What's great in wine, beer, fine dining,
places to stay, & places to visit
in California State

Saturday, 10 November 2012 17:27

Beer San Diego County

Valley Center

Golden Coast Mead

www.goldencoastmead.com

Vista

Aztec Brewing Company

www.aztecbrewery.com

Back Street Brewery

http://www.lamppostpizza.com/backstreet

Green Flash Brewing

www.greenflashbrew.com

Iron Fist Brewing Company

www.ironfistbrewing.com

Latitude 33 Brewing Company

www.lat33brew.com

Mother Earth Brew Company

www.motherearthbrewco.com

Prohbition Brewing Co.

http://prohibitionbrewingcompany.com

Oceanside

Breakwater Brewing Company

www.breakwaterbrewing.com

Oceanside Ale Works

www.oceansidealeworks.net

Carlsbad

Carlsbad Pizza Port www.pizzaport.com

Karl Strauss Brewery www.karlstrauss.com

On The Tracks Brewery

www.ottbrew.co

Pizza Port

www.pizzaport.com

San Marcos

Churchill's Pub & Grille

www.churchillspub.us

Port Brewing/Lost Abbey

www.portbrewing.com

San Marcos Brewery & Grill

www.sanmarcosbrewery.com

Stumblefoot Brewing Co

www.stumblefoot.com

The Lost Abbey

www.thelostabbey.com

Escondido

Stone Brewing Co.

www.stonebrew.com

Julian

Julian Brewing Co.www.baileybbq.com

Encinitas

Encinitas Ale House

www.encinitasalehouse.com

Oggi's Pizza and Brewing

http://encinitas.oggis.com/

Carmel Mountain Ranch

Oggi's Pizza and Brewing

http://cmr.oggis.com/

Del Mar

Left Coast/Oggis Pizza and Brewing Company

www.oggis.com

Oggi's Pizza and Brewing

http://delmar.oggis.com/

Poway

Lightning Brewery

www.lightningbrewery.com

Santee

Manzanita Brewing Company

www.manzanitabrewing.com

Oggi's Pizza and Brewing

http://santee.oggis.com/

Alpine

Alpine Beer Company

www.alpinebeerco.com

BJ's Restaurant and Brewery www.bjsbrewhouse.com

La Jolla

BJ's Brewery

www.bistrobrewhouse.com

Karl Strauss Brewery

www.karlstrauss.com

La Jolla Brewhouse

www.lajollabrewhouse.com

Rock Bottom Brewery

www.rockbottom.com

Mission Valley

Oggi's Pizza and Brewing

http://eastlake.oggis.com/

El Cajon

El Cajon Brewing Company

www.elcajonbrewingco.com

Main Tap Tavern

www.maintaptavern.com

La Mesa

BJ's Brewery

www.bistrobrewhouse.com

Hoffer's Cigar Bar

www.hofferscigar.com

City of San Diego

5 Points Brewing Company,

www.5pbc.com

AleSmith Brewing Company

www.alesmith.com

Ballast Point Brewing Company

www.ballastpoint.com

Blind Lady Alehouse

www.blindladyalehouse.com

Butchers Brewing

www.butchersbrewing.com

Callahans Pub & Brewery

www.callahanspub.com

Downtown Johnny Brown's

www.downtownjohnnybrowns.com

Gordon Biersch Brewing www.gordonbiersch.com

Green Flash Brewing Co.

www.greenflashbrew.com

Hamilton's Tavern

www.hamiltonstavern.com

Hess Brewing Companywww.hessbrewing.com

Hillcrest Brewing Company

www.hillcrestbrewingcompany.com

Karl Strauss Brewing Company

www.karlstrauss.com

Local Habit

www.mylocalhabit.com

Mission Brewery

www.missionbrewery.com

Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery

www.monkeypawbrewery.com

Neighbotrhood

www.neighborhoodsd.com

New English Brewing Company

www.newenglishbrewing.com

O'Brien's American Pub

www.obrienspub.net

Pacific Beach Ale House

www.pbalehouse.com

Pizza Port (Ocean Beach)

www.pizzaport.com

Ritual Tavern

www.ritualtavern.com

Rock Bottom Brewery

www.rockbottom.com

Rough Draft Brewing

www.roughdradftbrew.com

San Diego Brewing Company

www.sandiegobrewing.com

Slater's 50/50

www.slaters5050.com

Small Bar

www.smallbarsd.com

Societe Brewing Company

www.societebrewing.com

Societe Brewing Company

www.societebrewing.com

The Beer Companywww.thebeerco.net

The Linkery

www.thelinkery.com

The Regal Beagle Ale House and Sausage

www.regalbeaglesd.com

The Tap Room

www.sdtaproom.com

Tiger! Tiger!

http://tigertigertavern.blogspot.com

Toronado

www.toronadosd.com

Urge Gastropub

www.urgegastropubl.com

Point Loma

Oggi's Pizza and Brewing

http://libertystation.oggis.com/

Coronado

Coronado Brewing Company

www.coronadobrewingcompany.com

Eastlake

Oggi's Pizza and Brewing

http://eastlake.oggis.com/

Friday, 14 September 2012 18:07

San Diego: The Cool Spot for Craft Beer

 

With a casual, relaxed atmosphere and locals who take good beer seriously without taking themselves too seriously, San Diego is the perfect place to escape for a libation vacation. Industry innovators like Karl Strauss and Stone Brewing make their homes in San Diego, and the region boasts an enviable number of award-winning breweries and a wide variety of pubs and restaurants catering to those who enjoy unique, locally crafted beers.

 

The following are some of the outstanding places where visitors can discover for themselves why beer lovers are flocking to the region's burgeoning craft brew scene.

The Great American Beer CityBlind Lady Ale House PicmonkeyBlind Lady Ale House

San Diego breweries have repeatedly brought home major awards at the annual Great American Beer Festival. In the past five years, San Diego's AleSmith Brewing Company and Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey have been named Best Small Brewing Company, while Carlsbad's Pizza Port has taken home the Brewpub of the Year award on more than one occasion.

At the World Beer Cup, an event that only happens every two years, San Diego breweries dominate. Ballast Point was named the "Champion Small Brewery" in 2010 above stiff competition from around the world. Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey won the same honor in 2008. In 2010, San Diego-area breweries earned more medals at the World Beer Cup than breweries in the traditional beer countries of England, Germany and Belgium combined.

Cited as "a sunny heaven for suds lovers," the New York Times named San Diego as a top travel destination for 2012 for its craft beer culture. In the October 2009 issue of Men's Journal magazine, San Diego was named the "#1 Beer Town in America" and the 30th Street Corridor in North Park was lauded as "easily the nation's best beer boulevard."

In the January/February 2012 issue of DRAFT magazine, San Diego's O'Brien's, Hamilton's Tavern, O'Brien's American Pub and Blind Lady Ale House all nabbed spots on the magazine's list of the "Best Beer Bars in America." In January 2012, RateBeer.com's "Best of 2012" reviewer's lists placed San Diego breweries in two of the top 10 spots on the "Best Brewers" list - AleSmith at #4 and Stone Brewing at #7.

Brewery Tasting Rooms

Many San Diego breweries offer tasting rooms and tours that allow visitors to meet the brewers and sample their wares. The following are just a few of the many options:

The award-winning AleSmith Brewing Company in Miramar is an artisan microbrewery specializing in handcrafted brews. Visitors can find fresh flavors inspired by Great Britain's and Belgium's high alcohol content and strongly hopped beers; AleSmith tours are available Fridays and Saturdays. www.alesmith.com

Alpine Beer Company, located in the East County community of Alpine, opened in 2002 and offers a tasting room with six to eight of their signature beers like Pure Hoppiness, a San Diego style IPA, and Captain Stout, a chocolate oatmeal dry stout, on tap. The tasting room is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. www.alpinebeerco.com

Ballast Point Brewing Company offers tours and tastings at both their main brewery in Scripps Ranch and home brew store/brewery in Linda Vista. Guests can tour behind the barrels for tastings of specialty citrus hops, scotch ales and German Klosch-style beer; they can also purchase a selection of "do-it-yourself" beer making supplies ranging from starter kits to advanced brewing systems. In Scripps Ranch, public tours are offered at noon, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and the tasting room is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. www.ballastpoint.com

Guests can find great ales brewed with recipes from the pre-Prohibition era at the Firehouse Brewing Company in Miramar. A behind-the-scenes tour takes visitors inside the custom-made brew house where the brewery's American Pale Ale and Hefeweizen are created. www.firehousebrew.com

Green Flash Brewing Company in Mira Mesa showcases the use of fine, all natural ingredients in their award-winning beers that are brewed in small batches to insure each glass is of the freshest and purest quality. The brewery is features an on-site tasting room and offers tours on the weekends. www.greenflashbrew.com

Lightning Brewery in Poway offers fine, hand-crafted European style beers with a distinctively crisp, clean aroma, pronounced maltiness and prolonged, slightly bitter finish known as the "Lightning Finish." Unique to San Diego, Lighting Brewery uses the labor intensive "step mashing" brewing process that furthers flavors and enhances the body of beer by releasing starches. Guest tours are available Fridays and Saturdays. www.lightningbrewery.com

Oceanside's first brewery, Oceanside Ale Works, produces an award-winning combination of ales inspired by European brewing traditions and innovative flavors inspired by West Coast brewers. One of the few manual brew houses in the United States, Oceanside Ale Works produces ales true to its Southern California setting like Surfer Stout and Buccaneer Blonde. Guests can sample brews on location daily. www.oceansidealeworks.com

Located in San Marcos, Port Brewing is the home of The Lost Abbey, a niche label focused on brewing beers that follow the monastic and artistic Belgian brewing traditions. Brewed in very small batches, these exquisite beers have won awards - and fans - the world over. www.portbrewing.com; www.lostabbey.com

 

Brewpubs

In addition to creating outstanding craft beer on-site, the following breweries boast great restaurants where beer tourists can fuel up for further exploration.

