Candice

Meet Rick Schwartz – San Diego's Guide to Family Fun

Rick Schwartz - San Diego's Guide to family Fun
san diego zoo koala

Rick Schwartz and his koala friend, Burly, are your Guides to the Good Stuff.

If you caught this week”s episode of NPR”s Wait Wait…Don”t Tell Me!, you might already be familiar with <a title=”Rick Schwartz – San Diego”s Guide to Family Fun” href=”http://www.sandiego.org/campaigns/good-stuff/rick-schwartz.aspx” target=”_blank”>Rick Schwartz, Animal Care Supervisor for the San Diego Zoo. As a member of the San Diego Zoo”s team for 13 years, Rick has more than a few good tips to share for exploring the grounds and beyond.

Let Rick Schwartz be your Guide to the Good Stuff in San Diego with his picks for the best animal (and people) watching!

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Explore the San Diego Zoo Like an Insider

This animal care ambassador knows the zoo like no one else, so be sure to follow Rick”s suggestions when you visit the San Diego Zoo:

  • Be prepared to spend all day. The San Diego Zoo spans 100 acres and houses more than 3,700 animals.
  • During the summertime, the zoo is open for 12 hours, which allows you to see animals that are more active at night. See your favorite animals active in the morning, go take one of the bus tours, ride the Skyfari, check out a show, and then walk the zoo again in the evening time. You’ll see and hear many unique things you would miss otherwise.
  • Before you go, pick three animals that you absolutely must see. Rick suggests checking out casino the koalas at the zoo”s new Australian Outback.

Beyond the Zoo: Rick Schwartz”s Suggestions for the Rest of San Diego

The zoo is terrific, but there”s plenty more to explore in San Diego beyond the zoo”s grounds:

  • One of Rick”s favorite locations in San Diego is Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Park. In addition to the access to Torrey Pines State Beach, there are some beautiful paths that wind through the preserve. You can have some unique coastal wildlife sightings right from the trails.
  • If you’re into people watching, Mission Beach is another of Rick”s favorite spots. You”ll see a lot of great characters, both local and visiting.
  • In the evening, Rick suggests heading downtown to the Gaslamp Quarter for great restaurants and clubs. “You could just get a nice little table on the patio of a restaurant there on one of the main streets and people watch all evening long,” says Rick.
  • Another of Rick”s favorite neighborhoods is Pacific Beach. With lots of bars and a fun beach culture, “that”s the place to go when you are done with the wild animals and want to go hang out with the party animals!” Rick shares.

Check out more of Rick Schwartz”s favorite things about San Diego, including tips for exploring Balboa Park, at <a title=”Rick Schwartz – San Diego”s Guide to the Good Stuff” href=”http://www.sandiego.org/campaigns/good-stuff/rick-schwartz.aspx” target=”_blank”>SanDiego.org/GoodStuff.

Brent Bernasconi

Where in San Diego to Watch the Broncos v. Seahawks Super Bowl

The Chargers are going to the Super Bowl…is what I wish I was saying. Though my Bolts are not going this year and will certainly play in the Big Game next year (fingers crossed), there is still plenty of Sunday fun to be had here, especially for the Seattle and Denver fans “stuck” in San Diego for the big game.

Seattle Seahawks – Thrusters Lounge

Thrusters Lounge - San Diego's Seahawks Home

About to be filled with a ton of navy blue and action green Seahawks jerseys

Congratulations, not only are your Seahawks going to the Super Bowl, but you get to watch them from sunny San Diego! To make sure you are high-fiving only those wearing navy blue and action green, fly on over to Thruster Lounge in Pacific Beach.

As of this posting, Thrusters Lounge has not posted any game day specials. However, I will update if they do post any.

Where: 4633 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109
> Find out more about Thrusters Lounge

Denver Broncos – Guava Beach Bar & Grill

Guava Beach Bar & Grill - Broncos Bar

A sea of Broncos Blue and Orange at Guava Beach Bar & Grill

I can’t believe it – there’s a Broncos bar in San Diego! I kid, I kid. Those looking to don their blue and orange while cheering on Manning can find a friendly crowd at this .01 mile-high arena of strong drinks and hearty bites.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Guava Beach will get the crowd pumped up with pre-game festivities, halftime specials including $4 you-call-its and a free raffle, along with even more drink and food specials all day.

