Candice

Four Cocktail Lounges Perfect for a Memorable Date Night in San Diego

Cusp Hotel La Jolla drink

San Diego is teeming with nightlife options. But if you want a romantic night out with that special someone, a bustling brewery or crowded dance floor might not be the right fit. Fortunately, with so many incredible bars and cocktail lounges, it’s easy to find one to impress your date.

Cocktail Lounges with a View: Cusp at Hotel La Jolla

Cusp Hotel La Jolla drink

Which is better: the drinks or the view at Cusp? It’s hard to decide.

There’s nothing more impressive than a spectacular view. In San Diego, those aren’t too hard to find, but few can rival the view from Cusp. Situated atop the Hotel La Jolla, Cusp overlooks a vast span of the La Jolla coastline, and their drinks are as delicious as the view is beautiful.

Tiki Time: Cat Eye Club

cat eye club drink

Drinks are on fire (literally) at the Cat Eye Club

For an entertaining evening, Cat Eye Club is a must visit. The vintage-inspired hideaway in downtown’s East Village serves up whimsical tiki drinks that are as fun to look at as they are to drink. Try the Cradle of Life or the Scorpion Bowl – both are served aflame.

Old Fashioneds in an Old Fashioned Setting: Polite Provisions

polite provisions

Polite Provisions offers vintage charm and potent cocktails.

Located in the up and coming neighborhood of Normal Heights, Polite Provisions revives the romance of the early 20th century cocktail lounges with their charming decor and vintage drinks. Whether you order one of their signature cocktails on tap or go for one of the seasonal creations, this precious spot is sure to charm your date.

The Secret Spot: Noble Experiment

Noble Experiment - Cocktail Lounges in San Diego

Noble Experiment is a sight to see…if you can find it.

The secret is out: Noble Experiment is San Diego’s favorite hidden speakeasy. Located in the back of the popular Neighborhood restaurant in the East Village, this tiny bar is big on character, featuring a wall of golden skulls and animated paintings on the walls (did that dear just blink at me?). Make sure to text ahead for a reservation, as the intimate space doesn’t allow much room for walk-ins.

For more ideas on planning the perfect date night in San Diego, check out our guide to the San Diego nightlife scene.

Candice

Enter to Win the Ultimate Baseball Getaway to San Diego

Hilton Bayfront pedestrian bridge Petco Park

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

Petco Park – Home to the San Diego Padres

Petco Park - Baseball Getaway

Petco Park is always the perfect destination for a baseball getaway

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

Baseball Memorabilia Collections

sullivan family baseball research center

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

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

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

East Village Tavern & Bowl

Lanes - East Village Tavern & Bowl

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

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

Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel

Hilton Bayfront pedestrian bridge Petco Park

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

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

Enter to Win a Baseball Getaway to San Diego

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

Brent Bernasconi

Padres Opening Day Fun & Festivities – 2014 Edition

Inside Petco - Courtesy Petco Park
Padres Opening Day - Courtesy Petco Park

Catch the Padres take on the Dodgers at the beautiful Petco Park

Spring is finally here and that means it’s time to put on the ol’ Padres baseball cap, pick up a box or two of cracker jacks and head downtown to the beautiful Petco Park for an afternoon or evening America’s pastime in San Diego!

Padres Opening Day

To kick of the 2014 season, the San Diego Padres will take on their heated rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday 30 March with first pitch at 5:05 PM.

While Sunday’s Opening Day game is already sold out, there is still plenty of fun happening around the park. Just pop into any one of the pubs/bars/restaurants in the East Village or Gaslamp Quarter to cheer on the Padres with plenty of fellow fans. Or you could enjoy the festivities at the East Village Block Party.

Tickets are still available for the Tuesday and Wednesday games.

East Village Block Party

At this free, family friendly event, enjoy local craft beer from Mission Brewery, Monkey Paw, and Stone Brewing Co., live music, local restaurants, line dancing on J Street brought to you by Bub’s @ The Ball ParkBlind Burro and Moonshine Flats, and much more. Also – The Moonshine Honeys & Friends will be leading a flash mob at 1:30 PM in front of Bub’s!

This family friendly event features East Village restaurants and hotels including: BASIC Kitchen & PizzaEast Village Tavern & BowlHotel Indigo, and more.

