Laguna Beach Magazine August 2010 : Page 34

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SAN DIEGO CVB upfront PLACES | PErSPECtivES | HAPPEningS [ TRAVEL ] rediscover San diego Whether a day trip or Weekend getaWay, San diego offerS great optionS for dining, playing and Staying. By LAurEn Simon G ain a new appreciation for all the good things San Diego has to offer. While America’s Finest City may be famous for tourist attrac-tions like SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park, San Diego offers plenty of other options worth checking out. Only an hour south of Laguna Beach, it’s the per-fect destination for a long weekend or even a quick overnighter. Reacquaint yourself with its multiple personality: beach town, sports destination, active outdoor paradise and downtown night spot. 34 LAGUNABEACHMAG.COM | AUGUst/sEptEMBEr 2010 San Diego Bay Start by the waterfront, home to America’s Cup winner Stars & Stripes. Visitors can board the yacht for 90-minute to three-hour tours of San Diego Harbor (stars-stripes.com). An-other must-do on the Bay is the naval museum aboard the USS Aircraft Carrier Midway. With more than 60 exhibits and 25 restored aircraft, the Midway Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (midway.org). While you’re at the Midway, be sure to check out the 25-foot statue outside The Fish Market Restaurant. Called “Unconditional Sur-render,” the statue is modeled after the famous photo of a sailor kissing a nurse on V-J Day. For natural beauty, head over to the other side of the bay to Point Loma and the Cabrillo National Monument. Walk the two-mile Bayside Trail through one of the last remaining remnants of coastal sage scrub habitat in the world and see spectacular views of the bay, North Island Naval Air Station and the

