Robert Arends

5 to Try for Big Fun on San Diego’s Big Bay!

San Diego's Big Bay
San Diego's Big Bay

Pick your adventure on San Diego’s Big Bay

Spring is here and there’s no better time to make a splash on San Diego Bay – also called the “Big Bay” –  with its treasure trove of attractions, tours, events and cool points of interest.

Following are my top 5 to Try:

1. The Port of San Diego’s Annual Day at the Docks

Kids fishing at the docks

Spend a day with the kids fishing.

The Port of San Diego’s Day at the Docks celebration in April is the West Coast’s largest public sportfishing celebration – and the official start of Southern California’s popular spring saltwater fishing season. Festivities at American’s Cup Harbor include over 200 maritime exhibits, live entertainment, a casting competition, captains’ dunk tank, free fishing and kids art areas. It’s fun and free!

2. The San Salvador

Rendering of how the San Salvador ship will look when completed.

Rendering of how the San Salvador ship will look when completed.

Did you know: in 1542 European explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed aboard his ship, the San Salvador, and reached “a very good enclosed port” naming it “San Miguel.” Today we call it San Diego Bay and visitors can step back in time to check out the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s building of a full-sized, fully functional, historically accurate replica of Cabrillo’s flagship, the San Salvador. The framing is nearly complete and it’s easy to imagine the ship that she will become. Ahoy!

3. The Living Coast Discovery Center

See sea turtles up close at Living Coast Discovery Center.

See sea turtles up close at Living Coast Discovery Center.

The South Bay city of Chula Vista is home to one of my favorite attractions for up-close animal encounters: the Living Coast Discovery Center. You can see endangered green sea turtles (tip: go during feeding time!), leopard sharks, friendly stingrays (minus the stingers so you can pet them!) and magnificent birds like falcons and burrowing owls. The observation tower and hiking trails afford picturesque views of the surrounding wetlands and bay.

4. Seeing the Big Bay…While on the Big Bay

Flagship Patriot Jet Boat Tour

Speed across San Diego’s Big Bay aboard a jet powered boat like Flagship’s Patriot

Water activities abound on the bay, from the affordable Coronado Ferry ride, to narrated harbor tours (on Flagship and Hornblower), SEAL Tours, whale watching excursions, kayak tours (including San Diego’s only urban kayak adventure), Jetpack America rides (you too can fly like a superhero!) and two new thrilling, turbo-charged boat rides (the Sea Rocket and Flagship Patriot). Let’s make some waves!

5. Headquarters at Seaport District

The Headquarters at Seaport District. on San Diego's Big Bay

The stylish new Headquarters at Seaport District

Foodies and shoppers are in for a treat at the new Headquarters at Seaport District, located in San Diego’s former Spanish-style police headquarters (pose for pix in an actual jail cell). Nosh on gourmet tacos at Puesto or grab a slice at Pizzeria Mozza, Chef Mario Batali’s first foray into San Diego’s dining scene. Shop-portunties include local surf photographer Aaron Chang’s Ocean Art Gallery and Kitson, a celebrity hot spot and go-to fashion boutique dedicated to pop culture.

Pick your own adventure and discover the many wonders of San Diego’s Big Bay this spring! 🙂

Sarah Weinberg

A Few Hot Tamales in San Diego

Tamales are a year-round source of pleasure and sustenance in San Diego. Made from masa, a corn-based dough that is steamed or boiled in a corn-husk wrapper and filled with meat, cheese, fruit or vegetables, tamales are often part of San Diego families’ holiday celebrations. While the best tamales in San Diego are those made by a mom or abuela at home, here are some local places to buy these Mexican treats.

The Mission

The Mission Restaurant's sweet corn tamales breakfast

The Mission Restaurant’s sweet corn tamales breakfast satisfies the soul and stomach.

Start off your day right with an order of Plato Verde con Huevos at one of three Mission Restaurants in San Diego. The sweet corn and green chili tamale and eggs over medium covered with roasted tomatillo sauce and served with a side of black beans and salsa offers a sweet and savory combination not to be missed.

Pancho Villa Farmers Market

Pancho Villa Farmers Market chicken tamales burst with filling.

Pancho Villa Farmers Market chicken tamales burst with filling.

