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San Diego Cool Cities

Cool Cities Overview

San Diego

San Diego has a variety of small towns and cool cities. Place your wager in Del Mar where they have live horse racing. Rent a kayak and explore sea caves in La Jolla. Ride a roller coaster at the Belmont Park boardwalk in Mission Beach. Enjoy scrumptious apple pie and tour a gold mine in Julian. From the shops of Del Mar Village to the plethora of activities on Mission Bay, you'll find all of the cool cities in San Diego listed on this page.

San Diego Cool Cities

Del Mar Racetrack

Del Mar is located off Interstate 5 from either the Via De La Valle or Del Mar Heights exits. Del Mar is renowned for its 3 miles of sandy beach and the Del Mar Racetrack, 'Where the Turf Meets the Surf'. During the summer, Del Mar hosts live horse racing with cool ocean breezes and plenty of lucky wagering. Consider taking the Amtrak train to the Solana Beach Station where you'll find FREE shuttles to the racetrack. The Del Mar Racetrack also hosts the San Diego County Fair every year in June. Adjacent to the racetrack is the Del Mar Golf Center where adults and kids can enjoy a mini-golf course or prepare for the real game on practice putting greens and a driving range. To the south of the racetrack along PCH is Del Mar Village where visitors enjoy quaint cafés, boutique shops, art galleries and luxury resorts within walking distance to the beach. A popular nearby attraction is Torrey Pines State Park which offers hiking trails along unique coastal bluffs and a Visitor Center. To the north of Del Mar is the artsy town of Solana Beach where visitors can find more boutique shops, art galleries, live entertainment, cafés and restaurants along Cedros Avenue.

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La Jolla Cove

La Jolla is located off Interstate 5 from La Jolla Parkway. Pronounced 'La Hoiya', this is an upscale artist community nestled comfortably into the hillside overlooking the ocean. Ask any San Diegan where their favorite place in San Diego is and they'll say, "La Jolla". There are many great hotel and restaurant options in La Jolla. Activities include swimming, sunbathing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking and shopping. Spend the day shopping several blocks of upscale boutiques throughout the Village of La Jolla in the center of town. Torrey Pines State Park & Beach is just north of La Jolla which offers hiking trails along unique coastal bluffs and a Visitor Center. Visit the nearby Birch Aquarium at Scripps for a glimpse at local sea life. Explore the La Jolla Caves by sea kayak or by staircase through the La Jolla Cave Store. Peruse paintings, sculptures, film, photography and more at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

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Mission Beach is located near the intersection of Interstates 5 and 8. Mission Beach is a narrow sand bar that separates the Pacific Ocean from Mission Bay. Mission Beach is best known for its beaches, Belmont Park, Mission Bay and Sea World. Enjoy 2 miles of sandy beach good for surfing and swimming. Or, try surfing the man made Wave House at the historic Belmont Park where they also have roller coasters and arcade games by the sea. Enjoy a day of swimming, boating and fun in the sun in the protected waters of Mission Bay. Rent everything from surfboards to beach chairs at Ray's Rentals. Situated at the southern end of Mission Bay is Sea World where visitors can see Orca Whale shows, walk through shark tanks, feed dolphins and stroll an entire theme park of ocean life. The original settlement of Old Town San Diego is not far from Mission Beach. Heading south a few miles puts you at Sunset Cliffs, one of the most picturesque coastlines in all of San Diego.

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Lake Cuyamaca

Julian is located east on Highway 78 approximately 50 miles from Escondido. Nestled in the pine and oak trees of the low altitude mountains between San Diego and the desert, the small town of Julian is a trip back in time. Horse-drawn carriages carry smiling visitors throughout the town. Vintage Bed & Breakfast Inns replace hotel chains. Every visitor is greeted with small town hospitality. Julian is renowned for its homemade apple pies that are available at several pie shops and restaurants. One of Julian's cool historic sites is the two-cell 1914 Julian Jail at the corner of 4th and C Streets. Enjoy wine tasting at one of several wineries in the Julian region. Take a tour of an actual gold mine at the Eagle High Peak Mine. Ride a train and explore a old gold mine at Smith Ranch & Julian Railroad. Visit the Julian Pioneer Museum for a glimpse into Julian's past. The nearby Lake Cuyamaca offers hiking, boating and fishing. Just outside of town is Heise Regional Park, one of San Diego's most beautiful camping parks.

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