Ann Wycoff

Bliss on a Budget – 5 Affordable Spas in San Diego

Karma - Affordable Spas in San Diego
Karma - Affordable Spas in San Diego

Rejuvenate and relax while not breaking the bank at one of these affordable spas in San Diego. Photo courtesy of Karma Spa and Ed Alfaro

A spa experience is no longer considered just an indulgent day of pampering, as taking the time to de-stress and calm the body and mind has myriad health and wellness benefits. While not everyone can afford the high prices at many luxurious destination spas and hotels, San Diego has some reasonably priced gems tucked throughout town, where a little relaxation and rejuvenation doesn’t have to break the bank.

Happy Buddha

Off Convoy Street in Kearney Mesa, Happy Buddha specializes in Chinese reflexology. Eight comfy maroon recliners welcome guests to sit back and relax. After soaking your feet in hot water infused with Chinese herbs and enjoying a head, neck and back massage for 20 minutes, each foot receives 20 heavenly minutes of reflexology, believed stimulate elimination, improve circulation and support the immune system. All for $29.99. Afterward, drift next door to the famous Dumpling Inn for authentic northern Chinese fare.

Where: 4619 Convoy St., Suite E, San Diego, CA 92111
> Find out more about Happy Buddha

Massage Thai Way

At Massage Thai Way in Linda Vista and Mission Valley, an authentic 60-minute Thai massage only costs $45. White curtains separate long firm mattresses where expert Thai therapists perform deep massage and stretching techniques to elongate the body, improve posture, open up energy blockage and improve circulation.

Linda Vista – 2354 Ulric St Ste A, San Diego, CA 92111
Mission Valley – 6690 Mission Gorge Rd, Suite P, San Diego CA, 92120
> Find out more about Massage Thai Way

Karma Spa

Karma Spa has two locations, one in Hillcrest, the other in Carlsbad.  These pretty spas, which incorporate colorful lighting and soothing water features, offer an excellent menu of deluxe treatments such as hot stone and couples massage, French facials, infrared sauna therapy and ionic detoxing footbaths. Brow waxing runs only $10 and their Foot and Body Fusion Massage is a mere $36. The friendly therapists are well-trained and the prices are more than fair, making it possible for many people to reap the benefits of a spa day.

Hillcrest – 3969 1st Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Carlsbad – 
2614 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA. 92008
> Find out more about Karma Spa

The Hidden Spa

In Ocean Beach, The Hidden Spa is another affordable sanctuary with some of the best deals on skin care in the city. Their European Facial, performed by skillful estheticians, involves a deep cleanse, exfoliation, gentle extractions, massage, aromatherapy, and mask, which costs only $60. Their mini-facial, a 30-minute skin refresher and hydration treatment is $40.

Where: 4969 Santa Monica Ave, San Diego CA 92107
> Find out more about the Hidden Spa

Massage Envy

While Massage Envy are membership spas, they can be found all over the country, so it’s worth joining if you can commit to a monthly massage. These no-frills franchises are clean, home to good therapists and make it possible to get a solid one-hour massage for $59 and under.

> Find out more about Massage Envy

> Rejuvenate the Body and Soul at San Diego Spas

Please note: Spa prices are as of May 2015.

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

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

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


A Few of the Best Dive Bars to Visit in San Diego

San Diego Dive Bars
San Diego Dive Bars

How many of these San Diego dive bars have you visited?

San Diego may be known for its near perfect weather year round, but what many do not know is that the nightlife in this 75 degree city stretches from the Mexico border to the North County and there is something to do almost every night of the week.

But San Diego’s nightlife isn’t just about clubs! If large-scale clubs aren’t your thing, there are plenty of dive bars and lounges sprinkled throughout the county.

Here are the some of best dive bars you want to visit while in San Diego.

Dive Bars in Encinitas

Starting in the North County, you can find not one but two bars side by side. The Saloon and Shelter in Encinitas that are popular among residents of the North. Both located on South Coast Highway 101, each offers a variety of events including live music and DJ’s playing both top 40, dance music and classics. The Saloon also has a jukebox for your listening pleasure. Shelter launched a casual dining menu in late 2014 so if you’re hungry after one too many shots, hop on over there.

Classy Dive Bars in La Jolla

Moving towards the south we find ourselves heading farther west towards the coast and into the area of La Jolla. This neighborhood is known for its high-end cars, stars and bars. In other words, it’s fancy! You can take a nice stroll down Prospect St. and have some cocktails at La Valencia Hotel before heading to Prospect Bar & Grill. On Sundays you’ll get a great view from the rooftop and during the summer they have guest DJ’s so you can sip a martini and dance to house/dance music as you watch that gorgeous sunset in those fancy pants.

