Candice

Destination San Diego Episode 8: Exploring Beyond Downtown

Downtown may be the best known area of San Diego, but there are plenty of places to explore beyond downtown’s borders! In this edition of Destination San Diego, we’ll explore some of the neighborhoods in Southeastern San Diego. We’ll also take a look at the story of the spectacular span between San Diego and Coronado, then venture to a historic street in Chula Vista. And, we’ll show you a spot just northeast of downtown San Diego that’s been called “the best backyard in San Diego.” Plus, local surf and action photographer, Aaron Chang, dishes on San Diego’s art scene, inspiring views and the can’t-miss galleries.  

What’s In This Episode of Destination San Diego

> Watch all the Destination San Diego Episodes

Corey Ross

Five Camera-Phone Worthy Golf Holes in San Diego

Farmers Insurance Open San Diego 2013 Torrey Pines Golf Course

With nearly 90 courses to choose from, golf in San Diego is a veritable feast for your game – and your senses.

From jaw-dropping elevation changes and stunning sweeping vistas to breath-taking ocean views and brilliant botanical beauty, San Diego courses have all.

The following is an all-too-brief list of some of the most camera-phone worthy holes in San Diego.

1. 3 (South Course) at Torrey Pines (La Jolla)

Hole 3 - Torrey Pines Golf Course

The view from Hole 3 at Torrey Pines is worth the greens fee alone.

This iconic par 3 on the South Course, site of the 2008 and 2021 U.S. Opens, is San Diego’s most famous golf hole. Golfers worldwide make the pilgrimage just to hit this elevated tee shot and watch their ball soar into the blue horizon of the Pacific Ocean in the backdrop. There’s also the captivating view of La Jolla in the distance. Played mostly from 160 or 149 yards, this isn’t the toughest hole at Torrey by any stretch, but it’s certainly the most memorable – and photogenic. Its sister par 3 is No. 6 on the North, which features a nearly 200-foot drop to the green and plays directly into an ocean breeze. A birdie on either hole is a bonus. A whale sighting is a double bonus.

> Find out more about Torrey Pines Golf Course

2. 6 at Journey at Pechanga (Temecula)

No. 6 at Journey at PEchanga

You’ll feel like Paul Bunyan when teeing off from Journey at Pechanga’s #6.

After playing irons shots at Torrey, it’s time to pull out driver to play this awesomely elevated par 4 at Journey at Pechanga. Trust us when we say you will remember the first time you get a glimpse of this tee shot. You’re basically hitting the ball off the side of the mountain and watching it soar like a dimpled seagull to the dogleg-left fairway below. The backdrop is a vast overview of Temecula that makes it seem like you can see all the way to wine country. And cheers to you if you hit a big one here. You’ll feel like Paul Bunyan.

> Find out more about Journey at Pechanga

3. 14 at Aviara Golf Club (Carlsbad)

Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club Hole 14

If this hole doesn’t make you want to play golf, I don’t know what would.

Aviara, which is literally an 18-hole botanical garden, has several worthy candidates, but we have an affinity for No. 14, which is in the most remote part of the course. Like holes No. 3 and 11, 14 is an impeccably landscaped and elevated par 3 played over water. The green here is huge and gives you a second scenic treat when you reach it. To the left is a beautiful waterfall complex that’s home to an array of water birds splashing in the pond and soaring in the skies. A Golf Channel announcer said of No. 14 once, “If this hole doesn’t make you want to play golf, I don’t know what would.” Our sentiments exactly.

> Find out more about Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club

4. 3 Coronado Municipal Course (Coronado)

No. 3 at Coronado Municipal Golf Course

Enjoy unobstructed views of the bay from #3. Photo courtesy of www.greenskeeper.com

The setting of the Coronado course – surrounded by San Diego harbor – makes it unique, but the glimpse you get of the Coronado Bay Bridge, a San Diego landmark, on holes 2 and 3 in particular is something special. We’re going with hole No. 3, a par 4, for the list because it gives you the most unobstructed view. As you progress through your round, you’ll also catch glimpses of passing Navy ships, downtown San Diego and the Hotel Del Coronado. Being perfectly flat, it’s an ideal course to walk and take in the evolving scenery around you.

> Find out more about the Coronado Municipal Golf Course

5. 7 at Encinitas Ranch (Encinitas)

Encinitas Ranch Hole 7

The par-4 7th at Encinitas Ranch isn’t so much about what’s in front of you as what’s behind. Photo courtesy of jcgolf.com

The view at the par-4 7th at Encinitas Ranch isn’t so much about what’s in front of you as what’s behind. Looking back from the tee box, you can see a sweeping view of the two previous holes and a familiar blue hue in the background (the ocean). The scene is a pleasant surprise the first time you play the course and something you forward to when you return. And a bit like No. 14 at Aviara, this hole offers two distinct visual experiences. Your downhill approach is to a green accented by two star pines and a vast view of the valley beyond. When walking off the green, don’t forget your clubs – or to take a picture.

