Candice

San Diego Spas Get Top Honors by Travel + Leisure

Between the year-round mild weather, gorgeous scenery and the easygoing attitude of the locals, it’s hard not to feel relaxed in San Diego. But if you’re looking for the ultimate rejuvenating escape, San Diego County is home to some of the best destination spas in the world. Just ask Travel + Leisure magazine: they recently recognized four San Diego area spas with their 2011 “Worlds Best” award for top destination spas!

Here’s a peak at what makes these spas four of the best in the world:

Cal-a-Vie Health Spa's scenic setting

Nestled on 200 private acres in the rustic community of Vista, located approximately 40 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, Cal-a-Vie health spa and resort offers an unparalleled level of personalized attention with a 4-to-1 staff-to-guest ratio.  The resort combines luxurious European spa philosophies with the California concepts of fitness, health and nutrition.  Three-, four- and seven-night packages include gourmet spa cuisine, fitness classes, golfing, hiking, beauty and spa treatments.  Guests stay in private, luxuriously appointed Mediterranean-style villas featuring breathtaking views from private balconies.

The Golden Door's serene accommodations

The Golden Door, located on a winding country road five miles north of Escondido in San Diego’s North County, greets guests with a  jewel-encrusted entrance gate flanked by camellias and fuchsia. The facilities include three guest lounges, a dining room, kitchen, indoor/outdoor exercise studios, the Dragon Tree Gym, two swimming pools, two tennis courts and a private hillside for hiking. The bathhouse contains a steam room, sauna, showers, fan-shaped therapy pool and sequestered rooms for body scrubs and herbal wraps.  With a clientele that includes the very famous and ultra-rich, the Golden Door has earned a reputation for exclusivity, luxury and unparalleled relaxation and rejuvenation.

A relaxing Shirodara treatment at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing

Located in the beautiful La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, the Chopra Center for Wellbeing was founded by the internationally renowned Dr. Deepak Chopra.  The Chopra Center explores new frontiers in the expansion of human consciousness through programs, products and services that integrate the mind, body and spirit.  Here, spa guests can relax with an exotic mix of body massages, treatments and facials.

Rancho La Puerta's world-class views

The #1 pick in Travel + Leisure‘s poll, Rancho la Puerta, located just an hour’s drive southeast of San Diego in Tecate, Baja, Mexico, is a fitness-spa showplace featuring 84 handsome casitas set amongst 3,000 beautiful acres.  Active endeavors include hiking, Pilates, yoga and tennis, while the more indulgent pursuits include massages, hydrotherapy, herbal facials and body wrap treatments.  The riches of the earth are also celebrated at the six-acre organic farm that serves the Rancho La Puerta kitchen.  The farm is a vibrant tapestry of orchards, raised vegetable beds and herbs where the flavors of freshly picked produce are available year-round, as are the homemade honey and extra virgin olive oil.

Out of the four listed, which one would you pick for a relaxing getaway?

Courtney

5 to Try: Summer Events in La Jolla

Discover San Diego’s Neighborhoods with our Summer Sweepstakes. Join us every week as we showcase the best in what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in some of San Diego’s unique neighborhoods. Be sure to check back for exciting insider tips, giveaways, and more! This week’s spotlight is on beautiful La Jolla.

Poster for the 25th Annual La Jolla Festival of the Arts

1. 25th Annual La Jolla Festival of the Arts – The La Jolla Festival of the Arts, one of the top-rated art shows in the state, is taking place June 18 and 19 on the USCD east campus.  Showcasing nearly 200 award-winning local and national artists, live music, classic cars, celebrity chef food demonstrations, and a live street chalking exhibition, this event is not to be missed.

Fireworks at La Jolla Cove

2. July 4th in La Jolla – The La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation’s Fourth of July festivities kick off around 5:00 pm with a summer concert at Ellen Browning Scripps Park.  Then at 9:00 pm, the fireworks blast off from La Jolla Cove.  The best spots for watching the display are: Ellen Browning Scripps Park, La Jolla Shores, and Kellogg Park.

SummerFest returns to La Jolla this August

3. SummerFest 2011The La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest kicks off on August 3 with SummerFest Under the Stars, a free concert at La Jolla Cove.  Running through August 26, SummerFest will feature more than 70 world-class performances.

