legoland california

10 Reasons to Visit LEGOLAND California This Year

LEGOLAND California is one of San Diego’s most popular theme parks, and provides families the unique opportunity to experience all things LEGO – in one place! Located in Carlsbad, California the entire park is themed around the colorful LEGO bricks. Each section of the park (there are 9 different areas) comes with its own theme – from Ninjago World to MiniLand USA, which features LEGO-sized reproductions of certain areas of the US, in addition to a waterpark, aquarium, and its very own LEGOLAND Hotel. Here are ten reasons to visit LEGOLAND California this year!

1. It’s more than your typical amusement park.

LEGOLAND California has more to explore than its rides – including a Waterpark, the Sea Life Aquarium, and the official LEGOLAND Hotel.

The Waterpark: The LEGOLAND Waterpark is impressive, especially with the recent addition of the Chima section which includes more slides and the Lion Temple Wave Pool. Head to the park to experience Riptide Racers, the Wipeout Lagoon, Build-a-Raft River, Duplo Splash Safari, Joker Soaker, Pirate Reef, Orange Rush, Soak n Sail, and the Splash Zoo; each one offers a different set of rides, splash zones, and epic water adventures for you and the little ones!

You can upgrade your LEGOLAND ticket to include the Waterpark for $30.

Sea Life Aquarium: The aquarium at LEGOLAND is an interactive guide to the life of the sea, combining active hands-on learning with fascinating educational talks and up-close encounters with sea creatures, including sharks, octopi and rays. The newest exhibit, Sea at Night, allows you to stroll in a gentle surf under a starry sky – during the day! Walk, jump and splash in a simulated bioluminescent tide with the little ones. Any LEGOLAND ticket can be upgraded to include SEA LIFE Aquarium admission for $25.

2. You can get discounted tickets any time of year.

The Go San Diego Card, is a multi-attraction pass that gets you big discounts at the top attractions in San Diego. With the all-inclusive pass, you’ll have access to more than 40 spots in San Diego – and that includes LEGOLAND – at discounted prices! 1-Day admission tickets to LEGOLAND California start at $89.99.

3. The LEGOLAND Hotel (and Castle) is truly magical.

The LEGOLAND Hotel recently expanded to include a brand-new LEGOLAND Castle, which offers a totally different (and awesome) overnight experience. The original hotel boasts themed rooms, each one completely unique – choose from Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure, LEGO Ninjago, or LEGO Friends. There is nightly children’s entertainment, and a free breakfast buffet every morning of your stay. The Hotel is located right at the entrance to LEGOLAND, so when you wake up the park is quite literally at your front door.

The LEGOLAND Castle Hotel is a new castle-themed wonderland. The hotel features 250 LEGO Castle themed rooms with your choice of Knights & Dragons, Royal Princess, or Magic Wizard, plus a new themed restaurant called Dragon’s Den for all your dining needs. There is a special kid’s area that features LEGO building tables and scavenger hunts daily. There is also a pool area, entertainment courtyard, and playful surprises around every corner; every part of the hotel is interactive, and your little ones will get a kick out of exploring every nook and cranny!

4. Kids go for free all year long in 2019.

You heard that right! This year, LEGOLAND California turns 20 years old, and in honor of such an epic occasion, kids 12 and under can enter the park completely for free. If you have little ones, we can’t possibly think of a better reason to check the park out this year!

5. Kids can bring minifigures to trade at the park.

Have your kids bring their old LEGO minifigures to the park (including all the parts and accessories), and they can trade them for new ones right at the Park! Every LEGOLAND employee – they’re called Model Citizens – has a name badge with minifigures fixed onto it. If your little one wants one of the Model Citizen’s minifigures, he or she will gladly trade with them. You’ll also find trading posts throughout the park that offer tons of of mini-men to trade for, and if your child doesn’t have a minifigure for trading, there are plenty of shops throughout the Park where you can pick one up.

6. The park is fun for all ages – even younger kids.

Unlike many theme parks in California, there are a ton of rides and attractions with no height or age restrictions. Fairy Tale Brook and Coast Cruise are great for babies to enjoy, and there are baby-friendly splash pad areas in Pirate Shores and Heartlake City. Toddlers will love the Coastersaurus, Duplo Play Town, and Mia’s Riding Camp, which is a cute carousel.

Preschoolers will get a kick out of the Royal Joust, which takes little ones on a LEGO horse ride through the “countryside.” Junior Driving School is a can’t-miss attraction for kids 3-5, too. Bonus: there are plenty of areas in line for your younger ones to stay entertained and play with LEGO blocks while you stand in line – just scoop up the kiddos before you get on the ride!

7. The whole family will love MiniLand USA.

You’ve likely seen photos of it online, but MiniLand USA is one of LEGOLAND’s most fun attractions. Built with a whopping 32,496,352 LEGO bricks, the area features real-life attractions and famous spots throughout the U.S. See the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the capital building in Washington D.C., Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Grand Central Station in New York, and the strip in Las Vegas all in one day!

8. LEGO fanatics will really get a kick out of the LEGO factory tour.

If you’ve ever wondered how a LEGO brick is made, this self-guided tour will show you from start to finish. The tour features different displays of machines that are used to make LEGO bricks, and you even have an option to get a special item engraved by someone at the end. This is a fun stop that offers a bit of a break in between the other rides and attractions.

