San Diego for lovers
Whereever you're coming from, Friday night you will most likely be arriving after a full work day and will just have enough energy to catch a quick dinner. As you head into the city, grab a glass of wine and piece of pie at Cardiff by the Sea's Wine Steals - where their cheese plates, meat plates, wine specialties and pizzas are perfect to hold you over for the final minutes of your drive in.
- Wine and Dine
Customize your glass of wine with the right cheese or pick up the bottle of your choice (even if it is a hard-to-find choice)—only at the Wine Steals. They have created the perfect backdrop for wine tasting that will take you to a European winery with the most knowledgeable of staff. Whether you are a well-seasoned drinker or a newcomer in the world of wines—there's something for each one of you at the Wine Steals.
As the second day of your romantic getaway, enjoy the relaxing motion of the sea as you sleep in and awake to beachside coffee and a stroll down Coronado's white beaches. There are many things to catch while on the island (besides the hotel), so enjoy shopping and some house hunting while you're there...
As the second day of your romantic getaway, enjoy the relaxing motion of the sea as you sleep in and awake to beachside coffee and a stroll down Coronado's white beaches. There are many things to catch while on the island (besides the hotel), so enjoy shopping and some house hunting while you're there.
Later, reserve a spot at North Park's coveted Urban Solace, where New Orleans is just minutes away in your entrees and desserts. After a early meal, stroll through the Balboa Park, which is just up the street from the restaurant, and live the sights and sounds of some of San Diego locals. Try and catch an impromptu show at Spreckles Organ Pavilion or reserve something at the Old Globe Theater.
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- 2 show detail1200-acre cultural center
Our Local Expert Says:
You can easily devote at least a whole day to wandering around this huge urban park. Package deals are available for museum entrances, and can include the San Diego Zoo, at the north end of the park, as well.
The world-renowned San Diego Zoo is only one part of this magnificent 1,200-acre city park that was built for the 1915-1916 Panama-California Expo. California's Hispanic roots were celebrated as the city erected breathtakingly ornate Spanish-style buildings, which were eventually permanently restored. So much more than just an urban park, it is home to the zoo, 14 museums, a pipe organ pavilion, botanical gardens, international cultural centers, theaters and performance venues, an antique carousel, off leash dog parks, sports fields, hiking trails, a tennis center, municipal pool, and a miniature-scale train. The December Nights Celebration is held the first weekend of December annually and this popular event is an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy pageants, plays, food and music all in the tradition of the Christmas holidays.
- 3 show detailCrown jewel of the bay
Our Local Expert Says:
Enjoy walking the broad, mile-long sandy beach, the northern tip of which is designated a leash-free dog beach
Connected by a thin sandy strip of land to the mainland, Coronado is technically not an island at all, but the island retreat attitude pervades every inch of it. It may be accessed by foot ferry, the toll-free Coronado Bay Bridge or up the Silver Strand peninsula. The impressively historic Hotel Del Coronado is a popular point of interest here and quiet streets lined with perfectly appointed homes resembling gingerbread houses comprise half the island. The other half is home to the Naval Air Station North Island that provides carrier parking for most of the Pacific Fleet. ..
- 4 show detailThe One and Only
Opened in 1888 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977, the "Hotel Del" is the last of California's stately old seaside hotels. This monument to Victorian grandeur boasts tall cupolas, red turrets, and gingerbread trim, all spread out over 28 acres. Even if you don't stay here, be sure to stroll through the sumptuous, wood-paneled lobby or along the pristine, wide beach. Rooms run the gamut from compact to extravagant, and all are packed with antique charm. The least expensive rooms are snug and have views of a roof or parking lot; the best are junior suites with large windows and balconies fronting one of the state's finest white-sand beaches. Almost half the hotel's rooms are in the renovated, seven-story tower -- it has more living space, but none of the historical ambience. The Del's signature restaurant, 1500 Ocean, opened to rave reviews in 2006. Distinctive and contemporary, it serves a sophisticated "Southland Coastal" cuisine. And don't miss the Sunday brunch in the amazing Crown Room. Since 2001, the Del has done nonstop restoration and upgrading, most recently adding a state-of-the-art spa and creating Beach Village, a collection of 78 "coastal cottages." These privately owned two- and three-bedroom condos feature fireplaces and ocean-view balconies or terraces, and are available for rental.
Facilities: 5 restaurants; 4 bars; 2 outdoor pools; health club; full-service spa; 2 Jacuzzis; bike rental; children's activities; concierge; business center; shopping arcade; 24-hr. room service; babysitting; car rental desk; airport shuttle; laundry service; dry cleaning
A Century of Intrigue: Scenes from the Hotel del Coronado -- San Diego's romantic Hotel del Coronado is an unmistakable landmark with a colorful past. When it opened in 1888, it was among the first buildings with Thomas Edison's new invention, electric light; the hotel's own electrical power plant supplied the entire city of Coronado until 1922. Author L. Frank Baum, a frequent guest, designed the Crown Room's original crown-shaped chandeliers. He wrote several of the books in his beloved Wizard of Oz series in Coronado, and some believe he modeled elements of the Emerald City after the Del.