James Turrell, Stuck Red and Stuck Blue, 1970, construction materials and fluorescent lights. Copyright James Turrell. Photo by Philipp Scholz Rittermann. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum Purchase, Elizabeth W. Russell Foundation Funds.

4. Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface – On September 25, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego will open its most ambitious exhibition to date.  Phenomenal will be on view at both the La Jolla and downtown San Diego locations through January 22, 2012.

Boundless Energy at Scripps Aquarium Opening July 9

5. Boundless EnergyBirch Aquarium at Scripps’ newest exhibit, Boundless Energy, opens July 9. An outdoor, interactive exhibit exploring how we can use natural forces to power our lives, Boundless Energy features highly educational, interactive elements that encourage learning through play.

We want to send you to Birch Aquarium this summer.  Comment below by Thursday, June 16th at 10:00 am and get entered to win a family four-pack of tickets to Birch Aquarium at Scripps.

Suzzanne

Escape to San Diego Sweepstakes: Perfect 5 Day Itinerary Part 3

In our Escape to San Diego Sweepstakes, we are giving away round trip airfare for two and a five night stay at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel. You can enter here! How would you spend it if you brought the kids? Well, I must say, this might be the easiest blog I’ve ever written. Of course I have help, my two kids ages 8 and 10. They are the true ambassadors to San Diego and are experts on all things San Diego kid friendly. In fact, all five of these were handpicked by them. The hardest part was limiting them to five!

SeaWorld's Journey to Atlantis

1. One of the first things our out-of-town friends say when they come to visit is, “we want to go to SeaWorld.” And who wouldn’t? With live shows, animal encounters and fun rides, it’s a day well spent. Our favorite, Journey to Atlantis.

Crusin' Coronado Island

2. While staying at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel, take one of the water ferries over to Coronado Island and rent bikes. The island is almost entirely flat and it’s a great way to see the island. We love riding around and then stopping at one of the great restaurants along Orange Avenue.

Corvette Diner (and yes those are straws in my hair!)

3. Looking for somewhere to take the kids for dinner? Head over to Corvette Diner located in the historic Liberty Station. Hands down, their favorite spot to eat. With a 50’s theme, yummy shakes and a huge game room, everyone will leave happy.

Another cool thing at Legoland that my son can stick his head into

4. My son’s favorite place is Legoland. We’ve been there so many times, I’ve lost count. If you have kids under 12, I highly recommend it. Insider Tip: Bring along a Lego minifigurine and if you see any Legoland worker wearing one on their badge, ask to trade them. It’s a fun way to interact with the staff and get some fun and funky new figurines.

Plane at the USS Midway Museum

5. The USS Midway Museum is one of my favorite places to bring my kids and any visitors. From grandparents down to 5 year olds, I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t had a great time there. Touring the retired aircraft carrier is so fascinating and I learn something new every time. Be prepared to walk up and down a lot of very narrow stairs and take time to visit “The Island.”

Remember to enter our Escape to San Diego Sweepstakes!

What San Diego family activity do you think is missing?

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

From festivals to flowers to a tasting of some of the best restaurants in Hillcrest, there is plenty to do in San Diego this weekend!

Fallbrook Avocado Festival

1. Fallbrook Avocado Festival. Since the 1960’s, tens of thousands of avocado lovers converge in Fallbrook, located in San Diego’s North County, to sample avocados, check-out the crazy cooking contest entries, buy funky avocado-themed gifts and enjoy bands, live entertainment and friendly beer gardens. Avocado loving day is Sunday, April 17th.

Spring Busker Festival

2. Seaport Village comes with a celebration of street performers during the Spring Busker Festival, April 16-17. In a battle of entertainment, extraordinary, one-of-a-kind performers including jugglers, sword swallowers, comedic stuntmen and Didgeridoo players take to Seaport Village’s cobblestone streets for a weekend of outdoor family amusement.

Taste of Hillcrest

3. Get ready to experience this year’s most tantalizing taste event as you explore the Taste of Hillcrest taking place on Saturday, April 16th from noon to 4:00 pm. Enjoy a self-guided stroll that will take you around to some of the top chefs in San Diego. With samples created from over 40 of the area’s prominent restaurants, you are sure to find a new takeout favorite or dining hotspot.

Coronado Flower Show

4. The 86th Annual Coronado Flower Show, taking place in Spreckels Park, is the largest tented flower show in the West. This year’s theme is “Dig, Design and Dine.” Flower exhibits are displayed inside tents surrounding a central gazebo, which becomes the stage for live entertainment and trophy presentations. There are also flower sales and food vendors. Check out our Coronado Flower Show 5 to Try.

