Readers Choice Best Of Leisure 2013

Favorite Local Tourist Attraction: San Diego Zoo
The largest zoo in the United States resides right here in San Diego and is home to over 3,700 rare and endangered animals (more than 650 species and subspecies) and more than 700,000 exotic plants. If that alone doesn’t sell you, where else can you watch cheetahs and dogs cuddling up together – literally? 619.231.1515, sandiegozoo.org

 

Best Local Nightlife Spot: The Belly Up
With world renowned acts performing weekly to a packed dance floor full of fans leaning over the stage, The Belly Up straddles the line between world class venue and intimate local bar. It also hosts the hottest parties of the year, including New Year’s Eve, 4th of July, and the always fun Halloween, where local cosplayers go home with big bucks. 858.481.8140, bellyup.com

 

Best Local Shopping Locale: The Forum Carlsbad
Peruse every store from Anthropologie to Z Gallerie, then get your grub on at one of the many restaurants on site. Or go home and make dinner after you hit Jimbo’s. But shopping is just part of the Forum’s appeal. Yoga classes, aestheticians, and Rejeuvine MedSpa are just a few ways to lift spirits on site. 760.479.0166, theforumcarlsbad.com

 

Best Private Golf Course: Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club
One of only 18 clubs in the states to receive the Distinguished Club Award for providing excellence in all aspects of a golf country club, and steeped in history (Bing Crosby used to walk its links), the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club continues to impress both professionals and amateurs alike. Boasting an 18-hole 7,073-yard, par 72 layout, the course is touted as one of the finest “walkable” designs in the world, always evolving its amenities such as refined restaurants and clubhouses. Though membership is reserved for Rancho Santa Fe residents, the club continues to host a number of prominent championship events. 858.756.1182, rsfgolfclub.com

 

Best Public Golf Course: Torrey Pines
Host to one of the most memorable battles in golf’s history – the 2008 U.S. Open – Torrey Pines continues to marvel fans of the game with masterful links and a world-class view that has players teeing off on coastal cliffs right over the Pacific Ocean. Yearly host of the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open event, it offers two picturesque, championship 18-hole golf courses. Add to this amenities such as The Lodge, advanced golf classes, and one of the largest on-course golf shops in the United States, and you can see why it brings in golfers from the world over. 858.552.1662, sandiego.gov/torreypines

 

Best Annual Gala: Santa Fe Christian
Readers praise Santa Fe Christian’s annual fundraising events, which include the Christmas Gala, in support of the Santa Fe Fund, an annual program that aids programs essential to the Santa Fe Christian experience not covered by tuition. Computer labs, elective courses, and classroom upgrades are just some of the benefits. SFC’s Annual Spring Auction, set for April 20 at Sheraton Carlsbad Resort, will feature more than 200 fantastic auction packages, dinner, and dancing to Atomic Groove. 858.755.8900, sfcs.net

 

Best Event Planner: Redfearn & Associates
From sales to design to booking, production, operations, decor, and logistical planning, this Leucadia-based team handles the biggest events in San Diego, such as the American Cancer Society’s Carnivale Royale Gala, the RSF Unit of Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary’s annual gala at The Grand Del Mar, Scripps Health Foundation’;s Mercy Ball, and Promises2Kids summer concerts, to name but a few. 760.230.6542, redfearnassociates.com

 

Best Florist: Adelaide’s
Since 1963, this La Jolla florist has been wowing people with elegant arrangements and only the freshest quality flowers shipped in daily. Adelaide’s floral experts handle everything from home and business decor to original designs for special events and much more, and even offer tutorials on their blog. 858.454.0146, adelaides.com

 

Best Stationery: Paper Paper
From wedding invitations to simple greeting cards, Paper Paper offers a selection of stationary San Diegans can’t get enough of. They recently moved to Solana Beach where store owner Judy Scheibe shares space with Flashbacks, and offers scrapbooking classes along with her impressive stock of gifts, cards, and much more. 858.481.8883, paperpaperusa.com

 

Best Place To Get Married: Hotel Del Coronado
White sand beaches, luxury rooms, gourmet dining, and one of the best views of the Pacific in all of Southern California make Hotel Del the premier wedding spot in the county. Add to that its rich history, notable red roof architecture, and many romantic little nooks and crannies, and you can see why it books up years in advance. 619.435.6611, hoteldel.com Ryan Thomas

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Best Restaurants 2013
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