How's the night life in Poway, CA.
Pull up a chair and order a pint - because you are in one of the best microbrewery areas in America, and well-established breweries like Stone and Karl Strauss have several places where you can taste their beers and hang out after dark - in inviting outdoor areas where you can also take advantage of the warm San Diego weather. Also popular with locals who want to drink “craft” beer and enjoy a fun atmosphere are the various branches of Pizza Port as well as the Coronado Brewing Company, Monkey Paw and the Poor House. In the Gaslamp Quarter, the city's nocturnal visitor magnet, you should visit nostalgic “hip” pubs like the Gaslamp Speakeasy or the Prohibition (with a real secret door and live music). Rocking out at the Casbah or the Belly Up Tavern is a must - both feature local and nationally known artists. If you are more into folk, then you will find it every evening in Lestat’s Coffee House, which is open around the clock and also offers comedy on Tuesday evenings. Would you like to have your drink on the beach? Beachcomber, Kraken, and Duck Dive are three top waterfront pubs.
Spotlight: San Diego
As if it wasn't enough that the sun always shines here: San Diego is also right on the water, offers numerous excellent restaurants with ocean views, areas full of history and culture, as well as first-class beer, which tastes best after a day in the Californian sun . Whether you want to spend your time exploring the water fun at Mission Bay Aquatic Park, the world's largest water-related theme park, or setting out to explore the city, San Diego will not disappoint.
Read on to learn more about the culinary hotspots, including those with the most relaxing locations and the most picture-worthy views. Find out which shops are not to be missed - areas like the Gaslamp Quarter, the East Village, North Park, Old Town exude their very own charm. Find out where you can park your car safely and easily, and how you can make optimal use of the extensive transport system consisting of trams, trains, buses and water taxis.
Not every culinary delicacy in San Diego is offered in a restaurant. Don't miss the annual Latin Food Fest and the year-round spectacle at the Liberty Public Market, a former marine complex that now houses more than 30 upscale food and drink stalls. Other recreational options include the nearby city of La Jolla, SeaWorld San Diego, the Maritime Museum, famous microbreweries across San Diego County, Torrey Pines Gliderport, and Comic-Con International: San Diego.
In summary, if you are passionate about perfect weather, exceptional food, unbeatable outdoor activities, and great shopping, you will fall in love with San Diego.
Located on a hillside over a shimmering bay, San Diego's history dates back to 1769. At that time, Father Junípero Serra, founder of the Californian Mission, built a permanent Spanish settlement here, just a few kilometers from the place where the skyscrapers in the city center are today. This legacy is honored at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, where rustic wood and adobe buildings surround the bustling Old Town Plaza.
The Park, which brings history to life, paints a picture of life in the early 19th century, when California was still part of Mexico (it didn't become a state until 1850). More than 20 buildings dating back to 1821 have been beautifully preserved and many are home to active shops. Racine & Laramie, the oldest tobacco shop in San Diego, sells cigars, tobacco, and stationery just as it was in 1868. The shelves of the Rust General Store sell old-fashioned merchandise and adorable gifts - such as local honey, loose tea, chocolate syrup, soap, and drugstore products. On the edge of the plaza, shoppers can take a look at the colorful Mexican handicrafts in Bazaar Del Mundo, a colorful mix of market stalls and small boutiques. The stores offer Mexican copperware, handmade Mexican tiles, nostalgic sweets, roasted nuts and rootbeer.
In addition, Old Town offers a wide range of dining options. Guacamole, margaritas and a festive setting can be found in the lush garden of Casa de Reyes. It's right next to the Plaza stage, where every weekend you can listen to wandering mariachi or watch folkloric dance groups in colorful costumes. The Barra Barra Saloon is the place to be for taco specialties and happy hour cocktails. The 1827 Casa de Bandini is home to the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant, where afternoon tea is served in the Victorian dining room on weekends.
A number of museums in Old Town are also worth visiting. The large adobe house Casa de Estudillo from 1829 has 13 rooms and an inner courtyard and was once the home of a Spanish nobleman. Take a peek inside the San Diego Union Museum, the newspaper's original building San Diego Union, and explore the graphic collection and editorial office. See mail and horse-drawn carriages at the Seeley Stable Museum, and telegraphs and the Concord Coach from 1867 at the Wells Fargo History Museum.
The most notorious building in Old Town is arguably the Whaley House from 1857 on San Diego Avenue, right on the border with the park. The city's oldest two-story brick building has been featured on TV shows like America’s Most Haunted and once served as a courthouse where public executions took place. Is it haunted here? You have to find out for yourself during a guided tour by day or by night.
The inviting resort town of Coronado is located on an island, and gives the impression of a private enclave surrounded by the perfect beaches, including the very family-friendly Coronado Beach. In addition to the soft sand, the island's crown jewel is the Hotel del Coronado, which was built in 1888 and is characterized by its fiery red gable towers. There are several ways in which you can explore the hotel: either on your own or through a guided tour of the Coronado Historical Association, during which you will learn exciting details of the hotel's extensive history and guest list. This also includes Marilyn Monroe, who, together with the hotel, is the star of the comedy "Some like it hot" from 1959. The Del is popular for its extravagant Sunday brunch, and the Babcock & Story bar is ideal for a craft beer while looking out over the Pacific. Not far from the Del is the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. It is located on its own island and is known for its water sports and dog friendliness.
