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This Round’s Picks for San Diego’s Fan Favorites

October 3, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Cooler weather has come to San Diego, and it’s the perfect time to explore more of what makes this area so attractive to visitors and residents alike., a popular tourism website that helps visitors plan their perfect trip to San Diego, has released their top four fan favorites.

1. The Smoking Goat Restaurant, a French and American bistro in North Park, was chosen as a 2014 San Diego Must See by the editor. Family owned and operated, The Smoking Goat focuses on local, sustainable, and organic food that combines the best of American and French cuisines. Under the direction of Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef and owner Fred Piehl, guests can indulge in carefully crafted, locally sourced dishes that rotate by the seasons. The unique dishes at The Smoking Goat are paired with boutique wines, hand-crafted cocktails, and local craft beers for the ultimate dining experience.

2. Tower23 is San Diego’s only luxury hotel located directly on the beach; visitors can find it near lifeguard tower 23, from which the hotel takes its name. Hotel guests can expect to be pampered throughout their stay. The rooms include Temper-Pedic Serenity mattresses, in-room massage and spa services, Egyptian cotton linens, and step-in rain showers. Tower23 also boasts the latest in technology, so guests can check their email on the beach through the hotel’s Wi-Fi or make a call on the dual-line direct dial cordless phones with voice over IP capability.

JRDN restaurant, located inside Tower23 hotel, offers a contemporary take on fresh California dining. Led by chef Nick Shinton, a three-time winner of San Diego Magazine’s “Best of the Best,” JRDN serves breakfast and lunch during the week, brunch on the weekends, and dinner seven nights a week. The menu focuses on seafood and steaks with a West Coast twist. While dining at JRDN, guests can enjoy the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and see how the light plays on the ever-changing 70-foot wave wall that lines the back wall.

3. Firehouse Pacific Beach won’s 2014 Editor’s Choice for Best Eatery. If that’s not enough to tempt visitors to try the restaurant, the wraps, burgers, and seafood will win over even the pickiest eaters. Patrons can dine on the rooftop, grab a drink in the bar, relax in the leather couches in the lounge area, or grab one of the leather booths in the main restaurant area.

Located in a refurbished firehouse, the restaurant combines swanky Miami style with the laid back vibe of the Pacific Beach area. The owners, two San Diego residents, wanted to save the run down firehouse and decided that their restaurant would be the perfect reason to restore this piece of Pacific Beach history.

4. The Aaron Chang Gallery has been a San Diego favorite since the gallery’s opening five years ago. Founded by renowned surf photographer and Imperial Beach native Aaron Chang, the gallery showcases his favorite pieces including “Black Pearls,” a photograph that seems to move in different lighting, and “Enchanted Sunset.” On September 25 and 26, both gallery locations hosted unveiling parties for the reveal of Chang’s two most recent pieces.

The gallery sets itself apart by providing knowledgeable and friendly presenters; make sure to talk to Brian Dennison, one of the gallery’s most welcoming employees. In addition to working with local clients, the gallery also does virtual mock-ups and in-home fittings for potential buyers.

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