Stone Brewing Company in Escondido is recognized as one of the best breweries in the United States by the two largest beer enthusiast websites, Ratebeer.com and BeerAdvocate.com. Brewing more than 150,000 barrels of beer annually, it is also one of the fastest growing breweries in the nation. Guests can enjoy big character beers like Arrogant Bastard Ale with its high quality ingredients and high alcohol contents. The Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, a restaurant with a large outdoor patio and one-acre garden, serves a rotating organic menu. www.stonebrew.com

With multiple San Diego settings and brews served and sold in over 2,000 Southern California locations, Karl Strauss Brewing Company is the largest craft brewery in San Diego. The brewery offers a core lineup of seven delicious beers, plus a variety of specialty seasonal beers, each perfectly paired with the restaurant's menu of Southern inspired cuisine. Karl Strauss also hosts monthly "firkin" parties in which kegs are tapped in the traditional way, by driving a spigot through the front of the keg with a wooden mallet. Guests can find locations in Sorrento Mesa, La Jolla, downtown San Diego and Carlsbad. www.karlstrauss.com

Pizza Port, a favorite San Diego North County restaurant with locations in Solana Beach and Carlsbad and Ocean Beach. At Pizza Port locations, guests can enjoy hoppy Pizza Port beers and more than 15 different pizzas served on the Port's signature wholegrain beer crust. www.pizzaport.com

La Jolla Brew House is a casual establishment in La Jolla featuring high-quality, moderately priced classic cuisine and a distinctive selection of craft-brewed and specialty beers. Its private party room and bar are perfect for hosting events and parties, and the outdoor patio and fire pit are pet-friendly. Guests enjoy weekly beer specials and events while watching their favorite sports teams on over 20 flat-screen TVs. www.lajollabrewhouse.com

Family-owned Coronado Brewing Company in Coronado is located just minutes from downtown San Diego. The brewpub features quality handcrafted beers and delicious food like woodfired pizzas and fresh seafood. Eight signature beers are brewed on-site including the popular Coronado Golden, the unfiltered Idiot IPA and the full-bodied Outlet Stout. www.coronadobrewingcompany.com

Gordon Biersch Brewing Company is an upscale brewpub where guests find authentic German-style lagers and creative cuisine. Located in Mission Valley, the Gordon Biersch menu consists of appetizers and entrees influenced by a variety of cultures and ingredients, all designed to complement the signature lager beers. Gordon Biersch brews are available in a wide variety of bars and restaurants throughout California. www.gordonbiersch.com

Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Company serves stuffed pizza and signature beers ranging from a refreshing cream ale like California Gold to the dark, full-bodied Black Magic Stout. Six of Oggi's eight year-round brews are winners of the Great American Beer Festival including Left Coast Hop Juice, in which hops are added to each step of the brewing process, and the Torrey Pines IPA. Guests can find Oggi's in Carmel Mountain Ranch, Mission Valley and Vista. www.oggis.com

Located just steps from the Pacific Ocean, Pacific Beach Alehouse serves up handcrafted beer and great food in a casual beach setting. Favorite brews like the Shipwreck Stout, PB Porter, Crystal Pier Ale and Amber Wave can be sipped on an outdoor deck overlooking the ocean or next to a fire pit on the patio. On the menu, handcrafted burgers and upscale casual items like lobster mac 'n cheese provide a culinary counterpoint. www.pbalehouse.com

Rock Bottom Brewery offers fresh, handcrafted beers and a diverse menu in two San Diego locations, La Jolla and downtown San Diego. The La Jolla brewpub was awarded the "Beer Excellence Award" by the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association and boasts a variety of mouthwatering items on its innovative menu. Rock Bottom's downtown location is a casual dining experience with a $5 happy hour and late-night menu offerings. www.rockbottom.com

Located just east of Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley, the San Diego Brewing Company has one of the largest draft selections in the county with more than 50 beers on tap daily. Weekly specials and sports packages cater to a diverse group of visitingsports fans and locals alike. The hefty menu of burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches and pizza complements the ever-changing selection of homemade beers and out-of-town taps. www.sandiegobrewing.com

San Marcos Brewery & Grill in San Marcos specializes in "American Grill" classics and fine, handcrafted ales from an on-site microbrewery; it also offers a full list of California produced wines. Special features at the brewpub are the Old English Ale and Oatmeal Stout that are dispensed through a traditional hand pump to create a distinct similarity to authentic English Ales. www.sanmarcosbrewery.com

Beer-Centric Bars and Restaurants

San Diego also offers a diverse range of bars and restaurants that truly specialize in rare beers from local brewers and others from around the globe.

At Blind Lady Ale House, located in Normal Heights near Balboa Park, 20 taps pour local, regional and hard-to-find Belgian brews from a list carefully curated by owner Lee Chase, former head brewer of San Diego's own Stone Brewing Company. Future plans include brewing on-site, but in the interim Chase is brewing Blind Lady Ales at the nearby Mission Brewery facility. The restaurant also specializes in hand-crafted Neapolitan-style pizzas with fresh mozzarella, house-made sausages, local produce and sustainable meats. www.blindladyalehouse.com

The Yard House in downtown San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter is an upscale, casual eatery known for its extensive menu and self-proclaimed "world's largest selection of draft beer." Guests can find a wide range of brews including classic lagers and obscure ales and stouts served in authentic goblets, pints and half-yard glasses. The Yard House features a transparent keg room containing more than 600 barrels and a fleet of over 130 tap handles. www.yardhouse.com

The laid-back Downtown Johnny Brown's, located in downtown San Diego, has an excellent selection of hard-to-find, specialty local brews from Green Flash, Stone Brewing, AleSmith and Ballast Point. Other selections are also available from top-notch craft brewers from around the country. www.downtownjohnnybrowns.com

Located in downtown San Diego's East Village, Neighborhood offers more than 27 local craft brews on tap and a creative, upscale take on classic American dishes like burgers. Tasting flights of San Diego beers and international selections are also available. www.neighborhoodsd.com

Toronado San Diego, located in North Park, is a sibling of San Francisco's famous beer outpost. At Toronado San Diego, the focus is clearly on craft beer with 50 beers on tap featuring the best from local, domestic and international breweries. Bottled offerings number more than 230 and focus on Belgian, French,German and English brews. www.toronadosd.com

With more than 75 years of service, Hamilton's Tavern in South Park is the oldest beer and wine licensed establishment in San Diego. It offers high quality ales and craft beers from around the world and boasts oneof the most diverse bottle selections in San Diego.

The Linkery in North Park offers gourmet local food that earned it national recognition as one of the "Best Farm-to-Table Restaurants in America" by Gourmet magazine. Guests can find an extensive list of beer made by true artisans, many of them local and regional; rare cask ales are always on tap. www.thelinkery.com

Ritual Tavern in North Park, a dark cozy pub with a modern medieval atmosphere, serves eight local beers on tap and boasts an extensive list of bottled beer that leans heavily toward European imports, with Belgium and Germany well represented. Its menu favors sustainably and humanely raised meats and locally sourced produce with a nod to classic pub fare. www.ritualtavern.com

The 25 taps and extensive bottle list at O'Brien's American Pub in Kearny Mesa features rare brews and local San Diego drafts. Known as the "hoppiest place on earth," guests can find an extensive selection of the pub's specialty, hoppy beers, including Alpine Beer Company's Pure Hoppiness, AleSmith's Speedway Stout and Ballast Point's Even Keel, along with an authentic, tasty tavern menu. www.obrienspub.net

Pub Crawls: On Foot and by Rail Beer Cheers at The LinkeryBeer Cheers at The Linkery

Sampling San Diego's beer culture can be done on foot by visiting the brewpubs, restaurants and bars in downtown San Diego and the North Park and Normal Heights neighborhoods.

In downtown San Diego, there are several options for beer lovers to map out their perfect pub crawl. Breweries within easy walking distance include Karl Strauss' downtown location and Rock Bottom Brewery in the Gaslamp Quarter. Local beers can also be sampled at downtown pubs and restaurants like Downtown Johnny Brown's, The Yard House and Neighborhood.

The North Park neighborhood is bisected by 30th Street which locals like to call "the best street in the world for craft beer." More than a dozen restaurants and bars located along 30th Street proudly serve local craft brews including beer-havens like Hamilton's Tavern, Toronado San Diego, The Linkery and Ritual Tavern. Just a short walk east on Adam's Avenue in neighboring Normal Heights, Blind Lady Ale House serves a top-notch selection including their own craft beers.

