California Sunsations: San Diego

Rebecca Silverstein
California Sunsations: San Diego
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Where are the 24-hour party people? San Diego, that’s where. The Golden State of Mind is alive and well in this SoCal city, where locals soak up the sun at the beach by day and party at the bars by night. (It’s unfair, we know.)

Wanna live like a local in this carefree city? Follow our guide to San Diego’s coolest restaurants, bars and events.

Our Sunsations series explores some of the best spots in California for eating, drinking, shopping, and more. For more information about our relationship with PacSun click here: cmp.ly/3.

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Scroll through our gallery for the must-see (and must-eat) places in San Diego!

Brewery Tours of San Diego: Did you know that San Diego County is home to 30 breweries? Get a taste of some of the best with Brewery Tours of San Diego. On your brewery hop, you'll hit up multiple places, like Stone Brewing Company (shown here), Ballast Point Brewing Company, Pizza Port Bottle Shop and more. Best of all, you get a built-in designated driver!

Photo: /Studio Schulz

Bottlecraft Beer Shop & Tasting Room: Bottlecraft is beer enthusiasts' heaven. The India St. establishment sells 500 kinds of brews -- including local, domestic and imported -- which you can taste in flights or sip by the bottle. Bottlecraft functions as both a bar and a store: You can either drink your purchase there or bring beverages home with you (or both!).

Photo: /Bottlecraft Beer Shop & Tasting Room

Hash House a Go Go: "Twisted farm food" is how this award-winning restaurant describes itself, which is quite fitting. The menu includes Southern-inspired dishes with a modern twist, like sage fried chicken with a bacon waffle tower and crispy hand-hammered pork tenderloin. Bring your appetite because with their portions are enormous!

Photo: /Hash House A Go Go

Vin de Syrah: This spirit and wine parlor features lush décor, complete with botanical chandeliers, thick 50-year-old wine vines and a 12-foot natural wood candle lit tasting table. Weeknights here have a chill, lounge-like feel, while weekends can get a clubby, so plan accordingly.

Photo: /Vin de Syrah

El Zarape: El Zarape Restaurant & Tequileria serves up some of the best Mexican fare in all of San Diego. Perfect for a quick bite, their prices are inexpensive, and their food is fresh. Try the Aloha burrito or the Chile Relleno burrito, as well as the delicious scallop tacos. Stop by on Thursday through Saturday when you can hear live music from opening till midnight.

Photo: /El Zarape

The Boardwalk and Belmont Park: Belmont Park is kind of like San Diego's answer to the Jersey Shore. Check out the amusement park rides (we suggest the famous Big Dipper roller coaster, which has been around since 1925), and then stroll down the boardwalk and taking in the carnival-like atmosphere. We can smell the hot dogs and cotton candy already.

Photo: /Flickr Smart Destinations

Big Kitchen: Before she was famous, Whoopi Goldberg worked at this adorable café! While she's no longer washing dishes here, there are plenty of other reasons to stop by. Not only was it voted one of the best places for breakfast by Bon Appetit, but Rachael Ray said the restaurant makes the only tofu she enjoyed. 

Photo: /Big Kitchen Facebook page

The Gaslamp District Tours: Like history? You'll love touring the historic Gaslamp Quarter, with its beautiful architecture dating back to the mid-1800s. Try the Gaslamp Walking Tour, which gives you an overview of the area, while the Ghost Tour will take you to the supposedly haunted William Heath Davis House.

Photo: /The Gas Lamp District Tours

The Casbah: Get ready to rock the Casbah! Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and more epic bands have played at this famous rock club, which has been around since 1989. In more recent years, it's played host to Vampire Weekend, Silversun Pickups, TV on the Radio, The Arcade Fire, The White Stripes and MGMT.

Photo: /2012, Sean McMullen. www.mickspace.com

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