7 San Diego Rooftop Bars to Visit This Weekend

Spending time outdoors is pretty much a given if you live in San Diego, and dining al fresco is no exception! There are few better ways to spend a lazy weekend afternoon than hanging out on a rooftop, cocktail in hand, enjoying the sunshine. From panoramic views of the downtown skyline to chic rooftops along the coast, there are a ton of fantastic rooftop bars in San Diego perfect for doing just that. Here’s a rundown of our seven must-see favorites!

 

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Altitude Sky Lounge

660 K Street
San Diego, 92101
Standing at 22 stories, Altitude Sky Lounge is the highest open-air rooftop bar in the area, which means you’ll have better views of the city here than anywhere else. In addition to the bird’s eye view of downtown, Coronado Island, Coronado Bridge, and Point Loma, ALTITUDE’s location next to Petco Park also means you can catch a free ball game during baseball season!

Their weekday Happy Hour is definitely a must-try. On Mondays-Fridays from 5 pm to 7 pm, well drinks are $7, domestic draft beers are $5, and artisan flatbreads are all half off. It’s the perfect spot for a little after-work cocktail action!

 

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The Poolhouse

550 J St
San Diego, CA 92101
Head to the Pendry Hotel Downtown for the city’s newest rooftop lounge. During the day the third-floor space is reserved for hotel guests, but from 5pm-9pm the general public is invited to the hotel’s daily rooftop social, with specials on drinks, light bites, and bottle service. We love the $1 oysters, available during the 5pm-6pm Happy Hour.

On Sundays, The Poolhouse turns into a daytime party venue featuring a ton of gourmet food options and a signature bar and cocktail experience; including bottle service, champagne, specialty cocktails, fresh juices, and frozen libations. The luxe urban oasis boasts private cabanas and lavish daybeds to lounge on, and a live DJ provides background tunes. It’s a fun way to end your week in style!

 

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The Nolen

453 6th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101
An extravagant 14-story jewel in the Gaslamp quarter, The Nolen features both a patio and a rooftop lounge. Its beautiful setting – which features a communal fire pit – underlies an immersive spirit-forward cocktail menu. Come for the drinks, but stay for the food at their Sunset Hour which features $6 select sips and snacks.

Consistently ranked among the hottest bars in San Diego, The Nolen also recently began serving Sunday brunch with a build-your-own mimosa setup and specialty cocktails. The cocktail menu highlights local small-batch distilleries and one-of-a-kind blends aged in American oak barrels; you’ll find classic drinks, like Sidecars, as well as new-age handcrafted spirits, like “Christmas in Nicaragua.” You can’t go wrong with anything on the list!

 

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Rustic Root

535 Fifth Ave.
San Diego, 92101
Located in a prime spot in the Gaslamp Quarter, Rustic Root is a local favorite for its fresh, contemporary cuisine and yummy cocktails – and ideal for when you want a bit of a reprieve from insane lines and fighting for elbow room at the bar. The super-relaxed atmosphere pairs really well with the panoramic views for people watching along Sixth Avenue!

The rooftop bar menu here highlights rustic American cuisine, where dishes are packed with modern flavors. Their signature cocktails revolve around timeless and iconic classics, with the addition of more creative options like their craft cocktail shots – fun sip-sized versions of the classics finished with yummy garnishes.

 

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Catania

7863 Girard Ave.
La Jolla, 92037
This recent addition to Whisknladle Hospitality Group (open since 2015) is right here in La Jolla and boasts amazing sweeping views of La Jolla Village from the top of the Moroccan-themed La Plaza shopping center. With a choice of indoor or outdoor seating, the latter is a hands-down winner, allowing guests to enjoy lazy afternoon lunches, small plates, and leisurely dinners while taking in the sights from above.

Named after the coastal Italian city in Sicily, the restaurant focuses on authentic food from the area while highlighting seasonal ingredients. Their cocktails are all handcrafted with an Italian spin, and many feature a splash of Prosecco. Pro-tip: visit Catania on Mondays for their “Meatball Madness” special and a rotating assortment of traditional Italian dishes like chicken Marsala, eggplant Parmesan and, of course, spaghetti and meatballs. Stay through dusk for unparalleled sunset views!

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Kettner Exchange

2001 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, 92101
One of Little Italy’s biggest hotspots, Kettner Exchange boasts a luxurious, stylish rooftop patio bar complete with private, curtained cabanas that come with their own flat-screen TV and wet bar. This particular patio is ideal for private parties, but if you’re looking to mingle, head to the dedicated bar and grab a seat by the counter or at one of the many tables.

