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.

 

“Hot Stuff”! The Donna Summer Musical Comes to the La Jolla Playhouse This November

A biopic about the life and times of America’s favorite Disco Queen, Donna Summer, is making its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse this fall. From November 7th through December 17th, “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical” will be at the Playhouse, charting Summer’s rise to international fame from her early, modest beginnings in Boston.

The musical is directed by Des McAnuff, of “Jersey Boys” fame, and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo. Here’s a look at the Playhouse’s newest musical masterpiece.

The Donna Summer Musical

Told through the dramatic lens of her final concert, “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical” showcases the complexities and conflicts the iconic singer/songwriter struggled within her meteoric rise to fame and eventual descent. Featuring a score with more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits, the musical is a moving tribute to the voice of a generation and the undisputed “Queen of Disco.”

La Jolla Playhouse Director Emeritus Des McAnuff is known for creating performances about popular music icons, such as “The Who’s Tommy” and “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.” Now, with this production, Des is joined by his “Jersey Boys” choreographer Sergio Trujillo to combine the heartfelt story of Summers’ life with the kinetic music and dance that characterized her musical career.

[From left to right: LaChanze, Storm Lever, Ariana DeBose]

A Metamorphosis

What is especially unique about the musical, however, is that three different actresses will be playing the titular role of Donna Summers. LaChanze (who won the prestigious Tony Award for her performance in 2006’s “The Color Purple”), Ariana DeBose (whose credits include “Hamilton” and “A Bronx Tale”), and Storm Lever (who recently performed in the Playhouse’s “Freaky Friday) will each play Summers at different times in her life, to really show what a metamorphosis the singer experienced through childhood, superstardom, and then as a fading pop icon.

LaChanze will play “Diva Donna”; DeBose will be “Disco Donna,” which will shine a light on the pop star’s rise to Disco fame (and what gave way to her eventual Queen of Disco nickname); and Lever will portray “Duckling Donna,” in her early childhood years.

[Summer in a recording studio, September 1977. Wikipedia]

What to Expect

The musical is a straightforward biography, focusing solely on Summer’s journey through life. The singer was born and raised in Boston to working-class parents; she landed a role in a European production of “Hair” and began to make a name for herself working in Germany. She spent several years living, acting, and singing throughout Europe, where she met music producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. Her meteoric rise to fame happened during disco’s heyday, then drifted into limbo-land when Studio 54 and that era came to an end.

Summer became a born-again Christian in her later years, and became something of a Tragically, she died of lung cancer in 2012 at the age of 63. In her obituary in The Times, she was described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.”

Of course, all of Summer’s biggest hits will make an appearance in the show – “Love To Love You Baby,” “Heaven Knows,” “Bad Girls” — toot, toot, yeah, toot, toot! — “Dim All the Lights,” “No More Tears,” “On the Radio” and, of course, “MacArthur Park.”

The musical premieres November 7 at La Jolla Playhouse. Tickets start at $58. For more information, visit lajollaplayhouse.org.

 

Kids are FREE for October Only: Sea World, Belmont Park, and 100+ More San Diego Attractions

If you have little ones, October is an awesome month for everyone – enjoy Kids Free San Diego all through October! During the month-long celebration your kids will get free admission to attractions, meals on the house, and tons of other great perks throughout the city. With over 100 different offers and warm fall weather (without the summer crowds), this is a great opportunity to get out there and see some new San Diego sights.

Kids Free Admission

Note: exact ages included in the promotion may vary for each attraction; check website for details before you go.

