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.

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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.


I Scream, You Scream…It’s Ice Cream Month!

I personally celebrate ice cream year round, however someone somewhere decided July should be National Ice Cream month. Therefore, in honor of that yummy dairy confection we give you our top three choices to celebrate Ice Cream.

MooTime Creamery

1. Mootime Creamery: With two locations in Coronado, this is a must stop for ice cream lovers when visiting the Island. All of their ice cream is handcrafted from scratch and feature flavors such as Double Dark Chocolate, Silly Vanilly, and Cappuccino.

Se San Diego

2. Se San Diego: In honor of Ice Cream Month, Se San Diego launched a new Ice Cream Mixology program at Siren, the hotel’s rooftop pool bar and lounge. Se’s own Ice Cream Mixologist will create an assortment of flavors each week, or visitors can create their own. These “adults only” concoctions currently include Root “Beer” Float, Bourbon Maple Bacon, Rum Raisin and Bananas Foster.

Lighthouse Ice Cream & Yogurt

3. Lighthouse Ice Cream & Yogurt: located in Ocean Beach, this is your classic beach ice cream shop. They feature the most amazing Hot Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich. First, you choose your flavor of ice cream and then, they sandwich it between two Belgium waffles and put it in an iron at 380 degrees for 17 seconds. These are seriously habit forming!

Where is your favorite spot to get ice cream in San Diego?


Escape To San Diego Sweepstakes: Perfect 5 Day Itinerary

Do you love visiting San Diego? Really love it? Then enter to win our sweepstakes and you could win a 5 night stay at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel and airfare for two! And as the big winner, you’ll have five whole days to enjoy all that San Diego has to offer. Never been to San Diego or interested in trying something new? Here’s how I would spend my five days highlighting the outdoors and our amazing beaches.

Waking up each morning at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel will provide inspiration as you plan your day. The hotel, located on the waterfront, features sun and sea inspired design and a casually sophisticated design.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

Day 1: Explore trails while overlooking the ocean
Hike Torrey Pines State Reserve or take a guided tour. Among the eight miles of trails, guests can encounter native chaparral plants, wildflowers, birds, reptiles and butterflies. My favorite trail is the beach trail. During low tide, you can take the stairs down to the ocean and walk between the ocean and cliffs.

Sail on the Bay

Day 2: Set sail on the San Diego Bay
Strap on your sea legs and rent a sailboat in Coronado from Seaforth Rentals. Choose from over 200 rental boats, including boats for sailing, cruising, skiing and fishing, jetskis, speedboats, fishing charters, sunset sails.

Mission Beach

Day 3: Cruise the boardwalk in Pacific and Mission Beach
The favorite hangouts of active young sun-worshipers, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach are connected by a three-mile boardwalk crowded with inline skaters, skateboarders, runners and bikers – and beachgoers just wanting “to be seen.” End your stroll by walking to the end of the Crystal Pier for a beautiful coastline view.

Sunset Kayak Cruise

Day 4: Take a sunset kayaking trip and witness the sun dip into the Pacific
Try Hike Bike Kayak’s popular Sunset Paddle Tour, where you’ll kayak along the La Jolla sea caves and ecological reserve during a beautiful sunset on the Pacific Ocean. Expert naturalist guides provide insights and fun facts about the amazing environment.

Ocean Beach

Day 5: Hang out in Ocean Beach – doggies included!
Ocean Beach is one of San Diego’s prime surf spots. The neighborhood is also popular for its kid-friendly tide pools, long wooden pier that is perfect for fishing and Dog Beach, where even the tail-wagging members of the family can play Frisbee and romp in the surf.

Enter to Win a 5-night hotel stay and two round trip airfare tickets here!


5-to-Try Films Shot in San Diego

After watching the Oscar awards last night, it got me thinking…what Oscar nominated films were shot in San Diego? Here are 5-to-Try films shot in San Diego. Do you know what part of town they were filmed in?

1. Babel (2006) Starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and nominated for seven Academy Awards, Babel tells the story involving four different families after tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert. Scenes were shot in both San Diego and neighboring Mexico.

2. Almost Famous (2000) A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies it on their concert tour. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards and won for Best Screenplay. Insider info: the producers found the 1970’s look and feel they needed in the community of Ocean Beach. Many of the extras were locals who wore their own clothes and drove their actual vehicles. The radio station in the film was actually an Allstate Insurance office. The two characters played by Patrick Fugit and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are seen walking up Cortez Hill and the scene cuts to the characters eating in the Sun Cafe, located in downtown San Diego.

3. Traffic (2000) Nominated for five Academy Awards (and won four including Best Director) shows the underside of the drugworld after a conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America’s escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is an addict. Insider’s Tip: Scenes for the movie were shot in Balboa Park, La Jolla and Rancho Bernardo Inn among others.

4. Into the Wild (2007) Nominated for two Academy Awards, the film starring Emile Hirsch was shot mostly in Alaska, however the beautiful Anza-Borrego State Park in East County was used for a scene during his road trip to Alaska.

5. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2003) Okay, this film wasn’t nominated for any awards, however, it’s hard to talk about movies shot in San Diego without mentioning this one. Insider info: the film was originally set to film in Portland, but after seeing shots of San Diego, they realized it would be the perfect backdrop for the 1970’s film. Feel free to leave favorite Ron Burgundy quote below…there are so many!


5 to Try This Weekend

Wow it’s going to be a great weekend in San Diego! With the weather forecasted to be in the 70’s, get outside and head to the beach, or do something a little different. From a multi-cultural festival to a Whale Watching Festival, San Diego has no shortage of fun things to do! Which one sounds fun to you?

Stephen Strasburg 5k Walk with Tony Gwynn: Come join Stephen Strasburg and Tony Gwynn in a 5k walk and fun run benefiting the Aztec Baseball program. This is a family-friendly event that will include games, live music and fun for everyone.

13th Annual San Diego Multi-Cultural Festival: Cultures come together in celebration at this free, family-friendly fun festival with cultural entertainers, food, vendors, global villages and an education fair. The fair will take place Saturday, January 15 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. along Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade downtown.

24th Annual Whale Watch and Intertidal Life Festival: Cabrillo’s annual Whale Watch Weekend kicks off tomorrow and Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and features presentations, exhibits and films. Rangers will be on hand all weekend to help visitor’s spot whales in the ocean and explore the park’s magnificent tide pools.

San Diego Restaurant Week: Restaurant Week kicks off Sunday, January 16th! Diners can choose from over 160 of San Diego’s best restaurants and enjoy a fixed price, three-course dinner for $20, $30 or $40 per person. Whether you crave seafood, organic, American or ethnic, there is something for everyone during San Diego Restaurant Week! Be sure to check out our foodie blogger Kate as she highlights some great spots to check out during Restaurant Week.

Underwater Parks Day at SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium: On January 15th, young ocean enthusiasts at SEA LIFE Carlsbad Aquarium will learn about Marine Protected Areas or “Underwater Parks” during the Aquarium’s 3rd Annual Underwater Parks Day. Underwater Parks Day is an effort by Southern California aquariums to explain the need for Marine Protected Areas that replenish fish populations and restore the health of coastal waters.


Countdown to Restaurant Week: Ring In the New

Explore Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant and More!

Who doesn’t want to try the hottest new restaurant in town?

There’s no better time to get out there and find your new favorites than during San Diego Restaurant Week.  Because with reduced prices for three-course menus you can afford to explore a little.

Here’s some new restaurants to worth checking out:

  • Barrio Star, Isabel Cruz’s newest spot in Banker’s Hill, serves up a fresh, creative take on traditional Mexican flavors.  You’ll love the festive atmosphere and Day of the Dead-influenced decor almost as much as you’ll love the Restaurant Week menu items like chicken tamales made fresh, in-house daily and served with black beans, rice, and corn salsa; local whitefish with cumin and cardamom rub paired with cilantro-lime sauce, coconut rice and roasted tomatoes; and spicy chile relleno with jumbo shrimp.   Priced at $20, this menu is a steal!
  • Banker’s HIll Bar & Restaurant, also located in Banker’s Hill (surprise, surprise!), is the newest venture from the team behind Del Mar’s much-lauded Market Restaurant and Bar.  Here, chef Carl Schroeder’s menu is still bursting with local flavors but focuses on hand-crafted comfort food and the vibe is neighborly but cool.  From the $30 Restaurant Week menu you can sample items like proscuitto deviled eggs with parmesan-white cheddar crisps, bacon and  arugula; coriander marinated rock fish ceviche with avocado, pico de gallo and BBQ spiced corn chips; or cast iron roasted King Salmon with artichokes, vegetable ragout, cauliflower gratin and lemon butter.
  • Brand new in Ocean Beach, Bo Beau Kitchen + Bar is the latest addition to the mighty Cohn Restaurant Group.  You’ll feel like you stepped right out of San Diego and into the South of France at this casual neighborhood bistro.  Savor the experience with a $30 Restaurant week menu featuring options like boeuf bourguignon with baby carrots, pancetta, mushrooms, pearl onions and fingerling potatoes; leek ‘fondue’ macaroni and cheese in a silky cheddar gratinee; and Atlantic salmon with arugula-pesto gremolata and seasonal vegetables.

What new restaurant are you excited to visit?

San Diego Restaurant Week starts in just two days…make your reservations today!


20 San Diego Green Facts

San Diego’s commitment to the environment and the protection of its most treasured resources – 70 miles of beautiful beaches and the best year round weather in the country – is far reaching.

Below are 20 Green Facts about San Diego. On your next visit to San Diego, be sure to check one of them out!

San Diego International Airport

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National Ice Cream Sandwich Day – San Diego Style

Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (yes there is an actual day for this), so we decided to find the best and most interesting ice cream sandwiches in San Diego.  What better way to celebrate a beautiful San Diego day then with one of these tasty treats?