The tiny island can be reached via the Coronado Bridge, and the best way to explore it is by bike, which you can rent from Holland’s Bicycles. On your excursion, you will pass elegant villas with lush gardens overlooking the sea, or you can visit Orange Avenue, which is home to shops, restaurants, galleries and theaters. Ferry Landing is home to more shops, art galleries, and restaurants, including Il Fornaio Coronado and Peohe’s, with great views of the San Diego skyline.
Travel tip: The bridge from San Diego to Coronado is well attended, especially on summer weekends. Flagship Cruises will take you from Ferry Landing across the bay to the Embarcadero, or you can take a water taxi.
5 unique highlights in San Diego
With a fun-loving neighborhood, an internationally recognized craft beer scene, and one of the most beautiful urban parks in the world, there are a ton of things to see in San Diego other than its famous beaches. Discover a dynamic city as you stroll through the lively Gaslamp Quarter or watch exotic animals at the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park.
Stay in a stylish hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter
Sometimes, to find the places in San Diego where most of the happening happens, you have to look up. That's absolutely true in Pendry San Diego, where the city's perfect weather allows you to sunbathe in the pool house on the roof during the day and a cool lounge scene after dark. Also check out the Provisional, a combination the hotel has reinvented of the restaurant and marketplace, where you can get food all day and also shop for household items.
Discover San Diego's most exciting entertainment district
As proof that hip and historical are by no means incompatible, the Gaslamp Quarter combines beautifully restored buildings from the 19th century with the nightlife of the 21st century. Enjoy the innovative (and healthy!) Cuisine by Chef de Cuisine Leyla Javadov, and dine in Café 21, which has live music every day. Or have a look what's going on on the three levels of The Tipsy Crow, which is a sports bar, pub, club and all in one.
Visit El Prado in Balboa Park
Surrounded by museums, housed in elaborate revival buildings from the Spanish colonial era, which are inspired by the landmarks of Spain and Mexico, El Prado forms the romantic heart of Balboa Park. Be amazed by the jaw-dropping films at the San Diego Natural History Museum that are titled The Subaru 3D Experience run into the most spectacular natural environments on our planet. Or lose yourself completely in an exotic world of cicadas, orchids and ferns in the historic Botanical Building. (And don't forget to take a selfie by the lily pond)
Visit the animal show at the San Diego Zoo
Sure, of course you'll find lions, tigers, and bears here, but the San Diego Zoo is best known for its lovable koalas and pandas, animals that can only be found in a few zoos around the world. Get a glimpse of African penguins, baboons, crocodiles and leopards in the newest exhibition, Africa Rocks, and take the Skyfari Cable Car for one of the most beautiful views of San Diego - and the great opportunity to to cross the lush and blooming 40 hectares of the zoo.
Eat chicken fried by a famous celebrity chef
To prove that the Little Italy district has more to offer than pasta, the earlier one has Top boss-Winner Richard Blais Fried Chicken and Egg taken to a whole new level in his restaurant The Crack Shack. Make yourself comfortable on the terrace of this rustic chic place and maybe play boules, and bite into one of these irresistible sandwiches like the Coop Deville (deep-fried chicken, pickled chillies, lime mayonnaise on brioche) or The Royale (chicken sausage, Egg, and smoked cheddar on an English muffin). And don't forget the devilishly spicy eggs.
Have a drink at Ballast Point
Famous for its West Coast-style double IPAs, San Diego is consistently rated as one of America's top craft beer cities. Order a “flight” of different beers and sample your way through some of the best beers in town at Ballast Point's Brewery in Little Italy with tasting room and restaurant. Reserve a table in The Kettle Room, where the fixed-price menu is perfectly paired with Ballast Point beers.
Mission Bay and San Diego Bay
Mission Bay and San Diego Bay grace the city's fringes like sparkling jewels, and at the heart of it all is the 18.6 square kilometer Mission Bay Aquatic Park. No matter what level of experience you are at, you will find a water activity that suits you in this expansive water wonderland. Dozens of outfitters such as the Aquatic Center at Santa Clara Point will help you to venture out into the blue in every imaginable way, whether kayak, SUP board, motor or sailing boat or kiteboard. The Bahia Belle, a Mississippi-style paddle steamer, offers a more original approach. Snuggle up aboard a romantic Venetian gondola or try jetpacking if you want to fly over the water like James Bond.
If you're more of a cruise fanatic, Hornblower and Flagship Cruises offer priceless views of the bay on their picture book tours. Dinner and brunch trips as well as whale watching tours are also offered. If you're there on July 4th, this is a great place to experience as San Diego Bay is hosting the largest fireworks display in the United States, Big Bay Boom. This is where the Parade of Lights takes place in winter, starting on Shelter Island and extending to the Coronado ferry dock. The free parade consists of around 80 well-dressed boats and attracts large crowds to the coast.
Mission Beach, the narrow strip of land between Mission Bay and the Pacific, is jam-packed with surf shops, t-shirt shops and funky beach bars. There's also a five-mile-long boardwalk that's on par with Venice Beach when it comes to people-watching. Belmont Park has classic rides like the wooden roller coaster Giant Dipper and FlowRider Wave House, as well as climbing walls, bumper cars, mini golf and arcade games. Mission Bay also has 27 miles of beach paths that are perfect for walking or cycling. At the end of South Mission Beach Park, you can cast your line from the Mission Beach jetty and, with a bit of luck, catch your dinner. Also, while in the area, plan a day or two for SeaWorld San Diego, the largest water park of its kind.
Insider Tip: Dogs are only allowed on Fiesta Island, which closes at 10 p.m.
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