Try the Exciting New Water Sport – StandUp Paddleboarding
San Diego is crazy for paddle sports, and Standup Paddleboarding or SUP is the latest local craze. Kayakers and surfers have combined the best of both sports to create a fun and energetic new way for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the water anywhere they go.
As the name implies, in SUP, you stand upright on a surfboard and use a paddle to power yourself around. Today, experienced SUP surfers are riding waves at virtually the same performance level as traditional surfers, while recreational enthusiasts are using them for leisurely tours of flatwater lakes and bays. There are open ocean SUP races, SUP yoga classes, even adventurous athletes who are using SUP boards to challenge whitewater rapids and make long-distance expeditions.
Part of the appeal of SUP is that it feels more natural to stand than lay prone on your belly, and that you spend more time high and dry and cover more ground. Fitness fanatics can get a great all-around workout. Paddling uses the arms and upper body, while the demands of balancing the board exercise the legs and core.
SUP equipment can be purchased and rented at surf shops and watersports facilities throughout San Diego’s beaches and bays. First timers can sign up for instructional sessions, but the sport is intuitive enough that many people choose to figure it out for themselves. A few basic pointers should get you up and riding in no time:
Start on your knees, holding the paddle in both hands, and standup in a smooth, even motion.
Keep your knees slightly bent and your feet slightly apart. Use small corrections of your hips and knees to keep your center of gravity directly over the board.
Momentum is your friend. It’s far easier to balance and maneuver when your board is moving through the water.
Learning to Standup Paddleboarding is a lot like learning to ride a bike: once you get the hang of it, you never forget.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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!).
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
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. 🙂