San Diego raised and New York City educated, I trained as a classical singer before switching to tourism marketing. Now I love telling the world about San Diego's diverse offerings, from live music to live uni. As a friend recently told me, "tough job."
What would you do on your ideal San Diego Day?
For me, a perfect day always involves something I haven't done before. And even though I grew up in San Diego, there is SO much to do I can usually find a way to make any day ideal. Next on the list is paragliding at Torrey Pines. I also need to meet more people with boats. Anyone?
What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?
I am a sucker for street fairs, county fairs, music festivals and block parties. The weather is always nice, the food is always sinful and the people are always interesting. I've been to the San Diego County Fair 3 times already!!!
Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?
Tacos. Why does this question not include tacos? Fish tacos, carne asada, carnitas, shrimp, lobster, chorizo, vegetarian- I don't care. Put it in a corn tortilla and give it to me. Or any creation by the fabulous Jason Knibb over at 9-10 Restaurant in La Jolla.
Latest music purchases for my iPod player are…
Confession: I don't buy! I Pandora. I love everything from Tuvan throat singing to Lady Gaga. But seriously, Mahler's 2nd Symphony. Listen to it. Then we can talk.
Spring into Coronado Beach, the #1 beach in America
Spring is a time of longer days, warmer temps and renewed energies – it is also the perfect time take your lightened heart and visit San Diego, where springtime activities abound. From desert blooms to Zoo babies, San Diego is certain to enliven your spirit this spring.
Catch the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. Photo courtesy of Mark Whitt.
Root for the San Diego Padres this spring on April 9 when they play the Los Angeles Dodgers at the state-of-the-art downtown Petco Ballpark for the beginning of the six-month season of Major League Baseball. Make it a night and start or end the evening at one of the numerous bars and restaurants surrounding the park in downtown’s famous Gaslamp Quarter and East Village.
Take to San Diego’s waters this Spring
As the mercury rises, it’s time to get out to San Diego’s 70 miles of beach and enjoy any number of water activities. Learn how to surf through private or group lessons with Surf Diva Surf School, located on La Jolla Shores. Kayaking through La Jolla’s famous 7 caves is another great opportunity for spring. Choose from one of the many companies offering tours, including OEX La Jolla, La Jolla Kayak, or Hike Bike Kayak Sports La Jolla, or try out the newest craze in watersports, Stand Up Paddleboarding with OEX La Jolla or Surf Diva.
Assassins, Aristocrats and Archbishops take center stage this month for what is gearing up to be quite a murderous March in San Diego’s theatre scene. But do not fear! In addition to an exciting evening of black humor or musical madness, a night out at the theater means taking in some of San Diego’s most iconic neighborhoods such as historic Old Town, beautiful Balboa Park, and energetic Downtown.
Assassins at Cygnet Theatre
Bold, original, thought-provoking and alarmingly funny, Assassins lays bare the lives of nine individuals who assassinated (or attempted to) the President of the United States, including the infamous John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald, in wry musical form. Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman, Directed by Sean Murry.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at the Old Globe
Will Monty Navarro become 1st in line to inherit his dukedom?
When Monty Navarro finds out he is ninth in line to inherit a dukedom, he decides to eliminate the other eight heirs (all played by one incredible actor!) standing in his way in this World Premiere musical of merriment and murder. This witty music hall comedy explores just how low we’ll go to make it to the top!
The West Coast premiere of Murder in the Cathedral with San Diego Opera. Photo courtesy of San Diego Opera.
The American West Coast Premiere of Murder in the Cathedral comes to the San Diego Opera with a score reminiscent of Puccini and extraordinary choruses perfectly able to paint a complex story of faith, passion, tragedy and hope. Archbishop Thomas Becket, brutally murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in December 1170 defending his church against the intrusions of King Henry II, became a Christian martyr and Saint at whose tomb Henry was forced to pay penance. Based on the T. S. Eliot play, the opera, by Ildebrando Pizzetti, covers the last month of Becket’s life as he struggles with politics, religion and temptation.