  • La Jolla Historical Society
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps
  • Belmont Park (play and ride for free)
  • Empress Hotel (free Kids’ Welcome Gift, $25 value)
  • Bike & Kayak Tours of La Jolla (ride for free)
  • Balboa Park Museums:
    • San Diego Automotive Museum
    • Air & Space Museum
    • Museum of Photographic Arts
    • San Diego History Center
    • San Diego Model Railroad Museum
    • San Diego Museum of Man
    • Timken Museum of Art
    • Mingei International Museum
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego
  • San Diego SEAL Tours (ride free)
  • San Diego Fly Rides (ride free)

Kids Eat Free:

  • The Shores Restaurant (La Jolla Shores Hotel)
  • Sheraton La Jolla
  • Embassy Suites San Diego/La Jolla
  • Torreyana Grille (Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines)
  • Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa

SeaWorld Specials

  • Free single-day admission kids ages 3-9
  • Eat for free at breakfast and at Dine with Orcas
  • Free Dolphin & Beluga interaction programs

San Diego Zoo Specials

Children ages 11 and younger free admission (when accompanied by an adult with a valid form of entry). There are special activities happening both on weekdays and weekends throughout the month, as well; you can upgrade your day with a 1-Day Pass Child Upgrade for only $12 – which includes the Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Bus, and Skyfari Aerial Tram.

HalGLOWeen on October 27, 28, and 29: The Zoo will stay open until 8pm, so families can listen to DJs, enjoy bubble fun and special entertainment, and give the glowing “Boolahoops” a try. Dr. Zoolittle has a special “creepy” show, and there is plenty of other festive family fun in store. HalGLOWeen entertainment runs from 6pm-9pm. For more information head to their website.

There are tons of other spots throughout San Diego that are offering special deals and activities in October, so be sure to keep checking the website for updated information!

 

 

Where to Find the Best Pumpkin Patches in San Diego

It’s that time of year again – apples, pumpkins, and… pumpkin spice lattes? If you’re in the mood to pick your own pumpkins for Jack O’Lantern carvings this year, look no further! We’ve rounded up all of our favorite pumpkin patches in San Diego – from local favorites to family farms in Julian and Ramona. Pack a sandwich and make a road trip out of it!

Mr. Jack O’ Lanterns Pumpkin Patch

Starts Oct. 6

La Jolla finally has its own pumpkin patch! Mr. Jack O’Lantern’s offers premium pumpkins, games, activities, and attractions. Swing by on a weekend and you might catch live music or a food truck. Items such as spider webs, halloween decorations, pumpkin carving sets, novelties, and more are also available to make it a one-stop-shop for all things Halloween. Activities include a giant bounce house, haunted maze, corn hole, slides, bowling, ring toss, and tons more. 6710 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla. Visit their website for all the details.

Bates Nut Farm

Starting Sept. 23 – Oct. 31

The Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch has been open for nearly 50 years and is a serious San Diego favorite! Along with a pumpkin-picking patch, visitors can enjoy tractor hayrides, a straw maze, petting corral, and Snows Pony Rides.

Grab a wheelbarrow and pick from variety of pumpkins: Big Macs, Ghost, Cinderella, Jack O’ Lantern, minis, squash, gourds and other fall décor. In addition, Saturdays and Sundays at Bates include live entertainment from 12pm-3pm, BBQ, kettle corn, food trucks, rock climb, bounce, slide and other family friendly events. 15954 Woods Valley Rd., Valley Center. Visit their website for complete details.

Julian Mining Company

Starting Sept. 29

Along with apples and pie, Julian is also known for its fall pumpkin patches! The pick-your-own pumpkin patch at Julian Mining Co. is open every Saturday and Sunday starting September 29. Prices are approximately $.50/lbs. If you’re looking to spend more time here, they also have gem sluicing, gold panning, a petting zoo, and tomahawk throwing. 4444 Hwy. 78, Wynola/Julian. Visit their website for more details.

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Mountain Valley Ranch

Starting Sept. 23

Free admission! The whole family can enjoy an assortment of pumpkins, gourds, and Indian corn. There is also a corn maze, a corn cannon, petting zoo, hay rides (weekends only), and pony rides. Snacks and refreshments will be available on the weekends, as well. Open seven days a week from 9am-6pm. 842 CA-78, Ramona. Visit website for more information.

Farm Stand West & Fran’s Original Farm Stand

Starting Sept. 30

All throughout the month of October they’ll be hosting a you-pick Pumpkin Patch. Head over to the Farm Stand West or the Original Farm Stand and pick your own bunch of pumpkins for the season. Open weekends from 10am-6 pm. 2115 Miller Ave., Escondido; and 1980 Summit Dr., Escondido. Head here for more information.