> Find out more about Encinitas Ranch

> Tee Off at One of San Diego’s 90+ Golf Courses

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – April 14-19, 2015

From the largest West Coast kick off of the sportfishing season to a festival all about avocados, you want to be in San Diego this weekend to enjoy these top things to do!

5th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase

Welcome to the 5th Annual Spring Showcase, a presentation of 16 dynamic films from 9 countries from Asia and beyond. A key feature of this year’s Spring Showcase is, Cinema Little Saigon, a traveling five film retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. Curated by Pacific Arts Movement, the compelling retrospective will highlight films spanning from the 1990s to today.

When: April 16-25, 2015
Cost: $9-$100
> Find out more about the 5th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase

70th Annual Del Mar National Horse Show

Hunter Jumper Week - Del Mar National Horse Show

The Annual Del Mar National Horse Show is comprised of a week each of Western, Dressage and Hunter/Jumper competitions

One of the oldest and most prestigious equestrian competitions in the Western US, the show is comprised of a week each of Western, Dressage and Hunter/Jumper competition. Over 3,000 horses take part, representing many breeds. Spectators will see reining, spins, sliding stops, elegant dressage moves choreographed to music, daredevil show jumping, trick riders, comedy acts, thrills and spills, and more.

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
When: April 16 – May 3, 2015
Cost: Daytime Shows: Free. Night Shows: $10-$19
> Find out more about the 70th Annual Del Mar National Horse Show

Annual Lakeside Rodeo

Lakeside Rodeo in San Diego's East County

Putt on your boots for three days of traditional rodeo competitions at the Lakeside Rodeo

Bareback bronco rides, calf roping and other traditional rodeo competitions, along with food and crafts, bring the Wild West to life in the San Diego East County town of Lakeside.

Where: Lakeside Rodeo Grounds – 12584 Mapleview St., Lakeside, CA 92040
When: April 17-19, 2015
Cost: $5-$20
> Find out more about the Annual Lakeside Rodeo

San Diego Opera’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert

San Diego Opera's 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert - Top Things to Do

Celebrate the San Diego Opera’s 50th Anniversary with an amazing concert filled with favorite arias, duets, ensembles and choruses from Aida, Candide, Nabucco, The Marriage of Figaro, Turandot and Tosca by composers Saint–Saëns, Puccini, Donizetti, Verdi, Mozart and many more. Please come and enjoy a tribute to their 50-year history and celebrate their new beginning.

Where: Copley Symphony Hall – 1245 Seventh Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: April 18-19, 2014
Cost: $35-$200
> Find out more about San Diego Opera’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert

Annual Coronado Flower Show

Coronado Flower Show

Stop and smell the roses at the colorful Coronado Flower Show.

The Coronado Flower Show is the largest tented flower show in the nation. Exhibits are placed inside tents surrounding a central gazebo, which becomes the stage for continuous entertainment, announcements and trophy presentations. A Wine and Beer Garden is now a permanent feature. Take a break from the show, relax and listen to the entertainment from the nearby bandstand.

Where: Spreckels Park – Orange Ave & 6th St, Coronado, CA 92118
When: April 18-19, 2015
Cost: $5
> Find out more about the Annual Coronado Flower Show

Citybeat Festival of Beers

Citybeat Festival of Beers 2015

The CityBeat Festival of Beers is the perfect marriage of two of San Diego’s best known exports – music and craft beer. San Diego has emerged as one of the most dynamic beer cities in the United States, arguably the world, with a diversity of style and technique that is unmatched.

Where: Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows – 2223 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104
When: April 18, 2015
Time: 2:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: $45-$60
> Find out more about the Citybeat Festival of Beers

Port of San Diego’s Day at the Docks

Port of San Diego's Day at the Docks

Signaling the official start of Southern California’s spring saltwater fishing season, the West Coast’s largest public celebration of sportfishing features boat rides on San Diego Bay, displays by marine artists and fishing tackle experts, great food, entertainment, fishing seminars, open house aboard sportfishing boats, kid’s fishing, contests, prizes and more!

Where: San Diego Sportfishing Landing – Scott Street and Garrison Street, San Diego , CA 92109
When: April 19, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Port of San Diego’s Day at the Docks

Fallbrook Avocado Festival

Fallbrook Avocado Festival 2015

Come prepared to visit the many craft and food booths – you can never go hungry at the Avocado Festival. Colorful booths line Main and Alvarado Street featuring unique clothing, hats, arts, crafts, jewelry, and farm-fresh produce for purchase. A variety of bands and other live entertainment are offered for the pleasure of festival-goers. Beer gardens and numerous food vendors cater to every whim.

Where: E Alvarado St & S Main Ave, Fallbrook, CA 92028
When: April 19, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Fallbrook Avocado Festival

San Diego EarthFair

San Diego EarthFair 2015

The annual EarthFair in Balboa Park is the largest free annual environmental fair in the world. Produced by 400 volunteers, EarthFair 2015 will feature more than 300 exhibitors, special theme areas, a Food Pavilion, a special Children’s Activity Area, five entertainment venues, the Children’s Earth Parade, the eARTh Gallery art show, and the Cleaner Car Concourse.

