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
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’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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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.
> 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.
> 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.
> Find out more about Taste of Adams Avenue
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 is a fun fav with its swaying palms, Hawaiian architecture and other Polynesian touches. Top 5 don’t miss sights are:
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.
The newly renovated Kona Kai Resort with its own private sandy beach (yep!) and chic new Vessel Restaurant.
Fathom Bistro on the Shelter Island pier, a best-kept secret serving 15 beers on tap, gourmet hotdogs and sausages.
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 is called the “Crown City” for good reason. It’s a postcard-perfect jewel on the bay. Top 5 must-sees on the bayside:
Relaxing double hammocks at Coronado Island Marriott Resort for afternoon siestas.
2. Gondola Rides
Authentic Italian gondola rides at Loews Coronado Bay Resort.
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.
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 is blessed by its super convenient location across the street from San Diego International Airport. Top 3 must-sees:
For fine dining, Island Prime-C Level Lounge with its bayside setting and succulent seafood and steaks is second-to-none.
Check out the renovated landmark Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, a fully functioning lighthouse and restaurant with the best Sunday brunch on the 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! 🙂