An unforgettable way to dine in this coastside community is to take a dinner cruise in the calm waters of San Diego Bay. While you shouldn’t expect the food on these cruises to be the best for the price, the atmosphere and scenery make up for any culinary deficiencies. Be forewarned that the drinks tend to be a bit weak as well; if you love a strong cocktail, plan to hit one of the many downtown bars before or after your cruise.
The juggernaut of the dinner and event cruise industry in California, Hornblower (1066 N. Harbor Dr., 619/686-8715, www.hornblower.com , boarding 6:30 p.m., $65) offers a popular three-hour dinner cruise every night. Pick up a glass of complimentary champagne as you walk down the gangplank onto the yacht. Enjoy your three-course dinner (or more, if you pay extra) as the sun drops below the horizon.
Take a constitutional stroll on the deck and return for dessert, or make for the entertainment deck and dance the evening away as the yacht slowly makes its way around the bay. If you prefer a daytime cruise, book passage for a Sunday champagne brunch.
San Diego Harbor Excursion (1050 N. Harbor Dr., 619/234-4111, www.sdhe.com , $60 for no-host bar and dinner, $80 for hosted bar and dinner) also offers nightly dinner cruises and Sunday champagne brunches out on the bay. With an array of options, including vegetarian entrées and a children’s dinner package at a reduced rate, San Diego Harbor Excursion offers a fun cruise and a tasty meal. Be sure to reserve your place at the table a few days in advance for Friday and Saturday nights and for Sunday brunches in summertime.