Urbanvacations’s Weblog

September 21, 2021

Park Avenue South, New York, NY JESS@FriendsTravel.com


Park Avenue Luxury!
Park Avenue South, New York, NY

Located in the heart of midtown, the stylish Park Avenue is just a short walk from #Broadway, #Grand #Central #Station, #Times #Square and #Rockefeller #Center. Walk into the three-story atrium lobby and you might think you stepped through a wormhole to the Upper West Side. Blame it on the elegant herringbone floors, black-and-white checkered wingback chairs, purple Murano glass chandeliers, plush Chesterfield couches, and the roaring fireplace. But ascend to the buzzy three-tiered rooftop, which has been drawing an affluent, stylish, party-going crowd since the hotel opened as Park Avenue, and it becomes quite clear you’re further downtown.

Why You’ll Love It Here…

The WOW: A heated indoor-outdoor pool is the main attraction, if only to gather around for cocktails and small bites and a boogie beneath the shadow of the Empire State Building. While the pool is reserved for hotel guests, the outdoor lounge and bar is open to the public with live DJs spinning on the weekends and a popular summer Friday crowd.

The Sleep: The sultry Andi Pepper-designed interiors that christen the rooftop (think Edison bulb chandeliers, handsome dark leather couches, and tons of ivy) extend into the hotel’s 249 extra-spacious rooms, which are punctuated by pops of fuchsia and cobalt and have floor-to-ceiling windows, some with Juliet balconies, overlooking Park Avenue and cityscape views of Midtown.

The Extra: For the fitness enthusiasts, a Flywheel spinning studio with daily classes is adjacent to the lobby. There is also a fully-equipped gym located on the third-floor with free and unlimited audio-guided Aaptive fitness classes. The hotel partners with Roula, a bike delivery and tour company, that will take guests out for guided biking tours around the city.

EMAIL: JESS@FriendsTravel.com #JessKalinowsky
#FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa90069 #BestValueVacations

Park Avenue Suite

The Park Avenue Suite measures at least 775 square feet, offering a private bedroom with wrap-around Juliet balcony, one king size bed, a separate living area with Juliet balcony, en-suite five fixture glass tile bathroom with deep soaking tub and a additional guest half bathroom. The spacious living area features a pull-out sofa and an over-sized coffee table for entertaining. Premium amenities include 400 thread count luxury Egyptian cotton linens, bathrobe, and slippers; interactive Hi-definition LCD flat screen televisions, a fully stocked private bar; a Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Mini iPod Docking Station and more.

September 18, 2021

Canada Vacations JESS@FriendsTravel.com

#CanadaVacation package bookings are ramping up. Here are the five most popular packages we are quoting our clients and booking. Our process makes it really easy to create and share quotes and lets you know exactly when a client has looked at the itinerary.

Here are the top five:
• Quebec & Montreal by Rail: Like a European Vacation in North America! 5 or 6 nights. This is our current Sceptre spotlight!
• Best of Alberta: Moraine Lake is a glacially-fed lake in Banff National Park 14 km outside of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. It is situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of approximately 1885 m.

Banff, Alberta / Canada – Banff is a gateway to Sulpher Mountain and a must see for tourists.

, #Jasper & #LakeLouise: This 7 or 8-night getaway offers the finest spots of Calgary, Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise.
• Amazing : 7 or 9 nights. 9 night escorted tour.

• Discover the Canadian Rockies: Incredible displays of nature & culture! 9 nights or escorted exploration.
• #Vancouver, #Victoria & #Whistler: This 7-night escape includes a Sea Safari, an Adventure Tour through the Whistler Mountains, a kayak trip down the River of Golden Dreams, and more!

#Montréal, #Québec, #Canada: people enjoying a sunny winter day at the top of Mont-Royal public park covered in snow with downtown Montréal on the background, against a sunny clear blue sky.

Sailboats anchored in English Bay. In the background are the snowcapped North Shore Mountains. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. #SkiCanada

Ask for all of our Canada Prebuilt Vacation packages now. EMAIL: JESS@FriendsTravel.com #JessKalinowsky #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa90069

USA Passport Card or USA Passport required to enter Canada.

