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Family Friendly Southern California Circle Tour

Family Friendly Southern California Circle Tour
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Enjoy summery weather year-round, hot air balloon rides, beach fun, Shamu, and breakfast with Goofy at the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Trip length: 4 days
Total distance: 243mi/391km


SAN DIEGO. Dine al fresco in the land of the endless summer, where an average year-round temp of 70° F matches 70 miles of coast. Just north in La Jolla, take in Pacific views from the Ocean Terrace, a California Modern bistro perched atop George’s at the Cove . INFO San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau ; 619/232-3101

TEMECULA (58mi/93km; 58min). Visit relaxed tasting rooms to sip delicious Rhone varietals from this unassuming Southern California wine region. Pair Cabernet and carpaccio (made with richly marbled Wagyu beef) at Meritage , with dazzling views of the vineyards at Callaway Vineyards & Winery . Consider a hot air balloon flight over rolling hills. INFO Visit Temecula Valley ; 951/491-6085


IRVINE (63mi/101km; 63min). Shop the lively Irvine Spectrum Center, then embrace the slow food movement at Andrei’s , where thoughtfully prepared dishes showcase sustainable ingredients. INFO Irvine Convention and Visitors Bureau ; 949/660-9112

ANAHEIM (16mi/26km; 25min). Give the little ones a dose of the “Happiest Place on Earth.” Share a table with Goof and other Disney characters at Goofy’s Kitchen , or descend into Ariel’s Grotto for a royal undersea banquet. (Parents: the Cove Bar upstairs has a nice selection of beers, wines, and specialty cocktails.) INFO Anaheim Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau ; 855/405-5020

COSTA MESA (18mi/29km; 20min). Peruse the swanky boutiques of South Coast Plaza . At Old Vine Café , sample the chef’s seasonal tasting menu: innovative offerings may include monkfish medallions or pan-fried polenta with pomodoro cream sauce. INFO Costa Mesa Conference and Visitor Bureau ; 714/786-8585


NEWPORT BEACH (2mi/3km; 7min). Stroll along the sparkling Pacific at Crystal Cove Promenade, then feast on first-rate Indian fare at Tamarind of London , an Orange County version of the famed British restaurant. INFO Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce ; 949/729-4400

LAGUNA BEACH (11mi/18km; 21min). Take in the beach town’s myriad art galleries; many offer complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres on the first Thursday of each month. Take in the sunset at one of California’s prettiest sandy crescents, then enjoy top-of-the-world views and top-flight cuisine at The Loft , perched atop luxe Montage hotel. INFO Laguna Beach Visitors Center ; 949/497-9229


ENCINITAS (48mi/77km; 55min). Check out the busy surf scene at Swami’s, the area’s most popular break, then enjoy Hawaiian-style “loco-moco” plate lunches at Surf Brothers Teriyaki . Walk off that pulled pork slider on four miles of meandering trails in San Diego Botanic Garden . INFO Encinitas Chamber of Commerce ; 760/753-6041

SAN DIEGO (27mi/43km; 32min). Sample fresh fare and internationally acclaimed beers at Stone Brewery , where the on-site bistro makes good use of local ingredients. At 4,200-acre Mission Bay Park , you can take a walk along the sparkling shores, ride Giant Dipper at Belmont Park , watch beach volleyball at Crown Point, enjoy SeaWorld San Diego , or just kick back on a blanket and relax. After dark, take in live jazz and eclectic cuisine at Croce’s . INFO San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau ; 619/232-3101

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