San Diego Museums to Add to Your List

San Diego County is home to more than 90 different museums and galleries, each offering visitors a completely unique and memorable experience. From model railroads and the history of art to military aircraft and music-making, it’s no wonder USA Today has called San Diego one of America’s most creative cities! Whether you want to take in the serene beauty of Balboa Park or you want to head downtown to explore San Diego’s urban center, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best San Diego museums to add to your list!

Balboa Park Museums

Balboa Park is the largest urban park in the entire United States, and represents San Diego’s cultural core with a whopping 17 museums dedicated to all kinds of topics; including anthropology, art, aviation, natural science, and technology. The museums and exhibitions are spread throughout the pristine gardens and historic Spanish Colonial architecture in Balboa Park:

  • Centro Cultural de la Raza
  • Fleet Science Center
  • Japanese Friendship Garden
  • Marston House
  • Mingei International Museum
  • Museum of Photographic Arts
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum
  • San Diego Art Institute
  • San Diego Automotive Museum
  • San Diego History Center
  • San Diego Model Railroad Museum
  • San Diego Museum of Man
  • San Diego Natural History Museum
  • The San Diego Museum of Art
  • Timken Museum of Art (free)
  • Veterans Museum
  • WorldBeat Center

Pro-tip: if you’re in town for several days, the Balboa Park Explorer Pass is the way to go. There are one-day, multi-day, and annual Explorer Pass options that allow you to experience everything Balboa Park has to offer at a discount. You’ll see savings of more than 50%, in addition to the convenience of it being a one-time purchase. The Multi-Day Explorer/Zoo Combo includes the Balboa Park Multi-Day Explorer Pass plus a one-day admission ticket to the San Diego Zoo. Visit their website for more details!

SEE ALSO: Balboa Park Dining Guide

While you’re at Balboa Park, make it a point to stop and stroll through at least one or two of their 19 gardens. The Botanical Building is one of the most photographed buildings in Balboa Park, and The Rose Garden, Zoro Garden, and the Children’s Ethnobotany Garden are also very popular spots especially during the spring and summer. Don’t forget your camera!

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Museums

Considered the birthplace of California, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park offers visitors a unique glimpse into San Diego’s colonial period from 1821-1872. Many of the historical sites and museums in this neighborhood have free admission, and along the way you’re able to stop at over a hundred shops, boutiques, and restaurants.

At the center of Old Town is the Whaley House Museum Complex, which consists of five historic buildings – the most famous of which is the Whaley House, the most haunted house in the country according to the Travel Channel’s “America’s Most Haunted!”

For a more mellow exhibit, visit the original stagecoach at the Wells Fargo Museum, see a scale model of 19th century Old Town at the reconstructed Robinson-Rose House, and tour the Black Hawk Livery & Blacksmith, the first public schoolhouse in San Diego. Casa de Estudillo is considered one of the finest adobe haciendas in the state. Up the hill you’ll discover Heritage Park, a 7.8 acre county park where seven Victorian homes have been relocated and now house shops, bed-and-breakfasts, and the Serra Museum, site of California’s first mission and fort. Here is the complete listing of museums in the Old Town area:

  • Black Hawk Livery & Blacksmith
  • Casa de Carrillo
  • Casa de Estudillo
  • Casa de Machado y Silva
  • Casa de Pedrorena
  • Casa del Rey Moro African Museum
  • Heritage Park
  • Mason Street School
  • San Diego Sheriff’s Museum & Educational Center
  • San Diego Union Building
  • Seeley Stables
  • Serra Museum

Coastal Museums

The USS Midway Museum offers a unique opportunity to visit America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier. Complete with 35 exhibits and tours exploring its rich 47-year history, this is a fun way to spend an afternoon learning about San Diego’s naval history. Many of the story-telling docents are veterans who served aboard the carrier.

The floating Maritime Museum of San Diego features one of the finest collections of historic ships in the world, including the Star of India, the oldest active sailing ship.

Other San Diego Museums

There are plenty more museums throughout San Diego County; almost too many to name! Here are a few other popular spots:

Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House
Living Coast Discovery Center
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
New Children’s Museum
Women’s Museum of California

San Diego, California has a world of cultural exhibitions to explore and discover while you’re visiting, whether you’re here for a few days, weeks, or a permanent resident! Because there are so many great activities, we recommend making a list of your must-sees and tackle those first.

For more information on events and things to do in San Diego, visit our handy guides section!

Planning a Date Night in Encinitas

As a fun coastal beach town with a laid back vibe, Encinitas, California is a great place to have a date night with your significant other! Because the gorgeous coastline stretches across this beach city, you’ll get to incorporate the water into your evening plans while enjoying the best Encinitas restaurants, bars, and more. Here are ten great date night ideas in the city of Encinitas!

Have a bonfire at Moonlight Beach.

Pack up a cuddling blanket and your favorite stuff to barbecue and head to Moonlight Beach in Encinitas for a romantic evening! Keep it simple by simply making s’mores and bring a bottle of wine. Be sure to get there early to stake out one of the eight fire pits for your sunset grilling session. You can also bring your own grill to South Carlsbad State Beach or use one of the fire rings at Oceanside Beach and make your own party of two.

Cozy up with some live music and dinner.

One of Encinitas’ best restaurants is Solace and the Moonlight Lounge. Known for its cozy atmosphere and unique take on elevated comfort food, this is a great place for a date night. Every Sunday Night, you’ll be treated to live music in the Moonlight Lounge from 7 to 9pm; an added bonus to impress that special someone! Menu food specials for Sunday evenings include Oyster Specials and Buttermilk Fried Jidori Chicken.

Do some wine tasting at Solterra.

You don’t have to drive all the way to Temecula to do some wine tasting in San Diego! Encinitas has its very own beachside winery and tasting room: Solterra Winery + Kitchen. Located right on Highway 101, this Encinitas restaurant offers everything from wine tastings and bottles to-go, to an all-you-can-eat Mediterranean tapas buffet. Sit at the bar for wine-tasting and sample six of their wines at a time, or stick to a single selection by the glass, bottle, or get an entire growler of wine on tap.

Solterra winery also hosts live music most Friday and Saturday nights, so be sure to double check their event calendar before you go!

Catch a movie at the historic La Paloma Theater.

The magic of going to a movie theater on a date may have been lost when the gigantic multiplexes took the reins from the quaint, hometown theaters; but it’s different at the La Paloma Theater! Take a stroll back through time by visiting this historic spot along the 101 for an evening. The venue opened in 1928, and still maintains much of its charm. You may not find the latest blockbuster here, but you will always find a weekly midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and other select indie films.

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Have a picnic at Oakcrest Park.

Oakcrest Park is a big grassy area on a hillside with shade trees, picnic tables, and BBQs, which makes it a perfect place to post up with a blanket and some sandwiches with your partner. If you’re in the mood for games, you’ll find a sporting area with a children’s playground, two half basketball courts, a Bocce ball area, and horseshoe pits right next to the park. Two trailheads lead from the west end of the park into the hills, offering a fun way to stretch your legs once you’ve finished picnicking.

Get competitive at a local Trivia Night.