The San Diego Trolley and Coaster commuter train also enable visitors to ride the rails to their next great pint.

The San Diego Brewer's Guild offers itineraries with detailed directions by rail for visiting local breweries and brew pubs. A Central San Diego route stops at Ballast Point, Gordon Biersch, Oggi's and San Diego Brewing Company; a North County tour begins at Ballast Point and visits both Pizza Port locations in Solana Beach and Carlsbad www.sandiegobrewersguild.org

Guided Brewery Tours

For those who want to experience San Diego's beer culture, meet the brewers and leave the driving to someone else, guided brewery tours are an excellent option.

Brew Hop offers custom-designed private brewery tours of San Diego. Visitors can relax in luxury as they are chauffeured to their choice of local breweries. The 5-hour "Beer Connoisseur" tour includes samples, behind-the-scenes tours at four breweries and a meal. The 2.5-hour "Beer Tasters" tour stops at two or three breweries and includes samples and tours. www.brewhop.com

Brewery Tours of San Diego offers regularly scheduled tours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Each tour visits three breweries and includes transportation, tastings and lunch. www.brewerytoursofsandiego.com

Exciting Beer Events

Throughout the year, the San Diego community turns out in droves for festivals and celebrations of the region's exciting craft beer scene.

From May 1 - 5, 2012, San Diego's reputation for inspired beers will take center stage as the city prepares to host the 2012 World Beer Cup. Started in 1996, the global competition presented by the Brewers Association is the most prestigious beer competition in the world and often referred to as "The Olympics of Beer Competition." Held every two years, a professional panel of beer judges honors the top three beers in 91 categories with gold, silver, and bronze awards.

Celebrating its sixth year and fast becoming one of the largest beer festivals in the country, the San Diego International Beer Festival will return June 22 - 24, 2012 to the San Diego County Fair with unlimited tastings of more than 350 beers from around the world. In addition to the huge selection of beers, the event will also feature seminars on home brewing, food and beer pairing, a Meet the Brewers event and much more. Four different beer tasting sessions will be offered: 4-8 p.m. on Friday, June 25; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4-8 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, June 27. Tickets for each session are $37 if purchased in advance and $43 at the gate; prices include admission to the 2012 San Diego County Fair. www.sdfair.com/beer

This summer, guests can sample craft beer with a backdrop of exciting horseracing action and live music during three special beer events at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. During Beer Fest in August, more than 75 different beers from Ballast, Coronado, Firestone, Full Sail, Gordon Biersch, Green Flash, Left Coast, Lagunitas, New Belgium, Pyramid, Palm and more will be poured from noon to 6 p.m. with live music on the race track's in-field afterwards. Later in August, a Craft Microbrew Festival will feature over 150 locally brewed beers followed by a showcase of local bands. During all three events, guests can purchase $15 wristbands, each good for five 7 oz. sample size beers. Admission is included in the $6 price for Stretch Run general race admission, but additional fees like $10 for parking and $20 for admission will be charged for those attending after the races end at 6:30 p.m. Dates for 2012 are TBD. www.dmtc.com

San Diego has recently gained an international reputation for inspired beers with area breweries earning more medals at the 2010 World Beer Cup than breweries in the traditional beer countries of England, Germany and Belgium combined. San Diego Beer Week returns November 2 - 12, 2012 for a 10-day celebration of local craft beer and San Diego's thriving brewing culture. Festivities kick off with a Brewers Guild Festival and conclude with a Chef Celebration of San Diego Beer, a gourmet beer and food pairing event. Last year's inaugural San Diego Beer Week boasted more than 300 events, ranging from beer dinners to meet and greats with local brewers, with an estimated 20,000 attendees. 2012 San Diego Beer Week events will be posted online at www.SDBW.org

For more information on San Diego's offerings, including exciting vacation packages and valuable coupons for attractions, restaurants and more, visit the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau's websiteat www.sandiego.org or call 619-236-1212.

 

(This feature also appears in the beer category of Taste California Travel's Drink section)

TravMedia sources contributed to this article.

Editor's note: If you're planning a visit to San Diego, you'll find links to hundreds Lodging and Dining options at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. Also in the directory is a list wineries in the nearby Temecula region. Recognizing the great interest in craft beers, we have also created a section in our Resource Directory for brewpubs, restaurants and bars that specialize in a broad offering of high quality brews.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012 18:15

La Jolla The Jewel of San Diego

La Jolla beach scene PicmonkeyShoreside at La Jolla.

There are many treasures of this Mediterranean-style village that make La Jolla one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in Southern California: luxurious and historic hotels and resorts; fine dining with breathtaking ocean views; retail shopping that rivals northern neighbors Rodeo Drive and South Coast Plaza; sophisticated, world-class arts and culture, and a strikingly beautiful setting complemented by endless outdoor recreational activities. Add to this extraordinary mix a rich history with numerous famous residents, from Gregory Peck to Ted Giesel (aka Dr. Seuss), and some of the nation's leading scientific research centers, including the internationally renowned Salk Institute and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and visitors can experience an unparalleled leisure holiday. The following are just some of the diverse offerings of La Jolla (pronounced "La Hoya"; translated from Spanish as "the jewel") that guests can experience throughout the year.

 

Beaches and Water ActivitiesLa Jolla's beaches and coastline are considered to be some of the most beautiful settings in the world; its aqua waters provide endless options for fun and relaxation.

Lifeguards watch over families splashing in the rocky shallows off La Jolla Cove, a small patch of sand tucked between weather-sculpted sandstone cliffs. This area's breathtaking views are a favorite subject of photographers and painters from around the world.

The Children's Pool, a small picturesque beach with a panoramic view that is partially protected by a large seawall, is just south of La Jolla Cove. The Pool's original intent was to be a protected swimming area for children, but sand has filled in much of the area inside the wall. Today, the beach is a popular home for hundreds of seals, and Seal Rock, a reserve for these marine mammals, is located just offshore.

South of La Jolla Village, Windansea Beach is best known for its beautiful scenery and hard-breaking surf due to huge underwater reefs. Sunbathing is popular here, as large sandstone rocks create a secluded setting. Windansea is also home to a legendary Polynesian-style surf hut, built in 1947 by pioneer Windansea surfers and registered as a San Diego Historic Site. Today, the hut provides an excellent vantage point for watching the surfers and sunbathers below.

North of La Jolla Village, La Jolla Shores was once recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the most family-friendly beaches in San Diego County. A wide boardwalk, which separates the beach from a large grassy park ideal for picnicking and volleyball games, parallels its mile-long sandy shore.

Kayaking is popular along La Jolla Shores, as guests can paddle during low tide to La Jolla Caves to the south and Scripps Pier to the north. Rentals are available and daily guided tours are provided by a number of companies including Hike Bike Kayak Inc and OEX Dive and Kayak. www.hikebikekayak.com, www.oeexpress.com

The world's first all women's surf school, Surf Diva promotes, teaches and supports surfing for women (and men) of all ages with surf camps and private and coed lessons. www.surfdiva.com

La Jolla Underwater Park and Ecological Preserve is a popular recreational area for scuba divers and snorkelers who can encounter the protected marine life in some of California's clearest coastal waters with visibility often exceeding 30 feet.

Blacks Beach, a two-mile long, sandy strip situated at the base of majestic cliffs, is north of La Jolla Shores and part of Torrey Pines State Beach. Because the cliffs tower up to 300 feet high, access to the beach is limited and difficult. The beauty and privacy of Blacks Beach have made it popular for nude sunbathing, a practice that is not officially sanctioned but prevalent.

For more information on La Jolla's beaches, visit: www.lajollabythesea.com/beaches.

 

Recreational ActivitiesTorrey Pines 2011 Farmers Ins Open PicmonkeyAt Torrey Pines 2011 Farmers Ins Open

Recreational enthusiasts can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities in La Jolla, from paragliding above the blue Pacific to golf on an internationally recognized golf course.

Twelve championship tennis courts are available to visitors at The La Jolla Tennis Club, nestled in the village of La Jolla and host to tournament play since 1917. Also, the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club resort offers championship tennis courts available to guests and members. www.ljbtc.com

Set above Blacks Beach to the north of the Village, the Torrey Pines Gliderport has been the learning place for aviation greats including the Lindberghs, Boyles and many more. The Gliderport was first established as a soaring site in 1928 and has defined the history of motorless flight. Today, the Gliderport offers hang gliding, paragliding, scale models and sailplane flight. www.flytorrey.com

At Torrey Pines Golf Course, home of the 2008 U.S. Open, golfers marvel at the views of the coastline atop cliffs towering above the Pacific Ocean just north of La Jolla. Long recognized as one of the nation's foremost municipal golf facilities, it is truly a golfer's paradise. Torrey Pines hosts the annual Famers Insurance Open every January. www.torreypinesgolfcourse.com

Torrey Pines State Reserve is a 2,000-acre reserve dedicated to preserving its namesake, the Torrey Pine tree, and other indigenous wildlife in its native environment. Visitors hike the 8 miles of trails encountering native chaparral plants, wildflowers, birds, reptiles and butterflies. The reserve includes a visitor center and is host to guided nature walks on weekends and holidays to a vista point overlooking Peñasquitos Lagoon and the ocean. www.torreypines.org

Visitors and locals alike enjoy a walk through the Village of La Jolla any time of day. A car is not required to experience different aspects of this enchanting coastal community. Shopping, galleries, dining, museums, hotels, beach activities and breathtaking natural beauty can all be found within the five-mile radius of the Village proper. Guided, historic tours and hikes are available from local companies.

