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The Comprehensive Insider's Guide to San Diego

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1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118, USA
The Coronado Bridge links San Diego to Coronado Island—and the present to the past. In the span of just 2.12 miles, you’ll travel from the digital age to a century when “electrified” hotels were practically unheard of. When...
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2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
Located on 100 acres in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is one of the top zoos in the country. With a collection of more than 3,500 rare and endangered animals and 700,000 exotic plants, the zoo offers something for everyone. To help you navigate...
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5921 Valencia Cir, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067, USA
Spanish colonial fountains. Roaring outdoor fireplaces. Brightly colored bougainvillea vines and hibiscus flowers. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Southern California’s only Relais & Châteaux, is spread over 45 hilly acres of...
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The nation’s oldest continuously family-owned and -operated bookstore is Warwick’s in La Jolla. That’s thanks to one William T. Warwick, who entered the book business in 1896 in Iowa. Life soon led him to this dreamy stretch of...
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Given the lines you’ll almost inevitably find at the original Puesto—an authentic taqueria so beloved, it’s expanding into a small SoCal empire—you may well be discouraged. But don’t be: Simply put your name down,...
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Like a nautical version of the yellow brick road, illuminated anchors embedded in the floors of Ironside Fish & Oyster lead you to the Emerald City of raw bars, where the bounteous platters come in Big, Bigger, Biggest, and Holy Sh*t. This...
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1 Legoland Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA
Perhaps you have a kid who’d traverse the globe for Ninjago World. Or maybe your child could spend a whole weekend creating his or her own Lego kingdom. Either way, a family trip to Legoland California is fun for all. With the water cannons...
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600 F St, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
At first glance, the lobby is the place to be at this boutique hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. At check-in guests are offered a selection of local wine and beer—and again during happy hour. Under soaring ceilings supported by leather-wrapped...
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At this colorful corner store in North Park, Mexican handicrafts reign supreme. Pick up such gifts as hand-embroidered pillows and table runners, hand-painted wooden stools, glassware, and rainbow huaraches. This wholly original store is the...
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Balboa Park, San Diego, CA, USA
A 1,200-acre green space filled with museums, theaters, and gardens, Balboa Park is the center of art and culture in San Diego. It’s also one of the city’s most historic sites, built for the Panama–California exhibition in 1915....
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In and of itself, kayaking is a perfectly lovely way to spend a morning or afternoon. But when you factor in caves, sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles, gray whales, a famous fault line, and masses of docile leopard sharks, “perfectly...
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Possibly the last thing you expect when you pull up to this seaside California craftsman-style resort is a doorman in a kilt. But no sooner do you step into the lobby and stare out the lodge’s huge, wood-framed windows than you understand...
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2210 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
At Little Italy’s Herb & Wood, Chef Brian Malarkey’s wood-fired dishes include roasted parsnips with pickled raisins, parsley-shallot verde, and molten Marin County brie; roasted beets with sherry, walnut pesto, jamón...
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Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Club & Spa, 7100 Aviara Resort Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011, USA
From the moment you step inside Carlsbad’s Park Hyatt Aviara, you feel like you’re on a retreat. A quiet soundtrack and the hotel’s signature jasmine scent permeate the airy lobby. And between the hotel and the ocean sits a...
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Although the Smoking Goat is credited with pioneering a culinary renaissance in a once-sleepy corner of North Park, nothing else about chef Fred Piehl’s flagship restaurant screams “culinary vanguard”—and that’s...
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Famous for bringing the world the likes of Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone Brewing is nothing if not cheeky. This is, after all, the first American craft brewer bold enough to open an outpost in Germany, a country steeped in beer-making tradition. But...
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Liberty Station, San Diego, CA, USA
Built in the 1920s, San Diego’s onetime Naval Training Center began its transformation into a cultural and retail space in 2000, when the city bought this massive Spanish colonial revival complex to house galleries and shops as well as...
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Given its prime La Jolla location—with a Pacific panorama to match—this stylish, modern bar could get away with serving almost anything. But lucky for spirits enthusiasts, George’s Level2 (one of three venues that make up...
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5300 Grand Del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA 92130, USA
If Southern California had ever been annexed by La Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar would be the governor’s palace—all marble columns, gold-leafed staircases, and hand-stenciled ceilings. Even the 400-acre...
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For a place that’s best known for its buttermilk biscuits, Juniper & Ivy seems improbably swanky at first. Picture curtained-off banquettes, modern light fixtures, and painstakingly turned-out patrons. But the upscale/down-home contrast...