San Diego Magazine

San Diego’s Hottest Neighborhoods: Barrio Logan

Chicano Park - Barrio Logan

Nestled between East Village and National City, Barrio Logan has transformed from a scruffy warehouse district to a hotbed of art, cuisine, and Chicano culture. It would be impossible to truly know San Diego without taking in the murals of the area’s cultural crown jewel, Chicano Park. And there’s plenty of other well-worthwhile things to eat, drink, and see while you’re there. Continue reading

San Diego Magazine

Three San Diego Beach Neighborhoods with Quintessential SoCal Vibes

Sunset Cliffs - Three San Diego Beach Cities with Quintessential SoCal Vibe

San Diego’s beaches are so inviting, you might never want to leave. And you don’t have to, because these beach neighborhoods of Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Ocean Beach have it all. Amusement parks for the whole family, piers and beaches perfect for long strolls, and of course, sips and bites to enjoy with a fiery sunset—it’s all here, within earshot of the waves. Continue reading

San Diego Magazine

Exploring San Diego’s Hottest ‘Hoods: Clairemont

Societe Brewing - Clairemont

The San Diego neighborhood of Clairemont more than holds its own when it comes to hidden gems. Located between La Jolla and the Convoy district, Clairemont is loaded with so many international food options that it surely deserves to be recognized as its own distinct and diverse food destination. Continue reading

San Diego Magazine

Exploring San Diego’s Hottest ‘Hoods: Goldfinch

The Patio on Goldfinch

The Goldfinch and Washington Street intersection in Mission Hills packs a lot into just a few short blocks. Here you’ll find a bevy of farm-to-table and neighborhood restaurants, along with shopping and entertainment, set in a fashionable urban community. Continue reading

San Diego Magazine

Exploring San Diego’s Hottest ‘Hoods: Cedros Avenue Design District

Cedros Avenue Design District

Just a stone’s throw from the coast in Solana Beach and running parallel with Highway 101, this North Coastal shopping district features more than 85 stores. It’s known as the epicenter for renowned architects and interior design firms. From breakfast to late-night music venues, art, furniture, cute cafes, and stylish hair salons, Cedros Avenue Design District is the perfect destination for a day of ocean-adjacent strolling, shopping, and relaxing. And, the Coaster station in Solana Beach is a block away, so getting there is half the fun! Continue reading

San Diego Magazine

Exploring Convoy: San Diego’s Asian Restaurant Row

San Diego’s Convoy Street runs through the central neighborhood of Kearny Mesa. Strip malls packed with restaurants whose signs—in Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and other Asian languages—bear the names of some of the best eateries in town. Popular favorites among locals include Shabu Shabu, Tofu House, and dim sum at Emerald restaurant. But excellent ramen, poke, bulgogi, dumplings, pastries, and desserts aren’t the only reasons to come to Convoy—there’s also karaoke, arcade games, and bliss-out sessions at Korean spas. Continue reading

San Diego Magazine

Exploring San Diego’s Hottest ‘Hoods: East Village

You and Yours Distillery - East Village San Diego

Downtown’s East Village neighborhood is home to 130 blocks of restaurants, bars, boutiques, hotels, the city’s main library, a baseball stadium, and countless other notable sights. With so much packed into one of the most urban parts of town, it can be tough to choose. Let us help you find a few things to do, see, eat, and drink to get started.

Continue reading
San Diego Magazine

Exploring San Diego’s Hottest ‘Hoods: Bird Rock/La Jolla Blvd

Bird Rock

Nestled along San Diego’s Pacific Coast is Bird Rock, a quirky but laid-back neighborhood known for beautiful ocean views, independent boutiques, and cozy cafes. Visitors and locals can easily stroll from one end of La Jolla Boulevard (Bird Rock’s main drag) to the other, making it the perfect destination for out-of-towners to explore unique mom-and-pop shops. No matter when you decide to visit Bird Rock, its casual culture mixed with upscale atmosphere means you should pack both your swim trunks and a sport coat or heels. Continue reading

San Diego Magazine

Exploring San Diego’s Hottest ‘Hoods: Adams Avenue

Stretching three miles from east to west, Adams Avenue spans at least four neighborhoods and crosses two major freeways in a central part of San Diego. Lined with historic Craftsman houses and populated by young families and the artsy millennial crowd, it offers an impressive lineup of hip eateries, boutiques, and bars. Start in the middle or work your way from one end to the other – you can’t really go wrong in this hipster-friendly ‘hood.