September 16, 2021

#CaliforniaVacations JESS@FriendsTravel.com

September is wine month in California, and what better way to celebrate than by taking a trip to California wine country and experience some of the top-rated wines and wineries in the world. From tastings in Napa Valley to winery concerts in Paso Robles, California wine month has something to offer every wine enthusiast. Fall in Love with California this Fall and Winter in our super mild weather.


The immensely diverse and unique culinary scene across California attracts visitors from across the world who are looking to experience some of the fresh and unique flavors the Golden State has to offer. You can find great food options no matter where you are in the state, and we have a list of can’t-miss culinary delights that should be added to any California road trip itinerary.


It’s no secret that California has been the backdrop for many old Hollywood films, but what people may not know is that you can still visit locations of some of the most iconic movies of the Golden Age of Hollywood. Click the link below to learn where to visit some of the most recognizable classic movie locations in California.

#SantaBarbara has been considered “The American Riviera®” for over a century. A self-contained paradise conveniently located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Santa Barbara is surrounded by undeveloped coastline with the Channel Islands National Park offshore and the Los Padres National Forest inland. The city’s signature red tile roofs, whitewashed buildings and lush gardens are nestled between a dramatic mountain range and the sparkling sea, evoking the topography and architectural aesthetic of the European Riviera—with a distinctly Californian twist.

Santa Barbara offers big city caliber arts and entertainment a refined collection of resorts and hideaways and abundant outdoor adventures both on land and at sea. Add a thriving wine country world-renowned for its pinot noir and a hyper-local cuisine and there’s no denying that Santa Barbara is a place that has elevated living well to an art form.

Consider yourself warned — Santa Barbara has wanderlust written all over it. And once your clients set foot in this city, they’ll want to come back again and again but don’t take our word for it. Let them experience it for themselves.

EMAIL: JESS@FriendsTravel.com #JessKalinowsky #BestValueVacations #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa90069

Start Your Next USA City Package or Special Events Program with City Escapes!

Specializing in pre-planned land packages to major USA cities, as well as various special events highlighting sporting events, celebrations and music festivals.
Our City Escapes was founded on the premise that making travel plans should be easy and exciting and that this is best-accomplished by coordinating your trip exclusively with your travel agent! We specialize in providing each client with a custom-designed program, just the way you and your fellow traveler want. Whether you’re looking for an activity-packed visit to #NewYorkCity, a relaxing getaway to #Nashville or an exciting Special Event like the #Kentucky Derby, or #CaliforniaTournamentOfRosesParade, we can help you put together a USA vacation you’ll never forget. We’re committed to service and excellence, and we’ll take care of all the details so you can start relaxing long before your next trip. Get in touch : JESS@FriendsTravel.com
#CaliforniaFlyDriveVacations #USAVacations #DiscountHotelsResorts #DiscountAirfaresWorldwide First, Business, Coach. #PrivateJetCharter

May 16, 2021

USA National Parks + More JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Filed under: Uncategorized — urbanvacations @ 11:13 pm
Adventures in the USA Tell us: who will be traveling. From what city? Via Rail or Air? Most preferred travel dates. Most preferred National Parks to visit! EMAIL #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa90069US Hero
Discover Adventure in Your Own BackyardWith a total of 423 national park sites and unique natural wonders, the USA is a dream destination for lovers of the great outdoors.While we are at home waiting for the EU borders to open and news about vaccine passports to be released, we invite your clients to join Exodus on an adventure closer to home this summer with our collection of all-American itineraries reserved exclusively for US residents.Each departure has been carefully selected with guaranteed hotel allocation and National Park reservations, where applicable, to help you make the most of your own backyard.
Hawaii Islands AdventureSay ‘aloha’ to adventure on this tropical island-hopping adventure. Departs on August 1, 2021.
We can curate your trip based on YOUR wants, needs, desires, expectations. Tell us: who will be traveling. From what airport. Which amazing Hawaiian Island. How about a weeks cruise of all the islands! Just For You!
California Golden Gate Bridge
Sequoias & SUP in CaliforniaSee the sights in San Francisco, SUP on Lake Tahoe & hike through Yosemite. Departs on August 21 AND September 11, 2021
Grand Canyon USA
National Parks WalkExplore some of the best hiking trails in the Southwest in Zion, Bryce, Arches, and Grand Canyon National Parks. Departs on August 11, 2021
Monument Valley
Canyons and Navajo LandsExplore three awe-inspiring Southwestern National Parks. Departs on September 14, 2021
#JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa90069