Where: J Street Between 6th and 10th
When: March 30, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the East Village Block Party

What’s New in Petco Park

If you are one of the lucky few with opening day tickets or if you are attending a later game, there are a few exciting new things happening inside of Petco Park.

  • Rimel’s Rotisserie will open on the top of the Western Metal Union building
  • The famous Lucha Libre Taco Shop will open a stand on the field level
  • Hodad’s and Bumble Bee Tuna will have new food stands at the Park at the Park
  • The big screen is 50% larger for those watching the game from the Park at the Park

Don’t forget to compliment the new delicious food offerings with a cold local beer from either the Ballast Point Beer Garden (Toyota Terrace) or Craft Beers of San Diego (Sections 109, 213, and 301).

Hat Tip to Gaslamp Ball for news on the new additions.

Brent Bernasconi

Where in San Diego to Watch the Broncos v. Seahawks Super Bowl

The Chargers are going to the Super Bowl…is what I wish I was saying. Though my Bolts are not going this year and will certainly play in the Big Game next year (fingers crossed), there is still plenty of Sunday fun to be had here, especially for the Seattle and Denver fans “stuck” in San Diego for the big game.

Seattle Seahawks – Thrusters Lounge

Thrusters Lounge - San Diego's Seahawks Home

About to be filled with a ton of navy blue and action green Seahawks jerseys

Congratulations, not only are your Seahawks going to the Super Bowl, but you get to watch them from sunny San Diego! To make sure you are high-fiving only those wearing navy blue and action green, fly on over to Thruster Lounge in Pacific Beach.

As of this posting, Thrusters Lounge has not posted any game day specials. However, I will update if they do post any.

Where: 4633 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109
> Find out more about Thrusters Lounge

Denver Broncos – Guava Beach Bar & Grill

Guava Beach Bar & Grill - Broncos Bar

A sea of Broncos Blue and Orange at Guava Beach Bar & Grill

I can’t believe it – there’s a Broncos bar in San Diego! I kid, I kid. Those looking to don their blue and orange while cheering on Manning can find a friendly crowd at this .01 mile-high arena of strong drinks and hearty bites.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Guava Beach will get the crowd pumped up with pre-game festivities, halftime specials including $4 you-call-its and a free raffle, along with even more drink and food specials all day.

Where: 3714 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109
> Find out more about Guava Beach Bar & Grill

Extra San Diego Super Bowl Viewing Options

  • Cafe Coyote – Head to Old Town to watch the big game, and the even bigger commercials, San Diego style…with a margarita in one hand, a taco in the other and flip-flops on your feet
  • East Village Tavern & Bowl – Cheer on either team in Downtown’s East Village with over 50 HD screens, drink specials and giveaways including a giant flat screen tv
  • W San Diego – Watch the game with the skyline as your backdrop at the W’s rooftop lounge. Depending on your affiliation, order either a AFC Punch of NFC Crush as you chow down on delicious appetizers
  • Amaya La Jolla – Take a walk on La Jolla’s beach and then stroll on over for some of Chef Cameron Woods’ game day favorites including sliders, fish tacos, spicy wings, and nachos starting at just $2

> Find more places to watch the Super Bowl in San Diego

While it may not be the Chargers, who are you rooting for in Sunday’s Big Game?

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – 2013 4th of July Weekend Edition

San Diego's Big Bay Boom 4th of July Celebration

Get ready to spend the long summer weekend in San Diego with the family enjoying fireworks, barbecues, the beach, fun and these top things to do:

Fourth of July

San Diego's Big Bay Boom 4th of July Celebration

Celebrate the birth of our nation with fireworks in San Diego including the Big Bay Boom 4th of July Extravaganza.

Celebrate the birth of our nation by spending Fourth of July at the beach and enjoying a night full of fun, friends, family and fireworks throughout the county. Big Bay Boom, the largest in the county, will offer 17 minutes of excitement starting at 9:00 PM. Many of the boating and cruise companies will be offering special fireworks cruises, just make sure to book early to guarantee a spot on the boat!

> Browse Fourth of July Celebration in San Diego

Star Spangled Pops with Bill Conti

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops Concert Series

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops pairs music with the beautiful downtown skyline.

Celebrate the Fourth of July weekend with a patriotic extravaganza featuring all-American hits from Main Street to Broadway, complete with John Philip Sousa marches, a tribute to the military and a spectacular fireworks display to light up the sky!