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Lavender Hill Pumpkins

Starting Sept. 29

Lavender Hill Pumpkins is a super popular spot in Fallbrook; their u-pick pumpkin patch is located on a beautiful family-owned farm on a hillside. They take pride in growing a selection of varieties that produce unusually large or unique pumpkins; this year’s crop includes about 10,000 pumpkins in three dozen varieties, ranging from the very large to the very small, from the mildly eccentric to the shamelessly grotesque. Fridays 2-5 pm; Sat. & Sun. 10am-5 pm. 1509 East Mission Rd., Fallbrook.

Pumpkin Station

Pumpkin Stations are in multiple locations throughout San Diego: Del Mar, Rancho Bernardo, Mission Valley, El Cajon, National City, Bonita. Take the convenient route and pick some pumpkins in the city! Each spot also offers kiddie rides, giant slides, corn maze, inflatable play centers, petting zoos, game zones, and even school tours and party packages. All locations have free parking and admission. Pumpkins are priced individually on size.

Summers Past Farms

Starting October 1st

Summers Past has been a country favorite since they opened in 1987. Besides a large farm, the property also features an herbal soap shop, where they make their own in-house soap products. Wander through the pumpkin patch at Summers Past Farms throughout the month of October and pick your own pumpkin to take home. Other activities include a bounce house, crafts, and snacks for everyone like popcorn, coffee, and smoothies. Open Wednesday-Saturday 9am-5pm, and Sundays 10am-5pm. Located at 15602 Olde Highway 80, Flinn Springs 92021.

 

 

Where to Go Apple Picking in San Diego & Julian

Fall is just around the corner – and what better way to celebrate its arrival than apple picking in Julian? Apple picking season has been a big-hitting family favorite for years in San Diego; especially in and around Julian and nearby mountain towns.

This year, we were lucky enough to have plenty of rain early on; meaning that all of these apple picking farms are officially open for a long season! Here are the best spots for apple picking in Julian and San Diego.

Apple Starr Orchard

1020 Julian Orchard Drive, Julian, CA 92036.
Open every weekend from 10am-5pm.

The original orchard at Apple Starr was planted by the Farmer family after whom “Farmers Road,”  the road to the town, is named. Parts of the land were earlier used as a milk dairy, and the old barn was constructed in the early 1900s.

The orchard is home to roughly 1000 apple and pear trees. The trees range in age from 20 to 70 years and the majority have low branches that children can access. They only use certified organic products and are inspected annually to maintain their certification. Pear varieties include Bartletts, Comice, Anjous, Bosc; and apple varieties include Jonagold, Granny, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious. No reservations are necessary for u-pick!

Volcan Valley Apple Farm

1284 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian CA 92036.
Open Friday-Monday 9am-5pm (last bag sale is at 4:30pm)

Julian’s largest orchard, Volcan Valley Apple Farm, attracts big crowds every year with 7,000 trellis-grown apple trees of red and green apples ready to pick. Choose between seven different varietals of apples, including Gravenstein, Empires (a cross between a Red Delicious and a Macintosh), Jonathans, Golden Delicious, and Pippins. Pick up a bag for $12 and then head into the fields to fill it up yourself! Also on-site: Granny’s Pies! Grab a sweet treat after you’ve filled up your bag for the day.

Apples & Art Orchard

1052 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian CA 92036.
Open by reservation only.

For groups of 20 or more, this u-pick apple orchard offers tours and picking sessions. For $12 per person, groups will get the chance to pick a “half peck of apples” (which is about 5 pounds) and spend a relaxing afternoon checking out the Apples & Art Orchard. The adventure includes an apple fact lecture, apple picking, group cider making, and a tasting. This season’s apple varieties include: Red Delicious, Arkansas Black, Fuji, heirloom apples, and more. Their harvest is always pesticide-free and all natural, so you can be sure it’s healthy too!