April 17, 2021

USA City Vacations JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Filed under: Uncategorized — urbanvacations @ 2:20 am

Top City Packages EMAIL: #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa90069

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New York City Packages

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#Washington DC City Packages

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#Boston Packages

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#Nashville City Packages

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New Orleans City Packages #NOLA

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#Branson City Packages

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#Memphis Packages

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#Savannah Packages

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#Charleston Packages

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#Niagara Falls Packages

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San Francisco City Packages

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Los Angeles Packages

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#Williamsburg Packages

Top Special Events: EMAIL: #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa90069

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Cherry Blossom Festival


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#Country Music Fest

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#Daytona 500

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#July 4th NYC Fireworks or #Boston

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#Indy 500

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#Kentucky Derby

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#Mardi Gras #NOLA

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#Jazz Fest

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#MLB All Star Game

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Rose Parade/Rose Bowl #Pasadena #California

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US Open Tennis

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NYC New Years Eve

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NYC Thanksgiving Parade

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NYC Shoppers Weeks

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Branson Christmas Shows

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Essence Music Fest

and more!!!! Something interesting in every USA State!

EMAIL: #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa90069

EMAIL: #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa90069
Choose a destination, tell us your preferred travel dates, your hometown airport and who will be traveling, Number of Adults, number of children with their ages, and will give you a proposal in a timely manner.
Best Value Airfares, Hotel and Resort rates worldwide.
Ask for your $25.00 per person discount !
#DiscountAirfaresWorldwide First, Business, and Coach!
Private Jet Charters Available from anywhere in the USA to anywhere in the World!

April 15, 2021

USA National Parks Vacations JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Filed under: Uncategorized — urbanvacations @ 2:37 am

Choose your National Park vacation:
Grand Canyon
One of the nation’s most iconic parks, the Grand Canyon is a place that must be seen to be believed. It’s only while standing in person overlooking the incredible landscape that one can understand the true scale and beauty of this astonishing natural wonder.
Yellowstone is famous for its unique geological wonders like the Grand Prismatic Spring and Old Faithful. Along with the world’s largest concentration of geysers, you’ll find majestic peaks, incredible scenery, and abundant wildlife like bison, elk, and more.
A wonderland of dramatic canyons sculpted by millennia of water and wind, Zion offers breathtaking vistas at every turn. Dazzling sandstone cliffs, emerald waterfalls, and picturesque hiking trails framed by carpets of wildflowers are just some of the marvels that await you.
With its mystical and otherworldly landscapes, a visitor could be excused for mistaking the Badlands for another planet. And nearby, you’ll find the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial paying tribute to some of the country’s most important presidents.
EMAIL: #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365 #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa90069
Grand Canyon

April 10, 2021

USA Washington DC JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Filed under: Uncategorized — urbanvacations @ 3:49 am
AMTRAK Reservations. Airline Reservations. Car Rental Reservations. Hotel Reservations.
Sightseeing and Touring Reservations. Tell us: who will be traveling. When: date of arrival and departure.
 City of origin. DAY DATE TIME most preferred to travel.
 EMAIL: #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com Visit: www.FriendsTravel.com