Lakeside Rodeo

5. Giddy up! During April 15-17, the Annual Lakeside Rodeo and Parade aspiring cowboys and cowgirls can see bareback bronco rides, calf roping and other traditional rodeo competitions along with food and crafts at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds in San Diego’s East County.

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

1. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park presents Butterfly Jungle, April 9-May 8. During this four-week celebration, guests can walk through the Park’s Hidden Jungle, an African aviary, and surround themselves with thousands of butterflies of every shape, size and color. A variety of butterfly species flutter freely throughout the Hidden Jungle along with more than 100 birds, creating a realistic rainforest environment.

South Coast Winery Resort and Spa

2. This annual spring event is a must see for any wine lover out there. South Coast Winery celebrates spring on April 10th from 3:00 – 7:00 pm with a blessing of the vineyards, followed by live entertainment, a barbecue, dancing and of course wine! Interested in a wine tasting? Comment on our blog and five lucky people with receive a 2 for 1 Wine Tasting gift card. Comment by Monday, April 11, 2011 at 10:00 am pacific.

The Lindley Lopez Circus

3. Head downtown with the kids for the Shake & Shout Family Festival, Saturday April 9 at the New Children’s Museum. From urban dance with Culture Shock to circus arts with The Lindley Lopez Circus, the Shake & Shout Family Festival appeals to kids and adults alike. Additional performances include Birdie’s Playhouse, Aaron Nigel Smith, and San Diego Young Gunz. Free with museum admission.

Photo by Jessica Packard

4. The season is just getting underway in San Diego as the San Diego Padres take on the Dodgers April 8-10. Special promotions include fireworks and rally towels on Friday, Padres mesh caps on Saturday and a special Military opening day on Sunday.

Ramona Music Fest

5. A variety of music artists will light up two stages at the annual Ramona Music Fest IV on Saturday, April 9th. The music kicks off at noon and continues to 6:00 pm at Dos Picos County Park. Ten bands and solo performers are expected to entertain the crowd with everything from rock, country and reggae, to a full brass band.

Suzzanne

5 To Try This Weekend

1. Over 90 races in two days will be held in Mission Bay at the 38th Annual San Diego Crew Classic. Spectators can watch as collegiate, junior and masters athletes compete for early season honors and coveted trophies. Be sure to check out the shore-side tent row for alumni and clubs, the jumbotron displaying races start to finish, a beer garden on the sand, and much more!


2. Did you know there are over fifteen designated gardens in Balboa Park? Spring is a great time to see what is blossoming at the nation’s largest urban cultural park. One of my favorites is the Rose Garden. The Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden displays over 2,500 roses of nearly 200 varieties on three acres and in April and May, the roses are at their peak.


3. Opening March 30th at the Valley View Casino Center for eight performances is Cirque du Soleil Quidam. Cirque du Soleil’s latest installment is full of creativity, acrobatics, athleticism and illusion. Quidam tells the story of Zoe, a young girl who is very bored with her life. To fill the void, she slides into an imaginary world where she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul. Plays at various times through April 3rd.


4. This Sunday, car enthusiasts can descend upon the Ellen Scripps Browning Park in La Jolla and preview over 150 automobiles in 30 speciality car classes at the 7th Annual La Jolla Motor Car Classic. The featured marque for this year is German Automobiles. The event will also showcase top stateside automobiles, including Chevy Corvettes, Shelby Cobras, Packards, and Ford Mustangs.

5. On April 1st, the San Diego Zoo will unveil several new features for Zoo visitors. The Zoo will debut its newly remodeled front plaza with color-coded pathways and its freshly painted, double-decked tour bus. Then starting April 2nd the Zoo will begin its latest event, Play Days, which offers guests 23 days full of 23 different animal experiences each day. From Pachyderm Pedicures to Bonobo Popsicle Parties, visitors are sure to see the Zoo’s animals in a whole new light.

Suzzanne

5 To Try This Weekend

1. 4th Annual SUPERSEAL Triathlon & SEAL Sprint: Come out to Coronado and cheer everyone on as they complete the course designed by local Navy SEALs. The SUPERSEAL Triathlon consists of a 1,500 meter swim in the Silver Strand State Beach Bay, followed by a 40K bike course on Highway 75 and 10K running course. The SEAL Sprint consists of a 500 meter swim, 20K bike course and 6K run.