The restaurant’s rooftop menu includes light bites and small plates; one of our favorites is the Bigeye Tuna Pizza, topped with red onions, ponzu, shiso, and truffle oil. Their cocktail menu is impressive and expansive and features everything from light and refreshing mixtures to high-end sipping whiskey. There is definitely something for everyone here!

 

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Upper East Bar

435 6th Avenue
San Diego, 92101
This fourth-floor rooftop in East Village, previously known as JSix Lounge and located at the Kimpton Solamar Hotel, has been completely revamped with a new layout and transformed into a luxurious, modern oasis. Cocktails and menu offerings were also updated with refreshing creations by executive chef Anthony Sinsay. Aside from the name change, it still offers sweeping views of Petco Park and surrounding buildings. You can enjoy outdoor games, fire pits, and private cabañas while you sip on a cocktail, or simply lounge poolside.

Some cocktail menu favorites include the East Fizz, a delicious combo of Grey Goose, grapefruit liqueur, and sparkling wine; and the Frosé, complete with dry rosé wine, Bacardi tangerine rum, and topped with fresh fruit. Fun pro-tip: On Mondays, the bar hosts “Veuve Around the Clock,” featuring a chilled glass of Veuve Clicquot for $5 at 5 pm, $6 at 6 pm, $7 at 7 pm, and $8 at 8 pm.

There you have it, 7 San Diego Rooftop Bars to visit this weekend. Looking for something a little closer to La Jolla? Check out our favorite spots in the Village for Happy Hour!

Fleming’s La Jolla Hosts Dinner & Wine Pairing Featuring Orin Swift Wines

On August 17th, Flemings La Jolla will host their second Orin Swift Wine Dinner of the summer! The event will feature an incredible four-course meal prepared by Flemings exclusively for the event, paired with a series of wines from Orin Swift – and we are giving away two tickets!

The Dinner

In addition to a pre-dinner Reception with appetizers and a specialty wine feature, the main dinner at Flemings will include four courses.

The first course will feature a Peach Panzanella Salad with Mannequin from Orin Swift. The second course will feature Wild Mushrooms and Grit Toast, paired with Palermo from Orin Swift. Third will be a Filet Mignon topped with Crab and Shrimp, paired with Papillon; and fourth will feature a Key Lime Tart served with coffee and tea.

During the event, there will be multiple opportunities to win prizes, including raffles and giveaways. The prizes include bottles of wine, gift cards, rare skateboard desks crafted and painted exclusively for Orin Swift, and more.

GIVEAWAY

We are giving away two tickets to this exclusive Wine Tasting & Dinner Pairing! Tickets are valued at $110 per person. Entries must be submitted by August 15th, 2018. To enter, visit our Giveaway PageIf you win, you’ll receive an email with instructions and details on the event!

Fleming’s La Jolla is located at 8970 University Center Lane, San Diego 92122. Flemings’ menu is filled with your fresh favorites and a local chef’s table that changes with the season. The bar manager has curated a wide selection of locally selected wines, hand-crafted cocktails, and spirits.

About Orin Swift Wines

The history of Orin Swift Cellars dates back to 1995 when David Swift Phinney took a friend up on an offer and traveled to Florence, Italy to spend a semester “studying.”

A year later, he founded Orin Swift Cellars. With two tons of zinfandel and not much else, he spent the next decade making wine for others as well as himself and grew the brand to what it is today. Their eclectic varieties of wine combine bold, intense flavors with balance and focused sleekness. The creative individuality of the labels is also a key part of the brand; the evocative packaging features classic art, dramatic photography, abstract image collages, and more.

Swim With Leapard Sharks

Why You Should Swim With La Jolla Leopard Sharks This Summer

Yes it’s true, La Jolla is filled with leopard sharks. No, they are not dangerous – in fact, they are pretty friendly!

The first thing you probably imagine when you hear “shark” is vicious predator. But not all sharks are threatening to humans. In fact La Jolla’s leopard sharks are friendly and even fun to be around. La Jolla is a summer getaway for thousands of beautiful leopard sharks. They’re non-lethal to humans and a delight to the eye. They even fun to swim, kayak, or scuba dive next to.

What makes leopard sharks different?

Well for one – they’re one of La Jolla’s most prized attractions. They draw visitors from all over the world, especially during summer. Their beautiful appearance is fascinating to look at, and despite being carnivores, they never attack humans.

Biologists estimate that the sharks that come to La Jolla are 97% female. Scientists estimate that a majority of of them show up to find a mate. The ones that are pregnant claim La Jolla as home to raise their young.

