Benjamin Eastman

San Diego St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

It’s that time of year again where San Diego’s Irish community celebrates in true kilt-wearing, bagpipe blaring, whiskey drinking camaraderie! San Diego St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are scattered throughout the region and there is no shortage of green beer! So whether you’re out to celebrate your heritage or just be Irish-for-the-day (we won’t tell!), get out there, do a jig and keep an eye out for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Harrah’s Resort Southern California

For those looking to celebrate a little early, Harrah’s Resort Southern California will be partying “Clover The Top” all weekend long with a number of events including their Neon Nights Lazy River Party, River Dancers & Fiddlers and a performance by The Fighting Jamesons – not to mention loads of specials in the casino, restaurants and bars!
Location: 777 Harrah’s Resort Southern California Way; Valley Center, CA 92082
When: March 15-17, 2014


We couldn’t forget the Gaslamp Quarter‘s major Block Party SHAMROCK!  In it’s 19th year of helping San Diegans celebrate all things Emerald Isle, 20,000 revelers will swarm the streets of downtown drinking Jameson Irish whiskey specials, green beer and rocking out at one of the 3 main stages of performers.
Location:  Gaslamp Quarter
Time:  4:00pm – 12:00am
Cost:  Starting at $30


Music lovers will want to head to Hooleyfest in La Mesa for an evening of performances by Tony Cummins, Jukebox and Lexington Field. This Guiness sponsored event is raved about every year for its memorable performances. And since San Diegans love our tacos, why not try one of Hooley’s famous corned beef tacos while you’re there?
Location:  Tents at Grossmont Center in La Mesa
Date:  March 17, 2014
Time:  5:00pm – 12:00am
Cost:  $25 at the door

Want to celebrate, but not excited about the crowds and big events? San Diego has plenty of great hole-in-the wall Irish Pubs that will welcome you with open arms, such as Dublin Square, Stout Public House, Gallaghers and O’Sullivans.

How will you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in San Diego? Let us know in the comments.

Benjamin Eastman

San Diego 2013 New Year’s Eve Parties Are Epic!

Another year of amazing nightlife has come and gone in San Diego. We’ve had some top-notch talent visit America’s Finest City this year and if you didn’t get out much this year, make it a New Year’s Resolution to get out more and enjoy some of San Diego’s nightlife!

> Family Friendly New Year’s Eve Events

San Diegan’s like to celebrate milestones as much (if not more!) than the rest of the country and as such, there are a multitude of parties to choose from this New Year’s Eve.  Here’s a modest selection of those parties:

Bottom’s Up @ Marriott Gaslamp

Bottom's Up NYE 2014 at the Marriott Gaslamp

Marriott Gaslamp’s “Party From The Street To The Sky” features both the lobby level and rooftop! All Inclusive tickets include unlimited alcoholic drinks, a great selection of food (think sushi, carving stations and chocolate fountains!), DJ’s spinning top tunes in both the lobby and at their Altitude Sky Lounge and a champagne toast at midnight to start the 2014 clock ticking!

Where: 660 K St, San Diego, CA 92101
Time: 8:00 PM to 1:30 AM
Cost: $165
> Find out more about Bottom’s UP NYE 2014 at the Marriott Gaslamp

FLUXX’s New Year’s Eve Big Top Extravaganza

NYE Big Top Extravaganza at FLUXX

Join FLUXX as they say farewell to 2013 and their latest Fluxxuation “Big Top”. Close out 2013 at one of San Diego’s hottest clubs with music by DJ Karma and Special Guest Rico De Largo live on trumpet. General Admission tickets including entrance and a midnight champagne toast are currently around $80, or spring for the extra $10 and get a VIP ticket which also includes hosted champagne from 8:00 to 10:00 PM and hosted apps from 8:00 to 9:00 PM.

Where: 500 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Time: 9:00 PM to 2:00 AM
Cost: $20-$80
> Find out more about NYE Big Top Extravaganza at FLUXX

VAVI’s New Year’s Eve Yacht Party 2014

New Year's Eve on the Inspiration

Ring in the New Year on the bay with the San Diego skyline as the perfect backdrop

Hosted on the 3-deck Hornblower Yacht “Inspiration,” you and 1,000 of your closest friends can party it up to the beats of Sleeping Giant artists DJ Who & Paulo Da Rosa, DJ Demon and DJ Chris Devoy  This All Inclusive, All VIP experience features unlimited alcoholic drinks and gourmet hors d’oeuvres.

