Corey Ross

Four Great Finishing Golf Holes in San Diego

18th Hole - Aviara Golf Club

Like the ending to a great book or movie, the 18th hole of a golf course should offer an experience that’s both satisfying and memorable.

Few things in golf beat a walk-off birdie, so consider this a short bucket list of places you’d like be lucky to score one in San Diego. The following is a list of some of the best finishing holes San Diego golf courses have to offer:

1. Rancho Bernardo Inn

18th Golf Hole - Rancho Bernardo Inn

William Bell, the designer of Torrey Pines and many other public courses in San Diego, did some of his best work on No. 18 at Rancho Bernardo Inn, a hole that’s as scenic as it is strategic.

This closing par 5 begins with a decision off the tee: Do you try to drive the culvert crossing the fairway at around 250 yards or do you lay up? From there, it’s all about positioning to this uphill hole protected by ponds and a stream. That’s a lot of watery waters for things to go wrong trying to reach this narrow, triple-tiered green. But whether you make birdie or bogey, the setting, which includes two fountains, makes the hole and experience unforgettable.

> Find out more about the Rancho Bernardo Inn

2. Aviara Golf Club

18th Hole - Aviara Golf Club

Possibly the most beautiful finishing hole in San Diego is also its most difficult. This dogleg right par 4 wraps around a lake with a magnificent waterfall and offers a gorgeous view of Batiquitos Lagoon on the left. The lake is a popular destination for tee shots – and second shots, as finding the fairway is no guarantee of anything. The second shot, while played to a sizeable green, is deceivingly difficult. The approach is played into a Pacific Ocean breeze that can push your ball right into the water or out-of-bounds left. Par feels like a birdie here. The pros on the LPGA Tour are even tested by this one.

> Find out more about Aviara Golf

3. Maderas Golf Club

18th Hole - Maderas Golf Club

This straight away par 5 starts with an elevated tee shot over a ravine to a fairway where a majestic giant oak marks the right side. Aim for the oak and then pour all you’ve got into your second shot on this long finishing hole. The green is situated in front of the Maderas clubhouse, which has the look of an Italian villa. You can putt out and then retire to the patio and enjoy a great view of the hole you just played.

> Find out more about Maderas Golf Club

4. Torrey Pines (South Course)

Design-wise, this flat, straightaway closing par 5 may seem fairly ordinary, but what’s happened here makes it extraordinary. As the finishing hole for the PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open, it gets the most TV time of any hole in San Diego. But the lore of No. 18 really ties back to 2008 and the iconic U.S. Open. This is where Tiger Woods trickled in a tricky 12-foot birdie to force the playoff with Rocco Mediate that made that Open legendary and turned Torrey into hallowed ground in golf. Here’s your chance to recreate history.

> Find out more about Torrey Pines Golf Course

18th Hole Honorable Mentions

> Tee Off at 90+ Golf Courses in San Diego

Chelsea

Top 5 Family Friendly Beaches in San Diego

Kids Play at One of San Diego's Family Friendly Beaches
Kids Play at One of San Diego's Family Friendly Beaches

With more than 70 miles of amazing beaches, there is plenty of space for the kids to run…and burn off some energy 🙂

Rarely is there a full week without sunshine in San Diego. The balmy, year round weather makes “America’s Finest City” ideal to visit. Hand in hand with the warm climate, the main attraction is of course the beaches. With so many gorgeous seashores to choose from, my picks are particular when it comes to choosing a family friendly place to lay your towels.

Here are my top 5 picks for taking the kids to the beach in San Diego.

Moonlight Beach

Located in Encinitas, hands down this locals’ spot is my absolute favorite for families. With recently updated bathrooms and a snack shack, Moonlight lets you spend a whole day in the sand with everything you need to keep kids happy. To top it off, there’s a play structure and park for those that want a little extra entertainment. Though it tends to get very crowded in the on-season, try venturing over to the far north as there tends to be a little more space.

> Find out more about the beaches in Encinitas

Seaside in Cardiff

Though this destination charges a daily parking fee, it’s a favorite because you can park the car right next to the sand, making carrying all your snacks, buckets and shovels a little more convenient. It’s a great place to swim and complete with bathrooms in the lot just in case. During summer months, food trucks have been known to sell food for a convenient lunch.