 

Resorts and Hotels

La Jolla is home to world-class resorts, luxurious boutique properties and historic hotels and inns.

Set on six-and-a-half acres in La Jolla overlooking the Pacific Ocean and adjacent to the 18th green of the world-renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course, the Lodge at Torrey Pines is a AAA Five Diamond luxury resort that combines the elegance of Craftsman-style design with exceptional amenities, such as guaranteed tee times for guests, which are almost impossible to secure otherwise. The resort features 175 luxury guestrooms, a full service spa, the acclaimed A.R. Valentien restaurant and an outdoor swimming pool with trellised cabanas. www.lodgetorreypines.com

Nestled on the coastal cliffs of La Jolla, Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa boasts 210 luxuriously appointed rooms tucked away on a secluded estate. The spa's lush features include a sanctuary garden of eucalyptus, lavender and citrus trees, which create a peaceful environment to stimulate the senses, as well as an outdoor fireplace, salt-water Jacuzzi and moisturizing eucalyptus steam room. Three ranch-inspired restaurant and lounge options offer farm-fresh menus, hand-crafted cocktails and an extensive wine library of California wines. www.estancialajolla.com

Often called "The Jewel of La Jolla," the historic La Valencia Hotel overlooks La Jolla Cove and the Pacific Ocean. Designed with European flair, the hotel's 113 rooms and ocean villas are richly appointed and provide spectacular ocean views. La Valencia is a member of Preferred Hotels Worldwide and features an outdoor heated pool, fitness center and three popular restaurants, including the award-winning Sky Room, La Valencia's intimate fine dining restaurant. www.lavalencia.com

The Grande Colonial, a 2011 AAA Four Diamond winner, is an elegant European-style boutique hotel with 93 rooms and suites located one block from the ocean on renowned Prospect Street. Amenities include an outdoor, ocean-view swimming pool surrounded by gardens and terraces, a rooftop deck with a library and board-room and the award-winning Nine-Ten Restaurant. www.thegrandecolonial.com

The 29-suite boutique Hotel Parisi in the heart of La Jolla is a health-conscious getaway with Feng Shui design, Zen décor and Pacific Ocean views. Guests can also enjoy a diverse spa menu, featuring 40 holistic treatments performed in the privacy of each guest's room. www.thegrandecolonial.com

The La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club is an oceanfront resort located on La Jolla Shores that combines the charm of Old World Mexico with modern day luxuries. The property offers a private beach, championship tennis courts, par three golf course, massage services and world-class dining at its seaside Marine Room restaurant. www.ljbtc.com

The 108-room Hotel La Jolla features contemporary design with state-of-the-art amenities, a fitness center, in-room spa services, pool area and pet-friendly accommodations. On the hotel's 11th floor, guests can dine at Clay's La Jolla where Chef Clay Bordan serves upscale Continental and New American cuisine. www.hotellajolla.com

 

Shopping

La Jolla is one of San Diego's most desirable shopping districts known for sophisticated, designer apparel boutiques; original jewelry shops featuring exquisite gems, and galleries offering luxury rugs and artwork from around the world.

Sometimes called the "Rodeo Drive" of San Diego, La Jolla's Prospect Street overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is lined with small specialty shops, boutiques, antique emporiums and art galleries. In addition to offering elegant, designer fashions in sophisticated apparel shops, La Jolla is also known for its exquisite and original fine jewelry of magnificent and brilliant gems.

Girard Avenue, intersecting with Prospect Street, features everything from Armani to Meanley & Son Hardware. Stores like MOS (My Own Space) feature ultra-modern original furniture and funky, affordable accessories, while mainstays like Warwicks Stationers offer the finest in pens, stationary and literature, since 1896. Hipster clothing boutiques like Let's Go make Girard Avenue appealing to every shopper's tastes and interests.

Along Girard Avenue, the Upper Girard Design District offers numerous home furnishing boutiques ideal for shoppers seeking unique luxury home décor items.

Bird Rock, located at the south end of La Jolla along La Jolla Blvd., offers an upscale, eco-friendly environment for posh shopping. The recently revitalized merchant district boasts everything from an organic coffee shop and green nail salon, to designer boutiques adorned with fashionable shoes, bags and bikinis, and upscale children's clothing boutiques. www.birdrock.org

 

DiningCombining spectacular ocean views with award-winning menus that focus on farm-fresh organic ingredients, La Jolla's chefs offer some of San Diego's most exciting and unique fine dining experiences.

The award-winning A.R. Valentien, located in the Lodge at Torrey Pines, serves a menu of seasonal provisions from local farmers' markets, small growers, ranchers and fishermen. Chef Jeff Jackson emphasizes basic ingredients, minimal handling and simple flavors. www.arvalentien.com

Set in the heart of La Jolla, Whisknladle takes a back-to-the future approach to food, making most items from scratch. Executive chef/partner Ryan Johnston's philosophy is reflected in a diverse menu of upscale comfort foods on plates made to share. Everything is baked, churned, smoked, aged, cured and pickled in-house; Johnston also purchases ingredients from local growers such as Chino Farms. www.whisknladle.com

The award-winning Nine-Ten restaurant, located in the historic Grande Colonial hotel, is one of the neighborhood's hottest bistros. Chef Jason Knibb, a 2010 Rising Star Chef winner, presents market fresh, evolving California cuisine in a casually elegant atmosphere. www.nine-ten.com

Overlooking scenic La Jolla Cove, George's at the Cove features executive chef Trey Foshee's creative regional cuisine in an atmosphere of modern elegance. Foshee's cutting edge and ever-changing menu can be enjoyed in three of the restaurant's settings: the first-story California Modern featuring an elegant dining room, the bistro-styled George's Bar and the rooftop Ocean Terrace, spanning spectacular ocean views. www.georgesathecove.com

A local landmark since 1941, The Marine Room is nestled along the sand of La Jolla Shores. The changing tides and dramatic waves crashing against the restaurant's windows provide the perfect backdrop for executive chef Bernard Guillas' sophisticated dishes like maple smoked bison carpaccio, thyme-rubbed free range veal tenderloin and lemon verbena lobster tail. Chef Guillas was recently inducted into the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, becoming the first chef in San Diego to join the ranks of the 204 Master Chefs from around the world.  www.marineroom.com

At Roppongi Restaurant and Sushi Bar on Prospect Street, chef Stephen Window fuses East and West in dramatic and creative ways, including seasonal specialties and Asian-fusion tapas. Roppongi's multiple dining areas include a sushi bar and covered patio with fire pit. www.roppongiusa.com

Tapenade Restaurant on Fay Avenue features award-winning chef Jean-Michele Diot's distinct southern French cuisine. As one of the finest French restaurants in San Diego, Diot's style of French Provencal gastronomy fused with American cuisine creates one-of-a-kind, quality dishes. www.tapenade.com

Overlooking La Jolla Cove, Brockton Villa has been serving award-winning breakfast, lunch and seasonal dinner for 20 years. Using local ingredients and seafood, the menu includes fresh takes on classic American cuisine. Not to be missed is Brockton Villa's world-famous Coast Toast French toast, served throughout the day. www.brocktonvilla.com

 

Arts, Culrure and Science

From theater bound for Broadway to cutting edge contemporary art and scientific innovations that help change the world, La Jolla entertains and inspires visitors in unexpected ways.

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego on Prospect Street features contemporary paintings, sculptures, photography, drawings and graphic art created since 1945. The permanent collection is displayed concurrently with temporary exhibitions, and the lush garden paths and landscaping at the oceanfront facility provide space for outdoor sculpture and installations. www.mcasd.org

The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is one of the most respected and prestigious theaters in the nation. Theater-goers can enjoy innovative productions May through October at the Mandell Weiss Center for the Performing Arts and the state-of-the-art Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus. La Jolla Playhouse productions that have moved to Broadway include the Tony Award-winning musicals Memphis and Jersey Boys, as well as The Who's Tommy, Cry-Baby, Thoroughly Modern Millie and the Pulitzer Prize winner I Am My own Wife. www.lajollaplayhouse.com

Also located on the UCSD campus, the Stuart Collection offers 16 site-specific works by leading artists of our time, including John Baldessari, Jenny Holzer, Robert Irwin, Bruce Nauman, Nikki de Saint Phalle, Alexis Smith and William Wegman. Self-guided walking tour maps are available. www.stuartcollection.ucsd.edu

The La Jolla Music Society presents classical music throughout the year. The Celebrity Series features a dazzling array of the world's most distinguished musicians and orchestras; music concerts are presented during the Revelle Series, featuring performances at the Sherwood Auditorium in the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. The nationally recognized, annual SummerFest program features an array of free enrichment events in addition to a variety of world-class concerts at locations throughout La Jolla. www.lajollamusicsociety.com

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps is situated on a spectacular site overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The aquarium presents undersea creatures in realistic habitats and allows visitors to experience the frontiers of marine science through interactive museum exhibits and participation in exciting educational activities. The aquarium reflects the work of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, world-renowned for its oceanographic research and instruction. www.sio.ucsd.edu

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, adjacent to UCSD, is also world-renowned for its medical research. Public tours, which focus on the institute's unique architecture by Louis I. Kahn, are available. www.salk.edu

 

Annual Events and Festivals

Throughout the year, La Jolla hosts a number of San Diego's most exciting annual events and festivals.

