Benjamin Eastman

La Jolla Nightlife Spotlight

While San Diego is the second largest city in California, most of the time it really doesn’t feel that way because of its diverse neighborhoods. An evening in La Jolla is different from an evening in Little Italy which, in turn, is different from an evening in North Park, etc.

Of course the beauty of nightlife is that you can find it everywhere! No matter where you are, people love to be out at night! San Diegans particularly love our evenings out, especially in La Jolla!

La Jolla’s dual personality of boutique luxury village and college town are equally represented in its nightlife. Choices range from upscale wine bars with live jazz music to laid back brewhouses and bars. Whether you’re “suiting up” or keeping it casual, La Jolla’s got a spot for you.

Band playing at Prospect Bar & Grill

Prospect Bar & Grill is a great place to start or end your night. Prospect definitely gets my vote for late night bites with a fantastic menu of upscale bar food (think Gouda Mac n’ Cheese or Salmon BLTs!) served until 11:00 pm. They’ve got live music 7 days a week and DJs spinning Top 40’s music on the weekends starting at 9:30 pm. With a pool table and a great outdoor patio with fire pits, this is definitely a place to hang out with a group of friends and kick back.

For those looking for more of the club scene, check out Barfly. Restaurant by day, Barfly turns into La Jolla’s version of a nightclub after taking away all the dining tables and converting the booths to Bottle Service areas. Lasers, disco balls and DJs spin until the early morning makes this is the place for your fist pumping good times! The outdoor patio and fire pits are a great reminder that you’re still in San Diego.

For those who prefer a more relaxed evening in jeans and a t-shirt, head to the La Jolla Brewhouse. With a large selection of craft beers on tap, good bites and music pumping from the speakers, the Brewhouse is definitely a spot for those wanting their nightlife a little more mellow.

Eddie V's "V Lounge"

If you are interested in a more upscale experience, La Jolla does not leave you wanting. Eddie V’s on Prospect Blvd has a fantastic upstairs lounge (the V Lounge) with live music at night. With coastal views and a great wine selection, this is a great option for those wanting to get a little more dressy.

Other great upscale dining options with live music include foodie haven Whisknladle, the timeless George’s at the Cove and Manhattan of La Jolla (live music Thursday – Saturday nights).

So…in a snapshot, La Jolla nightlife is great for those seeking an upscale dining/bar/wine experience, a casual, comfortable evening of hanging out or a fun night out with your friends dancing to a live band or DJ.


The Belly Up Tavern Music Rocks North County San Diego’s Nightlife!

No matter what kind of band visitors crave, from the legendary stars to the innovative upstarts, San Diego’s live music venues have something for everyone. Venues range from raucous to refined, and the music is live all night, every night in San Diego.

The internationally acclaimed Belly Up Tavern, est. 1974, in North County San Diego’s Solana Beach has a long history of hosting rock royalty and most recently, British royalty. The early stomping grounds of Eddie Vedder and a current neighborhood stop for Jason Mraz, the Belly Up Tavern is continually voted “San Diego’s Best Live Music Venue” by local publications as well as being named one of the hottest clubs on the west coast by Rolling Stone Magazine. With shows almost every night, there is a fit for every fancy. Here are two of my suggestions:

On November 17, at 8:00 pm, They Might Be Giants is celebrating the release of their brand new album, Join Us, and 30 years of uninterrupted rocking! Huzzah! Of course, having grown up in the ‘90s, TMBG’s particular brand of alternative rock is forever cemented in my mind via two iconic pop culture kid’s shows – Tiny Toon Adventures and Malcom in the Middle. You’re not the boss of me!

On December 3, at 8:00 pm, North County San Diego’s own two-time Grammy award-winning pop star, Jason Mraz will be staying in. In town that is. General tickets for his show, “You are Loved,” go on sale at noon, Friday, November 10. Get them before they’re gone! He is loved, after all!

Want to relive the ‘90s at the Belly Up Tavern? Leave a comment on this blog post and be entered to win two tickets to They Might Be Giants on November 17. A winner will be chosen at random on Monday, Nov. 14, so be sure to post before 10:00 am on Monday!