Where: 3714 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109
> Find out more about Guava Beach Bar & Grill

Extra San Diego Super Bowl Viewing Options

  • Cafe Coyote – Head to Old Town to watch the big game, and the even bigger commercials, San Diego style…with a margarita in one hand, a taco in the other and flip-flops on your feet
  • East Village Tavern & Bowl – Cheer on either team in Downtown’s East Village with over 50 HD screens, drink specials and giveaways including a giant flat screen tv
  • W San Diego – Watch the game with the skyline as your backdrop at the W’s rooftop lounge. Depending on your affiliation, order either a AFC Punch of NFC Crush as you chow down on delicious appetizers
  • Amaya La Jolla – Take a walk on La Jolla’s beach and then stroll on over for some of Chef Cameron Woods’ game day favorites including sliders, fish tacos, spicy wings, and nachos starting at just $2

> Find more places to watch the Super Bowl in San Diego

While it may not be the Chargers, who are you rooting for in Sunday’s Big Game?

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – September 5-8, 2013

San Diego Brazilian Day Festival - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Nothing like a short week of work to bring the next weekend around even quicker. Spend the last few days of summer enjoying everything San Diego has to offer including these top things to do:

San Diego Quilt Show

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The 2013 San Diego Quilt Show is honoring the diversity of the U.S.A. with its theme, “Surfing the U.S.A.” Join fellow quilters for a weekend of classes, beautiful quilts, and fun shopping at the vendor mall.

Where: San Diego Convention Center – 111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: September 5-7, 2013
Cost: $10
> Find out more about the San Diego Quilt Show

Reader Feast!

Reader Feast! - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Enjoy some of San Diego’s best food with the best views at Reader Feast!

Do you crave delicious food and strong drinks? Come out and enjoy food and drink tastings from some of San Diego’s best eateries, wineries, breweries and food trucks. The amazing view is thrown in for free!

Where: Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier – 1000 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: September 6, 2013
Time: 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Cost: $30-$40
> Find out more about Reader Feast!

Cardiff Greek Festival

Cardiff Greek Festival - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Opa! Learn the dances and eat the cuisine of the Isles of Greece at the Cardiff Greek Festival

Be Greek for the day and enjoy authentic food, music, live entertainment, dancing, children’s activities and more for the entire family at the Annual Greek Festival held at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church.

Where: 3459 Manchester Avenue, Cardiff by-the-Sea, CA 92007
When: September 7-8, 2013
Cost: Adults – $3. Children 12 & Under – Free
> Find out more about the Cardiff Greek Festival

San Diego Blues Festival

San Diego Blues Festival

Enjoy live blues next to the beautiful blue waters of the bay at the San Diego Blues Festival

The third annual AimLoan.com San Diego Blues Festival will feature three members of the Blues Hall of Fame, a Grammy Award winner and many other blues acts. All proceeds benefit the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank to fight hunger in San Diego County.

Where: Embarcadero Marina Park North – 400 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
When: September 7, 2013
Time: Music starts at 9:30 AM. Entry to the festival at 10:30 AM
Cost: $15-$500
> Find out more about the San Diego Blues Festival

Coronado MainStreet Garden Party

Coronado Flowers

Explore the flora of the Crown City at the Coronado Mainstreet Garden Party

Explore the gardens of one of Coronado’s picturesque historic homes while enjoying wine tasting, craft beers from Coronado Brewing Company and hor d’oeuvres from local restaurants.

Where: Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118
When: September 7, 2013
Time: 5:00 to 8:00 PM
Cost: $75
> Find out more about the Coronado MainStreet Garden Party

San Diego Brazilian Day Festival

San Diego Brazilian Day Festival - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Celebrate and enjoy all things Brazil at the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival

A free, fun and family friendly festival, activities include a street fair with over 150 vendors, food court, kids zone and carnaval parade complete with floats. Music from Brazil is the sound for the day with two stages for bands and performing groups.

Where: One block from the beach on Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA
When: September 8, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the San Diego Brazilian Day Festival

> 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.