This March, San Diego offers a dynamic and culturally diverse musical calendar that includes internationally acclaimed Mexican mariachi, Indian classical music and an intense Italian opera, proving once again there is more to San Diego than meets the sundrenched eye.
A Week of Mariachi
See the very first Mariachi Opera with the renowned Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan. Photo courtesy of San Diego Opera.
Celebrate the art of the Mariachi with exciting events around town leading up to the San Diego Opera’s West Coast Premiere of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, the first mariachi opera starring Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, playing on March 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Before each show, enjoy the festivities in the San Diego Civic Plaza including food, fun and performances by student mariachi groups.
On March 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM, the San Diego Museum of Art also welcomes the Art of Elan’s third concert of the season. Enjoy a voyage through Indian classical music and its influence on modern-day composers. Featuring specialists in the Indian classical tradition as well as Robert Aldridge’s “threedance,” a highly rhythmic and lyrical work for violin, marimba and table, this program draws connections between yesterday and today, while reminding us of the transportive nature of music.
Murder in the Cathedral
The West Coast premiere of Murder in the Cathedral with San Diego Opera. Photo courtesy of San Diego Opera.
Opening March 30, 2013 at 7:00 PM the San Diego Opera brings the faith, passion, tragedy and hope alive in the West Coast Premiere of Murder in the Cathedral, based on the T.S. Eliot play about the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in December 1170 at Canterbury Cathedral.
February 22 is National Margarita Day and San Diego is ready to celebrate on this sunny and 60 degree Friday. Try out these local favorites that will have you singing a rousing chorus of “Margaritaville” by sundown.
Just A Few National Margarita Day Options
Fiesta de Reyes
Margaritas in San Diego’s Old Town. Photo Courtesy of Prayitno.
Casa de Reyes not only makes one of the best classic margaritas in town, but it supplies a lush Spanish Revival courtyard as the perfect backdrop to enjoy the afternoon sipping on a Margarita and enjoying authentic Mexican cuisine with your friends. You can never go wrong with their classic house margarita made with premium tequila, orange liqueur and homemade sweet and sour, but I always go for favorite, the skinny margarita, made with premium tequila, lime and agave syrup. If you’re looking for something more exotic, the spicy mango margarita at Barra Barra Saloon, located next door, will certainly hit the spot. And if you choose to try one of each, we won’t judge – it’s National Margarita Day after all!
These traditionalists only mix up one kind of margarita, on the rocks with their house mix of lime and agave syrup, so they can keep customers concentrating on the important stuff: tequila. Take your pick from over 100 tequilas and mescals and have one of the highly knowledgeable and friendly bartenders shake you up a quick, simple and delicious margarita. Combine with carnitas tacos and a side of guacamole, and you have a pretty perfect evening ahead of you.
On this National Margarita Day, why not try Casa de Pico’s famous “Bird Bath margarita”
If your travels take you east, a must stop margarita spot is Casa de Pico, home of the renowned “birdbath margarita,” strolling mariachis and colorful umbrellas. The margarita comes by its name honestly, as the gargantuan margarita could easily supply refuge for a small bird on a hot day. But with its classic margarita contents I’d say the real refuge it is supplying on this sunny afternoon is for you and a friend or two.
Café Coyote, located in the heart of San Diego’s Old Town, is a San Diego classic. Today they celebrate the margarita by serving 20 different types of margaritas all day long for only $5 each. You definitely won’t find a better deal or variety in town. T.G.I.F!
Pop culture doesn’t always paint a pretty picture for the single gal on Valentine’s Day. But let’s be honest, who needs roses and stuffy restaurants when you have dance clubs and desserts? Being single is fun, and San Diego is a perfect place to be reminded of this. After all, Travel + Leisure Magazine readers voted San Diego #2 city for most attractive people. Between beautiful weather and beautiful people, San Diego is always in love. So this Valentine’s Day, San Diego salutes the single ladies and their right to flirt, be fierce, and eat an entire bowl of chocolate fondue.
