(includes Carlsbad, Del Mar, Escondido, La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Oxnard, Valley Center & Ventura)
BAKERIES, COFFEE, ICE CREAM, JUICE & TEA
●Caffe Calabria – 3933 30th Street (North Park); 619-291-1759; caffecalabria.com; airy, Italian-themed café popular with local laptop set.
●Influx – 750 West Fir Street; 619-255-0735; influxcafe.com; coffee & croissants.
●Influx – 1948 Broadway; 619-255-9470; influxcafe.com; coffee & croissants.
●Influx – 3000 Upas Street; 619-795-0680; influxcafe.com; coffee & croissants.
●Two Roses – 2181 Logan Avenue (Barrio Logan); 619-702-4822; tworosesinc.com; outfitted with 1940s barber chairs; espresso bar and tattoo parlor.
BARS & NIGHTCLUBS
●Bar Pink – 3829 30th Street (North Park); 619-564-7194; barpink.com; vintage lounge with kitschy bubbles and elephants motif; try Pink Princess (raspberry vodka, apple pucker, pink lemonade).
●Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar – 802 5th Avenue; 619-233-4355; croces.com; in Gaslamp Quarter; local hangout for 25 years; owned by Jim Croce’s widow.
●Hamilton’s – 1521 30th Street; 619-238-5460; hamiltonstavern.com; open for over 75 years.
●Ivy Rooftop – 600 F Street; 619-814-1000; ivyhotel.com; sultry, rooftop lounge at Ivy Hotel; truly decadent.
●Modern Times Beer – 3000 Upas Street; 619-269-5222; moderntimesbeer.com; for stout.
●Noble Experiment – 777 G Street; 619-888-4713; nobleexperimentsd.com; speakeasy has walls lined with gold skulls; must make reservation (only 35 seats).
●Soda & Swine – 2943 Adams Avenue (University Heights, at 30th); 619-269-7632; sodaandswine.com; try Dublin Iced Coffee.
●Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – 1999 Citracado Parkway (Escondido); 760-471-4999; stoneworldbistro.com; large outdoor patio next to 1 acre garden; seasonal, organic menu.
●Yukon – some consider southern California’s best dive; among world’s largest, “purpose-sunk” wrecks; covered with pink strawberry and white metridium anemones.
●Andaz San Diego – 600 F Street; 619-849-1234; ivyhotel.com.
●L’Auberge Del Mar – 1540 Carmino Del Mar (Del Mar); 858-259-1515 or 800-245-9757; laubergedelmar.com; near seashore; panoramic coastal views, casual elegance, and personalized service.
●Estancia La Jolla – 9700 North Torrey Pines Road (La Jolla); 858-550-1000 or 877-437-8262; estancialajolla.com.
●Grand Del Mar – 5300 Grand Del Mar Way; 858-314-2000 or 888-314-2030; thegranddelmar.com; beautiful chapel.
●Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast – 3845 Front Street; 619-990-2441; hillcresthousebandb.com; cozy, 5-room inn with heart-healthy breakfasts.
●Keating Hotel by Pininfarina – 432 F Street; 619-814-5700 or 877-753-2846; thekeating.com; Euro-chic; Romanesque revival façade from 1890s; interior super modern; excellent bar and food; ask for corner suite.
●The Lodge Torrey Pines – 11480 North Torrey Pines Road (La Jolla); 858-453-4420 or 800-656-0087; lodgetorreypines.com.
●Hotel Parisi – 1111 Prospect Street (La Jolla); 858-454-1511; hotelparisi; luxury boutique.
●Park Hyatt Aviara – 7100 Aviara Resort Drive; 760-448-1234 or 877-875-4658; parkaviara.hyatt.com; north of San Diego; not seafront; sits on plateau above Batiquitos Lagoon, ecological reserve; arrange kayaking tour through La Jolla Ecological Reserve.
●Hotel Solamar – 435 6th Avenue; 619-819-9500 or 877-230-0300; hotelsolamar.com; incredibly chic boutique; J6 Restaurant has organic menu.