For first-time visitors and travel veterans alike, it is always time-consuming to find the most exciting high-end tours and book an excursion that guarantees top-notch hospitality. In this newsletter, we present a riveting webinar on luxury travel in D.C. and a blog post that introduces the eight most popular D.C. tours that we operate. Check out these informative resources and become a D.C. travel connoisseur today!
The Best of Washington D.C. 
How to Tour Washington D.C. in Style Like a Pro 
Typically, when we think of our nation’s capital our mind conjures up images of monuments, museums and politics, which of course can all be found there. But there’s so much more to Washington D.C. It is a vibrant city with many facets – all waiting for you to discover them. And discover them you will! Of course, you can always head to Washington D.C. and pick yourself up a tourist map upon arrival, make your way around as best you can and hope you see all there is to see. Or – you can take advantage of our high-end D.C. products that allow you to indulge in a 360-degree experience of D.C.’s history, culture and amazing food…
EMAIL: #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com Visit: www.FriendsTravel.com
Washington D.C. Luxury Tours: 
Washington D.C. Circle of Power
The executive, legislature and judicial branches are all within the boundaries of Washington, DC. First, the White House for a tour of the exterior of the executive mansion. From your vantage point on Pennsylvania Ave, you will see the north side. Your guide will discuss the long history of the house and residence.

Washington D.C. by Land & Sea
An active adventure to see the best of DC both by land and from the water. This intimate experience with the best private guides in DC gives you a chance to get up close to the sights of Washington DC on a bike and then relax from your private boat to soak up the sun and views from the water.
Georgetown & Embassy Row
Georgetown is the oldest section of Washington, DC. Originally an independent city founded in 1751, it has since been incorporated into Washington. Renowned for its Federal-style architecture, Georgetown is a thriving shopping, residential and entertainment area.

Treasures of America
The Smithsonian is 19 world-class museums and a zoo. With so many, how do you decide which to visit! In our opinion, the two most unique are the Air and Space Museum and the American History Museum. Both are immense so let your guide walk you through and show you the highlights. 
Walking the National Mall of Washington D.C.
Meet your guide at your hotel (or a at the National Mall) and make your way to the National Mall. For more than 200 years, the National Mall has symbolized our nation and its democratic values, which have inspired the world. 

Monuments by Night

When the sun goes down, Washington lights up. Enjoy the sights and sounds of this truly magnificent city. You’ll see some of the city’s most popular places such as the Capitol Building, the White House and the Washington Monument. 
U Street Food Tasting Walking Tour in D.C.
This private walking tour allows guests to explore and experience the culinary delights of the famous U Street neighborhood. Here guests will enjoy delicious tastings from locally-owned restaurants and eateries and learn about the history of the neighborhood. 

Georgetown Food Tasting Tour
Eat our way through the stunning Georgetown and discover its’ transition from once a part city to the elite enclave as it’s known today. This walking tour will allow guests will learn about Georgetown’s delicious and culturally diverse history and the blended exciting cuisine that has come from that.
 EMAIL: #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com Visit: www.FriendsTravel.com
Book Travel with Confidence!
COVID-19 Flexible Booking Policy