9. The park makes it easy to skip long wait lines.

LEGOLAND offers a Reserve-n-Ride system, which allows you to hold a spot in line for their most popular rides without physically having to be in the actual line. To set up a Reserve-n-Ride, visit their website or head to the kiosk just inside the gates. When you purchase the pass, you’ll get to choose between reducing wait times by 25%, 50%, or 95% for $35, $55, and $100 per person, respectively. When you pick up your pass you’ll receive a device that allows you to make a reservation for one ride at a time, from anywhere in the park. When it’s your time ride the device beeps to let you know, and you’re on your way!

10. The LEGOLAND app is a great way to streamline your experience.

Download the LEGOLAND app before you arrive for access to an interactive map, up-to-date ride wait times, height restrictions for rides, directions, and even a car finder to help you keep track of where you’ve parked. It’s a great way to important information right at your fingertips, which can come in handy for a long day of exploring.

It’s Grunion Run Season! 5 Things to Know Before You Go

They flop around, surf the waves, and make sweet love under the moonlight: the season of the grunion run has begun! On beaches all throughout Southern California, you’ll get the chance to experience these strange little creatures up close; and La Jolla has some of the best seats in the house. Just grab your flashlights, a few beach chairs and, if you don’t mind staying up late, get ready to watch them run!

So, What Is a Grunion Run?

Each spring, from April to May or June, thousands of these little silvery fish wash ashore to partake in a strange mating ritual under the moonlight. While on the beach, female grunion bury themselves half-way in the sand to lay eggs, while males wrap themselves around the females to fertilize their eggs. The females will lay anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 eggs. Then, as the next round of waves wash in, the fish simply float back to sea. Some may call them the original bodysurfers!

1. Grunions runs are unique to Southern California.

That’s right – because grunions are only found off the coast of Southern California, from San Diego to San Luis Obispo, and in Northern Baja, Mexico (just north of Punta Abreojos), we Californians are the sole witnesses of this incredible event every year.

2. They usually ‘run’ on wide, sandy beaches.

Ergo, La Jolla is the perfect grunion run destination! La Jolla Shores, to be exact. If you’re a newbie and you want the full experience, we recommend going with the expert naturalists at the Birch Aquarium during, or just after, a full moon. They host guided visits of grunion spawning areas at La Jolla Shores throughout April-June, which includes a full rundown on these mysterious creatures as well as a demonstration of hatchlings emerging from their eggs in a vial of seawater.

Birch Aquarium Grunion Run 2018 schedule:

Wednesday, May 2: 11:00pm – 1:00 am
Thursday, May 31: 10:30pm – 12:30am
Friday, June 1: 11:00pm – 1:00am

3. You can even catch the grunions – but only during specific periods.

If you’re in the market for some fresh seafood, you may want to check out a grunion run this year! While April and May are off-limits to fishing or catching the fish while they’re onshore (this is their prime mating period and are therefore protected), you are allowed to do so in March and June – and only with your hands. No nets, buckets or other gear is allowed, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Additionally, people over 16 need a fishing license to participate, and while there is no official bag limit, it is illegal to waste them. Digging holes in the sand as traps is also forbidden.

4. For the best runs, look for the fish after new or full moons.

These silvery little fish are most likely to surface after the highest tides during a full moon, and the largest numbers of grunions usually wash up about an hour after the ‘run’ begins. Try to avoid using flashlights, as the illumination can scare away the fish, and if you do, limit their use to times after the waves have receded. Do remember to tread carefully; you never know what you may be stepping on, and the vibrations of your feet will often scare the little guys away.

5. Though unlikely, be prepared for a no-show.

As with any creatures, there is an element of luck to our ability to witness them; and while grunion can hit the beach by the thousands, they can also decide not to show up at all. It’s disappointing, but not altogether unusual. And, at the very least, you’ll be enjoying a peaceful moonlit walk along the beach – what could possibly be more Southern Californian than that?

A few grunion run tips and things to remember:

  • Do not touch or or interfere with spawning during closed fishing season (April and May).
  • Walk quietly and don’t shine a flashlight directly on the water
  • Leave your furry friends at home
  • Wear waterproof shoes, or at least shoes you don’t mind getting wet. Same goes for clothing, as well.
  • What to bring: a flashlight, a beach chair, a bucket to put your grunion in, and a fishing license if you are planning to take them.

Above all, have fun – and happy grunion running!

Where to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in La Jolla

St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday to celebrate no matter where you are, but there are plenty of ways to make it special right here in La Jolla – and it even falls on a Saturday this year! Get in the green spirit by dining on some corned beef and cabbage, drinking green beer, or sham-rocking the night away this Saturday, March 17th at one of our favorite spots in La Jolla.

Hennessey’s Tavern

Hennessey’s Tavern in La Jolla will be offering food and drink specials all day on March 17, from 8am to close. Dine on Irish treats like Sheppard’s Pie and Irish Bread Pudding. Guinness, Coors, and Blue Moon will be available on tap, and shots of Irish whiskey including Jameson will be $5. 7811 Herschel Ave., La Jolla.