Travel: Rediscover San Diego

Lauren Simon

Whether a day trip or Weekend getaWay, San diego offerS great optionS for dining, playing and Staying.<br /> <br /> Gain a new appreciation for all the good things San Diego has to offer. While America’s Finest City may be famous for tourist attractions like SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park, San Diego offers plenty of other options worth checking out. Only an hour south of Laguna Beach, it’s the perfect destination for a long weekend or even a quick overnighter. Reacquaint yourself with its multiple personality: beach town, sports destination, active outdoor paradise and downtown night spot.<br /> <br /> San Diego Bay <br /> <br /> Start by the waterfront, home to America’s Cup winner Stars & Stripes.Visitors can board the yacht for 90-minute to three-hour tours of San Diego Harbor (stars-stripes.com). Another must-do on the Bay is the naval museum aboard the USS Aircraft Carrier Midway. With more than 60 exhibits and 25 restored aircraft, the Midway Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (midway.org). While you’re at the Midway, be sure to check out the Whether a day trip or Weekend getaWay, San diego offerS great optionS for dining, playing and Staying. By LaurEn Simon rediscover San diego PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SAN DIEGO CVB 25-foot statue outside The Fish Market Restaurant. Called “Unconditional Surrender,” the statue is modeled after the famous photo of a sailor kissing a nurse on V-J Day.<br /> <br /> For natural beauty, head over to the other side of the bay to Point Loma and the Cabrillo National Monument.Walk the two-mile Bayside Trail through one of the last remaining remnants of coastal sage scrub habitat in the world and see spectacular views of the bay, North Island Naval Air Station and the City skyline. The ocean side of the park is a great place to go tidepooling, and children and adults alike are always enamored of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, one of the original eight lighthouses on the West Coast, restored and refurnished to reflect what life was like in the 1800s (nps.gov/cabr). <br /> <br /> Don’t miss San Diego Symphony’s Bridgepoint Education Summer Pops 2010 Centennial Season at Embarcadero Marina Park South. Experience great entertainment under the stars from comfortable cabaret table seating at this one-of-a-kind waterfront Venue. There are picnic areas, a variety of food and beverage offerings and fireworks (most evenings) on San Diego’s Big Bay (sandiegosymphony.com). <br /> <br /> Exploring San Diego’s waterfront is sure to work up an appetite, and The Fish Market next to the Midway has wonderful fresh seafood and romantic views of the bay from an outdoor patio (thefishmarket.com). Point Loma Seafood is also a local favorite for a casual, fresh catch lunch or dinner. Don’t wait until you’re starving, though, because there is often a line (pointlomaseafoods.com).<br /> <br /> Little Italy <br /> <br /> Speaking of food, Little Italy—only minutes from San Diego’s waterfront—is the destination for al fresco dining on delicious osso bucco, fresh pasta, and hand-made pizza and cannolis. Stroll the sidewalks of India Street for a wide selection of bistros, including Buon Appetito, Trattoria Fantastica and familyfavorite Filippi’s Pizza Grotto. Try their house Chianti; you’ll want to take home a bottle as a souvenir—and you can (littleitalysd.com). <br /> <br /> To get a real feel for this charming neighborhood, plan your Little Italy visit for Sunday, Oct. 10, and the annual Little Italy Festa, one of the largest single-day Italian-American festivals west of the Mississippi. One of the highlights of the Festa is Gesso Italiano, a competition of stunning artistic masterpieces drawn in chalk on the sidewalks. Stick around for the Fest Stickball Championship in which the finest four teams on the West Coast battle for the right to be crowned Festa Stickball Champion (littleitalysd.com/ festa/index.asp).<br /> <br /> The Gaslamp<br /> <br /> Once the seediest part of the city, the revitalized Gaslamp District is now a vibrant San Diego destination (gaslamp.org). Although the area has plenty of great shopping, eateries, pubs and clubs for nightlife, the brightest gem on the block is Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. Built in 2004 around the Western Metal Supply Building, Petco Park is one of the most charming stadiums in all of baseball, and is open for tours, as well as on game days (sandiego.padres.mlb.com/sd/ballpark). Other highlights in The Gaslamp are the New Children’s Museum (thinkplaycreate.org), the San Diego Repertory Theatre in Horton Plaza (sdrep.org) and the Horton Grand Theatre. For live music try the Shout House for rock and roll, sing-along and dueling pianos (theshouthouse.com),<br /> <br /> Located in the heart of the historic Gaslamp Quarter, the Omni San Diego Hotel puts its guests in the center of the San Diego’s top sites and attractions. The four-star hotel is the only one in the United States attached to a major league ballpark with easy access through the hotel’s pedestrian skywalk. It also prides itself on L Street Fine Art, a gallery displaying the work of local and national artists. Enjoy fine dining at the hotel’s McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, or unwind at the outdoor terrace with stone fireplace, heated pool and whirlpool spa.<br /> <br /> Situated across from the convention center, the Omni offers contemporary accommodations with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on the bay, the downtown or the Padres’ PETCO Park Stadium. Book a Get Fit Guest Room and have a portable treadmill delivered to your room, or entertain in a terrace suite, which features a private outdoor terrace and a wet bar. Be in the center of it all while enjoying the impeccable service for which Omni Hotels is known (omnihotels.com). <br /> <br /> Another Gaslamp lodging option is the Hotel Solamar, a hip, luxury hotel immersed in the dynamic energy of downtown San Diego. The perfect contemporary setting, this boutique hotel’s location places you just steps away from San Diego’s best shopping, dining and entertainment.Just one block from PETCO Park and three blocks from the San Diego Convention Center (hotelsolamar.com). <br /> <br /> The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina combines the luxury of a chic city hotel with the inclusive amenities of a resort. A recent $65 million transformation brought the epitome of California coastal chic to the hotel, adding waterfront dining, a contemporary poolside lounge, an eco-friendly spa and redesigned guest rooms to its incredible ocean views. The only hotel in San Diego with multiple water slides, the Hyatt is the ultimate destination to stay and play, boasting a water playground with three new pools, a waterfront 24-hour health club and a private full-service marina with jet skis, sailboats, kayaks, sport fishing and whale excursions.<br /> <br /> Since so much play can be demanding, the Hyatt offers relaxing guest rooms complete with iHome stereos, flat screen televisions and balcony views of the Pacific Ocean, Mission Bay or the hotel’s gardens. And with a self-service business center and Wi-Fi, you’re sure to get any work done quickly—so you can get right back to playing (missionbay.hyatt.com).or Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar, owned by Jim Croce’s widow, Ingrid (croces.com). For dancing with great abandon it’s Jimmy Love’s (jimmyloves.Com).<br /> <br /> Cedros Design District <br /> <br /> If you’re in the market for home furnishings, you’ll find a hidden gem in the Cedros Design District in Solana Beach, about 30 minutes north of downtown and a stop on the Amtrak line. Eighty-five boutiques, antique stores, art studios and home furnishing shops squeeze into this three-block stretch of Cedros Avenue, all of which have one-of-a-kind gifts and décor. It’s also the location of Zinc Café and Market, the sister restaurant to Zinc in Laguna Beach (cedrosavenue.com). <br /> <br /> While you’re on Cedros, you’ll want to stay late so you can catch a show at the internationally acclaimed Belly Up Tavern. The Belly Up has been continually voted San Diego’s Best Live Music Venue by several publications, as well as heralded as one of the hottest clubs on the west coast by Rolling Stone. Check the website at bellyup.com for show information.<br /> <br /> Wind ‘n Sea <br /> <br /> Outdoor-types will want to take advantage of the best place to surf according to locals. Wind ‘n Sea beach, at the south end of La Jolla, not only hosts excellent surfing and swimming, but with its gorgeous rock outcroppings, it’s also relatively private. (Photographers are encouraged to bring their cameras to capture spectacular sunsets here.)<br /> <br /> And while you’re in La Jolla, admire the seals sunning themselves on the beach known as the Children’s Pool, snorkel at the La Jolla Cove’s underwater marine reserve or get a closeup of undersea creatures at the Scripps Birch Aquarium in La Jolla Shores (aquarium.ucsd.edu). <br /> For upscale dining offerings sit streetside at Rappongi and enjoy a glass of wine and unique Asian tapas (roppongiusa.com). Nip across the street to La Sala, the “Living Room” of the La Valencia Hotel. With its relaxed atmosphere and sweeping views of the Pacific, La Sala features cozy couches and chairs, Spanish Mosaics and a picturesque window overlooking the La Jolla cove. Located just off the main lobby of the hotel, order a glass of champagne, sip and feel like royalty (lavalencia.com).<br /> <br /> Wine & Food Festival <br /> <br /> San Diego is the host of Southern California’s largest wine and food festival. Held Nov. 17 – 21, the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival features well-known chefs, winemakers and television personalities, who participate in the festival’s cooking and wine tasting classes. In its seventh year, this week-long culinary extravaganza draws about 10,000 foodies who want to meet the top names in the food and wine industry. For more information, call (619) 342-7337 or visit worldofwineevents.com.<br /> <br />

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