Julia Weiler

Correspondent

  • San Diego, California, USA

Julia Weiler is a correspondent who covers San Diego for Forbes Travel Guide. Her wanderlust has lead her on far-flung adventures, like housesitting in Fiji, backpacking through Southeast Asia, road-tripping in Mexico and building homes in Papua New Guinea with Habitat for Humanity. Her stories are published in an award-winning series of humorous travel anthologies, including Whose Panties Are These?, What Color Is Your Jockstrap? and More Sand in My Bra (the latter of which she co-edited). Weiler contributes to Ocean Home Magazine and is a correspondent for the website Wine and Dine San Diego. When not wandering or writing, she likes surfing Southern California’s best breaks.

  • On March 31, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What are the best bars in San Diego?

    Swankier than your standard bar, the Vodka Lounge at 333 Pacific serves top-shelf martinis in a lux ocean-front setting for the slick price of only $7 each.  Sip on dessert-inspired drinks like Key Lime Pie and Toasted Macaroon for a sweet treat with a kick or opt for the 120 Cosmo, a lo-cal “skinny” cocktail that’s fat on flavor. 

    Pair your aperitif with savory seafood canapés expertly prepared by Chef Bryon Hyre.  Choose from an assortment of sumptuous sushi rolls or pick a spicy platter of crab, shrimp and lobster nachos.  If you visit the lounge during happy hour you can snack on a selection of seven appetizers such as calamari and ceviche for a mere $7 per. 

    While the martinis are always $7each in the Vodka Lounge the venue offers weekly specials as well.  Slip in on Sundays for the seafood special paired with a stem of bubbly for $14 or meander in on Mondays for microbrew madness with pints like Stone Pale Ale offered at $4 per pour.  Thursdays are burger and brew themed with 3 Kobe beef sliders combined with a flight of 3 craft drafts for $15.

    The Vodka Lounge at 333 Pacific is located in beautiful Oceanside just a stone throw away from wide palm-lined beaches.  Look for the Wyndham Oceanside Pier Resort across from the historic wooden pier.  The lounge and restaurant are situated on the resort’s first floor at 333 N. Pacific Street, Oceanside CA 92054.

    *****

    Located in the fashionable Cedros Avenue Design District in artsy Solana Beach, the internationally admired Belly Up Tavern is one of the coolest concert venues and watering holes in all of San Diego.  Lauded for its longtime history of bringing popular performers to the area, Belly Up has consistently won the vote for “Best Live Music Venue” in local publications such as San Diego Magazine, the Union Tribune and The Reader.

    The voguish venue is known for hosting a wide array of entertainers ranging from contemporary artists like newcomer Tristan Prettyman, to well-established and much-loved musicians such as Ziggy Marley and old school favorite B.B. King.  The trendy tavern tends to attract a hip crowd which often includes celebrities.  Prince Harry was recently spotted at the club where he had a royal good time hanging with locals and grooving to San Diego’s best beats.  Rolling Stone Magazine named Belly Up as one of the west coast’s hottest clubs.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What are the best restaurants in San Diego?

    Celebrity chef and restaurateur Brian Malarkey of ABC’s The Taste and Bravo’s Top Chef fame boasts a collection of eclectic yet undeniably popular eateries in San Diego County.  While they share the commonality of fabric-themed names and the concept of providing a social dining experience, each restaurant is unique when it comes to atmosphere and menu. 

    Malarkey’s Searsucker, located in the hip and historic Gaslamp Quarter, is a favorite among San Diegans.  The bustling eatery dishes out contemporary American comfort food in a laid-back environment featuring rustic furnishings, open beams and architectural salvage pieces. 

    Also in the family, Burlap brings Malarkey’s penchant for unique ambiance and delicious eats to the seaside town of Del Mar.  Described by Brian himself as “Asian cowboy” the cuisine consists of surf and turf items presented with bold Asian twists.  The East meets West theme is also reflected in the restaurant’s quirky décor.

