Candice

Wine and Dine During the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting

November should be renamed Food and Drink month here in San Diego. In addition to the ubiquitous stuffing of turkeys happening at restaurants all over town, November is also host to 10 days of highlighting San Diego’s craft beer during San Diego Beer Week, which conveniently rolls right into 5 days of local food and wine pairings during the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival.

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting

Photo: Ken Loyst

The annual celebration of all things culinary comprises nearly 30 separate events. Here are just a few that are sure to tempt your palate:

SWISH: Serious Sips & Urban Eats – November 14, 2012

Start off the festival with a mid-week kick off party including plenty of drinks from up to 25 edgiest wineries and breweries along with food from some of San Diego’s hottest new food trucks.

Location: 57 Degrees
Date: November 14, 2012
Time: 7:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $45 (includes $7 voucher for use at any of the participating food trucks)

The Vault: Reserve Wine Experience & Silent Auction

A can’t-miss event for the true wine enthusiast, large, collectable and rare wines will be up for auction at this exclusive event. In addition to the bidding wars, guests can take part in the fun by sampling offerings from 160 wineries and spirits producers.

Location: San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Marriott Ballroom
Date: Friday, November 16, 2012
Time: 5:30 to 8:30 PM
Cost: $125

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival 2012

Photo: Ken Loyst

Grand Tasting Event

Soak up beautiful San Diego Bay views from Embarcadero Marina Park as you sip and savor offerings from more than 170 wine and spirit makers, 70 chefs, and 30 culinary companies. Plus, find out which chef will take home the coveted “Chef of the Fest” award in an action-packed culinary competition.

Location: Embarcadero Marina Park North
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Time: 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Cost: $125 in advance/$150 at the door

Re-Mixed Official Festival After Party

New this year, the Re-Mixed after party turns the focus from wine to cocktails as bartenders from San Diego’s hottest cocktail joints including Grant Grill, Searsucker, Prohibition, Noble Experiment, Vin de Syrah, Craft & Commerce, Tower 23 and more mix it up for guests.  Be sure to stop by the champagne, oyster and bacon station.

Location: U.S. Grant, Celestial Ballroom
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Cost: $50

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival 2012

Photo: Joey Hernandez

Which San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival event are you most looking forward to this year?

Suzzanne

Top Things to Do in San Diego: November 1-4, 2012

Day of the Dead Fiesta de Reyes Altar

Get ready to enjoy a fun and warm fall weekend in San Diego with these great things to do:

1. Old Town San Diego’s Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead Fiesta de Reyes Altar

An impressive alter at Fiesta de Reyes

Colorful altars and other traditional celebrations of Day of the Dead, one of Mexico’s most revered and festive holidays, return to Old Town San Diego. This community-wide commemoration, which honors ancestors and other deceased loved ones with special menus, music, dancing and crafts, is free and designed for all ages.

Location: Old Town San Diego (map)
Dates: November 1-2, 2012
Cost: Free
> Find out more about San Diego’s Dia de los Muertos

2. Carlsbad Fall Village Faire

Carlsbad Village Street Faire

Carlsbad Village Street Faire

Head up to Carlsbad on Sunday, November 4 for the largest one day street fair in California. The Faire features over 800 exhibitors, international food and live entertainment.

Location: Grand Ave. from Carlsbad Blvd. to Jefferson St. (map)
Date: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Time: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Carlsbad Fall Village Faire

3. Fall Back Festival: the Children’s Historical Street Faire

Fall Back Gaslamp Quarter Logo

The free Fall Back Festival brings the history and culture of the Gaslamp Quarter and Old San Diego alive for children and families. The event features entertainment such as a Wild West Shootout, hayrides, ice cream eating contest, clog dancing and food.

