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Nan Palermo/Flickr

US Grant

US Grant
Step inside a historic palace of luxury

Built for $1.9 million—an unimaginable fortune when the hotel opened in 1910, the 437-room US Grant Hotel was the opulent vision of the late president’s son, Ulysses S. Grant, Jr., who believed that this Southern California city needed a fine hotel. The hotel debuted with an all-day ceremony that drew the cream of California society, who marvelled at the Italian marble lobby, balustrades of alabaster, and sweeping views out to Coronado Island from the hotel’s Palm Court.

But over the decades, the US Grant went through tough times. Thankfully, a major restoration by a Native American tribe, which bought the hotel in 2003, removed decades of modifications and renovations to show off the hotel’s original finery. In-room details include original drip-painting headboards by artist Yves Clement as well as authentic Native American art. For a craft cocktail and a little something to nibble—perhaps a ready-for-grownups grownup grilled-cheese sandwich (aged fontina, rosemary bread, speck ham, and balsamic tomatoes)—relax in the Art-Deco sleekness of the Grant Grill Lounge.

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Windansea Beach by Myles McGuinness

Southern California

Discover San Diego County

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21
November
Average (°C)
Sept - Nov
22°
High
15°
Low
Dec - Feb
18°
High
9°
Low
Mar - May
19°
High
13°
Low
June - Aug
23°
High
18°
Low

Imagine 112 kilometres of sun-drenched coast, an inviting ocean, and a year-round daily forecast of 70°F/21°C, and you’ll understand why this southernmost stretch of the state is all about outdoor fun. Discover top theme parks and attractions like SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and LEGOLAND California.

The first European explorer to land in California, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, came ashore in San Diego in 1542.

Relax at legendary retreats like Hotel del Coronado, find art and culture in San Diego and surrounding cities like luxurious La Jolla, and enjoy world-class golf at Torrey Pines, and enjoy culture and diversity, all at the edge of a sparkling blue sea.

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Courtesy of L’Auberge Del Mar

L’Auberge Del Mar

Beachy vibes meet high-end elegance at this luxury resort just north of San Diego

L’Auberge Del Mar creates the illusion that you’re staying at your own personal seaside villa, but has all the amenities of a...

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Joe Polillio/Getty Images

Oceanside

Find exceptional restaurants, inventive breweries and a thriving local art scene in Northern San Diego County

It doesn’t take an etymologist to figure out how Oceanside got its name:...

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Cultura/Alamy

Encinitas

Head north of downtown San Diego to experience one of the best surfing cities in the world

Encinitas isn’t just a city; it’s a vibe. Visit the coastal community 40km north of downtown San Diego and you’ll instantly get a...

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ZUMA Press/Alamy

Del Mar

This San Diego County beach town is home to blissful ocean views—but it also knows how to throw a party

Despite Del Mar’s idyllic oceanfront setting, this little town just north of San Diego was, in many ways, born around horses. The...

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Roy Bartels/Getty Images

Chula Vista

San Diego County’s second largest city boasts authentic Mexican food, a burgeoning craft beer scene and outdoor activities galore

About eleven kilometres from central San Diego in one direction and the Mexican border in another, Chula Vista is quickly developing its own...

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Stretching 1,942 feet, the historic Oceanside Pier is the longest wooden pier on the Pacific Ocean.
Giraffes at the San Diego Zoo
Giraffes at the San Diego Zoo

Spotlight: San Diego Zoo

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See rare and endangered species

Visiting this expansive zoo in San Diego’s Balboa Park is more than a chance to see animals from all over the world: it’s a chance to see one of...

Too darned pretty. Everywhere you look out there, everything's just too danged pretty! I'm usually the prettiest thing!
musician Little Richard on San Diego
SPECIAL FEATURE
Discover quintessential sun and fun at these coastal charmers

Take one part water, one part sand, one part sun-soaked coastal charm, and you’ve got the recipe for some of California’s most appealing destinations. The Golden State’s beach towns stand out for...

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La Jolla by Lucas Himovitz
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Gwynne Spann

Where to eat, what to drink

Endless Sun, Oceanfront Dining & Craft Breweries

With its endless sun and oceanfront location, as well as strong influences from Mexico, San Diego offers plenty of dining options—from flaky fish...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

Sure wine country is romantic, but now it’s a surprisingly great destination for families too, with a growing number of vineyards trading in elegant tasting rooms for kid-friendly fun zones that...

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John/ Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind-the-scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of worth-the-...

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Photo by Michael Saechang/Flickr
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Legoland California by Lucas Himovitz

Spotlight: Legoland California

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Magical Recreations, Rollercoasters & Smiles

It’s hard to say who enjoys Legoland more: the little ones running around in a magical world created by 60 million Lego plastic bricks, or their...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Unleash the kid within at California’s ultimate play lands

From Disneyland classics to beachfront carousels, the Golden State’s best-in-class theme parks deliver something for everyone. Take a tram ride to tour movie back lots at Universal Studios...

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Lucas Himovitz
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The historic 101 Café in Oceanside is the oldest continuously-operating restaurant on historic Highway 101.
A lion cub at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
San Diego Zoo Safari Park by Miller

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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Find out where the wild things are

Like a journey to Africa, a day at this spectacular park lets you see some of the world’s most magnificent—and endangered—animals at close range...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisanal cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets...

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Laura Flippen
Thanks be to God, I arrived here...at this Port of San Diego. It is beautiful to behold, and does not belie its reputation.
Father Junipero Serra
SPECIAL FEATURE
Make memories at some of California's family-favorite beaches

Sand, water, and kids—it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. This sandy dozen offers appealing, family-friendly features, such as calm water for new swimmers, tide pools for intrepid...

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Alex Farnum
Surfers on a San Diego Beach
San Diego by Dave Lauridsen

San Diego Surfing & Surf Culture

Try your hand at hangin’ 10—or at least get the look

Sometimes it seems as if everyone surfs in San Diego County. When the surf is up, there’s a steady stream of dudes (and plenty of dudettes, too)...

SPECIAL FEATURE
World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class accommodations. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills, California’s...

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Lynn Gately/Flickr
SPECIAL FEATURE
Taste the delicious dishes from these amazing California chefs

From a candy-coloured pastry shop to Michelin-starred dining rooms, top restaurants run by celebrity chefs dot the Golden State. And even if you don’t know these chefs from the TV...

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Torrey Pines by Dave Lauridsen

San Diego Golf

Get your daily dose of greens at oceanfront courses

Perfect weather, challenging course, and incredible settings make San Diego County a golfer’s dream destination. It’s not surprising that many of...

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Dave Lauridsen

Julian

Visit a surprising mountain town that’s as American as apple pie

Poised between the desert and the coast, a little more than an hour’s drive east of San Diego, this surprising mountain town makes a great day...

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.
Jacques Yves Cousteau