Where: Balboa Park
When: April 19, 2015
Time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about San Diego EarthFair

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Top Things to Do Weekend Forecast

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – January 6-11, 2015

Start off 2015 on the right foot by heading to San Diego this week to enjoy everything the city has to offer including these top things to do:

> 25 Free Winter Activities in San Diego

soundON Festival of Modern Music

soundON Festival of Modern Music

The 2015 soundON Festival of Modern Music showcases the vibrant, exploratory ensemble-in-residence NOISE, presenting cutting edge world premieres by Mark Menzies, Christopher Adler, and festival favorite Juan Campoverde Q, along with works by Sidney Marquez Boquiren and New York composer Eric Wubbels. They will also celebrate modern masters with Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter, and San Diego’s Chinary Ung.

Where: Athenaeum Music & Arts Library – 1008 Wall St, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: January 8-11, 2015
Cost: $10-$70
> Find out more about the soundON Festival of Modern Music

Museum of Man’s Centennial Beer Tasting

Centennial Beer Tasting - San Diego Museum of Man

Join the Museum of Man as they celebrate their 100-year anniversary and the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park at their Centennial Beer Tasting with beer tastings from multiple craft breweries and delicious food from local eateries inside one of the oldest and most iconic buildings in the park.

Where: San Diego Museum of Man – 1350 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: January 8, 2015
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Cost: $20-$30
> Find out more about the Museum of Man’s Centennial Beer Tasting

Poway Winter Festival

Poway Winter Festival - Top Things to Do

Snow, s’mores, warm drinks and more at the Poway Winter Festival

Feel snow between your fingers while sledding down the snow hill; smell roasting marshmallows as you devour delicious s’mores; experience the wind in your hair skating around the synthetic ice rink; and peruse a variety of vendors and their sensational products. Lights will twinkle, as music sets the tone and laughter fills the air. The Winter Festival brings to life all of the charm and entertainment of a cold-mountain town, set right in Poway. Bring one or bring all; there’s something for everyone!

Where: Poway Community Park – 13094 Civic Center Drive, Poway, CA 92064
When: January 9-10, 2015
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Poway Winter Festival

C.S. Lewis on Stage

C.S. Lewis on Stage - Lamb's Players Theatre

Award-winning actor Tom Key in a fascinating look into the wit, wisdom and work of one of the 20th Century’s most engaging thinkers and hugely popular writers. C.S. Lewis on Stage is also a perfect introduction to the personality and thought of Lewis prior to LAMB’S production of Freud’s Last Session as part of their 2015 Season this April.

Where: Lamb’s Players Theatre – 1142 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
When: January 9-18, 2015
Cost: $22-$72
> Find out more about C.S. Lewis on Stage

San Diego Exposition Road Race Centennial

San Diego Exposition Road Race Centennial

The local groups of the Horseless Carriage Club of America will commemorate the 1915 Road Race that was the opening event for the Panama-California Exposition. Cars of the era will drive along the retrace the route of the race, returning to Balboa Park for the car show.

This event is part of the Balboa Park Centennial Celebration.

Where: San Diego Automotive Museum – 2080 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101
When: January 10, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the San Diego Exposition Road Race Centennial

Peking Acrobats

The Peking Acrobats are masters of agility and grace, defying gravity with awe-inspiring gymnastic displays of contortion, flexibility and control. Get ready to gasp as China’s most talented performers will tumble through the air, dive through hoops, juggle spinning plates and walk on wires!

Where: California Center for the Arts: Escondido – 340 N Escondido Blvd, Escondido, CA 92025
When: January 10, 2015
Time: 7:30 PM
Cost: $25-$50
> Find out more about the Peking Acrobats

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Chelsea

5 Must Do Family Friendly San Diego Holiday Activities

Garden of Lights San Diego Botanic Garden

Winter in San Diego is the place to be! With the exception of the occasional rainy day, skies are generally blue during one of the coldest times of year around the rest of the country. In fact, it’s not unusual to find yourself reading your novel on the beach as your kids play in the sand. To top it off, San Diego stops at nothing when it comes to getting into the spirit of the holidays! The entire county literally lights up and there’s plenty of activities to help make memorable moments that will last a lifetime for the whole family. Here are some of my favorite things to do in San Diego during the holidays.

Ice Skating on the Beach in Coronado

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Skating by the Sea at The Del!

Okay, you may be thinking that I mentioned you would be on the beach…Well, if you head to Coronado’s Ice Rink you can enjoy the view of the ocean and test your balance skating on ice! Every year the Hotel Del Coronado opens an ice skating rink adjacent to the hotel from November to January! What better way to (ironically) spend a sunny day on the beach in San Diego!

Where: Hotel del Coronado – 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
When: Through January 4, 2015
Cost: $25
> Find out more about Skating by the Sea

Christmas Card Lane

Christmas Light Display - Rancho Penasquitos Christmas Card Lane

San Diego neighborhoods light up during the holidays.