Impress your date with your vast knowledge! Trivia Nights have become incredibly popular in San Diego the past few years, and there are great bars and pubs all over the county that host them weekly. There are several in Encinitas alone! Regal Seagull hosts one every Tuesday, D Street Bar & Grill holds them on Thursdays, and Schooner Station Pizzeria hosts them on Tuesdays as well.

Have cocktails by the sea.

The city of Encinitas boasts a great bar scene, and a wide variety of pubs, saloons, and romantic cocktail bars. If you’re just looking to have a few drinks and chat with your date, try Union Kitchen & Tap or the Bier Garden of Encinitas for a slightly livelier atmosphere. 3rd Corner Wine Shop & Bistro has a cozier, restaurant-style vibe, but they have a great daily Happy Hour and is a must-try for wine lovers! You can even pick up your own bottle at their wine shop and take it to-go for a picnic by the sea.

Encinitas, California is a great place for your next San Diego date night! With a wide variety of incredible restaurants, bars, pubs, outdoor activities, and other things to do, we can guarantee you and your partner won’t have to worry about what to do next. For even more things to do, visit our 10 Must-Dos in Encinitas blog!

Balboa Park Dining

Balboa Park is a true San Diego gem, and with dozens of museums, gardens, cultural activities, and outdoor adventures, there are many ways to spend your day here. But after all that exploring, you’re bound to need some sustenance! Several new cafes have popped up in the park in recent years, and there is certainly no shortage of delicious restaurants to enjoy a great meal after a day of adventuring. Here’s your insider’s guide to Balboa Park dining, from casual to elevated cuisine.

The Prado

The park’s only fine dining spot is located in the historic House of Hospitality and is another offshoot run by the Cohn Restaurant Group. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner seven days a week, except Mondays when it’s closed for dinner. The historic building only adds to its quaint, unique charm, and it’s a great spot to enjoy date night or an evening with friends.

Prime dinner reservations are hard to come by on weekend nights, but if you put your name in at the hostess stand 10 minutes before dinner service begins at 5, you might get lucky with a scenic patio table. Another best-kept secret here is their Happy Hour menu, with $4-$5 wines and $5-$8 appetizers; it runs from 4pm-6pm/8pm-10 on Tuesdays-Fridays and 8pm-11pm Fridays and Saturdays. Address: 1549 El Prado, San Diego.

Specials at The Prado

  • MOPA Thursday Night Dinner Package: The Museum of Photographic Art and The Prado have teamed up to bring you culture and cuisine in Balboa Park. Visit The Prado on Thursday Nights through September 2nd and enjoy their MOPA Thursday Night Dinner Package. The package includes a 3-course dinner with a bottle of wine, and two tickets to the Museum of Photographic Arts Exhibitions. The package is priced at $79.95 per couple.
  • Wine Down Wednesdays: Enjoy 50% off all bottles of wine under $75 every Wednesday. You can also bring your own bottle of wine and enjoy no corkage fees.

Panama 66

This tucked-away spot in the San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor sculpture garden pours a rotating tap of 20-plus San Diego brews along with locally sourced salads and sandwiches. The open dining room, tucked inside a sculpture garden, hosts live music every Wednesday nights well as a popular weekend brunch.

Panama 66 has brought some much-needed night life to the park center, but do call first to check availability as it gets quite busy, especially on weekends. Evening hours can be spotty due to special bookings like weddings. Address: 1450 El Prado, San Diego.

Cafe Mingei

Need a coffee break? This speedy café serves hot and iced espresso drinks made with coffee from local roaster West Bean, plus a selection of vibrant teas, gourmet hot chocolate, and other refreshing beverages. Fresh, daily pastry selections are provided by a variety of local bakeries including Cardamom and The Cravory (cookies). Located on the Plaza de Panama. Address: 2402 Pan American Rd E, San Diego.

The Tea Pavilion

If coffee isn’t your thing, just a few dozen yards away is the recently renovated outdoor cafe at the Japanese Friendship Garden, offering dozens of hot and iced green, white, oolong, herbal, and black teas, as well as sushi made fresh daily, Japanese noodles, rice, miso soup, salads, and tempura appetizers. Enjoy the magnificent views from inside the Tea Pavilion or from the outdoor courtyard and deck. There are also unique imported food, beverages, bulk teas, and gifts available for purchase. Address: 2215 Pan American Rd E, San Diego.

Lady Carolyn’s Pub

The Old Globe Theater’s outdoor food and beverage pavilion offers hearty soups in sourdough bread tureens, crisp salads, and assorted desserts and beverages (local favorites include their Italian sodas, cappuccinos, and steaming Irish Coffee). This is a great pit stop before or after you watch a show at the Theater. Address: 1363 Old Globe Way, San Diego.

Home Plate Sports Café

Located in the Federal Building, (formerly the San Diego Hall of Champions), the Home Plate Sports Café offers a wide variety of choices; including deli sandwiches, freshly grilled burgers, grilled panini, salads, and wraps. Beer, wine, and specialty coffee drinks are available to sip while you watch the latest game on one of their big screen TVs. Be sure to finish off your meal with a bowl of their gelato, a local favorite! Address: 2131 Pan American Plaza, San Diego.

Craveology

Craveology is the perfect location to grab a quick lunch. It’s casual and family-friendly, and offers a great selection of items; including salads, sandwiches, wraps, flatbread pizzas and panini. For those hot days, they also offer smoothies, frappes, or specialty iced coffees. There is outdoor patio seating, located right in front of the iconic Balboa Park Bea Evenson Fountain.

Admission to the Fleet Museum is not required for a visit to Craveology, so stop by, feed your craving and enjoy the view! Address: 1875 El Prado, San Diego.

Explore More of Balboa Park!

Cafe in the Park

A wide variety of options make Cafe in the Park a perfect place to grab a bite. From salads to sandwiches, soup, paninis, baked goods, specialty coffees, and even breakfast options, this cute little cafe has something for everyone. Café in the Park is located in the Casa del Balboa building, between the San Diego History Center, and the Museum of Photographic Art.

Flight Path Grill

This is a fun, casual outdoor restaurant featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, salad and more outside the San Diego Air & Space Museum (admission is required). The grill is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 11am to 4pm. However, during the summer, they are open for those hours daily. Enjoy your meal at a picnic table or covered cabana on the patio – there are great views here of the rest of the park. Address: 2001 Pan American Plaza, San Diego.

Food Trucks

If you’re looking for something super-casual, try the local food truck located near Spanish Village Arts Center. The food trucks will vary by week, but one will be there every day; hours are 11:00am – 3:00pm Monday through Friday, and 11:00am – 4:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Special Dining Events

Food Truck Fridays
Every Friday evening in the summer, more than a dozen food trucks make for a pop-up food court on the Plaza de Panama and El Prado walkway. The trucks serve up everything from wood-fired pizza to boba tea and street tacos. Every Friday, there will also be different musical performers or DJs spinning live music; the Plaza’s “living room” setup will be rolled out, including a big artificial lawn for children to play on and giant family game sets.

