Benjamin Eastman

San Diego Halloween Parties That You Shouldn’t Miss!

Zombie crawl san diego halloween 2013

As we all know, San Diegan’s don’t really need an excuse to dress up in costume…but when there’s an actual holiday with costumes involved, you know this city gets behind it! And while the kids are out trick-or-treating in the early evening, the ghoulish get down at night.

Here are just some of the San Diego Halloween parties that will be sure to get you moving:

San Diego Monster Bash

monster bash san diego halloween 2013

Dancers get the party going at last year’s San Diego Monster Bash

Without a doubt the largest and most spectacular Halloween party in town! They’re shutting down 8 blocks of downtown San Diego to create a massive street party with 3 music stages, 10 bars, 50 dancers and thousands of costumed party-goers.

When: Saturday, October 26th, 6:00pm – Midnight
Where: 7th Avenue & Market Street, San Diego, 92101 
Cost:
  $40 Advance General Admission; $45 Day-Of General Admission or upgrade to VIP status for lots of fiendishly fun extras
> Get your tickets to Monster Bash 2013

San Diego Zombie Crawl

Zombie crawl san diego halloween 2013

Things might get scary at Zombie Crawl

As the perfect add-on to your Monster Bash tickets, or even a great party on its own, your Zombie Crawl pass will get you into 22 different Halloween parties at participating downtown bars and nightclubs and includes a free drink at 15 different locations! Enjoy no cover charge access to Halloween hot spots including Bassmnt, F6ix, Stingaree or the Pussy Cat Dollhouse – with free shots at any number of local restaurants, bars and nightclubs. And for those day-walkers who want to party all night, admission to Side Bar’s FIVE TEN “Crack of Dawn” party from 5:00-10:00 a.m. is included!

When: Saturday, October 26th, 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Where: 820 5th Avenue, San Diego, 92101
Cost:  $60
> Get your tickets to Zombie Crawl

Hard Rock Hotel’s Halloween Haunts

hard rock hotekl san diego halloween 2013

The Hard Rock Hotel’s annual Halloween bash features lots of room to party

Start the Halloween party early on Saturday night with 3 floors of the Hard Rock Hotel dedicated to Halloween hijinx, featuring 4 venues and 15 DJs! Then come back for more mischief on Halloween night to party with the EC Twins and other featured entertainers in 2 separate venues.

When: Saturday, October 26th and Thursday, October 31st, 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Where: 207 5th Avenue, San Diego, 92101
Cost:  Saturday – $60 pre-sale/$75 Day-Of; Thursday – $30
> Find out more about Hard Rock Hotel’s Halloween Haunts

Night Fright at Wave House Beach Club

night fright wave house san diego beach club halloween

Night Fright is your stop for Halloween on the beach

For those Halloween revelers who just can’t give up being in the sand – even for a wild night of partying – look no further than Fortune 421’s Night Fright party at the Wave House in Mission Beach.  Dance the night away under the stars to the beats of Andy Caldwell, Ayla Simone and Chris Liosi.

When: October 26th, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Where: 3125 Ocean Front Walk, San Diego, 92109
Cost: $12.50 Early Bird/$17.50 Day-Of
> Find out more about Night Fright at the Wave House

Know of any other great San Diego Halloween parties?  Comment below and let us know!

Robert Arends

Quick Guide to the 2013 San Diego Pride!

Walking under Hillcrest SignLet your rainbow colors fly! San Diego Pride is coming up this weekend, July 12-14. The glittery glamorous spotlight shines on Hillcrest, San Diego’s hip uptown neighborhood, during one of our city’s biggest summer events. Following is a quick guide to the big annual LGBT celebration.

Three Must-See San Diego Pride Events…

Dancers at Pride of Hillcrest Block Party!

Dancers at Pride of Hillcrest Block Party!

First, here’s the 411 on the big three must-see San Diego Pride events:

  • 2nd annual Pride of Hillcrest Block Party on July 12, 6-11pm, on Normal St.; starring former Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta.
  • 39th Annual Pride Parade on July 13, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM, down University Ave. Grand Marshalls are George Takei (of Star Trek fame!), his partner Brad and La Toya Jackson (really!)
  • Pride Festival, July 13-14, in beautiful Balboa Park, featuring eight dance/entertainment stages, including Ms. Jackson in concert.

Sip…

Good times on tap at Urban Mo's!

Good times on tap at Urban Mo’s!