Bid on Bachelors
The Andaz Hotel goes Red this Valentine’s Day with the ultimate ladies night out. Bid on dates with San Diego’s Most Eligible Bachelors, featuring Cosmo Magazine’s Bachelor of the Year 2011 and occasional San Diego co-host, Christopher Lynch. Even better, this event has its heart in the right place. 100% of the auction proceeds benefit American Heart Association’s ‘Go Red for Women’ Movement. Mingle with the bachelors during a cocktail hour 6:30 PM in the Andaz Wine Bar before the bidding wars begin at 8:00 PM in the Ivy Nightclub.
Get fierce with Lil’ Kim, performing Valentine’s Day 2013 at FLUXX Nightclub.
If bidding on bachelors isn’t what you had in mind, FLUXX Nightclub has your number. This Valentine’s Day, roll with the baddest, um, lady, in the game, Lil’ Kim, as she graces one of San Diego’s hottest nightclubs with a performance of her greatest hits and general fierceness.
Extraordinary Desserts creates Valentine’s treats as pleasing on the eyes as they are on the taste buds.
There is never anything wrong with ordering dessert first, but on Valentine’s Day, there is nothing wrong with ordering dessert exclusively. Extraordinary Desserts has been the fool-proof San Diego dessert joint since it came on to the scene in 1988. Year after year it is voted “San Diego’s Best Desserts” in San Diego Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards. Try the chocolaty Dulce de Leche cake or perfectly sweet/tart Lemon Bars at one of their two locations.
Another great option is the newly opened South Park location of Eclipse Chocolat Bar & Bistro. Not only does Eclipse specialize in making high-quality chocolate infused with exotic flavors, but the new digs boast a craft beer bar featuring a rotating selection of 8 local brews on tap. After all, enjoying some local chocolate with San Diego craft beer sounds like a match made in heaven.
Little Italy location: 1430 Union Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Banker’s Hill location: 2929 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
Eclipse Chocolat Bar & Bistro
2145 Fern Street, San Diego, CA 92104
Visit Chocolate: The Exhibition now at the San Diego Natural History Museum.
Valentine’s Day is a day for sweethearts and sweets. And while we can’t raffle off the former, here’s your chance to get your fill of San Diego’s finest sweets. In the comments below, tell us what sweet San Diego plans you have for Valentine’s Day to win this chocolate contest including a basket filled with sweets from Eclipse Chocolat and four (4) tickets to see the Chocolate: The Exhibition at the San Diego Natural History Museum through March 10, 2013.
Chocolate: The Exhibition at the NAT
Experience the complete story behind everyone’s favorite craving in the Chocolate Exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. Discover the history of how the unique cacao bean transformed from a bitter drink of Mayan kings into the sweet indulgence we enjoy today.
To make the experience complete, visit the museum of February 24, 2013 for Chocolate Sundays at theNAT- Chocolate Tasting, from 12:00 to 4:00 PM. Tasting tickets are $1 each and showcase a variety of chocolatiers, including San Diego local Eclipse Chocolate.
Eclipse Drinking Chocolate with Burnt Carmel & Lavender Sea Salt – Yum!
Eclipse Chocolat is a San Diego local company on a mission to provide premium artisan foods and confections with a unique culinary perspective while maintaining sustainable and ethical operations. Enjoy enticing flavor combinations such as blackberry sage chocolate bars, exotic smoked almond salted toffee and decadent drinking chocolate with burnt caramel and lavender sea salt.
If you can’t wait, make sure to check out their brand new digs opening up in South Park on February 2, 2013, just in time to celebrate Valentine’s Day. For the full Eclipse experience, join them for an exclusive 4 course, cocoa-clad dinner on February 14, 2013. Seats are only $45 each with an optional 4-course wine pairing for an additional $20. For reservations, call 619.578.2984.
Tell us in the comments below, what’s sweet San Diego plans do you have this Valentine’s Day? Duplicate entries will be filtered out and discarded, so adding additional comments won’t increase your likelihood of winning.
Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States.
