Suzzanne

Savor San Diego Restaurant Week at Flavor Del Mar

San Diego Restaurant Week officially kicks off Sunday, September 16th and runs through the 21st and this year is better than ever with over 180 restaurants participating. With so many to choose from, it’s hard to pick just one, so I’ve decided to try several! One I’m most excited to try has it all: great food, great service and a great view – Flavor Del Mar.

Nestled atop Del Mar Plaza with a pitch perfect ocean view, dining at Flavor Del Mar is a full sensory experience. Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski offers a youthful and inspired approach to California Cuisine, creating simple, yet unique blend of flavors and fragrances that are as fresh as the Pacific breeze.

At my most recent trip to the restaurant we were started off with warm bread and spiced salts. I made sure I tried them all and absolutely loved the house sea salt with fresh rosemary. Next we ordered the tuna tacos to share. These tacos alone were worth the trip, my mouth waters just thinking about those tacos. For the entrée, I had the seared scallops. I love a good scallop and these lived up to the restaurant’s name, Flavor. They melted in my mouth as if they were butter. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for Restaurant Week!

San Diego Restaurant Week runs from Sunday, September 16 through Friday, September 21st. Over 180 restaurants are participating and are offering three-course prix-fixe dinner menus for just $20, $30 or $40 per person and/or two-course prix-fixe lunch menus for only $10, $15 or $20 per person. Tickets and passes aren’t necessary for this week of discounted dining; show up at any participating location or call ahead to make a reservation and eat to your heart’s desire!

Suzzanne

Top Things to Do in San Diego: August 16-19

bodysurfing

From Beer Festivals to Body Surfing to Tiki Spies, there is plenty to do this weekend in San Diego. What will you be doing?

1. 36th Annual World Bodysurfing Championships

bodysurfing

Are You the Next Body Surfing Champion?

Approximately 350-400 bodysurfers, equipped with swim fins only will ride and compete on ocean waves this weekend at Oceanside Pier. The contest starts Saturday and Sunday morning at 6:30 AM. Winners announced Sunday afternoon.

2. 16th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival

Stone’s 16th Anniversary Celebration and Invitational Beer Festival

Stone Brewing Company will be celebrating its Sweet 16 at its 16th Anniversary Celebration and International Beer Festival, August 17 and 18 on the campus of California State University San Marcos. One hundred percent of the profits from the festival will be donated to local charities. The Festival will feature more than 40 breweries and 100 beers, as well as the infamous Arrogant Bastard Ale onion rings, complimentary homebrewed sodas, and samples of Mike’s Beer cheese.

3. Tiki Oasis 2012

 

From August 16-19, the 2012 Tiki Oasis will be occupied by a den of spies, secret agents, and villains, all out to reach the same goal: to have fun for four continuous days while enjoying tropical music, shopping for the newest in Tiki fashion and imbibing the world’s greatest cocktails!

4. TwainFest in Old Town

TwainFest Old Town

TwainFest is a free and family-friendly festival celebrating the writing of Mark Twain and his contemporaries. TwainFest bursts into action on Saturday, Aug. 18, in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. This will be TwainFest’s third annual celebration of mid-19th century American arts and culture. The fun starts 11:00 AM and runs until 5:00 PM. Admission is free and open to all.

5. Beer Fest at the Del Mar Racetrack

Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack

Great Craft Beer and Exciting Races Await in Del Mar

As if you need another reason to head to Del Mar for race season…but here is one anyway. On Saturday, August 18, check out the Beer Fest and sample over 70 different flavors of cold brews during the Del Mar Beer Fest. After 1:00 PM, visitors can sample some San Diego favorites such as Ballast Point, Green Flash, Stone and much more.

Candice

Hats, Horses and High Rollers: Opening Day at the Del Mar Races

Opening Day hats on display at the Del Mar Racetrack
Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack

…and they’re off!

