Ashley Ryan 2016-12-08 03:47:17
THIS COASTAL LOCALE PROVIDES SOPHISTICATED SELECTIONS FOR THE MODERN TRAVELER. San Diego lies just a few hours south of Los Angeles, but the vibe of the ever-evolving area is entirely different. Trade in the fast-paced city for a seaside paradise that plays host to plenty of hip hangouts, all basking in the town’s signature year-round sunshine. The swaying palm trees and epic beaches help give San Diego the laid-back atmosphere it’s known for, but those aren’t the city’s only perks. San Diego is also home to a variety of craft breweries, vibrant parks, luxury restaurants and a lively nightlife scene. Experience endless summer in Southern California with these stellar places to dine, shop and play. DINE When it comes to dining in San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter is a great place to find stellar restaurants. Pendry San Diego’s six new eating and drinking establishments offer a handful of the most talked-about gourmet options in the area. Lionfish brings modern coastal fare to town, while Oxford Social Club introduces an elevated nightlife experience to the neighborhood. For those in the mood for a casual meal and a beer, Rare Form is a delicatessen offering specialty sandwiches, small plates, soups and salads while Fairweather, a rooftop bar in the same building, serves up signature cocktails and a winning view of Petco Park. In Little Italy, Kettner Exchange serves American cuisine and handcrafted cocktails at its indoor/outdoor upscale two-level location. A melange of wood, metal and plush leather gives this singular spot an industrial-chic feel. Out on the patio, guests can relax in stunning private cabanas. In the mood for brunch? Back in the Gaslamp Quarter, Rustic Root’s eclectic space has you covered with filling scrambled skillets, creative eggs Benedict options—try the chicken and waffle selection—and other more traditional sweet and savory brunch favorites. No matter what you order, be sure to soak up the sunshine in the restaurant’s rooftop area while sipping a delicious cocktail. SHOP In the Gaslamp Quarter, plenty of chic, one-of-a-kind shops fill the city blocks. Check out Dolcetti Boutique for the latest designs all wrapped up in a hip, brick-lined interior. You can also find retailers like Urban Beach House and Goorin Bros. Hat Shop (which peddles old-school fedoras and caps in a whimsically designed shop) throughout the neighborhood. Just a quick 15-minute drive east from the Gaslamp Quarter lies the North Park district where diverse boutiques line the streets. The area is home to vintage clothing shops, designers, yoga studios, cafes and more. Small, unique retailers like Pigment—offering an array of clothing and stylish home accessories—add to the intimate feel of the community. If you’re traveling with Fido, stop by Oh My Dog! Photography for a professional portrait with your precious pooch. ART Visitors will find the Spanish Village Art Center in San Diego’s famous Balboa Park. With colored cobblestones and flowers blooming all around, it’s a beautiful scene in which to experience the hundreds of local on-site artisans as well as the scattered galleries. Stop by to learn something new through the artist-led workshops or simply view the artwork. San Diego is also home to a variety of art museums, including the San Diego Museum of Art whose permanent collection includes classic work from around the globe as well as contemporary pieces. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, which has two different locations, offers a more dynamic, modern selection, presenting works created in 1950 or after. For a one-of-a-kind experience, art lovers can also visit the Mingei International Museum where folk art and crafts are exhibited from more than 140 different countries. PLAY Balboa Park is a huge draw, with over 1,000 acres dedicated to its gardens, walking trails, green spaces and museums. It is also home to the San Diego Zoo, one of the most visited spots in San Diego. The zoo owns and operates a second park, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where guests can take tram rides through free-range enclosures filled with animals from Africa, Asia and beyond. Take in a Padres game at Petco Park or head over to Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego Chargers. Those that would rather participate in the sports themselves can try their hand at a variety of different activities locally— from surfing, snorkeling and paragliding to kayaking, rock climbing and whale watching, there is plenty of outdoor excitement to be had by all.
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