> Find out more about the beaches in Cardiff-by-the-Sea

Fletcher Cove Solana Beach

My favorite way to make an entire day of the beach is to start with an ocean view breakfast at the delicious Naked Café across from Fletcher Cover. After filling up on coffee and pancakes, make your way down the ramp to the water, noting the convenient bathroom locations along with a park for a few rides on the swing. Once you’ve had your fill of sun and swimming in the white water waves, finish off the day at family friendly Pizza Port, a short walk up the street.

> Find out more about the beaches in Solana Beach

La Jolla Shores

Undoubtedly one of the most break taking spots in all of San Diego is La Jolla, known as “The Crown Jewel.” Though many of the beaches have a dangerous “shore break”, the Shores is a gentle, bay like destination that is ideal for smaller children. Also equipped with bathrooms and a play structure, sandwich and ice cream shops are a short block or two away.

> Find out more about the beaches in La Jolla

Coronado Silver Strand

With gorgeous white sands to choose from, my top pick for fewer crowds during peak season is to head to the stretch of the Silver Strand just before the Coronado Cays. Gorgeous beaches await as does a “tunnel” that will lead you to the Loews Coronado Bay Resort to pick up a picnic lunch from their Market to Go cafe.

> Find out more about the beaches in Coronado

> Discover all of San Diego’s Beaches

Martin

Catfish Night Fishing 2015 Season in San Diego County

Catfish Night Fishing in San Diego County
Catfish Night Fishing in San Diego County

Summer at the lakes in San Diego means night fishing for some catfish. Photo courtesy of Lake Jennings

One of my earlier experiences fishing for catfish at night actually was at the Colorado River. We tied up to some tule branches along the shore and fished from a pontoon boat. We used goldfish on heavy gear and I caught a flathead catfish that was longer than my leg and weighed over 35 pounds.

Some San Diego Lakes have similar-sized catfish, making it a very interesting place to fish at night for catfish. Largemouth bass also are known to bite at night, so there’s that option, too. Instead of using a chunk of stinkbait or mackerel dipped in stinkbait, which is done for catfish, anglers throw large plastic worms and baits to try to fool bass. There’s nothing like the explosion of a fish jumping in the darkness during a night fishing adventure.

Unfortunately, the San Diego lakes that have turned out blue catfish over 100 pounds don’t offer night fishing, except for special tournaments. But there are plenty of other options in the county to catch catfish at night.

Lake Jennings

Jennings is another good lake for night fishing. It’s open every Friday and Saturday night in the summer to night fishing. The lake is stocked periodically in the summer with channel catfish. And there are lots of holdovers, particularly some giant blue catfish that might make things interesting if your line starts peeling off your reel. You just might catch a giant blue catfish as long as your leg.

Lake Jennings’ Night Fishing is open Friday 4:00 PM to midnight and Saturday, 6:00 AM to midnight. There are boat rentals and you do need a California fishing license here.

Where: 10108 Bass Road, Lakeside, CA 92040
Phone: 619.390.1623
When: Friday & Saturday – May 22 – September 7, 2015
Time: Friday – 6:00 PM to Midnight. Saturday: 6:00 AM to Midnight
> Find out more about Lake Jennings

Santee Lakes

For a fishing-friendly atmosphere, quality fishing and easy access, I have to go with Santee Lakes in Santee as the top spot to fish for catfish at night. There are seven lakes, and Lakes 6 and 7 are open year-round to night fishing provided you camp there. And it’s a great place to camp. It’s on the edge of suburban Santee, but it’s secluded enough that anglers and campers get a great experience there. Santee’s other lakes, 1 through 4, have special nights during the summer when they’re open to insomniacs. Fishing is permitted from 5:00 PM to 11:30 PM on Lakes 1, 2, 3 and 4. Anglers must have a lantern. It’s shoreline fishing only here, and you don’t need a state fishing license at Santee, only a lake permit.

Where: 9310 Fanita Pkwy, Santee, CA 92071
Phone: 619.596.3141
When: 
June 4 & 18, July 16 & 30, August 13 & 27
Time: 5:00 to 11:30 PM
> Find out more about Santee Lakes

Dixon Lakes

Dixon Lake in Escondido is my next best bet for night fishing. No fishing license is required here, either, just a lake permit. The lake’s night fishing program starts late July following a stocking of 1,000 pounds of channel catfish. Night fishing will be offered every Thursday and Friday night. Boat rentals start at 5:00 PM and must be back to the dock by 10:45 PM. Shoreline fishing is available until 11:45 PM. Call the ranger station for more details at (760) 839-4680.