Candice

Beachside Eats: Where to Grab a Quick Bite near the Water

Surfer in front of Imperial Beach Pier in San Diego's South Bay

As the days are getting longer and warmer, it’s hard to escape the allure of San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline. Of course, when you’re enjoying a day along San Diego’s sparkling shore, dressed in your finest flip-flops and swimsuit, the last thing you want to do is pack up your towels and beach lounger in search of quick beachside eats. Fortunately, a tasty meal is only steps away from the sand at these casual beachside restaurants and snack shops.

San Elijo State Beach – Bull Taco

The view of San Elijo from Bull Taco

The view of San Elijo from Bull Taco

Located just steps from the sand, Bull Taco is a favorite stop for hungry visitors to San Elijo State Beach. This small joint features a big menu that includes a wide variety of fish and exotic meats like alligator and kangaroo.

Pacific Beach – Taco Surf

Pacific Beach is the epitome of the SoCal beach experience, with wide stretches of sand packed with good-looking locals and a boardwalk teeming with rollerbladers, bicyclists and skateboarders. For the perfect SoCal snack, head over to Taco Surf. The classic beachfront taco shop has been serving up San Diego staple since 1988.

Imperial Beach – The Tin Fish

The Tin Fish - San Diego Beachside Eats

The Tin Fish has several locations in San Diego – see what USA Today’s Larry Olmstead had to say about them.

No need to head inland to find a snack in Imperial Beach – to find the Tin Fish, just head out into the Pacific Ocean…via the Imperial Beach pier, of course. Nestled out on the end of the pier, the Tin Fish serves up more than fish, with plenty of burger and chicken options.

Pacific Beach – The Baked Bear

Ice cream sandwiched between two red velvet cookies? Yes, please!

Ice cream sandwiched between two red velvet cookies? Yes, please!

 

What could possibly complement a day at the beach better than a cool, creamy ice cream sandwich? Beachgoers with a sweet tooth won’t want to miss the Baked Bear, where you can choose your own combination of ice cream flavors sandwiched between freshly baked cookies, brownies or waffles.

> Find more beachside eats in San Diego

Where’s your favorite place to grab a quick bite when you’re at the beach? Let us know in the comments below.

Robert Arends

Did You Know: Surprising San Diego Trivia!

Sunset at Oceanside Pier.

Three of my favorite words are “Did you know.”

As in did you know these surprisingly fun, eye-opening facts about San Diego? There are A LOT of factoids about America’s Finest City I’ve been collecting over the years, but following are five to start with and really impress your friends. 😉

Did you know…

1. SoCal’s Only Gold Rush

Family Panning for Gold - Julian Mining Company

Gold panning in Julian!

The only Gold Rush to take place in Southern California was in 1870 in San Diego’s historic East County mountain town of Julian. In March 1870, the richest SoCal gold mine, Stonewall Mine, was discovered.  Before it was abandoned in 1893, the mine produced $2 million in gold (valued today at $60 million).

2. The Most Missions

Did You Know - Mission San Diego Alcala is one of four missions in San Diego County

Mission San Diego de Alcala

San Diego County has the most missions in the state – four in all: Mission San Diego de Alcala, Mission San Luis Rey, Mission San Antonio de Pala and Mission Santa Ysabel near Julian. Mission San Antonio de Pala is the only California mission still used as a school and place of worship by Native Americans.

3. The Largest Collection of Outdoor Murals in the Country

Chicano Park, Barrio Logan.

Chicano Park, Barrio Logan.

Chicano Park, located beneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in the downtown neighborhood of Barrio Logan, is home to the largest collection of outdoor murals in the country. In the early 1970s, resident artist Salvador Torres envisioned local Chicano painters and sculptors turning the bridge’s pylons “into things of beauty, reflecting the Mexican-American culture.” There are 20 large, colorful outdoor murals within Chicano Park.

4. A Head Above Our Piers

Sunset at Oceanside Pier.

Sunset at Oceanside Pier.

The Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach is the only pier on the West Coast that provides lodging over the ocean. The Oceanside Pier in Oceanside is the longest (1,942 feet), wooden construction over water pier on the Pacific Coast.