Cusp Dining & Drinks

Head to the 11th floor of Hotel La Jolla, where Cusp Dining will be offering Bubbly Around the Clock! Glasses of bubbly with a hint of Irish spirit will start at 4pm for just $4, and go up $1 every hour. 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla.

Nautilus Tavern

Enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day-themed menu that includes a grilled pastrami sandwich and corned beef with cabbage and potatoes, plus green beer and great specials on Jameson, Guinness, and other cocktails throughout the day. 6830 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla.

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Sprinkles Cupcakes will get into the Emerald Isle spirit by serving up their festive Shamrock Cupcakes from March 4th – March 17th. The decadent Belgian dark chocolate cake is studded with mint dark chocolate M&Ms and a rich green mint frosting, and topped with a bright green shamrock. 8855 Villa La Jolla Drive, La Jolla.

Pacifica Del Mar

Pacifica’s bustling Ocean Bar will be celebrating by pouring their specialty Pineapple-Chipotle Margarita and Green Flash Cocktail, both naturally green in hue and totally delicious! 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar. 

St. Paddy’s Day Swim

What better way to celebrate St. Paddy’s than with an early morning swim? Each year, the La Jolla Cove Swim Club hosts its annual St. Paddy’s Day Swim beginning at La Jolla Cove. Head down there on March 17 from 9am – 11am for a fun free swim. The club will provide coffee and muffins for participants afterwards. 1100 Coast Blvd., La Jolla.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival

Experience the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade west of the Mississippi this year! Join the Irish Congress of Southern California for the 39th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival on Saturday March 16, 2019 starting at 10:30am at Fifth Avenue and Laurel Street. Join more than 30,000 attendees in the annual celebration and parade, followed by an Irish Festival in Balboa Park (Sixth and Maple). The festival will feature live entertainment on three stages, plus Irish Step Dancers and a full afternoon line-up with Irish Folk singers and bands. There will also be craft booths, a Celtic Food Village, other food booths, a Beer Garden, and a kids zone.

Limited-Time Burger & Wine Pairing Dinner at Flemings La Jolla

From now through March 12th, savor a mouthwatering burger and wine pairing special at Flemings La Jolla for just $25!

The Pairing

It’s the classic burger and wine pairing, taken to a whole new level. Enjoy Flemings Prime Burger, a combination of USDA prime beef, Wisconsin cheddar cheese, and peppered bacon, accompanied by a glass of Paraduxx By Duckhorn, a Proprietary Red Blend from Napa Valley with rich layers of black raspberry and blackberry pie, finished with notes of cinnamon, vanilla bean, and brown sugar.

The pairing dinner will be available exclusively in the bar at Flemings, now through March 12th for $25 per guest.

About Flemings La Jolla

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse in La Jolla is the ultimate steakhouse destination for food and wine lovers seeking a stylish, lively, and memorable dining experience complemented by attentive and knowledgeable service. Here, you’ll find a passion for steak and wine, reflected in an exceptional menu of hand-cut steaks, an award-winning wine program, and seasonal menu selections showcasing locally-inspired chef dishes courtesy of Chef Partner Matthew Cook, who has been at the helm of the Flemings La Jolla team for several years.

About Duckhorn Wines

Co-founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards has spent forty years establishing itself as one of North America’s premier producers of Napa Valley wines. From its modest inaugural vintage of 800 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and 800 cases of Merlot in 1978, to its addition of Sauvignon Blanc in 1982, Duckhorn Vineyards has crafted a tradition of quality and excellence that continues today.

You can make reservations online, or via phone by giving Flemings La Jolla a call at (858) 535-0078.

Quintessential Festival 2019: Celebrate All Things San Diego!

The La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club presents the 6th annual Quintessential Festival this April 27th, from 1pm – 5pm. Celebrate the true ‘quintessence’ of San Diego with craft beers from local breweries, wineries, and distilleries, along with fantastic food, music, and – most importantly – the amazing people that make San Diego America’s Finest City!

The inspiration for this community event stems from the Rotary Club’s desire to build a collaborative event that brings people together from throughout San Diego and raise awareness and funds for the great projects Rotary is doing locally and globally. Last year’s event drew approximately 750 attendees, and this year they intend to drive attendance in excess of 1,000!

Food, Beer, & Fun

This year’s festival will be held at the Nobel Park and Recreation Fields (8810 Judicial Dr, San Diego 92122). Proceeds from this event benefit over 45 local charities and non-profit groups supported annually by the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club.

Attendees will get exclusive access and unlimited samples from more than 30 of San Diego’s finest craft brewers, distilleries, and wine and spirit companies. There will also be plenty of live music, complimentary bites from local vendors, and a few dog-friendly events for your four-legged friends.

A Few of This Year’s Participating Breweries

  • Abnormal Beer Co.
  • Alesmith Brewing Company
  • Alpine Beer Company
  • Ballast Point
  • Coronado Brewing Company
  • Green Flash Brewing Co
  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company
  • Mikkeller Brewing
  • Modern Tims Beer
  • Pizza Port Brewing Company
  • Saint Archer Brewing Company

Food Vendors

  • Aloha Poke Company
  • Bread & Cheese Catering
  • Doggos Gus
  • Nibble Chocolate
  • Simply Cheddar

For a complete list of participating craft breweries, visit their website! Tickets are $30 and can be purchased ahead of time online.

