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San Diego, California NAR Convention

San Diego, California NAR Convention

By
Trip Plan Tags: 
business and pleasure
Destinations: 
California,
North America,
San Diego County,
United States

I will be attending the National Association of Realtors Convention in November. I will also be visiting family while in San Diego. I will be attending with several realtors from my Keller Williams office including my boyfriend. November 11th through 17th.

ITEMS

Nightlife

Altitude Skybar + Garden Lounge, California

660 K Street
San Diego, California
Tel: 619 446 6088
Website: www.altitudeskybar.info

Perched 22 stories up, atop the Gaslamp Marriott, Altitude is San Diego's highest outdoor bar—a vantage point that affords sweeping views of the bay, Coronado Bridge, and the Padres' new ballpark. The beachy vibe, encouraged by a fire pit and wicker lounge chairs, is tempered by dance music and disco lights. Thursday through Saturday nights, it's overrun by the clubby masses, but most weeknights and during the day, you're likely to find an older, mellower crowd. Come during a Padres game when the bar is delightfully uncrowded and get a skyboxlike view of the baseball diamond below from the bar's southwest corner.

See + Do

San Diego Zoo, California

2920 Zoo Drive
San Diego, California
Tel: 619 231 1515
Website: www.sandiegozoo.org

No other local attraction is more synonymous with San Diego than the Zoo, a 90-year-old institution that lives up to its reputation. One hundred acres of lush habitats are home to more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals, representing over 800 species and subspecies. Among the crowd favorites are the koalas and giant panda cubs. In October, admission is free for children 11 and under. Less well-known is the Wild Animal Park, the Zoo's sister attraction. This wildlife sanctuary is built on 1,800 acres in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido, some 35 miles north of downtown. More like an African safari than a zoo, many of the Park's more than 3,500 animals are housed together in huge shared enclosures to better simulate their real-life habitats (15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido; 760-747-8702; www.sandiegozoo.org/wap).

See + Do

Kayaking La Jolla Cove, California

La Jolla
San Diego, California

Kayaking is a good way to explore La Jolla Cove's cliffs and dramatic sea caves. La Jolla Kayak rents tandem and single sit-on-top kayaks and offers guided tours (2199 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla; 858-459-1114; www.lajollakayak.com). Bring snorkel gear (or rent it) and watch for bright orange garibaldi fish, bottlenose dolphin, sea lions, and (harmless) leopard sharks below the waves.

See + Do

Beaches, California

San Diego, California

With 70 miles of coastline, San Diego County is home to more than a dozen beach areas, each with its own distinct personality. Here's a quick look at the sandy highlights from south to north:

Imperial Beach: Bordering Tijuana, Imperial Beach (locals call it IB) is one of the quieter beach towns—except in July, when it hosts the U.S. Open Sand Castle Competition. There's good fishing off the pier, but be careful of powerful surf and the sometimes-polluted waters here.

Coronado: Connected to the city by bridge, Coronado is the closest beach to downtown. Behind the Hotel Del Coronado, there's a family-friendly, wide sandy beach that's good for swimming. For more privacy, head south to Silver Strand State Beach.

Ocean Beach: Known to locals as OB, this is a funky little town still stuck in the '60s. The main drag, Newport Avenue, dead-ends at the pier, where there's good surfing and fishing. Bonfires and alcohol are both allowed on the beach.

Mission Beach/Pacific Beach: During the summer, the beaches of Mission and Pacific are crazy-busy with tourists and the 20-something party crowd, making for some of the best people-watching around. Stroll, Rollerblade, or bike along the sand-side boardwalk from Mission to the edge of PB.

La Jolla Shores: Just north of La Jolla are the broad tan sands of La Jolla Shores. It's a popular family beach and a great spot for novice surfers. Bonfires are allowed in provided containers. The shore arcs and bends to the south, where you'll find breathtaking La Jolla Cove and its tide pools and sea caves.

Black's Beach: Sandwiched between Torrey Pines State Beach and La Jolla Shores is Black's Beach, a top local surf spot and one of California's most famous nude beaches. Its north end is a favorite of the local gay population.

North County: The beaches of North County, including Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff, Encinitas, Leucadia, and Carlsbad, are characterized by steep cliffs that lead down to thin stretches of sand that dwindle even more at high tide. They're popular with experienced surfers and families. Locals know to look for public access stairways that lead to almost-hidden pocket beaches.