April 3, 2021

USA Vacation Destinations JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Filed under: Uncategorized — urbanvacations @ 3:16 am
Love nature but not into tents and sleeping bags! Get a healthy dose of Mother Nature with these gorgeous lodging options that will promise to reconnect you with nature.
Special Rates EMAIL #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365
Mohonk Mountain House
Known for its stunning mountaintop location, Mohonk Mountain House is surrounded by unspoiled forest, spectacular cliffs and a pristine glacially formed lake. Founded in 1869 by Albert Smiley as a 10-room inn, the resort has grown over the years but continued to be operated by the Smiley family as a sanctuary in the mountains. At this all-inclusive resort, everything you need is at your fingertips, the only thing you need to focus on is to relax and immerse yourself into its serene surroundings. 
Special Rates EMAIL #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365
The Ranch at Laguna Beach
Tucked away among the secluded and verdant Alisa and Wood Canyons, The Ranch at Laguna Beach is an oasis. in the heart of Orange County. Look no further than the grounds for proof: Aliso Beach, arguably the most picturesque in Laguna, is a few hundred yards away; Ben Brown’s Golf Course, the only one of its kind in the area, is right on property. The hotel even has its own half-acre organic garden, which supplies ingredients to Harvest, its seasonal, indoor-outdoor California comfort food restaurant (grab a seat on the patio for prime canyon views). 
Special Rates EMAIL #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365
Field Guide Lodge
Situated in the heart of the beautiful mountain village, Field Guide Lodge is the epitome of mountain-chic and is built perfectly for exploring the incredible trails, mountains, river, fields and forest of Stowe. Boston-based designer, Rachel Reider imagined a place that directly embraces the leaf peeping, skiing and hiking that the area is known for, so the entire space features a “sunset in the mountains” color scheme of greens, golds, dusky purples, tones of gray and right pops of orange. You’ll also find bird wallpaper, animal “heads” out of cardboard, antlers, rail maps as visuals. Special Rates EMAIL #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365
Hermosa Inn
Originally handcrafted in the 1930s by Cowboy artist Alonzo “Lon” Megargee as his private art studio and residence, The Hermosa Inn’s historical charm is expressed through the use of traditional Southwestern architecture, adobe bricks, wood beans, hand-painted Mexican tile and many one-of-a-kind embellishments reflecting its artistic heritage. The desert landscaping, its popular on-site restaurant, Camelback Mountain views make it a beloved destination for both vacationers seeking the ultimate desert escape and foodies wanting a taste of the West. 
Special Rates EMAIL #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365
The Preserve at Boulder Hills
Situated on 3,500 scenic acres in Rhode Island, just 20 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean is the Preserve Sporting Club & Residences. Known as the most amenity-rich sporting community in America, The Preserve is a four-season destination, a community of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts, a gathering place of those seeking a sanctuary from the rigors of everyday life. With more than 150 elevation changes, the landscape is a stunning, natural backdrop for dozens of activities for all ages. 
Special Rates EMAIL #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

March 21, 2021

Canada Best Places to Visit JESS@FriendsTravel.com


Top Cities in Canada

Optimistic for Travel Despite U.S.-Canada Border Remaining Closed. These things change almost daily.

If you’ve ever strolled the Old Port of Montreal or wandered around downtown Victoria, British Columbia, you know that the best cities in Canada blend history, culture, beauty, and a certain je ne sais quoi. This irresistible mix puts many of the country’s urban centers at the top of annual “most livable” lists — and it’s also what draws millions of visitors to experience all of the sights, scenery, and easygoing charm for themselves.

Toronto — Canada’s biggest city —

Montreal — Canada’s second-largest metropolis, did, wowing visitors with its “old-world feel,” as one voter described. Readers were also impressed with its dynamic dining scene and its roster of luxurious hotels, which continues to improve with the addition of newcomers like Hotel Birks Montreal and the Four Seasons Hotel Montreal.

What Banff, Alberta, lacks in size, it makes up for in its “spellbinding beauty” and “romantic and quaint atmosphere,” according to travelers. “Absolutely beautiful,” one respondent raved about the idyllic resort town, which is surrounded by the imposing peaks of the Rocky Mountains. “It’s the best place for a true nature-and-adventure-filled vacation.”

British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, claimed two winners this year: Victoria and Vancouver. The former, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, has century-old architecture, windswept views, boutique shopping, and, as numerous travelers emphasized, good-natured locals. “Victoria is home to many beautiful, quaint neighborhoods filled with friendly folks”.

Meanwhile, visitors to Vancouver raved about its abundant greenery, mountain-meets-sea scenery, and clean, walkable streets. “The most well-rounded city I’ve ever been to,” one respondent wrote. “There’s amazing hiking, the public transit is easy to access, it’s a very diverse place, home to people from around the world.”

Still, no city has managed to unseat Hall of Famer Quebec City. Keep reading for the reasons why it continues to earn travelers affections — and, of course, the full list of the best cities in Canada.

Quebec City

Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City, Province of Quebec, Canada

For five years running, travelers have awarded this 412-year-old metropolis the gold medal as Canada’s best city. With its atmospheric cafés and classic bistros, its sweeping views of the St. Lawrence River, and its historic Old Quebec neighborhood (a #UNESCO World Heritage site), the province’s capital exudes timeless romance. “It’s the closest one can get to being in Europe while remaining in North America,” one traveler wrote of its Continental character. Another touted its every-season appeal: “it’s a beautiful place to visit no matter the time of the year.”

