Candice

Enter to Win the Ultimate Baseball Getaway to San Diego

Hilton Bayfront pedestrian bridge Petco Park

With Opening Day behind us, baseball season is in full swing. And if you’re a baseball fan, San Diego is calling your name! From a state-of-the-art stadium in the heart of downtown to memorabilia collections and sports bars galore, San Diego is the perfect baseball getaway for any fan of America’s favorite pastime.

Petco Park – Home to the San Diego Padres

Petco Park - Baseball Getaway

Petco Park is always the perfect destination for a baseball getaway

Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, offers baseball fans the chance to catch a game in a remarkable downtown stadium featuring stunning architecture and landscaping, superb sight lines and convenient public transportation access. When it comes to dining, the park also offers much more than your standard stadium hot dogs and brews. Local favorites like Phil’s BBQHodad’s Burgers, Ballast Point Brewing Co., Stone Brewing Co. and Lucha Libre Taco Shop offer authentic tastes of San Diego while you take in a game.

Baseball Memorabilia Collections

sullivan family baseball research center

The San Diego Central Library is home to the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center.

Opened in September 2013, San Diego’s new central library next door to Petco Park features a permanent exhibition that no baseball lover should miss: the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center. Displaying photos, memorabilia and more, this is the largest and most comprehensive baseball research center in the U.S. outside the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

After checking out the library’s collection, head over to the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. The nation’s largest multi-sport museum boasts three levels of memorabilia spanning 68,000 square feet.

East Village Tavern & Bowl

Lanes - East Village Tavern & Bowl

A different kind of strike: the East Village Tavern and Bowl

If you’re looking to get active after a ballgame, East Village Tavern & Bowl near the ballpark offers will quench all your thirsts with a full-bar and restaurant adjacent to its bowling lanes. With lanes open until 2:00 AM, East Village Tavern & Bowl is a favorite nightlife hangout for locals and visitors alike.

Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel

Hilton Bayfront pedestrian bridge Petco Park

Take the pedestrian bridge to get directly from the San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel to Petco Park in no time at all.

After all that sporting excitement, you don’t have to travel far from the stadium to rest your head. The 1,190-room Hilton San Diego Bayfront nestled along the waterfront connects to Petco Park via a beautiful skybridge. In addition to views of the ballpark, the 30-story hotel features panoramic views of the bay and downtown San Diego.

Enter to Win a Baseball Getaway to San Diego

Want a chance to experience all this in San Diego? Enter our San Diego Double Play Sweepstakes, and you could win round-trip airfare for two, tickets to a San Diego Padres game, a three-night stay at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, a round of bowling and dinner at the East Village Tavern & Bowl, and passes to Balboa Park. Enter before April 7, 2014 for a chance to win!

Brent Bernasconi

San Diego Padres Home Opener and More Top Things to Do – April 9-14, 2013

This week in San Diego, enjoy America’s favorite pastime with a baseball game during the San Diego Padres home opener week and/or one of these other top things to do:

San Diego Padres Home Opener Week

[youtube http://youtu.be/ATucvvjEUCU]

It’s not spring in San Diego until the first pitch is thrown at Petco Park. Here’s a rundown on what’s going on this week during the San Diego Padres Home Opener week:

East Village Association Opening Day Block Party

Join in with locals to celebrate the San Diego Padres home opener as they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park. Enjoy a Stone Brewing Beer Garden, live entertainment, DJs, tastes from local restaurants, food trucks, local artisans and businesses, and live broadcasts of the ball game from local radio stations.

> Find out more about the East Village Association Opening Day Block Party

Home Opener Series – Padres v. Dodgers – April 9-11, 2013

To open up the 2013 home games, the Padres will take on their bitter rivals, the LA Dodgers. If you are lucky enough to have tickets, I would suggest wearing Padres brown or the free opening day t-shirt. Home opener starts at 3:40 PM PST.

