Both locations carry a seemingly endless supply of fun goodies, and I love the pink mural outside of their North Park shop.

  • NATIVE POPPY — This charming shop, located inside Communal Coffee, is small but might! They’re one part florist, one part gift shop, and I love the mix of gorgeous blooms and fun books and decor pieces.

  • BENCH HOME — I’m kind of obsessed with this Kensington boutique, which carries a seriously lovely selection of home goods. Of course, I might be a little biased here — they’re our newest stockist!

  • MORE — Green Fresh Florals, Library Shop 

I can’t wait to get back to that sunny weather! I’d love to explore more of the surrounding areas of San Diego, especially some of the local beaches!  What are some of your favorite spots?


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The Art of Travel: What to Do In Nashville

 

I’m so very excited to bring you another new blog series this week! Traveling is one of my very favorite things, and it has hugely important in my life — I’ve done everything from spending my childhood summers in China, to studying abroad in Italy, to spending six months making my way down the east coast of the U.S. Plus, one of my big life goals is to eventually set foot on all seven continents (only two more to go!).

I wanted to start documenting my adventures with more than quick iPhone snaps — and what better way to do it than with one of my other favorite things, painting? So, I’m introducing The Art of Travel, a series where I’ll be sharing my travel sketches and illustrated city guides. First up: Nashville, Tennessee! I took a quick trip back in August and am officially in love with this eclectic, vibrant city — read on to see a few of my favorite neighborhoods, shops, restaurants, etc.!

 

 

amy zhang creative | illustrated map | nashville city guide | what to do in nashville | nashville editorial illsutration
 
amyz hang creative | cowboy boots illustration | nashville city guide | what to see in nashville

EXPLORE —

  • 12 South — This neighborhood is trendy in the best way possible — it’s full of hip restaurants and stylish boutiques, including Reese Witherspoon’s quintessentially southern shop Draper James!

  • Germantown — Germantown was one of my favorite areas in Nashville! While it is a historic neighborhood, these days the old is artfully mixed with the new — tons of chic, industrial, modern shops and restaurants.

  • Broadway — Sometimes referred to as “Honky Tonk Highway,” this bustling street is a must-visit for the fun bars, live music, and general country vibes. Sure, it’s touristy — but that’s half the fun!

  • MORE — Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Belmont Mansion, Franklin, Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, The Gulch

 

 

EAT —

  • Hattie B’s — Nashville hot chicken is a must-have while you’re in town, and Hattie B’s is a staple! I’m also now determined to be in Nashville on a Sunday so I can taste-test their chicken and waffles!

  • Five Daughters — I’m a self-proclaimed donut connoisseur, so one of the first things I look up when I’m research a new place is look up the best donut shops in town. Five Daughters came HIGHLY recommended, and for good reason — their specialty is 100-layer donuts in amazing flavors like hibiscus blackberry and chocolate sea salt!!

  • Biscuit Love — A delicious brunch spot and Instagrammer's dream rolled into one! I love the "Nashville" marquee lights, but I love the biscuit donuts (!!!) even more.

  • MORE — Barista Parlor, Pinewood Social, Acme Feed & Seed

 

 

SHOP —

  • Abednego — A light, bright, modern shop in Germantown with seriously beautiful clothing and home accessories. You know those stores where you walk in and immediately feel at home? This shop was 100% it for me!

  • Flora — I love everything about this greenery-filled space, from the abstract mural, to the awesome selection of cute planters, to the cozy green couch

  • Hey Rooster — A colorful, charming shop in Hillsboro Village (another great neighborhood to explore!) with an eclectic modern-meets-rustic vibe. Favorite find: The Pen is Mightier than the Penis, a feminist quote book. I’m also officially obsessed with the green floor!

  • Amelia’s — Seriously adorable traveling flower truck. While I couldn’t take any flowers home, I did pick up their adorable enamel pin (SO cute!!).

  • MORE — White’s Mercantile, Uncommon James, Draper James

 

Honestly, there were so many more places that I wanted to check out, but we only had about a day to explore — I have visited Nashville once before, so some of the places I talked above are from that past trip. I guess I’ll just have to save the rest of my list for next time! If you’ve been (or live in!) Nashville, what are some of your favorite spots??

 


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