Dive Bars by the Beach

Just south are the more casual beach communities of Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach. Each neighborhood has its own very unique character so whether you’re interested in watching buskers in OB, surfers and college students party in PB or families ride the rollercoaster in MB, you’ll be able to find a sweet watering hole somewhere. In PB, there are plenty of clubs for the college age demographic, but a favorite spot for those straying from Rhianna remixes is the Silver Fox Lounge on Garnet Ave. A classic dive bar with pool tables, darts and all.

A Bit More Urban Dive Bars

The center of the county soon becomes dense with many eclectic and vibrant neighborhoods including Hillcrest, Bankers Hill, Golden Hill, Normal Heights, North Park and South Park among many others. Being a native of Golden Hill and North Park myself, I have an affinity for these and surrounding neighborhoods. One of the older dive bars located in North Park is Livewire on El Cajon Blvd. This is where you’ll often find bartenders on their nights off, listening to great music in the near dark. They even have guest DJ’s come in that tend bar, or are regulars there. In South Park, Whistle Stop Bar is a cash only staple of the neighborhood that has been around since the late 70s. You can hang at the bar or on certain nights you can listen to anything from 80s vs 90s, to New Wave or live music and dance. Warning, it gets warm in there.

For those searching for some craft cocktails made by gentlemen in bowties and beards or ladies that know whiskey like the back of their hand, head over to Polite Provisions on Adams Ave. in Normal Heights. You may feel like you’re in the bar of the Titanic, but that is one of the reasons this spot is so awesome. The details of the décor compliment the details put into each cocktail. Both are exquisite. This is a great place to try drinks you’ve never heard of. You can walk across the street afterwards to dance at AC Lounge, a lounge/club that won’t overwhelm your senses. They even have a small VIP room with the only LED dance floor in San Diego. If you preferred camping over disco in the 70s, head over to Sycamore Den, more great craft cocktails and you’ll feel like you’re in a cabin with the fireplace, 70s rock playing and orange & brown tones of the décor. Very campy indeed!

Dive into these Bars in Hillcrest and Banker’s Hill

Heading closer to downtown we enter Hillcrest and Banker’s Hill. Hillcrest is known worldwide for being a neighborhood that supports the LGBT community and there is always a party around. There are several places to grab drinks here but some favorites are The Alibi, Urban Mo’s and Uptown Tavern. All are within walking distance on University Avenue. Banker’s Hill is in a curious space in between Hillcrest and downtown San Diego and there are some gems to be found here. Nunu’s is a bar straight out of the 70s as well (think Three’s Company), Cherry Bomb is another bartender/service industry favorite dive with some of the stiffest pours around and The Balboa Bar & Grill has some great local bands.

Finally – Dive Bars in Downtown San Diego

After naming so many bars…you’re probably already buzzed just thinking about them. But Wait! There’s More! We have arrived to Downtown San Diego, the heart of the city and where crowds flock every single weekend (and some weeknights) to drink and dance. I understand, you’re not into the Vegas style clubs and that’s ok. You want a smaller, quainter place to order one of 3,875 craft beers on tap or maybe just an Old Fashioned. I get it and I like it! First stop is El Dorado, located on the edge of downtown. Ryan Kuntz is usually behind the bar and will be sure to offer you some great suggestions for cocktails.  There is a great selection of oldies and rock and roll on the jukebox and if you feel like killin’ some game they have a sweet Buck Hunter video game console there. Another hidden gem, literally, is Noble Experiment, found behind a fake wall inside Neighborhood on 8th and G St. They house award-winning bartenders, Trevor Easterman (GM) and Adele Stratton and have been named one of the best craft cocktail bars in America by several publications including Esquire and Playboy Magazine. It’s a very small place so be sure to make a reservation or plan on waiting.

Speaking of small bars, how about visiting the smallest bar in San Diego? Pop’s Liquor Cabinet is named appropriately as it only has 4 seats in the 157sq foot space. JJ Licari, a owning partner of the preciously petite place, helped opened this spot on F St. in between large clubs so if you blink you may miss it! I recommend popping in for a drink before you wander around the Gaslamp Quarter. There will be more bottles of booze than people fit in there so the ratio is ideal. If you happen to enjoy cash only spots where the only things served are well drinks and beer then you will love Star Bar located on E St. between 4th and 5th Avenues. You are not allowed to say you live in San Diego until you have a Star Bar story. If jet lag has you wide awake at 6:00 AM you’re in luck…because that’s when they open! If you’re there that late (or early?) then you will definitely have a story to take home.

San Diego’s Oldest Tavern

The last bar I will stumble upon is none other than Waterfront Bar on Kettner Blvd. in Little Italy. Proudly known as San Diego’s oldest tavern, Waterfront also opens up at 6:00 AM and has a menu for those late night or early morning hunger pains. This is truly a classic place to visit in San Diego as it has outdoor seating to people watch, solid food and it gets packed on weekends and weeknights often.  I have a video of my buddies and I there one morning and after one too many mimosas and beers we turned the jukebox on and decided we should all sing at the top of our lungs. I have it on video if anyone is interested in seeing the worst version of Bohemian Rhapsody ever filmed.


Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – April 14-19, 2015

From the largest West Coast kick off of the sportfishing season to a festival all about avocados, you want to be in San Diego this weekend to enjoy these top things to do!

5th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase

Welcome to the 5th Annual Spring Showcase, a presentation of 16 dynamic films from 9 countries from Asia and beyond. A key feature of this year’s Spring Showcase is, Cinema Little Saigon, a traveling five film retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. Curated by Pacific Arts Movement, the compelling retrospective will highlight films spanning from the 1990s to today.

When: April 16-25, 2015
Cost: $9-$100
> Find out more about the 5th Annual San Diego Asian Film Festival Spring Showcase

70th Annual Del Mar National Horse Show

Hunter Jumper Week - Del Mar National Horse Show

The Annual Del Mar National Horse Show is comprised of a week each of Western, Dressage and Hunter/Jumper competitions

One of the oldest and most prestigious equestrian competitions in the Western US, the show is comprised of a week each of Western, Dressage and Hunter/Jumper competition. Over 3,000 horses take part, representing many breeds. Spectators will see reining, spins, sliding stops, elegant dressage moves choreographed to music, daredevil show jumping, trick riders, comedy acts, thrills and spills, and more.

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
When: April 16 – May 3, 2015
Cost: Daytime Shows: Free. Night Shows: $10-$19
> Find out more about the 70th Annual Del Mar National Horse Show

Annual Lakeside Rodeo

Lakeside Rodeo in San Diego's East County

Putt on your boots for three days of traditional rodeo competitions at the Lakeside Rodeo

Bareback bronco rides, calf roping and other traditional rodeo competitions, along with food and crafts, bring the Wild West to life in the San Diego East County town of Lakeside.

Where: Lakeside Rodeo Grounds – 12584 Mapleview St., Lakeside, CA 92040
When: April 17-19, 2015
Cost: $5-$20
> Find out more about the Annual Lakeside Rodeo

San Diego Opera’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert

San Diego Opera's 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert - Top Things to Do

Celebrate the San Diego Opera’s 50th Anniversary with an amazing concert filled with favorite arias, duets, ensembles and choruses from Aida, Candide, Nabucco, The Marriage of Figaro, Turandot and Tosca by composers Saint–Saëns, Puccini, Donizetti, Verdi, Mozart and many more. Please come and enjoy a tribute to their 50-year history and celebrate their new beginning.

Where: Copley Symphony Hall – 1245 Seventh Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: April 18-19, 2014
Cost: $35-$200
> Find out more about San Diego Opera’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert

Annual Coronado Flower Show

Coronado Flower Show

Stop and smell the roses at the colorful Coronado Flower Show.

The Coronado Flower Show is the largest tented flower show in the nation. Exhibits are placed inside tents surrounding a central gazebo, which becomes the stage for continuous entertainment, announcements and trophy presentations. A Wine and Beer Garden is now a permanent feature. Take a break from the show, relax and listen to the entertainment from the nearby bandstand.

Where: Spreckels Park – Orange Ave & 6th St, Coronado, CA 92118
When: April 18-19, 2015
Cost: $5
> Find out more about the Annual Coronado Flower Show

Citybeat Festival of Beers

Citybeat Festival of Beers 2015

The CityBeat Festival of Beers is the perfect marriage of two of San Diego’s best known exports – music and craft beer. San Diego has emerged as one of the most dynamic beer cities in the United States, arguably the world, with a diversity of style and technique that is unmatched.

Where: Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows – 2223 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104
When: April 18, 2015
Time: 2:00 to 5:00 PM
Cost: $45-$60
> Find out more about the Citybeat Festival of Beers

Port of San Diego’s Day at the Docks

Port of San Diego's Day at the Docks

Signaling the official start of Southern California’s spring saltwater fishing season, the West Coast’s largest public celebration of sportfishing features boat rides on San Diego Bay, displays by marine artists and fishing tackle experts, great food, entertainment, fishing seminars, open house aboard sportfishing boats, kid’s fishing, contests, prizes and more!

Where: San Diego Sportfishing Landing – Scott Street and Garrison Street, San Diego , CA 92109
When: April 19, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Port of San Diego’s Day at the Docks

Fallbrook Avocado Festival

Fallbrook Avocado Festival 2015

Come prepared to visit the many craft and food booths – you can never go hungry at the Avocado Festival. Colorful booths line Main and Alvarado Street featuring unique clothing, hats, arts, crafts, jewelry, and farm-fresh produce for purchase. A variety of bands and other live entertainment are offered for the pleasure of festival-goers. Beer gardens and numerous food vendors cater to every whim.