Eating

Roppongi, California

875 Prospect Street, La Jolla
San Diego, California
Tel: 858 551 5252
Website: www.roppongiusa.com

Chef Stephen Window, already beloved for bringing Asian-ish "tapas" to SoCal, further raised his restaurant's popularity with the unveiling of a full sushi bar in 2005. Try miso-marinated hamachi with shaved bonito or the Roppongi Roll of shrimp tempura, cucumber, avocado, spicy tuna, and black tobiko. At the main restaurant, those tapas still rule the roost: Polynesian crab stack with ginger-lime dressing; Chinese pot stickers and crispy onion rings with wasabi aïoli are perennial favorites. There are also bento boxes at lunchtime and bigger dishes at night, several of which are not remotely Asian (boneless beef short ribs with honey-mustard glaze and buttermilk mashed potatoes).

Eating

George's at the Cove, California

1250 Prospect Street, La Jolla
San Diego, California
Tel: 858 454 4244
Website: www.georgesatthecove.com

Reopened in February 2007 after a gut renovation, the dining room (now called George's California Modern) at this three-level place set blissfully on the ocean is regarded by many as San Diego's best restaurant. Chef Trey Foshee was an enthusiastic pioneer of the move to patronize local farmers and producers, as evidenced by the freshness of his inventions such as Peking-style duck breast with ginger-coconut rice, sugar snap peas, and rhubarb-fennel salad. One floor up, the soigné George's Bar serves a full menu with its cocktails, while the casual Ocean Terrace bistro does ceviches, tacos, and "George's Signature Soup" (smoked chicken, broccoli, and black bean), followed by the likes of Thai curry, marinated skirt steak, and grilled mahimahi. At every level, it's an institution, but a worthy—verging on unmissable—one.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Hotel

Tower 23, California

4551 Ocean Boulevard
San Diego, California
Tel: 866 869 3723
Email: reserve23@t23hotel.com
Website: www.t23hotel.com

Opened in July 2005 and the first luxury oceanfront hotel to be built in San Diego in a decade, Tower23 is a splashy glass oblong of a design statement with 44 mostly ocean-view rooms and suites. Named after its neighbor, Lifeguard Tower #23, the three-story minimalist building wants to be an urban beach resort for attention-deficit adult kids. Suites have that latest in questionable relaxation equipment: chromatherapy baths. There are also Xboxes, flat-screen TVs, Bose sound systems, and Wi-Fi access that stretches to the beach. Jordan, the 10,000-square-foot restaurant, and the boardwalk/beach Tower Bar promise to become new centers of hip.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
ALT HERE

Hotel

Catamaran Resort Hotel, California

3999 Mission Boulevard
San Diego, California
Tel: 877 646 3726
Website: www.catamaranresort.com

Originally the Scripps family's summer estate, this property was sold and converted into a hotel in 1958. The new owners opted for colonial Hawaiian–style architecture that's still in place today. Mahogany woods and South Pacific–inspired furniture outfit the 315 rooms. Yes, the theme can get a little stilted, especially when it comes to the luau nights, the lei-making table, and the the canoe hanging in the fake waterfall–equipped lobby. But hokey or not, the activities and the relaxed and welcoming vibe keep the Catamaran on the short list for families. The location is great too: a narrow spit of land between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay, good for swimming, kayaking, and sailing. The beach and boardwalk are just across the street, and Belmont Park and SeaWorld are also nearby.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick

Hotel

Crystal Pier Hotel and Cottages, California

4500 Ocean Boulevard
San Diego, California
Tel: 858 483 6983, Tel: 800 748 5894
Website: www.crystalpier.com

Want oceanfront? We'll do you one better: How about ocean-top? This small hotel's 23 Cape Cod–style cottages are perched atop Pacific Beach's historic fishing pier. Built in 1927, some of the cottages were remodeled as recently as 2005, but they're still nothing special, with white wicker furniture, kitchenettes, and a Jimmy Buffett meets West Palm Beach vibe. Of course, with porches like these, you won't be sitting inside. The Crystal Pier is perfect for vacationing families, groups of friends, and pretty much everyone else, too. The only trick is getting a room. A SoCal classic and annual tradition for many folks, the hotel is regularly booked solid all summer long. Book at least six months in advance for June–August, or better yet, visit in the fall, when the air is crisp and the boardwalk more peaceful, and powerful west swells thundering below the pier lull you to sleep. When booking, keep in mind that the hotel's six oceanfront suites are on the beach, not on the pier like the cottages.

Doubletree Hotel San Diego Mission Valley

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.