Ah, sun-kissed Coronado, located a bridge away from downtown San Diego. Fall is one of the best times of year to visit the “Crown City,” as the beach crowds diminish, hotel rates dip ever so slightly and the days continue to be nice and warm, with an average autumn temp of 74!
If you’re headed to Coronado this season, following are some fun new things to see and do around the island:
1887 on the Bay
Coronado’s new 1887 on the Bay restaurant
The redesigned 1887 on The Bay – formerly the Coronado Boathouse, an iconic landmark on Glorietta Bay that looks just like the Hotel del Coronado’s main turret – introduces new Chef Jess Le Desma who instills a rich Asian/Hawaiian ethnicity into his Pacific Rim menu.
Just down the road, the elegant Mistral at Loews Coronado Bay Resort – featuring spectacular panoramic views of San Diego Bay – introduces an eclectic global-fusion menu by new Chef de Cuisine Adam Cho that highlights his penchant for tapas-style small plates, Mediterranean flavors and passion for seafood.
Joy in the Journey
Coronado Kayaking Tour, San Diego’s only urban kayaking tour
For landlubbers, hop aboard the new Coronado Beach Buggy for a fun 40-minute tour that uncovers all the treasures that make Coronado so special, including America’s Best Beach, historic homes, the charming Village and Naval Air Station North Island. The buggys makes daily stops at the Glorietta Bay Inn; cost is only $10.
Sail along with “100+ Years of Coronado yachting”
Set sail for the Coronado Museum of History & Art (1100 Orange Ave.) to check out their popular new exhibit, “100+ Years of Coronado Yachting,” spotlighting the island’s rich nautical past as a yachting hub. Admission is free.
Let your rainbow colors fly! San Diego Pride is coming up this weekend, July 12-14. The glittery glamorous spotlight shines on Hillcrest, San Diego’s hip uptown neighborhood, during one of our city’s biggest summer events. Following is a quick guide to the big annual LGBT celebration.
Three Must-See San Diego Pride Events…
Dancers at Pride of Hillcrest Block Party!
First, here’s the 411 on the big three must-see San Diego Pride events:
Number One Fifth Avenue – friendly neighborhood bar with patio out back to mix & mingle
Pecs – Bears, oh my! Good times on tap all weekend.
Urban Mos – dance floor, 3 bars, packed patio and great food…yes please!
There are dozens of great restaurants in and around Hillcrest. Standouts include the new Great Maple, Project Pie (best pizzas!), D Bar and Snooze. Other favs: Baja Betty’s (muy bueno Mexican food), The Tractor Room, Yakitori Izakaya Tec Chan (for yummy late-night Japanese apps), Cucina Urbana and Café on Park (popular brunch spot!).
The coolest, closest gay-friendly hotel is Inn at the Park, just two blocks from Hillcrest and the Pride Festival. Their rooftop happy hour on Friday is off the charts!
Go wild at the San Diego Zoo Party!
Groovestars unite at Rich’s nightclub for high NRG music and dancing till 2am. For you circuit boys and gals, four Pride Parties are sure to perk you up (get tickets here or at the door):
Pride Ball – July 12, 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM at Spin Night Club
San Diego is full of rich history. In fact, the history of California began in San Diego when explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay under the Spanish flag and was the first European to discover California.
Centuries later, on October 14, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson reserved a half-acre of Fort Rosecrans on the tip of Point Loma in where Cabrillo first landed for “The Order of Panama … to construct a heroic statue of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo.” Now encompassing 160 acres, the Cabrillo National Monument celebrates 100 years of history with exhibitors from many of Southern California’s federal, state and local agencies, and non-profit organizations during a three-day celebration weekend from Oct. 12 -14, 2013.
But the Cabrillo National Monument isn’t the only other site in San Diego celebrating an anniversary in 2013. Several of San Diego iconic hotels, museums and attractions mark milestones this year.