Winners will be chosen randomly. One winner will receive a four (4) tickets to Chocolate: The Exhibition, at the San Diego Natural History Museum through March 10, 2013 and a basket of chocolate from Eclipse Chocolate.
If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within one day of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen.
The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.
Entries (comments) can be submitted until February 5, 2013 at 10:00 AM PST. Good luck!
Experience the more sophisticated side of San Diego’s Balboa Park.
Balboa Park, the crown jewel in San Diego’s downtown skyline, is the largest urban park with cultural institutions in the United States. The 1,200 acre park includes fifteen museums, eight gardens and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. There’s no doubt it’s a great place to spend the day with the kids exploring everything from history to horticulture, but if you’re craving champagne instead of chocolate milk, stilettos instead of strollers, here is a peak into Balboa Park’s more sophisticated side:
Enjoy Culture & Cocktails at the San Diego Museum of Art:
Enjoy art in a whole new way with Culture & Cocktails at the San Diego Museum of Art.
See The Brothers Size at the Old Globe in San Diego through February 24, 2013.
Make a date with the Tony® Award Winning Old Globe Theatre, right next door to the San Diego Museum of Art. The Brothers Size, written by Alvin McCraney, spins a powerful tale of freedom, desire and the irrepressible power of the human heart now. Make it a night with pre-show dinner and drinks with the California classic cuisine at the nearby Prado Restaurant.
Discover San Diego’s brewing history at the San Diego History Center
With over 60 breweries and many award-winning brews, San Diego is fast becoming a nationally renowned region for craft beer production and innovation. Bottled & Kegged: San Diego’s Craft Brew Culture, opening April 30, 2013, will explore the ebb and flow of beer production in San Diego through history and include hand-on interactive elements and specialty tasting happy hours. Cheers to that!
Learn to the sport of lawn bowling in beautiful Balboa Park.
The San Diego Lawn Bowling Club, with greens nestled on the northeast side of the Cabrillo Bridge, was organized in 1931 with 5 members. Still going strong today with over 100 members, the Club can be spotted on their meticulously manicured lawns in striking white uniforms playing regularly throughout the week. If you are interested in trying your hand at the sport, members are happy to give neophytes a free lesson. Between the beautiful park grounds and warm San Diego sun it might just become your favorite afternoon activity.
A San Diego sunset is only one of the reasons to visit in 2013. Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona.
Thank goodness we’ve all survived the “end” of the Mayan calendar, because 2013 is shaping up to be a spectacular year to visit San Diego. From a new SeaWorld-branded waterpark to the return of Ron Burgundy, read on to discover all 13 reasons to visit San Diego in 2013.
1. Top 10 for Almost Everything!
San Diego ranked sixth overall in online “America’s Favorite Cities of 2012” survey by Travel + Leisure Magazine. Besides placing in the top 10 of America’s best cities, San Diego took several number one spots, including number one best city for 4th of July, Spring Break and Valentine’s Day.
2. Aquatica San Diego
In spring 2013, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will open Aquatica San Diego, a SeaWorld-branded waterpark, located in San Diego’s Chula Vista neighborhood. Aquatica San Diego will combine waterpark thrills with marine park habitats, allowing guests to interact with animals like dolphins, stingrays and flamingos as they zip down fun-filled water slides.
3. LEGOLAND Hotel
Opening April 5, 2013, treat your family to the ultimate LEGO® experience at the all-new LEGOLAND Hotel at LEGOLAND® California Resort. From the moment you arrive at the dragon-guarded entrance, you’ll be delighted by interactive LEGO features, themed play areas, family pool and kid’s entertainment!
4. Australian Outback
In May 2013, the San Diego Zoo will be opening the Australian Outback exhibit, slated to be the best koala exhibit and care center beyond Australia’s borders. For the past 30 years, the San Diego Zoo has the largest colony of koalas and the most koala births – 123 joeys! – outside Australia.
5. Jungle Ropes Safari
In summer 2012, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park unveiled a new aerial adventure, Jungle Ropes Safari. Guests can climb and swing through three ropes courses offering more than 30 challenging elements such as rope bridges, ladders and moving platforms.