Where: E Alvarado St & S Main Ave, Fallbrook, CA 92028
When: April 19, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the Fallbrook Avocado Festival

San Diego EarthFair

San Diego EarthFair 2015

The annual EarthFair in Balboa Park is the largest free annual environmental fair in the world. Produced by 400 volunteers, EarthFair 2015 will feature more than 300 exhibitors, special theme areas, a Food Pavilion, a special Children’s Activity Area, five entertainment venues, the Children’s Earth Parade, the eARTh Gallery art show, and the Cleaner Car Concourse.

Where: Balboa Park
When: April 19, 2015
Time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about San Diego EarthFair

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Top Things to Do Weekend Forecast

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – April 7-12, 2015

Make it a home run of a weekend by spending it in San Diego enjoying these top things to do including the home opener series of the San Diego Padres.

Padres Opening Series vs. San Francisco Giants

Inside Petco - Courtesy Petco Park

Watch the Padres take on their rivals at the beautiful Petco Park

It’s baseball season here in San Diego! Catch the San Diego Padres in their home opener series take on the reigning World Series Champs, the San Francisco Giants, at the picturesque Petco Park.

Just a note, the home opener on April 9 is sold out.

Where: Petco Park – 100 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
When: April 9-12, 2015
> Find out more about San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants

VinDiego Wine & Food Festival

VinDiego Wine and Food Festival - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Swirl and Savor more than 200 handcraft wines at VinDiego

Come sip, swirl and savor a selection of over 200 handcrafted wines from top tier wineries. Passionate winemakers and winery representatives welcome guests, offering practical knowledge and sharing their delicious wine. VinDiego offers a fantastic variety of wonderful local restaurants sampling their delicious culinary delights. To add fun and excitement to the event we will offer a steady stream of musical entertainment.

Where: NTC Liberty Station – 2875 Dewey Road, San Diego, CA 92106
When: April 10-11, 2015
Cost: Varies by Event
> Find out more about the VinDiego Wine & Food Festival

Goodguys Meguiar’s 15th Del Mar Nationals

Goodguys Meguiar's 15th Del Mar Nationals - Top Things to Do

Hot Rods, classics and more at the Goodguys Meguiar’s 15th Del Mar Nationals

A colorful “Full Throttle Fun” hot rod & custom car automotive themed festival featuring over 2,500 hot rods, customs, classics, street rods, muscle cars & trick trucks through 1972 vintage. In addition to the acres of gleaming vintage vehicles, this event showcases vendor exhibits, indoor car show, a swap meet and cars-for-sale area, special “themed” parking areas on Saturday, Nitro Thunderfest, Goodguys Autocross, model car show, kids fun – PPG Coloring contest, Revell model car kit make ‘take sessions, and lots of fun for the entire family!

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014
When: April 10-12, 2015
Cost: $6-$20
> Find out more about Goodguys Meguiar’s 15th Del Mar Nationals

La Jolla Concours d’Elegance

La Jolla Concourse d'Elegance

Classic cars meet classic views at the La Jolla Concourse d’Elegance

The La Jolla Concours d’Elegance features various types of fine automobile gems. Past years have showcased horseless carriages, Italian marques, British marques, Woodies, 50’s classics, American sports cars (with a salute to GM on their 100th anniversary), and the automobiles of Carroll Shelby. Spectators from all over the nation come to the breathtaking shores of La Jolla to view their favorite classics. This year, the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance will be Celebrating Coachbuilt Classics of the 30’s and 40’s.

Where: Ellen Browning Scripps Park – 1133 Coast Blvd., La Jolla, CA 92037
When: April 10-12, 2015
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: $40-$235
> Find out more about La Jolla Concours d’Elegance

San Diego Botanic Garden ArtFest

San Diego Botanic Garden ArtFest

Art and gardens collide at the San Diego Botanic Garden ArtFest

A delightful combination of a Fine Art Show, Quick Draw Contest, Art Demonstrations, and Asian Art Show. There will also be delicious food by Divine Fresh Foods serving yummy Greek delights and Native Flute music with Didgeridoo, featuring Bob Ballentine and friends in the Australian Garden.

Where: San Diego Botanic Garden – 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024
When: April 11-12, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free with admission
> Find out more about San Diego Botanic Garden ArtFest

Noche Cubana

Noche Cubana

Enjoy a night of authentic Cuban Music, Dance & Culture. Featuring Live Performances, free Salsa Class included, Live Cuban Music bands, Saoco Son & Kimba Light, non-stop dancing & entertainment! Delicious authentic Cuban cuisine & beverages available for purchase.