Century-Old Historic Hotels
The Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla; the famous Hotel del Coronado
Grande Colonial Hotel
Amidst the pristine beaches and bluffs of San Diego’s beautiful coastal village of La Jolla, the luxurious Grande Colonial Hotel celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2013. Completely modernized, yet faithful to its storied past, this intimate boutique hotel harkens back to a quieter, more dignified era. Throughout 2013, the Grande Colonial marks the 100th anniversary of its grand opening in February 1913 with special packages, old-fashioned cocktails and more.
Hotel Del Coronado
Opened in 1888 and designed to be “the talk of the Western world,” the landmark Hotel del Coronado is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Throughout its rich history, The Del has played host to presidents, royalty and Hollywood’s elite and was the glamorous setting for Billy Wilder’s comedy classic Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. The Del celebrates this milestone year with a series of dining and spa specials, guest packages, community events, charitable promotions and the release of a new history book.
Celebrating Science in San Diego
The Salk Institute, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, and Air & Space Museum
Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies
In 1963, Jonas Salk established the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla. Adjacent to the University of California, San Diego, the institute is world-renowned for its medical research and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The 26-acre campus, designed by world-renowned architect Louis I. Kahn, overlooks the Pacific Ocean on Torrey Pines Mesa and offers free public tours.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
40 years ago, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park opened its doors and brought interactive exhibits and the world’s first IMAX® Dome Theater to San Diego. Today, the Fleet inspires minds and connects individuals to science and technology through more than 100 hands-on exhibits for all ages, IMAX films and planetarium shows in the recently renovated Heikoff Giant Dome Theater.
San Diego Air & Space Museum
The San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park celebrates its 50th anniversary. The museum first opened its doors in Balboa Park in 1963. When a fire destroyed the museum and its contents in 1978, the San Diego community came together to rebuild, and the museum moved into the historic Ford Building in 1980, where it resides today. The museum is California’s official Air and Space Museum, one of the largest aviation and space museums and home to the third largest aviation archives and library in the country.
The Museum of Photographic Arts and the Mingei International Museum
Museum of Photographic Arts
The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park celebrates 30 years dedicated to exhibiting photography, film and video. Since its founding in 1983, MOPA has presented dynamic world-class photography exhibitions in San Diego and built a world-class photography collection. The anniversary exhibition 30x: Three Decades highlights one acquisition from each of MOPA’s 30 years and showcases a selection of influential figures in the history of photography, including works by Alexander Rodchenko, Loretta Lux, Thomas Struth, Lee Friedlander, Robert Adams, Marian Drew and many others.
Mingei International Museum
The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2013 with a broad range of signature exhibitions, events and programs. In May 1978, the Mingei International Museum of World Folk Art opened with the mission to further the understanding of art of the people (mingei) from all cultures of the world. Thirty-five years later, the museum continues to offer unique exhibitions and events highlighting the arts, crafts and traditions of cultures from around the world.
Speaking of anniversaries, let us know if you have ever celebrated one in San Diego in the comments below.
Father’s Day is just around the corner! If you’re just making plans and hankering for adventure, I’ve got a few fun ideas in San Diego’s wild and wonderful East County region:
Beer Pairing Dinner
Chef Jeremy to serve Beer Pairing Dinner fit for a king!
Hop to it and take dad for out for a Beer Pairing Dinner at Jeremy’s on the Hill, located down the road from our famous Gold Rush mountain town of Julian. Partnering with Julian Brewing Company and Baileys BBQ Pit, Cordon Bleu-trained Chef Jeremy will serve a mouthwatering farm-to-table dinner dad won’t soon forget!
Where: Jeremy’s on the Hill – 4354 Highway 78 , Wynola, CA 92070
When: June 14, 2013
Cost: $37 person/$68 for two
San Diego’s Gaudi – Hubbell/Ilan-Lael Open House
Architectural wonders at the Hubbell Open House
In nearby Santa Ysabel, famed architect/artist James Hubbell – “San Diego’s Gaudi” – opens up his fantastical art compound to the general public on Father’s Day, June 16. This 30th annual Open House sells out, so buy tix soon! This year, Hubbell debuts a new gallery building as dazzling as his art!