Where: 1700 La Honda Dr, Escondido, CA 92027
Phone: 760.839.4680
When: Thursday & Friday Late July through Late August
Time: Boats: 5:00 to 10:45 PM. Shoreline until 11:45 PM
> Find out more about Lake Dixon

Lake Poway

Lake Poway is another catfish option in the summer months. The lake’s night fishing program starts June 19 and will be permitted every Friday-Saturday night through August 15. There are boat rentals and plenty of good shoreline to fish. The lake’s popular Adventure Series Family Campouts includes overnight camping for a family and the family’s choice of a rental boat for night fishing or a guided hike with a ranger around the Lake’s Loop Trail. No fishing license required here, but fishing permits necessary.

Where: 14644 Lake Poway Road, Poway, CA 92064
Phone: 858.668.4772
When: Friday & Saturday – June 19 – August 15, 2015
Time: Boats – 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM. Shore Fishing: 6:00 AM to 11:30 PM
> Find out more Lake Poway

Lake Henshaw

Farther north at the base of Palomar Mountain, Lake Henshaw offers night fishing every Friday and Saturday night until 10:00 PM. It’s a bit of a drive, but chances are you’ll have an area of shoreline to yourself here and all the catfish you can fry.

Where: Lake Henshaw Resort – 26439 Highway 76, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070
Phone: 760.782.3501
When: Friday-Saturday starting June 5, 2015
> Find out more about Lake Henshaw

Night Fishing Gear Recommendations

In terms of gear, you don’t have to get fancy for catfish. Best bet for catfish is to use a medium-action 6- to 7-foot rod with a spinning reel loaded with 8- to 10-pound test line and a sliding sinker to keep the catfish from detecting the weight when it picks up the bait. Best baits include cut mackerel or sardines or anchovies, and the more stink bait you rub on the bait the better. Catfish can detect smelly baits and will gobble them up in a hurry. But be sure to let them run with the bait before setting the hook. Give them time to ingest the bait and then hook them.

One of the great things about catching catfish is eating them later. They taste great in a beer batter.

> Fish, Stay and Play in San Diego – An Angler’s Paradise

Corey Ross

Five Camera-Phone Worthy Golf Holes in San Diego

Farmers Insurance Open San Diego 2013 Torrey Pines Golf Course

With nearly 90 courses to choose from, golf in San Diego is a veritable feast for your game – and your senses.

From jaw-dropping elevation changes and stunning sweeping vistas to breath-taking ocean views and brilliant botanical beauty, San Diego courses have all.

The following is an all-too-brief list of some of the most camera-phone worthy holes in San Diego.

1. 3 (South Course) at Torrey Pines (La Jolla)

Hole 3 - Torrey Pines Golf Course

The view from Hole 3 at Torrey Pines is worth the greens fee alone.

This iconic par 3 on the South Course, site of the 2008 and 2021 U.S. Opens, is San Diego’s most famous golf hole. Golfers worldwide make the pilgrimage just to hit this elevated tee shot and watch their ball soar into the blue horizon of the Pacific Ocean in the backdrop. There’s also the captivating view of La Jolla in the distance. Played mostly from 160 or 149 yards, this isn’t the toughest hole at Torrey by any stretch, but it’s certainly the most memorable – and photogenic. Its sister par 3 is No. 6 on the North, which features a nearly 200-foot drop to the green and plays directly into an ocean breeze. A birdie on either hole is a bonus. A whale sighting is a double bonus.

> Find out more about Torrey Pines Golf Course

2. 6 at Journey at Pechanga (Temecula)

No. 6 at Journey at PEchanga

You’ll feel like Paul Bunyan when teeing off from Journey at Pechanga’s #6.

After playing irons shots at Torrey, it’s time to pull out driver to play this awesomely elevated par 4 at Journey at Pechanga. Trust us when we say you will remember the first time you get a glimpse of this tee shot. You’re basically hitting the ball off the side of the mountain and watching it soar like a dimpled seagull to the dogleg-left fairway below. The backdrop is a vast overview of Temecula that makes it seem like you can see all the way to wine country. And cheers to you if you hit a big one here. You’ll feel like Paul Bunyan.

