Collected by Dana Curatolo
Batiquitos Lagoon, California, USA
One of the few remaining tidal wetlands on the southern California coast, Batiquitos Lagoon in Carlsbad is full of hiking trails and a beautiful lagoon. Bird watchers will love trying to spot the 185 bird species, which naturalists can take in...
202 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
The Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail is a fun and convenient substitute for traditional wine tasting. Walk (or crawl) from one wine bar to the next, just minutes from Downtown Santa Barbara's State Street. First try Corks 'n Crowns, a comfortable...
11 W Victoria St #10, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
Scarlett Begonia is a cute little restaurant located in the shopping district near State Street in Santa Barbara. Not only are the eggs fresh, but most of the ingredients are local, organic and the bread is home made. If you go here for breakfast,...
3321 State St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA
My husband and I love to read, so anytime we visit a city, we have to check out their local bookstores. Book lovers won't regret stopping at Chaucer's Bookstore. Particularly if you love reading non-fiction- Chaucer's has a great selection of a...
5995 Stagecoach Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA
This tavern was built as a stagecoach stop in 1886 and is located in the mountains above Santa Barbara. In the evening, dining here is romantic but during the day, you can see the beautiful views driving over the San Marcos pass. On a clear day,...
Goleta, CA 93117, USA
Just north of Los Angeles and east of Ventura/Santa Barbara you will find some of the most rugged wilderness in California. You can get as far out as you would like with untamed campgrounds or enjoy a nice cabin in the woods. Whatever habitat you...
302 W Matilija St, Ojai, CA 93023, USA
Part house, part maze, all bookstore. Ojai's famous Bart's Books started out in 1964 as a collection of books by owner Richard Bartinsdale that got so overwhelming he had to construct bookshelves on the sidewalk to accommodate his entire...
2450 Alamo Pintado Road, Box 359, Los Olivos, CA 93441, United States
Enchanting rolling hills, world-class vineyards, olive groves, innovative cuisine, small quaint towns and endless blue skies. This could be a description for Tuscany the central region of Italy but in this case I am describing the Santa Ynez...
554 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
835 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
My favorite independent bookstore, located in Seaport Village, is Upstart Crow—a mix of eclectic nostalgia items amongst coffee drinks and stacks of books. Here is where you find peace amid the tourist busy bodies.
353 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
Cafe Sevilla is located in the downtown Gaslamp district in San Diego. It's a great place to hear live music while sharing tapas and drinks with friends. The interior is huge with flags hanging from a 20ft ceiling, a bull on the wall behind the...
861 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
Edgewater Grill is located right next to the bay in Seaport Village. The location makes it an easy and quick walk from any downtown San Diego hotel. Sitting outside on the patio you can see great views of the bay, Coronado Island, and the Coronado...
1606 G St (No Retail At This Location / Online Only ), San Diego, CA 92101, USA
This is my favorite shop in the San Diego community of Little Italy. Regina DiSilvestro is a chemist and herbalist and has created a line of skin and hair care products. Everything is made and packaged right there in the back of the shop. They...
416 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103, USA
The Fig Tree Cafe, located in the eclectic, historic community of Hillcrest in San Diego, is one of my favorite places to start a relaxing weekend. They have a great menu of homemade items, and you definitely have to try the house-made rosemary...
3088 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103, USA
Cafe Bassam is amazing—it feels very magical, as though you've stepped into a place where time stops and the rest of the world has disappeared completely. They are the oldest coffeehouse in San Diego. The cafe is larger than the image shows, and...
4615 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116, USA
If you're looking for a chill place to enjoy a glass of wine and a gourmet pizza, the Park Blvd Wine & Pizza bar is the perfect stop! My husband and I enjoy coming here after a long hike. Pictured here is a glass of pinot with an organic apple,...
Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, CA 92107, USA
Hearing the waves while trying to find the ocean through the cut mountains and shady overgrowth of the trail and finally...find a view of crystal waters and colorful cliffs in Point Loma, San Diego. Suddenly I feel like I'm in some other country,...
2476 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110, USA
The Whaley House is located in Old Town San Diego and is touted as the "Most haunted house in the United States" by the Travel Channel. The building was constructed in 1857 by Thomas Whaley as a granary that later became a courtroom. For a time in...
4996 W Point Loma Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107, USA
Bo-beau's is a unique little restaurant because it's been created to look like a French cottage. The ambiance alone is worth a visit! The food is really good- they cooked my salmon just right and the creamed spinach was very light. The brined pork...
1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, CA 92029, USA
This April, Stone Brewing Co., San Diego’s largest craft brewery, will open a restaurant in a former navy mess hall. Guests can look forward to duck tacos dressed in Levitation Ale barbecue sauce as well as glasses of hoppy Arrogant Bastard Ale....
South Casa Beach, San Diego, CA 92037, USA
On our 2 week trip across California, we stopped off at "The Casa Beach" to check out the renowned La Jolla seal colony. It's very interesting to encounter a wild seal colony after having just driven through one of La Jolla's high end shopping...
1250 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA
George's is famous for two things. A stunning view and some of the best fish tacos around. There are multiple parts to George's: a rooftop dining experience, a fun bar with equally good views as well as an exceptional fine dining experience...
San Diego, CA, USA
The La Jolla Underwater Park is a great way to experience the world in the Pacific Ocean. There are artificial reefs, two canyons and a kelp forest. There are many places around the park to rent scuba and snorkeling gear, kayaks and wetsuits. The...
510 N Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024, USA
The Railroad Station turned Coffee House makes for a great eclectic place to wind down with a latte and some friends.They work hard at making delicious fresh pies/cakes, breakfast pastries, keish, and of course drinks. If that alone does'nt make...
1200 Vale Terrace Dr, Vista, CA 92084, USA
Although this fantastic Scottish festival doesn't happen in the city limits of San Diego, it does take place in San Diego county and is definitely worth the short drive if you love all things Scotland and are in San Diego during the end of June....
Little Italy, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
Little Italy is a great neighborhood with restaurants, gourmet grocers and boutiques- well worth a check out on any day of the week. But if you're in San Diego on a Saturday morning from 8am to 2pm, you have to walk over to the Little Italy...
2801 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104, USA
My husband and I enjoy good food, and The Mission for breakfast is a favorite. There are three locations and this one in the photo is on University Ave. We haven't been here for lunch yet. I've tried just about everything on the menu. There's...
310 N Tremont St, Oceanside, CA 92054, USA
Carlsbad is home to numerous craft breweries, many of which make innovative beers iconic of the west coast's experimental style. The best way to explore this facet of the local culture is through a brewery tour with Scavengers Beer Adventures....
Figueroa Mountain Rd, California, USA
In the spring drive out to the Santa Ynez Valley and look at the wildflowers along Figueroa Mountain Rd. - On Sundays you can walk along the beach boulevard east of Stearns Wharf and browse among the dozens (hundreds?) of local artisans stands....
2400 CA-46, Paso Robles, CA 93446, USA
Driving thru the wine fields of central California wasn’t technically on ‘the list’ of things to see or do while we were out exploring, but wow was it pretty awesome! If I remember right this was right outside Paso Pobles, and the best part about...
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