    The cowboy premise continues at Malarkey’s Gingham in La Mesa.  The neighborhood eatery touts itself as an “urban cowboy diner” and piles its plates with BBQ meats partnered with local craft drafts.  Decked out with a duo of bulky bars and a spacious patio built around a fire pit, it is a popular place to dine both indoors and out.

    Gabardine is the fourth fabric-themed eatery and is located in Point Loma where Malarkey also resides.  The concept for this venue is based on creating the atmosphere of a “neighborhood kitchen” where diners can “gab, bar and dine” in a relaxed and cozy environment.  The menu is made up of small and large plates featuring local produce and seafood along with side dishes meant for sharing.

    Last but not least, Herringbone in ocean-close La Jolla is Malarkey’s most recent venture.  The venue pays homage to its seaside location with an eclectic mix of décor that makes guests feel as if they are eating dinner in someone’s private bohemian beach house.  Mature olive trees, cozy sofas and fireplaces add to the homey charm while creative menu items from land and sea delight palates.

    *****

    If you are looking for fine dining, the best restaurants in San Diego are Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Addison, which is tucked into The Grand Del Mar, and Four-Star A.R. Valentien in The Lodge at Torrey Pines. At Addison, chef William Bradley crafts a prix-fixe seasonal menu with dishes featuring local ingredients and contemporary French influences. At A.R. Valentien, chef Jeff Jackson also focuses on fresh, local ingredients, but he turns out contemporary American fare. Both of them are great fine-dining spots.

    Located in the heart of downtown San Diego’s ultra-hip Gaslamp Quarter, Gaijin Noodle + Sake House takes the trend of Asian fusion and raises it to the level of culinary artwork.  Chef Antonio Friscia, while gaijin indeed, has a firm grip on preparing authentic Japanese cuisine.  It is this knowledge which allows him to bend the rules and mingle traditional dishes with other Asian elements for some seriously savory synthesis.

    Only the best and freshest local ingredients go into chef Friscia’s dishes and he takes the time to get his recipes just right.  His lobster and veggie infused dashis, for example, take him upwards of three days to craft which is evidenced in the exquisite broths of his ramen bowls and uni green tea soba noodles.   Another treat for taste buds is his “tongue & cheek” bao bao which offers a lot of bang for the bun with a spicy filling of braised beef tongue and cheek with peanuts, tamarind, jalepeño, cilantro and red rock sugar.

    Guests can wash it all down with sake or cool cocktails made with house-infused vodkas and kakigori, a type of Japanese shaved ice.  Be sure to save room for a sweet finish of mocha or green tea tiramisu.  Gaijin is located at 672 Fourth Avenue in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What are the best restaurants in San Diego?

    Celebrity chef and restaurateur Brian Malarkey of ABC’s The Taste and Bravo’s Top Chef fame boasts a collection of eclectic yet undeniably popular eateries in San Diego County.  While they share the commonality of fabric-themed names and the concept of providing a social dining experience, each restaurant is unique when it comes to atmosphere and menu. 

    Malarkey’s Searsucker, located in the hip and historic Gaslamp Quarter, is a favorite among San Diegans.  The bustling eatery dishes out contemporary American comfort food in a laid-back environment featuring rustic furnishings, open beams and architectural salvage pieces. 

    Also in the family, Burlap brings Malarkey’s penchant for unique ambiance and delicious eats to the seaside town of Del Mar.  Described by Brian himself as “Asian cowboy” the cuisine consists of surf and turf items presented with bold Asian twists.  The East meets West theme is also reflected in the restaurant’s quirky décor.

    The cowboy premise continues at Malarkey’s Gingham in La Mesa.  The neighborhood eatery touts itself as an “urban cowboy diner” and piles its plates with BBQ meats partnered with local craft drafts.  Decked out with a duo of bulky bars and a spacious patio built around a fire pit, it is a popular place to dine both indoors and out.