Sailboats anchored in English Bay. In the background are the snowcapped North Shore Mountains. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Montréal, Québec, Canada -: people enjoying a sunny winter day at the top of Mont-Royal public park covered in snow with downtown Montréal on the background, against a sunny clear blue sky.


Victoria, Canada – Building exterior of a Irish Times in a classic building in downtown Victoria.

Victoria, British Columbia

Banff, Alberta / Canada – Banff is a gateway to Sulpher Mountain and a must see for tourists.

Banff, Alberta

Reservations EMAIL
#JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365

Visit: www.FriendsTravel.com since 1985

San Diego California Vacations JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Why San Diego is (at Least) Six Vacations in One

To those who’ve never experienced #SanDiego—and even to some who have—it’s the ultimate #SoCal beach city, whose 70 miles of prime coastline tell you all you need to know about the place (in a nutshell: sun, surf and serious Endless Summer vibes). And no one’s saying those aren’t totally worthy getaway goals, because even if you did nothing more there than park yourself on any of the iconic local beaches, the vacation would inevitably go down as one of your best. But, the city packs so many bonus escapes—thanks to a whole series of world-unto-themselves neighborhoods—we can’t let you miss out.

Granted, you’ve probably heard of some of these neighborhoods before, and you may well have spent time in a few. But even the oldest among them have new offerings you won’t want to deprive yourself of—particularly when said offerings are the kind you read off a menu.

(Note that in a city that’s almost comically famous for its good weather, alfresco dining was a beloved way of life well before 2020 rolled around.)

So whether you’re thinking about your first visit to San Diego—or you’re a returning devotee—check out this guide to six of our favorite neighborhoods. Adding even one or two to the mix will make you feel like you’ve gotten a getaway-within-a-getaway. And rest assured, you’ll still go home feeling like you’ve had a gloriously beachy escape.

Old Town San Diego

To begin at the beginning, as it were, make Old Town your first stop. The scene of the first permanent European settlement in California, this neighborhood dates back to the late 1700s—and much further if you consider the 9000+ years of Kumeyaay history that preceded both the Spaniards and the 19th-century Mexican settlers along the banks of the San Diego River. In fact, to bring those millennia of indigenous history into sharper focus, the Old Town State Historic Park is debuting a long-anticipated Land of the First People Educational Park—or Iipay-Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok—this spring.

And in light of how much else there is to see, do and eat in the neighborhood, you’ll want to give yourselves at least half a day here—especially if you’ve got kids in tow, and you visit on a Wednesday or Saturday, when the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park stages fun demos by period-costumed blacksmiths and others. Kids will also love the resident donkeys, the vintage toys that adorn the children’s bedrooms at the 200-year-old Casa de Estudillo (all visible from the courtyard though large, open windows) and the creaky, old windmill (one of the only working windmills in any U.S. state park).

Also within the bounds of the State Historic Park: Fiesta de Reyes Plaza, where you’ll find the mostly alfresco Casa de Reyes Mexican restaurant, an outdoor stage, and countless specialty shops (peer into The Tile Shop, at a minimum). But whatever you eat or drink there, you’ll want to save room because just beyond the park’s borders, streets-full of amazing offerings beckon. In fact, at the restaurants that line San Diego Avenue, beloved “tortilla ladies” make fresh corn and flour rounds before your eyes (not that you’d need visual proof—the scent is a dead giveaway), and you should buy half a dozen to go even if you’re not planning to sit down for a meal. Something else you should pick up to snack on as you wander Old Town’s streets: the absurdly good Oreo Churros at the Wave-Caffe Vergnano.

Duly fortified, you’ll be set to wander the rest of the neighborhood. Highlights include the historic Campo Santo Cemetery and the nearby Heritage Park Row, a series of beautifully restored Victorian homes alongside San Diego’s first synagogue. To cap off your tour of the area—at least if you’re traveling sans kiddos—check out one of the best new additions: Tahona, home to an impressive array of mezcals and delicious Oaxacan with which fare to pair them. And like most local establishments, Tahona has ample outdoor seating.