Seventy-five years have passed since Bing Crosby and his friends opened up the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, but the glamour and prestige of Opening Day hasn’t faded with age. Every year, locals and visitors alike flock to the seaside racetrack to soak up the first day of racing action, not to mention gawk at all the elaborate hats on display, and this year’s Opening Day was no exception.

Opening Day hats on display at the Del Mar Racetrack

Those looking to visit the Del Mar races this season can embark on the journey car-free; just hop on the North County Transit District’s COASTER commuter train. Ride the train to Solana Beach, then hop on one of the free shuttles that take you directly to the track’s front gate. The best part is the view – it sure beats staring at the cars stuck in traffic!

Ride the Coaster train to the Del Mar Racetrack

No need for a designated driver when you take the Coaster to the racetrack, and the view is outstanding.

While the races are the main event, Opening Day is one heck of a party with plenty of smiling faces under those elaborate hats. It’s best to make a day of it, so dress up, grab a few of your friends and a Del Margarita and settle in for afternoon.

Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack

Even after Opening Day has come and gone, the action at the track is just warming up. All season long, the Del Mar racetrack is home to events that appeal to visitors of all ages, like the Gourmet Food Truck Festival on July 28, where more than 50 trucks come to the track to offer a wide range of delicious, fun and funky dining options. Parents can bring the kids out for Family Fun Day on July 22, and dog lovers can cheer on the fastest runners on four legs…four very short legs! The Wienerschnitzel Wiener Dog Nationals take place at the track on Sept. 3. And of course, Fridays are all about music at the track, with Del Mar’s Summer Concert Series. After the races end, race-goers can enjoy free live music from a lineup of performers including Wavves, Dashboard Confessional, Ben Harper and more. Check out the full lineup for information on performances schedules.

Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack

Opening Day 2012 broke attendance records, with more than 47,000 people attending

If you’re planning on attending Opening Day next year, or any of the other days this season that feature concerts or special events, be sure to plan on arriving early and give yourself extra travel time.

Suzzanne

This Weekend in San Diego

What to do in San Diego this weekend!

> Find Even More Great Events in San Diego

1. 59th Annual Over-the-Line Tournament – 2nd Weekend

The finals of the Over the Line (OTL) tournament are taking place this weekend, July 21st and 22nd. If you have never seen OTL before, go check it out on Fiesta Island in Mission Bay. You will not regret it. Remember, observe the five B’s rule: No Babies, No Bottles, No Bowsers, No Bikes, No Boas. Enjoy!

2. Del Mar Racing

Where the Turf Meets the Surf!

The racing season runs from July 18 – September 5th. This weekend, one of my favorite events is Donut Day. On July 21st from 8:00 – 10:00 am, visitors will get free donuts as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of the racetrack and Q & A with trainers and jockeys.

3. Annual LGBT Pride Parade & Festival

San Diego LGBT Pride Parade and Festival

The annual San Diego LGBT Pride Parade on July 21st is the 4th largest in the United States attracting over 197,000 cheering spectators and significant media participation. Parade kicks off at 11:00 am and begins at University Ave. and Normal Street, then proceeds west on University Avenue to 6th Avenue, turns south on 6th Avenue, ending at Balboa Drive and Upas Street.

4. Leopard Sharks at the Birch Aquarium

Leopard Sharks at the Birch Aquarium

The Birch Aquarium is dedicating the month of July to on of their local favorites – the Leopard Shark. Thousands of these amazing sharks congregate every year near La Jolla Shores. Events include Leopard-Shark Focused Dive Shows, Talk with a Shark Scientist and SEA Days: Sharks around the Globe.

5. 9th Annual San Diego International Children’s Film Festival

San Diego International Film Festival

Visit the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park to see short films from around the world for children and teens. Over 100 short films from some 20 countries will be screened during the festival. And best of all, the screenings are free!

