Posted October 19, 2022

Hidden Gems of San Diego

Destinations

Say hello to San Diego, the land of breezy, year-round Southern Cali sunshine, gorgeous beaches, a robust arts scene, locally-brewed craft beers, and tacos. Below, we’re taking in the distinct neighborhoods and sharing some of our favorite hidden gems.

Kimpton Alma, San Diego, CA

Get Thee Outdoors
First things first, the beach. The family-friendly La Jolla Shores is aces for surfing, kayaking and swimming while La Jolla Cove is beloved for its sea cave exploration and snorkeling – keep your eyes peeled for slender, silvery-bronze leopard sharks. Near Sunset Cliffs, the locally-loved No Surf Beach (requiring a steep downwards trek) rewards its brave visitors with scenic tide pools and otherworldly cliffs. Within the vast locally-loved Balboa Park, you’ll find the 6-acre Zoro Garden featuring a butterfly garden to observe swallowtails, monarchs and sulfur butterflies noshing on milkweed and California lilac. Nearby, the well-hidden Palm Canyon, a 2-acre garden with winding paths, a charming wooden footbridge and over 450 leafy namesake palms – including rare Mexican fan palms from the early 1900s. For sandstone cliffs and the rarest pine species in the world, visit the 2,000-acre Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve also hosting a lagoon with migrating seabirds.

San Diego, CA

Murals and Art
Since 2010, the Murals of La Jolla, a public art exhibit, showcases large-scale rotating murals including up-and-coming artists and well-known names like John Baldessari and William Wegman. Set underneath Interstate 5 and the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge in Barrio Logan, you’ll find the murals of Chicano Park depicting Chicano and Mesoamerican culture alongside historical names like Frida Kahlo and Che Guevara. In Logan Heights, the experimental Bread & Salt space doubles as a gallery and artists residency. You can also enlist in painting, drawing and printmaking classes. Meanwhile, Dave’s Rock Garden started as a garbage-filled vacant lot that now houses an array of over 7000 rocks that locals and visitors paint with uplifting messages alongside a robust cactus and succulents garden. For film and photography in Balboa Park, the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) exhibits contemporary artists and cutting edge exhibits.

Photo by Puesto

Tacos and Cerveza
It’s always taco time in San Diego. Start at the laid-back Lucha Libre in North Park for tasty tacos in environs decked with gold seats and images masked-and-costumed Mexican wrestlers. Meanwhile, in the swanky confines of Old Town Urban Market, Tuetano Taqueria serves chef Priscilla Curiel’s elevated beef shoulder tacos topped with roasted bone marrow. For fresh blue-corn tortilla tacos filled with filet mignon and lobster, Puesto in Mission Valley has you covered. Offering its tacos with tofu and nopales, North Park’s Rancho Cocina is a great spot for vegetarian and vegan lovers.

And now you sip. Known for its laid-back beer garden with live music, Amplified Ale Works also pours IPAs and a refreshing lemon Saison. Dubbed as San Diego’s only waterfront tasting room, Eppig Brewing pairs its many varieties (think vienna lagers and american sours) with epic water views. For small-batch brews, Stone Brewing hosts 36 on-tap beers on tap plus bocce games and outdoor tables. In Barrio Logan, the buzzy Thorn Brewing offers up countless suds including a refreshing craft michelada – while nearby ReBru Spirits upcycles small batch craft spirits and cocktails with finger-licking BBQ and live music.

Convinced? We thought you might be. Book your stay with the newly opened Kimpton Alma Hotel. Located in the buzzy downtown Gaslamp area of San Diego, you’ll be in a key position to take advantage of everything America’s Finest City has to offer.

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