6. Multi-lingual Tour of the USS Midway
In 2013, the USS Midway Museum will add additional languages to their self-guided audio tour to meet the needs of increasing international visitors to the museum. The audio tour, narrated by former Midway sailors and included with every admission, will now be available in English, Spanish, Japanese, French, German and Mandarin Chinese.
7. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Celebration
From March 7-10, 2013, the Coronado Cultural Arts Commission presents an island-wide celebration of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum who wrote several Oz books in Coronado. Festivities include complimentary advance screening of Disney’s new film, Oz the Great & Powerful on March 7 at Coronado’s Village Theatre among other island activities.
8. Chocolate Exhibition
Now through March 10, 2013, the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park is presenting the traveling exhibition Chocolate, where visitors can explore the origins of chocolate consumption and discover how chocolate was transformed from a bitter drink of kings into the indulgence we love today.
9. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
From February 1 – December 31, 2013, test the boundaries of your reality as Ripley’s Believe It or Not! takes residence at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
10. Desert Wildflowers
Each spring, the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park turns into a wonderland of color when wildflowers, nourished by winter rains, burst into bloom. The exact timing of the blossoms varies year-to-year based on precipitation patterns, but 2013 is bound to be beautiful!
Scheduled to open Spring of 2013, the San Diego Brew Project will highlight San Diego’s love and pride of local craft beer and become the first all-local craft beer bar with 28 taps pouring everything from major juggernauts such as Ballast Point and Stone to the newer, but no less delicious, players in the game.
13. The Legend Continues
On December 20, 2013, Ron Burgundy returns when Anchorman: The Legend Continues opens nationwide, but there is no better place to see it than in San Diego. Stay Classy, 2013.
As temperatures cool outdoors, creativity heats up in theatres across San Diego. Check out the grandest form of all theatre with the beautiful and bold productions at the San Diego Opera, or get an intimate view into the theater workshopping process with La Jolla Playhouse’s DNA New Work Series. Check out the San Diego Theatre Preview below for more Winter 2013 must-see shows.
San Diego Opera – The Daughter of the Regiment
San Diego Opera kicks off an exhilarating season with Donizetti’s sparkling and hilarious, The Daughter of the Regiment. The story tells of the orphaned French girl, Marie, adopted by a regiment of soldiers in the waning days of World War II. The independent, spunky Mario love Tonio, a peasant, but the Marquise tries to marry her off to a rich Duke. Luckily for Marie, the Marquise is thwarted and Marie is free to marry Tonio. Hear, hear, for opera with a happy ending!
Old Globe Theatre presents George Bernard Shaw’s most popular modern masterpiece (which Lerner and Loewe adapted as the musical My Fair Lady), Pygmalion. The poor flower-seller Eliza Doolittle is in the right place at the right time, just as speech professor Henry Higgins makes a friendly wager that he can change her accent and pass her off as the epitome of English society. Pygmalion is a funny, touching, unforgettable battle of wits between two of the theatre’s most iconic characters.
La Jolla Playhouse announces a new play development initiative, the DNA New Work Series, which will entail a six-week period of workshop productions and readings of new plays and musicals. First up is Chasing the Song, which follows a group of pop songwriters and the changing sounds of music charts in the early 1960’s before the Beatles emerged and transformed the entire music world.
Lamb’s Players Theatre welcomes Pete ‘n Keely to the stage. The year is 1968 and it’s been a thrilling week of rehearsing at the NBC studios for the live telecast of Pete and Keely Reunion Special. This Off-Broadway hit is packed with classic favorites like, “Besame Mucho,” “Secret Love” and “Fever” as well as great new songs.
For a moving and thought-provoking start to 2013, Cygnet Theatre presents Gem of the Ocean. Gem of the Ocean is chronologically the first of ten plays in August Wilson’s acclaimed Century Cycle examining African-American experience in the 20th century. Citizen Barlow sparks a chain of events that drive a community into turmoil and set him on a journey, guided by 285-year-old Aunt Ester, towards personal redemption.
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
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
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.
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.
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.