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Head to San Diego for great golf, activities on Fourth of July

By S. Adam Cardais,
Torrey Pines Golf Club - Golfer
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Tee off at San Diego's Torrey Pines Golf Course, host to the 2008 U.S. Open, during this Fourth of July weekend. (Chris Baldwin/GolfPublisher.com)

Every Fourth of July in San Diego fireworks light the night sky above San Diego Bay, setting it aglow in a celebration of America's independence rivaled by few other cities. This year, be there to see it.

With more than 70 miles of beaches, excellent weather and world-class golf courses such as 2008 U.S. Open host Torrey Pines, San Diego is the ideal place to spend this Fourth of July. Here are a few ideas to help plan your trip, from accommodation and golf to Independence Day events.

San Diego hotels and restaurants

Hotel del Coronado: Built in 1888, the Hotel del Coronado has been called "one of the top 10 resorts in the world" by USA Today. It has hosted presidents, but it's also a great place for families, with its seasonal teen and children's programs.

The resort boasts 679 recently-remodeled rooms. All include the hotel's signature personal care and bath products, high-speed Internet access and, for the kids, a Nintendo Game Cube.

When you're not on the golf course, hit the beach for a surfing lesson or get a massage at the Spa at The Dell. Check out 1500 Ocean for a great dinner or, for something a bit lighter, try the Sushi Bar at Babcock & Story Bar. Both offer indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

San Diego golf courses

The Grand Golf Club: This is the place to play if it's been a while since you hit the links. The course measures just over 5,800 yards from the white tees, so it is manageable for a range of skill levels. You'll enjoy the scenery on this Tom Fazio design, arguably one of the most beautifully maintained golf courses in the area.

Barona Creek Golf Club: Follow up the Grand with a course that will test all your skills. Just 30 miles outside San Diego, Barona has some ball-buster holes, namely the 534-yard par-5 13th. It weaves through a valley and brush areas and slopes to the right in a dramatic dogleg. The tee shot is critical, as short balls will likely find their way into the hazard on the right side of the fairway.

Though bunkers surround many of the greens, Barona's spacious fairways provide a bit of a cushion. Barona's scenery is payoff for its frustration. Oak trees pepper the course and a stream plays through.

Torrey Pines Golf Course: Arguably the most respected golf course in San Diego, Torrey Pines will host the 2008 U.S. Open Championship, following a Rees Jones redesign in 2001. This muni is also home to the annual Buick Invitational, a clear indication Torrey Pines isn't your average public golf course.

Fourth of July in San Diego

July 4th Spectator Cruise: Get a panoramic view of the fireworks from Coronado Island, San Diego Bay, Mission Bay and Sea World from the deck of the New Inspiration Hornblower, the largest super-yacht in San Diego.

Cost: $25 per adult

Click here for more information.

4th of July Fireworks Evening Paddle: Looking for something a little more understated? Watch the fireworks over La Jolla Cove paddling in a kayak.

Cost: $65 for a single kayak, $110 for a double

Click here for more information.

San Diego Padres vs. Florida Marlins: Spend Independence Day watching America's national pastime. There will be fireworks during the game.

Click here for more information.

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