Where: Embarcadero Marina Park South – 206 Marina Park Way, San Diego, CA 92101
When: July 4-6, 2013
Time: 7:30 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $20-$79
> Find out more about Star Spangled Pops with Bill Conti

US Mens National Soccer Team versus Guatemala

United States Men's National Team - Soccer - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Be prepared to stand, sing and cheer on the USNMT as they take on Guatemala

For the first time since 2006, the U.S. Men’s National Team will return to San Diego and face CONCACAF rival Guatemala in the team’s only tune-up before the start of the 2013 Gold Cup.

Author’s Note: Join me and the American Outlaws at the game to show Seattle and Salt Lake City that San Diego has the largest number of true soccer fans. I want to see Qualcomm filled with Red, White and Blue Jerseys!

Where: Qualcomm Stadium – 9449 Friars Road, San Diego, CA 92108
When: July 5, 2013
Time: 8:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $22-$175
> Find out more about the US Mens National Soccer Team versus Guatemala

San Diego Clásico: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles vs Club América

San Diego Clásico - Xolos - Top Things to Do in San Diego

See Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles take on Club América at the San Diego Clásico

Two great soccer games in one weekend! Petco Park will host the San Diego Clásico exhibition soccer match featuring storied Mexican franchises, Club America from Mexico City, Mexico and region favorite – Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente from Tijuana, Mexico.

Where: Petco Park – 100 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
When: July 6, 2013
Time: 7:30 to 9:30 PM
Cost: $20-$50
> Find out more about the San Diego Clásico: Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles vs Club América

San Diego Junior Masters

San Diego Fringe Festival

San Diego Fringe Festival

Breathing new life and inspiration into the performing arts community, the Fringe Festival will bring local, national, and international artists together for a week of performances including; theatre, dance, music, puppetry, cabaret, cirque, comedy, multi-media presentations and more!

Where: Various Locations
When: Through July 7, 2013
> Find out more about the San Diego Fringe Festival

> 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.

Brian

Cavalia – An Equestrian Spectacular in San Diego through December 30, 2012

Horses - Cavalia
Horses - Cavalia

Cavalia – An Equestrian Spectacular

The equestrian spectacular Cavalia has taken up residency in downtown San Diego this winter.

Human and Horse - Cavalia

Cavalia chronicles the historical relationship between humans and horses.

The nightly performance combines equestrian arts, acrobatics and theatrics (the creative team actually has roots with Cirque), a live music, special effects and lots of big production to take you on a journey through the historic and powerful relationship between horses and humans.

Banner Man - Cavalia

Plenty of excitement and fun!

In between the thrilling acrobatics are plenty of lighthearted and comical moments that will definitely make you laugh. One scene in particular plays up the vanity of a certain rider and his reluctance to do a thrilling trick, which he of course ultimately did.

Big Top - Cavalia

Look for the White Big Top right next to Petco Park in San Diego’s East Village.

The producers recently announced that the show continue in San Diego through Christmas season. Tickets to a shows during a chilly December evening are the perfect gift for the horse enthusiast in your family.

Cavalia Information

Location: 1020 Imperial Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Dates: Through December 30, 2012
Cost: $39.50 – $229.50
> Find out more about Cavalia

Win Tickets to Cavalia – Contest has Ended

Enter for your chance to win a Family 4 Pack to see Cavalia during this magical Holiday season! Win 2 Adult and 2 Child tickets for Cavalia’s December 26th show at 7:00 PM, playing under the White Big Top at Petco Park.

The rules:

  • Leave a comment below on why you want to see Cavalia. Duplicate entries will be filtered out and discarded, so adding additional comments won’t increase your likelihood of winning.
  • Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States.
  • Winners will be chosen randomly. One winner will receive a Family 4 Pack (2 Adult and 2 Child tickets) for Cavalia’s December 26th show at 7:00 PM.
  • If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen.
  • The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.
  • Entries (comments) can be submitted until December 7, 2012 at 10:00 AM PST. Good luck!
Maren

Appetites Delight: Taste of Downtown San Diego

The Taste of Downtown hosts the biggest neighborhood tasting event this October 11, 2012.

