"Beers and Beaches" San Diego by morochaargentina

San Diego Travel Guide: 3,402 reviews and 7,760 photos

3 day tour of San Diego

This was my 2nd time in San Diego. The 1st time was 14 years ago and I did all the ?mandatory? tourist things: I went to Balboa Park and The Zoo, SeaWorld, Embarcadero, old town, Ocean Beach, La Jolla and the Glaslamp district (which I didn?t like 14 years ago, I didn?t felt safe back then). I eat in places that were recommended by my budget travel guide for the sole reason of their price: cheap. Nothing too spectacular and nothing worth writing for?

But this time was different. I come back with my husband: he doesn?t care about the zoo, SeaWorld or the embarcadero. We?ve traveled all over the world and we?ve seen many beautiful places, this time, the goal was to enjoy the 2 best experiences that San Diego has to offer: its many different beaches and its world renown micro breweries!

I don?t think I need to explain the ?beaches? part: there are several beaches in the area and they are VERY different from each other. So we wanted to explore 3 different beaches: La Jolla (one of the most expensive zip codes in the country) with its cliffs and the rocks and the caves; Ocean Beach (the surfers beach, with its 60s feel and zero glamour) and Coronado Beach (with its long white sand beach next to the fabulous Coronado Hotel). We didn?t have time to explore Mission Beach (very quiet, you almost feel that you are in a lake) but we saw it from the car. I know, it?s not the same, but at some point you have to choose where you are going to spend your time!

For any beer lover (and I am NOT talking about the yellow fuzzy commercial drink that has no taste and 64 calories, I am talking about REAL BEER LOVERS!) San Diego is considered one of the top 3 places in the country (after Denver/Boulder Colorado and Portland Oregon; places that I still have in my ?to-do-list?). They started the ?movement? in the late 80?s and they are home of one of the most successful micro breweries in the country, Stone Brewery (OK, they haven?t been a micro brewery for several years now, they are now considered a craft brewery, but they still produce beer with the same goal in mind: to brew only the best with the best ingredients). There are over 50 different microbreweries and brewpubs in San Diego and around 135 places oriented to microbrews (including beer bars and beer stores: those who sell materials to produce your own beer, we are NOT counting retail stores that sell beers?). With all those numbers, it?s hard to fill them all in 3 days, so we had to do some research in advanced to figure out which ones were the ?mandatory? places to go. And here?s our list:

Stone Brewery
Lost Abbey/Port Brewery
Karl Strauss
The Beer Co
Pizza and Port Brewery
Coronado Brewery

You can look for all this reviews under "Restaurants" since there is no "breweries" tab :)

We also saw other 3 places on top of the breweries (we were on a "BEER MISSION!"), all of them very special in their own way (none of them was by coincidence, we KNEW we wanted to go there).

The non-breweries are:

* Vin de Syrah (one of the most beautiful and strange lounges/wine bars we've EVER been to... if not THE most beautiful!)

* The Lincoln Room (fun place and good quality food/drinks but inexpensive )

* McP's Irish Pub and Grill: a stomping ground for Navy Seals.. do I need to say more?

The first two, we found out about them on "The Hollywood Reporter"; the 3rd one is legendary (my husband is a Marine, and even HE had heard about this place...)

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:perfect weather all year round, amazing craft breweries and beaches
  • Cons:no idea...
  • In a nutshell:Craft Beers and Beautiful Beaches, so much more than just the Zoo...
  • Last visit to San Diego: Aug 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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