Nick Karvounis

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 14 – 17, 2014

Run, swim, and bike your way across Coronado Island!

Your friends will be green with envy when you tell them you’re heading to San Diego this weekend.  With so many great attractions and events, there’s something for everyone; you won’t need the luck of the Irish to have a good time.  Check out these top things to do in San Diego during this festive weekend!

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

St. Patrick's Day parade in downtown San Diego

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is always a fan favorite!

There’s a party and then there’s a party on St. Patrick’s Day.  Celebrate with friends across the region at some of San Diego’s annual events including Irish 4 A Day – St. Paddy’s Eve Party Hop, shamROCK Gaslamp Block Party, St. Patrick’s Day at the Glass Door, St. Patrick’s Beer Train Tour, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival.  Read more on our St. Patrick’s Day blog.

Balboa Park STEAM Family Day

Balboa Park STEAM Family Day in San Diego

Kids — and adults — will have a hair-raising day at Balboa Park.

This one’s for the kids – and adults too!  This week-long festival takes place at various locations throughout the region. On Sunday, March 16th, enjoy Balboa Park STEAM Family Day, where more than two dozen institutions in the park gather to present park-wide events. Enjoy hands-on activities, crafts, a butterfly release, storytelling and much more.

Where: Balboa Park
When: Sunday, March 16,
Cost: Children 12 & under free with paid adult admission
>Read more about the schedule of events at Balboa Park STEAM Family Day

SUPERSEAL and SEAL Sprint Triathlons

Coronado Island is host to the SUPERSEAL triathlon

Run, swim, and bike your way across Coronado Island!

This one’s for the athletes… and the dreamers.  There’s no more spectacular setting than Coronado Island for an intense triathlon competition.  The course was designed by Navy SEALs who train on the island, so expect a rigorous race.  The SUPERSEAL consists of a 1,500-meter swin, 40K bike ride, and 10k run.  For the less-adventurous, the SEAL course is shorter with 500-meter swim in Silver Strand State Beach Bay, 20k bike ride, and 6k run.  Whatever you choose, good luck!

Where: 1100 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
When: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Cost: $100 – $245
>Read more about the triathlon on Coronado Island

Bike Tour through scenic Borrego Springs

Borrego Springs two-wheeled bike tour!

It’s a flat terrain course, but still a challenging 80-mile ride in Borrego Springs!

We’ll start with a caveat on this… the terrain is mostly flat.  But you still have to be in shape for this spectacular scenic bike ride through Borrego Springs.  Choose from 27, 40, 67, or 80-mile paved road courses while enjoying the beautiful mountains in the distance.  Don’t miss the landmark prehistoric metal sculptures too!

Where: Borrego Springs High School, 2281 Diegueno Drive, Borrego Springs, CA 92004
When: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Cost: $49
>Read more about this great two-wheeled Tour of Borrego

Art Above San Diego

Porto Vista Hotel hosts the annual Art Above San Diego fair

Enjoy a spectacular view at sunset during this elevated art fair!

This event at the Porto Vista Hotel literally elevates your art collection.  Enjoy a breathtaking view of San Diego’s Big Bay during sunset while sipping champagne on the rooftop terrace.  This open-air contemporary art fair features works from San Diego’s local emerging artists and galleries.

Where: Porto Vista Hotel, 1835 Columbia Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Cost: $5-$10 donations requested
>Explore more about the Art Above San Diego fair

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

Nick Karvounis

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 4-9, 2014

Mardis Gras in the Gaslamp

The rain storms have passed and San Diego is back to its fabulous winter weather – sunny with a chance of perfect!  Check out some great things to do this week:

Fat Tuesday: San Diego Mardi Gras Parade & Celebration

Mardis Gras in the Gaslamp

It’s a carnival atmosphere in the Gaslamp during Mardi Gras

Those who think only NOLA knows how to celebrate Fat Tuesday have clearly never been to San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter for Mardi Gras. The biggest block party of the year features 22 city blocks with 3 main stages and 3 satellite stages, a DJ appearance by Snoopadelic, and a parade for more than 30,000 revelers.