If you love the infamous Griswold house in the “Vacation” movies from the 80’s, then you will adore Christmas Card Lane in Rancho Penasquitos! An annual tradition, the entire neighborhood gets involved in decorating the yards around themes and is a local’s favorite! The streets are lively and many visitors rent double-decker buses and limos to tour all the decorations! I recommend parking the car and walking around on foot. Many homes offer hot chocolate for a small price and popcorn. And it’s likely you will run into some carolers singing traditional songs along the way!

Where: Located in Rancho Penasquitos at Oviedo Street – off Black Mtn. Rd. includes Twin Trails, Carmel Mtn. Rd., Ellingham St., Renato St., Oviedo St., Twin Trails Dr., Barrymore St., Totherham Ave., Talca Ave., Talca Ct., Allenbrook Way, Davenport Ave., Amber Sky Ln.

San Diego Botanical Garden’s Garden of Lights

Garden of Lights San Diego Botanic Garden

Lights, flowers and s’mores – what more could you ask for? (photo by by John Bryant)

Every year this is the spot my family gets our traditional photo with Santa. Immediately after, we enjoy the incredible lush gardens that are beautifully lit up for the holidays during their annual Garden of Lights! We make sure to catch the horse-drawn carriage and sing carols as we tour the grounds. After, we order some of the food sold during the event and then roast our marshmallows while listening to the live music act of the night! And on certain nights, snow is brought in for sledding! This is truly a gorgeous event and a must-do during the holidays in San Diego!

Where: San Diego Botanic Garden – 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024
When: December 6-30, 2014 (Closed December 24-25)
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: $6-$14
> Find out more about the Garden of Lights

Mission Bay Boat Parade of Lights

Mission Bay Parade of Lights!

Mission Bay Parade of Lights!

Another gorgeous way to experience the best of both worlds of gorgeous winter weather and holiday spectacular is to head to the bay to enjoy the beautiful lit up boats! And believe me, competition can be fierce for who has the best display! With dozens of participants, take in the sights and the fresh San Diego air. The boat parade begins at 6:00 PM from Quivira Basin. Best viewing is from Crown Point, the east side of Vacation Island or the west side of Fiesta Island.

When: December 13, 2014
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Mission Bay Boat Parade of Lights

Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park

Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park - Top Things to Do

Discover a Holiday Wonderland in Downtown San Diego at Petco Park

This year, Petco Park will be a Holiday Wonderland full of festive cheer, lights and plenty of ways to keep the kids happy. Make your way through Santa’s Workshop and Candy Cane Lane toward what used to be a baseball field for train rides, a hill covered in snow, reindeer, music and a place for Mommy and Daddy to relax. Just make sure to bring your camera to capture all the smiles your children will be giving you!

Where: Petco Park – 100 Park Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
When: December 5-24, 2014 (Friday-Sunday and Special Nights – December 22-24)
Time: 5:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $10-$15
> Find out more about Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park

> More Holiday Happenings in San Diego

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – December 2-7, 2014

balboa park organ pavilion san diego december nights holiday event

December is here and that means this weekend’s list of top things to do in San Diego is packed with at ton festive fun!

> Holiday Happenings in San Diego

LEGOLAND Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights

LEGOLAND California Santa

Take a photo with a life size Santa made of LEGOs!

Build a snowman with LEGO® accessories and throw real snowballs at colorful targets. Ride snow tubes down a hill. And brand new this year, Ice Skating! Experience the magic of Winter Nights with shows, music, and twinkling lights. There’s even a food truck with yummy treats served by Santa’s Elves. Stay for the nightly fireworks over Miniland USA, December 26 – 30. Witness the lighting of a 30-foot tall LEGO Christmas Tree and enjoy live entertainment with LEGO Friends Live. A life-sized LEGO Brick Santa and Reindeer make the perfect family photo.

Where: LEGOLAND California – One LEGOLAND Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: December 1-31, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about LEGOLAND Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights

Hotel del Coronado’s Holiday Festival – A Family Celebration

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Skating by the Sea at The Del!

The Del will feature a special event for the whole family – “Holiday Festival…A Family Celebration.” In addition to the outdoor ice rink, there will be Santa’s Village with games and prizes, photos with St. Nick and his elves, performances by Coronado school children, complimentary s’mores roasts, and carols from Coronado School of the Arts students.

Where: Hotel del Coronado – 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118
When: December 3, 2014
Time: 4:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Hotel del Coronado’s Holiday Festival – A Family Celebration

Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park

Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park - Top Things to Do

Discover a Holiday Wonderland in Downtown San Diego at Petco Park

Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park provides a spectacular holiday destination for all. Open for 12 nights in December, there will be fun for people of all ages. Get in the spirit and walk through the magical lighting displays, ride Polar Express trains, explore Candyland, feed live reindeer, take a photo with Santa near a 40′-tall Christmas Tree, enjoy the festive fare and so much more!

Where: Petco Park – 1 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
When: December 5-24, 2014
Time: 5:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $10-$15
> Find out more about Holiday Wonderland at Petco Park

Balboa Park December Nights

balboa park organ pavilion san diego december nights holiday event

Festive performances take place on the beautiful stage of the Organ Pavilion.

Get into the holiday spirit with two magical nights of lights, free live entertainment, free entrance to many museums, foods from around the world, shopping and more.