●La Valencia – 1132 Prospect Street (La Jolla); 858-454-0771 or 800-451-0772; preferredhotels.com; boutique since 1920s.
●Rancho Bernardo Inn – 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive; 858-675-8500 or 877-517-9340; ranchobernardoinn.com; just okay.
●US Grant – 326 Broadway; 619-232-3121, 866-837-4270, or 800-237-5029; usgrant.net; renovated in 2007; 1st built in 1907; ask for inside room on 7th floor overlooking hotel’s roof garden and Horton Plaza.
●Addison – 5200 Grand Del Mar Way; 858-314-1900; addisondelmar.com; 1 of southern California’s top restaurants.
●Big Kitchen Café – 3003 Grape Street; 619-234-5789; bigkitchencafe.com; omelettes and organic orange juice (brunch favorites).
●Cowboy Star – 640 10th Avenue; 619-450-5880; thecowboystar.com; roomy leather booths in cowboy-meets-21st Century steakhouse; exposed brick and blond wood-paneled walls; handcut steaks; excellent seafood, too; try seared wild salmon with lobster-potato hash.
●Cucina Urbana – 505 West Laurel Street; 619-239-2222; cucinaurbana.com.
●George’s California Modern – 1250 Prospect Street (La Jolla); 858-454-4244; georgesatthecove.com; beautiful views of La Jolla cove.
●Hodad’s – 945 Broadway (Downtown, between Broadway & 10th Avenue); 619-234-6323; hodadies.com; hamburgers.
●Hodad’s – 5010 Newport Avenue (Point Loma); 619-224-4623; hodadies.com; hamburgers.
●J6 – 435 6th Avenue (at Hotel Solamar); 619-819-9500; hotelsolamar.com; all California organic.
●Juniper & Ivy – 2228 Kettner Boulevard; 619-269-9036; juniperandivy.com; laid-back atmosphere with elegant fare.
●Linkery – 3794 30th Street (North Park); 619-255-8778; thelinkery.com; farm-to-table gastropub.
●Local Habit – 3827 5th Avenue; 619-795-4770; mylocalhabit.com; organic restaurant.
●Market Restaurant + Bar – 3702 Via De La Valle (Del Mar); 858-523-0007; marketdelmar.com; restaurant at cooking school; very California cuisine.
●Smoking Goat – 3408 30th Street; 619-955-5295; thesmokinggoatrestaurant.com; notable for its escargot.
●Tacos Perla – 3000 Upas Street; 619-795-0700; tacosperla.com; adobada marinated pork is item to order.
●Underbelly – 750 West Fir Street; 619-269-4626; godblessunderbelly.com; ramen.
●Underbelly – 3000 Upas Street; 619-269-4626 (West Fir Street number); godblessunderbelly.com; ramen.
●Urban Solace – 3823 30th Street; 619-295-6464; urbansolace.net; for one dish, chicken & dumplings.
●Whisknladle – 1044 Wall Street (La Jolla); 858-551-7575; whisknladle.com; upscale, comfort food; all made in-house.
●Island Packers – 3600 South Harbor Boulevard (Oxnard); 805-642-1393; islandpackers.com; provides boats (from Oxnard and Ventura) to Channel Islands.
●Ray at Night – rayatnight.com; monthly art walk of North Park area 1st Saturday each month.
●Spa at Rancho Bernardo Inn – 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive; 858-675-8471; ranchobernardoinn.com; cascading waterfalls and lush garden.
●Architectural Salvage – 2401 Kettner Boulevard; 619-696-1313; architecturalsalvagesd.com; architectural components, new and used.
●Boomerang for Modern – 2475 Kettner Boulevard; 619-239-2040; boomerangformodern.com; mid-century modern furniture.
●Casa Artelexia – 2419 Kettner Boulevard; 619-544-1011; artelexia.com; handmade Mexican goods.
●4 Coalesce Gallery – 2360 India Street; 619-564-2671; bedfordbuilt.com; handcrafted wooden furniture.