The toasty San Diego climate is a great location for the developing embryos to grow up. The warm weather sets up the perfect environment for healthy development in maturing sharks. There is plenty of food and resources for them to grow and mature.

Fun facts about leopard sharks

Andrew Nosal, a researcher at La Jolla’s Birch Aquarium says, “What the [females] are essentially doing is incubating… like [how] a mother bird sits on eggs to keep them warm.” Leopard shark mothers are pregnant for about 10 months to a year and give birth to about 15-20 babies. They take about 10 years to reach adulthood.

The sharks themselves are quite fascinating. Despite being fierce carnivores, they are known for their timid nature when interacting with humans. In fact, they are harmless to people. Most of the time when they encounter a human in the ocean, they swim away scared. In La Jolla, there has never been a recorded injury from a leopard shark.

Although they have the word “shark” in their name, the sharks don’t attack humans unless heavily provoked. Their small mouths have about 75 to 100 tiny teeth that may appear sharp and menacing, but they’re nonlethal to humans.

Nosal, who spent years researching the sharks, cautions the public, “It’s always important to remember that these are wild animals and should not be touched or harassed in any way.” Despite being a fish, leopard sharks have one thing in common with leopards (besides their skin of course). They are both predators who hunt down their prey.

Their diet consists primarily of shrimp, clams, crab, and fish. The food they consume is similar to what you can find at some of La Jolla’s most exclusive seafood restaurants. And despite a fierce carnivorous nature, it’s the beauty of leopard sharks that’s most fascinating. Their beautiful skin is a pleasure to the eye. Each leopard shark skin is unique to the fish with no two patterns being the same, just like human fingerprints.

Leopard sharks at La Jolla Shores are a beautiful tourist attraction you need to experience.La Jolla kayak shops offer tours to experience them up close. The tours take visitors to the leopard shark hot spots including feeding grounds and mating spots.

According to LaJollaKayak.com “[the sharks] can be seen just a few yards away from shore…” There’s just no excuse to not experience the sharks.

During the summertime from July to September, Birch Aquarium offers 2-hour leopard shark Snorkeling Adventures where they cover the abundant variety of animals that live in La Jolla’s waters. Participants must provide their own snorkeling gear.

If you don’t feel like renting, you can head straight into the water and experience them first hand. Although the fish are easily frightened and often swim away from people, they are quite fun to be around. Nosal suggests that, “The best thing to do is to stay motionless and allow the shark to come to you.” While most people don’t feel comfortable letting a shark come to them, it’s one of the coolest experiences you will ever have.

Come experience the sharks for yourself – there’s nothing quite like it!

La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival: Experience the Cannes of Fashion Film in La Jolla!

This July, the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival returns for its ninth annual year!

Hundreds of fashion filmmakers from around the world will showcase the very best in fashion film in a truly one-of-a-kind experience; in fact, the festival is the first and only fashion film festival to be founded in North America. This year, the event will be from July 19th-21st, 2018 at various venues throughout La Jolla including The Lot and the Price Ballroom at UC San Diego.

From Hollywood to the international fashion capitals of the world, some of the top names in the industry will come together once again to attend the festival. The films that make it into the final program will represent some of the most brilliant and creative directors in filmmaking today.

Curated from the dynamic and exploding world of fashion film, these films are a glimpse of what’s trending in the minds of the world’s top fashion houses, designers, and stylists interpreted through the lens of their filmmaking counterparts.

La Jolla Fashion Film Festival 2018 Highlights

Thursday, July 19: Art Installation Night and Pre-Opening Reception 
Mingle with some of fashion’s finest artists as world renowned fashion photographer and artist Jacques Silberstein, Florence Italy based director and artist Rossano Maniscalchi, and Mexico City fashion artist and historian Antonio Contreras display their art pieces. Venue: The LOT La Jolla

Friday, July 20: Opening Night Screening Program 
After reviewing over 11,000 films, these are the best! Pick up your wrist bands at the registration table in front of the theater between 7 and 8pm. Venue: Price Center Ballroom at UCSD.

Friday, July 20: Fashion Body Art Creation Demos 
Watch as one of the world’s foremost body painters and makeup artists, Einat Dan, and world champion body painter and costume designer Birgit Mortl hold an on-going demonstration of the creative process behind the scenes! Venue: Price Center Ballroom at UCSD.

Saturday, July 21: International Fashion Film Awards
Who will go home with the most coveted award in the world of fashion film? Find out on fashion film’s most important night. Presenters are called up to the stage Academy Award style and announce the winners. Venue: Price Center Ballroom at UCSD.