5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

1. San Diego Beer Week: From November 4-13, hundreds of beer-centric events take place throughout the county during this 10-day festival that highlights San Diego’s award-winning craft beer, breweries and pubs. Two capstone events are the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival’s kick-off on November 5 at Liberty Station on Point Loma and the closing event, a beer and food pairing at the Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla on November 13.

2. Fall Back Festival: On Saturday, November 6, experience life in San Diego in the 1800s by heading on down to the historic Gaslamp Quarter for real gold pannin’, authentic Wild West shootouts, western bands and fun interactive activities. This annual children’s historic street faire will feature ice cream eating, pig calling, spaghetti eating and a costume contest. Kids will also love the pony rides, wagon rides and a chance to visit the William Heath Davis House for a tour of the “House of a Thousand Spiders.”

3. An Evening with America: In conjunction with the Getty-initiated Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, The GRAMMY Museum, along with Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, is honored to present iconic, GRAMMY Award-winning rock group America, this Friday, November 4 at 8:00 p.m. Hear the band in discussion about their success as hit writers of enduring rock-folk-pop classics, their celebrated 40th Anniversary Tour and the release of Back Pages, their newest album, a collection of glimmering interpretations of timeless songs. After the interview, moderated by GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli, America will take audience questions and will perform an acoustic set.

4. Bike the Coast-Taste the Coast: On November 5th, grabe your bike and take a tour of the coast. The Bike the Coast, Taste the Coast takes cyclists 7, 15, 25, 50 or 100 miles up the coast to the Oceanside Pier, where food, beer and music await. Must register by November 4, or just join in the fun at the Pier.

5. Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting Weekend: Head up to Temecula for this two day event, November 5-6, gives ticketed guests the opportunity to visit over 30 Member wineries for a fun-filled food and wine adventure. Delicious foods and wine samplings are offered at each stop as well as barrel and/or tank samples of finished and unfinished wines often not available to the general public.


5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

1. TRASH, The New Children’s Museum: Features the work of 12 artists from around the globe focused on the kid-friendly and timely topic of trash. The exhibition encompasses each work of art, hands on art-making projects, school curricula, artist lectures, family workshops and special events. The exhibition opens with a free community block party on October 15 and 16.

2. US Grant Prohibition Party: San Diego’s original 1930’s heyday speakeasy will be holding an inaugural modern-day Prohibition party. Held in the space that connects an underground tunnel from the original speakeasy to the Port of San Diego where booze was once illegally smuggled. The event will take place during the hotel’s 101st birthday, October 16. The event is open to the public and will feature jazzy live music from the era with various food and crafty beverage stations.

3. Halloween Spooktacular at SeaWorld: Discover an ocean of Halloween fun at SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular every weekend in October. Catch silly and spooky shows including the Pirates 4-D movie experience. Then join in The Search for Captain Lucky’s Treasure in a walk-through adventure. Enjoy photo ops with your favorite friends from Sesame Street and trick-or-treat alongside huggable SeaWorld characters.

photo by Mike Rollerson

4. Haunted Trail of Balboa Park: The Haunted Trail is a stroll through the park you will never forget. Enter the mile long Trail through the twisted grove of pines and gnarled oaks. Visitors watch your back, you’ll never know which way the terror will hit you. True to form, the Trail is not for children under 10 or the faint of heart. Experience an outdoor terror that is simply too big to house indoors. Runs through October 31 (except Mondays and Tuesdays.)

5. Spooky Science at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center: Fall into Spooky Science at the Fleet! Learn about all things scary from glow in the dark Flubber to spider webs and shocking activities. Special activities are only $2 with admission. Creep into the Discovery Lab if you dare; available Saturdays in October only.


5 to Try This Weekend

1. Little Italy FESTA: Head down to Little Italy on Sunday, October 9 for the 17th Annual Little Italy FESTA. This colorful Italian celebration features music, fine food and “Gesso Italiano,” a traditional Italian street-painting festival.

2. Taste of North Park: On Saturday, October 8 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. North Park will be the place to be as it welcomes local dining enthusiasts to partake in one of the best assortments of cuisine experiences in the city. This is a wonderful opportunity to taste original culinary specialties along North Park’s aptly named “Restaurant Row.”  Tickets to this event are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.

