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Lafayette Hotel

Lafayette Hotel

Why Now: It took 120 years for North Park to come of age, but it’s finally happened. Home to artists and hipsters, its energetically dense streets—packed with vibrant murals, craft breweries and a range of eclectic boutiques—have made the walkable hood a go-to.

Where to Go: Pack your swimsuit for a stay at the Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, a recently restored, 70-year-old grand colonial hotel with chic summer pool parties. Keep cool with an earthy, iced caffeine fix from Holy Matcha, whose pink banquettes and bold tropical wallpaper beg to be photographed. Then fuel up on a staple of the San Diego diet at City Tacos. While waiting for a traditional al pastor or elevated carnitas con mango, snack on chili flake–covered jicama and cucumbers from the salsa bar—for if a taco shop doesn’t have a salsa bar to raid, then it’s no taqueria at all. Temper the fire with creative hyperlocal brews at stripped-down Thorn Brewing Co. or Fall Brewing Company before exploring Artelexia, a stunningly curated boutique that hosts craft workshops and bursts with Mexican home goods and folk décor such as paper flowers and Talavera pottery. Around the corner, get sucked into Pigment, a whimsical shop with a plant lab, locally made engagement rings and a free photo booth. Check out a big indie or hip-hop act on The Observatory North Park’s intimate stage, then pony up for a game of pool and a nightcap at Bar Pink, a funky cult favorite, cash-only bar. 

HIT THE TOWN → Wow Wow Waffle Belgian ingredients and local toppings star at this Thursday-Sunday spot. → North Park Sign This neon icon can be found at 30th Street and University Avenue. → Modern Times Flavordome The tasting room puts experimental brews on tap.

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