Where: Market Street & 5th Avenue, San Diego 92101
When: Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Cost: $35-75
>Find out more about the San Diego Mardi Gras Parade & Celebration

A Side-Splitting Night of Comedy with TJ Miller

He’s been named one of Variety’s “Top 10 comics to watch”, and that’s for a good reason.  His unique delivery of jokes and perspective on current affairs will leave you rolling in the aisles. Aside from a genuinely funny persona, his comedy is smart and on-the-edge.  You may recognize him from various TV and film appearances including Seeking a Friend for the End of the World with Steve Carrell, and Rock of Ages opposite Tom Cruise!  Watch him in the Moto X “Lazy Phone” commercial above for a quick laugh!

Where: The American Comedy Company, 818 B 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Thursday, March 6 – Saturday March 8, 2014
Cost: $24
>Read more about TJ Miller and American Comedy Company

Run with the Best: 3rd Annual San Diego Half-Marathon

san diego half marathon

Have you been training? It’s half-marathon time!

Grab your runnin’ shoes and enjoy the scenic beauty of San Diego along this 13.1 mile course though the city. This fantastic course begins at Petco Park under the Omni San Diego Hotel Sky Brige and winds throughout America’s Finest City. Enjoy spectacular views of San Diego Bay, Liberty Station, neighborhoods including Mission Hills and Hillcrest, and a final downhill stretch along Balboa Park. And what better way to finish than a block party at the historic Gaslamp Quarter! You can also participate in less rigorous events including the 2-person relay (you and a partner complete the race together) and a 5k for all ages.

Where: Varies – Runners, see your final registration instructions for meeting points.
When: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Cost: 5k – $45; Relay – $80; Half Marathon – $109
>Find out more about the San Diego Half Marathon

9th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Full Bloom

japanese friendship garden cherry blossom

Enjoy the sights and smells of cherry blossoms this weekend.

Winter may not officially end until March 19th, but in San Diego, the colors of spring bloom earlier than most parts of the country. Be part of the Japanese tradition of hanami, which means “enjoying the beauty of the Cherry Blossoms.”  For the eighth year, the Japanese Friendship Garden invites guests to stroll along the picturesque paths featuring more than 150 cherry trees. Cultural performances, samples from the Sapporo Beer Garden, authentic Japanese street food, and activities for the entire family round out a memorable day in Balboa Park.

Where: Balboa Park, 2215 Pan American Way E, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Cost: $6 adults; $5 Seniors, Military, Students; Kids under 6 free
>Find out more about the 9th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival

San Diego Opera Presents a Masked Ball

San Diego Opera 2014

Get some culture: the San Diego Opera puts on a terrific show.

If you don’t speak Italian, that’s just fine.  Supertitles are projected in English above the stage for a complete translation during the show. Plus, the music alone is worth the price of admission. Giuseppe Verdi’s A Masked Ball is the story of friendship, love, jealousy and cold-blooded murder – all told through spectacular sets, award-winning music, and of course, legendary operatic ballads. With an all-star cast of world-renowned opera singers, the San Diego Opera production is sure to leave you cheering Bravo!

Where: San Diego Civic Theater, 1100 3rd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: March 8-16, 2014
Cost: $35 – $225
>Read more about the San Diego Opera’s production of A Masked Ball

La Jolla Music Society Presents SIRO-A, an Interactive Hi-Tech Performance

Siro-A San Diego

You’ll have to see SIRO-A to understand…

It’s hard to compare this unique act to anything else on the planet. To say that they are Japan’s answer to the out-of-this-world vaudeville troupe, Blue Man Group, might be a close start. Fusing visual effects, mime, dance, puppetry, and a rockin’ electro soundtrack, SIRO-A is a collaborative show from six talented performers who interact with technology like you’ve never seen before.  Lasers, animation, and video projection are just some of the enhancements you’ll see when the lights go down this Sunday!

Where: La Jolla Music Society, 868 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Cost: $27 – $67
>Read more about the innovative group SIRO-A

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Browse the San Diego Event Calendar

Benjamin Eastman

San Diego Races You Don’t Want To Miss!

La Jolla Half Marathon

With our gorgeous year-round weather and variety of terrain throughout the region, it is no wonder that San Diegan’s are some of the most active people in the USA. And while many of us choose that activity to be surfing, biking, jogging, swimming or some other leisurely pursuit, some San Diegan’s like to push their competitive limits by participating in one (or many) of the numerous races that are held throughout San Diego each year.

As an avid mud runner myself, I’m excited to be taking on my 3rd Super Spartan Race at the end of the month. Nothing quite gets my blood pumping like crawling through mud under barbed wire, pushing my way through a gauntlet of defenders or perfecting my javelin throwing skills. Here’s more information on the Spartan Race and several other upcoming San Diego races that are guaranteed to get you dirty, wet and beaming from ear to ear!

