Jeff Terich

4 of the Best All Ages Live Music Venues in San Diego

The Irenic - An All Ages Music Venue in San Diego
The Irenic - An All Ages Music Venue in San Diego

The Irenic – An All Ages Music Venue in San Diego

San Diego is a haven for bargoers – the explosion of the craft beer scene has proven that this is a town that enjoys an IPA or two. But for those not yet of legal drinking age, that means being able to see live music can be a bit more complicated. As it turns out, however, there are several great options for under-21 music fans, and here is a handful of the best all ages live music venues.

The Irenic

If The Irenic looks like a church, that’s because, technically it is. Operating as Mission Gathering on Sundays, North Park’s The Irenic acts as a functional and non-denominational music venue the rest of the week. Its live music program is diverse, hosting everything from punk to electronic and indie rock throughout the year. And all ages are welcome at every show, making it a perfect spot for kids with a thirst for live music.

Where: 3090 Polk Ave., San Diego, CA 92104
> Find out more about The Irenic

Lestat’s

A little bit mellower than other venues in town, Lestat’s regularly showcases folk and singer/songwriters in San Diego, with occasional touring acts coming through as well. So if you’d rather ease into the live music scene with something a bit more laid-back, it’s a comfortable and friendly spot, with a coffeehouse next door that’s open late at night, just in case the show lets out early (just check in with your folks, they worry).

Where: 3343 Adams Ave., San Diego, CA 92116
> Find out more about Lestat’s

House of Blues

From marquee touring bands on its main stage to smaller indie acts in its Voodoo Room, the House of Blues – located in the Gaslamp Quarter – can have anywhere between one and three shows happening on any given night. And while it’s not strictly an all ages venue, a great many of its shows are open to those under 21. Just make sure to check their website before buying tickets to avoid confusion.

Where: 1055 5th Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
> Find out more about House of Blues

Observatory North Park

Like the House of Blues, the 1,100-capacity Observatory North Park isn’t an all-ages venue every night; sometimes it’s limited to 18-and-up audiences, and occasionally, 21 and up. But a quick look at the calendar reveals that most of the time, the venue is pretty teen-friendly, and under certain circumstances – like Future Islands’ two upcoming shows in September – bands will book separate shows for two different age groups.

Where: 2891 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104
> Find out more about Observatory North Park

> Discover More All Ages Fun in San Diego

Chelsea

Top 5 Family Friendly Beaches in San Diego

Kids Play at One of San Diego's Family Friendly Beaches
Kids Play at One of San Diego's Family Friendly Beaches

With more than 70 miles of amazing beaches, there is plenty of space for the kids to run…and burn off some energy 🙂

Rarely is there a full week without sunshine in San Diego. The balmy, year round weather makes “America’s Finest City” ideal to visit. Hand in hand with the warm climate, the main attraction is of course the beaches. With so many gorgeous seashores to choose from, my picks are particular when it comes to choosing a family friendly place to lay your towels.

Here are my top 5 picks for taking the kids to the beach in San Diego.

Moonlight Beach

Located in Encinitas, hands down this locals’ spot is my absolute favorite for families. With recently updated bathrooms and a snack shack, Moonlight lets you spend a whole day in the sand with everything you need to keep kids happy. To top it off, there’s a play structure and park for those that want a little extra entertainment. Though it tends to get very crowded in the on-season, try venturing over to the far north as there tends to be a little more space.

> Find out more about the beaches in Encinitas

Seaside in Cardiff

Though this destination charges a daily parking fee, it’s a favorite because you can park the car right next to the sand, making carrying all your snacks, buckets and shovels a little more convenient. It’s a great place to swim and complete with bathrooms in the lot just in case. During summer months, food trucks have been known to sell food for a convenient lunch.

> Find out more about the beaches in Cardiff-by-the-Sea

Fletcher Cove Solana Beach

My favorite way to make an entire day of the beach is to start with an ocean view breakfast at the delicious Naked Café across from Fletcher Cover. After filling up on coffee and pancakes, make your way down the ramp to the water, noting the convenient bathroom locations along with a park for a few rides on the swing. Once you’ve had your fill of sun and swimming in the white water waves, finish off the day at family friendly Pizza Port, a short walk up the street.

