Local Counsel with Dawn Saunders

Real estate lawyer Dawn Saunders tells us what’s good in the neighborhood

Published in 2017 San Diego Super Lawyers magazine

By Dawn Saunders on January 20, 2017


Best place to take a client  –  I prefer to tailor outings to the person, but some good spots are: the Lodge or A.R. Valentien at Torrey Pines for golfers; Petco for sports fans; and Sbicca in Del Mar for wine drinkers.

Favorite watering hole  –  The Aero Club on India Street is a cool local bar with a great divey ambiance that is old-school San Diego.

Best restaurant  –  My favorite restaurant in San Diego is Jake’s Del Mar—great food and atmosphere with amazing views of the ocean. You must try the Hula Pie.

Weekend getaway​​​​​​​  –  Hiking in the local mountains. 

Favorite quote about San Diego​​​​​​​  –  “Stay classy, San Diego” – Ron Burgundy. If you haven’t heard of him, you should look him up; he’s kind of a big deal.

Favorite city event​​​​​​​  –  Christmas on the Prado (aka Balboa Park December Nights) is a good one. So is the ArtWalk in Little Italy, which happens in the spring. Both showcase beautiful communities within San Diego and great food, art and music. 

Where to go after a win ​​​​​​​  –  The Pony Room at the Rancho Valencia is a perfect location to get away and celebrate and make you feel like you’re on vacation.

Best place to reflect​​​​​​​  –  The beach. I like the walk from Cardiff to Moonlight in Encinitas as long as the tide is not too high. There is nothing like the ocean to make you feel like whatever you are contemplating is small in the grand scheme of things.

Favorite park​​​​​​​  –  There are lots of dog parks (and a few dog beaches) in San Diego, and I love to take my dog to visit his pals on the weekends. My favorite is the dog beach on Coronado.

Best place for people watching​​​​​​​  –  Downtown San Diego is always full of surprises.

Go-to sports venue​​​​​​​  –  Petco Park, which opened in 2004. It is a really great venue and incorporated historical elements of old San Diego into the new East Village landmark.

Favorite local shop​​​​​​​  –  Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse in Seaport Village. Not sure how it will fare with the upcoming redevelopment of the Seaport Village area, but it is a fun place to get lost for a while.

Favorite coffee shop​​​​​​​  –  Pannikin in the old train depot in Leucadia—best to ride your bike there because parking can be tough on the weekends.

Favorite pizza joint​​​​​​​  –  Pizza Port in Solana Beach has a fun vibe and good food—great beer selection, too.

Favorite lesser-known tourist attraction​​​​​​​  –  The Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad. 

Favorite city sports moment​​​​​​​  –  When the Gulls returned to San Diego in 2015. Nothing says Southern California like ice hockey.

Most heartbreaking city sports moment​​​​​​​  –  Every day in San Diego is a heartbreaking sports moment.

Place to take out-of-town guests​​​​​​​  –  The Hotel del Coronado, especially during the holidays when they have ice skating on the beach—a truly San Diego experience.

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