An internationally recognized golf tournament, the Farmers Insurance Open is played every January on the spectacular Torrey Pines Golf Course. www.buickinvitational.com

The La Jolla Motorcar Classic occurs every spring and lets guests admire timeless autos along the coast. http://lajollamotorcarclassic.com

The La Jolla Half Marathon takes place every April. www.lajollahalfmarathon.com

The Secret Garden Tour in May, sponsored by the La Jolla Historical Society, allows guests to tour some of La Jolla's most beautiful residential gardens. www.ljhs.org

The Annual La Jolla Festival of Arts and Food Fair takes place every June on the UCSD campus with award-winning artists, gourmet cuisine, contemporary music and entertainment. www.lajollaartfestival.org

In August, La Jolla locales provide spectacular settings for the annual SummerFest, a renowned chamber music festival. www.ljms.org

The La Jolla Rough Water Swim, the largest such swimming competition in the nation, takes place at La Jolla Cove every September. www.ljrws.com

In early December, guests get into the holiday spirit during the annual La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival. www.ljparade.com

For more information visit the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau's website at www.sandiego.org

 

TravMedia sources contributed to this article.

 

Editor's note: Links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as those of many craft beer purveyor are availble at the Resource Directory of Taste California Travel.

 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 19:55

San Diego: The Cool Spot for Craft Beer

With a casual, relaxed atmosphere and locals who take good beer seriously without taking themselves too seriously, San Diego is the perfect place to escape for a libation vacation. Industry innovators like Karl Strauss and Stone Brewing make their homes in San Diego, and the region boasts an enviable number of award-winning breweries and a wide variety of pubs and restaurants catering to those who enjoy unique, locally crafted beers.

The following are some of the outstanding places where visitors can discover for themselves why beer lovers are flocking to the region's burgeoning craft brew scene.

The Great American Beer City

Blind Lady Ale House PicmonkeyBlind Lady Ale House photo by Rob TardiSan Diego breweries have repeatedly brought home major awards at the annual Great American Beer Festival. In the past five years, San Diego's AleSmith Brewing Company and Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey have been named Best Small Brewing Company, while Carlsbad's Pizza Port has taken home the Brewpub of the Year award on more than one occasion.

At the World Beer Cup, an event that only happens every two years, San Diego breweries dominate. Ballast Point was named the "Champion Small Brewery" in 2010 above stiff competition from around the world. Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey won the same honor in 2008. In 2010, San Diego-area breweries earned more medals at the World Beer Cup than breweries in the traditional beer countries of England, Germany and Belgium combined.

Cited as "a sunny heaven for suds lovers," the New York Times named San Diego as a top travel destination for 2012 for its craft beer culture. In the October 2009 issue of Men's Journal magazine, San Diego was named the "#1 Beer Town in America" and the 30th Street Corridor in North Park was lauded as "easily the nation's best beer boulevard."

In the January/February 2012 issue of DRAFT magazine, San Diego's O'Brien's, Hamilton's Tavern, O'Brien's American Pub and Blind Lady Ale House all nabbed spots on the magazine's list of the "Best Beer Bars in America." In January 2012, RateBeer.com's "Best of 2012" reviewer's lists placed San Diego breweries in two of the top 10 spots on the "Best Brewers" list - AleSmith at #4 and Stone Brewing at #7.

Brewery Tasting RoomsMany San Diego breweries offer tasting rooms and tours that allow visitors to meet the brewers and sample their wares. The following are just a few of the many options:

The award-winning AleSmith Brewing Company in Miramar is an artisan microbrewery specializing in handcrafted brews. Visitors can find fresh flavors inspired by Great Britain's and Belgium's high alcohol content and strongly hopped beers; AleSmith tours are available Fridays and Saturdays. www.alesmith.com

Alpine Beer Company, located in the East County community of Alpine, opened in 2002 and offers a tasting room with six to eight of their signature beers like Pure Hoppiness, a San Diego style IPA, and Captain Stout, a chocolate oatmeal dry stout, on tap. The tasting room is open from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. www.alpinebeerco.com

Ballast Point Brewing Company offers tours and tastings at both their main brewery in Scripps Ranch and home brew store/brewery in Linda Vista. Guests can tour behind the barrels for tastings of specialty citrus hops, scotch ales and German Klosch-style beer; they can also purchase a selection of "do-it-yourself" beer making supplies ranging from starter kits to advanced brewing systems. In Scripps Ranch, public tours are offered at noon, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and the tasting room is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. www.ballastpoint.com

Guests can find great ales brewed with recipes from the pre-Prohibition era at the Firehouse Brewing Company in Miramar. A behind-the-scenes tour takes visitors inside the custom-made brew house where the brewery's American Pale Ale and Hefeweizen are created. www.firehousebrew.com

Green Flash Brewing Company in Mira Mesa showcases the use of fine, all natural ingredients in their award-winning beers that are brewed in small batches to insure each glass is of the freshest and purest quality. The brewery is features an on-site tasting room and offers tours on the weekends. www.greenflashbrew.com

Lightning Brewery in Poway offers fine, hand-crafted European style beers with a distinctively crisp, clean aroma, pronounced maltiness and prolonged, slightly bitter finish known as the "Lightning Finish." Unique to San Diego, Lighting Brewery uses the labor intensive "step mashing" brewing process that furthers flavors and enhances the body of beer by releasing starches. Guest tours are available Fridays and Saturdays. www.lightningbrewery.com

Oceanside's first brewery, Oceanside Ale Works, produces an award-winning combination of ales inspired by European brewing traditions and innovative flavors inspired by West Coast brewers. One of the few manual brew houses in the United States, Oceanside Ale Works produces ales true to its Southern California setting like Surfer Stout and Buccaneer Blonde. Guests can sample brews on location daily. www.oceansidealeworks.com

Located in San Marcos, Port Brewing is the home of The Lost Abbey, a niche label focused on brewing beers that follow the monastic and artistic Belgian brewing traditions. Brewed in very small batches, these exquisite beers have won awards - and fans - the world over. www.portbrewing.com; www.lostabbey.com

 

Brewpubs

In addition to creating outstanding craft beer on-site, the following breweries boast great restaurants where beer tourists can fuel up for further exploration.

Stone Brewing Company in Escondido is recognized as one of the best breweries in the United States by the two largest beer enthusiast websites, Ratebeer.com and BeerAdvocate.com. Brewing more than 150,000 barrels of beer annually, it is also one of the fastest growing breweries in the nation. Guests can enjoy big character beers like Arrogant Bastard Ale with its high quality ingredients and high alcohol contents. The Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, a restaurant with a large outdoor patio and one-acre garden, serves a rotating organic menu. www.stonebrew.com

With multiple San Diego settings and brews served and sold in over 2,000 Southern California locations, Karl Strauss Brewing Company is the largest craft brewery in San Diego. The brewery offers a core lineup of seven delicious beers, plus a variety of specialty seasonal beers, each perfectly paired with the restaurant's menu of Southern inspired cuisine. Karl Strauss also hosts monthly "firkin" parties in which kegs are tapped in the traditional way, by driving a spigot through the front of the keg with a wooden mallet. Guests can find locations in Sorrento Mesa, La Jolla, downtown San Diego and Carlsbad. www.karlstrauss.com

Pizza Port, a favorite San Diego North County restaurant with locations in Solana Beach and Carlsbad and Ocean Beach. At Pizza Port locations, guests can enjoy hoppy Pizza Port beers and more than 15 different pizzas served on the Port's signature wholegrain beer crust. www.pizzaport.com

La Jolla Brew House is a casual establishment in La Jolla featuring high-quality, moderately priced classic cuisine and a distinctive selection of craft-brewed and specialty beers. Its private party room and bar are perfect for hosting events and parties, and the outdoor patio and fire pit are pet-friendly. Guests enjoy weekly beer specials and events while watching their favorite sports teams on over 20 flat-screen TVs. www.lajollabrewhouse.com

Family-owned Coronado Brewing Company in Coronado is located just minutes from downtown San Diego. The brewpub features quality handcrafted beers and delicious food like woodfired pizzas and fresh seafood. Eight signature beers are brewed on-site including the popular Coronado Golden, the unfiltered Idiot IPA and the full-bodied Outlet Stout. www.coronadobrewingcompany.com

