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San Diego

San Diego

By moneyon8th
Trip Plan Tags: 
boyz weekend trip
Destinations: 
California,
North America,
San Diego County,
United States

With friends

ITEMS

Eating

Point Loma Seafood, California

2805 Emerson Street
San Diego, California
Tel: 619 223 1109
Website: www.pointlomaseafoods.com/

Right on the waterfront near Shelter Island marina, Point Loma Seafoods has been a San Diego tradition since opening in 1963. Part fish market, part restaurant, when it's busy (pretty much every day) it can be a bit of a free-for-all. There's no waitstaff, so muscle your way toward the big glass cases of fish to order clam sandwiches, smoked fish salad, fried shrimp plates, and the like. When your food is up, eat on the picnic tables in their "dining room," or better yet, find a spot outside and watch the fish being brought up from the trawlers docked just outside the front door.

Eating

Las Olas, California

2655 South Coast Highway 101
Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California
Tel: 760 942 1860
Website: www.lasolasmex.com

Located across the street from the Pacific's crashing surf, this ultrapopular restaurant is aptly named—Las Olas means "the waves" in Spanish. It was founded in 1981 by a pair of surfers, and was one of the first restaurants to bring fish tacos to San Diego (now arguably the city's official entrée). They come either broiled or batter-fried (go with fried) and are served with guacamole, yogurt, salsa, and cabbage. There's also plenty of chips and salsa, decadent Mexican classics such as chile relleno burritos stuffed with cheese and charbroiled chicken, and a wide range of healthy selections. Las Olas is a favorite of locals and tourists alike, so it's always busy. Your best bet is to have a late dinner and take a stroll on the beach afterwards.

Taka

See + Do

Petco Park, California

100 Park Boulevard
San Diego, California
Tel: 877 374 2784 (tickets); 619 795 5011 (tours)
Website: sandiego.padres.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/sd/ballpark/index.jsp

You don't have to be a baseball fan to appreciate San Diego's new PETCO Park, a state-of-the-art baseball stadium in the newly revitalized East Village that holds 42,445 people and has seven restaurants. It was inaugurated by the San Diego Padres in the 2004 season. To avoid traffic on game day, park in Old Town and take the trolley to the game.

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.

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

Balboa Park, California

San Diego, California
Tel: 619 239 0512
Website: www.balboapark.org

As Central Park is to New York City, Balboa Park is the center of this out-of-doors city: Its 1,200 landscaped acres hosts 85 attractions, including 15 museums, gardens, restaurants, and the Zoo. The best bets are the San Diego Museum of Man (1350 El Prado; 619-239-2001; www.museumofman.org), the IMAX theater at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center (1875 El Prado; 619-238-1233; www.rhfleet.org), and the San Diego Museum of Art (1450 El Prado; 619-232-7931; www.sdmart.org). Most Tuesdays, at least one attraction offers free admission.

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).

$199 or less
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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.

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