> Find out more about the Padres v. Dodgers Home Opener Series

Padres v Colorado Rockies – April 12-14, 2013

After the home opener series, the Padres are set to beat the Colorado Rockies over the weekend. Snag tickets to the Saturday game and receive a free Chase Headley Bobblehead.

> Find out more about the Padres v. Colorado Rockies series

Dining Before and After the San Diego Padres Home Opener

So many options! You could grab a beer at the Mission Brewery located a block away from the stadium or you could try one of these dining options around Petco Park. Also check out UT San Diego’s rundown or Eater San Diego’s exhaustive review of dining in Petco Park.

Spring into Night at SeaWorld San Diego

Shamu Rocks at SeaWorld

Shamu Rocks at SeaWorld

This Saturday, SeaWorld San Diego will stay open late so you can enjoy all your favorite attractions by day and then stay late to enjoy the nighttime killer whale rock ‘n’ roll show, Shamu Rocks.

Where: 500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego, CA 92109
Date: April 13, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
> Find out more about Spring into Night at SeaWorld San Diego

Third Avenue Village Street Faire

Third Avenue Village Street Faire

Kids will enjoy the balloon animals and other activities at the Third Avenue Village Street Faire

Here you can enjoy live entertainment on two stages, diverse food items, custom-made crafts, business specials, classic car displays and more. Bring the kids for carnival games and inflatable rides, face painting, balloon making and magic shows, and educational exhibits and more. The 21 and up crowd can kick back, enjoy the scenery and take advantage of drink specials at participating Third Avenue eateries.

Where: Third Avenue between E Street and G Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910
When: April 14, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Third Avenue Village Street Faire

Adventure Sail Aboard the Californian

Tall Ship Californian - Maritime Museum of San Diego

Take to the high seas on an adventure cruise aboard the tall ship Californian

This Sunday, join the crew of the tall ship, Californian, and haul a line, man the helm and end the day with a cannon salute. Watch the crew as they scamper up and down the rigging to set and furl the sails. Listen as the Californian’s crew relates the history of sailing and exploration in San Diego, tales of whaling and sea otter trade, local sea battles, the art of ship’s gunnery, life at sea and more.

Where: Maritime Museum of San Diego – 1492 N Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When:
April 14, 2013
Time: 12:00 to 4:00 PM
Cost: Adults – $60. Kids (11 and under) – $48
> Find out more about Adventure Sail Aboard the Californian

Rocky Mountain Express IMAX at the Fleet

Rocky Mountain Express - Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Take a trip to the Rockies while never having to leave San Diego

Rocky Mountain Express propels audiences on a steam train journey through the breathtaking vistas of the Canadian Rockies and highlights the adventure of building a nearly impossible transcontinental railway. Spectacular IMAX aerial cinematography, archival photographs and maps, and the potent energy and rhythms of a live steam locomotive immerse audiences in this remarkable story from the age of steam.

Where: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center – 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Through June 30, 2013
> Find out more about Rocky Mountain Express IMAX at the Fleet

> Browse more top things to do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Know of some other top things to do this weekend? Let everyone know in the comments below.

Candice

Grab a Bite to Eat Around Petco Park

Padres at PETCO Park
Padres at PETCO Park

Grab a bite to eat before or after the Padres win at Petco Park!

The Padres’ season is upon us, and as fans flock into one of the country’s best ballpark (just ask TripAdvisor), visitors to San Diego’s Petco Park better come armed with a good appetite. Locals know that the great food offerings within Petco set it apart from other ballparks – Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, Anthony’s Seafood, and Ballast Point Brewing Co. are just a few of the San Diego food and beverage favorites you can find within Petco’s walls.

But why limit your options when you’re within walking distance of more than 200 restaurants? Before and/or after the game, head into the streets of Downtown to explore a wealth of dining options, from global flavors to classic American burgers.

Dining Around the World

The Kebab Shop

The Kebab Shop brings the flavors of Turkey to the East Village with savory doner kebabs, schawarma and shish kebab plates, all at budget-friendly prices.

