Designed as an ersatz Cape Cod community, this choice, 14-acre bayfront outdoor mall provides an idyllic setting that visitors love. Many of the more than 50 shops are of the Southern California cutesy variety, but the atmosphere is pleasant, and there are a few gems. Favorites include the Tile Shop, featuring hand-painted tiles from Mexico and beyond; Best of San Diego, where you can stock up on all your city-themed souvenir needs; and the Upstart Crow bookshop and coffeehouse, with the Crow's Nest children's bookstore inside. Other stores specialize in Scandinavian items, hammocks, travel accessories, and more. There are four sit-down restaurants and a variety of sidewalk eateries, and live music is often scheduled for weekend afternoons; the carousel, with its hand-carved menagerie dating from 1895, is a popular draw with families. You get 2 hours of free parking with purchase ($3 per hour thereafter). Open daily 10am to 9pm; restaurants have extended hours.
- © Frommer's 2013