> Find Even More Great Events in San Diego

Suzzanne

Win Tickets to the Beer and Sake Festival in Del Mar

Photo: Kevin SprowlsOne of my favorite foodie bloggers, Kate once told me that San Diego is located on almost the same latitude as Japan’s capital. Yep, head practically due East across the Pacific from San Diego and you’ll end up in Tokyo. Or, save on airfare and head over to the 10th Annual Beer and Sake Festival.

The Japan Society of San Diego will be hosting the Beer and Sake Festival at San Diego Marriott Del Mar on June 28th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. The tasting event brings together San Diego’s top chefs to showcase their Japanese culinary and sake traditions for the San Diego community. The festival will highlight imported Japanese beers and local microbrews and a vast variety of sake. The festival will also feature culinary creations from the most talented chefs in San Diego. Some of the restaurants I’m looking forward to trying include Alchemy, Sushi on a Roll, Shimbashi Izakaya, and Opera to name a few. Tickets are $70 per guest or $50 for JSSDT members.

Interested in transporting yourself to Japan for the evening? Comment on this blog and one person will win 2 passes to attend the event. Comment by 10:00 am PST Monday, June 18, 2012.

Alison

Out of this World Deals for the 2012 San Diego County Fair

San Diego County Fair Ride
San Diego County Fair Ride

Ride This for Less

The San Diego County Fair will be “Out of this World” when it kicks off June 8 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The theme promises everything from space exploration and science fiction to visitors from other planets. But there’s plenty that we Earthlings can do to keep our fair expenses grounded.

Save on Admission

San Diego County Fair Best Pass Ever

  • For super fans, the Best Pass Ever can’t be beat. It includes daily admission – all 24 days of the fair – for just $24. You’ll need a school or government-issued photo ID to use the pass.
  • Tuesdays are the magic day for kids 6-12 years old. They get in free! Kids 5 and younger get in free everyday.
  • Kiddies can’t make it on a Tuesday? No problem. Youngsters 6-12 can get in free any day if they read 10 books and have it verified by their teacher or librarian. The certificate you’ll need to get signed can be downloaded in English or Spanish.
  • Adults can get $4 admission on opening day and on Tuesday, June 12. You’ll need a ticket available with any $10 purchase at Albertsons stores. (Tickets must be purchased in advance; none will be available at the fair.)
  • Been laid off in the past year? Present an unemployment check stub and a photo ID at the will-call window on June 19 or 26 to get free admission for yourself and a guest.
  • County auto dealers are in on the action this year. Starting June 1, visit a Toyota dealership to get a coupon valid for two adult admissions for the price of one. Visit a Ford dealership to get a 4-tickets-for-$28 coupon.

Free Entertainment and Unlimited Rides

San Diego County Fair Bike Ride

  • Once you’re inside, there are tons of free things to enjoy – including concerts by big name artists. Get free unreserved seats at performances by top artists including Kenny Loggins, KC & the Sunshine Band, Ben E. King, Bill Medley, Switchfoot, Lonestar, Grand Funk Railroad and La Arrolladora Banda El Limón.
  • Love the rides? Wednesdays and Thursdays until June 28 are “Pepsi Pay-One-Price” days. For $30, get a wristband that allows unlimited access to Fun Zone and Kiddieland rides from noon until 8:00 pm. The deal is available on certain other days – but you’ll have to check availability, then buy and print out your Pay-One-Price voucher online. (There’s a $2.50 fee for online purchases.)

Food

San Diego County Fair Chicken on the Grill

Savings Fresh from the Grill

  • On Tuesdays more than 100 food vendors offer smaller portions for $2. Or bring your own picnic; there are six designated picnic areas. (No alcohol, glass containers or sharp utensils.)

Parking

  • Avoid the fair’s $10 parking fee by opting for free parking at Horsepark, about 2 miles east of the fairgrounds, at 14550 El Camino Real; a free shuttle will get you to the front gate. On weekends and Wednesdays there’s additional free parking (with shuttle service) at Torrey Pines High and Mira Costa College’s San Elijo campus.