Gaijin Noodle + Sake House

Gaijin Noodle + Sake House in the Gaslamp Quarter offers a menu focused on traditional ramen noodles and yakitori grill, along with other authentic Asian cuisine. Libation offerings include the tradition of Japanese kakigōri, boldly colored shaved ice creations made from sakes and sojus, and a selection of Japanese beers.

The Dragon’s Den

Also in the East Village, the Asian fusion menu at The Dragon’s Den features a creative juxtaposition of traditional Chinese items like egg drop soup next to Asian-influenced contemporary small plates like hoisin-flavored beef brisket sliders, plus a full-service sushi bar and Asian-inspired cocktails with unexpected ingredients like a splash of Sriracha in the “Dragon’s Breath,” a blend of Casa Noble Blanco tequila, St. Germaine, fresh lime juice and soda.

Proud to be an American

Hodad’s

Visit the downtown outpost of Hodad’s, a famous surf-themed burger joint that’s been serving truly amazing hamburgers for 40 years. Their original Ocean Beach location even garnered attention from celebrity chef Guy Fieri, who featured the restaurant on his “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” TV show.

Maryjane’s

Maryjane’s in the Hard Rock Hotel offers a variety of diner-style food options from chicken wings to chili cheese fries. Added bonus: Maryjane’s serves food until 3:00 AM, so you can make this joint the last stop on a truly epic food crawl.

Pre-game meals

The Mission

The Mission is a health-conscious café that specializes in fresh, quality food with fanciful flavors and artful presentations.  The Mission’s diverse breakfast and lunch menus include everything from small plates, to Chino-Latino inspired dishes, to freshly baked goods.

Café 222

A local breakfast favorite, the funky Café 222 serves up a menu of stuffed omelets, various benedicts and their signature peanut butter waffles.

Got a favorite place to grab a bite to eat before heading to Petco Park? Let us know in the comments below.

Maren

Top Things this Spring in San Diego

Coronado Beach
Coronado Beach

Spring into Coronado Beach, the #1 beach in America

Spring is a time of longer days, warmer temps and renewed energies – it is also the perfect time take your lightened heart and visit San Diego, where springtime activities abound. From desert blooms to Zoo babies, San Diego is certain to enliven your spirit this spring.

Spring Babies at the Attractions

Spring's New Babies at San Diego Attractions

Say hello to Xiao Liwu at the San Diego Zoo.

Come meet the newest and cutest additions at San Diego’s attractions, including the new baby killer whale at SeaWorld San Diego, the Chinese Giant Panda cub Xiao Liwu at the San Diego Zoo and Kayode, a southern white rhino at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

> See what else is going on at San Diego attractions this Spring

Let’s Go Padres!

San Diego Padres at PETCO Park

Catch the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. Photo courtesy of Mark Whitt.

Root for the San Diego Padres this spring on April 9 when they play the Los Angeles Dodgers at the state-of-the-art downtown Petco Ballpark for the beginning of the six-month season of Major League Baseball. Make it a night and start or end the evening at one of the numerous bars and restaurants surrounding the park in downtown’s famous Gaslamp Quarter and East Village.

Warmer Waters

Kayakers in La Jolla

Take to San Diego’s waters this Spring

As the mercury rises, it’s time to get out to San Diego’s 70 miles of beach and enjoy any number of water activities. Learn how to surf through private or group lessons with Surf Diva Surf School, located on La Jolla Shores. Kayaking through La Jolla’s famous 7 caves is another great opportunity for spring. Choose from one of the many companies offering tours, including OEX La Jolla, La Jolla Kayak, or Hike Bike Kayak Sports La Jolla, or try out the newest craze in watersports, Stand Up Paddleboarding with OEX La Jolla or Surf Diva.

> Get outdoors in San Diego this Spring

Fields of Flowers

Anza-Borrego Desert Wildflower Season

Spectacular Anza-Borrego Desert wildflowers!

