SAN DIEGO (
) -- The season of outdoor dining is officially here.
And whether it's the surrounding scenery and architecture, the sunshine or the bottomless mimosas, nothing beats enjoying brunch on a fabulous patio or in the courtyard of one of the nation's top restaurants and hotels.
"I think everybody loves to sit outside, have a nosh and a glass of wine," says Mike Letterman, general manager of the OAK Long Bar + Kitchen at Boston's Fairmont Copley Plaza, "Especially these days, when people are inside so much, being outside and in the fresh air and people-watching -- it's important to have that offering."
One of the newest outdoor brunches on our list -- having just finished construction of their courtyard in January 2012 -- the Fairmont Copley Plaza brunch has become known as a great locale for people-watching. But the spot isn't alone in this distinction. San Diego's Searsucker, in the heart of the Gaslamp District, is another brunch location making a name for itself as a great people-watching perch.
And then there's the food. Several of the nation's newest brunch locations are redefining brunch menus, offering such things as tapas to redefine traditional breakfast fare. Others on our list are noteworthy because they're among the "greenest" brunch locations in their city.
To help with the annual hunt for fabulous outdoor brunch destinations, here's a few places you might want to keep in mind.