Arts District Liberty Station
It’s a one-of-a-kind destination for all things culture in San Diego—housing unique museums, working artist studios, gardens, luxury cinemas, dining and more. 2825 Dewey Road, Liberty Station, 619.573.9300. libertystation.com
Covering almost two square miles, Balboa Park is home to a host of San Diego’s major museums. Also, free tours about history, architecture, horticulture and botanical gardens. Call for schedule. Visitors Center, House of Hospitality, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.239.0512. balboapark.org
A beachfront landmark with attractions, rides, arcades and dining. Highlights include the historic Giant Dipper roller coaster, Beach House, several casual eateries, bars and food booths. 3190 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach, 858.488.1549. belmontpark.com
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Explore one of the nation’s largest oceanographic museums and enjoy a spectacular view from the tidepool plaza. Daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. $15-$19.50, three-hour courtesy parking. 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, 858.534.3474. aquarium.ucsd.edu
Cabrillo National Monument
The monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at S.D. Bay on Sept. 28, 1542. Nearby whale-watching, tidepools, trails, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse and stunning city/ocean views. Daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. $15 per car, NPS and Cabrillo National Monument pass holders are free. 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr., Point Loma, 619.557.5450. cnmf.org
Visitors of all ages can enjoy and explore this 20-acre outdoor haven home to more than 80 domesticated livestock from around the world. Fun and educational interactive presentations encourage an appreciation for animals, nature, sustainable farming and our ecosystem. 5178 Japatul Spur, Alpine, 619.320.4942. childrensnatureretreat.com
Explore Mission Bay like never before with this new water-propelled jet-pack adventure that allows you to fly over and through the water. First-time flyers and returning vets alike will love the sky-high experience. 1010 Santa Clara Pl., Mission Bay, 888.553.6471. jetpackamerica.com
SoCal’s first electric indoor kart racing center lets 20-horsepower electric karts roam 70,000 square feet of space; arcade games, too. Great for private parties. 6212 Corte del Abeto, Carlsbad, 760.929.2225; 1709 Main St., San Diego, 619.241.4740. k1speed.com
Find 60-plus rides and shows, and Sea Life Aquarium’s 7-foot-long Lego submarine. Check out the waterpark complete with a lazy river (open seasonally). Visit website for hours and admission prices. 1 Legoland Dr., Carlsbad, 760.918.5346. legoland.com
Take a safari adventure through the 1,800–acre wildlife preserve, home to herds of exotic animals roaming in vast enclosures resembling African and Asian plains. See website for hours and admission prices. 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, 760.747.8702. sdzsafaripark.org
One of the world’s most diverse plant collections with 37 acres of lush gardens and trails. Daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Adults $18, discounted rates for seniors and youth, free for kids 2 and under. 230 Quail Gardens Dr., Encinitas, 760.436.3036. sdbgarden.org
San Diego Zoo
The world-famous zoo has more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals in a charming, state–of–the–art park. Its inclined walking trails are a workout. See website for hours and admission prices. 2920 Zoo Dr., Balboa Park, 619.231.1515. sandiegozoo.org
The 189-acre adventure park features thousands of marine animals including killer whales plus fish, reptiles and birds. See website for hours and admission prices. 500 SeaWorld Dr., Mission Bay, 800.25.SHAMU. seaworldsandiego.com
Spanish Village Art Center
This artists’ haven includes 37 working studios and an outdoor patio area where visitors can watch resident artists create original works of art. With more than 200 artists represented, the center displays a large variety of paintings, glass, gourds, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, photography, fiber arts, enamel, woodwork and more. 1770 Village Place, Balboa Park, 619.233.9050. spanishvillageart.com
U.S. Olympic Training Center
One of only four OTCs in the U.S., this year-round facility features field hockey, archery, soccer, BMX facilities and more. Daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Ask about guided tours. Free entry. 2800 Olympic Pkwy., Chula Vista, 619.656.1500.
Founded in 1899 by Sicilian winemakers, this is the oldest continuously operating winery in SoCal—featuring more than a dozen wines and a spacious tasting room. Sample a flight inside or grab a seat on the patio. Open daily. 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte, Rancho Bernardo, 858.487.1866. bernardowinery.com
The largest winery in Baja’s scenic wine region, which produces 90 percent of Mexico’s wine. Open daily for tastings; also features olive oil, chocolates and gifts. KM 73.5 Tecate-Ensenada Highway, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico.
Boutique Julian winery produces just 4,000 cases of Syrah, sauvignon blanc, Riesling and cabernet sauvignon annually. Tastings daily. 1150 Julian Orchards Dr., Julian, 760.765.2072.
Growing syrah, Viognier, muscat canelli and more, this boutique winery produces about 10,000 cases of Rhone-style wines annually. 13455 San Pasqual Road, Escondido, 760.738.6500; 221 N. Cleveland St., Oceanside, 760.738.6500. orfila.com
Ponte Family Estate Winery
This 300-acre vineyard grows mostly cabernet, merlot and chardonnay, plus other Italian varieties; tasting room open daily. 35053 Rancho California Road, Temecula, 951.694.8855.
San Pasqual Winery
Favorites at this downtown La Mesa winery include its Summervine Habanero passion-fruit wine, which won Double Gold at the 2013 San Diego County Fair and its 2010 Lake County Malbec, recently chosen to represent California at an international malbec tasting in Cahors, France. 8140 Center St., La Mesa, 619.469.9463.
Solterra Winery & Kitchen
This modern winery, tasting room and tapas-style eatery is just a couple blocks from the beach. Try the Solterra “white” label, made from grapes that are only grown in San Diego County, Temecula and northern Baja, Mexico. 934 N. Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, 760.230.2970.
South Coast Winery and Spa Resort
This winner of the California State Golden Bear Winery of the Year Award produces some 65,000 cases annually. Tastings daily. 34843 Rancho California Road, Temecula, 951.587.9463.
Medal-winning sparkling winery is housed in a vineyard-view chateau in Temecula. Tasting lounge open daily; tours on weekends. 32575 Rancho California Road, Temecula, 951.699.0099.
Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyard
Known for its almond sparkling wine, this Tuscan-inspired estate also includes a restaurant and tasting room, both open daily. 35960 Rancho California Road, Temecula, 951.699.9463.
Witch Creek Winery
Two tasting rooms, including one in the heart of Carlsbad, offer samplings of Witch Creek’s full-bodied wines daily, each with a feline-inspired name. 2906 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, 760.765.2023; 2000 Main St., Julian, 760.720.7499.