●Mixture – 2210 Kettner Boulevard; 619-239-4788; mixturehome.com; high-end, modern European furniture and home accessories; also, local artwork.
●On Kettner – 2400 Kettner Boulevard; 619-236-1601; onkettner.com; home furnishings.
●Peter L. Meyer Fine Art – 2400 Kettner Boulevard, Suite 104; 619-358-9512; plmeyerfineart.com; limited edition prints and works on paper.
●Planet Rooth Studios Gallery – 3811 Ray Street (North Park); 619-297-9663; planetrooth.com; art.
SIGHTS & SITES
●Balboa State Park – 1549 El Prado; 619-239-0512; balboapark.org; 1.2K-acre urban cultural park; named after Spanish maritime explorer Vasco Nuñez de Balboa; 1915 Panama-California and 1935 California Pacific Expositions each created architectural landmarks for park; park’s site placed in reserve in 1835, making it among US’ oldest sites dedicated to public recreational use; besides natural vegetation green belts and open space areas, contains gardens, museums, restaurants, shops, and theaters, as well as San Diego Zoo; historic Exposition buildings declared national historic landmarks in 1977.
●Birch North Park Theatre – 2891 University Avenue; 619-239-8836; birchnorthparktheatre.net; San Diego’s Lyric Opera’s home.
●Channel Islands National Park – 1901 Spinnaker Drive (Ventura); 805-658-5730; nps.gov/chis.
●Chicano Park – Dewey Street at Logan Avenue (Barrio Logan, beneath San Diego-Coronado Bridge); 619-563-4661 (steering committee); chicanoparksandiego.com or chicano-park.org; 72 oversize murals depicting Mexican figures from Frida Kahlo to Pancho Villa.
●Island Packers – Ventura Harbor, 1691 Spinnaker Drive, #105B (Ventura); 805-642-1393; islandpackers.com; Channel Islands National Park (CINP) has 5 islands that comprise park; Anacapa & Santa Cruz comprise “local” islands, while Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara Islands make up “outer” islands; Island Packers travels to all 5 islands.
●La Jolla Ecological Reserve – La Jolla Shores, 8200 Camino del Oro (La Jolla – parking lot is 1 block north of here at Camino del Oro and Calle Fescota); “San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park & Ecological Reserve”; spans 6K ocean bottom and tideland acres; stretches from Scripps Park (at La Jolla Cove), north across La Jolla Shores to Torrey Pines State Reserve’s end; “look-but-don’t-touch” ecological refuge; destination for divers, kayakers, scuba divers, and snorkelers; guided kayak tours of “7 Caves”; marine life includes dolphin, garibaldi, sea lions, leopard shark, shovelnose guitarfish, etc.; kelp beds and reef; Scripps canyon about 1 mile long and joins La Jolla Canyon offshore; Scripps Canyon very deep, submarine canyon with very steep vertical walls.
●Mission Trails Regional Park – 1 Father Junipero Serra Trail; 619-668-3276; mtrp.org; 10 miles outside of San Diego.
●Nurtured by Nature – 15630 Rim of Valley (Valley Center); 760-638-0880; nurturedbynature.org; swim with otters.
●Old Town’s State Historic Park – 2461 San Diego Avenue; 619-291-4695; parks.ca.gov; has café on premises.
●Orfila Vineyards & Winery – 13455 San Pasqual Road (Escondido); 760-738-6500; orfila.com; picnic on grounds.
●Roots Factory – 1878 Main Street (Barrio Logan); 619-366-9006; therootsfactory.com; former 1920s furniture factory, now bedecked with street-art-style murals; cultural center that is part screen printing workshop and part arts venue.
●Torrey Pines State Reserve – 12600 North Torrey Pines Road (La Jolla); 858-755-2063; torreypine.org.
●USS Midway Museum – 910 North Harbor Drive; 619-544-9600; midway.org; longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier, now displays 60 exhibits, including restored aircraft.
●Voz Alta Project – 1754 National Avenue (Barrio Logan); 619-365-1635; myspace.com/vozaltaproject; modern takes on Latino art.