The Embarcadero San Diego

To view local history through more of a maritime lens—and have plenty of timeless fun in the process—head to this neighborhood that runs along San Diego Bay. Though vessels of all kinds float just offshore, arguably the most famous is the USS Midway—the longest serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century, and now an endlessly fascinating museum (among the new health precautions: online ticket purchase and timed entry). Another beloved historic ship along the Embarcadero is the 19th-century iron-hulled, full-rigged Star of India—one of several vessels that make up the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and that have opened with precautions in place.

After the excitement of historic ship exploration, head to Seaport Village, a charmingly old-timey collection of shops, restaurants, bars and attractions. The newest, which craft beer lovers won’t want to miss, comes courtesy of the locally revered Mike Hess Brewing, whose latest outpost is complete with bay views to rival the menu. (If wine is more your thing, know that San Pascual Winery operates an adorable tasting room with outdoor seating on the same stunning stretch of waterfront.)

There are countless family-friendly spots in Seaport Village, but whether or not you’re traveling with kids, check out the offerings at the Kite Flite Shop. As you’ll gather in the neighboring Embarcadero Marina Park, famously favorable winds draw kite enthusiasts of all ages to this gorgeous, grassy expanse. Whether you join in the fun, or simply take it all in, the rainbow-colored kites with the bay for a backdrop make for a dreamy retreat.

Keep the serenity going with a walk along the water, where the views—all yachts and seabirds and rippling sapphire waves—make this path a favorite among bikers and runners, too.

Ocean Beach San Diego

For a completely different take on life by the water, head to a neighborhood where surfboard signage adorns every other storefront, wetsuits pass for streetwear and vintage Vans (whether of the footwear or VW variety) reign supreme. Yes, we’re talking about #OceanBeach—that’s OB to locals—where you can’t get more classic than the local surf vibes.

To get an immediate (and gorgeous) sense of the scene, head straight to the #OceanBeachPier, best known as the longest concrete pier on the West Coast, but equally notable as a backdrop: Check out the water below the supports, almost invariably, you’ll see a whole lineup of surfers—some catching waves, others waiting on the next one.

From there, make your way back inland a bit along Newport Avenue. Grab a burger—any burger—at the fabled Hodad’s (where even the outdoor seating area is demarcated by a fence of standing surfboards), and don’t forget the onion rings. Then peruse the local businesses, whether the vinyl collection at Cow Records, the surfwear at South Coast Wahines—or just the eye-popping façade of the street’s famed former hostel.

But wherever your OB wandering takes you (and if you’ve got a four-legged friend along, that should include the beloved Dog Beach), you’ll want to be back at one specific place by late afternoon: the aptly named Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Alternately, if you prefer a sundowner with your sunset, snag a seat outside at the ocean-facing Surf Lodge and order the Mai Tai—the best in town, according to many a local.

Barrio Logan San Diego

One of the city’s coolest neighborhoods, #BarrioLogan is best known as the home of Chicano Park—the art-filled, 8-acre enclave beneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge—and the surrounding blend of culture, heritage and creativity.

Having just celebrated its 50th birthday in 2020—and having been declared a National Historic Landmark three years before that—#ChicanoPark remains the cultural heart of the historically Mexican-American neighborhood, and the best place for visitors to start. More than just an eye feast, the art adorning the bridge pillars throughout the park serves as a visual history of the community, to the point that you’ll want to have a mural map on hand.

In fact, given the sheer quantity—reportedly the largest collection of outdoor murals in the U.S.—you may want to do some advanced research so you can zero in on the works of greatest personal interest (whether Latinx icons, indigenous deities or other locally resonant symbols, all of these portrayals tie back to themes of social justice and Chicano history).

Once you’ve had your fill of public art, fill up on some of the other things the neighborhood is famous for. Don’t miss Salud, whose Papa Fried Shell tacos (think mashed potato tacos) taste divinely inspired—as do the blended coffee drinks at Por Vida (try the horchata latte). And if craft beer is your beverage of choice, good news: The already thriving local brewery scene has welcomed an instantly beloved newcomer. The Latina-founded Mujeres Brew House serves up Buenas Vibras (a grapefruit-infused blond ale), La Jefita (a tamarind Hefeweizen), and all manner of deliciousness in between.