Gordon Biersch Brewing Company is an upscale brewpub where guests find authentic German-style lagers and creative cuisine. Located in Mission Valley, the Gordon Biersch menu consists of appetizers and entrees influenced by a variety of cultures and ingredients, all designed to complement the signature lager beers. Gordon Biersch brews are available in a wide variety of bars and restaurants throughout California. www.gordonbiersch.com

Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Company serves stuffed pizza and signature beers ranging from a refreshing cream ale like California Gold to the dark, full-bodied Black Magic Stout. Six of Oggi's eight year-round brews are winners of the Great American Beer Festival including Left Coast Hop Juice, in which hops are added to each step of the brewing process, and the Torrey Pines IPA. Guests can find Oggi's in Carmel Mountain Ranch, Mission Valley and Vista. www.oggis.com

Located just steps from the Pacific Ocean, Pacific Beach Alehouse serves up handcrafted beer and great food in a casual beach setting. Favorite brews like the Shipwreck Stout, PB Porter, Crystal Pier Ale and Amber Wave can be sipped on an outdoor deck overlooking the ocean or next to a fire pit on the patio. On the menu, handcrafted burgers and upscale casual items like lobster mac 'n cheese provide a culinary counterpoint. www.pbalehouse.com

Rock Bottom Brewery offers fresh, handcrafted beers and a diverse menu in two San Diego locations, La Jolla and downtown San Diego. The La Jolla brewpub was awarded the "Beer Excellence Award" by the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association and boasts a variety of mouthwatering items on its innovative menu. Rock Bottom's downtown location is a casual dining experience with a $5 happy hour and late-night menu offerings. www.rockbottom.com

Located just east of Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley, the San Diego Brewing Company has one of the largest draft selections in the county with more than 50 beers on tap daily. Weekly specials and sports packages cater to a diverse group of visitingsports fans and locals alike. The hefty menu of burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches and pizza complements the ever-changing selection of homemade beers and out-of-town taps. www.sandiegobrewing.com

San Marcos Brewery & Grill in San Marcos specializes in "American Grill" classics and fine, handcrafted ales from an on-site microbrewery; it also offers a full list of California produced wines. Special features at the brewpub are the Old English Ale and Oatmeal Stout that are dispensed through a traditional hand pump to create a distinct similarity to authentic English Ales. www.sanmarcosbrewery.com

Beer-Centric Bars and RestaurantsBeer Cheers at The LinkeryCheers at The Linkery.  photo: Erik Isacson

San Diego also offers a diverse range of bars and restaurants that truly specialize in rare beers from local brewers and others from around the globe.

At Blind Lady Ale House, located in Normal Heights near Balboa Park, 20 taps pour local, regional and hard-to-find Belgian brews from a list carefully curated by owner Lee Chase, former head brewer of San Diego's own Stone Brewing Company. Future plans include brewing on-site, but in the interim Chase is brewing Blind Lady Ales at the nearby Mission Brewery facility. The restaurant also specializes in hand-crafted Neapolitan-style pizzas with fresh mozzarella, house-made sausages, local produce and sustainable meats. www.blindladyalehouse.com

The Yard House in downtown San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter is an upscale, casual eatery known for its extensive menu and self-proclaimed "world's largest selection of draft beer." Guests can find a wide range of brews including classic lagers and obscure ales and stouts served in authentic goblets, pints and half-yard glasses. The Yard House features a transparent keg room containing more than 600 barrels and a fleet of over 130 tap handles. www.yardhouse.com

The laid-back Downtown Johnny Brown's, located in downtown San Diego, has an excellent selection of hard-to-find, specialty local brews from Green Flash, Stone Brewing, AleSmith and Ballast Point. Other selections are also available from top-notch craft brewers from around the country. www.downtownjohnnybrowns.com

Located in downtown San Diego's East Village, Neighborhood offers more than 27 local craft brews on tap and a creative, upscale take on classic American dishes like burgers. Tasting flights of San Diego beers and international selections are also available. www.neighborhoodsd.com

Toronado San Diego, located in North Park, is a sibling of San Francisco's famous beer outpost. At Toronado San Diego, the focus is clearly on craft beer with 50 beers on tap featuring the best from local, domestic and international breweries. Bottled offerings number more than 230 and focus on Belgian, French,German and English brews. www.toronadosd.com

With more than 75 years of service, Hamilton's Tavern in South Park is the oldest beer and wine licensed establishment in San Diego. It offers high quality ales and craft beers from around the world and boasts oneof the most diverse bottle selections in San Diego.

The Linkery in North Park offers gourmet local food that earned it national recognition as one of the "Best Farm-to-Table Restaurants in America" by Gourmet magazine. Guests can find an extensive list of beer made by true artisans, many of them local and regional; rare cask ales are always on tap. www.thelinkery.com

Ritual Tavern in North Park, a dark cozy pub with a modern medieval atmosphere, serves eight local beers on tap and boasts an extensive list of bottled beer that leans heavily toward European imports, with Belgium and Germany well represented. Its menu favors sustainably and humanely raised meats and locally sourced produce with a nod to classic pub fare. www.ritualtavern.com

The 25 taps and extensive bottle list at O'Brien's American Pub in Kearny Mesa features rare brews and local San Diego drafts. Known as the "hoppiest place on earth," guests can find an extensive selection of the pub's specialty, hoppy beers, including Alpine Beer Company's Pure Hoppiness, AleSmith's Speedway Stout and Ballast Point's Even Keel, along with an authentic, tasty tavern menu. www.obrienspub.net

Pub Crawls: On Foot and by RailSampling San Diego's beer culture can be done on foot by visiting the brewpubs, restaurants and bars in downtown San Diego and the North Park and Normal Heights neighborhoods.

In downtown San Diego, there are several options for beer lovers to map out their perfect pub crawl. Breweries within easy walking distance include Karl Strauss' downtown location and Rock Bottom Brewery in the Gaslamp Quarter. Local beers can also be sampled at downtown pubs and restaurants like Downtown Johnny Brown's, The Yard House and Neighborhood.

The North Park neighborhood is bisected by 30th Street which locals like to call "the best street in the world for craft beer." More than a dozen restaurants and bars located along 30th Street proudly serve local craft brews including beer-havens like Hamilton's Tavern, Toronado San Diego, The Linkery and Ritual Tavern. Just a short walk east on Adam's Avenue in neighboring Normal Heights, Blind Lady Ale House serves a top-notch selection including their own craft beers.

The San Diego Trolley and Coaster commuter train also enable visitors to ride the rails to their next great pint.

The San Diego Brewer's Guild offers itineraries with detailed directions by rail for visiting local breweries and brew pubs. A Central San Diego route stops at Ballast Point, Gordon Biersch, Oggi's and San Diego Brewing Company; a North County tour begins at Ballast Point and visits both Pizza Port locations in Solana Beach and Carlsbad www.sandiegobrewersguild.org

 

Guided Brewery Tours

For those who want to experience San Diego's beer culture, meet the brewers and leave the driving to someone else, guided brewery tours are an excellent option.

Brew Hop offers custom-designed private brewery tours of San Diego. Visitors can relax in luxury as they are chauffeured to their choice of local breweries. The 5-hour "Beer Connoisseur" tour includes samples, behind-the-scenes tours at four breweries and a meal. The 2.5-hour "Beer Tasters" tour stops at two or three breweries and includes samples and tours. www.brewhop.com

Brewery Tours of San Diego offers regularly scheduled tours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Each tour visits three breweries and includes transportation, tastings and lunch. www.brewerytoursofsandiego.com

 

Exciting Beer Events

Throughout the year, the San Diego community turns out in droves for festivals and celebrations of the region's exciting craft beer scene.

This summer, guests can sample craft beer with a backdrop of exciting horseracing action and live music during three special beer events at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. During Beer Fest in August, more than 75 different beers from Ballast, Coronado, Firestone, Full Sail, Gordon Biersch, Green Flash, Left Coast, Lagunitas, New Belgium, Pyramid, Palm and more will be poured from noon to 6 p.m. with live music on the race track's in-field afterwards. Later in August, a Craft Microbrew Festival will feature over 150 locally brewed beers followed by a showcase of local bands. During all three events, guests can purchase $15 wristbands, each good for five 7 oz. sample size beers. Admission is included in the $6 price for Stretch Run general race admission, but additional fees like $10 for parking and $20 for admission will be charged for those attending after the races end at 6:30 p.m. Dates for 2012 are TBD. www.dmtc.com

San Diego has recently gained an international reputation for inspired beers with area breweries earning more medals at the 2010 World Beer Cup than breweries in the traditional beer countries of England, Germany and Belgium combined. San Diego Beer Week returns November 2 - 12, 2012 for a 10-day celebration of local craft beer and San Diego's thriving brewing culture. Festivities kick off with a Brewers Guild Festival and conclude with a Chef Celebration of San Diego Beer, a gourmet beer and food pairing event. Last year's inaugural San Diego Beer Week boasted more than 300 events, ranging from beer dinners to meet and greats with local brewers, with an estimated 20,000 attendees.2012 San Diego Beer Week events will be posted online at www.SDBW.org

 

For more information on San Diego's offerings, including exciting vacation packages and valuable coupons for attractions, restaurants and more, visit the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau's websiteat www.sandiego.org or call 619-236-1212.