Where: 970 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
Time: 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM
Cost: $179-$189
> Find out more about VAVI’s New Year’s Eve Yacht Party 2014

Big Night San Diego at The Hilton Bayfront

Big Night San Diego New Year's Eve Champagne

There will be plenty of toasting champagne at Big Night’s New Year;s Eve Party

Probably one of the biggest and most well-known San Diego New Year’s Eve parties is Big Night. Sponsored by radio stations Channel 93.3 and 91X, Big Night has 12 different party zones including 6 dance floors featuring both DJ and live band music. Their All Inclusive tickets include unlimited alcoholic drinks, a tasty dinner buffet and fun party favors to get you in the spirit! The party runs from 9pm – 3am and tickets start at $130.

Where: One Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Time: 9:00 PM to 3:00 AM
Cost: $109.99-$239.99
> Find out more about Big Night San Diego at The Hilton Bayfront

The Grand Del Mar’s 3 New Year’s Eve Parties

Grand Del Mar's New Year's Eve

Pick from one of three NYE parties at the Grand Del Mar

Those a little farther north, might want to check out one of the Grand’s two NYE parties.  80’s lovers will want to check out one of SoCal’s top 80’s bands BETAMAXX at the main party, or head to Club M for sounds by DJ By The C and DJ Showtime.

Where: 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA 92130
Times: 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM (each event has different times)
Cost: $50-$180
> Find out more about The Grand Del Mar’s 3 New Years Eve Parties

And lets not forget San Diego New Year’s Eve party mainstays: Hard Rock Hotel, Andaz San Diego, VAVI’s Beach Party @ The Catamaran Hotel, Stingaree and Side Bar.

> Find even more great San Diego New Year’s Eve Parties

Remember, it’s all about having a good time, but be safe and arrange alternate transportation if you’re going to be drinking. We want you out partying hard in 2014!

Benjamin Eastman

Cool San Diego Rooftop Pools – A View from the Top!

Andaz San Diego - Rooftop Pools

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:

Hotel Solamar San Diego

Hotel Solamar Rooftop Pool

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.

Pool hours: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM daily.

Andaz San Diego

Andaz San Diego - Rooftop Pools

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!

Pool hours: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily.

Palomar San Diego

Palomar San Diego - Rooftop Pools

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.

Pool hours:  12:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

Hard Rock Hotel

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego Rooftop Pool

This rooftop pool rocks! (Sorry, just had to)

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.

Pool hours:  8:00 AM to 8:00 PM

The Westgate Hotel

The Westgate Terrace - Rooftop Pools

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.

Where’s your favorite place to swim in San Diego?

Benjamin Eastman

Nightlife San Diego – Rooftop Lounges in the Gaslamp Quarter

Ivy Rooftop - Hotel Andaz San Diego

As I write this blog post I am in the process of planning my evening’s itinerary and have decided that tonight is a rooftop night. Not only does San Diego’s great climate allow for fantastic beach days, tons of water sports and plenty of outdoorsy activities, it also allows locals and visitors alike to enjoy the nightlife outside as well!

Rooftop bars, lounges and nightclubs abound in San Diego – where revelers often relax in front of fire pits, listening to the soft thump of lounge music and sipping on their favorite cocktails.

Many of these rooftop oases are spread throughout, though not limites to, the Gaslamp Quarter. Here are just a few options for an evening of lounging under the stars:

Altitude Sky Lounge

Altitude Sky Lounge atop the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter

Altitude Sky Lounge

Located at the top of the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter and overlooking PETCO Park, Altitude Sky Lounge enjoys amazing views of Padres’ games as well as downtown and the bay. A giant fire pit keeps those who may be a little chilly toasty warm and projection screens entertain with scenes to accompany their low key, lounge music.  Altitude is a great place to post up for a relaxed evening of chatting with friends over a few drinks and taking in views of the city.