Various Balboa Park museums will also have booths set up with hands-on activities and crafts for kids. Bonus: Admission to the San Diego Museum of Art is only $5 after 5:00pm on Friday nights! This is a great way to really experience everything Balboa Park has to offer; feel free to bring lawn chairs or a blanket to sit in the lawn area in front of the Botanical Building, or enjoy craft beers, wine, and cocktails inside nearby Panama 66 and the Prado.

Lawn Programs at the International Cottages
On Sunday afternoons, stroll the lawn and gardens among the little houses at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages during their weekly lawn programs. From 2pm-3pm, you’ll be treated to live music, traditional dance and costumes, arts, crafts, and a wide variety of ethnic foods.

If you feel like having your own picnic, the Park is a great place to do so. There are large grassy areas and shady locations under the trees to lay down a blanket, eat a picnic lunch, and take in the sights and sounds of one of San Diego’s most iconic landmarks.

Whether you’re with the family and in the mood for something casual or out with friends, there’s definitely a dining option for everyone at Balboa Park! Take time to explore the park’s multitude of gardens, museums, and cultural activities once you’ve enjoyed lunch or dinner; from the beloved San Diego Museum of Man to the Botanical Garden and the San Diego Natural History Museum, there are many ways to spend the day at this one-of-a-kind park.

Year Round Temperatures: San Diego

It’s no secret that San Diego, California is known for having one of the best year-round climates in the country. With mild average temperatures every season and hot, warm, and dry summers, San Diego is a popular tourist destination for visitors from around the globe.

Average Monthly Temperatures in San Diego

Average monthly temperatures range from 57 degrees in January to 75 degrees in August. On average, 344 days a year are hotter than 60 degrees Fahrenheit!

Late summer and early autumn are typically the hottest times of the year with an average high of 78 degrees in August and 77 degrees in September. Snow and ice are rare in the wintertime, and typically occur only in the mountainous areas with higher elevations and much more inland from the coast.

San Diego receives its fair share of marine layer clouds, most often between May and August, which cause cool temperatures, cloudy weather, and dense fog in the morning. Marine layer conditions linger until the heat of the sun becomes strong enough to evaporate the cloud cover. The local sayings “May gray” and “June gloom” ring true here, and refer to the way the area has trouble shaking off those early morning clouds! The cool, cloudy conditions often last into the afternoon or sometimes even all day.

Temperatures soar to very high readings only on rare occasions, when the easterly “Santa Ana winds” bring hot, dry air from the inland deserts. Although confusing to tourists, newcomers, and out-of-the-region visitors, this makes October the fire season for the San Diego area and the rest of Southern California due to low precipitation and sporadic heat waves that the average monthly temperatures do not immediately show. For example, the months with the highest record temperatures are September at 111 degrees, and October at 107 degrees.

Did You Know?

  • The most monthly precipitation in San Diego occurs in December with 2.2 inches.
  • The air quality index in San Diego is 22% worse than the national average.
  • The pollution index in San Diego is 804% worse than the national average.
  • The all-time record high temperature in San Diego of 111 degrees was on September 26, 1963
  • The all-time record low temperature was 25 degrees Fahrenheit on January 7, 1913.

Best Time to Visit San Diego

March-May Weather in San Diego

Spring is one of the best times to visit America’s Finest City. The weather is mild (temperatures average in the mid-60s) and there are fewer visitors to share the streets and roads with compared to the summer; however, don’t expect to see sunshine every morning if you’re here in the spring.

If you’re a fan of flowers though, this is the perfect time to visit. While San Diego isn’t known as being a destination for flowers, the Coronado Island Flower Show (the largest tented flower show in the United States) is held during this time and the Carlsbad Flower Fields are in peak bloom. Balboa Park (shown above) is also a beautiful place to check out multiple gardens – the Rose Garden in particular!

June-August Weather in San Diego

This is everyone’s favorite time to visit San Diego thanks to warm weather (average high temperatures hover in the mid- to high 70s), warm water, and plenty of festivals. But vacationing this time of year could be problematic. “June Gloom” occurs yearly for San Diego’s weather forecast, so if you’re wanting nothing but sun, it’s best to schedule your visit during the later part of summer. Come July, room rates are likely to spike, especially around Comic-Con International.

Comic-Con is so big, hotel rooms tend to be sold out months in advance, both downtown (where the event is held) and in the neighboring areas. August doesn’t see as many visitors as July, but keep in mind it is still technically peak travel season in San Diego which will yield higher travel rates than other times of the year.

September-November Weather in San Diego

Autumn is a sweet spot in San Diego tourism. Although tourists tend to linger well into September to soak up the last of the summer weather (average highs remain in the upper 70s), October and November see a drop in crowds as well as hotel rates. Foodies will want to visit during this time for the multiple culinary events held, including Restaurant Week in September.

December-January Weather in San Diego

Winter is the city’s coolest season, but don’t expect a traditional winter in San Diego. Average temperatures rest in the 60s and the lows occasionally drop into the high 40s, but that’s only very late at night or in the early morning. If you’re after a beach vacation, don’t come during these months!

While the temperatures don’t reflect that of a real winter, rain showers can still be somewhat frequent. The ocean water temperature also gets quite chilly around this time, and most locals don’t bother braving the shores at all (especially without a wetsuit). On the other hand, hotel rates generally tend to be lower in the winter.

San Diego, California is a great place to visit any time of the year; it just depends on your preferences! For more information on weather in La Jolla and other parts of San Diego County, visit our handy guides section.

Need more inspo? These photos of La Jolla weather should do the trick.

10 Things to Do in Encinitas

It’s no surprise that the city of Encinitas was recently named as one of the best surf towns in the world! Encinitas, California takes the beach seriously; and with six miles of Pacific Ocean coastline to its name, the small community is a beautiful reminder of the historic Highway 101 beach culture that has thrived there since the mid-1900s. Here are ten fun activities to do in Encinitas the next time you visit!

things to do in encinitas

1. Stroll through the downtown shopping district.

The quaint downtown Encinitas shopping district is more than 100 years old. Today, the historic corridor along Highway 101 is home to little sidewalk cafés, cute boutiques and shops, and great restaurants. Though it was once a main thoroughfare from San Diego to Los Angeles, today it boasts a bit slower pace of life. Keep an eye out for the artwork! Visitors will see a variety of wall murals, eclectic street art, and colorful banners on the streetlight poles that were donated by the thriving artists colony there.

Other amenities of the downtown Encinitas shopping district include wide sidewalks, benches, and a huge Encinitas sign stretching from one side of the highway to the other (hint: it makes for a great photo op!). Old Encinitas is also incredibly pedestrian-friendly, and it’s only two blocks from the ocean and not too far from the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course.

On your excursion downtown, make it a point to stroll through the outdoor Seaside Bazaar, which takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Additionally, between F and I streets on S. Coast Highway 101, you’ll find a local favorite called the Lumberyard Shopping Center. It’s home to more delightful shops and lots of wonderful places to eat. Recommendations include 3rd Corner, which is a wine shop and bistro serving lunch and dinner; St. Tropez Bakery & Bistro, serving authentic French cuisine, baked goods and delicious desserts; and the Lumberyard Tavern & Grill, which is a great place to stop for lunch.