The hotel has played host to royalty and celebrities as well. The first visiting monarch was Kalakaua, Hawaii's last king, who spent Christmas here in 1890. But the best-known royal guest was Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII, and then Duke of Windsor). He came to the hotel in April 1920, the first British royal to visit California. Of the many lavish social affairs held during his stay, at least two were attended by Wallis Simpson (then U.S. Navy wife Wallis Warfield). Though some like to speculate that their love affair, which culminated in his abdication of the throne, might have begun right here, it's very unlikely it did. Her official introduction to him came 15 years later in London.
Author Henry James wrote in 1905 of "the charming sweetness and comfort of this spot." In 1927, Charles Lindbergh was honored here following his historic 33 1/2-hour solo flight across the Atlantic in his San Diego-built Spirit of St. Louis. Hollywood Golden Age stars including Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, and Esther Williams flocked to the Del; the hotel has also hosted 11 U.S. presidents.
Perhaps most famously, director Billy Wilder filmed Some Like It Hot at the hotel with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. The Stunt Man, starring Peter O'Toole, was also filmed here in 1980. And some guests have never left: The ghost of Kate Morgan, whose body was found in 1892, supposedly still roams the halls -- room 3327 has a reputation for being haunted. Visitors and guests intrigued by the Hotel Del's past can stroll through the lower-level History Gallery, a mini-museum of hotel memorabilia.
- 5 show detailSoothing the Urbane Urbanites
Join us at Urban Solace Restaurant, featuring New American Comfort Food and a fantastic selection of West Coast wines, handcrafted beer and a full selection of liquor. We are located in the heart of North Park’s “Restaurant Row”, near bustling neighborhoods of Hillcrest, South Park and University Heights, and just north of Downtown San Diego and Balboa Park. We are open seven days a week and feature our famous “Bluegrass Brunch” every Sunday.
- 6 show detail4,445 pipes
Presented to the citizens of San Diego in 1914 by brothers John D. and Adolph Spreckels, the ornate, curved pavilion houses a magnificent organ with 4,530 individual pipes. They range in length from the size of a pencil to 32 feet, making it one of the largest outdoor organs in the world. With only brief interruptions, the organ has been in continuous use. Today visitors can enjoy free hour-long concerts on Sundays at 2pm, given by civic organist Carol Williams; free concerts are also held in the evening during the summer months. There's seating for 2,400 but little shade, so bring some sunscreen.
- 7 show detailModern and classic plays
Modeled after Shakespeare's own theaters, this San Diego establishment is actually part of a complex of three theaters also including the Cassius Carter Centre Stage and the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. Sadly, the 1935 original Globe has been replaced since it was destroyed by fire, though it appears that the renovation is a success. In 1984, the 581-seat replica won a Tony award for best regional theater. Predictably, the theater is home to an annual Shakespeare festival, but it is open year round. It also hosts much more than the classics. Its focus is actually the opposite - opening new plays.
As your final day together, relax at your hotel at the infamous Spa at the Del. Choose between a couples massage, facials, manicures and more and you'll be a world away...just in time for your drive back home. Stop in Rancho Bernardo if you're headed north east from Coronado for a last sip of Paradise at Bernardo. If you're heading through the Temecula Valley, enjoy a round (of wine samplers) at Callaway Vineyard and Winery.
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- 8 show detailHealth is wealth indeed
Featuring 21 rooms with state-of-the-art facilities for every imaginable body treatment, the Spa at the Del is one place that shouldn't be ignored by anybody. A popular haunt amongst all fitness freaks in the area, it has several therapeutic packages on offer. The location has a great view of the Pacific ocean as well; there's an inviting lawn where you can just soak up the sun. Do check out the signature Del special treatments the Spa has for its patrons.
- 9 show detailOne of the oldest California wineries
One of the oldest in California, this winery is located in the northern part of San Diego in the city of Rancho Bernardo, upon what was once a Spanish land grant. Since 1928, the Rizzo family has been producing fine wine here. You are free to wander through the rolling hillside covered with grapevines, sip wine on the patio, and shop in specialty stores converted from some of the original winery buildings.
- 10 show detailPartake of the grape
Award-winning wines can be sampled at this lovely winery located approximately one hour from San Diego. Its remodeled visitor center and country giftshop are open from 10:30a-5p daily. Weekend wine-tasting tours of the winery begin at 11a (on the hour) and continue until 4:45p. You may tour the grounds for free, but rates for the tasting room are have a fee. This price includes a complimentary wine glass and four tastings.