I love going to the Pancho Villa Farmers Market grocery store hungry! I do my shopping then sit and have a bite from the Mexican food “deli” section offering freshly made street tacos, birria, and five flavors of tamales. This busy supermarket makes tamales daily with generous portions of cheese, beef, pork, pineapple or chicken filling. The chicken can be a little dry, as these tamales are overstuffed with filling, but my favorite is moist masa stuffed with a hunk of melted cheese and a mild pepper.

Las Cuatro Milpas

The line out the door at this old-school joint in Barrio Logan is testament to the authentic Mexican food served within, and particularly to their fresh tortillas made from scratch in front of diners.  Las Cuatro Milpas offers solely pork tamales, but they do them right. Moist, with just the right amount of pork stuffing, this place is the go-to restaurant for local families catering their celebrations at home.

Northgate Gonzales Market

Just around the corner in Barrio Logan is the shiny new Northgate Market, one of several in a Southern California chain. This supermarket does incredible volume in the prepared food section and offers five flavors of delicious, inexpensive tamales made fresh all day long. The stuffing is not as generous as Pancho Villa’s tamales, but the ratio is pretty darn perfect. The pork filling is a bit too spicy for my family’s taste. Our Northgate favorites are the sweet corn and the cheese and pepper versions.

Tamales Ancira

What will they think of next? Strawberry tamales from Tamales Ancira in South Bay.

What will they think of next? Strawberry tamales from Tamales Ancira in South Bay.

Tamales Ancira in Chula Vista offers the widest variety of tamale flavors; tamales are all they serve (along with rice and beans on the side). In addition to traditional beef, pork, chicken, sweet corn, cheese and jalapeño, Tamales Ancira creates picadillo (ground beef with tomato, vegetables and serrano peppers), chicaroon (pork cracklings in a delicious tomatillo sauce), beans and cheese, pecans and raisin, chocolate, strawberry, blueberry and pineapple tamales. Get there before they close or call in your order because tamales are made fresh each day and usually sell out before closing.

Of course, some of the best tamales are served from little carts located throughout San Diego County, supplied by cooks crafting the labor-intensive treat at home and selling on the street.

Where do you buy your favorite tamales?

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

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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.

Martin

Golf Courses Carved out of the San Diego Landscape

Salt Creek Golf Club

It might be the hunter and gatherer in me, something to do with getting in touch with nature and tying into those natural forces whenever I’m fishing or hunting, but that’s the feeling I get when I enter one of these golf courses carved out of San Diego’s natural landscape.

Barona Creek Golf Course

Barona Creek Golf Course

Escape into the Barona Creek Golf Course

I know. It’s a strange thing to compare hunting and fishing to golf, but anyone who hunts, fishes and golfs, will tell you the reason they do them is to unplug from work, stress, whatever, and get outside for a few hours without having to think about anything but the nature around them. For me, at Barona, it starts with the mystical Native American music in the pro shop. It gets me every time. Then I look out at the first tee, with the giant California live oak that guards the green, smack dab in the middle of the fairway, the creek on the right with native grasses lining it, and it’s time to put the war paint on. I try to linger in that pro shop a while just to get more and more into the mood to play this incredible golf course.

There’s a reason golf magazines like Golfweek and Golf Digest consistently name Barona as one of the top public courses in California. It has five sets of tees, from easy to championship, with plenty of manageable tees in between.

The championship tees (7,088 yards, 140 slope) were played by the Nationwide Tour for its championship in 2007 and recommended for skilled golfers only. But golfers of all levels will enjoy this course’s middle tees (silver at 6,321 yards, 132 slope, 70.4 rating).

What makes this course so unique is how Todd Eckenrode, the course architect, blended each hole into this magnificent slice of California wild, a stretch of ranchland that once was hunted by Native Americans and settlers. He placed 100 bunkers in some very strategic places that catch your eye from the tee and on approaches to the green. Hit it a bit wayward, and you’re dealing with native grasses, maybe a rattlesnake or two, so be careful.