> Find out more about Journey at Pechanga

3. 14 at Aviara Golf Club (Carlsbad)

Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club Hole 14

If this hole doesn’t make you want to play golf, I don’t know what would.

Aviara, which is literally an 18-hole botanical garden, has several worthy candidates, but we have an affinity for No. 14, which is in the most remote part of the course. Like holes No. 3 and 11, 14 is an impeccably landscaped and elevated par 3 played over water. The green here is huge and gives you a second scenic treat when you reach it. To the left is a beautiful waterfall complex that’s home to an array of water birds splashing in the pond and soaring in the skies. A Golf Channel announcer said of No. 14 once, “If this hole doesn’t make you want to play golf, I don’t know what would.” Our sentiments exactly.

> Find out more about Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club

4. 3 Coronado Municipal Course (Coronado)

No. 3 at Coronado Municipal Golf Course

Enjoy unobstructed views of the bay from #3. Photo courtesy of www.greenskeeper.com

The setting of the Coronado course – surrounded by San Diego harbor – makes it unique, but the glimpse you get of the Coronado Bay Bridge, a San Diego landmark, on holes 2 and 3 in particular is something special. We’re going with hole No. 3, a par 4, for the list because it gives you the most unobstructed view. As you progress through your round, you’ll also catch glimpses of passing Navy ships, downtown San Diego and the Hotel Del Coronado. Being perfectly flat, it’s an ideal course to walk and take in the evolving scenery around you.

> Find out more about the Coronado Municipal Golf Course

5. 7 at Encinitas Ranch (Encinitas)

Encinitas Ranch Hole 7

The par-4 7th at Encinitas Ranch isn’t so much about what’s in front of you as what’s behind. Photo courtesy of jcgolf.com

The view at the par-4 7th at Encinitas Ranch isn’t so much about what’s in front of you as what’s behind. Looking back from the tee box, you can see a sweeping view of the two previous holes and a familiar blue hue in the background (the ocean). The scene is a pleasant surprise the first time you play the course and something you forward to when you return. And a bit like No. 14 at Aviara, this hole offers two distinct visual experiences. Your downhill approach is to a green accented by two star pines and a vast view of the valley beyond. When walking off the green, don’t forget your clubs – or to take a picture.

> Find out more about Encinitas Ranch

> Tee Off at One of San Diego’s 90+ Golf Courses

Robert Arends

La Jolla: A Dazzling Destination for Your Wedding’s “I Do”!

Lovely La Valencia Hotel wedding.

Lovely La Valencia Hotel wedding.

Spring is here and love is in the air! San Diego’s sun and warmth beckon couples to begin planning their dream wedding – and honeymoon – along one of Southern California’s most picturesque and pristine stretches of coastline: La Jolla, the “Jewel of San Diego.”

This lovely seaside town is tailor made for romance with breathtaking scenery, sparkling beaches, close to perfect year-round weather and elegant venues that go above and beyond to make your big day a memorable one.

A few of La Jolla’s Most Notable Wedding Offerings

The romantic Lodge at Torrey Pines.

The romantic Lodge at Torrey Pines.

Situated on coastal bluffs with panoramic views of the world-renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course, The Lodge at Torrey Pines dazzles with its grand California Craftsman setting and offers three all-inclusive wedding packages that cover everything from the ceremony, reception and cake cutting to deluxe accommodations for the wedding couple.

Nestled in the heart of Torrey Pines mesa, the enchanting Spanish rancho-style Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa welcomes wedding couples with richly landscaped outdoor spaces and elegant interior event rooms. Their Romance & Rendezvous Stay Package, perfect for honeymoons, features accommodations and 50-minute couple’s massages; upgrade to the Couples Bungalow for the ultimate private romantic escape.

Beachside wedding bliss at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

Beachside wedding bliss at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club.

The landmark La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club celebrates 80 years of “happily-ever-afters” on one of SoCal’s few private beaches. La Jolla Shores Hotel, its adjacent sister property, is equally ideal for beachfront nuptials.

In La Jolla Village, the chic La Valencia Hotel has become a tradition for wedding couples, featuring indoor and outdoor venues with phenomenal ocean views. If money is no object (translation: ULTRA-luxurious), check out La V’s Ultimate Wedding Collection’s California Experience which transforms the whole hotel into the wedding party’s private Mediterranean-style villa!