Spartan Race

8+ mile Mud Run course through the Temecula hills. 20+ obstacles including climbing over walls or through tunnels, balance challenges and jumping over fire.

Where: Vail Lake Resort – 38000 Temecula Pkwy, Temecula, CA 92592
When: January 25-26, 2014
Cost: $95-$140 (depending on when you register)
> Find out more about the Spartan Race

Super Gladiator

Super Gladiator Race

Are you tough enough to make it through the Super Gladiator race?

This 5-mile, 25 obstacle mud run course is the biggest, baddest, muddiest Gladiator event yet!  They claim to have more obstacles per mile than any other race in the planet – and I’m looking forward to seeing if that is true!  Climb sheer walls, slither across muddy fields and rocket down a 150 foot water slide into a pool of mud – who wouldn’t like to do that?!

Where: Barona Indian Reservation – 1800 Wildcat Canyon Road, Lakeside, CA 92040
When: Saturday, April 26, 2014 – Changed to August 2, 2014
Cost: $75-120 (depending on when you register)
> Find out more about Super Gladiator

Ridiculous Obstacle Course (ROC) Race

A 5k “Fun Run” with 12 larger than life, game show inspired obstacles including the Wrecking Ball, World’s Largest Inflatable Water Slide and Jumping Balls. Many participants dress up in costume and this is meant to be a fun time with your friends. I’ve done this race 3 times and highly recommend it – a San Diego race that everyone can have fun doing!

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014
When: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Cost: $55-80 (depending on when you register)
> Find out more about the Ridiculous Obstacle Course (ROC) Race

For those who like to run but could do without the mud, here are a few upcoming San Diego races that might pique your interest:

San Dieguito Half Marathon

San Dieguito Half Marathon - Races in San Diego

This scenic half marathon course winds its way through some of the most beautiful areas of Rancho Santa Fe. One of America’s oldest half marathons, the San Dieguito is celebrating 46 years this year!

Where: San Dieguito County Park in Rancho Santa Fe
When: Sunday, February 9, 2014
Cost: $50-70 (depending on when you register)
> Find out more about the San Dieguito Half Marathon

La Jolla Half Marathon

La Jolla Half Marathon

Are you prepared to take on the Torrey Pines “Mountain” climb?

Race #2 of the Half Marathon Triple Crown, the La Jolla Half Marathon features a gorgeous run along the La Jolla coast, a challenging incline up to the summit of Torrey Pines State Park and then through picturesque La Jolla Shores where it finishes at the La Jolla Cove.

Starting Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014
When: April 27, 2014
Cost: $80
> Find out more about the La Jolla Half Marathon

Safari Park Half Marathon & 10K Run

San Diego Safari Park Half Marathon

Run with the animals at the San Diego Safari Park Half Marathon

Starting at the Westfield North County Mall, this half marathon ends inside the Safari Park. Runners will not only experience the fun of running past vineyards, horse farms and golf resorts, but they’ll also run through some of the Safari Park’s behind-the-scenes areas. Not only will they see animals along their run, but participants will also  get to stay to explore the park after the race is over!

Where: San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido
Date: May 4, 2014
Cost: $75-120 (depending on when you register)
> Find out more about the Safari Park Half Marathon & 10K Run

> Find more San Diego Races and Runs

So whether you’re a racer looking for a new location to run, a visitor looking for a unique San Diego experience, or a local who’s out to spice things up a little, I encourage you to get out and enjoy some San Diego races.  Your body will thank you!

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – May 29 – June 2, 2013

Fiesta del Sol - Solana Beach - Top Things to Do In San Diego

Pack up the board shorts, bikinis and beach towels and head to San Diego because it’s time for an unofficial Summer weekend (real summer starts on June 21)! The warmer weather means plenty of outdoor activities, festivals, music, food and these top things to do:

Filmout San Diego

Filmout San Diego - LGBT Film Festival

Celebrating its 15th year, Filmout San Diego will be screening 35 LGBT films over 5 days. Don’t miss out on the opening night gala and film G.B.F. with a Q&A session afterward with the director and talent.

Where: Birch North Park Theatre – 2891 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104
When: May 29 – June 2, 2013
Cost: $10-$150
> Find out more about Filmout San Diego

Culture & Cocktails: Piranesi

Culture & Cocktails - San Diego Museum of Art

Enjoy art in a whole new way with Culture & Cocktails at the San Diego Museum of Art.