About the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club

Chartered in 1986 during the formative years of the La Jolla Golden Triangle region (San Diego County), the Rotary Club associated with the growth and dynamics of this renowned area has become one of Rotary International’s most highly accomplished clubs.

The La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club is an organization of approximately 100 enthusiastic men and woman united in fellowship providing a broad range of humanitarian service and building lasting goodwill locally and globally.

Unabashedly self-proclaimed as the “most dynamic Rotary Club in the world” La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary is consistently one of the top-performing clubs not only in the San Diego/Imperial Counties District, but indeed in the world. The club consistently develops projects to improve health, well-being and self-sufficiency in our surrounding communities and beyond.

4 Surprising Ways La Jolla Inspired Dr. Seuss

Theodor Geisel, affectionately known as Dr. Seuss or simply “Ted,” remains one of the most renowned children’s book authors of our time. Geisel and his wife of many years, Audrey Geisel, moved to La Jolla in 1953, where they bought an old observation tower high atop Mount Soledad. It was tucked away in “The Tower” that he wrote many of his most beloved and popular stories, including “Horton Hears a Who!,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”

[Theodor Geisel at work in his studio. Photo courtesy of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LP]

The “Truffula Trees”

Geisel was notoriously upset about the billboards and construction that threatened his tranquil community of La Jolla. He was incredibly environmentally conscious and concerned about the earth as a whole; this was evident in his multiple political cartoons and subtle messages within his literature. The Lorax, a Dr Seuss book published in 1971, weaves a familiar tale of just that: a good thing gone wrong. The irresponsible, ambitious Once-ler builds a huge, thriving business at the expense of Truffula trees and the creatures who depend on them.

Though much of the scenery in La Jolla is reminiscent of Seussian-style illustration, the trees in The Lorax are particularly notable. They belong to the fictional Truffula species in the book, but the real-life inspiration is called the Monterey Cypress and unique to the California coast. Although they aren’t numerous, some have been dated at two thousand years old!  A lone Cypress can still be spotted at Ellen Browning Scripps Park – ask any local La Jollan where the “Lorax Tree” is, and they’ll surely point you there. Geisel could actually see that exact tree from his mountaintop home.

The Spires of Hotel Del Coronado

Just to the south of La Jolla, you can see another one of Dr. Seuss’ real-life inspirations firsthand: the Hotel Del Coronado. Ted Geisel’s painting, aptly titled “I Dreamed I was a Doorman at the Hotel del Coronado,” is a colorful rendering of the 1888 Victorian hotel in its beachside setting with sharp angles, whimsical colors, and an eclectic feel. The doorman is just a tiny speck in the middle of whirlwind of activity and color.

The Del’s bright, red-shingled roofs and storybook style make it something of a fairytale castle, something that surely inspired Geisel; he was fond of all things whimsical (in fact, the word ‘Seussian’ is actually in the dictionary!). He could also see the hotel directly from his Tower perch atop Mt. Soledad.

One Fish, Two Fish…

“The Cat in the Hat,” published in 1957, features a rather odd-looking and disgruntled orange fish (referred to as Mr. Krinklebein in the TV show, but referred to simply as “The Fish” in all of the books) with a high-stress personality who is constantly trying to restore order in his home. It’s arguably his most famous child ‘s books, and Dr. Seuss only needed to look out into the bay to see his inspiration for this one – the State of California’s colorful and precocious Garibaldi fish. Though found frequently in La Jolla, the bright orange fish is rarely seen in places away from the southern California coast. And interestingly enough, they are usually aggressive defenders of their natural territory – much like its textual counterpart!

“The Fish” character appears in other stories and almost every other Seuss book, and they always play a similar role: an overly nagging, moralistic creature that admonishes any type of wrongdoing. Geisel actually once referred to his book’s fish character as “my version of Cotton Mather,” the Puritan moralist who advised the prosecutors during the Salem witch trials.

The La Jolla Birdwomen

In the 1960s, Seuss drew a series of illustrations titled “La Jolla Birdwomen.” They were gently but decidedly satirical, comparing the many birds of La Jolla with the upper-class socialites in La Jolla – a vehicle for another bit of Geisel’s spicy social commentary. As one of the few men in town who worked from home, Geisel lightheartedly considered himself a “bird watcher on the social scene, always looking to create gentle spoofs of his chic female friends taken up in their whirl of luncheons, parties, and charity balls.”

The Birdwomen series consisted of eleven paintings with comical titles and equally captivating captions: My Petunia Can Lick Your GeraniumNot Speaking,Martini Bird, Gosh! Do I Look as Old as All That!, View from a Window of a Rented Beach Cottage, One of the more direct titles simply exclaims “Oh, I’d love to go to the party, but I’m absolutely dead.” The subtle social jabs became characteristic of Geisel even in the later years, though other than “The Lorax,” many of them remained less popular than his other, more lighthearted works.

