In Case You Need Reasons to Road Trip

Follow these signs to San Diego this summer.

Follow these signs to San Diego this summer.

Last weekend, the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register both ran stories that will get you itching to hit the road. 

The Times wrote about seeking out great craft beer and specifically highlighted brewery tours in San Diego

The Register did a “choose your own” adventure story featuring everything from the Loews Surf Dog Competition to Fleet Week with a generous sprinkling of tempting eats and beach ideas.  This one has something for everyone!


Sundays are Fundays

San Diego is notably a great summer destination and Sundays seem to shine around here. If you’re looking for something to do on the last day of your weekend, check out these Sunday activities.

Free Fun For The Family
Spend quality time with the family and enjoy these Sunday specials:

Raise the roof for summer concerts

Raise the roof for summer concerts

The Promenade Concert in the Park Series: Grab a spot and picnic in the park.  Coronado’s Spreckels Park hosts free concerts every Sunday evening throughout the summer. On the first and third Sunday of the month, come early and browse the works of local artists during  Art-In-The-Park. 

International Cottages’ Lawn Programs: It’s a small world after all. Visit the House of Pacific Relations in Balboa Park every Sunday as they celebrate the cultures and traditions of countries around the world.  These free events feature ethnic food, song, dance and activities.

Annual International Summer Organ Festival: Enjoy free organ concerts at Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.  Concerts are held every Sunday  June 22 – August 31 at 2 p.m. They’ve got some pipes!

La Jolla Concerts by the Sea: Every Sunday, Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove presents free concerts from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Groove to the music and browse the booths, raffles and activities.

The New Children’s Museum: Everyone gets in free on the second Sunday of each month.  Release your inner child and enjoy hands-on art and exhibitions designed by contemporary artists. (I love the pillow fight room)

Caution, Adults at Play
Let loose and soak up the sun at these Sunday summer parties:

MTV at SunDaze at the Wave House.  Hi Mom!

MTV at SunDaze at the Wave House. Hi Mom!

SunDaze at the Wave House: The Wave House is located adjacent to the sandy shores of Mission Beach. This daytime beach party lasts well into night as world-renowned DJs and special celebrity guests rock the house and ride the waves on the Wave House’s on-land wave simulator.

Euphoria Sunday at Ivy Rooftop: Calling all sunbathing socialites. Enjoy live music from local DJs, cocktails, snacks and complimentary manicures and pedicures on the 7th floor rooftop pool and lounge at the Ivy Hotel.

Intervention Sundays at Float: Leave your floaties at home and party like a rock star at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego.  The hotel’s 4th floor pool bar and lounge hosts celebrity DJs and delightful debauchery.

Sunday Pool Parties at KIN Lounge: Lounge around the private adult pool on the 3rd floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.  This laid-back pool party has down tempo DJs, handmade cocktails and creative small bites.


Best in the West for the 4th of July

ShermansTravel, the renown online source for deals and travel advice, just announced their list of the country’s top ten places to celebrate July 4th.  Guess what?

The Big Bay Boom...loud and proud!

The Big Bay Boom...loud and proud!

San Diego is the only place on the whole West Coast on the list.  In fact, with the exception of a little place called Mount Rushmore, we’re the only place West of the Mississippi to make the cut.

The experts at ShermansTravel called out our awesome beaches and fantastic fireworks.  There are fun things to do and lots of colorful displays of American pride all over town during the Independence weekend.  Here’s a few of my faves:

Guest Blogger

Built For Speed: Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Returns

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon returns to San Diego this Sunday, May 31st, for the 12th year.  More than 20,000 people will participate in the 26.2-mile footrace through San Diego’s streets and highways as live bands perform for them on 26 stages along the course.

The race begins at 6:30 A.M. on the Sixth Avenue side of Balboa Park and ends at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot.  Whether you have peeps in the race or not, you can participate by cheering on your fellow human beings from anywhere along the course as they reach for an extraordinary goal.

Run, runner.

See the guy giving the thumbs up? Ryan Pascual: 427th place in '04 AND a winner.

While you’re out there cheering the runners on, look for the Running Elvi – a group of Elvis Presleys who turn up to run their blue suede shoes off each year.  And who knows what other spectacles may be running past this year?

See?  I wasn't joking.  Running Elvi.

See? I wasn't joking. Running Elvi!

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training program, and in the past eleven years, participants in this event have raised $134 million (net).