2. Take in a show at the La Paloma Theater.

Opened in 1928, the La Paloma was one of the first theaters to show “Talkies” and has hosted many a Hollywood celebrity (Mary Pickford attended the opening gala) in its time, as well as performers from Jerry Garcia, Eddie Vedder and Timothy Leary to Jay Leno. The venue has also premiered a number of surf films, and today, its claim to fame is a nightly midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

3. Have a bonfire Moonlight Beach.

Moonlight Beach starts where Encinitas Boulevard turns into B Street, and is one of the most popular beaches in Encinitas with both locals and tourists. It’s sandy and wide, great for kids and adults, and perfect for picnics, playing volleyballs, making sand castles, and summer evening bonfires. Moonlight Beach is an excellent swimming, snorkeling, and surfing beach, band it’s popular for surf fishing.

The area boasts tennis courts and kids’ playgrounds, a space to rent beach gear, and a nice snack bar. The beach used to be very popular with locals for midnight picnics in the 1900s, which is how it became known as Moonlight Beach. Even today, you can still see people lighting bonfires and having late parties in the moonlight!

4. Visit the San Diego Botanic Garden.

Packed with four miles of trails, the San Diego Botanic Garden off of Quail Gardens Drive is home to an incredible diversity of plant life and native flora and fauna – you’ll see everything from arid deserts to a tropical jungle and bamboo groves. The plants thrive, and you will enjoy different vistas, numerous flowering trees, majestic palms, and the largest bamboo collection in the country. The San Diego Botanic Garden is one of the best things to do in Encinitas, California!

5. Swim or surf at Swami’s Beach.

Swami’s Surf Beach is one of the most well known local surfing haunts in the area. During the winter when the swells are particularly good, surfers often put on quite a show at Swami’s – the best spot to watch them is from the park on the cliff above the beach. This lovely park is the main entrance point for Swami’s Beach and has many benches in the shade, several picnic tables, and a well-tended shady lawn.

From the park, a long and steep wooden staircase leads down to the beach, which has a lifeguard station. If the tide isn’t too high, you’ll be able to walk along the beach all the way to San Elijo State Beach. If you are wondering what to do in Encinitas with kids, this is a great place to visit!

6. Visit the Self-Realization Fellowship Gardens.

Whether you want to visit beautiful gardens on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, spend a few days at the Retreat, or simply browse at the Books & Gifts store, Self-Realization Fellowship Hermitage, Retreat & Meditation Gardens is an interesting place to visit.

You can also take a walk to the SRF Temple in Encinitas, located just a few short blocks away from the Hermitage & Retreat Center. The temple is part of Self-Realization Fellowship, a non-profit spiritual organization founded in 1920 by Paramahansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi) to disseminate his teachings of Kriya Yoga, an ancient Indian spiritual science.

Sunday Funday @caragmorgan #berries

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7. Check out the Leucadia Farmers Market.

The Leucadia Farmers Market is a great place to spend the day, and they are open every Sunday from 10am to 2pm. There are over 75 vendors at this certified market, which offers everything from fresh flowers and plants to meats and baked goods. Visitors will find specialty foods like beef, seafood, marinades, pastas, and sauces; to name a few. The Encinitas Farmers Market is held at 185 Union St, Encinitas, CA 92024.

8. Take surf lessons.

Reviewed as the “ultimate California experience,” the Leucadia Surf School does just what you’d imagine! Whether you’re looking for private lessons or group lessons, there’s definitely something for everyone. Open seven days a week, the school provides visitors with a soft board and a wetsuit, and offers basic instructions before students ride the waves.

An experienced instructor is with you and the group at all times. Already know how to surf? No problem, because Leucadia also does just rentals – they’ll give you some tips on where to catch the best waves and surf right alongside you.

Blue as the water, white as the foam, this building is a proper historical monument to a town that has always resided so close to the ocean. Constructed in 1883, the Encinitas Schoolhouse is this town's oldest building. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Back when Encinitas was a town of less than 30 people, this building was constructed to accommodate one teacher and eight students. It was designed with shiplap siding in a frontier architecture Classic Revival style. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Becoming outdated with time, as the building fell into disuse it was relocated in 1928 to serve as a private residence. Slated for demolition in the 1980s, it was saved—and moved back to its original location—by the newly formed local historical society, who now use it as their main office. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Still in its original condition for the most part, the structure's only major difference today is that it faces south instead of east. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For more info on the schoolhouse, check out this local news article: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ http://www.thecoastnews.com/2013/10/09/residents-party-like-its-1883-for-historic-schoolhouses-130th-birthday/ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #encinitas #carlsbad #oceanside #backtoschool #foreverlearning #discovering #wanderlust #exploring #sightseeing #adventuring #admiring #history #historylover #architecture #frontier #oldstuff #playinghooky #socal #westcoast #pacific #happybirthday #happymelonday #MelonAndMe #lifeisgood

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9. Tour the Encinitas Historical Society.

Visitors to the Encinitas Historical Society are in for a treat, as the organization is located in an 1883-era one-room schoolhouse built for the eight children who lived in the town at that time. Walk across the original wood floors to discover the history of this unique city through photographs, exhibits, research papers, and docents eager to share their story.

We can guarantee you’ll fall in love with this quaint beachside community during one of the many tours led by the Encinitas Historical Society! These tours showcase landmarks and festivals, and give visitors an opportunity to get to know the friendly locals.

10. Have dinner and drinks by the beach.

Encinitas is home to several great beaches, restaurants, bars, and pubs. A few local favorites include the Bier Garden of Encinitas; the Encinitas Ale House; Union Kitchen + Tap, and more.

The Bier Garden is a great place to hang out with friends after work or after a day on the beach. You can perch on a vivid green stool in front of 32 tap handles offering some of the best craft beer from Southern California. The menu is designed to work well with beer, and whether you go for a full dinner or choose a bunch of small plates (such as skewers with chicken thighs marinated in peanut sauce, or short rib corn nachos with mango salsa and tomato soaked in Bier cheese sauce). You also might want to sample something from their unique Bloody Mary menu – they come with beer chasers!

Only 25 miles north of San Diego, Encinitas has a distinct, quirky personality, attracting not only surfers that flock there for the city’s six miles of Pacific coast, but also visitors exploring the city’s great attractions, restaurants, live music, and shops.

date night ideas in san diego

Date Night Ideas in San Diego

With so many awesome things to do in San Diego year-round, you never have to resort to a boring date night at the movies! From harbor cruises and epic outdoor adventures to romantic beach walks and magic shows, we’ve put together a list of some fantastic date night ideas in San Diego – whether you’re a long-term couple looking to spice things up or you’re browsing first date ideas with a new hubby.

Explore La Jolla Cove

Spend the late afternoon taking a kayak tour around gorgeous La Jolla Cove, where you’ll get the chance to see seals and sea lions, plus the La Jolla sea caves up close. Afterwards, freshen up for a gourmet dinner at one of the local fine dining restaurants; there are tons to choose from! As the night comes to a close,  grab a blanket and cozy up on the grass at Ellen Browning Scripps Park or hunt for your own secluded piece of paradise on the beach.