Ted Geisel won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1984, a testament to his enduring legacy. His children’s literature, and all of the creatures within his children’s books, are indelibly etched in millions of children’s imaginations around the world. From “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” and “The Cat in the Hat” to “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Yertle the Turtle,” Seuss has truly captured the whimsical, fantastical world of a child’s imagination. The realm of children’s books would be incomplete without his works of art, and his ties to San Diego and La Jolla California are indisputable – from the quote on the Coast Walk Trail to his very own art exhibit at the Legends Gallery – which is why we celebrate Dr Seuss birthday on March 2nd every year!

Today, the most notable memorial to Geisel is UC San Diego’s Geisel Library, in La Jolla California. It was renamed in 1995 (four years after his death) in he and Audrey Geisel’s honor for the generous contributions that they made to the library and their devotion to children’s literature and improving literacy around the world.

Wherever You Are, Southern California Has Special Places to Eat

California is packed with an abundance of beautiful places to visit. There are places to take in the scenic views, enjoy a day on one of the many beaches or watch an exciting sports team. All of those things are great. But when it comes down to it, we all look for awesome places to eat while on vacation. If you need some help with getting around, this restaurant and food guide can point you in the right direction.

Taking the Family for Breakfast

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and it’s time to eat. If pancakes or waffles are on your mind be sure to visit Bea Bea’s in Burbank or Torrance: The original pancake house in Redondo beach to get your fix. Looking for something a little different, check out Koreatown’s Bonjuk La or Republique in Los Angeles for breakfast on the next level.

Let’s Enjoy Lunch

Are you ready for lunch? Well if you are, you need to get in the car and find Pinks. Here you will find an interesting array of hot dogs. Yes, we know what you’re thinking, but trust us. There’s no place in Southern California that is better known for hot dogs. They are named after celebrities and they are piled high with fun ingredients. Or, if it’s beef you’re looking for then head on over to an In-N-Out burger, one of the top-rated burger joints on this earth!

Sweets Please

There something about sweets that call to most of us. If you’re one that enjoys a delectable treat from time to time, make a pilgrimage to California Donuts. Nearly anything you can think of, has been placed on top of a fluffy decadent donut. M & Ms, cereal and sprinkles are only the tip of the iceberg. And if you looking for something a little fancy, try ordering some treats from Bonpastry, a San Diego Dessert Catering company for your family gathering or festive birthday party celebration.

How About Some Drinks?

At Class 302, you can enjoy self-serve boba tea. For those of you wondering what boba tea is, it’s a Taiwanese iced tea drink. It’s usually served with milk, sugar and fun little boba, which are chewy tapioca balls that can be found on the bottom of the cup. And, if you need java in your day, be sure to visit Philz Coffee for a unique selection. Lastly for the adults in the group, the Telegraph Brewing Company has suds to tickle your tastebuds.

Bring on the Dinner Options

We have made it all this way and we haven’t discussed tacos. Oh boy, and in Southern California, no less. First dinner option is Tacos El Gordo. Here you will find a yummy selection of tacos to satisfy your craving. Next on the list is Daikoyoya, where you can get a steaming hot bowl of ramen filled with tasty ingredients. Continuing on the Asian inspired train, visit Sushi Ota for your fill of mouth watering sushi. If raw fish is not your thing, then Zankou Chicken has a varietal menu for you. They have many chicken, tri-tip and falafel options for you to try. Choose from quarter, half or whole chicken sizes for the family to enjoy.

The one thing that is great about Southern California is the abundance of available food options. Never settle, just drive a little to get what you and your stomach really want.

The La Jolla Concours d’Elegance: A World-Class Car Show at the Cove

Beauty, elegance, and vintage cars intersect for the annual La Jolla Concours d’Elegance, which happens each spring at La Jolla Cove. This spectacular show features one-of-a-kind automobile gems from all over the world, and every year avid car enthusiasts head to the coast for a display of classic, unique, and timeless automobiles – a showcase that’s been going strong for over a decade.

This year, three main events will be held April 12-14, 2019 at Ellen Browning Scripps Park and The LOT La Jolla. From specialty craft cocktails to the more than 150 specialty restored automobiles, we can’t think of any reason not to attend this fantastic car show.

A little history of the event

With origins in the late 17th century, the early Concours was a leisurely social affair where lighthearted competitions were rewarded with rosettes, wine, and champagne. As coaches and carriages segued into automobiles in the late 19th century, the competitions became more defined. By the mid 1920s, no society season on the French Riviera was complete without a variety of organized Concours events.

After World War II, a trio of visionaries – Jules Huemann, Reverend Paul Woudenberg and Loren Tryon – created what was to become the grandfather of all post-war Concours — Pebble Beach. What was a European staple for centuries has now become a true international tradition that pays homage to its French roots, and is a world-class event that La Jolla is proud to host each year.

Bring the entire family

General tickets for Concours d’Elegance range from $55 to $70, but children under 10 are free – which makes it a great opportunity to bring your children and create some great family memories. With more than 150 classic cars ranging from vintage Rolls Royces to modern sports cars, it’s the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The main car show event will take place from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday, April 14th.

Enjoy craft cocktails & delicious hors d’oeuvres

This year’s Sunday car show will feature live music, spectacular views, and a complimentary French 75 Cocktail and honey tasting from Southern California (in the La Jolla Concours Champagne and Honey Tasting Garden). For a VIP experience, you can spend a little extra and enjoy fabulous bites from 15 of San Diego’s finest restaurants, a hosted bar in the VIP Sponsor Lounge, and more.