5. The Largest State Park in the Continental US

Anza-Boreggo Desert State Park Wildflowers

Wildflowers in the Anza-Boreggo Desert State Park

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in San Diego’s East County is the largest state park in the continental United States, encompassing over 640,000 acres.  It was through the Borrego Springs Valley that Spanish soldier Juan Bautista de Anza discovered the first land route to California in 1774.

Maren

5 to try in San Diego in 2013

Happy New Year! Have you made your resolution yet? I resolve to learn Spanish, make time for travel, and enjoy the variety of activities San Diego has to offer. Maybe this year you’ll resolve to take a trip to San Diego’s 70 miles of beach, near perfect weather, and laid-back vibe. If so, here are 5 great things you should resolve to experience on your next trip to San Diego:

Enjoy a family ride along the Pacific Beach Boardwalk. Photo courtesy Brett Shoaf Artistic Visuals

Enjoy a family ride along the Pacific Beach Boardwalk. Photo courtesy Brett Shoaf Artistic Visuals

Bike the Boardwalk: Biking, skating, or strolling the 3 ½ mile boardwalk running from North Pacific Beach to South Mission Beach is a quintessential San Diego activity, and a great way to enjoy the ubiquitous New Year’s “I will exercise more!” resolution. At the north end, the boardwalk runs along a 75-foot bluff until Crystal Pier/Palisades Park.  The park supplies a natural resting point, looking out over the ocean, with great places to brunch and shops to explore. Continuing south from Crystal Pier, the boardwalk becomes level with the beach as it moves by charming beach rentals, Hamel’s Surf Shop, and Belmont Park, featuring the historic Giant Dipper Roller Coaster and the Wave House. From Belmont Park to the end of South Mission Beach, the boardwalk becomes more peaceful and subdued, eventually ending in a park with some excellent beach volleyball courts.

Make Stone Brewery and Bistro one of the stops on your San Diego Craft Brew Tour. Photo courtesy StudioSchulz.com

Make Stone Brewery and Bistro one of the stops on your San Diego Craft Brew Tour. Photo courtesy StudioSchulz.com

Take a Craft Beer Tour: With over 60 breweries in the area and having recently been cited as a “sunny heaven for suds lovers” by the New York Times, San Diego is quickly gaining recognition as one of the hottest craft beer destinations. It looks like 2013 is the perfect year to see what all of the fuss is about by joining one of the brewery tours offered by companies such as Brew Hop, Brewery Tours of San Diego and San Diego Beer and Wine Tours. Best part of joining a tour? They provide the designated driver, insuring a safe and fun time for everyone.

Enjoy the fresh air and clear skies sailing Coronado Bay.

Enjoy the fresh air and clear skies sailing Coronado Bay.

Enjoy a Sailing Excursion: From winter whale watching to America’s Cup race simulations, companies such as Next Level Sailing, Sail San Diego, America’s Cup Sailing San Diego, and San Diego Sailing Tours provide the perfect sailing experience for everyone, from the novice to those with the most stable sea legs.

See the very first Mariachi Opera with the renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan. Photo courtesy of San Diego Opera.

See the very first Mariachi Opera with the renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan. Photo courtesy of San Diego Opera.

Mariachi Opera: Never heard of a Mariachi Opera? You aren’t the only one! The renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, known as the World’s Best Mariachi, take the Civic Theatre stage on March 16, 2013 for the first mariachi opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon). This bi-lingual work follows three generations of a single family, spanning countries, cultures and customs, presented by San Diego Opera.

Rubio's is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the variety of San Diego's famous fish taco.

Rubio’s is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the variety of San Diego’s famous fish taco.

The Best Fish Taco: Although it originally hails from Mexico, the fish taco has found a happy home in San Diego as a Taco Tuesday mascot and everyday local favorite. Ralph Rubio helped make it an institution when he opened his chain, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, in 1983, but the San Diego fish taco has more reinventions than Madonna. From taco truck to fine dining, everyone has their prefrence and finding your favorite  is more about savoring the journey (so many tacos!) than arriving at the destination. To start you on your journey, here are some key jumping off points: South Beach Bar and Grille in Ocean Beach, El Zarape in University Heights, Brigantine Seafood in Coronado, Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill in Mission Hills, Tin Fish in Downtown.