SEE ALSO: Fashion Week San Diego Hosted in La Jolla

More Information

The festival is the passion project of Fred Sweet, owner and founder, who has used his model and talent agency background to embrace his belief in the importance of fashion film. His goal was to create a platform where talented directors and designers could showcase their work. While some directors are beginning to produce big budget films for brands like Chanel and Prada, many are still funding them out of their own pockets. The passion, creativity, and dedication to the medium is apparent in many of these films.

Every year, the festival chooses from over 11,000 films; separating the best of the best to create a mix of 100 films to showcase at the festival. In all, the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival offers attendees the perfect combination of cosmopolitan glamor and creative, cinematic masterpieces.

LJIFF 2018 Awards

  • Best Hairstyling
  • Best Makeup
  • Best Message
  • Best Narration
  • Best Accessories
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Sound Design
  • Best Jewelry
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Music
  • Best Creative Concept
  • Best Visual Effects
  • Best Editing
  • Best Art Direction
  • Best Actress
  • Best Actor
  • Best Fashion
  • Best Director
  • Best Picture

To learn more about the world’s largest gathering of fashion filmmakers, visit the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival website.

Why La Jolla Is (Definitely) a Better Weekend Getaway Than L.A.

la jolla weekend getaway

Angelenos often say, “There’s no city quite like Los Angeles,” which is true; it’s one of the most recognizable cities in the world, and is known for its upscale nightlife, celeb sightings, and its great food scene. However, if you’re looking for a quiet weekend getaway, La Jolla should be at the top of your list!

Whether you’re a family of four or a couple looking to escape for a few days, there is no shortage of activities and things to do in La Jolla. From top rated restaurants to water activities and hiking trails with ocean views, there’s a little something for everyone. Here are six reasons La Jolla should be your next vacation destination!

There’s Traffic, Then There’s LA Traffic

L.A. traffic is horrible. I wish I could it put it differently, but I can’t. According to a Forbes article published in 2017, L.A. has the 10th worst traffic in the world and the worst in the United States. The San Diego region doesn’t have enough traffic to even make that list. Not only that, if you want to visit the city on a weekend, everything is jam packed. Restaurants, hotels, bars, and museums are overcrowded with people. There’s always somebody nearby pushing you or bumping into you.

La Jolla doesn’t have much traffic. Yes, there’s an occasional blocked road or minor accident. Yes, there’s two streets in La Jolla with traffic (La Jolla Village Drive & Torrey Pines Road). But besides that, you can get around with ease.

la jolla weekend getaway

Easy Breezy Weather

La Jolla weather is cooler than L.A. During the summer, L.A. is on average hotter than La Jolla by about 5 degrees. That may not seem like a lot, but imagine if every room you walked into was 5 degrees hotter than what you’re used to. You start to really feel it.

Because La Jolla is on average 5 degrees cooler, it means whether you want to relax on the beach, eat outdoors, or do outdoor activities, you don’t feel like you’re melting in the heat. Not to mention, Los Angeles is more humid too.

La Jolla is also conveniently located next to the ocean. So there’s a cool breeze that’s unmatched anywhere in the world. L.A. is windy at times, but there’s no refreshing breeze that calms you down year round.

Restaurants

It seems like a no-brainer that L.A. has more restaurants than La Jolla (and many good ones). There are, so many I couldn’t count them (trust me, I tried). But La Jolla is better because there are more high-quality restaurants per square mile.

La Jolla has 20 Zagat rated restaurants in its small borders including George’s At The Cove, The Marine Room, Donovan’s Steak & Chop House, while L.A. has 19 Zagat restaurants total. Take into account the size of L.A. It’s over 500 square miles while La Jolla is just over seven. La Jolla restaurants are incredibly good and close to each other.

Let’s use Yelp to judge the food. La Jolla has about 25 highly rated restaurants (4.5 stars or higher) on the review app. L.A. has over 1000 restaurants with 4.5 or higher. People often say “more is better” but not when you’re looking for just two or three good places to eat. There are just too many choices when you go to L.A. – if you’re in town for just one weekend, finding a delicious restaurant shouldn’t mean scrolling through thousands of options. You should be able to find a place and enjoy a delicious meal without much hassle.

la jolla weekend getaway

Hiking

Hiking in La Jolla is easier to access. If you’re looking for a hike, everything is a 15-minute drive or closer. One of La Jolla’s most popular hikes, Torrey Pines, is a state natural reserve. It’s open 365 days a year, from 7:15 am to sunset. There is a small fee for parking in the South lot ($10-12 on Mon -Thurs & $12-20 on Fri-Sun) and even cheaper in the North lot. Best of all, there’s a breathtaking view of the ocean throughout the trail.

