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1 City 5 Ways

San Diego

Photographed at Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Sun, surf, craft breweries: San Diego has it all. With 87-and-counting area breweries and inventive new restaurants popping up overnight, the city’s food and beer scene has never been better. (This month, the San Diego Brewers Guild hosts the city’s 12th annual San Diego Beer Week.) Families continue to rave about the area’s kid-friendly attractions, from the world-famous zoo to lesser-known gems such as the San Diego Botanic Garden. And outdoorsy types will be torn between coastal hikes amid Torrey pine trees, bike tours in La Jolla and tennis lessons with pros. Not a bad problem, we think.


GOURMET

       
Polite Provisions photo by Lyudmila Zotova.        

Where to Stay: Andaz
Raid the minibar at this sleek 159-room Gaslamp Quarter hotel—it’s stocked with complimentary items, from local Whaletail tortilla chips to Chuao chocolate. And don’t miss the property’s gorgeous rooftop lounge for a nightcap.

Morning: Little Italy
Mercato From fresh sea urchin to Himalayan pink salt, this Saturday farmers market is foodie heaven. Grab some nectarine preserves from Jackie’s Jams and The Cravory’s to-die-for red velvet cookies. 

Lunch: Comun
Dig into ceviche tostadas and elotes (corn kernels with butter, lime and cilantro) at this Baja-inspired newcomer in the East Village neighborhood. Finish with one of the paletas, or popsicles, for dessert. Our favorite? The chili and cinnamon-laced Mexican chocolate. 

Cocktails: Polite Provisions
This North Park soda fountain-inspired spot wins for originality as much as it does for stellar drinks. The Misty Mountain Buck, with rye whiskey, lime juice, pineapple and house-made ginger beer and bitters, will cure any ailments. 

Dinner: Addison
Snag a reservation at this contemporary French restaurant at The Grand Del Mar. Chef William Bradley uses seasonal ingredients in masterful dishes such as canard Albufera with Brussels sprouts and quince. 


WITH THE FAMILY

       
Photo courtesy of San Diego Zoo, SanDiego.org.        

Where to Stay: Rancho Bernardo Inn
Parents will appreciate this sprawling and secluded 287-room Spanish colonial property, including its 2,500-square-foot saline spa pool; meanwhile, the kids will love the weekend s’mores and pop-up tent for in-room camping. 

Breakfast: Claire’s on Cedros
Fuel up at this cozy bakery and café housed in a darling beachfront bungalow in Solana Beach. Claire’s blackberry-stuffed French toast is particularly popular with the kiddie crowd. 

Morning: San Diego Zoo
Make a beeline for this famous zoo, spread over 100 acres, and catch glimpses of polar bears doing backflips underwater, pandas chomping on bamboo and all the other roughly 660 species of animals represented. 

Lunch: Station Tavern
Grab a table in the backyard of this burger-and-craft-beer joint, which even features a play area with chalkboards for antsy kiddos. From the jack cheese and herb yard bird to the spicy black bean burger, you can’t go wrong here. 

Afternoon: Legoland
Spend the last few hours of the day at this Carlsbad area amusement park, where you’ll find everything from a triceratops to the Capitol made out of those beloved bricks. 


OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST

       
Cardiff State Beach photo courtesy of sandiego.org.        

Where to Stay: Rancho Valencia
Rise early from your casita—featuring vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and plunge pool—to hit one of 18 courts at this resort, where U.S. Open champion Robin White oversees the tennis program. 

Morning: Torrey Pines State Preserve
Hike the Guy Fleming Trail, an easy ⅔-mile loop at the northern end of this 2,000-acre coastal preserve near La Jolla. Enjoy plenty of ocean vistas from sandstone cliffs along with a variety of plant life. 

Lunch: Draft
Along the Mission Beach boardwalk, this five-month-old gastropub has more than 60 beers on tap and an extensive menu of snacks, salads and sandwiches. Pool tables and TVs round out the casual vibe. 

Afternoon: Cardiff State Beach
Grab your long board and catch the waves along this sandy stretch, or ogle sea creatures and plants in the reef at low tide. 

Dinner: Davanti Enoteca
Reward yourself for a day well spent with charcuterie, antipasti, pizzas and pastas at this relaxed and authentic Italian eatery in Del Mar. Be sure to order the ricotta and honey comb with grilled Pugliese bread to start. 


HOME BREWER

       
Blind Lady Ale House.        

Where to Stay: The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
This historic North Park property has plenty of retro charm to spare, in part thanks to the stunning 1946-designed pool. Another bonus: the improv club just next door. 

Morning: Brew Hop
Customize a private, 2½-hour tasting tour to the area’s top craft breweries, such as Green Flash, The Lost Abbey and AleSmith. 

Lunch: Blind Lady Ale House
Six years on, this spunky Normal Heights brewpub, with its vintage beer cans on the wall, has still got it. Enjoy seasonal salads and pizzas matched with creative house brews. 

Afternoon: Home Brew Mart
Get pointers from professionals and pick up all the goods, from flasks to bottle caps to malt extract, at this home brew store attached to the Ballast Point Brewing Company & Spirits. 

Dinner: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens
This new 55,000- square-foot Point Loma complex boasts a Stone brewery outpost, bocce ball, cinema courtyard and market-driven restaurant. 


HIPSTER

       
Juniper & Ivy photo by CeCe Canton.        

Where to Stay: The Pearl
This Point Loma boutique hotel is equal parts tranquil and cool. Lounge in one of the 23 rooms, outfitted with platform beds and midcentury-modern furnishings, or by the oyster-shaped saltwater pool. 

Morning: Balboa Park
Celebrating its 100th anniversary next year, this 1,200-acre green space is home to dozens of museums, gardens and attractions. Pop into The San Diego Museum of Art’s current exhibit “Gauguin to Warhol” (through January) or start at the Botanical Building and check out the lily pads outside and ferns and orchids inside. 

Lunch: Buona Forchetta
From the gilded Stefano Ferrara pizza oven to the more than 25 pizza options (11 of them being bianca, or white pies), this South Park Italian spot is the real deal. Wash it all down with a glass of Super Tuscan. 

Afternoon: Progress
Find everything from walnutwood cake pedestals and bud vases to an Eames memory game at this pint-sized South Park interior design and gift shop. 

Dinner: Juniper & Ivy
This restaurant from chef Richard Blais has a grit-meets-glam warehouse aesthetic. Then there’s the food: Think carne cruda asada toast with quail egg, Cotija and jalapeño or the divine Yodel dessert. 

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