> Find More Exciting Things to Do Before and After the Fair at SanDiego.org

Know of any other great San Diego County deals or savings? Let us and others know in the comments below. Even if you don’t know of any, tell us what deep-fried treat you are most looking forward to trying.

Maren

The TOTEM Spaceship Has Landed in San Diego!

Cirque du Soleil TOTEM Logo

It is the only logical explanation. How many humans do you know who can do this?

TOTEM planks in the sky.

Okay, okay. By now the world is familiar with superhuman feats and otherworldly costumes made famous by Cirque du Soleil. But as, dare I say, commonplace as such extreme physical feats have become, seeing Cirque du Soleil’s TOTEM (now through May 27, 2012) in person is as thrilling and overwhelming as if a blue and yellow spaceship landed smack dab in the middle of the Del Mar Fairgrounds carrying sparkly, limber, flying aliens.

Galaxy Girls! Photo courtesy of Tony Felgueiras

In other words, Go! Spend the money. Get the babysitter. Bring the kids. Whatever you have to do. TOTEM is a “fascinating journey into the evolution of mankind” told through a woven tapestry of multi-cultural mythology and overarching symbols, and there is no group more suited to tell the story of human progress than one dedicated to the limitlessness of corporeal potential.

Lovebirds

While every piece is filled with entertainment, from the terrifying balancing acts to the hilarious clown interludes, the stand-out performance is, hands down, the double trapeze. Going beyond the expected acrobatics, the high-flying couple climbed, spun, dropped, swung, pushed, pulled, twirled and contorted their way through a flirtatious, aerial battleground to end lovingly in one another’s arms. It was simply stunning, beautifully choreographed and extremely touching.

Insider Tip: Plan for Traffic!
I gave myself 40 minutes to get there from downtown and was almost late due to the greater-than-normal traffic exiting Villa de la Valle from 5 North. I was so worried about being locked out of the Grand Chapiteau for the first act (where the Crystal Man appears to light the world!) I ran as fast as I could in my heels (What was I was thinking? Dressing up for the circus? Bad idea) practically forcing my way in to the tent. Talk about classy. I just really love the circus. Unless you want to be that girl, I suggest leaving yourself ample time and wearing appropriate clothing. Lesson learned.

Suzzanne

5 To Try This Weekend in San Diego

Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM

What a great weekend to be in San Diego. Now the only problem will be how to fit it all in! Here is our 5 To Try for the weekend.

Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM

Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM

1. TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil

Cirque returns to San Diego with TOTEM April 25-May 20, 2012 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Mission Federal Art Walk Hands on Fun

2. Mission Federal ArtWalk

On April 28-29 head over to Little Italy to experience ArtWalk. It is the largest art event in San Diego. More than 400 visual artists from all over the world show and sell their art. Live music and dance stages, interactive art for children and the picturesque background of hip and historic Little Italy make this event a must-do every spring in San Diego.

Beach Soccer Jam

Beach Soccer Jam

3. Beach Soccer Jam

If you are looking for a little beach time, head over to Fiesta Island for Beach Soccer Jam, April 28-29. Beach Soccer Jam is a faster, hotter version of the world’s most popular sport. A soft sand surface allows players to try diving headers, bicycle kicks and exciting tricks more freely. The sand also adds another dimension to the sport, putting aerobic strength, teamwork and individual skills to the test. The sport is spectacular!

Tuna Fishing - San Diego History Center

Learn the History of the region's Tuna industry at the San Diego History Center

4. San Diego History Center’s TUNA!

The San Diego History Center has unveiled the new exhibit TUNA!, showcasing the time when San Diego tuna fishing industry was booming from the 1920’s until the 1960’s. The exhibition will let visitors view the world through the eyes of the fisherman’s families and experience hands-on pole-fishing, demonstration stations, packing and canning activities and taking a trip down memory lane with favorite icons of the area.

To The Arctic IMAX at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

To The Arctic IMAX at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

5. IMAX: To the Arctic

Through the power of IMAX, audiences will be transported to one of the most remote and spectacularly beautiful places in the world and experience an emotional story of love, family and hope, with the documentary adventure To The Arctic at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Running daily through August 2012.