Location: 1932 Wildcat Road, Lakeside, CA
Green Fees: Monday-Friday – $120, Weekends – $160
Toll Free Phone: 888.722.7662
Phone: 619.387.7018
Website: www.barona.com/golf

Mt. Woodson Golf Club

Ledges - Hole #3 Mt. Woodson Golf Club

Hole #3 – Ledges – Mt. Woodson Golf Club

If you’re looking for the best deal inland and a chance to play a unique course tucked into giant, whale-sized boulders and an oak forest, Mt. Woodson is the spot. Just 33 miles from Downtown San Diego, Mt. Woodson in Ramona offers a Lowest Rate Guaranteed green fee, so look for the best deal possible here for green fees.

The names on some of these holes are an indication of what to expect. There’s the par 5, 520-yard 14th hole called “Let Loose,” along with “Windinface,” “The Cradle,” “The Plunge” and “The Lookout.” You get away from it all on this course, and be ready for the cart ride over the trestle bridge that spans one of the course’s many canyons. Think jungle safari in a golf cart.

Woodson is a golfer-friendly course if you leave your driver in the bag on most holes. It’s a short course, with some drivable holes with the driver. It’s just 5,764 yards from the blue tees. It’s 5,399 yards from the white tees and 4,229 yards from the reds.

Location: 16422 N. Woodson Drive, Ramona, CA 92065 (map)
Green Fees: Monday-Friday – $55, Weekends – $65
Phone: 760.788.3555
Website: www.mtwoodsongc.com

Salt Creek Golf Club

Salt Creek Golf Club

Wander the natural landscape at Salt Creek Golf Club

Of these three courses, I’d rate Salt Creek Golf Club in Chula Vista as the most fun to play. It’s challenging, tough, but fair because course architect Cary Bickler custom-designed the course for the average golfer. There are no tricked-up greens or impossible bunkering.

Every hole is a different adventure, and the scenery is spectacular, with views of the Pacific Ocean, Mexico’s Coronado Islands, and the San Diego Wildlife Refuge, a stretch of land that will never see any development.

New owners Bill McWethy and Fred Grand will pour close to $1.5 million into course improvements included a new clubhouse with a wrap-around deck, new golf carts, an all grass hitting area driving range and a new practice area. New tees have been added to give this course some challenging tee shots, some new risk-reward options.

Green fees are very reasonable and the new owners are trying to re-introduce players to this great spot, so look for good deals for a while.

Location: 525 Hunte Parkway, Chula Vista, CA 91914 (map)
Green Fees: $25-$38
Phone: 619.656.2373
Website: www.saltcreekgc.com

> Find the perfect golf course in San Diego

Where’s your favorite place to escape for a round of 18 in San Diego?

Suzzanne

Top Things to do in San Diego: August 23-26

From the King of Pop to a Wine and Food festival, there’s a lot to keep you busy this weekend. What will you be doing?

1. 10th Annual Chula Vista Rotary Wine & Food Festival

Get your fill on some of the best restaurants, breweries, wineries and spirits at the 10th Annual Chula Vista Wine and Food Festival. The event will take place at the Otay Ranch Town Center on Saturday, August 25 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. With over 40 participants this year, there will surely be something for everyone. Tickets are $50 per person.

2. San Diego Symphony: The Music of Michael Jackson

Head over to the Embarcadero for the San Diego Symphony’s Summer Pops series. On Thursday, August 23, the Symphony will be highlighting the King of Pop’s 40 years of hits. From ABC to the Man in the Mirror as well as I’ll Be There, Beat It and the Way You Make Me Feel. It’ll be a Thriller!

3. San Diego Spirits Festival

It’s all about Cocktails, Culinary and Culture on Saturday and Sunday, August 25-26 at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. The Spirits Festival will highlight the cocktail and culinary community and the talented bartenders who are shaking up San Diego’s vibrant scene.

4. Wholistic Expo

The Convention Center will be surrounded by a virtual aura of peace and tranquility created by the Wholistic Expo, the wellness, health and knowledge event, August 24-26. With the purpose of providing a “whole holistic” experience, the Wholistic Expo is designed to promoted mind, body, emotional and spiritual balance.

5. Summer Whale Watching Cruise

For the past few years, giant blue whales have been making an appearance off the coast of California. Catch a ride on one of the many boats leaving San Diego Harbor everyday for your chance to see the largest animal ever to lived.