Grrrrrreat! Does your dad love Animal Planet and Discovery Channel? In the rolling hills of Alpine, he can experience wildlife up close and Feed-a-Cat – as in a tiger, lion or leopard (his choice!) at Lions, Tigers & Bears, a big cat and exotic animal rescue sanctuary. I’ve done it once and Thrilling is an understatement! If you bring the kids, they must be 16 or older.
Borrego Springs, San Diego’s desert oasis, is piping hot right now but don’t let the triple digits deter you. Summer means NO crowds and hours of poolside respite. I suggest staying at the swanky new La Casa del Zorro Resort (casitas with spas!). On the edge of town, check out the wild Galleta Meadows sculpture garden (free viewing!), featuring a cuddly new Giant Sloth. Book an off-road adventure with California Overland to take dad and the whole family to Fonts Point, “California’s Grand Canyon” – a contender for Virtual Tourist’s 8th Wonder of the World!
Happy Father’s Day and I’ll see you in East County! 🙂
Enjoy the water and more at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
One of the cool things about being a San Diegan is that you don’t have to own a boat or even a surf board to get out on the water and have a real outdoor adventure. For a family fun getaway, I schedule some play time on San Diego Bay. The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is my home base. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, guests and locals can enjoy the hotel’s Summer Play offerings with free poolside activities for families, daily deals and discounts on boat charters, whale watching excursions, paddleboat or kayak rentals, and more.
Unwind at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina Spa
After a day out on the bay, you can cruise back into the marina and enjoy some pampering at the spa or full service salon at the Sheraton; this includes complimentary parking and use of the pool facilities, of which there are three! After a dip in the quieter Lanai pool area, I followed with an aromatherapy massage at the Sheraton’s Island Breeze Spa. The intimate facility offers workout room, men’s and women’s locker rooms and a variety of treatment rooms offering massage therapy, body wraps and cleansing treatments. Island Breeze Spa has expanded their spa services by offering single or couple massages at an outdoor pop-up cabana that overlooks the San Diego bay.
Beyond Four Walls – Outdoor Yoga
Find inner balance with cool ocean breezes and sunshine at Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina’s Outdoor Yoga
On my next visit, my daughter and I enjoyed the 10:00 AM Saturday outdoor yoga class courtesy of YogaOne ($17 adult, $12 child). Nothing starts off your weekend like doing a tree pose on a lawn surrounded by palm trees while gazing upon sailboats as they glide along the harbor.
Escape the summer heat with a dip in the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina’s cool pool
After yoga, we headed to the Marina Tower pool and my daughter enjoyed some of the kids’ activities planned by the staff. The Shoreline Restaurant, next to the pool, provides full service dining with delivery right to your lounge chair. Rose played pool games and ping-pong then dug into a burger and mango smoothie while I relaxed poolside with my mojito.
We’ve yet to try the family friendly Dive-in-Movie every Friday and Saturday night in the pool; so we might just have to book a room to fit it all in.
Where’s your favorite place to cool off and relax during a warm San Diego summer day?
San Diego’s uptown neighborhood of Hillcrest, home of San Diego’s LGBT community, celebrates diversity year-round with a vibrant rainbow mix of accommodations, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, chic boutiques, vintage clothing stores, kitschy novelty shops and so much more.
With San Diego Pride coming up next month (July 12-14), now is the perfect time to spotlight a few of my favorite places worth checking out:
Where to Stay
The historic Inn at the Park, located right across the street from Balboa Park, is home to the best happy hour in Hillcrest: Top of the Park, a Friday night tradition where hundreds gather on the rooftop to soak up the sunset and kick-off the weekend over cocktails.
Urban Mo’s is fun and boisterous with strong margaritas and booming dance music on a packed outdoor patio and indoor dance floor. Hillcrest Brewing Company, claiming to be the World’s First “Out and Proud LGBT Brewery”(wow!), has 9 tasty in-house craft brews on tap to quench your thirst. If crafty cocktails are more your thing, Martinis Above Fourth is a swanky go-to spot.
If you’ve got to get your groove on, Rich’s with its two dance floors and sexy go-go boys can’t be beat!
Filter Coffee House is the place to see and be seen while sipping espresso and “studying” the crowd for cuties, day or night.