The time has come to treat your taste buds. On October 11, 2012 over 50 restaurants in Downtown San Diego will open their doors for the Annual Taste of Downtown. For around the same price as dinner at one restaurant the Taste of Downtown supplies a smorgasbord of samples in the largest neighborhood tasting event in San Diego; including the East Village, Gaslamp Quarter, Financial District and Horton Plaza. Ticket price even includes complimentary shuttle service between neighborhoods to make sure you are able to hit all participating restaurants at your own pace.

Taste of Downtown Collage

Delicious offerings for this year’s Taste of Downtown.

It is the perfect opportunity to try everything that Downtown has to offer, including local favorites such as Cafe Sevilla, Katsuya by Starck, barleymash, burger lounge, The Merk Bistro, and The Field Irish Pub. Just remember to wear your stretchy pants. With so many options, you’re sure to leave with a full belly and a list of new favorite restaurants for your next date night, birthday party or family outing.

Annual Taste of Downtown Information

Where: San Diego’s Downtown
Date: October 11, 2012
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: $30 in advance/$35 Day Of
Website: www.sandiego.org/events/taste-of-downtown.aspx

Brent Bernasconi

Marvel at the Summer Sky Blast at Petco Park

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

> Get Your Tickets Now

Candice

Win a Stay in San Diego’s Vibrant East Village

Hotel Indigo San Diego

For years, people have known about New York City’s different neighborhoods, each with its own flavor and personality, but it may surprise visitors to San Diego that the beachside city also comprises more than 100 vibrant and distinct neighborhoods. Downtown alone is home to eight distinct neighborhoods, and (like New York) it includes an East Village.

Once an empty warehouse district, the revitalization of San Diego’s East Village was ignited in 2004 with the opening of PETCO Park, the San Diego Padres’ baseball stadium. Today, visitors can enjoy fashionable restaurants and cafes, rooftop bars, adorable boutiques and a variety of hip hotels. One of my favorite places to stay in the East Village is the Hotel Indigo, San Diego’s first LEED Certified hotel with a sleek, boutique vibe at prices that will make even the most budget-savvy traveler happy.

Hotel Indigo San Diego

Hotel Indigo San Diego's lobby and rooftop deck, featuring views of PETCO Park

In addition to their 24-hour “Phi”tness Studio, rooftop terrace with a reflection pool and fire pits, Hotel Indigo is known for their pet-friendly policy, making them a perfect fit for one of the country’s most pet-friendly cities. The ultimate time to check-in at the Hotel Indigo is when the Padres are playing at neighboring PETCO Park. If you’re a baseball fan, you don’t even need a ticket to enjoy the game. Pull up at chair at the hotel’s rooftop lounge, where you’ll have a first class view right into the ballpark.

Cafe Chloe San Diego

Cafe Chloe offers quaint, elegant French fare, including a killer croque madame.

For foodies, the East Village offers up some spectacular eats. Start the day with a buttery croissant and cup of spiced hot chocolate at Cafe Chloe, a quaint bistro that brings the seductive charm and spectacular cuisine of a Parisian cafe to downtown.

Neighborhood and Noble Experiment in San Diego's East Village

Neighborhood is a top dinner destination for locals, and Noble Experiment makes one of the best cocktails in town...if you can find it!

For lunch or dinner, Neighborhood can’t be beat. As the name suggests, San Diego locals frequent this burger joint that is anything but typical. Their burgers, smothered with toppings like béarnaise sauce or tomato confit, are too good for ketchup, which is strictly forbidden here. After dinner, push through a hidden door at Neighborhood to sneak into San Diego’s secret speakeasy, Noble Experiment. This pint-sized bar has a big reputation for unique specialty cocktails crafted to the utmost standards by the city’s most beloved bartenders.

Is the allure of the East Village calling to you? Leave a comment below to enter to win a one-night stay at the Hotel Indigo! A winner will be chosen at random from the commenters on Monday, June 4 at 10:00 am, so don’t miss your chance to take in this vibrant neighborhood first-hand. The Entry Period is Over.

Brian

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

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

An Entire Family of Padres Fans

An Entire Family of Padres Fans

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

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

Petco Park's Park at the Park

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

1. Park at the Park

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

TaylorMade Simulator at PETCO Park

TaylorMade Simulator at PETCO Park

2. Two Sports, One Location

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

San Diego's East Village

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

3. East Village

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

4. Get to know the Rookies

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

What to know:

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

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

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