Brent Bernasconi

Catch Olympic Excitement In San Diego

Today marks the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games with an opening ceremony full of dazzling sights and sounds (and I hear James Bond and Harry Potter might make an appearance). While most of us can’t make it to London, you can still catch the Olympic excitement in San Diego. Catch a family-friendly viewing of the opening ceremony along the water, or see where 80 Team USA Olympians trained (which amounts to about 1 in 5 of the US Olympic athletes trained in San Diego!) at the Olympic Training Center.

Olympics Opening Ceremony Viewing Party

Tonight, climb aboard the USS Midway for a free viewing of the Olympics Opening Ceremony starting at 6:30 PM. During the festivities, visitors will enjoy the following activities:

  • Scheduled appearance by BMX Olympic team
  • Olympic archery athletes conducting archery demonstrations
  • Paralympic soccer team hosting juggling contests for kids
  • Autograph and photos sessions
  • Interactive displays and activities
  • Two giant screens to watch the opening ceremonies in London
  • Typical British fair and drinks for sale!
  • And much more!

> Find out More about the Olympics Opening Ceremony View Party on the USS Midway

Chula Vista Olympic Training Center

Olympic Training Center Flame

Take a peek inside what it takes to train US Olympians at the Olympic Training Center in South Bay’s Chula Vista. The combination of San Diego’s near perfect year-round weather  and open space made for the perfect spot to build a facility for archery, beach volleyball, BMX, canoe/kayak, cycling, field hockey, rowing, rugby, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, triathlon and cross-training for various winter sports.

During the week, visitors can take a self-guided walk down the mile-long Olympic Path with a printable map or by using a cell phone. Guided tours are offered on Saturdays at 11:00 AM.

> Find out more about the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center

In the comments below, tell us about your favorite Olympic sport…

Candice

Bizarre Foods San Diego: Andrew Zimmern Comes to Town

Fish tacos, craft beer and…barbecued lamb’s head? Yes, those are all delectable specialities you can find in San Diego, and the last is just one of the many tasty treats that Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern sampled while in San Diego.

Andrew spent time chatting and exploring with some of San Diego’s top chefs, including Anthony Sinsay of Burlap, Trey Foshee of George’s at the Cove and Chad White of Sea Rocket Bistro. If you didn’t catch it on the air, check out the Travel Channel’s website for more about all the sights and tastes of Bizarre Foods: San Diego!

Maren

7 Great Taco Joints in San Diego

San Diego is home to some of the best tacos in the USA due to a world beyond Rubio’s world famous fish taco and Old Town’s bastion of Mexican eateries rarely seen by tourists. Out there, away from the prying eye of technology, is a stellar collection of succulent meats and robust salsas whose only digital existence is relegated to the near beatific ravings of Yelpers. Below are seven temples of taco worship (in no particular order) not to be missed on your food pilgrimage to San Diego:

Pork Adobada: Photo courtesy of Yelper Jando S.

1. Tacos El Gordo

Tacos El Gordowas famous in Tijuana long before it opened its second location stateside in Chula Vista. Without a doubt, you want the pork adobada tacos. I can’t even begin to describe how good they are. Just go eat one. It costs all of $1.75.

Photo Courtesy of Yelper Tania K.

2. Las Cuatro Milpas

Las Cuatro Milpas holds down the lunch crowd in Barrio Logan. What to order? Anything that includes a tortilla. Tortillas are made on site and must be infused with love and magic, because there is no way just food tastes this good.

El Gobernador: photo courtesy of Yelper Tania K.

3. Marisco’s German Taco Truck 3

Marisco’s German Taco Truck 3 is on the move in City Heights and always worth hunting down. Try the Gobernador, full of fat, spicy shrimp, green peppers and onions with gooey cheese.

Fish Taco: Photo courtesy of Yelper Leonard L.

4. Cantina Mayahuel

Cantina Mayahuel in Normal Heights is a beautiful spot with an insane tequila selection (side note: they make my favorite margarita). It is more expensive than its taco shop cousins, which pays for the lovely space and high quality food. Go Mondays for all-night happy hour including $5 margaritas and 3 tacos for $6. Carnitas tacos are my favorite. They are marinated in pineapple juice for extra umpf!