Dinner & a Show
D Bar restaurant is my new fav with its sleek moderne design and delish dishes like Southern fried Belgian – a sweet waffle with fried chicken (yep!). Their macarons are also off the charts! Afterward, head to Diversionary Theatre for cutting edge theater at its finest.
Brunch ‘n Lunch
Colorful Café on Park with its deliciously imaginative breakfast dishes like egg scrambles, Captain Crunch pancakes (yep!) and crab cake benny, is sure to satisfy!
Shop till you drop
Shop-portuunities galore in Hillcrest
Stroll along Fifth Ave. and University Ave. for funky, one-of-a-kind finds. Park Blvd. is great for retro, mid-Century modern treasures.
So have you made plans yet for mom this Mother’s Day? Best hop to it! 😉
Coronado has the holiday ALL wrapped up with some fun – and delectable – ways to show mom she’s #1:
Mother’s Day at the Hotel Del Coronado
Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch
Treat Mom to a Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch in the Hotel del Coronado’s Crown Room.
The Hotel del Coronado’s annual Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch in the magnificent Crown Room and oceanfront Ballroom features a cornucopia of culinary delights. It’s the most lavish brunch around and the Del makes it extra memorable with live music, a rose for mom and special children’s buffet.
After brunch, help Mom rejuvenate with a spa treatment at Spa at The Del. Even mommies to be can relax with a special a maternity massage for only $109, from May 1 through May 23rd (Sunday-Friday) for 2nd or 3rd trimester only.
Mother’s Day at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort
The Gondola Company at Loews Coronado Bay Resort
The luxe Loews Coronado Bay Resort features a Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch on May 12 (12:00 to 3:00 PM) in the Constellation Ballroom. Menu includes breakfast classics like omelets and eggs made to order, oysters, crab claws, shrimp, sushi, prime rib, salads and greens, cheeses and charcuterie, a Bellini bar and grand dessert spread (yum!). For kids, there will be an activity room and buffet. Classical piano music and long-stem roses for all moms stylishly set the mood.
Afterward, go on a relaxing gondola cruise through the Coronado Cays and San Diego Bay with The Gondola Company. The gondoliers sing in Italian…Mom will feel like she’s on a chic European getaway!
Coronado Historic Home Tour
Coronado Historic Home Tour beckons moms this Mother’s Day
The Coronado Historic Home Tour has become a Mother’s Day tradition on the island. Guests have a rare opportunity to walk through and admire six gorgeous Coronado homes, ranging in architectural styles from a Queen Anne built in the 1880s to a mid-century modern and Spanish Revival.
San Diegan’s love their rooftops. So it should come as no surprise that many downtown hotels, lacking in horizontal space, have gone vertical and placed their pools on the roof. Those looking for an urban resort pool experience should consider the following rooftop pools:
Relax under the sun at the Hotel Solamar Rooftop Pool
There’s nothing better than a tanning session alongside a great pool – especially when there’s a bar just steps away! Solamar’s pool deck features a relaxed vibe, comfortable lounges and, for those who want to step it up – private cabanas with bottle service. Bottle service not an option? You’re in luck! LoungeSix is just steps away from the pool area and features delicious hand-crafted cocktails and small bite plates.
Enjoy the view from the rooftop pool above the Andaz San Diego
With gorgeous city views and decadent private cabanas, the Andaz’s rooftop pool is definitely an experience to be remembered! Cabanas have flat screen TVs, offer bottle service – and you can even have a spa treatment in one. For a truly luxurious poolside stay, book an overnight stay in their Cabana Suite which features a spiral staircase to its own private cabana on the pool deck!
Cool off and mingle at the Palomar Pool and Lounge
Palomar’s 4th floor SummerSalt Rooftop Pool and Lounge is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy an afternoon of flavorful food and skillfully crafted cocktails. Whether you’re in a private cabana, posted up at the bar or soaking in the pool, the chill vibe of the Palomar’s pool deck will surely warm your soul.
Best known for its Intervention Sunday pool parties during the Summer, the Hard Rock Hotel’s pool is actually surprisingly small. But what the pool lacks in size is absolutely made up for in Rock & Roll! Set above the Gaslamp Quarter, Hard Rock’s “urban garden oasis” features upscale cabanas and lounges with easy access to Float Bar for all your liquid refreshment needs.