They book tours at 1pm and 3pm daily for groups only (no individuals), and you must book a tour online ahead of time. Be sure to book your reservation soon – they fill up fast and are only open until the apples are gone. This is a great idea for Boy/Girl Scout troops, homeschoolers, and camps!

Calico Ranch

4200 Highway 78, Julian CA 92036
Please call(858) 586- 0392 ahead of time for information about opening times.

Calico Ranch is a family-run apple and pear orchard located just outside of Julian. The farm has remained in production since it was first planted in the early 1930s, and is one of the oldest remaining farms in Julian today. The Young family has owned the 30 acre orchard for more than twenty years. Calico Ranch offers u-pick experiences on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday, and usually open at 9am. The last weekend for their u-pick season (according to their Facebook) is the weekend of September 23rd.

Tips for Visiting Julian

  • Make a day of it! Downtown Julian has to much to offer and explore, especially for families – from restaurants to antique stores and, of course, apple pie.
  • Don’t expect cold weather – September is historically very warm in Juilan (usually in the 70s and 80s), so be sure to pack sunscreen, a hat, and dress for warm weather.
  • Plan your trip ahead of time – and call the orchard you plan on visiting to be sure they are open.

Other Spots to Check Out

  • Oasis Camel DairyThis is a great place to visit after you’ve finished your apple picking! Check out their hand-crafted camel milk soap, lotions, and camel milk chocolate. They offer daily tours, camel rides, and special events throughout the year.
  • Julian Mining Company: Open Saturdays and Sundays, this a fun place to learn about Julian’s history. Experience and enjoy gem sluicing, gold panning, a petting zoo, and tomahawk throwing! Unfortunately, their u-pick is closed for the year.
  • Julian Cider Mill: The Cider Mill has been in operation since 1975, making and producing their own apple cider along with homemade fudge, classic preserves, and candies. They also have many varieties of apples, pears, preserves, raw honey, French prunes, Italian plums, dried fruits, nuts, candy, caramel apples and other gifts.

Fashion Week San Diego: Your Complete Guide to the Fall Runway Shows

Fashion Week San Diego (FWSD) is quickly becoming Southern California’s largest fashion event of the year. Launched by San Diego fashion entrepreneur Allison Andrews in the fall of 2012, FSWD is packed full of runway shows, VIP parties, and of course, cutting-edge couture and runway fashion. The festivities begin in August and last until the finale in October, and in between will feature events like a Fashion Film Screening, runway shows, a unique culinary experience, and more.

This year, FWSD is celebrating its 10-year anniversary – and there are festivities to prove it! From the Hotel La Jolla to The LOT and even nearby Hotel Del Coronado, there are a ton of great things happening around the city in the days leading up to FWSD (the dates of the fashion and runway shows are October 4 – 10). Here is the lineup and complete schedule for FWSD 2017.

Culinary Couture

Where: CUSP at Hotel La Jolla, (7955 La Jolla Shores Dr, La Jolla, 92037)
When: Tuesday, Aug 22nd; 6pm-10pm

Take your tastebuds on the trip of their lifetime! Experience trending fashion capitals of the world through Cuisine & Cocktails at Fashion Week San Diego’s Culinary Couture this year. Guests will enjoy a 4-course menu (each with a cocktail pairing) to explore the international fashion capitals: Mexico, Los Angeles, Korea, and France.

And, it’s going to a good cause – partial proceeds of all Culinary Couture tickets will go back to the FAB Authority, a nonprofit organization that supports emerging fashion, art, and creative business entrepreneurs. For reservations call (619) 994-1129.

San Diego Spirits Festival & FWSD Runway Show

Where:Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier (1000 N Harbor Dr, San Diego 92101)
When:Saturday, Aug 26th; 7pm

On the first night of the San Diego Spirits Festival, FWSD will be showing a preview of each of the #FWSD17 Designers at the VIP After -Party. It’s your chance to see one look from all 21 designers before the fall runway shows happen in October – think of it as a sneak peek! San Diego Spirits Festival is a culinary and cultural event where you’ll get to sip and savor various premium distilled spirits, including whiskey, scotch, vodka, gin, rum, tequila, cordials, and handcrafted cocktails. Head here for tickets.