 

(This article also appears in Drives and Destinations)

TravMedia sources contributed to this article.

Editor's note: If you're planning a visit to San Diego, you'll find links to hundreds Lodging and Dining options at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. Also in the directory is a list wineries in the nearby Temecula region. Recognizing the great interest in craft beers, we have also created a section in our Resource Directory for brewpubs, restaurants and bars that specialize in a broad offering of high quality brews.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 17:36

Coronado: The Crown City

Situated across San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado boasts a unique combination of quaint small-town friendliness and sophisticated luxury. Defined by two famous structures, the historic Hotel del Coronado and distinctive San Diego-Coronado Bridge, the "Crown City" offers an enchanting island experience that has made Coronado one of California's most sought-after vacation destinations for more than 100 years. The city is famous for pairing a relaxed atmosphere with pristine beaches, first-class accommodations, exciting arts and culture and abundant outdoor recreational activities.Following are some of the offerings that make Coronado a perfect year-round destination for a romantic weekend getaway, fun-filled family vacation or relaxing day at the beach.

 

Beautiful Beaches

Coronado Beach at SunsetCoronado Beach at SunseKnown for picturesque coastline views and expansive stretches of white sand, Coronado has several distinct beach experiences to offer visitors.

Occupying the area between the iconic Hotel del Coronado and Naval Air Station North Island, Coronado Beach is a 1.5-mile long aquatic wonderland for swimmers, surfers, sunbathers and America's military elite. Popular for its wide, sandy beaches and set against a backdrop of beautiful homes, Coronado Beach is consistently named among the Travel Channel's "Best Beaches in California" and annually ranks among Dr. Beach's "Top 10 Beaches in the US," taking the #1 spot in 2012 (www.drbeach.org).

Families arrive early in the morning toting umbrellas, beach towels and picnic coolers for an all-day stay. Visitors often fly kites at the southern end of the beach, join pick-up volleyball games on the sand courts behind the main lifeguard station and enjoy romantic strolls along the sand at sunset. Just north of Coronado Beach, North Beach is a favorite site for surfers in the morning and bonfires in the evenings. The northern most section is known as Dog Beach, because four-legged visitors are permitted off leash. In June 2010, Fido Friendly magazine named Coronado's Dog Beach one of their "10 Sizzling Summertime Fido Friendly Beaches." On a typical day, dozens of dogs can be seen rolling in the sand, splashing in the waves and fetching Frisbees.

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay along the isthmus that connects Coronado southward to Imperial Beach, Silver Strand State Beach is a popular spot for swimming, biking and RV camping. The name references the tiny, iridescent seashells that sparkle along the shoreline.

Sumptuous Sleeps

Catering to travelers who seek one-of-a-kind properties, seaside escapes, fine dining and top-quality modern amenities, Coronado's resorts and boutique hotels make for the perfect home away from home. Following are just a few of the Crown City's accommodation options:

Del Coronado PicmonkeyHotel Del CoronadoFamous for its peaked red roof, classic Victorian architecture and serene ocean vistas, the Hotel del Coronado is an iconic landmark offering something for everyone. Guests can play in the expansive swimming pool, browse an eclectic collection of stores, pamper themselves in the spa and partake in active pursuits ranging from beach yoga to surfing lessons. Dining options include dinner at 1500 Ocean, the Del's signature fine dining restaurant; Sheerwater, a more casual all-day option; wine, chocolate and cheese tasting at ENO; and decadent Sunday brunch in the Crown Room. The recently opened Beach Village ups the ante on luxury, offering private beachfront cottages, pools and enhanced amenities. www.hoteldel.com

 

Located directly across from the Hotel del Coronado, the Glorietta Bay Inn was built around John Spreckels' historic private mansion and has been restored to reflect the house as it looked in the 1920's at the height of the sugar baron's influence (Spreckels was one of the original owners of the Del). In addition to 11 spacious rooms in the main house, this boutique hotel features 89 rooms in the adjacent contemporary wing, an expansive music room and spectacular views of picturesque Glorietta Bay. Guests of the property enjoy daily complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon refreshments, a hot tub and heated pool. www.gloriettabayinn.com

Situated on a private peninsula on San Diego Bay just across from the Silver Strand State Beach, Loews Coronado Bay Resort is a relaxing resort with a bevy of exciting activities. Guests can opt for a dive-in movie, watched on a big screen while floating in one of the resort's pools, make s'mores on the nearby beach, tour the resort's on-site herb garden or escape for rejuvenating treatments in the spa. When hungers strikes, options include dinner at Mistral, the resort's signature restaurant with views of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, and the more casual Market Café overlooking the resort's private marina. Each Sunday, the Market Café boasts a Brews, Blues and BBQ brunch featuring local craft beer and live music. www.loewshotels.com/en/Coronado-Bay-Resort With a bay-front location adjacent to the Coronado Ferry Landing, the Coronado Island Marriott Resort boasts astounding views of San Diego Bay and the downtown San Diego skyline. Three heated swimming pools, six lighted tennis courts, an outdoor whirlpool, the rejuvenating Spa Coronado and Current restaurant, serving fresh coastal California cuisine, make the hotel a great vacation escape within easy walking distance of Coronado's charming downtown. www.coronadoresortmarriott.com

Cultural Pursuits

Coronado's rich history, eclectic art offerings and engaging cultural diversions are on display in galleries, theaters and community events year-round.

Coronado Art WalkCoronado Art Walk at the FerryThe Coronado Historical Association Museum of History and Art features three galleries highlighting Coronado's unique relationship with the U.S. Navy, the history of the landmark Hotel del Coronado and rotating special exhibits. Located on Orange Avenue, the museum also boasts a lecture hall and museum store where visitors can purchase mementos of Coronado's enchanted history. On display through January 2012, "Wings of Gold: Coronado and Naval Aviation" celebrates the National Centennial of Naval Aviation. www.coronadohistory.org

A professional, non-profit, artist-directed company, Lamb's Players Theatre performs a five-play season February through November plus special holiday productions each December at its 350-seat Resident Stage in the historic Spreckels Building on Orange Avenue. Over the last 20 years, Lamb's Players has produced more than 38 world premieres and 35 regional premieres along with presenting classics and lesser known gems of the theatre. www.lambsplayers.org

Opened in 1946, the Coronado Playhouse is the longest running community theater company in the San Diego region. Housed in a state-of-the-art new 100-seat cabaret style theatre overlooking Glorietta Bay, the Playhouse presents a year-round season of classic and modern productions plus free Shakespeare in the summer and exciting original works by local authors. www.coronadoplayhouse.com

Coronado's mild summer temperatures make for enjoyable outdoor concert performances during the annual Coronado Promenade Concerts in Spreckels Park. Visitors can pack a picnic and join local residents for this free, family-friendly event, held every Sunday evening in the summer from Memorial Day through mid-September. www.coronadovisitorcenter.com

Spreckels Park is also host to "Art-in-the-Park,"occurring the first and third Sunday of every month. Each show highlights more than 50 local artists specializing in oil, acrylic, watercolor painting and a variety of other art forms. www.coronadoartassn.com

 

Shopping Delights

Coronado is one of San Diego's most desirable shopping districts known for sophisticated, upscale, designer apparel boutiques, art galleries, jewelry shops and more.

Coronado Ferry Landing, located on the San Diego bayside of Coronado, is a popular retail and entertainment complex featuring waterfront dining and one-of-a-kind shops surrounded by tree-lined walkways, swaying palms, sparkling ponds and wonderful views of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and downtown San Diego's skyline. Shoppers can find everything from novelty gifts and memorabilia to seashells and fine jewelry. www.coronadoferrylandingshops.com

Coronado's historically-preserved downtown also offers one-of-a-kind specialty shops, especially along Orange Avenue which is lined with bookstores, antique shops, home and garden stores and gourmet food shops. Orange Avenue is Coronado's charming main street - originally named after the numerous orange trees that were once planted down the media. www.coronadochamber.com

At the Shops at the Del, visitors can find a unique shopping opportunity with an exquisite variety of 20 shops and boutiques featuring upscale women's apparel, including Karen Kane, Trina Turk and other name brands; men's apparel, including Tommy Bahama and Greg Norman, as well as fine jewelry, bath and spa products and a full collection of Del merchandise. www.hoteldel.com/shopping.aspx

 

Culinary Adventures

Coronado offers a mouthwatering array of dining options. Whether the mood calls for a romantic candlelit dinner or a casual post-beach bite, visitors are guaranteed meals as memorable as the "Crown City" itself.

Ideally situated between the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay, Coronado offers some serious dining with a view. Mistral at Loews Coronado Bay Resort offers spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of San Diego Bay and the striking San Diego-Coronado Bridge, www.dineatmistral.com. Equally impressive are the panoramic bayside views from Current at the Coronado Island Marriott Resort, www.coronadoresortmarriott.com.

Romance is always in the air at 1500 Ocean, the Hotel del Coronado's signature restaurant, www.1500ocean.com, and the intimate Chez Loma French Bistro, located in a charming historic house just off Orange Avenue, www.chezloma.com.

