Sarah Weinberg

San Diego Crew Classic Rows Its Way on Mission Bay

Rowers - San Diego Crew Classic

With the excitement of rowing races complemented by sunny skies and warm temperatures, the San Diego Crew Classic provides a perfect backdrop for a spring getaway to San Diego.

San Diego Crew Classic

Rowers - San Diego Crew Classic

Don’t miss the excitement as it rows on by at the San Diego Crew Classic

More than 4,000 collegiate, junior and master-level rowers converge each spring in San Diego for the San Diego Crew Classic. Held on the waters of picturesque Mission Bay, this thrilling competition draws rowers and spectators from throughout the United States.

More than 126 universities, clubs and high school programs participate in this premier rowing event, with rowers ranging in age from 14 to 84 years old. For many rowers, the San Diego Crew Classic is the highlight of their competitive rowing careers and also tests the competitive skills of potential future Olympians.

In addition to the exciting races on the water, the San Diego Crew Classic features a trade show, alumni and corporate tents, food vendors, the waterfront Sierra Nevada Beer Garden, and a massive Jumbotron offering a perfect view for the start of the races.

Where: Crown Point Shores Park, Corona Oriente Road, San Diego, CA 92109
When: April 4-6, 2014
Cost: $12-$15. Active military with ID and children under 12 years old – Free
> Find out more about the San Diego Crew Classic

San Diego Brew Classic

San Diego Brew Classic

Enjoy local craft beers and water front views at the San Diego Brew Classic

Enjoy the beautiful views of Mission Bay and the City skyline while sipping your favorite local brews at the beach. On tap will be beers from 10-15 breweries including Karl Strauss, Stone, Coronado Brewing Company, Hillcrest Brewing, Twisted Manzanita and more. Food will also be available for purchase.

Regular admission includes ten 4 ounce tasters and a souvenir cup. VIP admission adds an additional hour of beer tasting.

Where: Crown Point Shores Park, Corona Oriente Road, San Diego, CA 92109
When: April 6, 2014
Time: 2:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: $35-$40
> Find out more about the San Diego Brew Classic

Brent Bernasconi

Padres Opening Day Fun & Festivities – 2014 Edition

Inside Petco - Courtesy Petco Park
Padres Opening Day - Courtesy Petco Park

Catch the Padres take on the Dodgers at the beautiful Petco Park

Spring is finally here and that means it’s time to put on the ol’ Padres baseball cap, pick up a box or two of cracker jacks and head downtown to the beautiful Petco Park for an afternoon or evening America’s pastime in San Diego!

Padres Opening Day

To kick of the 2014 season, the San Diego Padres will take on their heated rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday 30 March with first pitch at 5:05 PM.

While Sunday’s Opening Day game is already sold out, there is still plenty of fun happening around the park. Just pop into any one of the pubs/bars/restaurants in the East Village or Gaslamp Quarter to cheer on the Padres with plenty of fellow fans. Or you could enjoy the festivities at the East Village Block Party.

Tickets are still available for the Tuesday and Wednesday games.

East Village Block Party

At this free, family friendly event, enjoy local craft beer from Mission Brewery, Monkey Paw, and Stone Brewing Co., live music, local restaurants, line dancing on J Street brought to you by Bub’s @ The Ball ParkBlind Burro and Moonshine Flats, and much more. Also – The Moonshine Honeys & Friends will be leading a flash mob at 1:30 PM in front of Bub’s!

This family friendly event features East Village restaurants and hotels including: BASIC Kitchen & PizzaEast Village Tavern & BowlHotel Indigo, and more.

Where: J Street Between 6th and 10th
When: March 30, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the East Village Block Party

What’s New in Petco Park

If you are one of the lucky few with opening day tickets or if you are attending a later game, there are a few exciting new things happening inside of Petco Park.