    Gabardine is the fourth fabric-themed eatery and is located in Point Loma where Malarkey also resides.  The concept for this venue is based on creating the atmosphere of a “neighborhood kitchen” where diners can “gab, bar and dine” in a relaxed and cozy environment.  The menu is made up of small and large plates featuring local produce and seafood along with side dishes meant for sharing.

    Last but not least, Herringbone in ocean-close La Jolla is Malarkey’s most recent venture.  The venue pays homage to its seaside location with an eclectic mix of décor that makes guests feel as if they are eating dinner in someone’s private bohemian beach house.  Mature olive trees, cozy sofas and fireplaces add to the homey charm while creative menu items from land and sea delight palates.

    *****

    If you are looking for fine dining, the best restaurants in San Diego are Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Addison, which is tucked into The Grand Del Mar, and Four-Star A.R. Valentien in The Lodge at Torrey Pines. At Addison, chef William Bradley crafts a prix-fixe seasonal menu with dishes featuring local ingredients and contemporary French influences. At A.R. Valentien, chef Jeff Jackson also focuses on fresh, local ingredients, but he turns out contemporary American fare. Both of them are great fine-dining spots.

    Located in the heart of downtown San Diego’s ultra-hip Gaslamp Quarter, Gaijin Noodle + Sake House takes the trend of Asian fusion and raises it to the level of culinary artwork.  Chef Antonio Friscia, while gaijin indeed, has a firm grip on preparing authentic Japanese cuisine.  It is this knowledge which allows him to bend the rules and mingle traditional dishes with other Asian elements for some seriously savory synthesis.

    Only the best and freshest local ingredients go into chef Friscia’s dishes and he takes the time to get his recipes just right.  His lobster and veggie infused dashis, for example, take him upwards of three days to craft which is evidenced in the exquisite broths of his ramen bowls and uni green tea soba noodles.   Another treat for taste buds is his “tongue & cheek” bao bao which offers a lot of bang for the bun with a spicy filling of braised beef tongue and cheek with peanuts, tamarind, jalepeño, cilantro and red rock sugar.

    Guests can wash it all down with sake or cool cocktails made with house-infused vodkas and kakigori, a type of Japanese shaved ice.  Be sure to save room for a sweet finish of mocha or green tea tiramisu.  Gaijin is located at 672 Fourth Avenue in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What are the best restaurants in San Diego?

    Celebrity chef and restaurateur Brian Malarkey of ABC’s The Taste and Bravo’s Top Chef fame boasts a collection of eclectic yet undeniably popular eateries in San Diego County.  While they share the commonality of fabric-themed names and the concept of providing a social dining experience, each restaurant is unique when it comes to atmosphere and menu. 

    Malarkey’s Searsucker, located in the hip and historic Gaslamp Quarter, is a favorite among San Diegans.  The bustling eatery dishes out contemporary American comfort food in a laid-back environment featuring rustic furnishings, open beams and architectural salvage pieces. 

    Also in the family, Burlap brings Malarkey’s penchant for unique ambiance and delicious eats to the seaside town of Del Mar.  Described by Brian himself as “Asian cowboy” the cuisine consists of surf and turf items presented with bold Asian twists.  The East meets West theme is also reflected in the restaurant’s quirky décor.

    The cowboy premise continues at Malarkey’s Gingham in La Mesa.  The neighborhood eatery touts itself as an “urban cowboy diner” and piles its plates with BBQ meats partnered with local craft drafts.  Decked out with a duo of bulky bars and a spacious patio built around a fire pit, it is a popular place to dine both indoors and out.

    Gabardine is the fourth fabric-themed eatery and is located in Point Loma where Malarkey also resides.  The concept for this venue is based on creating the atmosphere of a “neighborhood kitchen” where diners can “gab, bar and dine” in a relaxed and cozy environment.  The menu is made up of small and large plates featuring local produce and seafood along with side dishes meant for sharing.