Check out a local winery

If you feel a bit ‘been there, done that’ with the local craft brewery scene, why not mix things up a little and check out a local winery? Most people visit Temecula for the winery scene, but there are plenty closer to home – from right here in downtown San Diego all the way to north county. Bernardo Winery, which is San Diego’s oldest winery, is home to a wine tasting room and several adorable shops with hand-crafted items and often hosts special events.  This family-owned winery is a great place for couples to enjoy the perfect date night.

Salerno Winery in Ramona is another great destination; complete with a sculpture garden and a large outdoor space with sweeping views of the vineyards, this is a romantic and lovely spot to spend the evening.

Catch a full moon dinner cruise

What could be more romantic than gazing at San Diego’s vibrant skyline from the water, beneath a glowing full moon? Hop aboard Hornblower Cruises’ signature full moon dinner cruise and enjoy a glass of bubbly champagne, a three-course dinner, and plenty of time to dance under the stars and enjoy the sparkling sights around San Diego Bay. Tickets start at $85 per person.

Get competitive at a local trivia night

Trivia nights are a great way to mix up your typical night out at a bar – and you’ve got options for basically every night of the week.  True North in North Park pairs trivia with $4 Bacardi or Jameson shots on Mondays, Park & Rec in University Heights is a popular spot on Tuesday nights, The Regal Beagle in Mission Hills has Wednesdays covered and the East Village’s Knotty Barrel Gastropub combines trivia with half-price bottles of wine every Thursday night.

Catch a dive-in movie

Friday’s with The King 🙌🏼

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Every Wednesday night, the iconic Pearl Hotel hosts a free dive-in theater event poolside. Get there early to grab a bite at the newly revamped Charles and Dinorah restaurant (named for the couple who owned the hotel originally). After dinner, grab a cocktail from the bar and a pool chair, or simply hop into the pool to watch the show! Classics such as Jaws, The Parent Trap, and Wet Hot American Summer have all made an appearance.

If you’d rather stay dry, there are plenty of outdoor movie venues throughout San Diego County as well. Check out our complete guide to outdoor movies to get the scoop!

Adventure through Balboa Park

#NoFilter needed for this beautiful #sunset.

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With twelve museums, multiple parks, beautiful gardens, and fabulous restaurants, Balboa Park really does have something for everyone.  Whether you’re in the mood for an artsy date at a museum or an outdoor outing to admire the beautiful gardens and century-old architecture, you can find everything you need for a romantic time here.

Pro-tip: pack a picnic to enjoy in a secluded section of the park (there are even a few spots where drinking alcohol is allowed), or catch a play that night at the Old Globe Theatre.

Take a sunset hike

When all the colors come out to play 🎨

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Few things are more romantic than watching the sunset together on a warm evening; and what better place to do it than along the coast? Torrey Pines State Reserve, just 20 minutes north of La Jolla, offers several picturesque coastal hikes. Get there around 6 or 7pm to start your hike, and finish it off at one of the benches with a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean and the San Diego coastline. Afterwards, grab some dinner in nearby upscale Del Mar or back in La Jolla.

Watch some live music under the stars

Amazing concert venue! #SNC #Allaboutthebase

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Outdoor concerts at places like Humphrey’s by the Bay happen a few times a week, every week. Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular, and you can purchase tickets for just the show or a package deal with dinner. They also offer package deals that come with a hotel room for the night – a romantic bonus for those willing to spend a bit more cash! The setting is serene; arrive early to watch the sunset on the bay and have a few drinks.

Take a romantic ride in hot air balloon

For a big first impression, treat your date to an evening in the clouds! Local hot air balloon companies like Sky’s the Limit Ballooning Adventures offers daily sunset champagne adventures leaving from Del Mar that offer gorgeous views of the coastline and surrounding areas. It’s a bit pricier than our other date night options, but it’s hard to beat the romance factor! Afterwards, have some dinner in downtown Del Mar and walk over to Powerhouse Park on the water.

If you’re willing to venture a bit farther, Temecula (about an hour north of San Diego) is home to a multitude of hot air balloon vendors; there are several options that range in price and timing.

Enjoy some comedy or improv

San Diego is home to a surprising amount of comedy clubs and improv show venues. From our very own Comedy Store La Jolla (which boasts an incredible history that dates back to the ’80s) to Finest City Improv in downtown San Diego, there are plenty of places to take a significant other who’s always up for a good laugh. Stop by the Gaslamp District during the weekendThere are usually shows every Friday and Saturday, and occasionally there will be one or two during the week. Check the venue’s website for details before you go.

Experience a secret speakeasy

Secret bars are all the rage in San Diego right now! Noble Experiment, False Idol (a secret tiki bar), Bar Three Piece (behind Seven Grand), and Prohibition are all in central downtown San Diego; the Charles Kenneth Speakeasy is up north in Carlsbad; and Raised By Wolves is at Westfield UTC La Jolla. Grab some dinner and then pick your poison! Note that several of these spots require reservations, so do check in advance to ensure you have a spot for the evening you wish.

Play some old-school arcade games

This time, I’m here to win. #notleavinguntilthescoreboardsaysso #gameon

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Coin Haus in La Mesa is one of the newer additions to the Cohn Restaurant Group, and is a self-proclaimed “beercade” that features 50 self-serve taps: including 43 craft beers, four keg wines, hard kombucha, and cold pressed coffee. Once you’ve poured yourself a cold one, play one of their 29 retro arcade games – including Games of Thrones and Ghostbusters pinball. It’s the perfect place for all you adults who are kids at heart! Afterwards, grab a bite to eat with your boo at BO-beau kitchen + garden.

If you’re looking for something more central, Coin Op has locations both in North Park and the Gaslamp Quarter; it’s a similar vibe as Coin Haus, but a bit smaller. The games are still great though!

See a magic show

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Enjoy a night of enchanting stories, sleight-of-hand, and humor in Old Town at San Diego’s only venue dedicated to the art of magic. The Red Spade Theater, often called Old Town’s best-kept-secret, was opened by Sebastian Figueroa nearly seven years ago. It accommodates only 28 guests, which creates an intimate and cozy setting for an old-school magic show. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area! After dinner, treat you and your significant other to some of Old Town’s famous Mexican Food.

Explore Liberty Station at night

Stroll through the trendy Liberty Station Arts District on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 9pm and you’ll get to meet working artists, enjoy dance, theater, and music performances, and visit museums and galleries. Wander through the latest exhibits at the Visions Art Museum and the San Diego Comic Art Gallery, then hit up Comickaze Comics for an eccentric selection of mainstream and independent comics, graphic novels, statues, and action figures. Cap off an excellent evening with dinner at one of Liberty Public Market’s dozens of food venues.

Stroll through Seaport Village – and learn how to Salsa!

Try your salsa moves in the beautiful outdoor courtyard at the Headquarters at Seaport Village! On the third Friday of every month (through September), local musician Manny Cepeda and his orchestra will be playing their repertoire of classic salsa, merengue, cumbia, bachata, and Cuban music from 6pm to 9pm. New to salsa? No worries, as there’s no experience necessary for this free event.