Do you resolve to visit San Diego in 2013? We hope so! In the comments below, tell us what you’ll be doing once you’re here.

Suzzanne

25 Free Things to Do With Kids This Fall in San Diego

Enjoy A Bonfire with the Kids

Fall is a great time for the kids to explore many of San Diego’s free outdoor activities including the beach, hiking sports, sightseeing and more.

Below are just 25 of the free things kids can do this fall in San Diego:

  1. Head to one of San Diego’s 33 beaches, all open to the public, and perfect for body surfing, boogie boarding, building sandcastles, collecting seashells and basking in the sun.
  2. Catch a magnificent Pacific sunset and watch sea lions play along the shoreline at La Jolla Cove, one of the most spectacular natural settings in the world.
  3. Take free fly-fishing lessons from the San Diego Fly Fishers club on Sunday mornings from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Lake Murray, located in La Mesa. If you don’t have your own gear, arrive early for a free equipment loan.
  4. Sample some of the more than 200 varieties of fresh produce grown in San Diego at one of the region’s many Farmer’s Markets, held daily at locations throughout the county.
  5. Bike, walk or play along Mission Bay Park’s many trails. Bikers, walkers and joggers share more than 20 miles of scenic paths winding through sunlit and shade near the shoreline.
  6. Rollerblade, skateboard, or bicycle along the Mission Beach and Pacific Beach Boardwalk, a scenic three-mile boardwalk running along the coastline of these lively neighborhoods.
  7. Take a scenic drive to Mt. Laguna to hike, bike or picnic while enjoying the fresh mountain air whispering through the pines.
  8. Hike the trails of Torrey Pines State Reserve and see the rare and elegant Torrey pine trees, a number of animal species and miles of unspoiled beaches below.
  9. Visit Mission Trails Regional Park featuring a state-of-the-art Visitors Center where guests explore and learn about the wonders of nature and the native people who once lived on the land. The park also offers over 40 miles of natural and developed hiking and biking trails.
  10. Go scuba diving or snorkeling off San Diego’s shores to see spectacular creatures of the sea. La Jolla Shores and Cove offer some of the clearest waters on the California Coast, as well as miles of protected underwater preserve to explore.
  11. Walk along the downtown Embarcadero and view impressive public art sculptures, tributes, and memorials set along San Diego Bay. The artworks celebrate San Diego’s international ties, cultural diversity, military significance and unique oceanfront environment.
  12. Watch tail-waggin’, Frisbee-catchin’ and stick-fetchin’ dogs splash in the surf. Man’s best friend is permitted to roam leash-free at all hours of the day on designated dog beaches in Ocean Beach, Coronado and Del Mar.
  13. Talk a walk through Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in the United States, and discover its beautiful Spanish Colonial-Revival architecture and glorious gardens. Also, visitors can take advantage of the Park’s variety of other free offerings, including ranger-led walking tours at 11:00 AM on Tuesdays and Sundays.
  14. Gather friends, family and firewood for a cozy beach bonfire at one of San Diego County’s bonfire-friendly beaches, located in Coronado, Ocean Beach, Oceanside, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.
  15. Go on a self-guided walking tour of The Stuart Collection, a display of contemporary sculptures scattered throughout the University of California, San Diego campus in La Jolla. Tour maps are available at the Gilman Drive campus entrance.
  16. Spend an afternoon at Tidelands Park in Coronado. The park’s 22 bayfront acres feature four baseball fields, a playground, skatepark, picnic tables, small beach with an exercise course, boat access, fishing pier and bike and pedestrian paths.
  17. Explore the clear shallow tide pools of La Jolla Cove and Point Loma when the tide is low and the pools are teeming with aquatic life.
  18. Visit Julian in San Diego’s East County and enjoy this quaint, historic mining town that grew into San Diego County’s second largest urban center during the Southern California gold rush of 1869.
  19. Take a drive to the top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla, home of the Mt. Soledad Veterans War Memorial, for breathtaking, 360-degree views of San Diego. Spectacular views also await at the top of Mt. Helix in La Mesa, offering visitors a birds-eye glimpse of San Diego’s East County communities.
  20. Witness the living legacy of California’s birthplace in Old Town State Historic Park, San Diego’s first “downtown.” The six-block park features 12 acres of Mexican lore and historical sites presented in shops, restaurants, museums and several carefully preserved or restored adobe and wooden buildings.
  21. Visit the U.S. Olympic Training Center, the nation’s first warm-weather, year-round Olympic training facility, located in Chula Vista. Free guided tours of the 150-acre lakefront facility are offered at 11:00 AM on Saturday; tours begin at the Copley Visitor Center. Self-guided tours are also available 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Mondays – Saturdays.
  22. Visit downtown San Diego’s Seaport Village for hours of free entertainment, leisurely strolling and window shopping. Enjoy a laid-back day of hanging out in the grass and watching the many passing yachts and ships on picturesque San Diego Bay.
  23. Fly a kite along the grassy field in the Tecolote Shores of Mission Bay Park, a 4,600-acre aquatic park.
  24. Hang 10 at the California Surf Museum, which houses a permanent collection of historic boards, photographs and videos on Highway 101 in Oceanside. During free admission day on Tuesdays, visitors can explore its colorful and educational display on the sport of surfing and the legends who braved the waters over generations.
  25. Head over to La Mesa for the annual Oktoberfest. Traditional German celebration in San Diego’s East County featuring dancing, Bavarian bands, arts and crafts and more.