One more thing: you’d better believe the marathon will tie up certain roads and freeways on Sunday, so expect detours if you’re traveling in the area.  (Or just bring your running shoes; what the heck?)  Check the official website for a complete list of road closures, alternate routes and anything else you want to know.


This Is A Good Day – Deals on the Big Bay


Find "This is a Good Day" Deals on San Diego Bay this summer.

Did you know San Diego Bay has 34 miles of scenic coastline dotted with restaurants, shops, hotels, attractions, parks and marinas?  That’s a whole lotta waterfront fun, right downtown. 

What’s even more amazing?  This urban playground is serving up the savings this summer!

These “This is a Good Day” deals include:

So, this summer, get out there and make it a great day on San Diego Bay!


The Locals Are At Your Service This Summer

Get all the information you need to know at our Visitors Centers.

Our Visitor Centers are your one-stop spot for great vacation information.

When I’m travelling, I always ask the locals for suggestions.

In San Diego, you can find those helpful, knowledgeable locals everyday at our downtown International Visitor Information Center and at our La Jolla Visitor Center.

The crack team of staff and volunteers are long-time San Diegans and have lots of experience helping visitors make happy happen.

They’re experts on all the big San Diego attractions and can offer great suggestions for getting off the beaten path.  Plus, they can help with discounted tickets and last minute hotel and restaurant reservations.

Summer hours start this Saturday, May 23 at the International Visitor Information Center.  They’ll be open every day, 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At the La Jolla Visitor Center summer hours begin on June 1.  They’ll be open every day, 7 days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Come by, say hi and get the scoop from the locals!


Channel Your Inner Child at Hotel Solamar


Score! Playtime is on this summer at Hotel Solamar.

They’re calling it a “playcation.”  From Memorial Day through Labor Day, downtown’s Hotel Solamar will be offering lots of fun freebies and silly summer cocktails.  My faves:

  • Try your luck at check-in by hula-hooping for 20 seconds or playing rock, paper, scissors with the desk clerk to win a free room upgrade (based on availability).  (How cool is this?)
  • On Sunday afternoons, hit up the hotel’s rooftop pool deck and bar and challenge friends (or, even better, random strangers) to play Wii, Foosball or Ping Pong.
  • Four-legged friends are welcome and cocktails (like the “Pincher Colada” and “Chihuahua-rita”) are on special during weekday happy hours at the poolside bar.

You can also use rate code “SUMMER” to book a Summer Playground package (prices start at $169/night, based on availability) that includes a $25 food and beverage credit, free in-room movie and popcorn.


The Elephant Odyssey Begins at The San Diego Zoo

If you could time travel, would you go backwards?  How far? 

With the opening of Elephant Odyssey on May 23, the San Diego Zoo is taking us back.  Way back…in a big way. 


Moving On Up to Elephant Odyssey at the San Diego Zoo

The new 7.5 acre, $45 million exhibit will feature living relatives, like elephants, lions and jaguars, of the species that roamed Southern California more than 12,000 years ago.  

The animals are moving into naturalistic habitats alongside life-size replicas of their prehistoric kin.  So, you can check out the Columbian mammoth while you watch the Zoo’s 8-member elephant herd meander around the enclosure’s gentle hills.


The Force is With LEGOLAND California

When I was kid, Star Wars was big.  Endless hours were whiled away by me and the neighbor boys rebelling against Darth Vader and the Empire. 

A few prequels and many years later and Star Wars is still big.  Huge even. 

Just look at this kid’s face:

Star Wars Days at LEGOLAND California

The Force is with him.  Love it, do I. 

You can join in the fun June 13 and 14 during Star Wars Days at LEGOLAND California

Darth Vader and the 501st Leigion of Stormtroopers will be chasing Droids (that’s us) and posing for pictures.  There will be trivia, LEGO building and video game competitions and a daily costume contest for kids age 8 and younger or 9-15 with prizes worth up to $500 in Star Wars and LEGO collectibles.  

Mom and dad are welcome to dress up too but, if you were alive for the premiere of Empire Strikes Back, sorry, no prizes.


Summer Starts Early at SeaWorld

Extended park hours, fireworks, live music and special nighttime animal shows?  Yes siree!  Check out SeaWorld’s Summer Nights during May 23 – September 7.  My personal favorites are the nighttime performances of Riptide (think Cirque du Soleil with hip-hop flare) and Clyde (sea lion) and Seamore’s (walrus) comedic variety show, Sea Lions Tonite, which pokes fun at all of SeaWorld’s daytime shows.



Clyde and his trainers

Clyde and his trainers