Food & Drink

Soda & Swine / Polite Provisions

Customize your own meatball meal via sub, slider, or spaghetti, and rinse it down with a creative craft cocktail from the next door speakeasy.

Where: 2943 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Soda & Swine / Polite Provisions

Tajima

San Diego is experiencing a ramen boom, and Tajima is leading the charge. The Normal Heights location offers bowls for all different tastes and diets, like a delicious vegan ramen with spinach noodles.

Where: 3015 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Tajima

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

Dark Horse has taken the local craft coffee scene to the next level with its Hawaiian-inspired small-batch roasts and cold brew growlers.

Where: 3260 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Dark Horse Coddee Roasters

Sycamore Den

This is where you’ll find San Diego’s top bartenders drinking on their day off. The 70s-inspired bar has a menu of artisanal cocktails and liquors, plus occasional live bands.

Where: 3391 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Sycamore Den

Blind Lady Alehouse

Get your craft beer with a side of pizza at this casual, vegan-friendly brewpub. Also worth a visit? BLAH’s sister restaurants Tiger!Tiger! in North Park and Panama 66 in Balboa Park.

Where: 3416 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Blind Lady Alehouse

Little Miss Brewing Company

Still a relative newcomer on the San Diego beer scene, this female-owned brewery is outfitted with a World War II theme and offers a varied lineup of house-made beers.

Where: 3514 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Little Miss Brewing Company

Cucina Sorella

Take your pasta-eating experiences to new heights at the latest addition to Urban Kitchen Group’s already-impressive roster of Italian eateries.

Where: 4055 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Cucina Sorella

Kensington Brewing Company

This small neighborhood brewery didn’t actually have a tasting room in Kensington until fairly recently when it moved into a former video store. For a real flavor bomb, try the Apricot Wheat.

Where: 4067 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Kensington Brewing Company

Clem’s Tap House

Kensington’s original family-owned brewpub keeps plenty of beers on tap and boasts actor Will Ferrell’s seal of approval. For a beer to go, Clem’s Bottle House next door offers a wide selection of bottles.

Where: 4108 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Clem’s Tap House

Shopping

Maven

Stocked with chic indie brands such as Laura Lombardi jewelry and Charlotte Stone shoes, Maven features carefully curated lifestyle products perfect for souveniers and gift giving.

Where: 2946 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Maven

Kiko & Sven

Formerly known as Niche, this Kensington shop combines Japanese and Swedish-inspired design, unique gifts, and even a monthly subscription box program.

Where: 3723 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Kiko & Sven

Live Music

Lestat’s West

Located next door to always-open coffee shop Lestat’s in the heart of Normal Heights, this music venue hosts regular shows, open mic events, and comedy nights.

Where: 3343 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Lestat’s West

Kensington Club

This neighborhood dive bar and venue has two parts: a bar area with seating and a pool table, and a separate room for concerts. Check it out for eclectic local San Diego bands, karaoke, and cheap drinks.

Where: 4079 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about the Kensington Club

Art

Art FORM San Diego

This Normal Heights nonprofit promotes creative re-use by hosting art education workshops where discarded items are transformed into art.

Where: 3316 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Art FORM San Diego

Back from Tomboctou Gallery & Imports

Browse a colorful collection of folk art and handmade gifts from around the globe, or attend one of the shop’s many DIY workshops.

Where: 3564 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Back from Tomboctou Gallery & Imports

Events

Adams Avenue Street Fair
Southern California’s largest free two-day music festival has been taking over Adams Avenue for a weekend in September for the past 36 years.

When: September
> Find out more about the Adams Avenue Street Fair

Adams Avenue Unplugged

This free musical walkabout features live music staged at different locations throughout a two-mile stretch of Adams Avenue during the last weekend of April each year.

When: April
> Find out more about Adams Avenue Unplugged

Taste of Adams Avenue

Wear loose-fitting pants to this annual tasting event featuring bites from over 40 of the area’s hottest eateries, cafés, breweries, and bars.

