With surf lessons, equestrian packages, spa serenity, and so much more, San Diego provides ample opportunities to make the most of the vacation destination we’re so fortunate to call home.
By Andrea Naversen, Mia Park, and Deanna Murphy
“Giddy Up!” at The Grand
The Fairmont Grand Del Mar has eight four-legged residents — Pancho, Cody, Trooper, Ghost, Penny, Showman, Shadow, and Iceman — who are eager to share news of the resort’s new equestrian program. The Grand offers guided rides every day through the pristine Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. Whether you’re a greenhorn or a pro, lessons are available for those who want to learn the ropes or perfect their jumps. Riders and non-riders are invited to visit the equestrian center during feeding hours to say “Howdy!” to the horses. fairmont.com/san-diego
Hip Home Base
The ultra-cool Gaslamp boutique hotel Pendry is perfect for a quick getaway downtown. It’s also the home of hotspot Lionfish, offering fresh-caught modern coastal cuisine and a lively bar. “Sake To Me Thursdays” features a secret menu and half off select bottles of sake. Provisional Kitchen, Café & Mercantile offers a series of multi-course wine dinners as well as artisanal cuisine. For brunch, order the ostrich egg, served sunny side up with pesto potatoes, bacon, toasted sourdough, and roasted red salsa — perfect for a crowd. The property also has Nason’s Beer Hall, especially popular during baseball season. On “Funday Sundays,” The Pool House becomes a day club with local DJs and creative cocktails. And for explorers, the hotel offers guided cycling and running tours, surf outings, deep-sea fishing excursions, and yoga with local experts. pendry.com
Pendry is just steps from Petco Park, eateries, and entertainment venues, as well as Little Italy’s restaurants and farmer’s market. San Diego’s waterfront is also an easy walk, whether you want to explore Seaport Village, The Headquarters, or Portside Pier, with so many seaside restaurants to choose from. Next-door, explore the ships that make up the Maritime Museum. Take a ride aboard a Vietnam War-era Swiftboat, hop on a cruise around San Diego Bay, or take a ferry to Coronado Island.
Park Hyatt Aviara is offering limited time Stay & Play packages with a daily $100 resort credit toward dining, golf, or spa treatments, and Linger Longer, which includes a savings of up to 25 percent when reserving a minimum two-night stay. If golf is your game, a special package includes two rounds of golf for each night reserved, golf carts, discounts on golf gear, and more.
Locals can buy a Resort Pass and book a cabana with chaise lounges for a day on the Splash Pool Deck or Oceanview Pool Deck (for those 18+) with access to a water slide, TV, refrigerator, and poolside food and beverage service.
Fine wine lovers won’t want to miss the California Wine Festival on the resort’s expansive event lawn on Friday, May 20, beginning with a Champagne reception followed by trophy wine tastings. parkhyattaviara.com
Bring the Heat
The Lodge at Torrey Pines’ Playing with Fire dining series is helmed by Executive Chef Kelli Crosson and Chef de Cuisine Paul Arias. Every month through October, they’ll partner with other local chefs for the ultimate patio party with local brews and woodfired dishes straight from the open flames of The Grill’s custom-built grill and rotisserie. The series kicks off May 16 with Chef Eric Gallerstein (Mastiff Sausage Company) and The Lost Abbey Brewing Company, and is followed by Chef Jojo Ruiz (Serea, Lionfish) and Mission Brewery (June 13), Chef Greg Frey (Golden Door) and AleSmith Brewing Co. (July 11), Chef Drew Deckman (Deckman’s en el Mogor) and Mike Hess Brewing (August 8), Chef Ronnie Schwandt (Verbena Kitchen) and Green Flash Brewing Co. (September 12), and Chef Tim Kolanko (Urban Kitchen Group) and Bitter Brothers Brewing Co. (October 10). lodgetorreypines.ticketsauce.com/e/playing-with-fire-series/tickets
Originally opened in 1889 on what was part of a Spanish land grant, Bernardo Winery is now a fully productive winery and destination with a rustic Italian dining menu as well as a village of locally owned shops and galleries. The Bernardo Winery Spring Arts and Crafts Fair on Mother’s Day Weekend (May 7-8) features more than 100 handpicked vendors offering handmade jewelry, soaps, paintings, sculpture, local honey, clothing, pottery, items for the home and garden, and much more.
Then, on May 15, the San Diego County Vintners Association Wine Festival will bring together 20+ wineries. Tickets include a personal charcuterie board, unlimited wine tasting, music, a silent auction, and the opportunity to meet some of San Diego’s best wineries. Search “Bernardo Winery” on Eventbrite for tickets. bernardowinery.com
Live Like a Royal
Sparing Bridgerton binge-watchers from a long journey across the pond, The Westgate Hotel offers the opportunity to be immersed in the world of Regency-era London high society with its Bridgerton Package. Guests will be greeted like nobility with macarons and Chandon bubbly on arrival, and luxe accommodations in a premier room. The package also features Afternoon Tea for Two and, in a departure from the early 19th century, a must-see list of some of the most Instagram-worthy spots in the hotel to capture and share the experience with fellow lords and ladies. The package is offered Thursday to Sunday through June 30. westgatehotel.com
Escape to Estancia La Jolla
For the ultimate in R&R, the Experience Estancia package invites locals to lounge at the resort’s heated saltwater pool, relax with a treatment from Spa Estancia, indulge in award-winning dining, and retreat to a serene guest room surrounded by lush gardens. Also included is a $100 resort credit, daily self-parking, and a waived resort fee. estancialajolla.com
Make Sparks Fly
Get hearts racing with San Diego Mission Bay Resort’s Romance Package. Receive overnight accommodations for two in a beachside room along with house-made pastries and a bottle of bubbly. Or, get the guaranteed best view of the Mission Bay fireworks when you book the hotel’s 4th of July package, which culminates with fireworks on July 3. missionbayresort.com
Beach & Brekkie
L’Auberge Del Mar’s Beach & Breakfast package is a sweet treat for those looking for a swift getaway to the sea. Indulge in a decadent breakfast in bed or take in gorgeous morning ocean views at signature restaurant Adelaide. The package includes waived resort fees, valet parking, and a $40 breakfast credit. laubergedelmar.com
Hit the Waves
Bahia Resort Hotel is bringing back its Cinco de Mayo cruise aboard the William D. Evans. On May 5, celebrate with DJ-spun music, scenic views of Mission Bay, and festive drink specials and light snacks. Boarding starts at 9pm at the Bahia Resort Hotel and returns at 12:30am. bahiahotel.com/bahia-belle
Alila Marea’s Discover Your Stoke package invites guests to learn to surf like a local with Fulcrum Surf. A 60-minute lesson takes place near the beachfront Alila Marea, where a variety of breaks are easily accessible. For a more in-depth introduction, a coach will pick you up from Alila Marea and tour you along the coast to the break with the best conditions that day. The package includes hard or foam surfboard rental, premium wetsuit rental, water and snacks, and take-home goodies. alilahotels.com/marea-beach-resort-encinitas