Throughout the night, take a 3-D or holographic photo, have your portrait etched by the etch-a-sketch man, and watch an acrobatic performance by Cristin Sandu. This night features interactive visual elements, Italian soda cocktails, and classic Italian bites all inspired by Piranesi, Rome, and the Arts of Design.

Where: San Diego Museum of Art – 1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: May 30, 2013
Time: 6:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: Members – Free. Nonmembers – $15.
> Find out more about Culture & Cocktails: Piranesi

San Gennaro Festival


The Annual San Gennaro Feast is a yearly festival held in honor of the Saint Gennaro. The festival features a wide variety of ethnic food vendors, live national acts hourly on the main stage, amusement rides and game fun for the whole family.

Where: Qualcomm Stadium – 9449 Friars Road, San Diego, CA 92108
When: May 30 – June 2, 2013
Cost: $8-$9. Rides require additional tickets.
> Find out more about the San Gennaro Festival

Art Around Adams

Electric Giraffe at Art Around Adams

You never know what you are going to see at Art Around Adams

Over nine performance areas (including a new “Kids Zone”) will stretch along Adams Avenue and feature music, performance art, creation of large-scale murals, circus performers, dance, theatre, projection art, intergalactic superhero wrestling, comedians, a CD release party, and a free screening of the Disney/Pixar film Monsters, Inc.

Where: Adams Avenue between Oregon Street and Vista Street, San Diego, CA 92116
When: June 1, 2013
Time: 2:00 to 10:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Art Around Adams

Wings Over Gillespie Air Show

Wings over Gillespie Air Show 2013 - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Take to the skies! Wings over Gillespie is a family friendly event with amusements, rides, education displays, a variety of food and beverages, plus a beer garden. There will also be plenty of action in the sky with wing walking, military re-enactors, paratroopers, and a mock battle with “Pyro.” New this year includes a massive PBY Catalina, a Vultee BT-13 and more.

Where: Gillespie Field – 1960 Joe Crosson Drive, El Cajon, CA 92020
When: June 1-2, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: Starting at $8
> Find out more about the Wings Over Gillespie Air Show

Julian Gold Rush Days

Miners in Julian

There’s gold in dem dar hills! Find some during Julian Gold Rush Days.

Julian Gold Rush Days is a great opportunity to turn back the clock and give visitors an idea what Julian was like in its early days. It’s entertainment for the whole family with Historical encampments (with a chance to meet miners, mountain men & cowboys!), gun fighting, reenactments and mock claim jumping, tomahawk throwing demonstrations, gold panning, and so much more!

Where: 4444 Hwy 78, Julian, CA 92036
When: June 1-2, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Julian Gold Rush Days

Fiesta Del Sol in Solana Beach

Fiesta del Sol - Solana Beach - Top Things to Do In San Diego

Concerts and more at the Fiesta del Sol in Solana Beach. Photo courtesy of Daniel Knighton

This annual family and community event in Solana Beach features stellar live music, an arts & crafts fair, children’s activities, an international food court, and a beer & wine garden.

Where: Fletcher Cove Beach Park – 111 South Sierra Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075
When: June 1-2, 2013
Time: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Fiesta Del Sol in Solana Beach

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Rock and Roll Marathon

Get out and cheer on the marathoners and half-marathoners

Come and support over 20,000 runners winding their way along a 26.2 or 13.1 mile courses through San Diego. There will be amazing local live bands along both courses and a free post-race concert.

Where: Download the Course Maps
When: June 2, 2013
Time: Race starts at 6:10 AM
> Find out more about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

> Browse more top things to do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Know of some other top things to do this weekend? Let everyone know in the comments below.


5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

Stempunk Buggy by David Farish - San Diego Automotive Museum

I don’t know what sounds like more fun for the kids…Steampunk – The Exhibit or Grossology: The Impolite Science of the Human Body. Maybe we will just have to check them both out. Which of these 5 to Try sounds like fun? Or leave a recommendation of your own!