    Last but not least, Herringbone in ocean-close La Jolla is Malarkey’s most recent venture.  The venue pays homage to its seaside location with an eclectic mix of décor that makes guests feel as if they are eating dinner in someone’s private bohemian beach house.  Mature olive trees, cozy sofas and fireplaces add to the homey charm while creative menu items from land and sea delight palates.

    *****

    If you are looking for fine dining, the best restaurants in San Diego are Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Addison, which is tucked into The Grand Del Mar, and Four-Star A.R. Valentien in The Lodge at Torrey Pines. At Addison, chef William Bradley crafts a prix-fixe seasonal menu with dishes featuring local ingredients and contemporary French influences. At A.R. Valentien, chef Jeff Jackson also focuses on fresh, local ingredients, but he turns out contemporary American fare. Both of them are great fine-dining spots.

    Located in the heart of downtown San Diego’s ultra-hip Gaslamp Quarter, Gaijin Noodle + Sake House takes the trend of Asian fusion and raises it to the level of culinary artwork.  Chef Antonio Friscia, while gaijin indeed, has a firm grip on preparing authentic Japanese cuisine.  It is this knowledge which allows him to bend the rules and mingle traditional dishes with other Asian elements for some seriously savory synthesis.

    Only the best and freshest local ingredients go into chef Friscia’s dishes and he takes the time to get his recipes just right.  His lobster and veggie infused dashis, for example, take him upwards of three days to craft which is evidenced in the exquisite broths of his ramen bowls and uni green tea soba noodles.   Another treat for taste buds is his “tongue & cheek” bao bao which offers a lot of bang for the bun with a spicy filling of braised beef tongue and cheek with peanuts, tamarind, jalepeño, cilantro and red rock sugar.

    Guests can wash it all down with sake or cool cocktails made with house-infused vodkas and kakigori, a type of Japanese shaved ice.  Be sure to save room for a sweet finish of mocha or green tea tiramisu.  Gaijin is located at 672 Fourth Avenue in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    Where is the best shopping in San Diego?

    Shoppers in search of high fashion at low prices will be thrilled to discover San Diego’s treasure trove of outlet malls.  Top-end designers and leading brand-name stores can be found conveniently clustered together in San Diego’s South Bay and Coastal North County.  Fashionistas who shop these stylish centers are rewarded with haute couture at discounts between 25 - 65%.

    An excursion to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets in Coastal North County is well worth the drive.  The outlet mall, located in the serene seaside town of Carlsbad, offers a lovely al fresco shopping experience complete with lush landscaping, beautiful storefronts and occasional live music.  Enjoy the ocean air as you stroll the breezeways seeking steals from designers such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Michael Kors and Elie Tahari.

    Las Americas Premium Outlets in San Diego’s South Bay is another gorgeous outdoor outlet mall.  Savor budget-savvy shopping sprees surrounded by elegant architecture, statuesque sculptures and beautiful courtyards dotted by bubbling fountains.  Visitors will delight in the vast array of discounted fashion from top-end brands such as Banana Republic, BCBG Max Azria and Nautica.

    *****

    The seaside resort town of La Jolla is arguably one of the best and most pleasant places to shop in San Diego.  Often compared to Rodeo Drive, the La Jolla Cove neighborhood is an affluent area that is home to several hip shops and high-end boutiques.   Stroll the stylish sidewalks and discover cutting-edge jewelry, one of a kind outfits and lavish labels from designers like Armani and Ralph Lauren.  When you tire of hunting for haute fashion cool your well-heeled feet at one of La Jolla’s open-air cafés.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What are the best activities to do in San Diego?

    San Diego’s mild climate and plentiful sunshine make it a perfect place to grow agricultural crops and raise livestock.  As a result, the area’s Farmer’s Markets offer a bounty of unique local products ranging from farmstead-fresh fruits and veggies to artisan cheeses, gourmet honeys, fragrant herbs and bouquets of blooming flowers.