Bride at the Grande Colonial hotel.

Bride at the Grande Colonial hotel.

A perfect marriage of historic grandeur and modern luxury await wedding couples at the Grande Colonial, offering postcard-perfect settings overlooking the Pacific. Their Wedding Reception Package includes tray passed hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast and one-night stay for the newlyweds, complete with breakfast in bed the following morning.

Two other fabulously unique La Jolla wedding locations are the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego with ocean views and a modern architectural backdrop, and Birch Aquarium at Scripps, pairing the enchantment “under the sea” with stunning views of the Pacific.

> Plan Your Dream Wedding in San Diego

If you’re recently engaged, I propose you check out La Jolla for a wedding that will seriously wow you and your family and friends! 🙂

Brent Bernasconi

What’s Happening and New for the 2015 Padres Home Opener Series

Inside Petco - Courtesy Petco Park

It’s been a busy offseason for the San Diego Padres and everyone is getting excited about the additions of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Wil Myers, Derek Norris, Craig Kimbrel and the humongous new screen in Petco Park!

If you are lucky enough to be here in San Diego this weekend, here’s what’s going on during the 2015 Padres home opener series and also what’s new both inside and outside Petco Park.

Padres Opening Series Against the Giants

Padres Home Opener - Courtesy Petco Park

Watch the Padres take on the San Francisco Giants at beautiful Petco Park

To kick off the 2015 home season, the San Diego Padres will take on the current World Series Champs, the San Francisco Giants. While the home opener on Thursday has been sold out for some time, there are still tickets available for the remaining three games.

For those lucky enough to score tickets for this weekend’s series, the Padres have some great promotions each for each game:

  • Thursday, 9 April – Padres Fedora and 2015 Schedule Cling
  • Friday, 10 April – Party in the Park
  • Saturday, 11 April – Postgame Laser Show
  • Sunday, 12 April – KidsFest and Military Opening Day

> Find out more about Padres Home Opener vs Giants

5th Annual East Village Opening Day Block Party

5th Annual East Village Opening Day Block Party

For the fifth year in a row, the East Village Association celebrates the opening of the MLB baseball season as the San Diego Padres open the gates of Petco Park to host the San Francisco Giants.

Show your team pride and “root, root, root for the home team” as the East Village kicks-off the party. Local FM radio station The Mighty 1090 will be broadcasting live from the block party.

  • Enjoy live entertainment from local bands and DJ’s
  • Thirst-quenching local craft beer garden between 8th and 9th Avenue featuring Mission Brewery, Stone Brewing Co., and MonkeyPaw
  • Specialty baseball-themed cocktails from 619 Vodka, San Diego’s ultra premium vodka.
  • Great food selections from delicious local restaurants and fantastic food trucks between 6th and 7th Avenue
  • Country music themed block between 7th and 8th Ave.
  • Plenty of interactive games and entertainment!

Where: J Street Between 6th and 10th Avenues, San Diego, CA 92101
When: April 9, 2015
Time: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about 5th Annual East Village Opening Day Block Party

What’s New in Petco Park

New High Def Video Board

The new screen out in left field is impossible to miss. At 61-feet tall and 123-feet wide, baseball fans will be able to see the game up close no matter which seat you are in.

Deep Eddy Vodka Hideaway

Deep Eddy Vodka Hideaway Petco Park

Are you more into handcraft cocktails and not craft beer? Then the new Deep Eddy Vodka Hideaway in the left-field corner terrace is the place to you! The signature cocktails will be made from Deep Eddy Ruby Red and Deep Eddy Lemon vodkas, both crafted with real California Grapefruits and lemons. If you don’t want to miss much of the game walking to the Hideaway, the cocktails will also be available at all the bars throughout the park.