Even More Kids Free Fun this October

Visiting with the kids during October? After they have checked everything off the list above, save on other attractions, food and more with over a hundred kids free offers.

> Browse Over 100 Kids Free San Diego Offers for this October

Know of any other great free fall activities for kids? Tell us in the comments below.

Maren

Beachside Easter Brunch in San Diego

Crown Room at the Hotel del Coronado

This Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012, make sure to enjoy your champagne brunch with a side of ocean views. With San Diego’s 70 miles of beaches, it is easy to find an amazing restaurant at any point along the coast. Get the most mileage out of your Easter with these great beachside brunch recommendations. Reservations are limited, so hop to it!

Crown Room at the Hotel del Coronado

Crown Room at the Hotel del Coronado

Coronado

The Hotel Del Coronado Easter Champagne Brunch Buffet  is the grand dame of Easter brunches, elegantly served in the oceanfront Ballroom and the magnificent Crown Room. The sumptuous buffet will feature classic holiday fare for adults as well as a special children’s buffet. Both the Crown Room and the Ballroom will have live musical entertainment. 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. $80 for adults and $34 for children ages 6-10 (not including tax and gratuity). Children 5 and under eat free.

Downtown

Celebrate Easter in the spirit of Aloha across the bridge from Coronado at Buster’s Beach House in Seaport Village with champagne, made to order omelets, carved ham and freshly baked muffins. 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. $23.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 3-ll (not including tax and gratuity).

Baleen at Paradise Point Resort & Spa

Baleen at Paradise Point Resort & Spa

Mission Bay

It’s not technically the beach, but you can dock your boat right outside the award-winning San Diego waterfront restaurant, Baleen, at Paradise Point Resort & Spa this Easter. The menu will include brie and apricot waffles, apple-brined porkchop and upside-down pineapple pancakes (yum!). 10:00 am – 3:00 pm with entrees starting at just $12.

JRDN

Pacific Beach

Beautifully perched on the Pacific Beach boardwalk, Jrdn at Tower23 commingles California casual and West Coast hip and is perfect for those interested in a little less Easter and a little more beachside brunch. Full brunch menu from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

The Shores Restaurant at La Jolla Shores Hotel

La Jolla

Join The Shores Restaurant at the La Jolla Shores Hotel for an extensive oceanfront brunch buffet this Easter. Executive Chef Bernard Guillas and Chef de Cuisine Amy DiBiase highlight local flavors with special menu items, such as Lavendar Honey Glazed Bone-In Iowa Ham, a decadent French Toast Station and Children’s Station. 10:00 am – 2:30 pm. $46 for adults. $23 for children ages 6-12, $4 per year for children 5 and under.