View vintage and classic automobiles

Have you ever seen a 1937 Puegot Cabriolet by Poutrout? It’s okay if you haven’t seen or heard of it, because most people haven’t — but this burgundy and silver car was the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance Best Show Winner in 2015. It’s a rare gem that has withstood the test of time, and remains a testimony to the caliber of cars that the Concours showcases.

The oldest car at the 2016 show was the 1934 Bugatti T-57 Four Door Pillarless which typically retails for about $130,000 and comes standard with an eight cylinder engine. Bugatti is known for creating some of the fastest cars in the world, and it’s no surprise that the 1934 model remains a classic gem. The cars for 2018 have not yet been announced, but they’re guaranteed to be more incredible classics!

Bonus: Aston Martin & Fraser Present A Night of Steampunk

Gears will turn as you enter the Night of Steampunk on the field of the La Jolla Concours adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. The night’s clock will take you back in time while you enjoy delicious tastes from 20 of San Diego’s finest restaurants, taste creative cocktails from the William Grant Portfolio, bid on Silent and Live Auction items, and enjoy a hosted bar while dancing through time!

And don’t miss the Friday night event: this year, the can’t-miss Friday night kick off party for the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance with the Pacific Sotheby’s Concours Social Club presented by The Lot La Jolla and Ferrari of San Diego. The evening will be divided into overlapping rooms of whimsy, color, and print where you can enjoy a full hosted vibrant bar and whimsical treats for the palate. This is your chance to get a sneak peek of the weekend ahead!

All proceeds this year will benefit the La Jolla Historical Society, which has been a champion for the preservation of La Jolla’s heritage since 1964 through discovery and tireless documentation. More than 100 historical monuments, annual art exhibits, and community events and tours are just a few of the ways the Society continues to promote awareness of our seaside town’s incredibly rich background.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance, visit their website.

Complete Guide to the La Jolla Tide Pools

La Jolla is a terrific place for tide pooling; in fact, it’s one of the best areas to go in all of San Diego! Its myriad of rocky cliffs and sandy beaches have created an endless supply of nooks and crannies for marine life viewing. The optimal season for tide pooling is December-March, when minus tides reveal wider beaches and the tide pools are uncovered. Before you go, be sure to check the tide charts to make sure you’ll be there during a low or minus tide. It’s also a good idea to wear close-toe shoes with good grip, long pants, and a jacket.

Here’s your complete guide to the La Jolla tide pools, from La Jolla Shores all the way to La Jolla Cove. Before you go, check out this handy guide on what kind of marine life/animals to look for.

 

Dike Rock

Dike Rock is located just north of Scripps Pier, and is also one of the spots where Birch Aquarium hosts guided tide pool tours. The tide pools at Dike Rock are not as large as other locations but provide terrain features that allow for a variety of marine life to life on. The main area is a single large rock and a long rocky sea wall covered by marine life.

Both the rock and the rock wall provide are covered by a variety of marine life. There are small pools that have accumulated over the years, and many have large sea anemones and crabs living in them. The smaller rocks near the sand are covered by mats of aggregating sea anemones and solitary sea anemones. This can be a great place to see both species side by side!

Directions: Walk north along the sandy beach from La Jolla Shores, over a rocky area until you reach the dike which is located on a slight point just north of Scripps Pier. The second distinct area of this tide pool are the smaller rocks found near the sandy areas. Some of these rocks are covered by mats of aggregating sea anemones and solitary sea anemones. This can be a great place to see both species side by side. The higher rocks are covered with mussels and barnacles.

What to look for: Keep an eye out for clams, snails, lots of limpets, mussels, barnacles, and the occasional sea anemone (some of the rocks are covered by many of these little guys). Sea hares are also common in this area, if the conditions are just right.

 

La Jolla Cove

A mention of the La Jolla tide pools would be remiss without including La Jolla Cove! Although the Cove is a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and of course, watching the seals and sea lions, there are also some great tide pools in the area if you look closely! The tide pools start at the northern end of the Cove and wraps around the point. Look for a rocky area that slopes down toward the ocean just past the small cave to the left of the stairs.

Directions: Find parking along Coast Blvd. and walk down the stairs at La Jolla Cove to get to the sandy beach area. Look for the small cave, and walk past it around the point to find the pools.

What to look for: Look for limpets, anemones, hermit crabs, mussels, and barnacles of all different shapes and sizes. Plenty of algae cover the rocks, making them slippery; but it’s great for exploring. The mussels and barnacles can be found lower in the tide pool area, along with abundant seagrass.

 

Hospitals Reef

Hospitals is one of the most well known favorite of many La Jolla locals – and a photographer’s paradise! San Diego is known for its many beaches, but Hospitals Reef is great to photograph. Here, you’ll quickly see a section of rocks filled with potholes, which almost look like tiny craters of the moon. During low tide on calm days, these craters are filled with water and reflect the clouds and even the sunset on rare occasions.

Directions: Located just south of Wipeout Beach and along Coast Boulevard. Look for a narrow grass strip on the bluff above this point called Coast Boulevard Park. 445 Coast Blvd.