3. Ocean Beach Oktoberfest: OB will be rockin’ October 7th and 8th to the sounds of OB Oktoberfest. The Ocean Beach Oktoberfest – the uniquely Southern California salute to the celebration of German culture and fun – is back this year, with a second day added. In addition to the food and craft vendors and an all-ages stage on the grassy area at the foot of Newport Avenue, Saturday’s Oktoberfest will include performances by the Electric Waste Band, Tommy Cubs, The Heavy Guilt, the Naked Funk, Bateke Beat, Tribal Theory and the Bavarian Beer Garden Band.

4. 5th Avenue Auto Showcase: The historic Gaslamp Quarter invites car enthusiasts to stroll Fifth Avenue from K Street to E Street on Sunday, October 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This free to view event will be open to the public and showcase high-performance automobiles ranging from the traditional classics to the lavish luxury modern vehicles of today.

5. LEGOLAND Brick or Treat Celebration: LEGOLAND California joins in the Halloween fun every Saturday in October with its annual Brick-or-Treat celebration, featuring a one-of-a-kind, 4-ft. tall LEGO jack-o-lantern. Children ages 12 and under can participate in fun-filled costume contests and trick-or-treat with a souvenir goodie bag along the park’s Brick-or-Treat Trail, a kid-sized cul-de-sac of spooky LEGO homes featuring fun and creepy creatures.


5 to Try This Weekend

1. MCAS Miramar Air Show: Part of San Diego”s annual Fleet Week celebration, the year”s air show will celebrate the centennial of San Diego”s naval aviation, September 30-October 2. Among the planes featured in the salute are vitnage biplanes, Air Force Thunderbirds, a Navy Super Hornet and numerous stealth fighter jets.

photo by Steve Simpson

  1. La Jolla Art & Wine Festival: This unique two-day festival, October 1 and 2nd will be held in the Village of La Jolla on Upper Girard Avenue and will showcase online casino over 150 juried fine artists, the Green Dragon Wine and Beer Garden, live entertainment at the Village Stage, a gourmet marketplace and Geppetto’s Family Art Center.

3. Oktoberfest!: Not one but two Oktoberfests kick off this weekend. The first in La Mesa runs from September 30-October2 and features a traditional German celebration with dancing, food, Bavarian bands, arts and crafts and commercial booths in the city of La Mesa.
El Cajon”s Oktoberfest runs from September 30-Octber 2 and October 7-9. Hosted by the German-American Societies of San Diego, this popular annual festival features authentic German food, pastries and a beer garden along with traditional German musicians and dancers, games, contests, vendor and craft booths.

4. San Diego Film Festival: This annual festival, September 28-October 2 in the Gaslamp, offers a fresh take on film premieres, featuring American and international features, thought-provoking documentaries, short films and music videos.

5. Julian Apple Days Festival: This two-day festival, October 1-2, at the Menghini Winery in Julian features music and dancing, an antique tractor display, children”s games, gold panning demonstrations, apple-related contests and more.


5 to Try This Weekend

Adams Avenue Business Association

1. The 30th Adams Avenue Street Fair: Southern California’s largest free two-day all-ages music festival will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Saturday, September 24, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, and Sunday, September 25, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. This year’s Adam’s Avenue Street Fair will include more than 70 musical acts performing on six stages. Street Fair attendees will enjoy a variety of music, including blues, rock, rotts-rock, indie, world, and jazz.

Photo by Manuel Rotenberg

2. Trolley Dances: Dancers invade trolley stations throughout San Diego and perform for everyday public-transportation riders and dance aficionados alike. Dances start at 10:00 am and go until 4:00 pm Thursday and Friday September 23-24.

3. 14th Annual Chrysler Classic Speed Festival: This spectator-friendly vintage auto race, featuring over 200 classic cars, takes over the runways of Naval Air Station North Island along a 1.6-mile course. Races run Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25.

4. Pacific Islander Festival: The cultures, foods, crafts and customs of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia are showcased at Ski Beach on Mission Bay Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25.

5. Chula Vista Centennial Harbor Days: San Diego County’s largest southern city celebrates its century-old history at this two-day family-friendly extravaganza. Harbor Days runs from Saturday, September 24 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday, September 25 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.


5 to Try This Weekend

1. San Diego Bay Fair: This thrilling event from September 16-19 features thunderboat racing, tunnel hulls, drag boats, hydroplanes, fireworks and concerts, as well as specialty vendors and food, along and on the waters of Mission Bay.