Where: Worldbeat Cultural Center – 2100 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
When: April 11, 2015
Time: 7:00 to 11:00 PM
Cost: $15-$20. Kids 12 and Under – Free
> Find out more about Noche Cubana

Campagnolo GranFondo San Diego

Campagnolo GranFondo San Diego

Enjoy the Italian tradition in San Diego during Campagnolo GranFondo San Diego

Southern California meets Italy in this celebration of cycling, food, and San Diego’s picturesque waterfront. Held in beautiful Downtown San Diego, the two-day festival features a mass-start, timed GranFondo with 4 route options, timed King and Queen of the Mountain, The Bike & Fitness Expo, challenging and picturesque routes, outstanding Campagnolo ride support, and delicious food on course.
Where: 1747 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: April 12, 2015
Cost: $55-$107
> Find out more about Campagnolo GranFondo San Diego

Village Street Faire

Village Street Faire

Music, food, shopping and more at the Village Street Faire

The 2015 Village Street Faire returns for its third year! The Third Avenue Village Association’s spring festival is a free, family-friendly event that brings the party to Third Avenue, complete with live music, exotic foods, arts and crafts, games and more.

Where: Third Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910
When: April 12, 2015
Time: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Village Street Faire

More Top Things to Do

> Find more Top Things to Do on the San Diego Event Calendar

Top Things to Do Weekend Forecast

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

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 24-29, 2015

You know what you should do? Spend the last weekend in March relaxing and enjoying all San Diego has to offer including these amazing top things to do.

2015 LPGA Kia Classic

2015 LPGA Kia Classic - Top Things to Do in San Diego

Entering its sixth year, the 2015 Kia Classic will be held at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, California. The Kia Classic features 144 of the best women golfers playing for the $1.7 million purse. The field features 2014 Kia Classic Champion Anna Nordqvist and crowd favorites Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson.

Where: Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club – 7447 Batiquitos Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011
When: March 24 -29, 2015
Cost: $10-$80
> Find out more about the 2015 LPGA KIA Classic

Great American Foodie Fest

Great American Foodie Fest

The Great American Foodie Fest is a compilation of some of the best specialty food vendors, restaurants & gourmet food trucks from all around the country that have been featured on the Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel. Attendees can also enjoy our VIP Experience Tent, Beer Garden, Tequila Party Tent, Carnival Rides, Live Entertainment, Eating Competitions and other fun & festive activities for the whole family.

Where: Qualcomm Stadium – 9449 Friars Road, San Diego, CA 92108
When: March 27-29, 2015
Cost: $8-$15
> Find out more about the Great American Foodie Fest

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.

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

San Diego Zoo Play Days

San Diego Zoo Play Days - Top Things in San Diego

Mark your calendar with Play Days at the San Diego Zoo

Come to the San Diego Zoo’s Play Days, and hear about our world-famous animals and plants from the people who take care of them!

Where: 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: March 28 – April 15, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about San Diego Zoo Play Days

Bikes & Beer San Diego, CA

Explore San Diego by bike with 1,500 new friends on an approximately 22 mile group bike ride. After the ride, relax and celebrate your accomplishment with a cold San Diego beer, music, speakers, food and vendors during the post-ride festival at the new Quartyard in Downtown San Diego.

Start and Finish: 1102 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: March 28, 2015
Time: 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost: $45
> Find out more about Bikes & Beers San Diego, CA

SuperWild: Discovering Animal Super-Powers

SuperWild: Discovering Animal Super-Powers

Get up and close and personal with creatures that walk on walls, possess super strength, are invisible to the naked eye, and can even regenerate limbs – all natural adaptations that help them survive in the wild. Some of these animals include the Mexican axolotl, pygmy leaf chameleon, bird poop frog, flying draco lizard, fishing ribbon snake, green basilisk, giant millipede, horseshoe crab, pink-toed tarantula, toco toucan and more.

Where: Living Coast Discovery Center – 1000 Gunpowder Point Dr, Chula Vista, CA 91910
When: March 28 – September 7, 2015
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about SuperWild: Discovering Animal Super-Powers

Weekend Escape: Inspiration for Living a Good Life

Weekend Escape: Inspiration for Living a Good Lif

A two-day discovery that celebrates San Diego’s vibrant outdoor lifestyle and aims to inspire the community to rejuvenate its health and fitness regimen, perk up it’s surroundings at home and rediscover the local landscape. Focusing on four elements: Outdoor Living, Health & Fitness, Staycation and Home Style, find events for the whole family throughout the center and in Palm Plaza.

