Things to Do in San Diego - page 3
As the longest operating brewery in San Diego, Karl Strauss has quite the legacy in the burgeoning brewery scene of the city. It is often credited as the brewery that began the craft brew craze of San Diego County. Yet it’s not only locally recognized — the team continues to make some of the best beers in the country. Karl Strauss beers have won nearly 100 medals since 2009 alone, and has taken top honors as the best mid-size brewery at the Great American Beer Festival.
Their brewpub in downtown San Diego was the city’s first, opting for stronger handcrafted flavors against the light, mass-produced popular American beers. Today they’re making several different types of beers, including their popular San Diego-style IPA. The amber ales, pale ales, wheat ales, and stouts also receive high praise. As a founder of the San Diego brewing scene, it is recognized as an essential stop on any beer tour of the city.
Located within the same grounds and operated by the same people as LEGOLAND®, the SEA LIFE® Aquarium is a part of a long line of aquariums open to tourists in the San Diego area. However, this aquarium, which is found in Carlsbad, California, has a bit of a twist making it very different than all the other sea exhibitions in the region. The SEA LIFE aquarium blends the LEGO® theme with the underwater world exhibitions.
Geared towards children and education in a fun way, the SEA LIFE exhibition contains play zones, quiz trails and a number of interactive enclosures. The biggest attraction here is a giant pacific octopus. Guests to the aquarium can actually watch the highly intelligent animal solve puzzles, play with different toys and learn about how these great animals eat and survive in the wild. Other popular animals at the aquarium include clown fish, reef sharks, cownose rays, and seahorse. There is also an interactive rock pool where you can see, and even touch, star fish.
Green Flash, now one of the largest breweries in San Diego’s burgeoning craft beer scene, has always focused on producing strong IPAs. From their first West Coast IPA to the variety of brews available today, intense flavors and high hops have been part of their trademark. Many of their beers are award-winning, taking top honors in national and international beer tastings.
Visitors to the original brewery get the chance to taste their beers as well as have a behind-the-scenes look at its production. After learning about the brewing process, most will agree it is essential to be able to taste the final product. With dozens of beers on tap there are classics as well as seasonal offerings that taste great alone or pair well with food. There’s a beer garden and a rotating food truck beside the brewery for additional food and merriment.
San Diego's Aquatica waterpark features seven long water slides, many pools to play in, and even flamingo and turtle habitats. The tallest water slide at Aquatica San Diego is the 80-foot Hoo Roo Run, with four twisting slides, but there are two others that are at least 75 feet long, including a tornado water slide. There are also play pools suitable for younger kids, and a 500,000-gallon wave pool.
Stretching from the waterfront to Interstate 5, downtown San Diego is home to a wealth of recreational attractions, restaurants, walkable neighborhoods, and historical sights. It’s a great starting point to get oriented with the city before branching out to the beaches and surrounding areas.
B-Street Pier & Cruise Ship Terminal is the principal pier for the close to half a dozen cruise lines that dock at San Diego Cruise Port, one that’s also conveniently situated in downtown San Diego. Cruisers departing San Diego can head to Mexico, the Caribbean, and beyond; meanwhile, those arriving in San Diego can explore all the city has to offer.
The ritziest of San Diego’s seaside suburbs, with a Tudor aesthetic that somehow doesn’t feel out of place, Del Mar boasts restaurants, galleries, high-end boutiques, and a horse-racing track where locals and visitors gather in the summer for races and other events.
This amusement park is a popular stop for locals and San Diego visitors, especially if you have kids in tow. Speedsters will want to race on the track strapped in to one of Boomers go karts. If you’re looking for fun that comes with a slower speed, you can test you swing on the miniature golf course. The family-friendly course comes with water and windmills to keep the game interesting. Little ones will also enjoy the Kid’s County Fair. The miniature amusement park has a Ferris wheel and an assortment of other rides and attractions just for them.
Batting cages serve up pitches just the right speed, but if you’d rather set sail, bumper boats are the way to travel. Climb aboard ready to soak up some fun. Every boat is equipped with a water cannon.
Humans, in a word, are utterly and truly fascinating. Creating art is a human tendency as old as humans themselves, and here at the Mingei International Museum, folk art from over 140 countries is on intriguing and captivating display. Though exhibits here are constantly changing, examples of work include handmade dolls that date to the 19th century, to exquisite, hand turned, wooden bowls and weavings from grass and leaves. There have sections devoted to global headdresses and an extensive collection of tequila bottles, and—in true San Diego fashion—a large exhibit made entirely from surfboards that explores the art of surfing. Above all, it’s human creativity itself on display that’s manifested in thousands of forms, and there’s an uplifting, unifying, and inspiring spirit that accompanies a day spent browsing the genius of our planet’s myriad cultures.
There’s more to sports in San Diego than the Padres, Aztecs, and Chargers. Sport has played an enormous role in this California city’s history, and here at the San Diego Hall of Champions, exhibits display how sailing and surfing have also shaped the town’s heritage. Inside the halls of what’s officially the nation’s largest multi-sport museum, visitors will find everything from the history of the America’s Cup to a collection of the 100 different San Diego athletes who have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated. This is also the site of the Breitbard Hall of Fame—a display that recognizes native San Diegans who have excelled in professional sport. Currently, the hall of fame recognizes 135 athletes from 20 different sports, and over 42 sports in total are represented in this soaring, three-story museum.
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Since first being brewed at home by two friends in college, Ballast Point has risen the ranks of craft breweries nationwide and tops the San Diego brewing scene. Their Sculpin IPA is well recognized by beer enthusiasts, receiving gold medal awards for its flavor and balance.
A visit to the original brewery allows for tastings of their beers as well as a behind-the-scenes look at production. You’ll also learn about the history of the brewery and their unique styles of brewing. The brewery is also a great place to try many of the experimental and/or seasonal brews that may only be available on site. Flavors such as grapefruit, habanero pepper, and watermelon are available to sample, and more than twenty beers are on rotation fresh from the tap.
San Diego is known as a top craft brewery city in the whole of the United States, and Ballast Point has become a hallmark of its beer scene. It’s a must-stop on any tour of the city’s breweries.
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