Tell us in the comments below, what will you be doing?

Suzzanne

Cirque du Soleil’s TOTEM Coming To San Diego

Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM
Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM

Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM

The Cirque is coming to town! Returning to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, April 25-May 13, 2012 is Cirque du Soleil’s TOTEM. This will be the last stop for TOTEM in the west before it moves over to Boston in June. TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

Don’t miss this great show. Tickets are on sale now…

Make a night of it by dining at one of these nearby restaurants.

Burlap's Dining Room

Burlap's Dining Room

Burlap

Described in Executive Chef Brian Malarkey’s playful tone as “Asian Cowboy” cuisine, Searsucker’s sister restaurant Burlap offers a hybrid of meat, seafood and bold sides with Asian influences. Burlap embraces the relaxed North County San Diego vibe while injecting Chef Malarkey’s playful touch on the coastal destination.

Brigantine

Brigantine

Brigantine

Across from the Fairgrounds is a North County staple, the Brigantine. Take a drink of your favorite beer and sit back to enjoy the fresh seafood, including their lively oyster bars and award-winning fish tacos and swordfish.

FLAVOR Del Mar

FLAVOR Del Mar

FLAVOR Del Mar

Nestled atop Del Mar Plaza with a pitch perfect ocean view, dining at FLAVOR is a full sensory experience. Acclaimed chef Jason Maitland offers a youthful and inspired approach to California Cuisine, creating a simple, yet unique blend of flavors and fragrances that are as fresh as the Pacific breeze.

Tell us in the comments below, where is your favorite place for a night out in Del Mar?

Suzzanne

5 to Try in San Diego: St. Patrick’s Day Edition

San Diego offers something for everyone on St. Patrick’s Day. Make sure to set out your green threads the night before because here are your 5 to Try that will keep you moving from sun-up to well past sun-down.

Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Balboa Park

Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in Balboa Park

1. Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival

Lads and lassies celebrate all things Irish at the Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, held March 17 at the corner of 6th Avenue and Juniper Street near Balboa Park. The day includes a 10:30 am parade, an all-day Irish festival featuring food, beer gardens, musical entertainment and more.

Green ShamRock Sea in the Gaslamp Quarter

Green ShamRock Sea in the Gaslamp Quarter. Photo courtesy of The Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation

2. ShamROCK 2012

With 30,000 sq. ft. of Astroturf, downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter turns into the rolling hills of Ireland from noon to midnight on March 17 at ShamROCK 2012. This St. Patrick’s Day party includes Irish rock bands and pints of green beer; guests must be 21 years or older to attend the ticketed event.

La Jolla Wine Tours

St. Patrick's Day Wine Country Tour

3. St. Patrick’s Day Wine Country Tour

Enjoy beautiful, panoramic vineyard views as you delight in the tasting of superb local wines paired with custom-made gourmet pizza overlooking the wineries grounds with the St. Patrick’s Day Wine Country Tour by San Diego Beer and Wine Tours.

St. Patrick's Day Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon Trail

St. Patrick's Day Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon Trail

4. St. Patrick’s Day Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon Trail

Get outdoors and go for a nature centered St. Patrick’s Day Hike at the San Dieguito Lagoon Trail in Del Mar. Walk, bike or trike at this family friendly event in support of one of San Diego’s most celebrated natural treasures – the 55-mile San Dieguito River Park. Reservations are recommended.

Kelly's Steakhouse Piano Bar with Joe Cromwell

St. Patrick's Day Celebration at Kelly's with Joe Cromwell

5. St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Kelly’s

Sing-A-Long to your favorite Irish Songs at the Piano Bar with Joe Cromwell at Kelly’s inside the Town & Country Resort. Festivities began at 4:00 pm and run until midnight. with drink and food specials all night.

Tell us in the comments below, what do you have planned for the family on St. Patrick’s Day?