Stempunk Buggy by David Farish - San Diego Automotive Museum

See David Farish's Steampunk Buggy at the San Diego Automotive Museum

1. Steampunk – The Exhibit

The San Diego Automotive Museum in Balboa Park opens its latest exhibit, Steampunk – The Exhibit on Friday, June 1. For the first time ever, the museum is incorporating clothing, gadgets, and gizmos that are not directly related to the automobile. The focus of the exhibit is innovation, and non-traditional vehicles will be presented with classic examples of early automotive engineering and design. Anyone wearing Steampunk clothing and accessories will be admitted for just $5 during the entire run of the exhibit.

Fiesta del Sol - Solana Beach

Concerts and More at the Fiesta del Sol in Solana Beach. Photo courtesy of Daniel Knighton

2. 33rd Annual Fiesta del Sol

Head up north to Solana Beach on Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3 for an annual family and community event featuring stellar live music, an arts & crafts fair, children’s activities, an international food court, and a beer & wine garden. Be sure to visit the Fiesta del Sol Kid’s area with rides, games and hands-on activities. Favorite destinations include the hair salon and the face painter. Entrance into the festival is free.

Where the Wild Things Are Food & Wine Classic - Living Coast Discovery Center

3. Where the Wild Things Are: Food and Wine Classic

This four-hour event on Saturday, June 2 from 3:00 – 7:00 pm will feature fine culinary delights and wines to sample, live cooking demonstrations, music, and animal encounters in the gorgeous surroundings of the Nature Center and Wildlife Refuge. This event will benefit the Nature Center’s animals, exhibits, and programs, including the development of a new Outdoor Living Classroom and Discovery Park on the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge. Guests will also be able to participate in a unique silent auction featuring amazing dinner packages, collector’s wines, and vacation experiences!

Rock and Roll Marathon

4. San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon 2012

Rock out at the annual Rock N Roll Marathon. The 15th annual Rock n’ Roll marathon sprints into San Diego on June 2nd. This 26.2 mile marathon features live music lining the streets, cheer squads, and a huge post-marathon concert to end the race with a bang. The race route will span more than 9 miles along San Diego’s scenic waterfront, including a stretch through PETCO Park. With more than 20,000 runners and 100,000 enthusiastic spectators, this popular event is not to be missed!

Art Around Adams 2012 Banner

5. Art Around Adams

This free, family friendly event on Saturday, June 2nd, will showcase an array of local artists, musicians, outrageous street performers, and interactive installations. More than 75 businesses will transform themselves into art galleries and performance arenas for the day. Free “Comedy Trolleys” will shuttle guests up and down Adams Avenue, while entertaining them with the best comedians San Diego has to offer.

Wings Over Gillespie Air Show Banner 2012

5+1. Wings over Gillespie

The 17th Annual Wings Over Gillespie Air Show, June 2-3, will feature the awesome howl of airplane engines such as WWII bombers, F4F Wildcat, the TBF Avenger, the A6M Zero, the SBD Dauntless, and many more “Flying Museums” including the only remaining of their type, the Northrop N9M Flying Wing and the F3F Flying Barrel. The Air Show will also have a KidsZone area with amusements, rides, entertainers, games and prizes, face painters, education displays, and a great variety of food and beverages. There will also be a Beer Festival to add to the festivities of a great summer weekend for all.


5 to Try This Weekend in San Diego

San Diego Padres Party at the Park

1. Friday Parties at the Park: For three Fridays this month (June 3, 10, 24), PETCO Park will host themed pre-game parties before every Friday night Padres home game. This Friday’s party includes a Taste of Downtown. June 10 will be Margarita Park and June 24 is College Night. Festivities begin at 5:00 pm.

Surf Dog Competition

2. 6th Annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition: Watch dozens of dogs take to the waves at this “pupular” tail-wagging event on June 4 at Imperial Beach. The competition includes dogs hanging 10 in the small, large and tandem (dog and owner on the same board) categories.

San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

3. Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon: It’s a 26.2-mile race and block party all in one! The marathon begins in Balboa Park and finishes at SeaWorld San Diego. Live music and cheer squads line the route, while a killer post-race party celebrates everyone’s victory.
4. Art Around Adams: Stroll along Adams Avenue, Normal Heights and Kensington and see more than 100 storefronts transformed into art galleries or performance venues. Local bands will perform from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm Saturday, June 4. A free shuttle will help you get around (with stand-up comedians on board!)

Fiesta del Sol

5. Fiesta del Sol: Head up north to Solana Beach and see this seaside music festival. This two day event includes free live entertainment as well as an arts-and-crafts fair, a kid’s area and food and drink vendors. Begins at 9:00 am Saturday and Sunday.