What to look for: Lobsters, sea shells, sea anemones, crabs, barnacles, and mussels are often seen here.

Shell Beach

The tide pools at Shell Beach are just as accessible as those at La Jolla Cove, but are quite often less crowded. It’s an absolute ‘must’ to go at minus tide, however, since this isn’t a large beach by any means and you won’t be able to see much unless the tide is way out. A pathway along the bluff goes north through the park and continues to the Coast Walk Trail above La Jolla Bay. Seal Rock is just offshore and Children’s Pool Beach is visible beyond that to the south.

Directions: Shell Beach Tide Pools are located at the southern end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Look for the cement stairway (it’ll say Shell Beach on it) and head down; you’ll see the tide pools right away if you’re there at low tide.

What to look for: Sea anemones, crabs, starfish, and even smaller octopi are common at this spot!

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South Casa Beach

South Casa Beach is a small triangle-shaped cove just south of Children’s Pool Beach (Children’s Pool is also known as Casa Beach, so this little slice of land was dubbed South Casa). Although seals and sea lions can take over portions of the beach, there is easy access via a small staircase at the northern portion of the beach and at low and minus tides there are some nice little spots to look for smaller marine life. There is plenty of sand here, so it isn’t as precarious a location as some of the other La Jolla tide pools.

Directions: Locate Children’s Pool and walk just south (behind the sea wall). Use the stairs just south of the lifeguard tower. Parking can be found along Coast Boulevard and at the parking lot above the beach.

What to look for: Sea anemones, brittle stars, sea stars, mussels, limpets, chitons, and crabs are often spotted here.

Windansea Beach

Beloved by avid local surfers (it’s been a popular San Diego surfing area and gathering spot of the Windansea Surf Club since the 1960s) and recognizable by its historic surf shack, Windansea is also home to some great tide pools. The area is mostly rocks (which can get slippery when wet), with a small sandy spot at the bottom. The crevices within those rocks are where to look for the tide pools; the water gets trapped in the shallow depressions in the rocks. Winter storms can remove a lot of the sand here so it’s quite different between summer and winter! To get to the beach area, there are a couple stairs that descend the steep bluff where you’ll have to scramble down off sandstone ledges.

Directions: Located below Neptune Place, at the intersection of Neptune Place and Nautilus Street in La Jolla. There are a about ten designated parking spots above the beach and street parking spaces if those are taken.

What to look for: Small crustaceans (crabs), sea anemones, algae.

 

False Point

Though a bit closer to Bird Rock, False Point is one of the best spots to see tide pools in La Jolla; so much so that this is the second spot where Birch Aquariumoffers guided tours. Easily accessible down a small set of stairs from the street (though the rocks here can get very slippery and are often quite loose, so do exercise caution when walking here especially during high tide), there is an abundance of marine life here to explore.

Directions: Located at Sea Ridge Drive and Linda Way in La Jolla. Street parking is available (free during certain hours – make sure to check signs before you park). It can be limited, so we recommend going during off-peak hours.

What to look for: Sea anemones, hermit crabs, urchins, mussels, limpets, chitons, octopi, barnacles.

Some Tips for Tide Pool Viewing & Etiquette

Courtesy of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Learn before you go 
Read about the wildlife, viewing sites and local regulations to get the most from your wildlife viewing experience. Research on the internet, buy regional viewing guidebooks, talk with local residents and hire local guides to increase your chances of seeing marine wildlife.

Keep your distance
Use binoculars and cameras with zoom lenses to get a closer look. Marine wildlife may be very sensitive to human disturbance, and if cornered, they can harm the viewer or leave the area. If wildlife approaches you, stay calm and slowly back away or place boat engines in neutral.

Never touch (or feed) the wildlife
Never touch, handle or ride marine wildlife. Touching wildlife, or attempting to do so, can injure the animal, put you at risk and may also be illegal for certain species. The slimy coating on fish and many marine invertebrates protects the animal from infection and is easily rubbed off with a hand, glove or foot. Feeding or attempting to attract wildlife with food, decoys, sound or light disrupts normal feeding cycles, may cause sickness or death from unnatural or contaminated food items, and habituates animals to people.

Never chase or harass wildlife
Following a wild animal that is trying to escape is dangerous. Never completely surround the animal, trap an animal between a vessel and shore, block its escape route, or come between mother and young. When viewing from a boat, operate at slow speed, move parallel to the swimming animals, and avoid approaching head-on or from behind, and separating individuals from a group. If you are operating a non-motorized vessel, emit periodic noise to make wildlife aware of your presence and avoid surprise.

Stay away from wildlife that appears abandoned or sick
Some marine animals, such as seals, leave the water or are exposed at low tide as part of their natural life cycle — there may be nothing wrong with them. Young animals that appear to be orphaned may actually be under the watchful eye of a nearby parent. An animal that is sick or injured is already vulnerable and may be more likely to bite. If you think an animal is in trouble, contact the local authorities for advice.

Leave your pets at home
Wild animals can injure and spread diseases to pets, and in turn, pets can harm and disturb wildlife. For example, wild animals recognize dogs as predators and quickly flee when they see or smell dogs. If you are traveling with a pet, always keep them on a leash and away from areas frequented by marine wildlife.