  • Rimel’s Rotisserie will open on the top of the Western Metal Union building
  • The famous Lucha Libre Taco Shop will open a stand on the field level
  • Hodad’s and Bumble Bee Tuna will have new food stands at the Park at the Park
  • The big screen is 50% larger for those watching the game from the Park at the Park

Don’t forget to compliment the new delicious food offerings with a cold local beer from either the Ballast Point Beer Garden (Toyota Terrace) or Craft Beers of San Diego (Sections 109, 213, and 301).

Hat Tip to Gaslamp Ball for news on the new additions.

Nick Karvounis

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 14 – 17, 2014

Run, swim, and bike your way across Coronado Island!

Your friends will be green with envy when you tell them you’re heading to San Diego this weekend.  With so many great attractions and events, there’s something for everyone; you won’t need the luck of the Irish to have a good time.  Check out these top things to do in San Diego during this festive weekend!

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown San Diego

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is always a fan favorite!

There’s a party and then there’s a party on St. Patrick’s Day.  Celebrate with friends across the region at some of San Diego’s annual events including Irish 4 A Day – St. Paddy’s Eve Party Hop, shamROCK Gaslamp Block Party, St. Patrick’s Day at the Glass Door, St. Patrick’s Beer Train Tour, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival.  Read more on our St. Patrick’s Day blog.

Balboa Park STEAM Family Day

Balboa Park STEAM Family Day in San Diego

Kids — and adults — will have a hair-raising day at Balboa Park.

This one’s for the kids – and adults too!  This week-long festival takes place at various locations throughout the region. On Sunday, March 16th, enjoy Balboa Park STEAM Family Day, where more than two dozen institutions in the park gather to present park-wide events. Enjoy hands-on activities, crafts, a butterfly release, storytelling and much more.

Where: Balboa Park
When: Sunday, March 16,
Cost: Children 12 & under free with paid adult admission
>Read more about the schedule of events at Balboa Park STEAM Family Day

SUPERSEAL and SEAL Sprint Triathlons

Coronado Island is host to the SUPERSEAL triathlon

Run, swim, and bike your way across Coronado Island!

This one’s for the athletes… and the dreamers.  There’s no more spectacular setting than Coronado Island for an intense triathlon competition.  The course was designed by Navy SEALs who train on the island, so expect a rigorous race.  The SUPERSEAL consists of a 1,500-meter swin, 40K bike ride, and 10k run.  For the less-adventurous, the SEAL course is shorter with 500-meter swim in Silver Strand State Beach Bay, 20k bike ride, and 6k run.  Whatever you choose, good luck!

Where: 1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
When: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Cost: $100 – $245
>Read more about the triathlon on Coronado Island

Bike Tour through scenic Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs two-wheeled bike tour!

It’s a flat terrain course, but still a challenging 80-mile ride in Borrego Springs!

We’ll start with a caveat on this… the terrain is mostly flat.  But you still have to be in shape for this spectacular scenic bike ride through Borrego Springs.  Choose from 27, 40, 67, or 80-mile paved road courses while enjoying the beautiful mountains in the distance.  Don’t miss the landmark prehistoric metal sculptures too!

Where: Borrego Springs High School, 2281 Diegueno Drive, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
When: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Cost: $49
>Read more about this great two-wheeled Tour of Borrego

Art Above San Diego

Porto Vista Hotel hosts the annual Art Above San Diego fair

Enjoy a spectacular view at sunset during this elevated art fair!

This event at the Porto Vista Hotel literally elevates your art collection.  Enjoy a breathtaking view of San Diego’s Big Bay during sunset while sipping champagne on the rooftop terrace.  This open-air contemporary art fair features works from San Diego’s local emerging artists and galleries.

Where: Porto Vista Hotel, 1835 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Cost: $5-$10 donations requested
>Explore more about the Art Above San Diego fair

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

Brent Bernasconi

5 Ways to Beat the Heat in Sunny San Diego

Beat the Heat at the Beach in San Diego
Beat the Heat at the Beach in San Diego

Beat the Heat at the Beach in San Diego

The best remedy to beat the heat? An escape to sunny San Diego! Here are five great ways to cool off while still enjoying the sunshine:

1. Get Wet!

What’s a quick way of cooling down? Jumping into the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean! With over 70 miles of beaches, there is certainly enough room for everyone to spread out their towels, put up an umbrella and run into the water catch some waves.

