Travel Guide to California - - GOLF -


With plenty of room for jog­ging, bi­cy­cling, boat­ing, kite fly­ing and count­less other ac­tiv­i­ties, this 4,600-acre aquatic and land park is cen­trally lo­cated along I-5 near the wildly pop­u­lar com­mu­ni­ties of Mis­sion Beach, Pa­cific Beach and Ocean Beach. Some ar­eas have fire rings, play­grounds or pic­nic ar­eas, while oth­ers are best for wa­ter­craft and swim­ming. Cruise along Mis­sion Bay Drive for an over­view and keep an eye out for crowds, as boat races, char­ity runs and other events are com­mon.

» Mis­sion Bay Park La Jolla

This up­scale Mediter­ranean-style com­mu­nity lives up to its name (“The Jewel” in Span­ish), with a post­card-ready set­ting, white sands, turquoise wa­ters, sea caves (in­clud­ing Sunny Jim Cave, Cal­i­for­nia’s only known land-ac­cess sea cave) and an Un­der­wa­ter Park teem­ing with pin­nipeds, rays, scut­tling lob­sters and count­less fish. It’s not just another pretty face, though; it hosts the Tony Award-win­ning La Jolla Playhouse, Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art San Diego, Mu­rals of La Jolla and the Birch Aquar­ium—while also of­fer­ing the “Rodeo Drive of San Diego,” named for Prospect Street’s stel­lar shops, gal­leries and restau­rants.

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There aren’t many places where you can drive from the beach to the moun­tains and on to the desert in less than a day. San Diego County en­com­passes all three, in­clud­ing Cal­i­for­nia’s largest state park. Traf­fic reaches rush-hour pro­por­tions dur­ing the spring cac­tus bloom, when the vast brown ex­plodes with color. The park is fas­ci­nat­ing any time of year, as is the town of Bor­rego Springs.

» Anza-bor­rego Desert State Park Bal­boa Park

The coun­try’s largest ur­ban cul­tural park is a ram­bling land­scape of mu­se­ums, the­aters, artists’ stu­dios and gar­dens. The tiled Cal­i­for­nia Tower, with its un­ob­structed 360-de­gree view of the park and city, has be­come a trea­sured land­mark, re­opened af­ter an 80-year clo­sure for the park’s cen­ten­nial in 2015.

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» Cabrillo Na­tional Mon­u­ment

High above the tip of Point Loma, this sprawl­ing park com­mem­o­rates Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo and San Diego’s early his­tory. It’s most pop­u­lar for the panora­mas of the boat-filled bay and sea, the moun­tains to the east and the hills of Ti­juana to the south. It’s a great place to look for whales spout­ing off­shore in win­ter.

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