Get a good workout and then relax at the Westgate Hotel’s rooftop pool
This rooftop pool is dedicated to your health, mind and body wellbeing. Opening in 2013, the remodeled terrace at the Westgate Hotel will feature an Olympic-sized lap pool, a relaxing lounge area with a fire pit and jacuzzi, and outdoor fitness and training stations.
Try a signature craft cocktail at the Grant Grill in the US Grant Hotel.
For the special rate of $4.15 (regularly $12) the Grant Grill at The US Grant Hotel, is debuting their new Raw Cocktail menu featuring new craft cocktails for spring including The New Apple Martini and The Melon Ball. These classic cocktails receive a contemporary spin with fresh, pressed juice of the entire fruit.
Celebrate Tax Day at the Commons Bar in the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego.
Celebrate Tax Day with no tax! Sales tax, that is. Situated in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, The Commons Bar will be celebrating Tax Day by offering no sales tax on all purchases made on Monday, April 15th. Try the signature Lemon Pepper or Spicy Ranch wings paired with a draft beer off the new craft beer program from Ballast Point Sculpin IPA to Stone Smoked Porter. Cheers!
Relax at Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in San Diego.
Take a mini vacation to the recently renovated and celebrated Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in San Diego and enjoy 15% off BAR rooms as well as 15% off bill in the resort’s brand-new signature Veladora, the new equestrian-themed bar The Pony Room and the award-winning Spa on April 15. This is not valid with any other offers and reservations can be made by calling 866.233.6708.
Where will you be celebrating Tax Day in San Diego?
If you need an excuse for a little rest and relaxation, you’re in luck: San Diego Spa Week returns April 15-21, 2013. San Diego is a treasure trove of incredible spas, with spas to suit all visitors. Whether you’re looking for a weeklong wellness getaway to restore your inner balance or you just feel like being pampered, you’re sure to find a spa to fit your style in San Diego.
San Diego Spa Week Highlight – Catamaran Spa
Relax at the Catamaran Spa
In need of both an inner balancing and a bit of indulgence, I recently found the perfect blend reflective peace with a touch of luxury at the Catamaran Spa. If you’re staying at the Catamaran Resort, or just want to check into the spa for the day, spend some time decompressing in the Catamaran Resort’s beachside fitness center before your spa treatment. With elliptical machines set on an open air patio facing out towards the white sands and sparkling waters of Mission Bay, the fitness center has all perks of jogging on the beach without the risk of getting sand in your shoes.
Who needs a tv on mute when you have beautiful views of the water?
The spa’s signature Tropical Catamaran Ritual is a two-hour mini-vacation in its own right. Your therapist guides you from the tranquil, Polynesian-inspired relaxation room to a spacious suite complete with a massage table, jetted tub and 13-head shower. The journey begins with a brisk head-to-toe coconut sugar scrub that smells good enough to eat. After a thorough scrubbing, the suite’s indulgent shower washes away the impurities with an invigorating massage from the stream of 13 shower heads.
Once good and clean, it’s time to be wrapped. After being gently brushed with a delightfully tingly antioxidant mask, you’re tucked up burrito-style in a warm, comforting wrap. But you’re not done yet – after your wrap, it’s time to slip into the jetted tub for a soak in coconut milk, followed by a soothing massage.
Sooth your weary body in the outdoor whirlpool.
Still not relaxed? Slip on your bathing suit and head outside to the beachside whirlpool. As you watch the suns bounce off of the gentle waves of Mission Bay, you can’t help but enjoy the moment.
The Tropical Catamaran Ritual is just one of many varieties of treatments available at the Catamaran Spa.
Catamaran Spa’s San Diego Spa Week Offerings
During San Diego Spa Week the Catamaran Spa will be offering the a 50 Min Coconut Pineapple Body Balm Wrap, choice of 50 Min Catamaran Island Facial or 50 Min Coconut Scrub, or a 50 Min Tropical Pedicure for only $50 each!