Location: 410 Island Avenue (map)
Date: Sunday, November 4, 2012
Time: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Fall Back Festival: the Children’s Historical Street Faire

4. 13th Annual Asian Film Festival

San Diego Asian Film Festival 2012 Logo

The San Diego Asian Film Festival is one of the largest exhibitions of Asian international and Asian American cinema in North America. Along with narrative features, the nine-day Festival also showcases documentaries, short films, and animation. Screenings take place at the Mission Valley UltraStar Cinema with tickets starting at $11.50.

Location: Mission Valley UltraStar Cinema (map)
Dates: November 1-9, 2012
Cost: Tickets start at $11.50
> Find out more about the 13th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival

5. San Diego Beer Week

Cheers during San Diego Beer Week

Say Cheers to another exciting San Diego Beer Week!

The San Diego Brewers Guild Festival kicks of San Diego Beer Week (SDBW) this Saturday. SDBW is a ten-day celebration inspiring people to drink local, craft beer and promoting San Diego’s thriving brewing culture. With over 317 events throughout the week, visitors are sure to get their share of San Diego’s best brews.

Locations: Varies by event
Dates: November 2-11, 2012
Cost: Varies by event
> Find out more about San Diego Beer Week

Know of any other great events going on in San Diego? Let us and other know about them in the comments below.

Suzzanne

Top Things to Do in San Diego: October 11-14, 2012

Chalk art at Little Italy Festa!

Finally, a little fall weather…San Diego style! We get to pull out our light jackets and maybe put on a pair of jeans instead of shorts. Why not get outside and enjoy these events this weekend. I’ll be at the Taste of Gaslamp. What will you be doing this weekend?

1. Taste of Downtown

All of downtown including the Gaslamp Quarter will come alive for this year’s Taste of Downtown

On Thursday, October 11, head downtown to celebrate the 13th Annual Taste of Downtown from 5:00 to 9:00 PM It is the biggest neighborhood tasting event in San Diego and encompasses the neighborhoods of East Village, Gaslamp, the Financial District and Horton Plaza. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 the day of the event.

2. 5th Avenue Auto Showcase

Cadillac at the 5th Avenue Auto Showcase

Classic Cadillacs and more at the 5th Avenue Auto Showcase

Car enthusiasts will be flocking to the Gaslamp Quarter on 5th Avenue from E Street to L Street on Sunday, October 14th from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM for the 4th Annual Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase. This timeless event is free and open to the public and will showcase high-performance automobiles and motorcycles ranging from the traditional classics to lavish luxury modern vehicles.

3. Miramar Air Show

The Blue Angels to soar over San Diego!

Nearly 500,000 people are expected to witness the MCAS Miramar Air Show this weekend, October 12-14. Visitors will be treated to a full day of flying and entertainment as well as novelty booths, a children’s activity area, military displays, a trade show and more!

4. Little Italy Festa!

Chalk art at Little Italy Festa!

Chalk art, Music and More at Little Italy Festa!

In its 18th year, the Little Italy neighborhood continues to celebrate its heritage by bringing the passion, vibrancy and flavors of Italy to southern California with its yearly treasured event, the Little Italy FESTA! More than 150 vendors, three stages of entertainment, Gesso Italiano (Italian Chalk), an Italian motorsport show, a Stickball exhibition game, and a children’s area will encompass more than 16 blocks of event activities at this family friendly event.

5. Art Glass Guild Show and Sale

The largest art glass show in Southern California will be held in the historic courtyard of the Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. Visitors can stroll through the free exhibit and see over 30 juried glass artists display their work Saturday and Sunday, October 13-14 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Be sure to also visit the demonstration booth where children and adults can participate in hands on mosaic projects.

Suzzanne

Top Free Things to Do In San Diego: October 4-7, 2012

This weekend we are highlighting some fun activities you can do…all for free!

1. Annual Pacific Beachfest

Pacific Beachfest Logo

On Saturday, October 6, Pacific Beach will be hosting a one-day event to highlight all that San Diego beaches have to offer. This year the Pacific Beachfest will feature a Pro/Am Surf Competition Final with surfers competing from around the world, an Action Alley where professional skaters will be on hand demonstrating their skills, a beach volleyball tournament, as well as artists, vendors, activities and music.

2. ArtOberfest Walkabout

On Saturday, October 6 from 6:00 to 10:00 PM, visitors can walk around the neighborhood of South Park and enjoy a fun-filled evening festival and be introduced to the shops and cafes of South Park. From Kalmia to Beech Streets, you’ll find shops open late, entertainment, specials and surprises. Browse, explore, shop and celebrate the independent spirit of this legendary neighborhood!

3. Old Town San Diego Art Festival

Old Town San Diego Art Festival Banner

Watch the streets of Historic Old Town San Diego transform into an art extravaganza on Saturday and Sunday, October 6-7. Stroll down San Diego Avenue and see the variety of artists, entertainment, food and wine. And for the first time this year, there will be a Young Artist area that will feature a children’s art competition.

4. Friday Night Liberty & Fall for the Arts Kickoff

October is when arts and culture takes center stage in San Diego. Fall for the Arts is a month-long spotlight on the many vibrant arts and cultural activities throughout the region in conjunction with National Arts and Humanities Month. On Friday, October 5, at the NTC Liberty Station, local arts and culture organizations will present hundreds of free (and almost free!) events to ensure residents and visitors can get more bang for the buck!

> Discover More Great Things to Do with San Diego’s Event Calendar

What do you have planned for the weekend?

Suzzanne

Top Things to Do in San Diego: August 30-September 3, 2012

dragon sand castle

Abounding with BBQs, beaches and bathing suits, San Diego is the ideal Labor Day vacation destination. Spend your holiday weekend participating in one of these fun-in-the-sun activities.

1. Festival of Sail

Star of India

More than twenty tall ships and other fascinating vessels from around the world will transform the North Embarcadero into a nautical theme park. The festival kicks off with a majestic parade of tall ships on San Diego Bay, Thursday, August 30. Parade begins at 11:00 AM and can be seen from the Embarcadero, Harbor Island, Shelter Island and Coronado. Festival visitors can enjoy touring the ships, live entertainment at the Festival of Sail main stage, food and drink from dozens of restaurant booths, a petting zoo and more.

2. US Sand Sculpting Challenge

dragon sand castle

From August 31 – September 3rd, head downtown to see some astonishing sand sculptures from professional world masters, the California masters team competition to student competitions. Other activities include sand sculpture classes for kids, dancers, musicians, pirates, magicians and more.

3. SoCAL Music Festival

Head over to San Diego’s East Village for the SoCAL Music Festival, Saturday, September 1 from 2:00PM to midnight. Over 25 DJ’s and Bands will be performing on four stages. Tickets available starting at $40 per person, 21 years and up.

4. Julian Grape Stomp

Drive over to Julian to take part in the annual olde-world style grape stomp and festa at the Menghini Winery Saturday, September 1 from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. There will be two barrels for stomping – one for adults and one for children. Admission is $10 for adults 21 and over, $5 ages 6-20 and 5 and under are free.

> Find Even More Great Labor Day Activities in San Diego

Suzzanne

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

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

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

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

2. San Diego Symphony: The Music of Michael Jackson

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

3. San Diego Spirits Festival

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

4. Wholistic Expo

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

5. Summer Whale Watching Cruise

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

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.

Suzzanne

Top Things to Do in San Diego: August 9-12

Here’s our top picks for this weekend. What will you be doing?

1. Hillcrest Cityfest

Hillcrest’s Cityfest

Head over to the eclectic neighborhood of Hillcrest on Sunday, August 12th for the annual Hillcrest Cityfest. Arts, crafts, food and live entertainment are featured at this popular annual street festival, held along Fifth Avenue.

2. 2nd Annual San Diego Wine Country Festival

The Bernardo Winery, located in Rancho Bernardo, will be host on August 11, 2012 to the San Diego Wine Country Festival. Over 20 of San Diego’s local Wineries pouring their latest releases from 1:00 to 5:00 PM on August 11th. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet the winemakers and get the inside scoop into San Diego Winemaking while sampling wine under the olive trees on the picturesque grounds of the 120 year old Bernardo Winery.

3. Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro

Catch the world’s top female surfers compete in Oceanside at the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro. This event will serve as the only ASP Star event on the 2012 ASP North America calendar. Twelve of the top sixteen ranked surfers in the world will be competing from August 9th through the 12th. Event is free.

4. Cardiff Dog Days of Summer

The fastest-growing street fair for dogs and dog lovers in Southern California is set for Saturday, August 11th, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Aberdeen Drive and Newcastle Ave in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Highlights of this year’s Cardiff Dog Days of Summer event include the Purina Pro Plan Rally to Rescue Ambassador Program, an obstacle course sponsored by K-9 Connection, a Kid Zone with a bird show and games, silent auction and contests such as, Cutest Puppy, Best Dressed Dog, Best Kisser to name a few.

5. Kettner Nights

Little Italy’s Kettner Boulevard comes alive as visitors mix and mingle their way through the many boutiques and galleries, August 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM between West Grape West Laurel Streets on Kettner.

Robert Arends

Quick Guide to San Diego Pride!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…San Diego Pride, that is, coming up this weekend July 20-22! Pride is one of our city’s biggest summer events, especially for Hillcrest, the hip LGBT uptown neighborhood.

With SO much to see and do, I thought I’d narrow it down for our out-of-town guests with some favorite local hotspots to mix & mingle, unwind and boogie down.

Eat,

Hillcrest offers a wide range of dining options (hey, a girl’s got to eat! 😉 ), especially along University Ave. and 5th Ave. Jimmy Carter’s Mexican Cafe on 5th is THE place for great Mexican food (you’ll love the carnitas), and it’s right across the street from Inn at the Park (see DRINK below). Asian Bistro on University (right down the street from Urban Mo’s – see DRINK below) is perfect for a late-night nosh after getting your groove on (the duck soup is delish!). Café on Park is my fav for brunch where you can nurse a hangover with Captain Crunch pancakes – yum!

Drink…

Good times on tap at Urban Mo’s!

Start your Pride pub crawl at Top of the Park, the fab Friday night happy hour on the rooftop of Inn at the Park. Enjoy phenomenal views of downtown, Balboa Park and San Diego Bay while sipping cocktails and socializing. Then head to Hillcrest’s most popular “family” of bars: Urban Mo’s (the patio is jumping!), Gossip Grill (for the girls!), Baja Betty’s (ole!) and Hillcrest Brewing Co. – the FIRST gay brewery in the world! Also be sure to check out Bourbon Street, our little slice of New Orleans on Park Blvd.

& Be Merry!

Picture-perfect Hillcrest!

Kick things off on Friday at the first-ever Pride of Hillcrest Block Party with DJs, dancing, food, drink and “Hillcrest Pride Flag Viewing” Ferris wheel (!) at the intersection of Normal St. and University Ave.

San Diego Pride Parade down University Ave.

On Saturday, the colorful Pride Parade takes to the streets (University Ave. and 6th Ave.) from 11am-1pm, with Grand Marshal Sandra Bernhard and actor Alex Newell from the hit TV Show “Glee.” This year’s theme is “America’s Pride” (translation: active duty men and women in uniform!).

The Pride Festival takes place Saturday (12 noon-10pm) and Sunday (11am-8pm) at Marston Point in Balboa Park (along 6th Ave.). Music headliner is Wynter Gordon, known for her smash hit single, “Dirty Talk.” One-day ticket is $20; two-day tix are $30.

For all you grooovestars, dance the night away at spacious Rich’s nightclub (with two outdoor patios) and the chic new discothèque Eden just across the street.

Let your rainbow colors fly proudly in San Diego!

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