    These homegrown marketplaces are a treat to explore for locals and visitors alike, and at least one takes place somewhere in the county every day of the week.  Growers from more than 6,600 San Diego farms flock to these Farmer’s Markets to mingle with shoppers, lend insight into their agricultural practices and vend the cream of their crops directly to the customer. 

    Along with fresh ingredients such as produce, meat and dairy, a wide array of prepared foods is also available for purchase.  Street treats such as grilled artichokes or salads of field greens dressed with heirloom tomato vinaigrette are among the offerings.  Other items such as fresh salsas, hummus and olive tapenades are available to enjoy on site or to take home for later.  Best of all, most booths offer samples.

    Many of the markets feature live music, handmade crafts, clothing and artwork and community workshops such as cooking demonstrations, home gardening techniques and more.  For a complete list of San Diego’s markets as well as location, days and times, please visit Farm Bureau of San Diego.

    *****

    Wandering through San Diego’s vastly diverse neighborhoods is a great way to explore the city.  From the rollicking energy of the Gaslamp Quarter to the quaint charms of Little Italy here are three must-visit vicinities:

    • The Gaslamp Quarter

    Known for it’s lively vibe, stylish shopping, trendy restaurants and hipster-studded nightlife, this slick cosmopolitan neighborhood is an exciting place to spend the day.  Best explored by foot, the historic neighborhood encompasses 16-square blocks of Victorian-era buildings that house a wide array of art galleries, boutiques, pubs, theatres, nightclubs and museums.  The name “Gaslamp Quarter” stems from the gas lamps that once dotted San Diego’s streets.  Be sure to scout out their replicas as you stroll this cool community. 


    • Little Italy

    This sweet and scenic hillside neighborhood was once a sleepy Italian fishing village.  While much of the vintage charm and architecture still exists today it has become a bustling downtown neighborhood comprised of 46 pleasantly walk-able blocks with plenty to do and see.  India Street, the town’s main thoroughfare features tree-lined plazas, public art installations, groovy galleries and intriguing shops filled with antique treasures.  Be sure to stop in at one of the sidewalk cafés to dine on authentic Italian cuisine al fresco.  If you’re lucky enough to be in Little Italy on a Saturday don’t miss out on the fresh fish, fruit and veggies for sale at the famous Farmer’s Mercato. 


    • Old Town

    This captivating Mission-style neighborhood is rich with charm and history.  It’s the eldest developed area of San Diego and is considered to be the birthplace of California.  The town pays homage to its significant antiquity with a collection of original and reconstructed buildings from the 1800’s including historic adobe casas, restored Victorian houses and San Diego’s very first public schoolhouse.  Museums and parks round out the historic attractions while lively shopping centers and festive Mexican eateries add modern-day flair to the Old Town experience.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What are the best activities to do in San Diego?

    San Diego’s mild climate and plentiful sunshine make it a perfect place to grow agricultural crops and raise livestock.  As a result, the area’s Farmer’s Markets offer a bounty of unique local products ranging from farmstead-fresh fruits and veggies to artisan cheeses, gourmet honeys, fragrant herbs and bouquets of blooming flowers.

    These homegrown marketplaces are a treat to explore for locals and visitors alike, and at least one takes place somewhere in the county every day of the week.  Growers from more than 6,600 San Diego farms flock to these Farmer’s Markets to mingle with shoppers, lend insight into their agricultural practices and vend the cream of their crops directly to the customer. 

    Along with fresh ingredients such as produce, meat and dairy, a wide array of prepared foods is also available for purchase.  Street treats such as grilled artichokes or salads of field greens dressed with heirloom tomato vinaigrette are among the offerings.  Other items such as fresh salsas, hummus and olive tapenades are available to enjoy on site or to take home for later.  Best of all, most booths offer samples.

    Many of the markets feature live music, handmade crafts, clothing and artwork and community workshops such as cooking demonstrations, home gardening techniques and more.  For a complete list of San Diego’s markets as well as location, days and times, please visit Farm Bureau of San Diego.

