San Diego is one of "America's Favorite Cities"

Travel + Leisure America's Favorite Cities survey 2012

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Have you heard? San Diego is one of America”s top 10 favorite cities, earning a sixth place overall ranking on a new list based on the Travel Leisure 2012 America”s Favorite Cities survey.

San Diego was recognized with high marks in a range of categories including visitor experience, dynamic nightlife, culinary offerings and as a destination for all types of visitors to travel throughout the year, but that”s not all! San Diego also rated as America’s #1 city for athletic/active people and as #2 for most attractive residents.

Here are online casino just a few of the categories where San Diego ranks in the top 10 destinations:

Best Time to Visit

According to the survey, that”s anytime of year!

Type of Trip

Whether you travel with a surf board or golf clubs, with a best girlfriend or significant other, all types of travelers are welcome in San Diego.



  • #1 for athletic/active people
  • #2 for <a title=”Bring Your Family”s Best Friend with you to San Diego” href=”” target=”_blank”>pet-friendly vacation
  • #3 for family vacation
  • #5 for girlfriend getaways
  • #8 for romantic escapes
  • #9 for gay-friendly vacation
  • Food and Restaurants

    It”s a secret no more – San Diego is a great destination for foodies.



  • #4 for hamburgers
  • #5 for ice cream
  • #7 for <a title=”Taste the Best at San Diego”s Craft Breweries” href=”” target=”_blank”>microbrew beer
  • #7 for pizza
  • The complete list of the Travel Leisure 2012 America’s Favorite Cities survey results, along with methodology, is available at San Diego placed in the top 10 position according to visitors in 39 of the 66 individually ranked categories – check out the link to see which ones!


    Dining with Celebrated Chefs in San Diego

    Chef Bernard Guillas at the Marine Room

    Looking for a culinary experience worthy of four stars? Celebrated chefs aren’t hard to find in San Diego. Sampling the cuisine from these culinary superstar will leave no doubt that San Diego is a top-notch epicurean destination.

    Artfully presented dishes are par for the course at the Marine Room

    The Marine Room

    A landmark in La Jolla for more than 70 years, the Marine Room may be just as famous for its notable chef as for of its spectacular surfside views. Chef Bernard Guillas was recently inducted into the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France.  Induction into the exclusive group places Guillas among iconic chefs such as Paul Bocuse, Eric Ripert and Fernand Mischler; Guillas is the only chef in San Diego to join the ranks of the 204 Master Chefs from around the world.

    Excellent service matches excellent food at Addison


    As San Diego’s only Five Diamond restaurant, Addison exudes culinary decadence from the moment you step through the majestic doors of The Grand Del Mar resort where the restaurant is located. Their tasting menus created by Chef William Bradley present course after course of delicious gems. Chef Bradley’s accolades include semifinalist for a 2010 James Beard Foundation award and Grand Chef designation by Relais & Château.

    Chef William Bradley in Addison's kitchen

    The Mediterranean Room

    The La Valencia Hotel decorates the La Jolla landscape with its rosy pink façade, but the San Diego culinary scene is brimming with excitement about decorated chef Jason McLeod. The talented chef recently returned to San Diego from Chicago, where he was awarded two Michelin stars. Chef McLeod is using his culinary chops to design a new, fresh menu for La Valencia’s landmark Mediterranean Room.

    Deliciously fresh ingredients shine at The Mediterranean Room


    Searsucker. So Hot Right Now.

    Searsucker says eat. Don't mind if I do!

    Have you heard the news? OpenTable, the top online restaurant reservations site in the US, just announced the winners of its Diners’ Choice Awards for Top Ten Hot New Restaurants and San Diego’s favorite hot spot Searsucker took the number two spot in the nation.

    This is a true national ‘people’s choice’ award and the field was huge. Winners were culled from more than seven million reviews submitted by OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants across the United States.

    Brian Malarkey, the restaurant’s chef and chief merrymaker, sums the honor up in this way, “Searsucker is a restaurant designed for the people, from the food to the drinks to the ambience, so to be recognized by our diners is incredibly special to us.”

    Located in the heart of downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter, Searsucker pairs approachable, playful New American cuisine with local craft beer, handcrafted cocktails and wines from all over the world. The culinary experience that won them the award takes place daily and nightly in an inviting dining room nestled next to an exhibition kitchen with bar-style seating where Malarkey is regularly seen cooking and entertaining the crowd.

    How else is he keeping the people happy?

