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Tuesday, 16 October 2018 08:39

Top California Cities for Vegetarians

TASTE News Service, October 16, 2018 - November 1 is being identified as World Vegan Day and research showing that skipping meat can save the average person at least $750 per year.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018 14:14

Peanuts, Crackerjack and . . . ?

By Dan Clarke

A couple of days ago we came upon a feature in Nation’s Restaurant News highlighting 50 food options available at Major League baseball parks for the 2018 season.

Saturday, 20 July 2013 12:45

Base Your So Cal Vacation in San Diego

Downton SD View from Harbor Island PicmonkeyDownton San Diego viewed from Harbor Island. Photo by Joanne DiBona

Nearly perfect weather, palm-lined beaches and a friendly, easy-going vibe make San Diego the quintessential Southern California (SoCal) experience. California’s second largest city also offers vacationers the ideal home base for exploring the entire SoCal region with easy access to nearby Anaheim, Los Angeles, Temecula Valley and neighboring Mexico.With direct flights from nearly 50 major U.S. and Canadian cities and a manageable, centrally located airport in the heart of downtown, arriving in San Diego is quick and hassle-free. Visitors can check-in and begin their vacation shortly after landing with dozens of hotels, ranging from family friendly to boutique and luxurious, located just a 10-minute drive from the airport in downtown and neighboring communities like picturesque Harbor Island, Shelter Island and Old Town San Diego.Downtown San Diego and popular neighborhoods are walkable, casual and friendly. The city’s urban core is surrounded by picturesque San Diego Bay and a vast outdoor playground, defined by 70 miles of stunning Pacific coastline. With easy-to-navigate public transportation, uncomplicated freeways and Amtrak servicing northern neighbors, Anaheim and Los Angeles, visitors can base their vacation in San Diego and venture effortlessly to other popular SoCal destinations. San Diego makes for the perfect SoCal vacation with the following suggested day trips.

Sea World San Diego PicmonkeyDolphins are fun at Sea World San Diego.

Attraction ActionSouthern California is recognized for its popular family attractions, and San Diego is home to several, including SeaWorld San Diego, LEGOLAND California Resort, the world-famous San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Fortunately for families, the original Disneyland in Anaheim and Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles are just a quick hop up the road from San Diego and are part of the money-saving Southern California CityPASS. 

Getting there: Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner runs from downtown San Diego’s historic Santa Fe Depot to Anaheim with a station located at the Disneyland Resort; the travel time is just over 2 hours station to station. The drive from San Diego to Disneyland is an easy 90-minute cruise up Interstate 5, making it a cinch to get there and back in one day. Los Angeles is a longer drive north and a further stop on Amtrak which would most likely require an overnight stay while visiting Universal Studios Hollywood.

Money savings tip: Guests can package their trip to popular SoCal attractions and save money with the Southern California CityPASS. Valid for 14 days, this single admission card allows guests three days of access to Disneyland

Hollywood Boulevard Sign PicmonkeyIt's just a couple of hours north of San Diego.

Hooray for HollywoodFrom audience favorites Anchorman and Top Gun to film classics Some Like It Hot and Citizen Kane, many San Diego locations have played important roles in film history. Film buffs traveling to San Diego can walk in the footsteps of Will Ferrell, Tom Cruise, Marilyn Monroe and the master filmmaker Orson Welles before heading north to Los Angeles, the film capital of the world. 

Getting there: Just over a two-hour drive from downtown San Diego, Hollywood offers movie fans Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the chance to see one of their favorite film or TV actors in person. For visitors who don’t want to maneuver through Los Angeles’ expansive, and oftentimes complicated, freeway system, they can also take an Amtrak train to downtown Los Angeles and get around on the city’s rapid transit rail system; its most popular line connects downtown L.A. with Hollywood. A visit to Hollywood is a must-do for many SoCal visitors and can be an easy overnight stay from San Diego.

Keeping it local: San Diego visitors can get a feel for Hollywood at a variety of local settings. Kansas City Barbecue in downtown San Diego served as the backdrop for some of Top Gun’s popular bar scenes, and fans of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy know the importance of the “Panda Watch,” so a visit to the San Diego Zoo with the endangered pandas on display is a must-do for many visitors. The iconic Hotel del Coronado, set along the beautiful Pacific, was the backdrop for the 1959 comedy classic Some Like it Hot, featuring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

Wine Country, Social StyleKohill Winery tasting room PicmonkeyEast County wineries like Kohill are friendly.San Diego’s East County is a burgeoning wine region with new wines being harvested in the rural communities of Ramona and Warner Springs. Pair these offerings with a trip to the award-winning wineries of the Temecula Valley Wine Country, located just 45 minutes north of downtown San Diego, and wine aficionados can enjoy the romance of a wine vacation without leaving southern California.  

Touring the wineries: Numerous wineries located in San Diego and Temecula offer a wide variety of experiences. Some stand atop hills and provide sweeping views of the Temecula Valley, while others are set off secluded, winding dirt roads; almost all offer wine tastings and tours daily. Many San Diego tour companies offer round-trip wine tasting excursions to Temecula’s wineries, and Destination Temecula offers a variety of tours departing from several San Diego area hotels. Tours include deluxe transportation to and from wineries, with informative narration by knowledgeable guides along the way.

Beyond the region:  California’s award-winning wines reap international recognition, and San Diego is the perfect starting point for a California wine vacation. Guests can begin their journey in San Diego and Temecula Valley and sip their way through popular wineries in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo before ending up in the vineyards of Napa Valley and Sonoma County in northern California

Two-Nation Vacation

San Diego’s unique location along the U.S.-Mexican border provides the perfect home base for visitors to enjoy the best of both San Diego and Tijuana, a city that has experienced remarkable growth in its culinary and cultural offerings in recent years. With an incredible Mexican heritage and influence stateside complemented by exciting dining and arts south of the border, San Diego and Tijuana enjoy a close bond that make for a unique two-nation vacation.

Getting there: The Mexican border is located only 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of downtown San Diego, making a day trip to Tijuana quick, easy and convenient. Guests can drive to the border and park at one of many lots located on the U.S. side before walking into Mexico, and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System also transports guests from downtown to the border on a light rail trolley that runs daily. Avenue Revolucion, Tijuana’s main tourist center full of restaurants, shops and street vendors, is located only a short walk or taxi drive from the border.

Best of Baja: The easiest and most enjoyable way to experience Tijuana is on a day-trip tour. San Diego Scenic Tours offers full- and half-day tours that explore the top sights of Tijuana, departing directly from many San Diego hotels. For a taste of how the locals enjoy Tijuana, Turista Libre offers tours exploring some of Tijuana’s hidden gems, including a disco roller rink and water park, that meet and depart from the border.


Editor's Note: provided TASTE News Service with information for this article. For more information, visit or Taste California Travel's Resource Directory where you'll find links to to the websites hundreds of Lodging and Dining options in San Diego County, as well as links to area wineries and beer-centric establishments. 

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