San Diego’s mild winters lend themselves to early and bountiful flower blooms around the county. Check out the wild flower blooms happening in San Diego’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, just east of San Diego, or head up to the sea of giant ranunculus flowers at the Flower Fields of Carlsbad California, open March 1 – May 5, 2013.

> See more Spring wildflowers in San Diego

What are you looking forward to doing in San Diego this Spring? Tell us in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

Marvel at the Summer Sky Blast at Petco Park

Tonight, July 21, 2012, enjoy the warm summer evening with America’s past time as the Padres take on the Colorado Rockies. After the game, sit back, relax and marvel as the night sky is lit up with a brilliant display of color during the Summer Sky Blast, Petco Park’s largest fireworks display!

> Get Your Tickets Now

Brent Bernasconi

Show Your Support for Tourism to Win Padres Tickets

US Tavel Bus - Vote Travel

The "Vote Travel" Bus on their 20,000 mile road tour across the U.S.

The U.S. Travel Association’s “Vote Travel” Bus arrives to San Diego on Thursday, April 19, and you have a chance to win tickets to a future Padres game! We’re giving away two (2) sets of Four (4) tickets to watch the Pads v. Brewers on May 8, or the Pads v. Angels on May 18.

Here’s how to win:

  1. Come down to Tony Gwynn Drive in front of PETCO Park from 4:30 – 7:30 pm.
  2. Take a photo in front of the bus. Get there early to grab some free US Travel swag to incorporate into the photo.
  3. Now submit the photo in one of two ways:

Facebook

Post your photo on the San Diego Facebook wall, telling us why you love to travel across the US, then share you post with your friends! The picture with the most likes by 10:00 am on April 24th will be eligible for one of the 4-pack of tickets.

Twitter

Post the photo onto Twitter. Be sure to mention @VisitSanDiego and use the hashtag #VoteTravelSD. Once it’s up, start spreading the word and get your post retweeted. The Tweet/Picture with the most retweets by 10:00 am on April 24th will be eligible for one of the 4 pack of tickets.

You can follow US Travel’s “Vote Travel” Bus on Twitter and Facebook.

Good luck!!

Brian

4 Reasons Why It’s Easy to Love Padres Baseball in San Diego

Major League Baseball returns to San Diego today when the Padres host the L.A. Dodgers in the season opener for both clubs.

An Entire Family of Padres Fans

An Entire Family of Padres Fans

That means the start of 81 home games in the East Village between April and September. With San Diego’s perfect weather, PETCO Park is the place I want to spend my summer evenings. Since I couldn’t wait for the season opener, I took my family for a preseason contest on Tuesday to get my baseball fix a little early. It reminded me why we love baseball so much as a great family experience.

Here are four reasons to get excited and book a San Diego baseball trip this spring:

Petco Park's Park at the Park

Catch the exciting Padres' Action from the Family Friendly Park at the Park

1. Park at the Park

Only in San Diego do you have a park within the stadium. For as little as $5, you can get into the game, throw down a blanket on the raised lawn and watch the game. There is a whiffle ball park where kids can play a game of their own, as they hit, run and throw until they tire themselves for bed. And with a prime view of the game on the jumbo screen, you won’t miss a minute of the action.

TaylorMade Simulator at PETCO Park

TaylorMade Simulator at PETCO Park

2. Two Sports, One Location

The new TaylorMade golf demo area allows visitors to swing golf clubs and try out their latest clubs. That’s like bacon dipped in chocolate; two of my favorite things combined.

San Diego's East Village

PETCO Park in the Heart of San Diego's East Village

3. East Village

The area around PETCO Park, known as East Village, really sprouted up since the park opened in 2004. That means most everything around the ballpark- restaurants, bars and hotels – is new and fresh. Be sure to check out great hotels like the Omni, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, San Diego Marriott Gaslamp, Hotel Solamar and Hotel Indigo. They’re all great spots to enjoy pregame and postgame drinking and dining.

4. Get to know the Rookies

I’m a die-hard baseball fan, so I always look forward to April and a new season. ESPN.com says the Padres have the #1 ranked farm system in baseball, so I’m excited to see the young guns make their way this season.