L.A.’s most famous hike is the Hollywood sign. While a fun hike, it’s complicated to even find the entrance (try it for yourself). There’s a high amount of traffic and it’s more crowded. Although there’s free parking, you’re not guaranteed a parking spot. Finally, despite beauty being subjective, I think an ocean view beats a cityscape any day. That’s just us though.

la jolla weekend getaway

Fun Beaches

It’s not fair to include beaches in this article, but we did because that is what makes La Jolla a better weekend getaway. The fact of the matter is La Jolla is a coastal city and Los Angeles isn’t. Regardless, we thought about looking at the nearest beaches would hammer the point home.

La Jolla Shores is one of the most sought after beaches in the world. It’s known for its breath-taking views, infamous leopard sharks, and mysterious sea caves. Plus there are all types of fun activities to do near the shores including kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba-diving. And of course, La Jolla Cove is well known pretty much around the world for its crystal-clear blue water, seals and sea lions, and beautiful views.

Santa Monica Beach is L.A.’s most popular and (unfortunately dirty) beach. It’s known for its chronic pollution. Plus, from the heart of L.A., it’s about 17 miles away, which is more than 30 minutes of traffic. And there’s always traffic.

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Location, Location, Location

La Jolla’s location is unbelievably convenient. Directions to La Jolla are fairly straightforward: it’s located 10 miles from downtown San Diego and major attractions like the Gaslamp District, Balboa Park, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Everything is close to L.A. too – it just might take you over an hour to get five miles across the city!

La Jolla is a better weekend getaway than L.A., not because there’s more to do in the small city, but because you don’t lose half the day battling traffic. Whether you want to get to the beach, restaurant, or hiking trail, it’s easier in La Jolla and La Jolla Cove. That means you get more time to explore. If you’re here for a weekend, enjoy the most possible time experiencing the city, not traveling from one part to another.

Have you visited both places? Leave us a comment below with your opinion of which city makes the best weekend getaway.

Guide to the Museums in La Jolla

Despite its small size, La Jolla is a haven for local arts and culture; there are multiple museums, art galleries, and historic spots to see in the Village, from the Museum of Contemporary Art to the Map & Atlas Museum. If you’re looking to spend the afternoon brushing up on some culture, spend time in these locales absorbing new knowledge, renowned art, and local history.

Museum of Contemporary Art

The La Jolla branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has been bringing folks into its Prospect Street location since 1950. The museum is home to multiple constantly rotating exhibits to keep things fresh, and is currently undergoing extensive renovations to further enhance its art exhibitions.

After spending time walking the interior and taking in the galleries, make sure to take in the ocean view from the front of the museum, then head to the Edwards Sculpture Garden out back to wander the sculptures and have a picnic. If you’ve been inspired to do some art of your own, bring a sketchpad and let your artistic side take over!

Please note that the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla is currently closed until 2019. Head to the MCSASD downtown San Diego location until then, and stay tuned for updates!

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

This library is free to enter, though it’d be worth an admission price! The Spanish-Renaissance styled library was built in 1921, and the exterior is as beautiful today as it was then. Step inside and you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time; the museum is filled with books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and other materials on a wide range of artistic and musical genres. You can simply take in the interior and explore the works, or become a member to take materials home and receive special offers.

Each month, the Athenaeum hosts Murals of La Jolla Walking Tours. These docent-led tours take visitors on an hour-long excursion throughout the Village to see each of the seventeen murals that grace various walls, alleyways, and nooks and crannies. Visit their website for the tour schedule.

The Athenaeum is open 10am-5:30pm Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and 10am-8:30pm on Wednesday.

La Jolla Historical Society

The quaint museum run by the La Jolla Historical Society is the epitome of charming. Located at 7846 Eads Avenue, just off Prospect, this cottage gives you a historical feel and context for the very city you’re in (in fact, the cottage is one of the first buildings to be built in all of La Jolla, and was initially the home of Ellen Browning Scripps). Step inside the to see the carefully put-together exhibits of this historic Wisteria cottage, which has had many significances since it’s creation. Across more than 100 years, it’s served as a home, a school, a bookstore and, since 2005, a museum.

The Historical Society also hosts events. We particularly want to highlight their yearly spring event, the Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla. Buying a ticket lets you explore normally off-limits, private gardens in the community that are truly tremendous.