Where: Westfield UTC – 4545 La Jolla Village Dr, San Diego, CA 92122
When: March 28-29, 2015
Cost: Free
> Find out more about Weekend Escape: Inspiration for Living a Good Life

London Symphony Orchestra

London Symphony Orchestra

Hear the World-Famous London Symphony Orchestra here in San Diego

La Jolla Music Society ends it’s Celebrity Orchestra Series with the world-renowned London Symphony Orchestra. Program will feature conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2010 by President Obama. He’ll be joined by twenty-six year old pianist and widely recognized as one of the most important artists of her generation, Yuja Wang performing the jazz-inspired Gershwin Piano Concerto.

Where: 750 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101
When: March 29, 2015
Time: 8:00 PM
Cost: $27-$97
> Find out more about the London Symphony Orchestra

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

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Corey Ross

Touring Golf Equipment Companies in Carlsbad

TaylorMade Factory Line
TaylorMade Factory Line

See how the perfect club is made and take one home with you after a custom fitting during a tour of San Diego’s three leading golf manufacturers

As the home of the headquarters of TaylorMade Golf, Callaway and Cobra, Carlsbad, in San Diego’s North County Coastal region, is akin to the Silicon Valley of the golf equipment industry.

The game-changing birth of the metal wood occurred in Carlsbad and those companies been leading the technology boom that has revolutionized the game ever since.

Carlsbad presents a rare opportunity to visit all three of these influential brands at once. They are all headquartered within a few miles of each other.

TaylorMade, however, is the only one still offering regularly scheduled public tours. They take place every Thursday at 10:00 AM. Cobra books private tours by appointment, while Callaway only books club fittings.

The following is a look at highlights and tips for taking the TaylorMade Tour, followed by information for booking appointments at Callaway and Cobra.

Touring TaylorMade

Please Note: TaylorMade is suspending tours for the rest of 2017 and is unsure as to when tours will restart.

TaylorMade Headquarters

Learn the everything from the manufacturers to the pros on a tour of the TaylorMade Headquarters

As most any golfer knows, TaylorMade is the world’s leading equipment manufacturer. Their campus encompasses two buildings – only one of which you see on the tour – and the driving range, the hallowed Kingdom, a domain for the pros and other elite players.

The TaylorMade tour offers some insight into the company’s latest club technology – the new R15 driver is under glass in the lobby with the club head dissected– as well a peek at the manufacturing process and an overview of golf’s technology revolution.

A rotating team of TaylorMade volunteers hosts the roughly 45-minute tour every Thursday, so your experience may differ depending on their experience. For instance, our host was an engineer named Matt, so we got a more technology-based tour.

Regardless of the host, be prepared to provide your ID and sign an electronic confidentiality agreement while you’re waiting. Note: No photos or phones on the tour.

While you’re waiting for the tour to begin, you can peruse the latest TaylorMade equipment, which is on display in the lobby along with the staff bags as such TaylorMade Tour players as Justin Rose, Jason Day and Sergio Garcia.

The tour begins with a bit of history about not only TaylorMade but its parent company, Adidas, a high-performance sports apparel manufacturer. For golf, the most pertinent history is the story of Gary Adams bringing TaylorMade to Carlsbad to pursue his dream of launching a medal wood to supplant the wooden clubs of the past.

That history is displayed under glass in the next story of the tour – the Wall of History. There, 12 clubs are exhibited that capture the evolution of the metal era. There’s everything from TaylorMade’s first driver, the head of which is about the size of a modern-day rescue club, to the latest, the state-of-the-art R15.

In between, you witness club head sizes growing, metal materials changing and then club adjustability coming into the picture. Even for those who know their club history, there’s likely something to learn and appreciate here.

The next stop is the manufacturing floor, where 10,000 clubs are assembled each day. You see everything in production from putters to drivers and learn what a golf assembly line looks like. The manufacturing floor shares space with the massive warehouse where thousands of equipment orders are being processed and shipped daily.

The tour concludes with a look at one of the most exclusive parts of TaylorMade – The Kingdom. Golfers are usually only granted access here with permission of a club pro and to be professionally fitted.

Otherwise, this is where TaylorMade’s professionals come to get their equipment updated in a state-of-the-art environment and to practice on the driving range.

The Kingdom has a country-club feel all its own, complete with a posh lounge just inside the entrance. Worth perusing: the guestbook at the front desk. Inside, you’ll find photographs and signatures from touring pros and celebrities who’ve visited The Kingdom. It’s a veritable Who’s Who.

Who was Adidas’ first sponsored athlete (hint: think track)? Where does TaylorMade gets its name from? Why did Gary Adams chose to relocate his company to San Diego? What does the R stand for on TaylorMade’s drivers?

If some of those questions pique your interest, the TaylorMade tour has answers for you.

If your visit coincides with one of the professional tour events in San Diego, you might end up keeping company with a tour pro. To register for the Thursday tour at TaylorMade, call 760.918.6000.