Please Note: Getting to and from the park will require patience and time. Please consider carpooling and/or alternative forms of transportation.

> Read the transportation information for getting to December Nights

Where: Balboa Park – El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: December 5-6, 2014
Times: Friday: 3:00 to 11:00 PM. Saturday: 12:00 to 11:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Balboa Park December Nights

Holiday Parades & Festivals

North Park Toyland Parade and Festival

Get swept up in the holiday spirit during the North Park Toyland Parade and Festival

Get into the holiday spirit at these parades and festivals throughout San Diego County:

2014 SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

Sample amazing chilis from more than 40 of San Diego’s best Restuarnats at SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

The neighborhoods of South and North Park come together in a friendly chili competition among 40 top local restaurants competing as guests try out their chili in hand-spun ceramic bowls. The event offers two free live music stages, great holiday gifts and crafts from local artisans, five food trucks, a game truck and a kids’ activity zone with free cookie decorating, and craft beer and wine garden featuring 10 local breweries.

Where: 3216 Thorn Street, San Diego, CA 92104
When: December 7, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Festival is free; handmade ceramic bowls with chili tastings: $20
> Find out more about the 2014 SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Guest Blogger

Amazing San Diego Theater for this Holiday Yuletide Season

From family classics to a Disney musical, as well as some local holiday traditions, there is something for everyone at San Diego theaters this yuletide season.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The La Jolla Playhouse is staging the Disney-produced, U.S. premiere of the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame, featuring the Disney film score by the high-powered team of composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz. The San Diego choir SACRA/PROFANA will serve as the show’s onstage chorus. There are massive bells and grand sets to recreate Paris” Cathedral of Notre Dame, where the deformed Quasimodo lives in the bell tower but descends to the streets to become an unlikely hero. Based on Victor Hugo”s 1831 classic, the musical retains many of the novel’s darker themes, but the top-notch performances make it a highly entertaining night at the theater. Catch it before it goes to Broadway!

Where: La Jolla Playhouse – 2910 La Jolla Village Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: Through December 14, 2014
Cost: Starting at $99
> Find out more about The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Second City”s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue

If Hunchback puts you in a dark and stormy mood, check out The Second City”s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue on one of the La Jolla Playhouse’s nearby stages. For what promises to be a hilarious night, the famed Chicago-based improv and comedy troupe performs original songs, sketches and improv.

Where: La Jolla Playhouse – 2910 La Jolla Village Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: November 28 – December 21, 2014
Cost: Starting at $15
> Find out more about The Second City”s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue

Charles Dickens” A Christmas Carol

Scrooge - A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play at Cygent Theatre

Hear and See Scrooge come alive on the “radio” at this San Diego Holiday theatre classic

Cygnet Theatre in Old Town re-imagines Charles Dickens” A Christmas Carol as a musical. Set on a Victorian stage, there’s an original score, perhaps with melodic “humbugs” from a singing Scrooge? Worth finding out, especially since the production also includes amazing puppetry and live Foley sound effects visible on stage. It”s not hard to imagine how they”ll create the rattling chain sounds of Marley’s Ghost, but don’t you want to see what clever contraption will sound like falling snow or the sounds of London? Find out by heading over to Cygnet this holiday season.

Where: Cygnet Theatre – 4040 Twiggs St, San Diego, CA 92110
When: November 28 – December 28, 2014
Cost: $29-$69
> Find out more about Charles Dickens” A Christmas Carol”

An American Christmas

Step back online casino in time 100 years for an old fashion Christmas at the Hotel del Coronado

A San Diego theater tradition happens every year at the Hotel Del Coronado, courtesy of Lamb”s Players Theatre. Walking into the gorgeous Grand Ballroom at the historic Hotel Del, you”ll be transported to 1914 where costumed players will dance, sing, and tell stories as you enjoy a 5-course holiday meal. Put on your best holiday attire and enjoy one of the most festive parties in town.

Where: Hotel del Coronado – 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92120
When: December 15-27, 2014
Cost: $128-$160
> Find out more about An American Christmas

Festival of Christmas: Northern Lights

Festival of Christmas is a show the entire family will enjoy packed with great music of the Season, both old and new

Lamb”s is also staging Festival of Christmas: Northern Lights, a holiday drama for the entire family. The play tells the story of three generations who adjust their traditional holiday plans after the pipes burst at the family home. Surprise guests, family discoveries, and a magnificent night sky all make for one memorable Christmas.

Where: Lamb”s Players – 1142 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118
When: November 29 – December 28, 2014
Cost: $22-$72
> Find out more about Festival of Christmas: Northern Lights

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker - New Village Arts Theatre

See The Nutcracker in a whole new way in this Non-Ballet Version. Photo courtesy of Daren Scott

New Village Arts in Carlsbad has the west coast premiere of The Nutcracker, the non-ballet version! Young Clara is still at the center of this drama and she’s still trying to save Christmas but she won’t be doing it on pointe. This modern adaptation is a family drama that includes magic, original songs and a bit of spectacle.