The Historical Society is open noon-4pm Wednesday through Saturday.

Map & Atlas Museum of La Jolla

When you think of maps, you may think of the giant foldout ones you grab on trips to foreign cities or locals ones to have in your car in case the GPS fails. However, there is a lot of history, beauty, and culture surrounding maps and mapmaking (also known as cartography) that we don’t think about, specifically with antique maps and atlases. This is a great niche museum that offers rotating exhibits throughout the year, showcasing things like “A Selection of 19th Century Gold Rush Maps” and various other mapmaking trends.

This spot is a real treat, and there is nothing else like it in San Diego County. Come explore this small but impactful museum for yourself: it’s open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month from 11am to 4pm.

Near La Jolla: Balboa Park

We would be remiss to not mention Balboa Park in San Diego when talking about museums! Home to 17 world-class museums and galleries, Balboa Park is an incredible cultural center in the heart of San Diego.

With multiple gardens, restaurants, art galleries, and exhibits, this is definitely a must-visit during your time in the city. Keep an eye out for incredible Spanish architecture while you’re there: the park was built in the early 1900s for the Panama-California Exhibition, and one of its defining features even today is the California Tower; which you can now tour!

List of the museums within Balboa Park

  • San Diego Natural History Museum
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • San Diego Hall of Champions
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum
  • San Diego Museum of Man
  • Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
  • San Diego Model Railroad Museum

Learn more about the park and its museums at our Balboa Park Page.

San Diego Surf Film Festival Returns to La Jolla

san diego surf film festival

The San Diego Surf Film Festival returns to San Diego and downtown La Jolla for its seventh year this May 9th-12th! Films will be shown at a dozen locations all around San Diego, with its hub being one of the newest art galleries in La Jolla: Misfit Gallery on Pearl Street. This year, a roster of fifteen of the best international surf films are being presented over the four-day festival. From La Jolla Cove to north county, here are some of this year’s SDSFF highlights!

This Year’s Highlights

Opening Night

The festival kicks off at 6pm on Wednesday, May 9th at Wade Koniakowsky’s (this year’s featured artist) art gallery in the Cedros Design District area of Solana Beach. The Opening Night movie begins at 7pm, but arrive early to catch a gorgeous sunset, take in the live art, and enjoy some refreshments. This year’s Opening Night will also feature a special tribute to Bruce Brown, the legendary filmmaker behind one of the most important and well known surf cinema productions of all time: Endless Summer. 

In tribute, the festival will be presenting three films on different screens that evening: Endless Summer, On Any Sunday, and Discovering Mentawais.

San Diego Surfing Hall of Fame Induction Ballot Ceremony

Thursday, May 10 is the highly-anticipated San Diego Surfing Hall of Fame Induction Ballot Dinner Ceremony, introduced by Hank Warner at the La Jolla Community Center. More than a dozen local eateries have come together to create a special tasting menu to be paired with Ballast Point beer, ZioBaffa wine, and Babe Kombucha in what looks to be an incredibly memorable evening amongst the legends of San Diego surfing. The dinner and event is $75, or included for VIP Nautilus Pass holders.

Last year the SDSFF presented Skip Frye with their highest honor, the Spirit of the San Diego Surf Film Festival. For SDSFF 2018, they have invited over two dozen San Diego Surfing Legends to show up for the San Diego Surfing Hall of Fame Induction Ballot. With the approval and guidance from these legends, they compiled a list of around 100 of the Most Influential San Diego Surfers; and during the ballot ceremony, you’ll be able to have your voice heard in the process! The Hall of Fame will inducts its first 25 Surfers in September, 2018.

3 Nights of Surf Films

All six nights of film viewings, as well as the closing Awards Ceremony, will be held at Misfit Gallery in La Jolla (565 Pearl St., #100). Friday and Saturday include the majority of the films, as well as special events running throughout the day and into the evening.

This year’s film highlights include:The Church of the Open Sky, Nathan Oldfield

  • Proximity, Taylor Steele
  • Biarritz Surf Gang, Nathan Curren & Pierre Denoyel
  • Big Wata, Gugi van der Velden

Special Events

The festival isn’t just about surf films! Other activities will be happening throughout the week, including morning surf and yoga sessions, special Filmmaker Workshops by Salty Surf Housings, and the 3rd Annual SDSFF Art & Surf Expression Session Invitational in Carlsbad on Saturday (artists will be riding the waves and creating works of art on the beach throughout the day). Afterwards, enjoy the Filmmaker & Artists Meet and Greet at El Pescador in La Jolla, followed by Happy Hour at the Misfit Gallery.