Speaking of catching waves, kids of all ages love trying to surf or boogie board on the Flowbarrel and Flowrider at the Wave House in Belmont Park.

Add some excitement to your water adventures by cooling off in a lazy river or on a humongous water slide at one of San Diego’s waterparks including LEGOLAND Water Park and The Wave in North County and the brand new SeaWorld Aquatica in South Bay.

2. Get Under the Water

Dive under the surface and explore the world underneath the water. La Jolla Cove offers some of the best snorkeling in San Diego with an abundance of marine life. During the summer, the waters of the cove become home to leopard sharks, but don’t worry they are not aggressive and are amazing to watch as they swim along the cove’s floor.

You can really beat the heat by scuba diving along the La Jolla Canyon, an area under the water rich with life and plenty of places to explore. To get the most out of La Jolla Canyon, it’s best to dive with a seasoned tour company like OEX Dive & Kayak Center.

3. Get Over the Water

Cool off with ocean breezes and explore the waters of San Diego on a surfboard, kayak or standup paddleboard. And who cares if you get splashed or fall in, the water will just help you beat the heat.

Really feel the refreshing ocean air while taking plenty of pictures of the San Diego coastline on a cruise over the bay and Pacific Ocean. There are plenty of options for any group including leisure cruises, speedboats and jet skis.

4. Get Air-Conditioned Entertainment

Sometimes you just need to stay out of the sun for a while and enjoy the luxury of air-conditioning! But instead of just sitting in a large room staring at the wall, why not cool off inside with entertaining live theatre, amazing exhibits and educational fun at local museums, aliens and explosions at a movie theater, or just relaxing at one of the San Diego County cool zones.

5. Get an Ice Cream and/or Beer

Nothing says summer like ice cream, popsicles and other chilly treats. Let everyone pick out their favorite flavors and then find a nice shaded spot to relax and beat the heat.

For those over 21, spend the afternoon sampling San Diego’s amazing and cold craft beer. Stay safe and visit a few breweries on a beer tour. Best part…the tour busses and vans are air-conditioned!

Tips to Beat the Heat

Please remember to stay safe while you are out enjoying San Diego’s warm weather. Always drink plenty of water, regularly apply sunscreen, wear a hat and lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing to protect your skin, and take regular breaks from the sun by relaxing in the shade or indoors.

What’s your favorite way to beat the heat in San Diego?

Martin

Farmers Insurance Open Returns to San Diego on January 21-27, 2013, with Tiger Woods

Farmers Insurance Open Final Hole

Of course you want to see Tiger Woods play in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course.

But would you like a chance to see one of the greatest golfers of all time as he rehearses for a seventh win in the tournament, eighth overall at Torrey Pines counting his amazing victory in the 2008 U.S. Open?

Free Entry to the Farmers Insurance Open on Monday and Tuesday

Farmers Insurance Open Final Hole

Catch the action of the Farmers Insurance Open. Photo courtesy of Stan Badz.

To do that, you’ll have to get up very early Tuesday morning and head to Torrey Pines. The best thing about this deal is it’s free. The Century Club of San Diego, a non-profit group of volunteers that hosts the PGA Tour event each year, and tournament sponsor Farmers Insurance have thrown open the gates to the public on Monday and Tuesday. The real tournament action runs Thursday through Sunday, and there’s a Pro-Am on the North and South courses on Wednesday. You have to pay to get in those days. But there’s no charge on Monday and Tuesday.

Of the two days, Tuesday is by far the best bet. Most players will be out practicing on the North and South sides of the driving range, working on their putting on the putting green or on the course for practice rounds.