FAB Workshop | Meet the Maker ft. Melin Brand

Where: FIDM San Diego (350 Tenth Ave #300, San Diego 92101)
When: Thursday, Sept 14th; 6pm

Join FAB Authority for a brand new workshop this September: “Meet the Maker” featuring Melin Brand Founder Brian McDonell. Founded by two longtime friends in 2013, Melin Brand is a Southern California lifestyle headwear brand that focuses on raising the status quo through new materials, unique design, and relentless innovation. Melin hats are intended for young minded, modern day individuals from diverse influential backgrounds who appreciate refined, quality product. BONUS: This is a free event (just RSVP first).

Designers at the Del | Fashion Show & Brunch

Where: Hotel Del Coronado (1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118)
When: Sunday, Sept 17th; 11am-1pm

Join Fashion Week San Diego at the fabulous Hotel del Coronado for their brand new fashion series, Designers at the Del! Guests will enjoy informal modeling from FWSD17 Designers A’doreus, B.JASH.I, RHCreation, & Territa Torres, and brunch at the iconic Hotel Del Coronado.

Located in the Crown Room, brunch features a chilled seafood bar, regionally inspired dishes, international cuisine, and carving stations. Guests also enjoy a gourmet Bloody Mary bar, made-to-order mimosas, and a spectacular candy and dessert bar – complete with a design-your-own donut station! Cost is $96 per adult. Call (619) 522-8490 for reservations.

FWSD Kickoff VIP Party

Where: The LOT La Jolla (7611 Fay Avenue, La Jolla)
When: Wednesday, Oct 4th; 6pm

Kick off Fashion Week San Diego 2017 with a VIP reception: enjoy drinks, appetizers, and a Fashion Film Screening of Red Pearl at The LOT in La Jolla. The event is free for FWSD Pass Holders.

Red Pearl synopsis: Scarlet Kennedy, “fresh out of fashion school in fabulous Columbus,” is excited to start her first design job out west.  What she doesn’t anticipate is how difficult making new friends and starting over can be.   This coming-of-age ‘dramedy’ explores how our experiences, good and bad, mold us into the people we become. Free for FWSD Pass Holders. 

FWSD Art & Beauty Behind Fashion

Where: Andaz San Diego (600 F Street, San Diego 92101)
When: Thursday, Oct 5; 6pm-10pm

This is FWSD’s signature kickoff event: “The Art and Beauty Behind Fashion.” This evening is all about the visuals! Hair and makeup will be the focal point of the runway, featuring a show with hair by Detour Salon. Several talented artists will also be on display including: Shane Bowden, Stefanie Bales, Tyson King, Robert Glick, Homebird Upholstery and Christine Finkelson. Later in the evening will feature a special men’s runway show by MACEOO and artistic performances by circus tumblers. Requires a FWSD Pass.

Fashion Week 2017: Runway Shows & Night 1 After-Party

Where: Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier (1000 North Harbor Drive)
When: Friday, Oct 6th; 6pm

This is officially night one of the FWSD Designer Runway Shows, featuring 10 out of the 21 designers including: A’doreus, Alber Rezko Jewelry Design, BJASHI, Haus of K2, Hola Swim, Iamsublime, Jamie Wooning, Kheir Sannai, RACA Designs, & The Stylish Bisou.
This night will also feature the annual Haute Dog Runway show with adoptable dogs from Rancho Coastal Humane Society.
Following the runway shows, FWSD pass holders can enjoy an exclusive after party at Florent (5th Avenue), featuring Trendz by Upright Citizen, live entertainment, and the VIP treatment for FWSD guests.

Runway Shows Night 2

Where: Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier
When: Saturday, Oct 7th; 6pm-10pm

Finale Night of FWSD17 Designer Runway Shows features 11 out of 21 designers, including: Baza Hautecouture, Hulabelle Swimwear, Isabel Vianey, rhcreation, Saul lizacri, Studio by Oseas, Taylor Whipp, They & Them, Territa Torres Designs, VaughnBerry, & Wafabywafa. Following the runway shows, join us for an afterparty in the main venue featuring a DJ from Sleeping Giant Music.