> Find out more about the beaches in Solana Beach

La Jolla Shores

Undoubtedly one of the most break taking spots in all of San Diego is La Jolla, known as “The Crown Jewel.” Though many of the beaches have a dangerous “shore break”, the Shores is a gentle, bay like destination that is ideal for smaller children. Also equipped with bathrooms and a play structure, sandwich and ice cream shops are a short block or two away.

> Find out more about the beaches in La Jolla

Coronado Silver Strand

With gorgeous white sands to choose from, my top pick for fewer crowds during peak season is to head to the stretch of the Silver Strand just before the Coronado Cays. Gorgeous beaches await as does a “tunnel” that will lead you to the Loews Coronado Bay Resort to pick up a picnic lunch from their Market to Go cafe.

> Find out more about the beaches in Coronado

> Discover all of San Diego’s Beaches

Robert Arends

San Diego’s ‘Mayflower of the West’ San Salvador Sets Sail Labor Day Weekend!

You know the old saying, “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue…” Well, San Diego has its own historic maritime tale: “In 1542, Cabrillo sailed the ocean blue and discovered…San Diego.” Yep, hard to believe that over 470 years ago(!)Portuguese explorer named Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who sailed for Spain, came across our little slice of paradise.

San Salvador

Cabrillo didn’t stay long, though; just enough time to anchor his ship, the San Salvador, off Point Loma, note and name our beautiful bay, and continue up the coast.

Launch of the San Salvador

San Salvador Completed - Maritime Museum of San Diego

The completed San Salvador and its amazing construction crew. Photo credit: Jerry Soto

San Diego makes history again Labor Day Weekend, September 3-5, 2016, during the Maritime Museum of San Diego‘s maiden voyage celebration of the first full-scale, historically-accurate working replica of the San Salvador, the “Mayflower of the West.” The impressive $6.2 million vessel stands 60 feet tall, weighs 230 tons and took the Maritime Museum five years to construct.

Coinciding with the museum’s annual Festival of Sail, the largest tall ship festival on the West Coast, visitors can for the first time board the San Salvador and enjoy a variety of onshore exhibits spotlighting this seaworthy recreation of Cabrillo’s 16th century galleon.

The adventure continues through October as the San Salvador embarks on a Pacific Heritage Tour of California’s coast, serving as a seafaring symbol of California’s origin story and the history of America from a West Coast perspective, and it will anchor in the following cities:

  • September 15-18: Oxnard, Channel Islands Maritime Museum
  • September 23-25: Monterey, Monterey State Historic Park
  • September 30 – October 9: Morro Bay, Central Coastal Maritime Museum Association

At each port, visitors will be able to board the ship and discover immersive dockside exhibits and events.

More Cabrillo Sites in San Diego

For history buffs, following are a few other cool Cabrillo sights (including a couple hidden in plain sight) to check out while you’re here:

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument - the Plymouth Rock <a href=

Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego’s only national park, commemorates Point Loma peninsula (Ballast Point, to be exact) as the “Plymouth Rock of the West” where Cabrillo came ashore. Cabrillo, the first European to set foot in California, claimed the bay for Spain. He noted it was “a very good port.” Couldn’t agree more, señor Cabrillo 😉

It would be more than 200 years later before the first Spanish mission was founded here.

There’s a 14-foot statue of Cabrillo with panoramic views of San Diego Bay and downtown; a phenomenal photo opp! Did you know: the Cabrillo sculpture was initially envisioned as a colossal statue that would exceed the Statue of Liberty in height!

California Tower in Balboa Park

California Tower Balboa Park

California Tower in Balboa Park

Cabrillo find #2 is located high atop the California Tower in Balboa Park, part of the San Diego Museum of Man. You’ll need binoculars to spot this one. The large weathervane on top of the cathedral-like tower is, in fact, the San Salvador. Pretty cool! For the first time in 80 years, the California Tower is now open for visitors to climb. Reservations required. Don”t forget to bring your camera!

On the museum’s façade, there’s also a clay and plaster figure of Cabrillo. If you’re facing the building, he’s just below and to the right of Junipero Serra , father of the California missions (right of the balcony).

San Diego Museum of Man façade. Can you spot Cabrillo?

San Diego Museum of Man façade. Can you spot Cabrillo?

So now you know about our discoverer, Cabrillo, and his mark on San Diego’s – and California’s – history 🙂