Take an evening stroll along Oceanside Pier

Midsummer colors 🌴✨🎨

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At 1,942 feet, the historical Oceanside Pier is one of the longest wooden piers on the West Coast. Take a leisurely stroll out over the Pacific Ocean, watch the surfers ride a wave, fishermen catch a fish, and cap off your stroll with a chocolate milkshake for two at Ruby’s Diner at the end of the pier. Afterwards, take some time to explore historic downtown Oceanside; grab a bite to eat at Wrench & Rodent Seabasstropub, or have a beer at Bagby Beer Company.

Enjoy a rooftop cocktail under the stars

Few things are more beautiful than the San Diego coastline under a blanket of stars. Head downtown to the rooftop at The Nolen for incredible panoramas of downtown and delicious handcrafted cocktails; or stop by Altitude Sky Lounge, a swanky outdoor club high atop the Gaslamp Marriott with impressive views of Petco Park, DJs, and fire pits. If you’re in the mood for some grub, head over to Catania’s rooftop dining area in La Jolla for some decadent Italian food and a Happy Hour cocktail.

Drink wine and paint a masterpiece together

Got our Picasso on last night 🎨😘#DateNight #PaintNight

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Anyone can be an artist at Pinot’s Palette in the beautiful Liberty Station Arts District! Each two- or three-hour session takes you through the creation of your own colorful painting, no experience required. Grab a glass of vino to get your creative juices flowing, then relax and follow the instructor-led, step-by-step directions.

When all is said and done, there are so many activities to choose from in San Diego that it can be hard to decide! Whether you and your date prefer spending time adventuring outdoors or you’re looking for a cozy night inside together, there is something for every type of date night idea in San Diego.

14 Ways to Experience Comic-Con International 2018 Without a Badge

One of San Diego’s biggest events of the year is almost upon us – San Diego Comic-Con International! Thousands of people flock to America’s Finest City every year to experience activities, exhibits, movies, and more; but unfortunately, not everyone was able to purchase a badge. The good news? You don’t need a San Diego Comic-Con badge to get your nerd on with the thousands of guests attending the annual convention this year!

During SDCC, the Gaslamp Quarter becomes a superhero’s playground filled with immersive experiences, events and photo-ops themed to match the convention — and many don’t require a badge. Here are 14 ways to experience the Comic-Con hype without a ticket.

Family Con

When: Wednesday Jul 18th, 4pm – 7 pm
Where: Liberty Station.
Small but mighty superheroes are being called to this party at Point Loma’s Liberty Station as the annual pop-culture convention gets underway. Youngsters are invited to dress up in their superhero best for Family Con, which features a costume parade, a petting zoo, a scavenger hunt and more. This free event starts at 4 p.m.

Esports Arena Drive

When: Thursday Jul 19th, 9am – 9pm
Where: Petco Park in the Park.
Test your gaming skills at this mobile gaming arena stopping by Petco Park’s community ballpark, Park in the Park, during SDCC. The arena is made of an 18-wheel semi-truck that will unfold to create a stage and VIP lounge perfect for gaming. Guests will be able to test an array of gaming products from HyperX and have the chance to win prizes.

Super Pup Yappy Hour

When: Thursday Jul 19th, 4pm-7pm
Where: Hotel Republic
Your pups want to get in on the Comic-Con action, too. Head to Hotel Republic’s Yappy Hour for a chance to find the perfect costume for your furry friend while sipping on Comic-Con themed cocktails and mingling with other pet owners. There will also be a pet costume contest and a chance to win prizes.

Her Universe Fashion Show

When: Thursday Jul 19th, 6 pm
Where: Manchester Grand Hyatt
Enjoy a geeky fashion show featuring couture stylings from both professional and amateur designers. The show’s finalists, chosen from hundreds of submissions, showcase original sci-fi and pop-culture inspired designs for a chance to join Her Universe founder, Ashley Eckstein, in creating a new collection for Hot Topic. Fashion and pop-culture fans line up for hours for this free fashion show that may even include a celebrity sighting or two. Seating is first come, first served and the line opens at 1 p.m.

SEE ALSO: 10 Other Things to do in La Jolla This Summer

DC Universe Experience

When: Thursday Jul 19th – Sunday 21st, 9:30am – 7pm (5 pm on Sunday)
Where: Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
In what will likely prove to be one of the more popular experiences outside San Diego Comic-Con, DC Universe is bringing dozens of interactives to their activation at the Hilton. For example, fans will get the chance to search for clues to find Dick Grayson, they’ll create mayhem with Harley Quinn in her chaos room, traverse the sewers with Batman and view rare DC memorabilia. Guests can register in advance but it will not guarantee admission or speed up the process. Get there early, because the lines for this one will be long.

Hop Con: The w00tstout Festival

When: Thursday Jul 19th, 7 pm – 11pm
Where: Stone World Bistro & Gardens (Liberty Station)
Pop-culture enthusiasts and beer aficionados alike will love this suds-tasting event presented by San Diego staple Stone Brewing. For the sixth year during Comic-Con, Stone founder Greg Kock, Fark.com creator Drew Curtis and actor Wil Wheaton will debut a special batch of brew — this year, it’s w00tstout 6.0. The brew is described as a complex-flavored imperial stout made in a pecan, rye and bourbon-soaked barrel. A $75 ticket to this year’s event gets attendees 15 three-ounce tastes of w00tstout 6.0 and other Stone creations, unlimited tastings of gourmet bites — like mac and cheese croquettes, lamb meatball melts and Vietnamese spring rolls — plus access to lawn games, music and “a few extra surprises.”

Comic-Con at the Library

When: Thursday Jul 19th – Sunday Jul 21st, times vary
Where: San Diego Central Library
Even without a badge, you don’t have to miss out on SDCC panels this year. Comic-Con is teaming up with the San Diego Central Library at 11th Avenue and K Street for a series of educational panels. Some highlights include a creator panel called “When I See Myself in Comics,” a chance to meet the makers behind comic books and a panel on how to comics can make a social impact, just to name a few. To attend without a badge, register online in advance before July 17.

MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition

When: Friday Jul 20 – Sunday Jul 22nd, 10am – 6pm
Where: Fleet Science Center
Can you pull a tablecloth off a table without disturbing the dishes on top? Do you stay drier running or walking in the rain? Get the answer to some of your burning questions at the new exhibit based on the popular TV show, “Mythbusters.” Just like the show, this hands-on exhibit will allow guests to use the scientific method to test some commonly-held theories. Access to the exhibit at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park, can be added to a general admission ticket for $5.

Dead Quarters

When: Thursday Jul 19th – Sunday Jul 22nd, 11am-6pm
Where: Outside Hilton Gaslamp
Outrun the undead at “The Walking Dead’s” off-site SDCC activation. Creators boast an immersive walk-through that will take visitors through the series’ settings, including a 22-foot Zombie slide like the one seen in “Fear the Walking Dead.”