Woods’ tradition at Torrey is to arrive just before sunrise on Tuesdays and play either the North or South course. Very few people know Woods’ schedule at these events, but since he hasn’t played Torrey Pines since 2011, the call here is that he’ll be out there on the No. 1 tee on one of those courses on Tuesday of tournament week. The No. 1 tees for both courses are between the Pro Shop and the Pacific Ocean. The first shot off both courses is toward the Pacific Ocean.

More Notable Farmers Insurance Open Contenders

Farmers Insurance Open - Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler in Round Three at the 2012 Farmers Insurance Open. Photo courtesy of Stan Badz.

In addition to Woods, this year’s Farmers Insurance Open has a great field with returning champion Brandt Snedeker  and other past champions like homegrown Phil Mickelson (three-time champ, but hasn’t won since the South Course was redesigned for the 2002 season and 2008 U.S. Open), Bubba Watson, who won last year’s Masters Tournament, John Daly and Nick Watney.

With Woods approaching 40, there’s a whole slew of younger players who watched him and learned from him when they were youngsters and now want to beat him on the golf course. Players like Murrieta’s Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, who won the PGA Tour’s first event this year in Hawaii, and others will be at Torrey Pines trying to start a string of Farmers Open wins of their own.

It’s an exciting time at a golf course that serves as one of three San Diego municipal complexes, with Balboa Park Golf Course and Mission Bay Golf Course being the other two. There are very few PGA Tour stops that the average golfer can walk on and play, but Torrey North and South are two of them.

Farmers Insurance Open Information

Where: 11480 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037 (map)
When: January 21-27, 2013
Cost: Free – $1200
Website: www.farmersinsuranceopen.com

> Play More Golf at Over 90 San Diego’s Golf Courses

Candice

Hats, Horses and High Rollers: Opening Day at the Del Mar Races

Opening Day hats on display at the Del Mar Racetrack
Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack

…and they’re off!

Seventy-five years have passed since Bing Crosby and his friends opened up the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, but the glamour and prestige of Opening Day hasn’t faded with age. Every year, locals and visitors alike flock to the seaside racetrack to soak up the first day of racing action, not to mention gawk at all the elaborate hats on display, and this year’s Opening Day was no exception.

Opening Day hats on display at the Del Mar Racetrack

Those looking to visit the Del Mar races this season can embark on the journey car-free; just hop on the North County Transit District’s COASTER commuter train. Ride the train to Solana Beach, then hop on one of the free shuttles that take you directly to the track’s front gate. The best part is the view – it sure beats staring at the cars stuck in traffic!

Ride the Coaster train to the Del Mar Racetrack

No need for a designated driver when you take the Coaster to the racetrack, and the view is outstanding.

While the races are the main event, Opening Day is one heck of a party with plenty of smiling faces under those elaborate hats. It’s best to make a day of it, so dress up, grab a few of your friends and a Del Margarita and settle in for afternoon.

Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack

Even after Opening Day has come and gone, the action at the track is just warming up. All season long, the Del Mar racetrack is home to events that appeal to visitors of all ages, like the Gourmet Food Truck Festival on July 28, where more than 50 trucks come to the track to offer a wide range of delicious, fun and funky dining options. Parents can bring the kids out for Family Fun Day on July 22, and dog lovers can cheer on the fastest runners on four legs…four very short legs! The Wienerschnitzel Wiener Dog Nationals take place at the track on Sept. 3. And of course, Fridays are all about music at the track, with Del Mar’s Summer Concert Series. After the races end, race-goers can enjoy free live music from a lineup of performers including Wavves, Dashboard Confessional, Ben Harper and more. Check out the full lineup for information on performances schedules.

Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack

Opening Day 2012 broke attendance records, with more than 47,000 people attending

If you’re planning on attending Opening Day next year, or any of the other days this season that feature concerts or special events, be sure to plan on arriving early and give yourself extra travel time.