So many bars, so little time! Let’s narrow down the list a bit to these Top 10 tried and true hotspots:

  1. Baby Cakes – cocktails and cupcakes, sweet! Fab for people watching from the patio.
  2. Bourbon Street – a classy touch of N’Orleans in neighboring University Heights
  3. Brass Rail – the official Pride Parade After Party, and no cover!
  4. Flicks – Hillcrest’s #1 video bar.
  5. Gossip Grill – caters to the ladies (gents welcome too)
  6. Hillcrest Brewing Company – toast San Diego’s hop-pening craft beer scene and the world’s 1st LGBT brewery!
  7. Martinis Above Fourth – swanky digs and best martinis in town!
  8. Number One Fifth Avenue – friendly neighborhood bar with patio out back to mix & mingle
  9. Pecs – Bears, oh my! Good times on tap all weekend.
  10. Urban Mos – dance floor, 3 bars, packed patio and great food…yes please!

Sup…

There are dozens of great restaurants in and around Hillcrest. Standouts include the new Great Maple, Project Pie (best pizzas!), D Bar and Snooze. Other favs: Baja Betty’s (muy bueno Mexican food), The Tractor Room, Yakitori Izakaya Tec Chan (for yummy late-night Japanese apps), Cucina Urbana and Café on Park (popular brunch spot!).

Sleep…

The coolest, closest gay-friendly hotel is Inn at the Park, just two blocks from Hillcrest and the Pride Festival. Their rooftop happy hour on Friday is off the charts!

PAR-TAY!

Go wild at the San Diego Zoo Party!

Go wild at the San Diego Zoo Party!

Groovestars unite at Rich’s nightclub for high NRG music and dancing till 2am. For you circuit boys and gals, four Pride Parties are sure to perk you up (get tickets here or at the door):

  • Pride Ball – July 12, 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM at Spin Night Club
  • Circuit Daze – July 13, 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park
  • The famous [for some, infamous ;-)] Zoo Party – July 14, 4:00 to 11:00 PM at the San Diego Zoo
  • Fete Accompli – July 14, 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM at the House of Blues downtown

P.S. While you’re here, work on that coppertone tan at Coronado Beach, one of “America’s Manliest Beaches,” according to The Travel Channel.

Robert Arends

Hillcrest Neighborhood Spotlight – Home of San Diego’s LGBT community

Walking under Hillcrest Sign
Walking under Hillcrest Sign

Happening Hillcrest!

San Diego’s uptown neighborhood of Hillcrest, home of San Diego’s LGBT community, celebrates diversity year-round with a vibrant rainbow mix of accommodations, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, chic boutiques, vintage clothing stores, kitschy novelty shops and so much more.

With San Diego Pride coming up next month (July 12-14), now is the perfect time to spotlight a few of my favorite places worth checking out:

Where to Stay

The historic Inn at the Park, located right across the street from Balboa Park, is home to the best happy hour in Hillcrest: Top of the Park, a Friday night tradition where hundreds gather on the rooftop to soak up the sunset and kick-off the weekend over cocktails.

Stay at Ann Callahan’s Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast for a relaxing escape in the heart of Hillcrest and still just a short walk away all the shops, restaurants and bars on University Avenue.

Bar Hop

Bar hopping in Hillcrest

Bar hopping in Hillcrest

Urban Mo’s is fun and boisterous with strong margaritas and booming dance music on a packed outdoor patio and indoor dance floor. Hillcrest Brewing Company, claiming to be the World’s First “Out and Proud LGBT Brewery”(wow!), has 9 tasty in-house craft brews on tap to quench your thirst. If crafty cocktails are more your thing, Martinis Above Fourth is a swanky go-to spot.

Gotta Dance

If you’ve got to get your groove on, Rich’s with its two dance floors and sexy go-go boys can’t be beat!

Java Joint

Filter Coffee House is the place to see and be seen while sipping espresso and “studying” the crowd for cuties, day or night.

Dinner & a Show

D Bar restaurant is my new fav with its sleek moderne design and delish dishes like Southern fried Belgian – a sweet waffle with fried chicken (yep!). Their macarons are also off the charts! Afterward, head to Diversionary Theatre for cutting edge theater at its finest.

Brunch ‘n Lunch

Colorful Café on Park with its deliciously imaginative breakfast dishes like egg scrambles, Captain Crunch pancakes (yep!) and crab cake benny, is sure to satisfy!

Shop till you drop

Shopping in Hillcrest

Shop-portuunities galore in Hillcrest

Stroll along Fifth Ave. and University Ave. for funky, one-of-a-kind finds. Park Blvd. is great for retro, mid-Century modern treasures.

> Discover more of San Diego’s Hillcrest