Designer Trunk Show & Fashion Awards

Where: Hotel Del Coronado
When: Sunday, Oct 8th; 1oam-2pm

View and shop all the labels and Fashion Week San Diego Designer fashions that debuted on the runway, including other FWSD vendors and partners. Following will be the Annual Fashion Awards at 1pm, to close off the week of festivities.

You can purchase passes for Fashion Week San Diego on their website.

Labor Day 2017 Activities in San Diego & La Jolla

Labor Day weekend in San Diego is always a little bittersweet – it’s technically the end of summer; the kids go back to school; and those long evenings of daylight are coming to a close. However, there is some consolation! We’re lucky enough to live in a beautiful city that has sunshine pretty much year-round, and Labor Day is one of the most event-filled weekends of the year! Here are a few activities for Labor Day in San Diego and La Jolla.

Festival of Sail

September 1-4; 9am-7pm

Celebrate the largest Tall Ship Festival on the West Coast over Labor Day Weekend with live entertainment, cannon battles and more than 100 different food, art and craft vendors. Hosted at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, Festival of Sail transforms the North Embarcadero into a nautical theme park for four fun-filled days.

The festivities start with a parade on Friday, where you can watch the ships majestically sail into San Diego bay, enjoy cannon fire salutes, and see the ships end their journey at the Maritime Museum’s docks.

Daily activities during Festival of Sail include a kids petting zoo, craft activities, face painting, tall ship cannon battles, a special 30-minute Festival of Sail bay cruise, beer garden, live entertainment, and hundreds of food vendors.

[image courtesy of Facebook]

Sand Sculpting Challenge & Dimensional Art Exposition

September 1-4; 9am-5pm

Thousands of people come every year to see master-class sculptors build beautiful three-dimensional works of art. Not only that, but they actually build a beach above the water to do it – by bringing in 300 tons of sand to the Broadway Pier. There will be eleven official master sculptors carving for all four days, from countries all over the world here to challenge the US on our own soil! Throughout the festival, there will also be live entertainment (big bands and singers), a sand box and rides for kids, a dozen gourmet food trucks, a great view of the bay, and tall ships and cannon battles.

Labor Day Stickball Tournament in Little Italy

September 2 & 3; 8am-5pm

What better way to spend Labor Day weekend in San Diego than outdoors enjoying the sunshine?

The Labor Day Stickball Tournament takes over the streets of Little Italy on Saturday and Sunday, and allows players to revisit some of those old school childhood memories. The activity is all about honoring long-standing traditions, paying tribute to this East Coast sporting pastime, and of course; having fun!

Come out and see these teams grab a broom stick, table leg or any other kind of bat-like stick that will send a rubber Wilson ball flying! Watch the excitement along India St (W. Ash to W. A Streets) and Columbia St (W. Beech to W. Cedar).

Spend the Day on the Beach

There’s no better weekend to hit the beach and soak in some sun! La Jolla Shoresis a great spot for a beach side picnic, barbecue, or soccer game. There’s plenty of grass, a playground for the kids, and restrooms/showers directly nearby. The parking lot does fill up quickly, so try to arrive early; if not, there is also plenty of street parking in the adjacent neighborhoods.

Why not extend the evening and have a bonfire? Bring the s’mores and grab a bonfire pit located along the beach at La Jolla Shores! Visit our guide for making the most out of your bonfire experience.

5th Annual San Diego Bacon Fest

September 2; 1:30pm – 5pm

San Diego Bacon Fest is an all-inclusive event at Liberty Station, running five years strong and granting patrons unlimited samples from dozens of local purveyors of food and beverage; specifically, bacon and beer!

Local eateries present at the festival this year include Bub’s at the Ballpark, Doggos Gus, Lazy Dog Restaurant, Promiscuous Fork, The Riviera Supper Club, The Cork & Craft, Soda & Swine, Slater’s 50/50, Sabuku Sushi, and plenty more. Breweries this year are definitely going to be a hit; expect samples from Abnormal Beer Co, Belching Beaver, Bitter Brothers, Bolt Brewery, Fall Brewing, Green Flash, and tons of others.