Float Bar - Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

Float Bar atop the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

Float Bar

Hard Rock Hotel’s Float Bar features multiple VIP seating areas and a number of fire pits giving of that Southern California vibe. Classic Hard Rock dance music plays throughout the area while guests enjoy time on Float’s dance floor. This area is also prime territory during Hard Rock’s Sunday Intervention pool parties during the late Spring/Summer months.

Ivy Rooftop - Hotel Andaz San Diego

Ivy Rooftop atop the Andaz San Diego

Ivy Rooftop

Andaz San Diego’s rooftop provides multiple areas for guests to enjoy an evening in San Diego. The massive firepit draws crowds on cooler nights, but it is the views of Downtown that truly impress.  And don’t be shocked when you walk into the bathroom area and see someone of the opposite sex at the sinks – the sink area is co-ed with separate rooms for your more private concerns.

Rooftop - Stingaree

Rooftop of Stingaree San Diego night club


As featured in our Gaslamp Quarter nightlife video, Stingaree is a mega entertainment venue with 3 floors of excitement. The nightclub’s rooftop features private, VIP cabanas, fire pits and often a completely different sound from the music playing on the dance floors within the building. For those wanting to take a break from the pounding beats of the DJ below, the rooftop oasis is the perfect place to catch up with friends and scope out your next dance partner.

Well now that I’ve thought about it, I think I just might have to rooftop hop to all of these spots tonight! The weather is going to be great and I could use a little time soaking up the San Diego scene. See you out there!


Shhhhh…Gaslamp Has a Secret Speakeasy

Law Office of Eddie O'Hare or is it?

A girlfriend and I were recently on Fifth Avenue in the heart of Gaslamp Quarter looking for a bar. Actually, we were surrounded by bars – throbbing music, dancing disco lights and crowds of pretty party people.

But we were looking for a secret place, a prohibition-style underground speakeasy. We had an address. Finally, we found it above a nondescript door that read “Law Office – Eddie O‘Hare Esq.” We rang the buzzer.

A beefy dark-haired guy in a black jacket opened the door a crack. “Can I help you?” he asked.

My friend flashed the personalized e-tickets we’d printed out earlier in the day. “We’re on the guest list,” she added. Beefy nodded, opened the door a few inches wider and motioned us inside.

Feeling bootlegger cool, we headed down red carpeted stairs, banked by red walls, to the basement-level Prohibition lounge. Red lighting infused the scene with an edgy risqué feel. Steamboat Willie and other late ’20s era cartoon characters silently cavorted on flatscreen TVs. A slick jazz trio performed prohibition era tunes on a small stage; nobody danced. Music was loud enough to evoke vibe, but not so loud it competed with conversation.

There were maybe 40 people inside – in a wide range of ages. No scruffy t-shirts or running shoes – but few designer labels, either. Men behaved, per house rules that prohibit “unsolicited advances on female patrons.” The setting was comfortable, conducive to easy mingling.

Prohibition is about rediscovering (and reinventing) premium hand-made cocktails. Patrons crowded around the bar for a ringside show. Mixologist Levi Walker had the finesse of a 5-star chef as he constructed my pisco sour. There’s not a blender in sight here. When Walker finished hand shaking my cocktail, he added a dash of Amargo Chuncho to the foamy top. “Real Peruvian bitters,” he explained. “It’s made from barks, roots and flowers that grow in the Amazon. You can’t make a real pisco sour without it.”

Next, Walker dropped a straw into the concoction, keeping a finger over the sipping end to withdraw a taste of the drink. He took the taste, nodded approval, then served me his masterpiece. Exquisite. The straw-tasting was a routine repeated after each cocktail he mixed.

OK, so service may be a little slower here than in most Gaslamp bars – but fine art takes time. Most cocktails run around $12.

Prohibition is open from 7:00 pm  until 2:00 am Thursdays through Saturdays. Find it at 548 Fifth Ave. Before you can get in, you’ll have to get on the speakeasy’s guest list. To do that, go to the bar’s Website: Click on “Guest List” and register. Occupancy is limited, so it’s wise to reserve in advance. Admission is free.


Stairwell to the 1920s

Real Drinks Take Time