Northbound: Any Labor Day fun ahead?

Any fun plans for Labor Day? There’s no reason not to schedule something.

Labor Day is the least travelled holiday of the year.

Weather across California is forecasted to be warm. Gas prices are low. Hit the road and visit somewhere new.

If you stay local in North County this weekend, there are plenty of great ideas.

For starters, take a self-guided walking craft brewery tour. In downtown Vista, you could walk to three different breweries that are a block away from each other — Mother Earth, Wavelength and Belching Beaver.

All are great options, especially for hopheads like me.

Need to get food after your beer samplers? I recommend Yellow Deli or Urbn Pizza, both of which are across the street from the tasting rooms.

To do something more adventurous, you could take my world-famous Coaster brewery tour.

Few people know there are tasting rooms adjacent to or a block away from most San Diego train stations.

Start by taking the train down to the Santa Fe Depot, where you can visit Stone Brewing on Kettner Boulevard next door.

From here, you have a lot of options when you begin heading back north — Modern Times Brewing near the Old Town Station (six minute Uber ride), New English Brewing near the Sorrento Valley Station (two minute Uber ride), Culture Brewing near the Solana Beach Station (one block away), Pizza Port Brewing near Carlsbad Village Station (three blocks away), and Breakwater Brewing near Oceanside Station (one block away). Cheers!

The Coaster day pass is only $12.

You could always rent a car cheap. Enterprise Rental Car has a $9.99 a day special for Friday-Monday rentals with 100 miles a day included.

That could get you to somewhere like Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park or Los Angeles easily.

How about Baja for the weekend?

Find the best lobster tacos in Puerto Nuevo, or the best wine in the Guadalupe Valley.

Tijuana shouldn’t be overlooked either — I’ve previously written in this column about the craft beer mecca of Plaza Fiesta.

Something more conventional? If you don’t end up leaving your house this weekend, up your barbecue game.

There’s nothing quite like learning a new recipe, or putting hours into making culinary perfection. BBQ chicken is my specialty. I have two recipes to share with you that I know you’ll love!

My Sunday Grill recipe requires marinating chicken thighs with a mix of BBQ sauce, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, granulated garlic and onion, for at least seven to eight hours. Leave the skins on and refrigerate. Flip the sides over about half way. BBQ them on low-to-medium heat, flipping every few minutes, until you see beading, clear juices emerging. Then turn off your BBQ, close the lid, and let the chicken cook in the dying heat.

The second recipe is a traditional Baja grill style I picked up in my last trip to Ensenada. Marinate chicken drums and wings in olive oil, sea salt, pepper, fresh garlic and lime juice, for seven to eight hours. Leave the skins on and refrigerate. BBQ them on low-to-medium heat, flipping every few minutes, until you see beading clear juices emerging. Then turn off your BBQ, close the lid, and let the chicken cook in the dying heat. Serve as is or chop and serve in warm corn tortillas.

Happy Labor Day weekend!

Vince Vasquez is an economist based in Torrey Pines. He is a Carlsbad resident.

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