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San Diego, California

In the city that boasts America's best climate, it's no surprise that most of San Diego's fun is found outdoors

By: David Geffner

Appeared in April 2006 LINKS

Whether it’s shopping in downtown’s trendy Gaslamp Quarter, open-air spa treatments in Del Mar or golf in one of the area’s coastal towns, every attraction is just a short freeway hop away.

Want to be humbled by the same thick Kikuyu rough and yawning canyons that give tour pros pause? Check out Torrey Pines. Looking for something more exclusive? Stay at the romantic Inn at Rancho Santa Fe and you can score a tee time on some of San Diego’s private clubs, including Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club’s classic Max Behr design.

Taking advantage of year-round monthly temperatures that average from 65 to 78 degrees, families can enjoy attractions like Sea World, LEGOLAND and San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park, not to mention the city’s 70-plus miles of beaches.

If you have a few hours, there’s no better SoCal experience than getting off the freeway and venturing up the coast, stopping in towns like Pacific Beach, Del Mar and Solana Beach for a cocktail or a quick bite. But no matter how long your stay, remember a favorite San Diego saying: “Slow down! This is not L.A.”

Golf
Overlooking the Pacific, Torrey Pines offers two spectacular munis. Rees Jones renovated the South in preparation for the 2008 U.S. Open, moving greens closer to the cliffs and stretching the beast to 7,607 yards. Guests of the Lodge at Torrey Pines have guaranteed tee times. The rare five-needle pine tree grows only on La Jolla’s cliffs and Santa Rosa Island.

Continue north to Carlsbad and Four Seasons Resort Aviara Golf Club, a challenging Arnold Palmer design set on rolling terrain, perched above Batiquitos Lagoon and lined with native eucalyptus, cypress and gnarled oak trees. After golf, wind down at the resort’s 15,000-square-foot European-style spa.

Finally, call ahead and inquire about a round on the composite routing at La Costa Resort and Spa used for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship—Nos. 1–3 and 13–18 on the North, and the back nine of the South. You might get lucky and find a day the resort can accommodate your request.

Accommodations
Downtown: Britt Scripps Inn
Carlsbad: Four Seasons Resort Aviara
Coronado: Hotel Del Coronado
Del Mar: L’Auberge Del Mar
La Jolla: The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Dining
Downtown:  Salvatore’s Cucina Italiana for the city’s best Tuscan cuisine
Coronado: Sunday brunch at the Del’s world-famous Crown Room
Del Mar: Contemporary steak and seafood at Jordan
La Jolla: Three distinct ocean-view dining experiences at George’s at the Cove
Rancho Santa Fe: Classic French fare at Mille Fleurs

Activities
The quaint row of shops and cafes on Coronado Island’s Orange Avenue; Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla; windsurfing lessons in Mission Bay; betting on the ponies at Del Mar racetrack; wine tasting at Bernardo Winery.

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Travel & Resorts
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