Lighthouse Ice Cream and Yogurt – located in Ocean Beach, this is your classic beach ice cream shop.  They feature the most amazing Hot Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich.  First, you choose your flavor of ice cream and then, they sandwich it between two Belgium waffles and put it in an iron at 380 degrees for 17 seconds.  These are seriously habit forming.

Cold Stone Creamery – Most locations offer 5 different varieties of ice cream sandwiches.  My son loves the Cake Batter Sprinkle and with almost 15 locations in San Diego – we are never far from them.

The Linkery – This restaurant has probably the most interesting take on the ice cream sandwich.  The staff here isn’t quite sure what to make of this sandwich, but it is a customer favorite!  It’s called the Lardo Ice Cream Sandwich.  They first start with handmade ice cream flavored with house cured lardo from pastured Berkshire pork, sandwich it between chocolate chip cookies made with stone-milled Taza organic Oaxacan-style chocolate, top it with bits of candied house cured bacon from pastured Berkshire pork and finally some caramel sauce.  This wins for the most interesting take on an ice cream sandwich.

Tell us, what is your favorite ice cream sandwich?


San Diego and the Fish Taco – A Perfect Pair

There are two things that are sure to get San Diegans talking (other than sports); Which beach is the best, and where to eat the best fish tacos. While the fish taco officially started somewhere in Baja, San Diego has adopted it as its signature dish. Fish tacos can be found pretty much anywhere in San Diego – from the chain restaurant Rubio’s (one of the founding fish taco locations in San Diego) to more fine dining – George’s Ocean Terrace. So when you visit San Diego, be sure to try one – you won’t be disappointed. Here are some of my favorite places for fish tacos:

The Tin Fish

This restaurant, located in Gaslamp Quarter and a block from PETCO Park, is a great place to try fish tacos. They feature a “Catch of the Day” fish taco as well as several different types of fish tacos including halibut, salmon and my favorite: swordfish. It has a large outdoor seating area for fun people watching as well.


With over 20 restaurants located throughout San Diego and known as one of the best places for fish tacos, it’s a great and convenient place to stop in and try. I love their HealthMex Mahi Mahi taco and if I’m really hungry I go for the Fish Taco Especial. I’ve also recently become a big fan of Wahoo’s.

South Beach Bar & Grille

Located in one of my favorite beach communities, Ocean Beach, is South Beach Bar & Grille. The location couldn’t be better and it is much loved among locals and visitors alike. They are probably best known for their mahi fish taco, but really anything tastes great when sitting on the patio, drinking a local brew, and enjoying the views of the Pacific Ocean.

George’s at the Cove

With incredible views of the ocean and nestled in La Jolla, George’s is a must stop when I’m entertaining the family. Right now for lunch, they are featuring fish tacos with the most amazing mango salsa. Yumm…

Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop

Located in Mission Hills, this is not your ordinary taco shop and the décor is anything but typical. Decorated with a wrestling theme (you can ask why when you go there). My favorite is the Undefeated Seafood Taco.

Tell us, where’s your favorite fish taco spot in San Diego?


5 to Try This Weekend

OB Chili Cook-off

  1. The 31st Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-off is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Newport Avenue.  This FREE event will  feature more than 200 vendors, art, food, rides, a children’s area, a SkateJam, entertainment on five stages and of course, delicious chili!
  2. Tantalize your taste buds this weekend with a downtown dine around.  The 17th annual Taste of Gaslamp Quarter will be held both Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., offering more than 30 food samples each day. This self-guided tour will introduce you to a number of downtown San Diego’s best restaurants so “come hungry and leave happy.”  Tickets are $30 per person.
  3. This Saturday and Sunday is the 24th Annual La Jolla Festival of Arts and Food Fair from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the UCSD campus.  This event will showcase amazing art from over 200 artists, live entertainment, celebrity chef demos, an amazing street chalking exhibition and more.  Admission is $10. 
  4. On Saturday, the San Diego Zoo will kick-off of its Nighttime Zoo summer celebration when guests get to stay late and explore the park until 9 p.m. As the sun sets, fun after-hours entertainment begins including an interactive show in with Dr. Zoolittle, high-energy animal art; amazing acrobats, tropical musical performances and a high-flying bird show.  Nighttime Zoo is included in park admission and will be offered until September 6.
  5. Celebrate 100 years with the San Diego Symphony’s Bridgepoint Education Summer Pops concerts.  The outdoor concert series will kick-off this Saturday with the Tux N’ Tennies Summer Bash, staring Toni Braxton. Concerts take place all summer long along San Diego Bay and feature food, fireworks and fantastic music. This year’s 100th anniversary pop series last through August and will includes performances by Gladys Knight, Marvin Hamlisch, LeAnn Rimes, and more. Click here for more concert information; ticket prices vary.

In other news: Don’t forget to cheer on the US soccer team this Saturday as they battle it out with Ghana.  You can catch the game at any of these places.