Who here would rather explore lesser known destinations versus its more obvious parts? Of course, it makes sense to check off certain sights, neighborhoods and restaurants when you’ve traveled thousands of miles to experience a new city. For example, if you’ve never been to Hawaii, cruising around Waikiki (part of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu by the way) despite the crowds is just something you have to do. As is a gander at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the eclectic Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles. When it comes to San Diego, newcomers inevitably flock to the Gaslamp Quarter’s nightlife, La Jolla Cove’s seal situation, or the North Park neighborhood’s lively craft beer, coffee and restaurant scene.

And if it’s beer you’re after, once you’ve ticked off San Diego’s greatest hits I recommend venturing North to the California casual city of Vista. For October, I lay out all of the reasons why it’s worth the 40 minute drive from San Diego, especially if you’re a craft beer fan.

Adirondacks around a fire at Belching Beaver in Vista, California.
Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill
Photo: John Dole Photography

Vista for Craft Beer Lovers

But Vista is more than craft beer and I’m excited to see how the city evolves from a blip on on the radar to…full blown hot spot might be pushing it, but bottom line is the city’s got potential as a place residents and visitors will want to spend more time than they’re doing now (which is, hardly any). A thing in the original draft that didn’t make the final edits that San Diegans might be interested in is that Downtown Vista continues to grow; Carlsbad’s Guadalupe Brewery is coming soon, and potentially, an event space helmed by the folks of Vista’s Booze Brothers.

Bear Roots Brewing
Photo: Bear Roots

Vista’s Cool Factor

Plus, Vista’s got cool public art, which is another thing that didn’t make it into the October story’s final edits. View the hunched Alley Art Man (Main St.) and Alley Cat (S Indiana) metal works by husband and wife duo Randall Art Ranch, for example. Splashy murals abound, like the intergalactic Space Coyote wrapped around AVO Playhouse, which hosts an array of live musical, comedy and other performing acts. This interactive map pinpoints all of Vista’s art on view.

Alley Cat, Vista, California

To read why Vista is the Idyllic San Diego Day Trip for Beer-Lovers, read my latest story for October.

For more San Diego craft beer, check out the profile I did on Latino-owned brewery Border X Brewing, their expansion plans for Los Angeles and gentefication, also for October.

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