Touring Cobra

Cobra Golf Merchandise

Get everything you need to a day out on the course during a visit to Cobra Golf’s headquarters

Cobra Puma, the company represented by the stylish Rickie Fowler, has designated times of the month when tours are available, but they are by appointment only.

Cobra has more modest facilities than TaylorMade, but there are still things to be seen, including the hitting bay and swing simulator the pros use at Cobra. There’s also a warehouse and merchandise area where the colorful array of the Cobra Puma product line is displayed.

The tour can take 30 minutes to an hour depending on what guests want to see. Working in a club fitting can add another hour or two.

To schedule a tour, a fitting, or both, call 760.710.3502.

Getting Fitted At Callaway

Callaway Golf Headquarters

Make you club perfect for you during a custom fitting at Callaway’s Headquarters

Callaway Golf no longer offers public tours, but the headquarters does accommodate club fittings.

> Learn more about scheduling a custom fitting at Callaway

> Tee off at San Diego’s 90+ Golf Courses

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – March 10-15, 2015

Make your friends green with envy as you rocket to San Diego for this weekend’s top things to do including plenty of sunshine, music, film, flowers, butterflies, St. Patrick’s Day and more!

2015 San Diego Latino Film Festival

The 22nd San Diego Latino Film Festival presented by Lexus, set to take place at the AMC Fashion Valley 18 at Simon Fashion Valley, 2015 Spotlight Films represents diversity on all levels, including genre, nationality represented, and the range of emotions our audience will experience.

Where: AMC Fashion Valley 18 – 7037 Friars Road, San Diego, CA 92108
When: March 12-22, 2015
> Find out more about the 2015 San Diego Latino Film Festival

CRSSD Festival

CRSSD Festival - Top Things to Do in San Diego

CRSSD Festival is a two-day electronic music festival at the 12 acre San Diego Waterfront Park featuring three stages and 36+ performers. In addition to the music, the festival will offer craft beer, mixed drinks, food, and a VIP area.

Where: San Diego County Waterfront Park – 1600 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101
When: March 14-15, 2015
Cost: $75-$145
> Find out more about the CRSSD Festival

St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

Gather up your favorite lads and lasses and celebrate the one day a year where everyone’s Irish. San Diego offers parades and celebrations suitable for the family and your little leprechauns, and late night parties and pub crawls with ever-flowing green beer for the grown-ups.

> Browse San Diego’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Butterfly Jungle

Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Meet a few of the over 10,000 butterflies in the Butterfly Jungle

More than 10,000 beautiful butterflies flit, float, and flutter around you in this spectacular spring fling event at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Each spring the Safari Park’s Hidden Jungle exhibit is filled with amazing and delightful exotic butterflies of all colors and sizes, and guests can walk among them, take photos, and enjoy pointing out different species using our butterfly identification guide.

Where: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027
When: March 14 – April 12, 2015
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Butterfly Jungle

Spring Garden Festival and Tomatomania

San Diego Botanic Garden's Spring Garden Festival and Tomatomania

Don’t miss the Garden’s new Spring Garden Festival and Tomatomania!® featuring a wide variety of herbs, spring plants, bromeliads, garden art and implements and of course tomatoes! Garden experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide helpful advice on spring plantings and caring for your entire garden. Terrific food will be available from Divine Fresh and musical entertainment from Bob Ballentine and friends. Be sure not to miss our petting zoo and pony rides. Bring out the whole family!

Where: San Diego Botanic Garden – 230 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024
When: March 14-15, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Included with admission
> Find out more about the Spring Garden Festival and Tomatomania

> Marvel at San Diego’s Spring Flower Fields & Displays

Nixon in China by John Adams

San Diego Opera's Nixon in China

From serious political discussions to a toast-filled banquet scene where every toast tries to outdo another, with Chinese dancers and a fantasy scene with Kissinger, Nixon in China explores a heroic gesture by a sitting American President towards a burgeoning world power. Join us for a whirlwind diplomatic trip which changed history and an opera that has risen to the top rank of 20th century American operas and is arguably one of the most influential of the last few decades.

Where: San Diego Civic Theatre – 1100 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
When: March 14-22, 2015
Cost: $45-$290
> Find out more about Nixon in China by John Adams

National City Mariachi Festival and Competition

National City Mariachi Festival and Competition

The Mariachi Festival and Competition will highlight mariachi music in the schools, showcasing Mariachi student groups from throughout the United States and Mexico. In addition to offering a wholesome community friendly event, the festival provides entertainment for families to come together and celebrate San Diego’s heritage through mariachi music and traditional ballet folklorico dancing.

