THE IN­SID­ERS: SAN DIEGO

Mike Hess

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE - MIKE HESS

GO: San Diego, in south­ern Cal­i­for­nia right on the US bor­der with Mex­ico, has a mild cli­mate and fan­tas­tic beaches and is a great place to visit all year. But what bet­ter time than San Diego Beer Week, which starts on Novem­ber 6? What Napa is to wine, San Diego is to craft beer. With 115-plus brew­eries, the op­tions are incredible and fea­ture a broad range of styles. Head to Guild Fest on the Satur­day, then plan a fun week. Check out my Mike Hess Brew­ing’s North Park lo­ca­tion and get a unique view of a brew house from our sky bridge, or try AleSmith’s new tast­ing room and brew­ery in the Mi­ra­mar area. For cock­tails, don’t miss Seven Grand in North Park; sdbw.org; mike­hess­brew­ing.com; alesmith.com; se­v­en­grand­bars.com.

EAT: Noth­ing beats a beach and a bar­be­cue and Iron Pig Ale­house in Pa­cific Beach fills the bill. Down­town, go for a hand-tossed pizza and craft brew at Ciro’s Pizze­ria or Amer­i­can fare at the city’s old­est brew pub, Karl Strauss, on Columbia. North Park is full of choices, but def­i­nitely get to Way­point Pub­lic, the lo­cals’ neigh­bour­hood bistro and bar; iron­pigale­house.com; cirossd.com; karl­strauss.com; way­point­pub­lic.com.

EX­PLORE: If you love pups and sand, visit Ocean Beach’s dog beach, or spend time pad­dling or swim­ming to the buoys or just ex­plor­ing the tide pools at La Jolla Cove. San Diego Zoo’s Sa­fari Park is about 40 min­utes’ drive north of down­town and fea­tures amaz­ing an­i­mals in a free-range habi­tat across 800ha; sdzsa­fari­park.org.

BUY: Skip the malls and sup­port lo­cal artists and mer­chants by head­ing to San Diego’s neigh­bour­hoods such as Ocean Beach and North Park, which buzz with ar­ti­sans cre­at­ing and sell­ing every­thing from choco­late and cloth­ing to pho­tog­ra­phy and fur­ni­ture plus, of course, craft beer and spir­its.

STAY: Hil­ton San Diego Re­sort at Mis­sion Bay and Par­adise Point Re­sort both fea­ture amaz­ing bay and ocean views with res­tau­rants show­cas­ing the best chefs and culi­nary de­lights. Mid-city, try The Lafayette Ho­tel lo­cated in “hip” North Park; re­lax by the pool or walk to well-known res­tau­rants, brew­eries or San Diego Zoo. Ho­tel So­la­mar is lo­cated in the heart of the down­town Gaslamp Quar­ter, the pre­mier din­ing, shop­ping, nightlife and en­ter­tain­ment dis­trict, within walk­ing dis­tance of the Con­ven­tion Cen­tre and base­ball’s Petco Park; sandiego­hilton.com; par­adis­e­point.com; lafayet­te­ho­telsd.com; ho­tel­so­la­mar.com.

Mike Hess is chief brew­ing of­fi­cer and owner of Mike Hess Brew­ing Com­pany, along with his brother Greg. Mike started home-brew­ing in his Philadel­phia apart­ment in 1995 and his com­pany has won ma­jor awards for its beers; mike­hess­brew­ing.com. In­sid­ers editor: Gra­ham Erbacher Gra­ham.Erbacher.news.com.au

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