Where: New Village Arts Theatre – 2787 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: November 29 – December 31, 2014
Cost: $20-$46
> Find out more about The Nutcracker

Dr. Suess” How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Dr. Suess

Even the Grinch can”t take away the early holiday spirit. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

And lastly, the meanest and greenest of San Diego theater holiday traditions, there”s Dr. Suess” How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. Based on the classic Dr. Suess book, this annual production of holiday cheer and whimsy is not to be missed. Kids love it, but the banter is so witty adults will enjoy it too. Plus, the sets and costumes of Whoville, not to mention the Grinch himself, are a wonder. Don”t forget to bring your camera for a family portrait in front of the Dr. Seuss Christmas tree in the Old Globe’s plaza.

Where: The Old Globe – 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego, CA 92101
When: November 15 – December 27, 2014
Cost: Tickets start at $32
> Find out more about Dr. Suess” How the Grinch Stole Christmas

> Enjoy More Live San Diego Theater This Holiday Season

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – October 14-19, 2014

Happiness is Calling you to San Diego this weekend with warm weather, blue skies, good feelings, relaxation and these top things to do:

Plenty of Fall Fun

Pumpkins in a Radio Flyer at Suzie's Farm Pumpkin Palooza

Bring something to help carry home your harvest at Suzie’s Farm Pumpkin Palooza.

The days are starting to cool down and it’s finally feeling a bit like fall in San Diego. Check out all the fun you can have:

San Diego Italian Film Festival feStivale

San Diego Italian Film Festival feStivale - Top Things to Do

Most of us think of Italy as rich…that’s because creativity is its essence. Italians have learned over the millennia how to make life itself beautiful even in scarcity…demonstrated in every frame of our films. Art, passion, music, love, justice, immigration, work, family – all today’s important topics…with an Italian perspective – you won’t want to miss any of it. Join the movies, join the stories, and get an insider’s view of it all.

Where: Museum of Photographic Arts – 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 16-25, 2014
Cost: Starting at $8
> Find out more about San Diego Italian Film Festival feStivale

Science on the Rocks – The Science of Spirits: Craft Cocktails

Science on the Rocks - The Science of Spirits: Craft Cocktails

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is stirring up the fun at their next party, The Science of Spirits: Craft Cocktails. They’ll tantalize you with sips and stories from San Diego’s best bartenders and reveal the chemistry behind your favorite whistle-wetters. You’ll enjoy sweet and savory food and drink samples, intriguing activities and fascinating chats with experts.

Where: 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 16, 2014
Time: 6:30 to 9:30 PM
Cost: $20-$40
> Find out more about Science on the Rocks – The Science of Spirits: Craft Cocktails

Culture & Cocktails: Gauguin to Warhol

San Diego Museum of Art - Culture & Cocktails

The art jumps off the walls during the San Diego Museum of Art’s Culture & Cocktails

Visit Andy Warhol’s Factory during this 60s, Pop-art themed party inspired by Warhol and the exhibition Gauguin to Warhol: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Come dressed in Go-go Boots and your Mod-best, and complete your look in the Lichtenstein-inspired, Pop-art makeup station. Sip on a Campbell’s Soup Bloody Mary and have your picture taken in an Andy Warhol-themed photo booth. Don’t forget to see his 100 Cans and works by van Gogh, Kandinsky, Dalí, Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko and 40+ more Modern masters inside the exhibition. Create your own pop-art-in-your pocket project to take home, and dance the night away with DJ Scott Roberts and his Go-go dance troupe.

Where: San Diego Museum of Art – 1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 16, 2014
Time: 6:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: Members – Free. Nonmembers – $20
> Find out more about Culture & Cocktails: Gauguin to Warhol

Fleet Week San Diego Big Bay Bash

Fleet Week San Diego Big Bay Bash

A jam-packed day of family fun to salute San Diego’s military. Bring your family, friends, employees, or customers for a day of live entertainment, moonbounces, carnival booths, airbrush tattoos and more. The first five hundred (500) military and their dependents (with military ID) receive food, musical entertainment, games and USS Midway pass. Up to 200 additional military paid tickets will be available at $15 each.

Where: Broadway Pier – 1000 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 18, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Fleet Week San Diego Big Bay Bash

Sea+Food Festival

Hotel del Coronado turrets

Enjoy amazing Seafood and Drinks at the Hotel del Coronado

Enjoy a day of food and wine on The Del’s beachfront Windsor Lawn. Chefs will be preparing delicious, fresh seafood dishes at interactive stations throughout the event including Lil’ Del BBQ, smoked oysters, a raw bar with sashimi and a clam bake station. Craft beer, wines and spirit tastings are available with a portion of the proceeds going to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to benefit childhood cancer research. While you’re savoring amazing seafood, also feed your soul with the sounds of The Whitney Shay/Robin Henkel Extravaganza featuring a blend of blues from the 1920s to 1960s.