Where: Pepper Park – 3299 Tidelands Avenue, National City, CA 91950
When: March 14, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the National City Mariachi Festival and Competition

Balboa Park STEAM Family Day

Balboa Park Science Family Day - Paper Airplane Festival

Learn how to make a paper airplane and more at the Balboa Park STEAM Family Day

As the first major event for families on the 2015 Centennial Celebration calendar, Balboa Park STEAM Family Day brings a world of discovery to children of all ages. Over two dozen cultural organizations will put the fun into STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math – through hands-on activities, crafts, demonstrations, special exhibitions, and more.

Where: Balboa Park
When: March 15, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Cost: Free. Museum Admission – Kids 12 and Under Free with Adult Admission
> Find out more about the Balboa Park STEAM Family Day

Book Your Stay in San Diego - Discover Unpublished Rates

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

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Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – February 24 – March 1, 2015

Visit San Diego this weekend and take in the vibrant colors, beautiful sights and soothing sounds the city has to offer while you enjoy these top things to do.

> Saving up for a Rainy Day in San Diego with the Kids

San Diego Museum Month

San Diego Museum Month - Top Things to Do

Don’t miss out! It’s the last week to take advantage of 50% admission to 45 museum throughout San Diego county.

> Find out more about San Diego Museum Month

Whale Watching Cruises

If you're lucky, you can spot a whale breaching the surface along the San Diego coastline.

If you’re lucky, you can spot a whale breaching the surface along the San Diego coastline.

San Diego is an ideal destination to see the impressive parade of more than 200,000 grey whales migrate south each spring. Book a daily voyage aboard vessels ranging from luxurious private charters to affordable group cruise ships to see these gentle giants up close.

> Find out more about Whale Watching Cruises

Cirque du Soleil – Varekai

From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story of Varekai begins. Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered.

Where: Valley View Casino Center – 3500 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92110
When: February 25 – March 1, 2015
Cost: $25-$165
> Find out more about Cirque du Soleil – Varekai

Tower After Hours: Ireland

San Diego Museum of Man's Tower After Hours: Ireland - Top Things to Do

Join in the fun and experience the rich cultural heritage of Ireland at Tower After Hours: Ireland! Taste delicious Irish pub fare from local eateries, watch lively performances of music and dance, and enjoy a cold Guinness. Don’t miss this great Irish party!

Where: San Diego Museum of Man – 1350 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
When: February 26, 2015
Time: 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Cost: $15-$30
> Find out more about Tower After Hours: Ireland

The Very Best of Celtic Thunder Tour

Drawing material from Celtic Thunder’s nine Public Television Specials, eleven CDs and DVDs and eight US tours to date, the tour aims to combine all Celtic Thunder classics, fan favorites and hit songs into a formidable stage show, married with that huge Celtic Thunder signature sound, dramatic lighting and imposing set that audiences and fans everywhere have come to expect from a Celtic Thunder show.

Where: Historic Balboa Theatre – 868 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
When: February 26, 2015
Time: 7:30 to 9:15 PM
Cost: $60-$65
> Find out more about The Very Best of Celtic Thunder Tour

Jay Mohr

Jay Mohr at The American Comedy Company

Celebrate The American Comedy Co’s 3 Year Anniversary Weekend with Jay Mohr! Comedian, actor, radio host and bestselling author, Jay Mohr has been performing stand-up comedy since he was sixteen years old. With a career that has spanned over three decades, Jay has become an artist that is very difficult to define.

Where: The American Comedy Company – 818 B 6th Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
When: February 26 – March 1, 2015
Cost: $30
> Find out more about Jay Mohr at the American Comedy Company

The Chinese New Year Red Ball – Year of the Sheep

The Red Ball 2015 - A Chinese New Year Celebration

Don’t forget to wear red to ring in the Chinese New Year!

Usher in Chinese New Year at The Annual Red Ball held at Club M inside the Grand Del Mar, California’s luxurious 15-Star Resort! The Year of the Sheep recurs once every twelve years in the Lunar calendar, and symbolizes peace and compassion. At this coveted 21 & up Lunar New Year party, guests will enjoy award-winning hospitality, live music, DJ, dancing and more! Guests of every culture are welcome. Red cocktail attire suggested for good luck.

Where: Club M at The Grand Del Mar – 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, CA 92130
When: February 27, 2015
Cost: Free Admission
> Find out more about The Chinese New Year Red Ball – Year of the Sheep

The Flower Fields

The Carlsbad Flower Fields

Get lost in a sea of beauty and color at The Flower Fields of Carlsbad

Don’t miss the chance to see more than 50 acres of breathtaking Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers bloom and transform the landscape into a solid expanse of dazzling color. This sanctuary of natural beauty offers a host of family friendly activities and events including an open-air wagon ride through the fields via an antique tractor, a walk through the fragrant sweet pea maze, and more.

Where: 5704 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008
When: March 1 – May 10, 2015
Cost: $6-$12
> Find out more about The Flower Fields

More Top Things to Do in San Diego

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Top Things to Do Weekend Forecast