5. Lucha Libre

Lucha Libre in Mission Hills is our most notable mention of the seven, having appeared on Man vs. Food in 2010. But it makes the taco list for an unlikely featherweight contender: the Flaco Taco. Marinated chicken is wrapped in a lettuce “tortilla” with vinegary, pickled onions to provide a delicious, nutritious winner.

Experimental Tradition at Puesto

6. Puesto

Puesto in La Jolla recently opened with an experimental take on traditional Mexican street fare. With a selection ranging from carne asada to soy chorizo potatoes, you get to choose any combination of grilled items and toppings – Chipotle style, for lack of a better term. I like to go with Huitlacoche (corn truffle) with grilled pineapple, and Jamaica salsa, but you can always go with pollo al pastor.

Carnitas Taco: photo courtesy of Yelper Tim M.

7. Karina’s Taco Shop

Karina’s Taco Shop, in Leucadia, might be further from the boarder, but it is no less authentic than Tacos el Gordo. The fish tacos are different from other restaurant offerings, so be warned, people tend to love them or hate them. The carne asada with guacamole is always a hit.

Well there you have it! Seven San Diego tacos not to be missed. But there are, of course, many more. What is your favorite taco in San Diego?

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

Cinco de Mayo in San Diego doesn’t get any better…and on a weekend? Fabulous! Here are my 5 to Try for this weekend. What will you be doing?

29th Annual Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo

1. 29th Annual Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo

A celebration of Mexican spirit and culture, the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in Old Town, the birthplace of San Diego, features music, food and entertainment for the entire family. Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo will be extending its celebration this year from a two-day free festival to a three-day Free festival starting on Friday, May 4th at 3:00 pm and concluding on Sunday, May 6th at 5:00 pm.

Carlsbad Village Street Faire

Carlsbad Village Street Faire

2. Carlsbad Village Street Faire

One of the largest one-day street fairs in California takes place on May 6 in downtown Carlsbad and features hundreds of exhibitors, international food booths and children’s rides.

Oceanside Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

3. Oceanside Cinco De Mayo Fiesta

Guests can celebrate Mexican Independence at the Oceanside Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, held May 6 at the Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre in San Diego’s North County. In partnership with Univision, the event features live entertainment, vendor booths, food booths, music and more.

16th Annual Festival Cinco de Mayo

4. 16th Annual Festival Cinco De Mayo

On Sunday, May 6th, head to downtown Chula Vista, in San Diego’s South Bay to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. The festival includes over 200 vendors, live entertainment, authentic Mexican food and beverages, arts and crafts, a kid’s zone, rides, fashion shows and salsa dancing contests.

Coronado Ferry Landing Concert

Bayside concerts at Coronado Ferry Landing.

5. Coronado Ferry Landing Summer Concerts

Every weekend through September, the Coronado Ferry Landing will have free concerts from 2:00 – 4:00 pm on Sundays. This weekend come visit Coronado, sit on the grass, enjoy the views of the Big Bay and listen to Cool Fever.

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend

Adams Avenue Business Association

1. The 30th Adams Avenue Street Fair: Southern California’s largest free two-day all-ages music festival will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Saturday, September 24, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, and Sunday, September 25, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. This year’s Adam’s Avenue Street Fair will include more than 70 musical acts performing on six stages. Street Fair attendees will enjoy a variety of music, including blues, rock, rotts-rock, indie, world, and jazz.

Photo by Manuel Rotenberg

2. Trolley Dances: Dancers invade trolley stations throughout San Diego and perform for everyday public-transportation riders and dance aficionados alike. Dances start at 10:00 am and go until 4:00 pm Thursday and Friday September 23-24.

3. 14th Annual Chrysler Classic Speed Festival: This spectator-friendly vintage auto race, featuring over 200 classic cars, takes over the runways of Naval Air Station North Island along a 1.6-mile course. Races run Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25.

4. Pacific Islander Festival: The cultures, foods, crafts and customs of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia are showcased at Ski Beach on Mission Bay Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25.

5. Chula Vista Centennial Harbor Days: San Diego County’s largest southern city celebrates its century-old history at this two-day family-friendly extravaganza. Harbor Days runs from Saturday, September 24 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday, September 25 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.