What’s New Right Outside Petco Park

Before you head into Petco Park, check out these new additions to the East Village Area:

  • Stella Public House
    Where: 1429 Island Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
    What to Expect: Farm to Table Pizza and Craft Beer
  • Bottega Americana
    Where: 1195 Island Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
    What to Expect: Everything Italian from a salumeria to wood-fired pizza to fresh seafood.
  • Half Door Brewing
    Where: 903 Island Ave. San Diego, CA 92101
    What to Expect: A traditional Irish countryside pub with a lineup of in-house craft beer.
  • Comun Kitchen & Tavern
    Where: 935 J Street, San Diego, CA 92101
    What to Expect: Cocktails, Craft Beer, Great Food, and Good Tunes.
  • Fairweather
    Where: 793 J St. San Diego, CA 92101
    What to Expect: A rooftop oasis featuring drinks from sunny places.
Corey Ross

A Look At Aviara Golf Club – Host of the LPGA’s Kia Classic

Aviara Golf Club Photography - Brian Oar - Fairways+Greens
Aviara Golf Club Photography - Brian Oar - Fairways+Greens

Tee off where the pro’s play with a round of 18 at Aviara Golf Club

Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, the annual host of the LPGA’s KIA Classic, is routinely rated one of California’s top resort courses and is the only Arnold Palmer design in San Diego. Impeccable landscaping and being situated next to the tranquil Batiquitos Lagoon define the property, which also features dramatic elevation changes on the front nine.

Each hole is truly a unique experience at Aviara.

The property’s amenities include: a two-story, 32,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial clubhouse and the adjoining Argyle Steakhouse with indoor and outdoor balcony seating; showers, locker rooms; an upscale golf shop, driving range and an oversized practice putting green.

For those unfamiliar with Aviara Golf Club, we provide the following five highlights of the course and overall playing experience.

1. Immaculate landscape

On the first tee, the starter welcomes you to an 18-hole botanical garden, and that’s exactly what Aviara Golf Club is. An amazing array of plants and flowers accent every hole. The course is truly a visual treat. There’s always something in bloom at Aviara.

2. Oversized greens

Aviara is known for having greens the size of helipads. Get ready to stroke some of the longest putts you’ve ever hit if you can’t knock it close.

The greens are the course’s defining characteristic, which is funny considering they were originally a construction mistake. The construction crew doubled the size of the greens on the front nine. Rather than tear up the greens, course officials chose to double the size of the greens on the back to match.

The result is what you might term a happy accident, as players now look forward to the sizable undulating greens at Aviara Golf Club.

3. Outstanding par 3s

The strength of the course is its par 3s, which many consider as a group to be the best in San Diego. Three of the four feature carries over water and are, again, impeccably landscaped. No. 3, a short par 3 with ponds in front and right, is considered the course’s signature hole. No. 6, the only one without water, is the toughest of the bunch. It’s a long uphill, a nearly 200-yard carry, to a blind green. An ocean crosswind can complicate matters even more here. The two par 3s on the back are all carry over water, with No. 14 being from an elevated tee box. You will want an iron and a camera phone on the par 3s because they are truly beautiful golf holes.

4. Sweet Treats

Aviara loves to tempt your sweet tooth. There are fresh-baked cookies available next to the putting green and a special treat waiting for you on the course. The course marshal usually greets you on the 8th green with a bucket of Tootsie Pops. Hopefully you’re walking off the green with birdie, but if not, you’ve at least go a consolation prize.

5. 18, a beauty and a beast

Besides having the best par 3s, Aviara may also boast the toughest closing hole in the county. This dogleg right offers a beautiful view of the Batiquitos Lagoon from the tee. Savor the view because you might not like what happens next. There’s water right, OB left and likely an ocean breeze in your face. Ideally, you want to place you tee shot just inside the fairway bunker on the left and we recommend clubbing down to a 3-wood if necessary to do it.

You just want to be in the fairway here and not the water. Then you’ve got a long, narrow approach into a green where water is still in play on the left, cascading down a gorgeous waterfall. Par is a great score here, but here’s guessing it’ll take you a few rounds to card one. After playing this course nearly a dozen times, I’m still waiting.

> Book a Tee Time at One of San Diego’s 90+ Golf Courses

Aviara Golf Club Information

Where: 7447 Batiquitos Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011
Book a Tee Time: 760.603.6900
> Find out more about Aviara Golf Club

Robert Arends

Rock Out – Rock Climbing in Mission Valley and Beyond!

Nope, we’re not talking rock concerts, but rather rock climbing! Located in the center of San Diego, within easy reach of most major attractions and activities, Mission Valley is the gateway to some of the best rock climbing and bouldering in Southern California.

If you’re looking for some serious face climbing (ascending a vertical rock face using finger holds and edges), scaling the best new handcrafted rock climbing wall in San Diego or just hiking to amazing photo-worthy rock formations (bring your camera!), Mission Valley and environs has something for everyone.