When: June
> Find out more about Taste of Adams Avenue

Robert Arends

Explore the Treasured Islands of San Diego Bay!

Birds-eye view of Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island

Birds-eye view of Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island

Did you know…San Diego Bay is home to three unique islands, located real close to downtown San Diego? Their names are Harbor Island, Shelter Island and Coronado Island. Truth be told they’re technically peninsulas, two of which are man-made (Harbor and Shelter). But they sure feel like island getaways, worlds away from the every day.

In fact, Shelter Island was specifically created to be “San Diego’s Hawaiian Isle” – a tropical escape without having to spend hours on a plane to the South Pacific. Join me on a voyage to all three islands, highlighting the coolest sights on each:

Shelter Island

Shelter Island is a fun fav with its swaying palms, Hawaiian architecture and other Polynesian touches. Top 5 don’t miss sights are:

1. Bali Hai Restaurant

Bali Hai Restaurant, Shelter Island's "tiki temple"

Bali Hai Restaurant, Shelter Island’s “tiki temple”

San Diego’s original tiki temple, featuring tiki icons Mr. Bali Hai and The Goof on the Roof, plus strong Mai Tais, fabulous views and Polynesian dishes.

2. Kona Kai Resort

Beach at Kona Kai Resort

Enjoy your own private beach – with drink service! – at Kona Kai Resort

The newly renovated Kona Kai Resort with its own private sandy beach (yep!) and chic new Vessel Restaurant.

3. Fathom Bistro

Fathom Bistro on the Shelter Island pier, a best-kept secret serving 15 beers on tap, gourmet hotdogs and sausages.

4. Pacific Portal sculpture

Pacific Portal sculpture on Shelter Island

Pacific Portal sculpture on Shelter Island

The giant seashell-looking Pacific Portal sculpture by James Hubbell, “San Diego’s Gaudi”!

5. Yokohama Friendship Bell

The Japanese-style pagoda that houses the Yokohama Friendship Bell, a gift from San Diego’s sister city Yokohama.

Coronado Island

Coronado Island is called the “Crown City” for good reason. It’s a postcard-perfect jewel on the bay. Top 5 must-sees on the bayside:

1. Coronado Island Marriott Resort

Catching some rays in Coronado Island Marriott's double hammocks.

Catching some rays in Coronado Island Marriott’s double hammocks.

Relaxing double hammocks at Coronado Island Marriott Resort for afternoon siestas.

2. Gondola Rides

Authentic Italian gondola rides at Loews Coronado Bay Resort.

3. Coronado Ferry Landing

Bike & Kayak Tours' kayak adventure from Coronado Ferry Landing

Bike & Kayak Tours’ kayak adventure from Coronado Ferry Landing

Coronado Ferry Landing, featuring a small sandy beach (great for kids!), “Secret Art of Dr. Seuss” at Stephen Clayton Gallery, affordable rides on the Coronado Ferry and San Diego’s only urban kayak tour.

4. Candelas on the Bay

Authentic Mexico-style cuisine at Candelas on the Bay. Their Sunday brunch buffet is phenomenal!

5. Shoreline Park

Shoreline Park, a secret “pocket park” on the bay that’s the perfect place to chill out or picnic away from the hustle and bustle.

Harbor Island

Harbor Island is blessed by its super convenient location across the street from San Diego International Airport. Top 3 must-sees:

1. Island Prime-C Level Lounge

Primo bay views and food at Island Prime restaurant

Prime bay views and food can be found at Island Prime on Harbor Island

For fine dining, Island Prime-C Level Lounge with its bayside setting and succulent seafood and steaks is second-to-none.

2. Tom Ham’s Lighthouse

Check out the renovated landmark Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, a fully functioning lighthouse and restaurant with the best Sunday brunch on the island.

3. Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

Sheraton San Diego Hotel Pool and Marina

Water activities about at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina on Harbor Island

Rest your head at Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina with its two sleek towers overlooking the bay. It’s very family friendly and even offers a Bayfront Shuttle ($1 per person) to nearby waterfront attractions like the USS Midway Museum, Maritime Museum of San Diego and Seaport Village.

Here’s to a fantastic summer of island vibes and good times on San Diego Bay! 🙂