    *****

    Wandering through San Diego’s vastly diverse neighborhoods is a great way to explore the city.  From the rollicking energy of the Gaslamp Quarter to the quaint charms of Little Italy here are three must-visit vicinities:

    • The Gaslamp Quarter

    Known for it’s lively vibe, stylish shopping, trendy restaurants and hipster-studded nightlife, this slick cosmopolitan neighborhood is an exciting place to spend the day.  Best explored by foot, the historic neighborhood encompasses 16-square blocks of Victorian-era buildings that house a wide array of art galleries, boutiques, pubs, theatres, nightclubs and museums.  The name “Gaslamp Quarter” stems from the gas lamps that once dotted San Diego’s streets.  Be sure to scout out their replicas as you stroll this cool community. 


    • Little Italy

    This sweet and scenic hillside neighborhood was once a sleepy Italian fishing village.  While much of the vintage charm and architecture still exists today it has become a bustling downtown neighborhood comprised of 46 pleasantly walk-able blocks with plenty to do and see.  India Street, the town’s main thoroughfare features tree-lined plazas, public art installations, groovy galleries and intriguing shops filled with antique treasures.  Be sure to stop in at one of the sidewalk cafés to dine on authentic Italian cuisine al fresco.  If you’re lucky enough to be in Little Italy on a Saturday don’t miss out on the fresh fish, fruit and veggies for sale at the famous Farmer’s Mercato. 


    • Old Town

    This captivating Mission-style neighborhood is rich with charm and history.  It’s the eldest developed area of San Diego and is considered to be the birthplace of California.  The town pays homage to its significant antiquity with a collection of original and reconstructed buildings from the 1800’s including historic adobe casas, restored Victorian houses and San Diego’s very first public schoolhouse.  Museums and parks round out the historic attractions while lively shopping centers and festive Mexican eateries add modern-day flair to the Old Town experience.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What are the best activities to do in San Diego?

    San Diego’s mild climate and plentiful sunshine make it a perfect place to grow agricultural crops and raise livestock.  As a result, the area’s Farmer’s Markets offer a bounty of unique local products ranging from farmstead-fresh fruits and veggies to artisan cheeses, gourmet honeys, fragrant herbs and bouquets of blooming flowers.

    These homegrown marketplaces are a treat to explore for locals and visitors alike, and at least one takes place somewhere in the county every day of the week.  Growers from more than 6,600 San Diego farms flock to these Farmer’s Markets to mingle with shoppers, lend insight into their agricultural practices and vend the cream of their crops directly to the customer. 

    Along with fresh ingredients such as produce, meat and dairy, a wide array of prepared foods is also available for purchase.  Street treats such as grilled artichokes or salads of field greens dressed with heirloom tomato vinaigrette are among the offerings.  Other items such as fresh salsas, hummus and olive tapenades are available to enjoy on site or to take home for later.  Best of all, most booths offer samples.

    Many of the markets feature live music, handmade crafts, clothing and artwork and community workshops such as cooking demonstrations, home gardening techniques and more.  For a complete list of San Diego’s markets as well as location, days and times, please visit Farm Bureau of San Diego.

    *****

    Wandering through San Diego’s vastly diverse neighborhoods is a great way to explore the city.  From the rollicking energy of the Gaslamp Quarter to the quaint charms of Little Italy here are three must-visit vicinities:

    • The Gaslamp Quarter

    Known for it’s lively vibe, stylish shopping, trendy restaurants and hipster-studded nightlife, this slick cosmopolitan neighborhood is an exciting place to spend the day.  Best explored by foot, the historic neighborhood encompasses 16-square blocks of Victorian-era buildings that house a wide array of art galleries, boutiques, pubs, theatres, nightclubs and museums.  The name “Gaslamp Quarter” stems from the gas lamps that once dotted San Diego’s streets.  Be sure to scout out their replicas as you stroll this cool community. 