2. Mission Valley Craft Beer Festival: Beer lovers will gather to enjoy local craft brews for a purpose. The 2nd Annual Mission Valley Craft Beer Festival is being held to promote local San Diego craft beers and local San Diego chefs with proceeds donated to Fresh Start Surgical Gifts. Over 30 local craft brewing companies and 15 local chefs will be on hand at the Handlery Hotel and Resort.

3. Julian Daffodil Show: Visitors to Julian can enjoy an annual celebration of spring’s most cheerful blooms. Daffodils are on display both days from noon to 5:00 p.m. at the Julian Town Hall and Blue Heron Garden Shop.


4. Flower Fields of Carlsbad, California: Visitors to the Flower Fields will see a giant ranunculus flowers on over 50 acres of hills. During March through May, guests can stroll past oceans of flowers and through beautiful gardesn, including a miniature rose garden, fragrant sweet pea maze, and a garden featuring more than 50 All American Rose Selection winners.
5. Silent Film Night with the San Diego Symphony: One of the most visually innovative films of the Silent Era comes to Symphony Hall with the San Diego Symphony as the live soundtrack! Performance starts at 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Suzzanne

5 to Try This Weekend


1. All month long, 40 museums throughout San Diego are 50% off during San Diego Museum Month! From the San Diego Air & Space Museum to the Oceanside Museum of Art, you can definitely get your culture on. Be sure to pick up your pass at any Macy’s in San Diego County. It’s a great time to try your favorite museum or something new.

2. I love having a three-day weekend; that extra day allows me to do something I wouldn’t normally have time for. This weekend I’m going to the Little Italy Mercato on Saturday (weather please hold up). With over 6,500 farms in San Diego County, there is always plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and other goodies to be found at Farmers Markets.

3. The 21st Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival runs through February 20th. Some of the films playing this weekend include “The Matchmaker” and “Who Do You Love”.

4. Did you know that Friday, February 18th is going to be a full moon? Take a romantic full-moon dinner cruise on a Hornblower yacht and enjoy dinner, champagne, music and dancing under the stars and the beautiful San Diego skyline.

5. One of our staffers recently saw “Superior Donuts” playing at the San Diego Repertory Theatre through March 6. She said it was both a funny and poignant play set in a 1960’s donut shop. Eat before you go, otherwise you may be drooling over the donuts during the show!

Suzzanne

5 To Try This Weekend


1. The Navy is celebrating 100 years of naval aviation in a big way this weekend. On Saturday, February 12th, the Navy will showcase its “Parade of Flight” with more than 200 planes flying over Coronado and the Bay. It will be the largest naval flyover since WWII! Be sure to check out the Union-Tribune’s special section that gives viewers tips on best spots to view the flyover as well as a viewer’s guide to aircraft.

2. With museum month in full swing, the New Children’s Museum is featuring a fun KidFunk Family Festival on Saturday. The festival runs from 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and will feature award-winning musical talent, dance crews, and a unique animal presentation by Wild Wes and the San Diego Zoo. It includes special appearances by Rhythm Child, Egg, and Super Galactic Beat Manipulators, culminating with an interactive Karaoke and DJ session.

3. It’s the year of the Rabbit, and you can celebrate at the 29th Annual San Diego Chinese New Year Food and Cultural Fair Saturday and Sunday. This free, family friendly event will feature lion and dragon dancers, martial artists, acrobats and musicians at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and J Street. No matter what zodiac you were born under, there will be plenty of fun for the whole family as they celebrate the most exciting Chinese holiday of the year.

4. This weekend in Balboa Park, Circus Vargas has set up its Big Top Tent. Arrive early for the free Preview Show, and join Jon Weiss as he invites kids of all ages into center ring to learn juggling, feather-balancing and hula-hooping. Circus Vargas unites skilled performers with clowns that actually make you laugh. They will be in Balboa Park from February 10-21.

5. Start your Valentine’s Day off early and take your sweetheart to see Jane Austen’s Emma A Musical Romantic Comedy currently playing at the Old Globe. Deliciously charming, this new romantic comedy from Tony Award-nominated composer Paul Gordon and directed by Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun brings Jane Austen’s classic story to musical life. Playing through February 27th.