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Downtown: Karl Strauss Brewery and Grill
Although I won’t classify my DH and I as any kind of experts in the fine art of beer, we both really enjoy sampling the wares of craft breweries wherever we go - in part because they’re not the sorts of places 21 year-old rookies go just to get obnoxiously hammered. The clientele leans towards the more mature, very pleasant “elbow mate", and tap-room staffs have little tolerance for “children” who haven’t yet learned their limits so unruly sorts are usually cut off and ejected in short order.
Karl Strauss Brewing's downtown location was just two blocks from our hotel so a stop-by was mandatory. Nice place: clean; tidy; friendly bartenders who knew their brews; happy hour (Monday - Friday) specials on pints and flights; a dozen or so varieties to choose from. The Husband is almost strictly an IPA guy and while he was OK with those he sampled over our couple of visits here, he preferred one at Coronado Brewing. I stuck with Wreck Alley Imperial Stout; really good. Can't make up your mind? They’ll cheerfully provide samples, or you can order up a flight.
Our one mistake was not staying for dinner ‘cause the food is seeing very positive ratings on Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc., and they’re said to do a great job suggesting beer pairings to compliment your entree.
See the website for what’s currently on tap, hours, menu, happy hour, etc.
- Beer Tasting
San Diego Zoo: Summer Nights
During the summer months the San Diego Zoo is opened for night time touring. The gates actually close at 9 pm, but you can stay until 10 pm. (The rest of the year the gates close at 4pm and you can stay until 5 or 6pm.)
Summer Nights at the Zoo offer a few extras that add even more fun to the zoo experience. There are many nocturnal animals at the zoo and during a night time visit, those animals are out, interacting in a way never seen during the day. It's quite revealing to see some of these animals in action and sometimes even exciting. As a frequent visitor I can say that this aspect changes the ambiance enough to be impressive.
Several skits are put on throughout the zoo as well as a very funny intereactive comedy, "Going Ape!" Hoola Hoop contests engage kids and adults alike and one of the most interesting offerings are the living statues. This particular statue, pictured here, standing in a fountain, moved to lovely music and surprised many who weren't aware she was alive.
Keep in mind that every year the entertainment changes, but still the offerings are fun and interesting so you shouldn't be disappointed at all.
Dress Code: To spend time in the Nighttime Zoo, be sure to wear good walking shoes and bring a sweater or jacket as the evenings can get much cooler than it is during the day.
- Family Travel
The Lounge at Candelas: Relax, and stay a while
This room, ethereal and dimly lit with a number of candles, gets pretty lively as the night wears on. Depending on the night, you'll hear anything from subtle techno to house/rap, and even some funky mixes with an instrumental accompaniment.
It's a cozy room, and you're well taken care of by the bartender and wait staff.
Dress Code: I don't think so, but you better call to be sure.
Downtown: Good night spots in SD...
There are quite a few good clubs in San Diego but I kind of agree that On Broadway and Belo are a little on the 'fancy' side and sometimes it's hard to let loose at these spots -- although they do have some amazing DJ's and can be a great place to party. If you do like that kind of music though -- there is a new club called Fluxx in the Gaslamp which is supposed to be one of SD's best new nightclubs. Also try Spin on Hancock st. which has some of the world's best DJ's passing through. If you want a more artsy vibe away from downtown... try North Park. They have an array of cool bars and hip night spots. Maybe warm up with some coffee and dessert at Claire de Lune Coffee Lounge on University which is a top notch people-watching spot. They also have some great live music. Then maybe hit U-31, The Office, or Bar Pink for some great live bands. If you need any more tips on the SD area, feel free to ask. I'm a local who knows the area quite well.
- Business Travel
- Arts and Culture
Anthology: Jazz Bar
Beautiful setup located in downtown San Diego. I dont really care for downtown but a friend was having a birthday dinner here and I was pleasantly surprised. The jazz band made my night. The music was beautiful and the atmosphere was mesmerizing. The food is a little on the pricey side but tasted wonderful.
Dress Code: Casual-dress
- Food and Dining
House of Blues San Diego: Southern-Themed Evening
The House of Blues on Fifth is a great place if you're interested in a different way to spend your evening in San Diego. They have a variety of live music acts and a delicious southern-themed menu. They also have a week day Happy Hour between 4:00pm – 7:00pm which includes discount drinks and half off appetizers.
The Gospel Brunch is another huge attraction at the House of Blues. It's live every Sunday (at 10am and 1pm) in the Music hall and it's a one-of-a-kind live music show with an all-you-can-eat southern style buffet! Every week different gospel groups from around the region perform live on stage singing uplifting and energetic songs.
Not only does is House of Blues a great place to enjoy a meal, they also put on shows and concerts at their downtown venue and other venues all over San Diego featuring various artists from all types of music genres.
- Arts and Culture
Downtown: Magnet at The W
I'd browsed the Rice menu and passed. Insanely expensive! But, after eating truck stop fare at Karl Strauss, I returned to Magnet(the bar at Rice) and had a cocktail. The wine list was surprisingly creative for a corporate joint, and the drink list was fun and ironic. There's a lovely little drink called "Citron My Face". I opted for a Hennessey Side Car. It was made wrong and garnished incorrectly, but the bartender was nice and offered to make a new one. Eh. I drank it. I was on Vicodin and I was thirsty.
Dress Code: I would dress to impress...somewhat. At least avoid shorts and a fanny pack. I did see a couple that would look more at home at The Sizzler. They got the "nay" from the doorman.
My hair was very short at the time, so the girls at the bar assumed I was a marine. This is San Diego after all.
This place is for only a select group of people. If you like Dive bars, cheap beer, and fast&loud music, this is the place to go. Local Punk during the week and National Punk Bands on Fri./Sat.
Dress Code: yeah right
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