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Gallery

When: Thursday Jul 19th – Sunday Jul 22nd, 11am – close
Where: Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts Gallery
The Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts Gallery (363 Fifth Avenue) in the Gaslamp will be transformed into an immersive Mirror Universe Experience during Comic-Con 2018. The exhibit will feature a photo opportunity with Emperor Georgiou’s throne and will showcase props and costumes from the series. There will also be “Star Trek” Comic-Con exclusives for sale.

FXHibition

When: Thursday Jul 19th – Sunday Jul 22nd, times vary
Where: Outside San Diego Hilton Bayfront
On the lawn outside the San Diego Hilton Bayfront, FX will present several interactive exhibits featuring some of their most popular television shows, including “Legion,” “American Horror Story,” “Mayans M.C.” and “Archer.” Guests can register in advance at FXSDCC.com. The FXHibition is open to the public from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Adult Swim State Park

When: Thursday Jul 19th – Sunday Jul 22nd, 4pm-2am
Where: Behind the San Diego Convention Center
Archery, canoes and a mechanical bull hot dog — it must be Adult Swim. The tv network is bringing nature to the con with a variety of games (open until 8 p.m.), a merchandise store and more to guest 18 and up. Adult Swim State Park will be located at Convention Way and 5th Avenue Pier.

Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collections

When: Thursday Jul 19 – Sunday Jul 22, 9am – 5pm
Where: Birch Aquarium at Scripps
A new comic book-inspired interactive exhibit has opened at the Birch Aquarium to highlight the “superpowers” of some of the ocean’s most awe-inspiring creatures. From supervision to an electricity zap — marine life make amazing adaptations to survive in their environment and the team of scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego want to share what they’ve learned with you. The exhibit, open just in time for Comic-Con, is available to guests who purchase a ticket to the museum ($18.50 for adults and $14 for children 3 to 17).

SyFy Fan Party

When: Friday Jul 20 and Saturday Jul 21, 9pm
Where: New Children’s Museum
The lines were around the block for SyFy’s fan parties at San Diego Comic-Con last year and they hope to make this year’s even bigger. With a DJ spinning until 1 a.m. and giveaways galore, this event is a great place to be after other offsite activations and the convention center floor closes. An RSVP is required. Keep an eye on @SyFy on Twitter for details.

4th of July Fireworks & Celebrations in San Diego

4th of July in San Diego is just one big celebration! Fireworks displays, parades, street fairs, and festivals are all part of the fun on the big day. Sadly, there will be no 4th of July Fireworks at La Jolla Cove this year due to funding issues; but there are plenty of other places and ways to celebrate 4th of July in San Diego! Here’s the roundup, from San Diego Bay to Rancho Santa Fe.

Annual Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show

Where: Multiple Locations along San Diego Bay
When: 9:00pm
Take in the largest fireworks display in the county! With fireworks launched from four barges placed around North San Diego Bay, they can be seen from multiple locations along the San Diego coastline. The accompanying music will be broadcasted live on The Mighty 1090 AM and MAX FM 105.7. Just find a place along the bay, set up a blanket and some hot chocolate, and get ready for the display! We recommend arriving early to reserve a spot.

Where to watch:

  • Shelter Island
  • Harbor Island
  • North Embarcadero
  • Marina District
  • CoronadoFerry Landing
  • Boating/On The Water

SeaWorld San Diego 4th of July Fireworks & Celebration

Where: SeaWorld San Diego – 500 SeaWorld Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
When: 10:00am to 10:00pm
SeaWorld San Diego will celebrate Independence Day with a 15-minute display of fireworks set to a musical soundtrack, starting at 9:40pm on July 4th. Entrance is required, and there are plenty of spots throughout the park to watch the display. You can reserve seats ahead of time via seaworld.com.

Ocean Beach July 4th Celebration

Where: Ocean Beach Pier (end of Newport Avenue)
When: 9:00pm
Spend Independence day picnicking, swimming in the ocean, walking and playing in the sand, and shopping along Newport Ave. Then bundle up as the sun sets and pull up a blanket for a really spectacular fireworks show launched from Ocean Beach Pier! Free parking will be available at the Main Beach Parking Lot as well as at the Pier Parking Lot. We do recommend arriving early to reserve a spot – head to obsandiego.com for more information.

SEE ALSO: The Ultimate La Jolla Summer Bucket List!

Old Town San Diego 4th of July

Where: Old Town State Historic Park
When: 11:00am to 4:00pm
Although Old Town won’t be putting on a fireworks display, there will be a parade, crafts, and activities all throughout the day on July 4th. The activities will recreate an old-fashioned Independence Day just as it was celebrated on the frontier. You’ll also be able to compete in several contests, including cherry pit spitting or an egg toss, for handmade ribbons.

4th of July Celebration in Coronado

Where: Various Locations on Coronado
When: 7:00am to 9:00pm; Fireworks at 9pm
Celebrate the 4th of July in the Crown City! Independence Day activities will include a parade down Orange Avenue at 10:00am, a concert in Spreckels Park at 4:00pm, and fireworks over Glorietta Bay at 9:00pm. The fireworks display can be easily viewed from anywhere along the bay on Coronado Island.

Earlier that day, the Crown City Classic 4th of July Race will take place between 7am and 10am. This historic run through Coronado will feature a 12k and a 5k, and kicks off at Coronado Tidelands Park.

San Diego County Fair 4th of July Celebrations

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds (2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar, CA 92014)
When: Starts at 10:00am, Fireworks at 9:00pm
Independence Day is one of the best days to come to the San Diego County Fair, because they pull out all the stops with food, fireworks at 9:00 PM, entertainment, and more! Fireworks are launched from the west end of the racetrack and are choreographed to a soundtrack played through the Corona Grandstand Stage sound system. The fireworks are visible from many areas of the Fairgrounds, with favorite viewing areas including reserved Terrace seating and 2nd and 4th levels of the Grandstand, Family Funville, and the Fun Zone.

SEE ALSO: Explore La Jolla Cove This July 4th!

Red, White, and Boom!

Where: LEGOLAND California (One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008)
When: 1:00pm to 9:00pm, Fireworks at 8:30pm
Take the whole family and spend the day enjoying over 60 rides, shows, and attractions at LEGOLAND along with some all-American picnic games like burlap races and water-balloon tosses. Then cozy up with a blanket and a picnic that evening, and watch the awe-inspiring fireworks display set to patriotic music!

fireworks san diego la jolla

Rancho Santa Fe’s Annual 4th of July Parade & Picnic

Where: 16948 Avenida de Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92091
When: 12:00pm to 3:00pm
Pack a few blankets and chairs for Rancho Santa Fe’s Annual 4th of July Parade & Picnic! The parade kicks off at 12:15pm, and will include floats, vintage cars, and equestrians. The picnic and concert will begin at 1:30pm, complete with a barbecue and live music by The Harmony Grove Band.

Oceanside Fireworks

Where: Oceanside Blvd & Rancho del Oro Road, Oceanside, CA
When: July 3, 2018
Time: 6:00 to 10:00pm, Fireworks at 9pm
You’re invited to the City of Oceanside annual Fireworks Show! Spectators are encouraged to arrive anytime after 6:00 pm, park in the business park nearby, bring a beach chair, and walk to the viewing area on Rancho Del Oro road. There will be live music as well as food trucks offering a wide variety of foods. The firework show will begin at 9pm.