The San Diego Surf Film Festival boasts seven years of incredible films, hard work, and talent behind it. The fest was founded by Pierce Kavanagh  as a small film showcase in 2012; that first year, every film sold out and they had lines around the block. The City of San Diego presented them with a plaque, and seven years later, it has become one of the largest and most respected surf film festivals around the world. 2018 returns with another awesome lineup of the best surf films, filmmaker Q&As, special events, and more.

Visit the SDSFF website to purchase tickets or see the full film lineup.

How One Woman Shaped La Jolla: The Legacy of Ellen Browning Scripps

Ellen Browning Scripps was many things to many people throughout her 96 years; a sister, schoolteacher, journalist, philanthropist, patron of the arts, among others. She and her brother, E.W. Scripps, created what would become America’s largest chain of newspapers, linking midwestern industrial cities with booming towns in the west. By the 1920s, Scripps was worth an estimated $30 million and was one of the wealthiest individuals in the United States – but more than 99% of that wealth was donated to or invested in charitable causes and buildings throughout La Jolla and San Diego.

In honor of Women’s History Month, a short look into Ellen’s lifelong legacy and how she helped to shape one of San Diego’s most unique communities.

Family portrait, circa 1915. Front row: Virginia Scripps, Ellen Browning Scripps, E.W. Scripps, sons Robert and John, Nackie Scripps (Mrs. E.W. Scripps), Mrs. James Scripps, E.W.’s mother, Judith Osborne. Back row: Fred Scripps, Mrs. Willam Scripps, William Scripps, James E. Scripps [source].

English Roots

Ellen was born in 1836 in London, England, to James Mogg Scripps (a bookbinder by trade) and Ellen Mary Saunders. She had five siblings, only four of whom lived to adulthood. When her father’s bookbinding shop failed and her mother passed away, the family emigrated to Illinois, where he remarried. The youngest child from that marriage, E.W. Scripps, would eventually become a well-known newspaper tycoon and the founder of The E.W. Scripps Company.

Ellen was the only one of her ten siblings to attend college. She studied science and mathematics at Knox College, one of the few educational institutions to admit women. She graduated in 1859 with a certificate (they did not yet give degrees to women) from the Female Collegiate Department. Afterwards, she returned home to teach in a one-room schoolhouse.

Business Beginnings

After the American Civil War, Scripps gave up her job as a schoolteacher and headed to Detroit, at that time a burgeoning industrial center in the West. She joined her brother James E. Scripps in publishing The Detroit Evening News, a short and politically independent newspaper pitched to the city’s working class. This was the start of the Scripps family fortune.

Ellen herself wrote a daily column, titled “Miss Ellen’s Miscellany,” that reduced local and national news to short sound bites. In the 1870s and 1880s, the Scripps papers expanded to include The Cleveland Press, The Cincinnati Post, and the St. Louis Chronicle.

As a shareholder, Ellen Scripps played a big role in the family company. She was business-savvy, and gave financial advice to her younger brother E.W. many times over the years; he actually credited her with saving him from financial ruin in more than one instance! In the 1880s, his attempt to seize control of the Scripps Publishing Company failed, resulting in a divisive lawsuit; he and his brother James had a falling out, though E.W. stayed close with Ellen.

Ellen’s first La Jolla home, South Moulton Villa [source

Settling in La Jolla

Ellen traveled to the west coast and eventually settled in La Jolla in 1899, when she moved into a seaside cottage that she had built. She loved the peace, solitude, and unmarred natural beauty of La Jolla; it was a much different world than her bustling hometown. Ellen named her little cottage South Molton Villa (sometimes spelled South Moulton Villa), after the street on which she’d been born.

Ellen gradually settled into her new home and started to get to know her community. La Jolla had a growing number summer and year-round residents, many of whom were unmarried women or widows. She remarked that in the early days, “It was a woman’s town,” which she happily immersed herself in. She became quite the active socialite: she listened to music at the Green Dragon colony, went to lectures, chaperoned dances at the Pavilion, picnicked at Del Mar and Pacific Beach, visited neighbors, took sightseeing trips, and invited friends to her cottage for dinner and conversation. She a founding member of the La Jolla Woman’s Club and became involved in a wide variety of progressive causes as the years went on.