2. San Diego Restaurant Week: Restaurant Week kicks off, Sunday, September 18 and runs through September 23rd. More than 180 of San Diego’s finest restaurants participate in a celebration of the local dining scene with prix fixed menus.

3. Coronado Art Walk: The city’s annual celebration of the arts from September 17-18 features exhibits of paintings, hand-crafted jewelry, photography, ceramics and other mediums, as well as entertainment at the Coronado Ferry Landing. Free shuttle service carries visitors the length of Orange Avenue, with a stop at Spreckels Park’s Art-in-the-Park.

4. Spirits of Mexico Festival: The 2011 Spirits of Mexico Festival showcases the top agave spirits brewed by hundreds of distillers, September 11-18, in the heart of Mexican culture and the historic landmark, Old Town San Diego. The week-long event is packed with seminars discussing the finest spirits, tequila tastings, cocktail challenges, authentic Mexican dishes and an award ceremony.

5. 40th Annual Bluegrass Festival: This two-day festival, September 17-18, features performances by blues, bluegrass, country, western and mountain bands plus lively banjo and fiddle playing contests, held at Frank Lane Park in Julian.


5 to Try This Weekend

San Diego Festival of Beer

1. 17th Annual San Diego Festival of Beer: San Diego’s oldest beer festival will once again take over the streets of downtown San Diego on Friday, September 9th. More than 5,000 beer lovers attend the annual event that features live bands on two stages, food and more than 150 of San Diego’s finest craft beers.

Photo by

2. 21st Annual Sycuan Pow-Wow: The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation presents a traditional celebration featuring Indian song, dance, arts and crafts, games and food, September 10-12.

La Jolla Rough Water Swim

3. La Jolla Rough Water Swim: The largest rough-water swimming competition in the U.S. takes place at picturesque La Jolla Cove in La Jolla September 11.

OB Music Fest

4. 6th Annual Ocean Beach Music Festival: On Saturday, September 10th Ocean Beach’s main drag will transform into a bustling beachfront block party. There will be three outdoor stages in addition to six stages inside neighboring club venues. Guests will also be able to cruise down the extensive art row, visit the beer and wine garden and grab deals at nearby restaurants.

San Diego Music Thing

5. San Diego Music Thing: On September 9th and 10th, the historic Lafayette Hotel will transform into a music Mecca with featured speakers; interactive and roundtable sessions with nationally-known panelists as well as an evening Music Festival component with over 150 local, regional and national bands performing at 14 venues around San Diego.


5 to Try this Weekend

Maritime Museum

1. Festival of Sail: The 2011 Festival of Sail, hosted by the Maritime Museum of San Diego, will transform the North Embarcadero into a nautical theme park. More than twenty tall ships and other fascinating vessels from around the world will visit San Diego, September 2-5. The festival kicks off with a majestic parade of tall ships on San Diego Bay, Thursday, September 1. Parade begins at 11:00 am and can be seen from the Embarcadero, Harbor Island, Shelter Island and Coronado.

2. ART SAN DIEGO Contemporary Art Fair: More than 60 leading galleries from the US, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia will be taking part in showing works by more than 500 artists. In addition t the gallery booths, special features include contemporary furniture design, solo-artist exhibitions, viedo-based works, performances, art in public spaces, and a lounge inspired by noted Architect Jennifer Luce. Fair runs from September 1-5 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel.

3. Julian Grape Stomp Festa: On September 3rd, Menghini Winery in Julian will celebrate the harvest of its grapes with a real, Old World-style grape stomp and festa. Three tons of grapes will be distributed between two giant barrels, one for adults and one for kids. There will also be live music, food vendors and beer and wine samples.

4. San Diego Zoo’s Nighttime Zoo: Here’s your last chance to catch the animals during the Zoo’s extended hours. The extended hours give guests more time to visit the more than 4,500 rare and endangered animals at the Zoo. Nighttime Zoo is open from 9:00 am until 9:00 pm through September 5.

Tempest, Old Globe Theatre 5. The Old Globe Theatre’s Summer Shakespeare Festival: Go back in time and see the dynamic Shakespeare productions performed nightly in the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. Playing this weekend are Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest and Amadeus.