Take your trash with you
Human garbage is one of the greatest threats to marine wildlife. Carry a trash bag with you and pick up litter found along the shore and in the water. Plastic bags, floating debris and monofilament line pose the greatest risk to wildlife.

 

 

go san diego card

The Go San Diego Card: Everything You Need to Know

The Go San Diego Card is a great way to save money on more than 45 different attractions throughout San Diego County. It’s perfect for both tourists and San Diego residents, and you could potentially save up to 55% off regular admission prices at these attractions!  Whether you want to sail out for a whale-watching cruise, take the whole family to SeaWorld or LEGOLAND, or visit the the San Diego Zoo, this convenient card lets you plan your own itinerary and pack in as many attractions as you can each day.

What Is the Go San Diego Card?

The Go San Diego Card is a type of Go City Card, which is a multi-attraction pass available in major cities around the globe – including nearby spots like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

There are four different options when purchasing your Go San Diego Card:

  • 1) All-Inclusive
    • A multi-attraction pass that gets you into 40 San Diego attractions plus one premium attraction for one low price.
    • Available in 1 day, 2 day, 3 day, 5 day, or 7 day options.
    • Needs to be used on consecutive calendar days.
  • 2) Build Your Own 
    • Choose from 42 attractions and build your own pass to San Diego.
    • If you choose 2 or more, you’ll save 20%. The pass is valid for 30 days.
    • Good choice for San Diego residents.
  • Package Deals
    • 3) San Diego 4 Choice Flex Pass: choose 4 San Diego attractions and activities from 8 great options. Save up to 39% compared to paying at the gate!
    • 4) Top 3 Attractions Pass: Discounted access to three attractions: LEGOLAND® California, San Diego Zoo, and SeaWorld San Diego.

How to Use the Go San Diego Card

Your Go San Diego Card grants you admission to as many included attractions as you want to visit for the number of days you bought the card for. Once you purchase the card, you can either 1) use your pass directly from your phone with the free Go City Card app or 2) print out your pass and guidebook at home. You don’t need to buy other tickets – the city card acts as your ticket to all attractions.

After it’s used the first time, the card is good for the number of days you chose, but those must be consecutive days – for instance, if you use the card first on a Monday morning, that counts as your first day. Even if you visit your first attraction late in the day, it still counts; so we recommend starting as early as possible!

If you skip one day because you’re tired, you don’t get a refund or an extension. Except for the rare multi-day pass, you can visit each attraction only once.

Where to Purchase the Go San Diego Card

You can purchase one directly through us!

What to Know Before You Buy the Go San Diego Card

• Be realistic about how much you can do! The big attractions will each take a full day, and some are far apart. For other attractions that take less time, there may be significant travel time to get from one to another. Plan to visit 1-3 attractions per day, and choose ones that are closer together.

• You get to skip the line. If you use the Go City Card app, you can skip the line at select attractions and go directly to the entrance turnstiles, where they will scan a QR code on your phone. If you print out the pass at home, you may have to wait in line to collect your paper pass.

• The app is free, and keeps everything in one place. Once you download the app, guidebooks to each attraction, your actual Go San Diego Card, and directions are all right on your phone. It’s a great (and easy) way to make sure you don’t miss anything!

• Only longer-duration cards include Sea World: if you purchase a 3, 5 or 7-Day card, you can visit SeaWorld on as many days as your card is valid. SeaWorld is not included on 1 and 2 day cards. You can skip the ticket line when you choose digital delivery.

• Child cards are for children ages 3-12. Most attractions do not charge for children under 3 years old. However, there are some exceptions (especially children’s museums and attractions geared toward very young travelers). If you have a child under 3 years old, please check with the attraction directly in advance.

• You have one year to use your Go San Diego Card once you purchase it. After one year, it will expire.

• Refund policy: their Risk Free Guarantee gives you 30 days from your purchase date to return any non-activated passes for a full refund.

Included Attractions in the Go San Diego Card

There are more than 40 attractions to choose from!

  • SeaWorld San Diego
  • 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour Ticket
  • Speed Boat Adventures
  • San Diego Zoo
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • LEGOLAND
  • Whale & Dolphin Watching by Hornblower Cruises
  • 1-hour San Diego Harbor Tour by Flagship Cruises
  • Belmont Park All-Access Combo Pass
  • San Diego Air and Space Museum
  • San Diego Natural History Museum
  • Birch Aquarium
  • Reuben H. Fleet Science Center with IMAX movie
  • San Diego Museum of Man
  • San Diego Automotive Museum
  • Model Railroad Museum
  • Tandem kayak and stand-up paddle board rentals at Bike & Kayak Tours Coronado
  • Bike, snorkel, kayak, and stand-up paddle board rentals at Bike & Kayak Tours La Jolla
  • Whale Watch by Flagship Cruises & Events
  • Miramar Speed Circuit
  • Japanese Friendship Garden
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • 30-minute GoCar San Diego Tour
  • The New Children’s Museum
  • San Diego History Center
  • Museum of Photographic Arts
  • Whaley House

Ready to start exploring San Diego? Purchase your multi-day pass or a Build Your Own Pass right here!