As you’re walking everything off, stop by some of the great local shops. One new favorite is El Puesto SD, owned by two sisters—one of whom is the resident huarache curator (and for that reason alone, the store is worth a visit), while the other maintains an expertly edited vintage collection.

Little Italy San Diego

Thanks to waves of Sicilian and Ligurian immigrants who began building up San Diego’s tuna fishing industry in the 19th century, Italian culture figures prominently into the local mix, too. And as you might guess, Little Italy is the best place to find the vestiges. But as you might not guess, it’s also one of the best places to go for ground-breaking, news-making cuisine—plus some of the chicest décor and design shops in town.

For a quick historic overview, check out a few of the longstanding fixtures—from Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church (the nearly century-old spiritual heart of the neighborhood) to the Waterfront Bar and Grill (said to be the city’s oldest continually operating tavern, where Italian fishermen would relax after mending their nets outside the front door) to Mona Lisa Italian Foods (the old-school, family-run deli and restaurant whose sandwiches and slices are legendary).

You’ll also want to check out a few modern nods to the neighborhood’s Italian heritage: Piazza della Famiglia (a 10,000-square-foot plaza where you can enjoy takeout treats from the new Little Italy Food Hall), the more intimately scaled Piazza Basilone (a tribute to WWII Medal of Honor Recipient Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone); and—on Saturdays—the Little Italy Mercato (a vibrant, open-air market).

But you’ve got to show up prepared for at least two meals: ideally, an old-school Italian lunch, followed by a long promenade—this would be the time to work in a visit to the chic Kettner Arts & Design District—and topped off with dinner at one of the city’s buzziest modern restaurants. These include Juniper & Ivy, Herb & Wood, Ironside Fish & Oyster (noticing a theme?).

In keeping with the alfresco theme (because every restaurant we’ve mentioned offers some version of it), wine lovers should make time to pull up a seat outside M Winehouse—a beloved wine bar that occupies the neighborhood’s oldest house: a tiny Victorian beauty that dates to 1888, and makes for the perfect place to toast to your neighborhood discoveries.

La Jolla San Diego

For sheer natural beauty, you can’t do better than the Edenic enclave that curves around—and periodically rises above—the Pacific for seven stunning miles. Arguably the best place to start is downtown La Jolla, whose stretch of coastline includes the fabled Cove and Children’s Pool.

The latter, for the uninitiated, isn’t actually a pool: It’s a tiny protected beach that has become home to an impressive population of seals and sealions. Because of the pupping season in progress, you can’t go down onto the beach itself until mid-May. But you can still walk out onto the skinny breakwater that curves around the front of the beach, where you’ll be hemmed in by some of the planet’s most beautiful water. On a clear and sunny day (i.e., often), this patch of the Pacific goes totally glassy, so you’ll see not only the emerald-color kelp forests, but also whatever’s frolicking among them. And during pupping season, that’s a lot of baby seals. From the breakwater, you have an equally amazing view of the babies on the beach, along with their mothers.

You’ll try to process what you’ve just experienced as you make your way back up to the main drag through the Ellen Browning Scripps Park, but the walk is too short to integrate so much mind-blowing nature. So you’ll have to stroll and snack your way through the area, stopping at such icons as Warwick’s books and Sugar & Scribe bakery, as you regain your bearings.

From here, you can make your way to La Jolla’s even wilder stretches of coastline—all the way up to #TorreyPines State Natural Reserve.

Wherever your wanderings take you, you’ll want to be well positioned for sunset—and you’ll find some of the best sundowner spots back downtown. Consider George’s at the Cove, whose open-air rooftop Ocean Terrace opens for dinner at 4pm (try to reserve a rail-side table and arrive a few minutes early) or La Valencia’s outdoor tables, where—for a real neighborhood experience—you should order the regulars’ favorite secret menu item: a Kahlua, brandy and ice cream cocktail known as the Whaler.
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