    First dinner, then lunch and now, new for summer, brunch. That’s right, Malarkey and his team will begin serving up my favorite meal of the week on May 1st. Color me happy!


    10 Reasons to Visit San Diego in 2011

    10 to Try in 2011Ready or not, the New Year is upon us and so, I’ve put together my list of 10 reasons to visit San Diego in 2011.

    In no particular order…

    1. A World Premiere: This February, the La Jolla Playhouse brings us the World Premiere of Little Miss Sunshine.  This new musical based on the Academy Award-winning film, is sure to be outrageously funny (if not Broadway bound?), as it follows the Hoover family on a cross-country trek to a children’s beauty pageant where they hope their bad luck will change as the youngest daughter, Olive, chases the coveted title of “Little Miss Sunshine.” 
    2. Fabulous Food: The Nation’s Restaurant News released their list of dining trends for 2011 and among the top was locally grown ingredients, locally sourced meat and seafood and sustainability. How did San Diego restaurants respond? Check, check and check!  Stop by The Linkery, Sea Rocket Bistro and A.R. Valentien to see what I mean.
    3. RC 44 San Diego Cup: The NASCAR of all boating events will speed into San Diego in March for the first time ever! The RC44San Diego Cup highlights the world’s best sailors as they compete in high-performance boat races along San Diego Bay. 
    4. New Attractions: This summer, SeaWorld will debut Sea Turtle Bay, a new attraction all about sea turtles. Highlights will include Turtle Reef, a 300,000-gallon aquarium with a massive, a ride where you spin in boats on a sea turtle rescue mission and much more.  Also, stay tuned for news about BIG changes to come at LEGOLAND
    5. New Flight: I dedicate this one to our friends in the UK – In June, British Airways will offer daily, nonstop flights between from London’s Heathrow Airport and San Diego.
    6. Five Diamond Properties: That’s right; we’ve got some top dogs here in San Diego that are waiting to wine and dine visitors. Three hotels and one restaurant were recently awarded 2011 AAA Five Diamond Awards, the highest rating possible from the American Automobile Association and the most coveted symbol of excellence in the hospitality industry. Congratulations to: The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, The Grand Del Mar and its signature restaurant, Addison.
    7. Weather or Not: In Travel + Leisure’s recent America’s Favorite Cities Reader Poll, San Diego was voted the #1 destination for Best Weather. We also scored #2 for Most Athletic/Active People; #2 for Most Attractive People; #3  destination for Best Time to Visit – Spring Break and #4 destination for Best Time to Visit –  Summer. Check us out! 
    8. Centennial of Naval Aviation: In February, Coronado’s North Island Naval Air Station and San Diego Bay will celebrate the 100th anniversary of naval aviation and the first-ever flight of a Navy aircraft. The special event will include Navy ship tours, aircraft exhibits, music, food vendors and a large flyover in the afternoon featuring over 200 vintage aircraft.
    9. Wildflowers That Wow: San Diego has had the rainiest winter that I’ve seen in years! While that disrupted my wintertime summer dress wearing, it does mean that our famous wildflower display will be bursting with blossoms this spring.  If you want to see a natural phenomenon, head over to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park to see colorful wildflowers bejewel the desert landscape; make sure to double check the status of the wildflowers prior to your visit by calling the Park’s 24-hour “Wildflower Hotline” at 760-767-4684.
    10. Baby Animals Galore– Who doesn’t love to ooh and ahh at the sight of cute and cuddly little creatures? In 2010, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park welcomed a variety of calves, cubs and cutie pies, including newborn tigers, cheetah, rhino, zebra, giraffe and four elephants!  Come by the Safari Park to congratulate the new moms and watch these little guys grow.

    These Diamonds Are A Traveler’s Best Friend

    The Grand Del Mar. Sparkly!

    Earlier today, it was announceed that three San Diego area resorts were awarded the AAA Five Diamond status, the highest rating possible from the American Automobile Association, for 2011.

    To arrive at the rankings, AAA’s professional inspectors evaluate more than 58,000 lodgings and restaurants.  The Five Diamond Award is applied only to offerings that consistently meet the highest standards of quality.  It signifies meticulous service and above-and-beyond travel and dining experiences.  Only about 0.28 percent of lodgings and restaurants earn the distinction.  

    The San Diego hotels that received the 2011 AAA Five Diamond Award are:

    The signature restaurant at the Grand Del Mar, Addison, was also awarded Five Diamond status for the third year in a row, making it one of only two Five Diamond restaurants in all of Southern California. 

    So, next time you visit, consider staying or dining at one of these jewels!