Where: Hotel del Coronado – 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118
When: October 18, 2014
Time: 2:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: $125
> Find out more about Sea+Food Festival

Bow Wow Brunch Cruise aboard Hornblower Cruise

Bow Wow Brunch Cruise aboard Hornblower Cruises

Dogs are welcome on Bow Wow Brunch on Hornblower

Bow Wow Brunch is just like the weekly Sunday Champagne Brunch Cruise, except for one special day only, we welcome you, your family and your “fur child” aboard. You will enjoy the same delicious and bountiful buffet that you are accustomed to with unlimited champagne and desserts, but Fido gets a pet buffet to choose from along with a dog relief area set up on the sun deck of the yacht! Portion of the proceeds for the Bow Wow Brunch on the Bay will go directly to helping Helen Woodward Animal Center.

Where: Grape Street Pier – 1800 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 19, 2014
Time: 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Cost: $80. Dogs Cruise Free. Save $2 with this coupon
> Find out more about the Bow Wow Brunch Cruise aboard Hornblower Cruise

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – September 16-21, 2014

This weekend is going to be hot…and I am not just talking about the weather! Jet on down to San Diego for everything from classic cars burning rubber on Coronado to an actual Sriracha Sauce festival to more top things to do:

20th Annual San Diego Festival of Beer

San Diego Festival of Beers - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Cheers! Sample beers from more than 60 breweries at the San Diego Festival of Beer

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary with the biggest and best festival yet! Inside will be food items and munchies for sale in addition to a selection of fine wines for purchase by the glass. Each ticket includes admission into the event, 10 (4 oz) beer tastes and the first 1,500 guests receive a free souvenir event logo tasting mug. Did you know the Festival is a cancer-fighting fundraiser? Yep, it is! And it’s raised over $550,000 to date!

Where: Port Pavilion on the Broadway Pier – 1000 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: September 19, 2014
Time: 6:00 to 11:00 PM
Cost: $20-$30
> Find out more about the 20th Annual San Diego Festival of Beer

Carlsbad Music Festival

Carlsbad Music Festival

Spend a warm summer evening enjoying music in the seaside village of Carlsbad

The Carlsbad Music Festival is an annual festival of “adventurous music by the beach” that features over 50 performances in 3 days in the seaside Village of Carlsbad. The Festival will include ticketed Mainstage Concerts all 3 days, a free Village Walk on Saturday, and free Concerts in the Park in Magee Park on Sunday.

Where: Carlsbad Village, Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: September 19-21, 2014
Time: 1:00 to 10:00 PM
> Find out more about the Carlsbad Music Festival

Pacific Islander of San Diego Festival

Pacific Islander Festival Dancer

Immerse yourself in the cultures of the South Pacific at the Pacific Islander of San Diego Festival

A free event that showcases the cultures and customs of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia with continuous entertainment throughout the weekend. Held at Mission Bay’s Ski Beach, the event also features food, music and specialty crafts unique to each culture.

Where: Mission Bay’s Ski Beach – Vacation Road, San Diego, CA 92109
When: September 20-21, 2014
Time: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Pacific Islander of San Diego Festival

Annual Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival

Coronado Speed Festival - Porsche 911

Feel the Need for Speed at the Coronado Speed Festival

Coronado Speed Festival features fast-paced, thrilling auto racing and exhibitions for car enthusiasts of all ages at one of the most distinctive race track locations – Naval Air Station North Island, the birthplace of Naval Aviation. Nowhere else can you see a variety of cars racing on a live runway used by the U.S. Navy.

Remember that you are entering an active military base. As such, certain restrictions apply.

Where: NAS North Island – Coronado, CA 92118
When: September 20-21, 2014
Time: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: $25-$250
> Find out more about the Annual Fleet Week Coronado Speed Festival

Imperial Avenue Street Festival

Imperial Avenue Street Festival 2014 - Top Things to Do in San Diego

The first annual Imperial Avenue Street Festival is a multicultural street scene that will celebrate the rich history, arts and culture of the Greater Logan Heights community. The festival will also feature artists across genres – dance, music, and visual arts, whose work contributes to the contemporary and popular dialogue amongst San Diego’s Afro-Latino community.

Where: Imperial Ave & 28th, San Diego, CA 92102
When: September 20, 2014
Time: 12:00 to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Imperial Avenue Street Festival

Julian Music Festival

Julian Music Festival

Enjoy classic bluegrass and current western ballads at the Julian Music Festival

For the 45th year, Julian celebrates the end of summer with music. This year will offer a variety of music everyone will enjoy. Bluegrass to celebrate the roots of our festival, Western ballads to remember the past and current songwriter/singers we listen to on our MP3 players.

Where: Menghini Winery – 1150 Julian Orchards Road, Julian, CA 92036
When: September 20, 2014
Time: 1:00 to 8:00 PM
Cost: $11-$15
> Find out more about the Julian Music Festival

1st Annual Sriracha San Diego Festival

1st Annual Sriracha San Diego Festival

This chef-driven, all-inclusive, 21+ event from The Sriracha Cookbook and Food GPS spotlights the world’s most iconic hot sauce at a unique, historical venue. Multiple stations allow guests to enjoy a variety of Sriracha-themed dishes, including desserts, at their own pace. Local craft beer, cocktails, sodas, iced coffee and iced tea help tame the heat while a live DJ set helps create a fun and unforgettable food and drink experience.