For more casual eats, the Coronado Brewing Company serves up great burgers, classic brewpub fare plus award-winning craft beers, www.coronadobrewingcompany.com. Danny's Palm Bar & Grill serves up a "dive bar" burger considered by many to the best in the region.

For a fabulous brunch, nothing beats the scrumptious spread at the Hotel del Coronado's Crown Room on Sundays - also a top-rated local favorite! www.hoteldel.com/crown-room.aspx

Making waves on the seafood menu are Peohe's, specializing in fresh tropical seafood and Pacific rim cuisine, www.peohes.com; The Brigantine, a Coronado tradition, www.brigantine.com, and the Del's Sheerwater overlooking the Pacific Ocean, www.hoteldel.com/Sheerwater-dining.aspx.

South of the border flavors can be found at Miguels Cocina, known for their award-wining Mexican food, www.brigantine.com/locations_migcor.html; Candelas on the Bay, offering upscale Mexico City-style cuisine, www.candelas-coronado.com, and Costa Azul, a perennial favorite for classic Mexican fare, www.costaazulcoronado.com.

To satisfy one's sweet tooth, Tartine, a French bakery and bistro, is the perfect place for a light meal and sweet treat, www.tartinecorondo.com. Mootime Creamery is another sweet sensation for frozen yogurt and homemade ice cream, www.mootime.com.

 

Explore the Outdoors

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a wide range of activities in Coronado, from surfing on the Pacific Ocean to biking along scenic San Diego Bay to enchanting waterfront golfing.

The Bayshore Bikeway, a scenic bike path along the shores of San Diego Bay, provides cyclists, inline skaters and walkers an invigorating route that spans 11 miles from the Coronado Ferry Landing, down along the eastern shore of the peninsula and then parallel to Silver Strand State Beach south toward Imperial Beach. www.portofsandiego.org/recreation/bike-san-diego-bay.html

At Tidelands Park, visitors can frolic on a sandy shore nestled below the mighty span of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. Encompassing 22 acres, the park is the largest green space on the shores of San Diego Bay and boasts a fitness course, children's play equipment, ball fields, picnic tables, restrooms and free public parking. http://www.portofsandiego.org/coronado-tidelands-park.html

Just north of the Coronado Ferry Landing, Coronado Landing Park offers panoramic views of San Diego Bay and the downtown San Diego skyline plus a petite beach, play equipment, picnic tables, fishing pier and restrooms. www.portofsandiego.org/coronado-landing-park.html

For visitors who feel the call of the sea, Coronado boasts two full-service marinas, the Glorietta Bay Marina and Loews' Crown Isle Marina, located on San Diego Bay across from the Silver Strand State Beach. Both offer rentals ranging from paddleboats and sailboats to jet skis and deep sea fishing.

With dramatic views of the San Diego- Coronado Bridge, the legendary Hotel del Coronado and picturesque San Diego Bay, the Coronado Municipal Golf Course is known as one of the best waterfront golf values in San Diego County. With immaculately manicured greens, the 18-hole, par 72 facility offers advanced reservations with a $30 green fee on weekdays and $35 fee on weekends. www.golfcoronado.com

Located on Glorietta Bay, the Coronado Tennis Center offers eight tennis courts and a Pro Shop under the direction of USPTA Professional Phillip D. Hopkins along with private lessons and clinics, racket stringing, ball machine rental, a complete line of tennis merchandise and video stroke analysis available on site. Court use is free of charge and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. www.coronado.ca.us/department/division.php?fDD=13-159

For those who want to hang-ten, options abound in the Crown City. Coronado City Beach faces due south with gentle swells that make it perfect for the novice to intermediate surfer. Silver Strand State Beach also offers a gently sloping break and fun and forgiving surf for beginning surfers. Beginners can take lessons with expert instructors at the Coronado Surfing Academy, www.coronadosurfing.com, or the Executive Surfing Club www.executivesurfingclub.com.

Guests can indulge in the most romantic of outdoor activities, cruising in an authentic, private Venetian gondola through the canals of the Coronado Cays with The Gondola Company. The one-hour cruise includes a complimentary appetizer or dessert plate. Gondolas can accommodate up to six passengers, and guests are welcome to bring their own beverages.www.gondolacompany.com

 

Joy in the Journey

Coronado Ferry LandingCoronado Ferry Landing photo by Brett Shoaf Part of the charm of visiting Coronado is the journey. Options include driving across the beautiful San Diego-Coronado Bridge, taking a ferry or water taxi across San Diego Bay and driving along the seven-mile long Silver Strand peninsula.

The San Diego-Coronado Ferry leaves from the Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego daily on the hour from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and travels across San Diego Bay to the Coronado Ferry Landing. Return trips to San Diego happen on the half-hour, and the ferry also runs every two hours between downtown San Diego's Convention Center Marina and the Coronado Ferry Landing. All trips take 15 minutes; cost is $3.75 one-way for

Docked across from the Hotel del Coronado at the Glorietta Bay Marina, the San Diego Bay Water Taxi offers on-call transportation service around San Diego Bay between marinas on Coronado and those in downtown San Diego. Embarkation options on Coronado include the Coronado Ferry Landing, Coronado Island Marriott Resort and Loews

Coronado Bay Resort. One-way fare is $7 per person. www.sdhe.com/san-diego-water-taxi.html

The breathtaking San Diego-Coronado Bridge became an area landmark the moment it opened in August 1969 during San Diego's bicentennial. Then-California governor Ronald Reagan became the first person to drive across the span. The distinctive curve and soaring sweep of the bridge made Coronado widely accessible by vehicle traffic for the first time in the city's history. Over two miles long and five lanes wide, the bridge has a clearance of approximately 200 feet that allows massive merchant and military ships to pass easily beneath it.

For more information on Coronado or the entire San Diego region, visit the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau's website, www.sandiego.org/coronado, or call (619) 236-1212.

 

TravMedia sources contributed to this article.

 

Links to the websites of Lodging, Dining and Craft Beer Purveyors can be found in Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. Also available at that directory are links to all the wineries in the nearby Temecula area.

With less than 400 California condors in existence, this endangered species is still an uncommon sight. Even rarer is the opportunity to watch condor parents incubate an egg, and raise a chick. That is, until now.

CondorCamChick 04.23 SMALLHe's on his wayVisit the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy's new web camera, Condor Cam (www.sandiegozooglobal.org/video/condor_cam), to see Sisquoc and Shatash, the first condor pair ever to be observed by the public, raising a chick on a live web camera set up in an off-exhibit area for condor care at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. For decades, field biologists, behaviorists and zookeepers were the only people able to witness a condor's parental behavior. This behavior has never been available for public viewing.

"For decades we've had the opportunity to work with this remarkable species behind the scenes," said Michael Mace, San Diego Zoo Safari Park curator of birds. "Beginning today, this rare experience is no longer for a select few. We invite you to watch, for the first time, this fantastic experience, the beginning cycle of a California condor's life, from the egg until it fledges."

Shatash, the female condor, laid the egg on Friday, Jan. 13 of 2012. As a standard practice at the Safari Park, every condor egg laid is moved to an incubator for safe keeping, and the parents are given an artificial egg to incubate. The incubation behavior of the parents continues as it would with their own egg, with the male and female taking turns incubating the egg.

In the incubator, keepers monitor the egg for embryonic development. In the last few days of incubation, the artificial egg is removed from the nest and replaced with the fertile egg, allowing the parents to help the chick hatch and immediately begin their parental duties.

The chick hatched in early March. Condor Cam viewers have witnessed rare moments such as the chick emerging from the egg with its white down feathers and a light pink, bald head and the parents tending its needs from feeding to clean up. When the chick is 5 to 6 months old, observers may also witness the chick's first flight! The chick continues to be tended to by its parents until it is approximately 1 year old. These are moments in the life an endangered species that very few people have ever seen.

Since the recovery program began in the 1980s, when there were only 22 condors left in the world, the Safari Park has hatched 171 chicks and released more than 80 birds in the wild. There are now more than 390 condors, half of which are flying free in California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico.

The California Condor Recovery Program is implemented by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, zoos in the U.S. and Mexico, and U.S. and Mexican government agencies. Although listed by the federal government as an endangered species in 1967, the California condor population continued to decline, reaching a critical low of less than two dozen birds. In 1982, the condor breeding program was successfully established at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Los Angeles Zoo. Today, two additional breeding centers are assisting with the recovery of the species at The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey and the Oregon Zoo. In addition, condors are part of an education program that allows guests at the San Diego Zoo, Santa Barbara Zoo and Mexico City's Chapultepec Zoo to see North America's largest bird up close.

The San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy is dedicated to bringing endangered species back from the brink of extinction. The work of the Conservancy includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and international field programs in more than 35 countries. In addition, San Diego Zoo Global manages the Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center, the Frozen ZooTM and Native Seed Gene Bank, the Keauhou and Maui Hawaii Endangered Bird Conservation Centers, San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Breeding Facility, Cocha Cashu Biological Research Station, the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, and a 900-acre biodiversity reserve adjacent to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by The Foundation of the Zoological Society of San Diego.

 

(TravMedia.com contributed to this article)

 

Editor's note: If you're planning a visit to the San Diego area, you can find links to the websites of hundreds of lodging and dining options at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.

 

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