Del Mar

Can’t decide between oysters and omelets this Easter? You don’t have to at Waterfall Terrace at L’Auberge Del Mar. 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. $65 for adults and $32.50 for children ages 12 and under.

With 70 miles of beach, I couldn’t list them all! Where will you be brunching beachside this Sunday?

Candice

What’s New in San Diego Brews

Green Flash Brewing Company

Green Flash Brewing Company

In case you haven’t heard, sampling craft brews from out many local breweries is a top reason to visit San Diego. Even the New York Times thinks so! With nearly 40 breweries around San Diego County, there is always something new and exciting happening in our craft beer scene:

Expanded Tasting Room at AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith recently expanded the tasting room at their North County-based brewery. Not only is the bar itself now longer, so are the bar’s hours, which have been extended to 2:00 – 8:00 pm on Fridays, 12:00 – 7:00  pm on Saturdays and 12:00 – 6:00 pm on Sundays. Head up their to try their My Bloody Valentine special release, available only on tap at selected bars for a limited time.

Green Flash Brewing Company Continues to Grow

After opening up their new location in Mira Mesa in 2011, Green Flash has expanded again with the addition of a second cellar. Plus, you can now take a behind-the-scenes look at the brewery, thanks to new brewery tour opportunities. Head over on a Saturday or Sunday, when $5 will get you a tour and guided tasting. Hops lovers, be sure to try their Palate Wrecker Double IPA while you’re there.

Keep an Eye on Karl Strauss Brewing Company

With 23 years of history in San Diego, Karl Strauss is a local legend, and a new tourable space at their main brewing facility in Pacific Beach will finally give visitors a chance to see the brewing action up close. The expansion, expected to be completed this May, will also include an outdoor pizza oven, lounge spaces, a tasting room and bar, beer-to-go, and even some new event and meeting space.

Tell us in the comments below, what is your favorite spring time beer?

Robert Arends

Family Fun in San Diego! Beaches, Boardwalks, Insider Tips

San Diego continues to put itself on the map as the place to play this Memorial Day – and all summer long! According to AAA, our sun-kissed city ranks second among its top 5 destinations for Southern California travelers. With 70 miles of coastline and a perpetually warm sunny climate, it’s easy to see why we’re such an enticing summer getaway.

Surf's up at Coronado Beach!

Speaking of sun, surf and sand, the June issue of Parents Magazine just hit newsstands with a feature story: 10 Best Family Beaches in America.” Coronado Beach nabbed the #4 spot! The mag said it ”has everything families could want: perfect weather…spotless white sand (the town even invented an environmentally friendly rake to clean up the kelp), and warm, gentle water.”

Sand dunes of Coronado Beach.

FamilyVacationCritic.com also rated Coronado Beach as its #5 pick for 10 Best Beaches for Families.” They called the sparkling stretch of sand “memorable” for its “long sandbar and fantastic waves to stoke any one of your little surfers.” They set their sights on San Diego’s bustling boardwalks too, calling Pacific and Mission Beach – home of Belmont Park and the famous Giant Dipper roller coaster – the #8 best boardwalk in their 11 Best Beach Boardwalks for Families.”

Walk this way... to the Mission Beach boardwalk!

NBC Los Angeles even touted San Diego’s “beach bliss” (Thanks for the shout out, Alysia – you’re “rad!”).

For families planning a summer trip to San Diego, following are some insider tips, courtesy of Eileen Ogintz, author of Taking the Kids To Sunny Southern California.” Her San Diego chapter is full of fun facts and recommended activities, from animal encounters (“San Diego may be the best place in the country to meet and greet all kinds of animals”) and ship tours (“You can visit an aircraft carrier to see what it’s like to live and work on a floating city…At the Maritime Museum, climb aboard the century-old windjammer the Star of India… “) to Balboa Park’s bounty of cultural delights (“It’s got everything from the zoo to a merry-go-round, a miniature train and model train museum, a puppet theater—even an outdoor pipe organ” offering free Sunday concerts.).

Eileen also shows parents how to travel “smarter and saner with kids this summer,” including money-saving and theme park tips.

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! Wishing you safe travels…