Then, on Wednesday, July 4th at 10am, head to Oceanside Beach and Pier for more festivities! Main Street Oceanside will be hosting a variety of booths and activities in the plazas, parks, and parking lots from the Oceanside Pier to Tyson Street Park. The day will include kids’ crafts and activities in the Pier Amphitheater, with a wide range of food vendors. There will also be retail vendors of all kinds in both the Pier Plaza and in the parking lot south of the Pier Amphitheater.

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Bird Rock: La Jolla’s Neighborhood Gem

bird rock
Tucked away along the San Diego coast, just south of downtown La Jolla, is Bird Rock: a quirky but laid-back neighborhood known for beautiful ocean views, cozy restaurants, and independent boutiques. While perhaps slightly lesser known than La Jolla, the community has a fascinating history and is one of the most unique and interesting areas of San Diego!

1. Local lore maintains the neighborhood was named after a rock, that – you guessed it – was shaped like a bird.

The offshore rock can be spotted at the end of Bird Rock Avenue, and was thought to once resemble the shape of a bird (the rock once had an arch with an opening under it, but the arch was eroded by wave action and finally collapsed a few years ago).

2. The first war-time sinking of a U.S. submarine occurred off the coast near Bird Rock.

Two F-series submarines collided in the fog on a training mission in 1917, sinking one of them within 10 seconds and killing all 19 aboard. The submarine is reportedly still there to this day.

3. The neighborhood was subdivided by pioneer developer Michael F. Hall in 1906, who officially named it “Bird Rock – City by the Sea.”

Bird Rock’s path to becoming an official community started in the early 1900s, when the M. Hall Company bought large tracts of land in southern La Jolla for a subdivision the company dubbed “Bird Rock, City by the Sea.” The new neighborhood stayed small until the 1930s, when the arrival of World War II factory workers set off a housing boom. The building continued after the war, and Bird Rock Elementary opened in 1951 to accommodate the influx of new families.

4. During World War II, the area was home to the Bird Rock Coastal Defense and Anti-Aircraft Training Center.

Bird Rock was a major military hub during WWII, when the Training Center was built as part of the Coast Artillery unit. Around the same time, Camp Matthews was also being set up on what is now the UC San Diego campus; it’s reported than more than a million Marine recruits received their marksmanship training at this military base.

5. The 26th season of MTV’s The Real World was filmed in Bird Rock in 2011.

The show set up camp in Bird Rock back in 2011, much to the chagrin of local residents. The 6,800-square-foot house, located on Chelsea Drive and Crystal Street, boasted a huge a pool, and news footage showed a rooftop tennis court had been covered with a life-sized chess set. It was estimated to be worth $3.5 million in 2011! Real World’s tenure was the source of multiple noise complaints and safety concerns from its neighbors.

Resentment festered for weeks until the production company increased security and agreed to turn off roof lights at 10pm and pay for off-duty police officers to discourage night visits.

6. Aviator Charles Lindbergh ate at the Bird Rock Inn before taking his historic flight.

Lindbergh, whose name graces the San Diego Airport, is recognized for completing the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He is reported to have eaten his last meal at the favorite seafood restaurant, Bird Rock Inn, before leaving San Diego for Paris on May 20, 1927. The inn hotel, located at Bird Rock Avenue, was said to have been built with stones from the nearby beach.

Neighborhood Guide

Today, Bird Rock in La Jolla is a fun, easy place to explore. Head north on La Jolla Hermosa Avenue to find the Bird Rock Bike Path, which usually doesn’t get too crowded and makes for a nice stroll.

Afterward, head over to the Street of Dreams, (aka Camino de la Costa), a stretch of oceanfront mansions with gorgeous panoramic views of the water. From there, head to Calumet Park, where you’ll find benches, picnic tables, and expansive ocean views (we also love La Jolla Hermosa Park, a bit north of here). Finish off your day by visiting one of Bird Rock’s boutique shops and restaurants, including:

  • Bird Rock Coffee Roasters for an award-winning cup of coffee
  • Wheat & Water for pizza and brews
  • Bird Rock Surf Shop to pick up new surfing gear
  • Bahia Don Bravo for casual Mexican fare
  • Beaumont’s for dinner with a view and live music
  • Farm to Fork Juice for a healthy smoothie
  • Mimi & Red to shop casual, beach-chic fashion
  • Studio Barre for a quick workout

What are your favorite parts of Bird Rock? Share your photos with us in the comments!

[article sources: La Jolla Light; SDNews.com; San Diego UT]

San Diego Beer Week at Torrey Pines Lodge

There is no seriously no better location for the closing event of San Diego Beer Week than the Arroyo Terrace of the Lodge at Torrey Pines right here in La Jolla! The Beer Garden will bring together the best of San Diego’s breweries and local chefs to celebrate the craft beer movement. With 28 different breweries paired with 14 chefs, the Beer Garden is a uniquely San Diego food and beer pairing event. The Beer Garden will take place on Sunday, November 12th from 12pm-3pm. Each admission includes unlimited tasters of beer and food. General admission tickets are $85.

San Diego Beer Week, which is hosted annually, is a ten-day countywide festival that puts on numerous events throughout San Diego at various venues. This year, it will be held from November 3-12, and will kick off with 17 different tastings/events on November 3rd alone! Check out the rest of the calendar and event schedule here.

Now the important part – here are all of the participating breweries and chefs at this year’s Beer Garden! Each restaurant will feature a chef plus two brewery pairings.

Carnitas’ Snack Shack (Hanis Cavin)
Societe Brewing
Killowatt Brewing

Tom Hams Lighthouse (Kyle Kovar)
Karl Strauss Brewing
Duck Foot Brewing Co.

Urban Solace (Matt Gordon)
Monkey Paw Brewing
Black Plague Brewing

Stone World Bistro & Gardens (Tom Connolly)
Stone Brewing
Novo Brazil Brewing

Grand Restaurant Group (Amy Dibiase)
Societe Brewing
Killowatt Brewing

[source]

Trust (Brad Wise)
Coronado Brewing
Thunderhawk Alements

Nine-Ten (Jason Knibb)
Pizza Port Brewing
Bear Roots Brewing

Grill at Torrey Pines (Kyle Wiegand)
AleSmith Brewing Co.
Bagby Beer Co.

CH Projects (Phillip Esteban)
North Park Beer Co.
Amplified Ale Works

Pamplemousse (Jeffrey Strauss)
Rip Current Brewing

Golden Door (Greg Frey)
Green Flash Brewing Co.
Home Brewing Co.

Terra American Bistro (Jeff Rossman)
Burning Beard Brewing Co.
San Diego Brewing Co.

University Club (Lance Repp)
Mikkeller Brewing
Resident Brewing

Leroy’s Kitchen & Lounge (Ronnie Schwandt)
Alpine Beer Co.
Benchmark Brewing

This is definitely going to be a great event, especially if you’re a fan of beer and good food! Don’t miss out on this or all the other San Diego Beer Week festivities happening in November.