What to know:

Parking
There are scores of lots around the park that range between $10-$20 depending on proximity. The trolley is also a great option if your hotel is near the line or if you don’t have a vehicle.

Tickets
The Padres have tickets that start at just $5. There is a new dynamic pricing model in place this year, so be sure to check out padres.com/tickets.

Follow this link for more details and upcoming Padres’ home games

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend

1. Gourmet Food Truck Festival: Pack your appetite Saturday, August 20 as Del Mar Horse Races hosts the largest Food Truck Festival. Guests will have the opportunity to sample a treasure trove of delicious and eclectic foods from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm served by Southern California”s top food truck chefs. The festival will take place in the concert area and is free with track admission.

Photo courtesy of UT

  1. 35th Annual World Body Surfing Championships: International and U.S. body surfers compete at the Oceanside Pier and Beach August 20 and 21 starting at 6:30 am. Over 300 body surfers will compete and will be judged in how well they perform in their 15 minute heats. There will also be booths from sponsors such as Bud Light, Muscle Milk, and Rockstar.

3. Stone Brewing Anniversary Party: Help Stone Brewing celebrate its 15th Anniversary with fresh kegs, online casino 10 tastings and over 40 guest breweries. Thousands of people are expected to attend and will be held on the California State University, San Marcos campus on August 20.

4. San Diego Polo Club Match: Experience Polo in a whole new way by tailgating. Pack up your car with food, snacks, chairs and sit back and enjoy a polo match. First match starts at 1:00 pm with the featured match starting at 3:00 pm. Don”t forget to partake in the divot stomp at 3:45 pm. This Sunday”s match is the Fernando Gutierrez Memorial Cup Final.

5. San Diego Padres: Ok so we”re not in the penant race, but a Padres game is always fun and this Saturday, following the game Dierks Bently will be performing and Sunday kids will receive Padres backpacks…just in time for school!

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

1. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park presents Butterfly Jungle, April 9-May 8. During this four-week celebration, guests can walk through the Park’s Hidden Jungle, an African aviary, and surround themselves with thousands of butterflies of every shape, size and color. A variety of butterfly species flutter freely throughout the Hidden Jungle along with more than 100 birds, creating a realistic rainforest environment.

South Coast Winery Resort and Spa

2. This annual spring event is a must see for any wine lover out there. South Coast Winery celebrates spring on April 10th from 3:00 – 7:00 pm with a blessing of the vineyards, followed by live entertainment, a barbecue, dancing and of course wine! Interested in a wine tasting? Comment on our blog and five lucky people with receive a 2 for 1 Wine Tasting gift card. Comment by Monday, April 11, 2011 at 10:00 am pacific.

The Lindley Lopez Circus

3. Head downtown with the kids for the Shake & Shout Family Festival, Saturday April 9 at the New Children’s Museum. From urban dance with Culture Shock to circus arts with The Lindley Lopez Circus, the Shake & Shout Family Festival appeals to kids and adults alike. Additional performances include Birdie’s Playhouse, Aaron Nigel Smith, and San Diego Young Gunz. Free with museum admission.

Photo by Jessica Packard

4. The season is just getting underway in San Diego as the San Diego Padres take on the Dodgers April 8-10. Special promotions include fireworks and rally towels on Friday, Padres mesh caps on Saturday and a special Military opening day on Sunday.

Ramona Music Fest

5. A variety of music artists will light up two stages at the annual Ramona Music Fest IV on Saturday, April 9th. The music kicks off at noon and continues to 6:00 pm at Dos Picos County Park. Ten bands and solo performers are expected to entertain the crowd with everything from rock, country and reggae, to a full brass band.

Brent Bernasconi

Wordless Wednesday

2011 San Diego Padres Season Opener at Petco Park (DSC_8806a)

Photo by Mark Whitt

Photo by Jessica Packard

Photo by Don Boomer - North County Times

WIN!