Alison

Ultimate Birding Experience: Paragliding Over San Diego

Floating above San Diego
San Diego's Torrey Pines Glider Port

Paragliding at the Torrey Pines Glider Port

Imagine standing on a high oceanfront bluff and giving yourself up to a gust of wind – being blown out over the edge of the cliff, rising on the upward thrust of a stiff onshore breeze, then soaring like a bird out over the Pacific. Imagine the exhilaration of riding an updraft with a gull, the joy of slow dancing with the wind. Paragliders do it every day at the Torrey Pines Gliderport.

For those who don’t know the difference, hang gliders fly suspended from framed fabric wings. Paragliders sit in a harness suspended below a huge non-porous nylon “wing” that looks much like a parachute.

At the Gliderport, bird wannabes can go for a 30-minute tandem flight with one of the on-site instructors (no experience required and no age limit though minors do need a parent or guardian’s permission). Your guide will outfit you in a lightweight helmet and help you into a harness – actually a soft, very padded chair – buckling straps around each leg and your waist. When you’re properly packaged, the instructor will slip into the harness just behind you and ask you to lean forward a bit while he maneuvers the voluminous nylon wing dawdling above your heads.

In an instant you’ll understand the power of nature, its raw muscle. The inflated fabric wing will shove your backward, tug you upward.

Floating above San Diego

Floating above San Diego

Just go with it. Let your feet float – a few inches off the ground, at first. Then, so quickly, so much more.  In a split second you’ll be gone. Long before there’s time to think about it, you’ll be soaring. Out over the edge of the bluff, high above the Pacific Ocean. Like an oversized gull, you’ll ride the upward thrust of the breeze that hits the Torrey Pines cliffs. The exhilaration is sudden and overwhelming.

Embrace it. Allow yourself to become that seagull. Free. Swoop down, glide higher, ride a thermal. Feel the power of your lofty multi-colored wing. Your wing. Savor the sensory simplicity of flight. Be awed by it. Love being a bird.

Cost and Other Information

  • Tandem paragliding last about 25 minutes, depending on wind conditions and costs $150. There’s a $10 discount for cash; it’s $40 for video of your flight, $15 for photos, $50 for both
  • The Gliderport also offers hang gliding tandems for $200. There’s a passenger weight limit of about 175 pounds
  • Rather sit and just watch? The Cliff Hanger Café offers deli sandwiches, hot soup and a great view of bird-people in action
Brent Bernasconi

First Carrier Classic Basketball Game in San Diego

Carrier Classic Rendering
Carrier Classic Rendering

Quicken Loans Carrier Classic Stadium Rendering

Tomorrow, Friday, November 11, the University of North Carolina Tarheels and the Michigan State Spartans will square off in a very non-traditional basketball stadium. A court, television cameras, announcer booth and over 7,000 spectator seats have been added to the flight deck aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier currently sitting in San Diego’s Big Bay.

Carrier Classic Court Resting for the Evening. Courtesy of Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Dean M. Cates/US Navy

As the two college teams vie to be the first champions of the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic, basketball legends Magic Johnson of Michigan and James Worthy of North Carolina will help them out serving as honorary captains for their respective schools. There will be plenty of other celebrities in the crowd along with our service men, women and veterans.

While the Carrier Classic is sold out and for those not in San Diego, you can catch the action on ESPN and online at Watch ESPN (US Only) starting at 4:00 pm PST. Before the tip-off check out the Tarhells and Spartans videos and blog posts as they both prepare for the big game.

Carrier Classic Court

Carrier Classic Court Ready for Game Time. Courtesy of Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James R. Evans/US Navy

Also just wanted to give a shout out to the Morale Entertainment Foundation, which provides entertainment for troops at home and abroad.

 

Maren

Experience the Thrill of America’s Cup Racing in San Diego

Maren at the helm

[iframe youtube width=”500″ height=”254″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/KHyL9KdquEE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]

I’ll jibe starboard and leave the boom grinder to the men.” If you understood that, you’re a sailor. If you didn’t, read on. It turns out the list of sailing nomenclature is as extensive as it is useful, if you’re a top-notch sailor about to descend on San Diego Harbor for the third stop of the inaugural America’s Cup World Series. From November 12-20, 2011, be ready to witness a state-of-the-art AC45 wing-sailed catamarans FLY across the water at around 30 knots (read: FAST).