Following are a few standouts:

Grotto Climbing & Yoga

Mission Valley's new Grotto Rock Climbing & Yoga

Mission Valley’s cool new Grotto Climbing & Yoga

The new Grotto Climbing & Yoga is perfect for all experience levels (translation: you don’t need to be a pro). This urban rock climber’s dream features a massive 7,000-square-foot climbing/bouldering wall with 13,000 handmade holds that mimics San Diego’s rocky climbing trails. This is the spot to hone your rock climbing skills before heading into our great outdoors. Afterward, relax your weary muscles and Zen out in their studio offering 11 types of yoga classes.

Check out this cool time-lapse video of the action at Grotto Climbing!

Mission Trails Regional Park’s Mission Gorge

Climber's Loop Trail along Mission Gorge in Mission Trails Regional Park

Climber’s Loop Trail along Mission Gorge in Mission Trails Regional Park

For climbers ready to ascend real rock walls, Mission Gorge, part of Mission Trails Regional Park – one of largest urban parks in the U.S. – is San Diego’s best and oldest established climbing area, encompassing over two miles of the San Diego River. The granite slopes here are steep (40 to 80 feet high) and slick, offering a mix of crack and face climbing.

Main Climbing Wall in popular Mission Gorge

Main Climbing Wall in Mission Gorge

The one-mile Climber’s Loop Trail leads to a great mix of rock climbing areas, including a popular Main Climbing Wall, The Thumb, Skyline Pinnacle, Lunch Rock, Limbo (full of granite towers) and Middle Earth (calling all J.R.R. Tolkien fans!).

Santee Boulders

A bouldering playground at Santee Boulders!

A bouldering playground at Santee Boulders!

East of Mission Valley, the Santee Boulders is San Diego’s most popular bouldering area. (Bouldering is the practice of climbing on large boulders vs. rock cliffs 😉

Potato Chip Rock

The popular Potato Chip Rock atop Mt. Woodson Trail

The popular Potato Chip Rock atop Mt. Woodson Trail

There’s also the famous Potato Chip Rock on the Mt. Woodson Trail in Poway, which attracts shutterbugs galore. Our friends at So San Diego Tours did a great write-up on the hike up to this aptly named, narrow strip of stone.

If you’re up for a rock solid adventure in San Diego, look no further than Mission Valley and a couple popular points to the east. 🙂

Brent Bernasconi

San Diego Crew Classic Returns to Mission Bay – March 28-29, 2015

Mens Competition - San Diego Crew Classic
Mens Competition - San Diego Crew Classic

Catch the excitement of one of the premier regattas, the San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay

Regarded as the first major regatta of the year, the San Diego Crew Classic brings together thousands of athletes from more than 100 universities, clubs and high school programs from across the United States to participate in this premier rowing event in San Diego’s Mission Bay.

What to Expect at the Crew Classic

The Races

There will be plenty of racing to see whether you’re an early bird or a late riser. Racing starts at 7:30 AM and ends each day at 6:30 PM.

Amenities

You can get up close to the action by watching the races on the Jumbotron located near the Sierra Nevada Beer Garden. There will also be a food court, merchandise tens and a trade show.

Sierra Nevada Beer Garden

Located right on the shore, the beer garden is one of the best spots to watch the races. Bartenders will be pouring Sierra Nevada’s brews from 2:00 to 8:00 PM on Friday, 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Saturday, and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sunday. You must be 21 to enter the beer garden.

Classic Brunch by the Bay

Located in the Champions Pavilion, Brunch by the Bay will feature a delicious brunch by Peartree’s catering and the chance for brunchers to see the boats cross the finish line, participate in raffles, and auctions to raise funds for the continued support of the regatta! Brunch by the Bay will take place on Sunday, March 29th and tickets are $195 each.

> Purchase Brunch by the Bay Tickets

Getting to the San Diego Crew Classic

Free parking and a free shuttle are available at Ski Beach Park, Vacation Rd, San Diego, CA 92109. The shuttle will start running around 5:30 AM and finish about 45 minutes after the last race.

> Directions to the Race Site

San Diego Crew Classic Information

Where: Corona Oriente Road, San Diego, CA 92109
When: March 28-29, 2015
Cost: $12-$15
> Find out more about the San Diego Crew Classic