    • Little Italy

    This sweet and scenic hillside neighborhood was once a sleepy Italian fishing village.  While much of the vintage charm and architecture still exists today it has become a bustling downtown neighborhood comprised of 46 pleasantly walk-able blocks with plenty to do and see.  India Street, the town’s main thoroughfare features tree-lined plazas, public art installations, groovy galleries and intriguing shops filled with antique treasures.  Be sure to stop in at one of the sidewalk cafés to dine on authentic Italian cuisine al fresco.  If you’re lucky enough to be in Little Italy on a Saturday don’t miss out on the fresh fish, fruit and veggies for sale at the famous Farmer’s Mercato. 


    • Old Town

    This captivating Mission-style neighborhood is rich with charm and history.  It’s the eldest developed area of San Diego and is considered to be the birthplace of California.  The town pays homage to its significant antiquity with a collection of original and reconstructed buildings from the 1800’s including historic adobe casas, restored Victorian houses and San Diego’s very first public schoolhouse.  Museums and parks round out the historic attractions while lively shopping centers and festive Mexican eateries add modern-day flair to the Old Town experience.
  • On March 31, 2013
    Julia Weiler answered the question: Julia Weiler

    What are the best attractions in San Diego?

    This sun-drenched city by the bay has so much to offer that it’s difficult to decide which attractions to put on your must-see list.  Even so, there is one standout that should not be missed.  Located on the North Embarcadero in downtown San Diego, the Maritime Museum of San Diego harbors one of the world’s greatest gatherings of carefully restored and meticulously maintained historic ships, many of which still operate today. 

    The prized collection includes The Star of India, a steel-hulled wooden sailing vessel.  Built in 1863, this National Historic Landmark spans an impressive sparred length of 280 feet and has a 35-foot beam.  During its lifetime, the Star of India circumnavigated the globe 21 times, weathered a cyclone, survived a collision and experienced a mutiny.  Museum guests may step aboard and explore this amazing vessel, which is the oldest active sailing ship in the world.  

    Along with several other sailing ships, the maritime menagerie includes fine examples of steam-powered boats like the Berkeley, an 1898 steam ferryboat from San Francisco, and submarines such as the USS Dolphin, which is the deepest diving submarine in the world.  People can explore these and other fascinating historic vessels during their visit to the museum.

    Other highlights include permanent and temporary exhibits on maritime history, commerce and exploration.  The venue also hosts occasional public events such as Pirate Days and the wildly popular Festival of Sail. For further information including museum hours, ticket sales and scheduled events please visit The Maritime Museum of San Diego.

    *****

    Whether it's Spring Break or Summer Vacation, families flock to San Diego County’s wide array of kid-friendly amusement parks.  Whether your clan is looking to get wet, commune with marine life, befriend zoo critters or get lost amidst life-sized LEGOS, there’s something fun for everyone in sunny San Diego.

    • Located in the North County town of Carlsbad, LEGOLAND California is the building block of every LEGO-lovers' dream come true.  The theme park is home to an exciting mix of rides, alluring shows and electrifying attractions geared towards kids aged 2-12.  Featured attractions include a wet and wild "Water Park", the medieval charms of "Castle Hills", swarthy fun at "Pirate Shores" and the intriguing "Land of Adventure".

    • SeaWorld San Diego makes a big splash with families wishing to peruse and play with marvelous marine life.  Spectacular shows like “Shamu Rocks” and “Sea Lions LIVE” feature performances by superstars of the sea while interactive exhibits such as “Shark Encounter” and “Turtle Reef” offer up-close interactions with  incredible creatures of the deep.  Exciting rides such as the “Manta Ray” roller coaster and “Journey to Atlantis” round out the rollicking fun.

    • The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park are two separate but related attractions which house impressive animals from around the world.  Visit the Zoo and immerse yourself in the “Lost Forest” for exotic jungle encounters with monkeys, apes and hippos in a tropical environment or embark on a grand expedition along the open plains of the Safari Park and feel at one with lions, Wildebeests, giraffes and zebras.
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