Where: Liberty Station – 2641 Truxtun Road, San Diego, CA, 92106
When: September 20, 2014
Time: 3:00 to 6:00 PM
Cost: $59-$160
> Find out more about the 1st Annual Sriracha San Diego Festival

Encinitas Oktoberfest

Encinitas Oktoberfest

Everybody’s German at the Encinitas Oktoberfest!

The 19th Annual Encinitas Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest will feature The Bluebirds a German-American Band, Bavarian dancers and a street craft faire featuring over 200 vendors, including artisans with unusual arts and craft items. The family food and refreshment tent will be serving authentic German food and beers from national & local breweries.

> Browse more Oktoberfest Happenings in San Diego

Where: Mountain Vista Drive and El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
When: September 21, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Encinitas Oktoberfest

San Diego Restaurant Week

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/100744669 height=360 width=640]

Leave the cooking to someone else and join over 140,000 diners in the celebration of Restaurant Week and indulge in discounted prix fixe menus including two-course lunches priced at $10, $15, and $20 and three-course dinners are $25, $35, or $45. No tickets necessary for this event, just make reservations for any of the participating locations, show up, choose from their prix-fixe menu and let your taste buds enjoy!

When: September 21-26, 2014
Cost: $10-$45
> Find out more about San Diego Restaurant Week

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – September 11-14, 2014

With a forecast of temperatures in the mid-80s, why not spend the weekend in San Diego enjoying the beaches and these top things to do.

September 11 Memorials

September 11 in San Diego

Commemorate the 13th anniversary of September 11th in San Diego at the following events:

San Diego Music Thing

San Diego Music Thing 2014 - Top Things to Do

SDMT is back for it’s 7th year with two days of panels, mentoring sessions, networking, 150+ local, regional and national bands performing at venues around San Diego, Pop up shops and live performances. A special Thursday session has been added for college students.

Where: Town & Country Resort Hotel – 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108
When: September 11-13, 2014
Cost: $10-$40
> Find out more about San Diego Music Thing

San Diego Bayfair

San Diego Bayfair

Fueling Up for the Races!

Bayfair is famous for its family festival atmosphere, interactive exhibits, vendors and specialty foods, nightly live entertainment and Saturday night fireworks extravaganza, there’s something for everyone in the family. San Diego Bayfair attracts more powerboat racing classes than any other site in the world, and is known as the hallmark event in the nation.

Ripley’s Ferrari Boat to Set Sail at San Diego Bayfair

Ripley's Ferrari Boat

Ripley’s Ferrari Boat is set to set sail as part of San Diego Bay Fair

On Saturday, September 13, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! will set sail with a one-of-a-kind Ferrari boat at the San Diego Bayfair. This will be the boat’s first U.S. voyage.

Weighing 2,000 pounds, the Ripley’s Ferrari is a hand-carved, life-size replica of a Ferrari F50 that took five months to make by an Italian craftsman. It’s currently part of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! special exhibition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Museum staffers have put in countless hours over the past few months in order to make the car seaworthy (we hope!).

Where: Mission Bay – 1404 Vacation Rd‎, San Diego, CA 92109
When: September 12-14, 2014
Cost: $15-$250
> Find out more about the San Diego Bayfair

Coronado Art Walk

Coronado Art Walk Kid's Art Activity

Bring the whole family for an afternoon of art, sunshine and plenty of fun

Paintings, hand crafted jewelry, photography, ceramics and other mediums will be featured. Artists have been selected for their ability to express the vast and varied world of art in their particular art form. This exciting venue will include art activities to delight both children and adults. Other highlights include: Participation by the Coronado Ferry Landing’s Galleries and Artists, Coronado Art Association’s Artists in Spreckels Park, and musical entertainment throughout both days.

Where: 1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
When: September 13-14, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Coronado Art Walk

¡Latin Food Fest!

Latin Food Fest

Latin Food Fest is the largest annual Latin culinary destination event in the U.S.

With tasting tents stretching across the Embarcadero Park North on San Diego Bay, taste a variety of local and international Latin wine, spirits and food from over 200 chefs, restaurants, wineries and distillers. Watch acclaimed chefs conduct cooking demos. And don’t miss the Best of the Fest competition – our showcase of local culinary excellence.

Where: Embarcadero Park North – 500 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
When: September 13, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost: $79-$199
> Find out more about the ¡Latin Food Fest!

South Bay Pride, Art and Music Festival

South Bay Pride, Art & Music Festival

Kids are surely going to be tuckered out after a day of playing in the expanded Children’s Area that will now include bungee jumping, inflatables and more. meander through the Art in the Park to see creativity from the areas most talented artists or cool off and take a dip with the new addition of water sports; kayaking, paddle boarding and jet skiing. After 6:00 PM, the party continues with dancing, live music and dj’s In The Park After Dark.

Where: Chula Vista Bayfront Park – 980 Marina Way, Chula Vista, CA 91910
When: September 13, 2014
Time: 12:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the South Bay Pride, Art and Music Festival

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar