Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – April 23-27, 2014

Top Things to Do in San Diego

This weekend in San Diego is packed with top things to do including butterflies, live music, a rodeo, art outside and plenty of family friendly festivals!

Butterfly Jungle

Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Meet a few of the over 10,000 butterflies in the Butterfly Jungle

It’s the last weekend to marvel at more than 10,000 beautiful butterflies as they flit, float, and flutter around you in this spectacular spring fling event at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. There’s something for everyone, from fun kids’ activities to special presentations to fascinating facts about these wonderful winged insects.

Where: San Diego Zoo Safari Park – 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027
When: Through April 27, 2014
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about Butterfly Jungle

50th Annual Lakeside Rodeo

Lakeside Rodeo in San Diego's East County

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

Attention Cowboys and Cowgirls – For over 50 years, the El Capitain Stadium Association has brought the Wild West to life in the San Diego East County town of Lakeside with a word-class rodeo including bareback bronco rides, calf roping and other traditional rodeo competitions, along with food and crafts.

Where: Lakeside Rodeo Grounds – 12584 Mapleview St., Lakeside, CA 92040
When: April 25-27, 2014
Cost: $5-$250
> Find out more about the Lakeside Rodeo

Coronado Flower Show

Coronado Flower Show - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Stop and smell the roses at the 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. Take a break from the show in the wine and beer garden to relax and listen to live entertainment.

Where: Orange Avenue between 6th and 7th Avenues, Coronado, CA 92118
When: April 26-27, 2014
Cost: $5
> Find out more about the Coronado Flower Show

Adams Avenue Unplugged

John C. Reilly at Adams Avenue Unplugged - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Music will fill the air in fun spaces from churches to coffee shops to outdoor stages along Adams Avenue. Photo courtesy of Paul Jameson.

Adams Avenue Unplugged takes place along a two-mile stretch of Adams Avenue featuring 150 live musical performances staged inside restaurants, bars, coffee houses and galleries lining the neighborhood and on four community stages evenly spread out throughout the district. Don’t worry about the distance between venues, a free trolley will subsidize the walking. To make it even better, there will also be $5 cocktail and $3 beer specials at select drinking establishments along Adams!

Where: Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116
When: April 26-27, 2014
Cost: Free. Some concerts have reserved seating tickets
> Find out more about Adams Avenue Unplugged

25th Annual San Diego Earth Fair

Set in Balboa Park, the annual EarthFair is the largest free annual environmental fair in the world event featuring exhibitors, a food pavilion, kids area, live entertainment, parade, art show and a “clean” car concourse.

Where: Balboa Park – 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: April 27, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about San Diego Earth Fair

Mission Federal ArtWalk

Mission Federal ArtWalk in Little Italy

Spend the day outdoors enjoy local art and meeting the artists at the Mission Federal ArtWalk

Mission Federal ArtWalk, the largest fine art festival in Southern California, will commemorate its 30th year with a 17-block celebration in the lively neighborhood of Little Italy in San Diego. Founded by local artists, Mission Federal ArtWalk has become a showcase for established and emerging artists and the ultimate event for aficionados and casual collectors.

Where: India St & W Date St, San Diego, CA 92101
When: April 26-27, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Mission Federal ArtWalk

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Browse the San Diego Event Calendar

Know of some other top things to do this weekend in San Diego? Let everyone know in the comments below.

Guest Blogger

A Day of La Bella Vita in San Diego’s Little Italy

La Pensione Hotel in Little Italy

Little Italy is San Diego’s charismatic slice of Italy’s modern style and old-world sensibility. Most importantly, it’s a place that holds a special place in the hearts of most San Diegans.

Just ask any local and they’ll sigh and say how much they love to love Little Italy.

Little wonder. Hours spent in Little Italy are the closest you can get to the nonchalant la bella vita that Italians are masters in.

Walk past a circle of old men conversing in rapid Italian, stroll past mom’n’pop shops while nibbling a cup of gelato, sip your espresso at an outdoor café, duck into an Italian wine bar lit up by candlelight, or simply eat your way silly through the seemingly endless options of Italian and fusion restaurants.

In Little Italy, you can act as if there are no deadlines to meet, no schedule to abide by. Little Italy is the cosmopolitan side of San Diego’s famed easy-going lifestyle.

What makes this neighborhood even better? It’s literally steps from the glistening waters of San Diego Bay, for even more strolling and sweet living.

What’s my dream day exploring Little Italy and San Diego Bay?

Read on:

Rise and Shine, Italian-style

Caffe Italia - San Diego Food Finds

Start off the morning in Little Italy with some caffeine from Caffe Italia. Photo courtesy of San Diego Food Finds

Do as the Italians do and make a beeline from your bed to the neighborhood café to get your morning cappuccino. Locals start off their morning at Caffé Italia, directly underneath the blazing ‘Little Italy’ sign that arches over the neighborhood. Here you’ll find an espresso bar with a robust collection of coffee, cappuccino, espresso, as well as paninis, salads, and desserts. One side of their intimate café space is full of windows, which tempts you to lose hours just people-watching. Trust me, I’ve done it before. One tip: For now, they only accept cash, so be prepared.

Set Sail

Whalewatching from The America Yacht, San Diego

Explore the waters of San Diego aboard the America from Next Level Sailing

Next, get into the water. While the closest beach to downtown San Diego and Little Italy is about a 15 minute drive away, no one here seems to care because the stunning San Diego Bay is just three blocks down.

Besides, there are bigger adventures to be had in the bay. One of the coolest of them are the sails or sailboat races with Next Level Sailing, San Diego’s only outfitter boasting two racing yachts used in the America’s Cup races. In other words, they do more than sails and tours. They do thrills. Right now, they’re running whale watching adventures aboard the AMERICA, a gorgeous 139-foot replica of the 1851 champion sailing vessel that inspired the America’s Cup. Just sailing with them will be enough to write home about.

Ciao Down in Little Italy

Davanti Enoteca - TheRepublika.com

Sample the rustic cuisine of the Italian countryside at Davanti Enoteca

The biggest draw of Little Italy is also its tastiest. This quaint neighborhood is packed corner to corner with restaurants serving up everything from pasta, pizza, gourmet cheese, paninis, gelato, steak, seafood…and even more pasta and pizza. Not up for Italian?

A marvelous mix of global cuisines have made its way here, too. You’ll find trendy Japanese ramen, out-of-this-world Oaxacan entrées, and modern, home-cooked New Zealand food in between wine bars and brew pubs. Choosing a restaurant is probably the biggest decision you’ll have to make when you’re in Little Italy, so here’s one recommendation. One of my personal favorites is Davanti Enoteca, where you’ll dish on rustic cuisine you’d expect to have in the Italian countryside. The interiors are just as delicious as their food. With exposed rustic brick walls, re-purposed wood, and an expansive tree-shaded patio, you’ll feel like you’re eating out of a rural cottage in Italy – albeit a lively one.

Sleep Over

La Pensione Hotel in Little Italy

Stay in the heart of Little Italy at La Pensione Hotel

If, and when, you contently fall into a food coma, sink into the sumptuous beds at Little Italy’s La Pensione Hotel. This boutique hotel is this area’s hard-to-miss icon, right in the middle of the neighborhood. Perfect for urban explorers who love being in the center of it all (which I do), this hotel is brimming with rich character and a chic, modern design.

La Pensione is a triple threat – with a lovely look, impeccable location, and near-perfect pricetag, with rates that are consistently some of the best in town. The hotel has been likened to the treasure trove of affordable European hotels dotting cosmopolitan cities like Milan, Rome and Paris. After spending a blissful night here, you’ll wake up surrounded by the bustling streets of Little Italy, with the smell of espresso and no deadline to rush up for, feeling more Italian than ever.

What’s your favorite part/thing/place in Little Italy?

Junvi OlaJunvi Ola is a well-traveled globetrekker. Her luggage wheels have tracked their way from the cobblestone streets of Ljubljana, Slovenia to the pristine mountains of Whistler, B.C and is lucky enough to make San Diego her home base. You can follower her on Twitter at @DiegoOnADime.

Kathleen

San Diego Burgers Teens (and Adults) Will Love

hodads san diego burgers

If there’s one thing San Diego knows how to do, it’s make a great burger – just ask the readers of Travel + Leisure. If your burger tastes run toward the exotic, then Trioli’s Crazee Burger is for you where burger ingredients include venison, buffalo and kangaroo.  But for my family (which includes a teenage boy), the classics done really well are what we crave. Here’s a short list of some of our favorites.

Five Guys

five guys burgers san diego

Five Guys has several locations around San Diego.

If you don’t have a Five Guys Burgers & Fries near you or haven’t tried one yet, then make this a stop on your San Diego vacation. There are four San Diego locations including HillcrestPoint LomaCoronado and Barrio Logan. Made to order just the way you like it and very reasonably priced, Five Guys serves up a great burger. Plus, they don’t charge extra for any of the dozen toppings offered.

Burger Lounge

burger lounge san diego

Turkey burgers are a popular option at Burger Lounge (Photo by Erin Jackson, courtesy of  Serious Eats. Read the complete Burger Lounge review at Serious Eats.)

With several locations in LA and seven (soon to be eight) in San Diego, Burger Lounge is a Southern California favorite that started in San Diego. Touted as 100% fresh, single source American grass-fed beef and cooked on a high temperature flat top grill, this is just a terrific bite. Burgers are served with fresh toppings and their own fresh baked buns.

Smashburger

smashburger-san-diego burgers

Smashburger wins the teen vote (Photo by Erin Jackson, courtesy of Serious Eats. Check out Erin’s complete review of Smashburger.)

Hands down my teenage son’s favorite burger, Smashburger is another chain exploding across the U.S. and San Diego is lucky enough to have 11 locations including three near downtown, two in Mid-City, three along the North County coast and two in East County. What makes Smashburger so fantastic is the fresh, not frozen, Angus beef, which is very tasty and juicy. The burgers are served with fresh produce, lots of toppings and your pick of an artisan bun. They also have awesome milkshakes made with Haagen-Dazs ice cream.

Hodad’s

hodads san diego burgers

Hodad’s loads up their burgers (Photo by Erin Jackson, courtesy of Serious Eats. Read the full review of Hodad’s on Serious Eats.)

Only found in San Diego, Hodad’s has been recognized by CNN as one of the top 5 burger joints in the country, and for good reason. With sizes from a mini to a double double, these extra-large, extra tasty burgers come conveniently served with large cut homemade fries in a combo.  There are three locations in San Diego, boasting a classic surf grunge atmosphere, including the original in Ocean Beach and two in downtown on Broadway Ave. and in Petco Park.

The Waterfront

waterfront san diego restaurant tavern burger

The Waterfront serves up a classic burger (Photo by Erin Jackson, courtesy of Serious Eats. See the Serious Eats full review of the Waterfront’s burger. )

Located in Little Italy, the Waterfront is San Diego oldest tavern.  Opened in 1933, the Waterfront remains true to its origin: a neighborhood hangout serving cold drinks and delicious noshables.  The tavern is 21 and over only and has a revolving calendar of bands and events.  But the real draw is the burgers.  Big, tasty and loaded with grilled onions – yum.

Do you have a favorite teenager-approved San Diego burger? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Special thanks to Erin Jackson, burger blogger for Serious Eats, for the photos. Check out her reviews for more San Diego burgers at SeriousEats.com

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – October 11-13, 2013

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Escape to Germany, Italy and the western frontier while never being more than a few miles from the beach! Here are your top things to do in San Diego this weekend:

Little Italy FESTA!

Gondoliers at the Little Italy Festa!

Gondoliers ready to serenade at the Little Italy Festa!

Little Italy FESTA! is the largest Italian American festival on the West Coast. Hip and historic Little Italy welcomes visitors with the tantalizing sights, sounds and aromas of Italian culture. A full palette of Italian cuisine is complemented by traditional and modern Italian music, arts and crafts as well as a tribute to San Diego’s rich Italian American heritage.

Where: 2210 Columbia St, San Diego, CA 92101
When: October 13, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Little Italy FESTA!

Hillcrest Hoedown

Hillcrest Hoedown - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Come celebrate this fall season with a family friendly, cowboy and cowgirl inspired street festival in Hillcrest featuring plenty of live music, line dancing lessons, Furry Foster Humane Petting Zoo, costume contest and a Street Side Saloon.

Where: Normal Street and University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
When: October 12, 2013
Time: 12:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Hillcrest Hoedown

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Ocean Beach Oktoberfest – the perfect combination of a German Festival and San Diego Sunshine

German Festival – San Diego Style! The festival will include Mrs. & Mr. Oktoberfest Contest, the Sausage Toss, the Brat Trot Beach Run, the Beer Garden Band Slam on Friday night and all of the great live music, great food, beachside vendors and of course, Oopma Bands!

Where: Newport Avenue and Abbott Street, San Diego, CA 92107
When: October 11-12, 2013
Cost: Festival – Free. Beer Garden Donation – $3. Brat Trot Beach Run – $15-$30
> Find out more about the Ocean Beach Oktoberfest

> Prost to more Oktoberfests in San Diego

La Jolla Art & Wine Festival 2013

Kids Painting a car at the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival

Family Fun and the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival. Photo: Steve Simpson

Featuring the works of over 150 established artists from San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Baja and beyond, the festival features something for everyone including a silent auction, roving entertainment, a gourmet marketplace, the Geppetto’s/Witt Lincoln Family Art Center and a wine and beer garden which will include premier wineries from around the world in addition to San Diego’s top breweries.

Where: Girard Avenue and Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: October 12-13, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free. Suggested donation of $5 to benefit local schools
> Find out more about the La Jolla Art & Wine Festival 2013

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Browse the San Diego Event Calendar

Know of some other top things to do this weekend? Let everyone know in the comments below.

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – June 18-23, 2013

Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off

It’s here…the first weekend of summer! That means it’s time for body surfing at the beach, hiking through to mountains, cycling along the boardwalks, bonfires in the evening and these top things to do in San Diego:

An Evening with Rita Coolidge

An Evening with Rita Coolidge

Spend an evening with Grammy award-winning Rita Coolidge.

Join The ASI Way in beautiful San Diego for a night with Rita Coolidge, a multiple Grammy award-winning vocalist.

Where: Town & Country Resort Center
When: June 18, 2013
Cost: $30-$40
> Find out more about An Evening with Rita Coolidge

Taste of Little Italy

Taste of Little Italy - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Savor the Italian flavors from restaurants throughout Little Italy.

Enjoy live music while strolling and dining in San Diego’s hip and historic Little Italy. Appetizers, entrees, beverages and desserts will be served by the area’s finest restaurants. This year there will be two smaller routes to choose from, and if you are feeling very hungry, the two routes can be combined.

When: June 19, 2013
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: North or South Route Only – $28. Combine Route – $42.
> Find out more about Taste of Little Italy

San Diego Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival

San Diego Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival

Sample wine, cheese and chocolates while supporting a local non-profit.

Sample mare than 50 wines, cheeses and chocolates from donors, private chefs and local California vineyards while dancing to the music of Sue Palmer, San Diego’s “Queen of Boogie Woogie.” There will also be a silent auction.

Where: North Promenade at Liberty Station – 2730 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
When: June 21, 2013
Time: 6:30 to 9:30 PM
Cost: $35-$50
> Find out more about the San Diego Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival

San Diego International Beer Festival

Breweries from around the world will come to the San Diego County Fair with over 300 beers for you to sample. New this year for the competition will be crowning a Champion Brewery in addition to our Best of Show Beer.

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar, CA 92014
When: June 21-23, 2013
Cost: $55-$90. Includes admission to the San Diego County Fair
> Find out more about the San Diego International Beer Festival

Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off

Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off

Music, shopping, art and chili at the Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off.

Spend the day in Ocean Beach enjoying over 5 stages of live music, a community mural art project, a children’s play area, shopping and chili from more than two dozen entrants vying for the titles of Hottest Chili, Judges’ Award and grand prize People’s Choice Award.

Where: Newport Avenue, San Diego, CA 92107
When: June 22, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
> Find out more about the Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off

2013 Loews Surf Dog Competition-Unleashed by Petco

Surfs Up! Whether catching a wave with a furry friend or seeking fun on the beach with friends and family, this year’s attendees can expect a fun-filled day on the beach. Activities also include a chance to meet Petco’s most experienced trainers or try relaxing with a Puppy Massage/People Massage.

Where: Imperial Beach Pier – 10 Evergreen Avenue, Imperial Beach, CA 92118
When: June 22, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost: Free to attend. $50-$55 to compete.
> Find out more about the 2013 Loews Surf Dog Competition-Unleashed by Petco

Annual San Diego Scottish Highlands Game & Gathering of the Clans

Rival clansmen will test each other’s prowess at various sports – running, jumping, wrestling, or primitive forms of weight putting with stones, or dividing into roughly equal sides against each other in a very early form of camanachd or shinty. Lastly the clansmen will vie with each other in piping and in dancing, the pipers taking turns to demonstrate their skills and the clansmen to demonstrate their agility and neatness of movement by dancing complicated steps to the pipe music. These relaxations were in effect the forerunners of the modern Highland games.

Where: Brengle Terrace Park – 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084
When: June 22-23, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: $6-$14
> Find out more about the Annual San Diego Scottish Highlands Game & Gathering of the Clans

La Jolla Festival Of The Arts

La Jolla Festival of the Arts 2013

Stroll through La Jolla browsing among art from more than 200 local and national award-winning artists, listening to live music and marveling at live chalk art creations. There will be plenty of food and a children’s area. Proceeds from the festival support recreational and rehabilitative services to injured veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Where: UC San Diego Warren Field – 3453 Voigt Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093
When: June 22-23, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: $12-$15. Active military and kids 16 and under – Free.
> Find out mare about the La Jolla Festival Of The Arts

> 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.

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – May 14-19, 2013

Sicilian Festival in Little Italy

With sunny skies and warm weather in the forecast, it’s not too late to plan your escape to San Diego for the weekend and enjoy these outdoor top things to do:

Festa do Espirito Santo

Festa do Espirito Santo

Celebrate Portuguese Heritage by joining in the city’s oldest ethnic festival that commemorates Portugal’s Queen St. Isabel feeding the poor during a centuries-ago famine. This family friendly festival will feature plenty of live music, a bazaar, food and a parade on Sunday.

Where: United Portuguese S.E.S. Hall – 818 Avenida De Portugal, San Diego, CA 92106
When: May 17-19, 2013
> Find out more about the 103rd Annual Festa do Espirito Santo

Ramona Rodeo

Ramona Rodeo - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Steer Wrestling, Barrel Racing and Bull Riding at the Ramona Rodeo

Yeehaw! One of the country’s top PRCA sanctioned full-scale pro rodeos, the Ramona Rodeo is a 3-day event featuring barrel racing, tie-down roping, bull riding, saddle bronc riding, team roping, and bareback riding. Also, don’t miss the Ramona Main Street Parade on Saturday.

Where: Fred Grand Arena – 421 Aqua Lane, Ramona, CA 92065
When: May 17-19, 2013
Cost: $5-$15
> Find out more about the Ramona Rodeo

Southern California Beach Soccer Championships

North Park Festival of the Arts & Craft Beer Block

North Park Festival of the Arts & Craft Beer Block

Live music, art, food and craft beer at the North Park Festival of Arts & Craft Beer Block

Spend the day in North Park enjoying a diverse line-up of bands, dancers and artists into one marathon day of performances spread across multiple stages. For the beer lovers in the audience, a ticket to Craft Beer Block will include over 25 local breweries, 12 4-ounce tasters and a commemorative glass.

Where: University Avenue & 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104
When: May 18, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Festival – Free. Craft Beer Block – In Advance – $25, Day of – $30.
> Find out more about the North Park Festival of the Arts & Craft Beer Block

Pirate Days

Pirate Days at the Maritime Museum of San Diego

Are ye brave enough to climb aboard for Pirate Days?

Arrr, matey! Sail on down to the Embarcadero to embark on a two-day celebration for kids of all ages. The days will include kids costume contests, carnival games, cannon firings, weapon demonstrations, sword fights, scary stories, and scavenger hunt for the pirate treasure, which the mermaid holds at the end of the treasure hunt.

Where: Maritime Museum of San Diego – 1492 N Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: May 18-19, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Adults – $16. Kids (3-12) – $8. Kids 2 and Under – Free.
> Find out more about Pirate Days

Escondido Street Faire

Escondido Street Fair - Top Things to Do in San Diego

The Escondido Street Faire is fun for the whole family

Since 1989, the Escondido Street Faire has brought live entertainment, over 500 vendors, children’s rides and activities, and food from around the world to the downtown tree-lined streets of Escondido.

Where: Grand Avenue, between Center City Pkwy and Ivy, Escondido, CA 92025
When: May 19, 2013
Time: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Escondido Street Fair

20th Annual Sicilian Festival in Little Italy

Sicilian Festival in Little Italy

Godetevi il cibo, la musica e la danza della Sicilia al festival siciliano a Little Italy

Venite a festeggiare un anniversario…stile siciliano! La musica, la danza, la cultura e la cucina della Sicilia arrivano in piazza di San Diego, in zona Little Italy come parte della celebrazione l’annuale Festa di Siciliano.

Come celebrate an anniversary…Sicilian-Style! The music, dance, culture and cuisine of Sicily come to the streets of San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood as part of the 20th Annual Sicilian Festival celebration.

Where: 1600 – 1700 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: May 19, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the 20th Annual Sicilian Festival in Little Italy

CicloSDias Mini

In anticipation of the main CicloSDias event on Sunday, August 11, this weekend’s CicloSDias Mini will close the Marston Loop in Balboa Park to cars and open it up to everyone on bikes, roller blades, skateboards, two feet and anything else. Make sure to bring a blanket, and picnic food and games to enjoy a car free afternoon.

Where: Balboa Park – Balboa Drive at Juniper Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: May 19, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the CicloSDias Mini

> 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.

Alison

Mission Federal ArtWalk 2013 – 17 Blocks of Arts & Culture in Little Italy

[youtube http://youtu.be/TNZDMZEB3qw]

Enjoy art? Next weekend, Little Italy is the place you’ll want to be.

White tents and an array of booths are taking over 17 blocks of Little Italy for the 29th annual Mission Federal ArtWalk. More than 350 artists will exhibit and sell their work -and tens of thousands of art lovers will be buying.  Admission is free – but festival goers will spend about $1 million during the event.

Visitors will find a wide range of visual arts – from pottery to jewelry, sculpture to basketry, art glass to digital media, photography to oil paintings. And we’re not talking schlock. A selection committee reviews artists’ works before participation is permitted.

The two-day event has become the city’s largest art festival – with live music and dance performances on six stages, a wide selection of food vendors and lots of artsy hands-on fun. Youngsters will even have the opportunity to create their own art to take home at the Kidswalk in Amici Park.

Where: India, Kettner and Columbia streets between Beech and Grape
When: April 27-28, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the 2013 Mission Federal ArtWalk

Getting to the Mission Federal ArtWalk

By Car

Parking in Little Italy and the surrounding area is at a premium and can be full before the event even starts. Aladdin Airport Parking is offering a discount with coupon and will have free shuttle service every ten minutes.

By Public Transportation

Consider saving yourself the hassle and taking public transportation. Just hop on the Green Trolley Line and get off at the County Center/Little Italy stop. Walk east to the festival – which stretches along India, Kettner and Columbia streets between Beech and Grape. There are plenty of free parking options at Green Line trolley stations.

> Discover more arts and culture in San Diego

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 25-31, 2013

Escape to San Diego for a sunny spring weekend enjoying the beach, ocean, outdoors activities and these top things to do:

Craft Beer Dinner Series – Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment

Craft Beer Dinner Series - Lodge at Torrey Pines

Craft beer, brewer talks, great food and an amazing view. Can you ask for anything more?

The Grill, overlooking the Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Pacific Ocean, has partnered with Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment to bring you an evening of great food, local craft beer and the chance to meet the brewers at one of San Diego’s newest breweries. The five course menu has been meticulously planned to compliment the handcrafted brews and includes coconut crusted local seabass, shrimp and grits, Jamaican jerk chicken thigh, slow roasted leg of lamb, followed by almond milk panna cotta.

Where: The Lodge at Torrey Pines – 11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037
When: March 27, 2013
Time: 6:30 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $75
> Find out more about the Craft Beer Dinner Series – Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment

Easter in San Diego

Easter Eggs

Spend Easter weekend in Sunny San Diego!

From teas in Downtown to brunches on the water to egg hunts in Coronado, San Diego is a great place to spend Easter weekend with the family.

> Find fun Easter activities in San Diego

ACCOMPLICE: San Diego

ACCOMPLICE: San Diego - La Jolla Playhouse - Top Things to Do in San Diego

La Jolla Playhouse’s ACCOMPLICE: San Diego offers a completely unique experience, taking the audience out of the theater and on an adventure through Little Italy. You’ll be sent on a mission, aided by clues and mysterious cast members strewn throughout various locations such as street corners, bars and out-of-the-way spots. Groups of 10 piece together the clues of a meticulously crafted criminal plot and rely on their own street smarts to make it to the end.

Where: Little Italy
When: March 26 – April 14, 2013
Time: 4:30 to 7:30 PM
Cost: $35-$45
> Find out more about ACCOMPLICE: San Diego

Ironman Oceanside California

Ironman Oceanside California - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Andy Potts won the Ironman 70.3 California event for the 4th time in 2012.

It may be too late for you to enter and compete in the Ironman Oceanside, but you can still go down to the course and cheer on these amazing athletes. This incredible test of endurance begins with a 1.2 mile swim in Oceanside Harbor, followed by a 56-mile bike ride through the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base and ends with a 13.1-mile run along the Pacific Ocean and ending at the Oceanside Pier.

Where: San Diego’s North County Coastal Region
When:
 March 30, 2013
> Find out more about Ironman Oceanside California

> 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.

Benjamin Eastman

Mardi Gras in San Diego – Carnival in Paradise!

Mardis Gras in the Gaslamp

Would it surprise you to know that San Diego is the city with the largest Mardi Gras festival west of the Mississippi River? I mean, you know San Diegan’s like a good party, right? The following are just a few of the debaucherous ways that you can celebrate on Fat Tuesday (February 12, 2013):

19th Annual Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp

Mardis Gras in the Gaslamp

It’s a carnival atmosphere in the Gaslamp during Mardi Gras. Photo Courtesy of Be Water Photo.

Featuring an electrifying talent lineup ranging from local, regional and national zydeco, blues and rock bands, electronic and House music DJs, dance crews, acrobats and visual artists on 4 stages – this celebration will be a wonderland of fun!

Location: 5th Avenue between Market & L Streets (Gaslamp Quarter)
Time: 5:00 to 11:00pm
Cost: In Advance – $40. Day of – $50.
> Find out more about Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp

Gaslamp Mardi Gras – The French Connection

Gaslamp Mardi Gras - The French Connection

Get into the Gaslamp’s hottest clubs during Mardi Gras with the French Connection VIP pass.

Rather celebrate the holiday inside a bar or nightclub? Check out Club VIP’s “The French Connection” passport which gets you VIP Access to a number of Gaslamp nightclub celebrations (including those at the Hard Rock, Belo, Onyx, McFadden’s and the Pussycat Dollhouse!) and runs until 4:00 in the morning! Your passport cost includes welcome shots at 10 different venues and food & drink discounts at all participating venues.

Location: 5th Avenue between E and G Streets (Gaslamp Quarter)
Time: 5:00 PM to 4:00 AM
Cost: $29 pre-sale
> Find out more about Gaslamp Mardi Gras – The French Connection

12th Annual Hillcrest Mardi Gras

HIllcrest Mardi Gras

HIllcrest Mardi Gras. Photo credit: Jim Winsor

The Hillcrest Street Party will feature live entertainment, special guest performers and food & drink options. Count on lots of beads and lots of fun! For an even more memorable event, check out their VIP options (an additional $50) which provides partiers with an express entry and private reception & bathrooms.

Location: University Avenue between First & Fourth Avenues (Hillcrest)
Time: 6:00 to 11:00 PM
Cost: $15-$75
> Find out more about Hillcrest Mardi Gras

More Mardi Gras in San Diego

And for those who want to start early, check out the Little Italy Carnavale and the San Diego Brazilian Mardi Gras Ball happening on February 9th!

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego: February 7-10, 2013

LIttle Italy Carnevale - Top Things to Do in San Diego

It’s never too early to start planning your weekend celebration. From frisky nighttime parties to relaxing strolls through wildflower, here are our top things to do in San Diego this weekend that are sure to please a variety friends and family.

Little Italy Carnevale

LIttle Italy Carnevale - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Celebrate Carnevale Venetian Style at the family friendly Little Italy Carnevale

Revel in a Venetian style Carnevale celebration in San Diego’s Little Italy. The 10th Annual Little Italy Carnevale is a family-friendly event with plenty of fun including live music and dancing, stilt-walkers, art and mask-making for kids, as well as great Italian food.

Where: India Street between W. Fir and W. Cedar Streets (Downtown)
When: February 9, 2013
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Little Italy Carnevale

Wildflowers in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Anza-Boreggo Desert State Park Wildflowers

Wildflowers in the Anza-Boreggo Desert State Park

The chance of showers on Friday means the chance to see the wildflowers bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park on Saturday and Sunday! Make sure to call the 24-hour “Wildflower Hotline” at 760-767-4684 to get an update before heading out.

Where: Visitor Center – 200 Palm Canyon Dr, Borrego Springs, CA 92004 (East County)
When: Through April
Time: Dawn to Dusk
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Wildflowers in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The Red Ball 2013 – A Chinese New Year Celebration

The Red Ball 2013 - A Chinese New Year Celebration

Don’t forget to wear red to ring in the Chinese New Year!

Ring in Chinese New Year in style! As we bid farewell to the Year of the Dragon and welcome the Year of the Snake, guests are invited to dress in red and re-do New Year’s Eve with an official countdown at midnight to kick off the Lunar New Year, live music, DJs, tapas, cocktails and more.

Where: The Grand Del Mar – 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, Del Mar, CA 92130 (North County Coastal)
When: February 9, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM
Cost: Complimentary admission. Priority entry with Bottle Service, starting at $180.
> Find out more about The Red Ball 2013 – A Chinese New Year Celebration

Brazil Carnival Mardi Gras 2013

Brazil Carnival Mardi Gras - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Brazil comes to San Diego during this Carnival Mardi Gras!

Rich in beauty and color, the Brazil Carnival Mardi Gras presents a “Spectacular Samba Show” featuring dancers in glittering costumes adorned in sequins, beads and feathers accompanied by percussionists playing the authentic Batucada rhythms of Rio de Janeiro, even more carnival bands, capoeira, parades, and Mardi Gras beads!

Where: San Diego Museum of Art – 1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92108 (Downtown)
When: February 9, 2013
Time: 8:30 PM to 1:30 AM
Cost: $25-$99
> Find out more about Brazil Carnival Mardi Gras 2013

Ray at Night

Ray at Night in San Diego's North Park

Art, food, music and more at Ray at Night in San Diego’s North Park.

Join local artists, gallery owners, and hipsters alike during this fun, family friendly evening of art and creativity, music and food. Artwork on display includes paintings, sketches, sculptures, ceramics, blown glass, organic art and jewelry. Entertainment runs the gamut from jazz, blues and cultural music to poetry readings and performances by dance groups.

Where: Ray Street, between University Avenue and North Park Way (Downtown)
When: February 9, 2013
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Ray at Night

San Diego Padres Fan Fest

Top Things to Do - San Diego Padres Fan Fest

Get ready for the 2013 season with Padres FanFest presented by State Farm. Meet the players, play on the field, get some tips on your pitching and hitting, buy unique padres gear, see what goes into opening day, and more.

Where: Petco Park – 100 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)
When: February 9, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about San Diego Padres Fan Fest

San Diego Winter Brew Fest

Start off the weekend with The San Diego Winter Brew Fest and celebrate craft beverages from around California and beyond with live local music, food, and other vendors.

Where: Broadway Pier – 1000 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 (Downtown)
When: February 8, 2013
Time: 6:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: $40-$60
> Find out more about San Diego Winter Brew Fest

> 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.