Alfresco Autumn Adventures

Arctic Rescue at SeaWorld San Diego

Arguably Our Best “Season,” Fall in San Diego is Best Spent Outdoors

Meet Marine Life

Blue Beach” is here! That’s right, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography has unveiled a new outdoor space called Blue Beach. It features a 4,500-square-foot floor mural depicting the bathymetry (or map of the depth) of the underwater canyons off La Jolla Shores; plus pedal-powered music by Rock the Bike and outdoor games; along with comfy seating to take in those panoramic ocean views. And take time to explore the rest of the aquarium, home to more than 60 marine life habitats—including seahorses and sea dragons, Alfresco Autumn Adventures and the world’s smallest (and cutest) penguins. 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, 858.534.3474,

Ready to ride your own snowmobile to rescue arctic animals … in warm and sunny San Diego? SeaWorld’s newest ride, Arctic Rescue, is touted as the fastest and longest straddle coaster on the West Coast. The attraction is inspired by the efforts of the SeaWorld Rescue Team and allows riders to experience the icy thrill of speeding through the snow—reaching speeds of up to 40 miles per hour across 2,800 feet of track. The park is also famously home to myriad marine life—including sharks, beluga whales, dolphins, orcas, rays, and sea otters. 500 Sea World Drive, Mission Bay, 619.222.4732,

Relax Poolside

The Gaslamp Quarter’s new AC Hotel has unveiled its new rooftop bar and restaurant: Techo Beso, which translates to “rooftop kiss.” The Tulum-inspired alfresco lounge features a pool, city views, DJ sets, specialty craft cocktails, and elevated Mexican-inspired bites. Try the brisket tacos, made with 24-hour-marinated, slow-roasted brisket, caramelized onions, and avocado; the charred corn salad; and churro-doughnut bites for dessert. Libations include the Maya Blue cocktail with mezcal, lime juice, blood-orange syrup, and grenadine; and the gin-based Yucatan. 743 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter,

Leave of Absence

The Gaslamp also welcomes another new rooftop bar and restaurant, Leave of Absence, fronted by chef and restaurateur Jason Neroni—located on the pool-deck level of the recently opened Kimpton Alma San Diego. The menu centers on shareable wood-fired dishes and California fare, including flatbreads, mezze plates, roasted veggies, and wings. Try the IPA-braised Italian sausages with fire-roasted onions, peppers, and sourdough. The cocktail menu boasts margaritas and tropical drinks like the Raspado, a Jamaican-inspired slushy with mezcal. 1047 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.241.7213,

In North Park, the landmark Lafayette Hotel (which has undergone a $31 million renovation) has made a splash with its remodeled pool lounge and Olympic-size pool. The popular hangout for locals is (of course) open to hotel guests; but non-guests can also still access it by making a reservation for a day pass ($44), or reserving a poolside lounge chair for the day ($88). 2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park, 619.296.2101,

Shop Outdoors

With its “country coastal” vibe, curated fashion and lifestyle shops, diverse dining options and quaint outdoor spaces for strolling and lounging, One Paseo offers a mix of retail therapy and alfresco fun. Check out new retailer The Great, offering vintage-inspired women’s apparel and collectibles. 3725 Paseo Place, Del Mar Heights, 858.523.2298,

Just steps from the Coronado bayfront, the shops at Coronado Ferry Landing blend a boutique shopping experience amid sea breezes and water and skyline views just beyond. Shops include Miss Match for stylish women’s clothing; and Vom Fass, a European market and tasting room offering olive oils, spices, craft spirits, and gourmet pantry items. 1201 First St., Coronado,

Westfield UTC

For a wide array of upmarket chain retailers, restaurants, and outdoor lounges, Westfield UTC has it all. The mall houses a flagship Nordstrom, 160-plus stores, 65 dining options, and plenty of beautifully manicured, open-air promenades. 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, Golden Triangle, 858.546.8858,

Go Farm Fresh

Did you know San Diego County is home to more than 30 certified farmers markets? Among our favorites: the Little Italy Mercato, which recently was named among the 10 best farmers markets in the U.S. (ranked fourth!) by USA Today. It’s a quintessential San Diego weekend experience, held every Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stroll among 150 vendors offering fresh produce, flowers, meat, eggs. cheeses, sauces, pantry items, home and bath products, and more—with peeks of San Diego Bay a few blocks away. W. Date St., Little Italy, 619.233.3901,

In Cardiff-by-the-Sea, the new weekly Cardiff Farmers Market is open Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Located at Mira Costa College’s San Elijo campus, the market offers locally sourced fruits, vegetables, and meats; plus fresh flowers, artisanal foods, crafts, jewelry, live music (most Saturdays) and ample free parking. 3333 Manchester Ave., Cardiff-by-the-Sea,


Photo credits: Images are courtesy of the businesses featured


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