Luckily for those of us who are not world-class sailors, there are numerous vantage points around San Diego Bay, from Harbor Island to Coronado. The heart of the action and festivities will be at America’s Cup Village, dedicated to dry-land fun for the masses, located on Harbor Drive adjacent to the San Diego International Visitor’s Information Center. Bay front hotels are offering deals that equal their spectacular harbor views. And if you enjoy delicious seafood as much as I do, waterfront dining at Anthony’s Fish Grotto is the place to be. I also recommend putting on your Dennis Cooper cap with Next Level Sailing, as I did in this video. A trip around San Diego Bay in the competition-tested America’s Cup yacht, the Stars and Stripes is the perfect place to jibe and grind for yourself!

Guest Blogger

Over the Line – A True San Diego Sport

Sand, Sun and OTL...a perfect San Diego Combination

“We Never Have Any Fun” is a phrase often linked with OMBAC (Old Mission Beach Athletic Club). However, if you have ever attended the Over the Line tournament, you would know different. The annual Over the Line tournament, held every year on San Diego’s Fiesta Island in Mission Bay, takes place over two weekends following the 4th of July holiday. Unlike other sporting events that take place across the nation, Over the Line (OTL) is a strictly San Diego creation. Compared to other team related sports, OTL radiates the beach atmosphere and attitude by only requiring two three-person teams and a small playing field. It’s the perfect game for a lazy Saturday afternoon on the beach with friends. Based on the game of baseball, the goal is to hit the ball “over the line” to score a hit. The game is quick, only three or four innings long.

Heidi Trent Burnett, Chrisy Schultz, Sara Trent- Charlie Sheen's Sister Wives

I had the opportunity to play on a team this year during the first Saturday of the tournament on July 9th. To be eliminated a team must lose two games. Needless to say, my team lost both of our assigned games but that did not stop us from enjoying the rest of the tournament. Unlike any other sporting event that I have participated in, OTL is one of comradely and good sportsmanship. There is an element of good will and fun that permeates the whole weekend. This may be due to less than serious team names that are encouraged if not required. My team name was “Charlie Sheen’s Sister Wives.” Other names are less than appropriate for this blog. The team names are by far one of the most entertaining aspects of OTL. Every year my friends and I listen and write down the best of the team names to reminisce about later. They range from clever to hilariously inappropriate. Amazingly, the announcer says every name over the loud-speaker without laughing or skipping a beat.

Swinging for the Fences...or just the line!

If you have never experienced OTL, it is a San Diego must. This San Diego institution has taken place since 1953 and has grown every year. Even the beach booze ban was not able to stop it. OTL is one of the few events in San Diego where drinking is allowed on the beach. Unlike other events where alcohol and crowds are often a bad combination, OMBAC maintains a low tolerance for violence. They work closely with the San Diego Police Department to ensure nothing gets out of hand. In the four years that I have attended OTL, I have never seen any violent behavior. The true attitude of San Diego beach communities is represented in the OTL tournament – fun, sun and beer.

The finals of the OTL tournament are taking place this weekend, July 16th and 17th. I encourage anyone who has never experienced it before to come check it out. You will not regret it. Remember, observe the five B’s rule: No Babies, No Bottles, No Bowsers, No Bikes, No Boas. Enjoy!

For additional information, visit OMBAC homepage www.ombac.org

Heidi Trent Burnett is a San Diego native and just completed a Master of Arts in History from the University of San Diego. Her master’s thesis is titled “San Diego’s Wilderness: The Changing Landscape of Cleveland National Forest.” Currently, Heidi is working for Bridgepoint Education when she is not practicing for next year’s OTL Tournament.