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Best of San Diego: City Life


Kumeyaay Lake Campground

Camping Within City Limits / Kumeyaay Lake Campground

Mission Trails Regional Park’s 46-campsite area, just off Mission Gorge Road within the city of San Diego, has reopened for Friday and Saturday night camping after a two-year, city budget-imposed hiatus. For just $20 nightly, you can hike, bike, fish, stargaze, and listen for coyotes without being too far from WiFi or a Starbucks.

Fundraising Trend / The Non-Event

You’re not invited, so please don’t come—that’s the message of a number of nonprofits looking to lower overhead and increase income. With people’s schedules busier than ever, events like ArtReach San Diego’s “unGala” and PATH’s (People Assisting the Homeless) “Imaginary Feast,” there are no tickets, tuxes, or tables of 10 required, just a simple donation to a worthy cause.


Urban Builders / Foundation For Form

You didn’t even know you were going to miss the old North Park Post Office until it seemed it might be history. Mike Burnett and Craig Abenilla of the local architecture and development firm FoundationForForm take run-down San Diego buildings like the North Park Post Office and an old Texaco gas station in Golden Hill and convert them into hip, modern business/apartment buildings that respect their humble beginnings. The U.S. Post Office project opens this summer; the Golden Hill “You Are Here” complex has been operational for about a year. Says Abenilla: “If something’s already standing there, already built, why knock it down?”

Waterfront Park in San Diego Waterfront Park

New Landmark / Waterfront Park

Ten-plus years in the making, the new waterfront park is 14 acres of wide-open turf, progressive play structures, and the piece de resistance, an 830-foot-long fountain split on either side of the County Admin building. Kids love the 31 jets and parents love the 24/7 security and the showers where the kiddos can rinse off. Meet your new waterfront icon, San Diego.
1600 Pacific Highway, downtown

Lifesaver / San Diego Project Heart Beat

Managed by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, this program is on a mission to make automated external defibrillators (AEDs) as familiar and accessible as fire extinguishers in San Diego. It’s installed close to 800 AEDs throughout the county so far, and strives to add more with the help of monetary donations.


News Roundup / Voice of San Diego

The nonprofit news outfit's daily email news roundup called The Morning Report is a no-brainer. It links to the most essential and interesting San Diego stuff that day: news reports, research studies, tweets, blogs, videos, investigations, and anything else smart and legit that matters to San Diego. And it's mercifully annotated and easy to read. If our phones are the first thing we look at in the morning, we might as well have something substantive on there to read, eh? We swear you'll feel like a better citizen.

Up-and-Coming Beach Town / Oceanside

Been to downtown Oceanside lately? You might have noticed its beachy boulevards west of I-5 are dotted with the kinds of breweries, bistros, and breakfast spots we're used to seeing in the higher-rent nabes to the south. Throw in the emerging wave of designers and artists opening galleries and lofts and the fact that it's still patchy enough to be affordable, relatively, and you've got a bona fide gem on your hands.


Bridge Modification / Pedestrian Tube

Seen the plans for the pedestrian tube suspended underneath the Coronado Bridge? Google it! Considering the masses that will bike the bridge during the annual Bike the Bay event this month, we think a permanent pedestrian modification to the bridge is most definitely a good idea. Not sure how the Islanders will feel about welcoming a new wave of wanderers on an everyday basis, but we sure think it would be neat. 

Reinvigorated Sport / Tennis

We thought the Davis Cup match in Petco Park was pretty cool. Then we heard the city was getting a new pro tennis team called the San Diego Aviators, with the Bryan Brothers as members. Oh, and Andy Roddick came to town for the first match. We've always been a racket-wielding town, but it seems tennis is having a moment again. 


Big Idea / Port-to-Park Sky Tram

High fives to Ron Roberts' big idea of an aerial tram climbing from the waterfront up to Balboa Park. We'd ride it! From the sound of things, the county might actually study how to do it. And if San Diego is good at one thing, it's studying stuff. Let's hope this one makes it past the paper.

Bridge / Otay Border Crossing

Park in America, fly out of Tijuana? Yes, please. The revolutionary new bridge between the Tijuana airport and an Otay parking lot is set to open next year. Logistics, work yourselves out, because we've got places to go and international tourists to welcome.

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