The Bishop’s School, early 1900s [source]

Enduring Contributions: Education, Medicine, & the Arts

Her love of learning, the arts, and the land were clearly evident from the buildings and institutions she established while in La Jolla:

  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
  • Scripps Aquarium, La Jolla (now Birch Aquarium at Scripps)
  • The Bishop’s School
  • Scripps Memorial Hospital
  • Scripps Metabolic Clinic
  • Scripps Research Institute
  • La Jolla Woman’s Club (of which she was a founding member)
  • La Jolla Recreation Center
  • Torrey Pines State Reserve
  • The Children’s Pool (1931)

She also made donations to the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library and the La Jolla Library. Sources estimated that during her lifetime, she donated as much as $2 million to charitable causes. Ellen and her brother’s vision shaped the development of San Diego and La Jolla through the 1940s, if not longer. Today, many civic leaders still share the Scripps’ utopian vision of San Diego – as a sustainable paradise that fosters a sense of belonging and peace.

Ellen Scripps in the library of her La Jolla home [courtesy of Scripps College]

Celebrating Her Love of La Jolla

“The most important and beautiful gift one human being can give to another is, in some way, to make life a little better to live.” — Ellen Browning Scripps, 1924. It was clear that La Jolla held a special place in Ellen’s heart, and her generosity and philanthropic efforts were truly extensions of that love of her community. She carefully chose causes or institutions, and donated to those she found deserving of her support.

Her philanthropy extended beyond La Jolla, as well. She contributed to institutions throughout San Diego, including donations to the Natural History Museum, the San Diego Zoo, and the Zoological Garden and Research Laboratory in Balboa Park.

A Lasting Legacy

By the 1920s, Ellen Browning Scripps was worth an estimated $30 million (roughly $3.7 billion in 2018 dollars) and was one of the wealthiest individuals in the United States – but more than 99% of that wealth was donated to or invested in charitable causes and buildings throughout San Diego. She would later appear on the cover of Time magazine, after founding Scripps College in Claremont. After years of dedicating her life to the betterment of her community, Ellen was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007. And of course, today we have Ellen Browning Scripps Park, which was dedicated to and named after her in 1927.

Ellen Browning Scripps died in her La Jolla home on August 3, 1932, just a few weeks shy of her 96th birthday. Her obituary described her as a woman who had perfected “the art of living” as well as the art of giving. Today, we see her legacy throughout La Jolla – from the seaside park that was named after her to the museums, schools, and other institutions she helped to establish.

[Sources: sandiegohistory.orgsandiegoreader.comoac.cdlib.org]

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

Source

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 6-8 at Ellen Browning Scripps Park and The LOT La Jolla: the Rolls-Royce “Dapper and Delight” Soiree on Friday; the VIP Evening Reception on Saturday; and the main car show from 9am-4pm on Sunday. From specialty craft cocktails (Hendricks, anyone?) 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.

La Jolla Concours d'Elegance

Bring the entire family

General tickets for Concours d’Elegance are normally $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.

Kids will also get a kick out of this year’s vintage aviation show, happening for the first time ever this year. The spectacle will feature some of the finest restored aircrafts dating back to more than fifty years ago, making the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance the perfect combination of land, ocean, and air entertainment. The main car show event will take place from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday, April 8th.

Enjoy craft cocktails & delicious hors d’oeuvres

This year’s Sunday car show will feature complimentary craft cocktails with champagne and Hendrick’s Gin for those 21+; complimentary  samplings of honey flights (what other event can honestly boast honey flights?!), and one-of-a-kind cheeses from Venissimo Cheese; and live 30s-era swing music from award-winning Dave Patrone.

For a VIP experience, you can spend a little extra and enjoy fabulous bites from 15 of San Diego’s finest restaurants, a complimentary glass of champagne and honey tastings, a hosted bar in the VIP Sponsor Lounge, and a signed poster from the renowned La Jolla Concours Artist, Scott Jacobs.

La Jolla Concours d'Elegance

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: Rolls Royce is hosting an epic cocktail party

If you really want to celebrate the weekend in style, this is the place to do it! On Friday, April 6th, enjoy vintage champagne displays and a live band with a canary singer at Covo Restaurant in La Jolla. There will be a hosted bar by William Grant Portfolio, including wines, champagne, and incredible small bites and appetizers from Covo Restaurant of La Jolla.

Tickets are $100 each and available online before the event.

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.

4 Surprising Ways La Jolla Inspired Dr. Seuss

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

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.”

Dr. Seuss lived on Mt. Soledad until he passed away peacefully in his home there in 1991. Today, his name graces UC San Diego’s world renowned Geisel Library and we see remnants of his vision throughout all of La Jolla; from the trees that line its coast to the iconic spires of a famous Coronado hotel.

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.