General admission is from 12pm-5pm on Saturday, September 2nd; tickets are $55 and get you unlimited samples of all food and beverage.

Hit the Trails

Weather permitting, Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to get out there and hit the trails! San Diego and La Jolla are home to hundreds of hiking, biking, and walking trails; many of which supply gorgeous views and a terrific workout. If you’re looking to be active and still get a great view, Torrey Pines State Reserve has several trails for people of all abilities.

If you’re looking for something a bit more laid back, the Coast Walk Trail right here in La Jolla is breathtaking, and not too long of a hike. There are also a few other great trails in and around downtown La Jolla.

The Lazy Adult’s Guide to San Diego Comic-Con International Offsite Events & Parties 2017

Eileen Blancas, sub-culture and pop culture enthusiast, guest blogs today with an insightful and easy San Diego Comic Con 2017 off-site events guide. No badge required.

If you’ve been following my San Diego Comic Con guides throughout the years, you know my guides follow a central theme: survival and laziness. I, like you, enjoy a good time. But also like you, I don’t enjoy going through the countless event guides with terrible layouts, Facebook invites that inevitably get lost in the FB black hole, and press release after press release about some toy you’ve never heard of (#sorrynotsorry). And yet, it brings me such joy to wade through it all to provide you with the most interesting events!

All events in this guide do not require a Comic Con badge, but some do have a cover. At the time of writing this, events have not yet “sold-out.” No, I cannot get you into any of the Conan events.

If you’re visiting San Diego for the first time or if you will be staying all week be sure to visit La Jolla and take in some sun and explore the Village. Not sure where to start? Check out our handy guides here.

All-Weekend Offsite Events

Petco Park Interactive Zone 100 Park Blvd.
When: Th-Sat Open-6pm, Sun Open-5pm
What: After a bit of hiatus, Petco Park Interactive Zone is back. It is the best place to go if you are badgeless and low on funds. Expect to see photo booths, VR and arcade demos from the Razer Experience Tour, food provided by Netflix’s “The Rise of Voltron,” and much more!

Netflix Experience Hilton Gaslamp, 4th Ave. and L St.
When: Th-Sat 11-8PM, Sun 11-3PM
What: With several original hit shows under their belt, and now a hit movie, “Okja,” Netflix is going in strong this year at Comic Con. Since you’re badgeless and have no hope of getting into Hall H, the Netflix Experience is your next best bet. Catch sneak peeks of upcoming originals, exclusive giveaways, and more. You will also be able to immerse yourselves into the worlds of “Stranger Things,” “Bright,” and the streets of New York with Marvel’s “The Defenders.”

FXHibition Hilton San Diego Bayfront Lawn, 1 Park Blvd.
When: Th-Sat 12–6pm, Sun 10–2pm
What: Fri Screening: 7pm–9pm, doors 6:30pm
Much like the Petco Park Interactive Zone, the Bayfront Lawn is another place to find the most bang for your $0. Immerse yourself in a mixed reality experience with FX shows like “Legion,” “American Horror Story,” “Archer,” “Atlanta” and more. Find out more on their SDCC site, FXSDCC.

Nintendo Gaming Lounge – Marriott Marquis & Marina
When: Thursday, July 20 – Sunday, July 23 (10AM-7PM on Thursday-Saturday, and 10AM-5PM on Sunday).
What: Play some of their most popular games like: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildMario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, Pokémon Tournament DX, Pokémon Moon, Super Mario Maker, and more. For more info click here.

Adult Swim On the Green Convention Way & 5th Ave Pier, Behind Convention Center
When: Th-Sun 1-6pm; 18+
What: The first of adults-only events, this is a TOP NOTCH offsite that everyone makes the effort to attend. Wacky carnival games, free swag, and the Meatwad Dome experience – said to be upgraded this year w/motion seats. Get a tarot card reading, befriend a motorized animal, and wait in a gigantic line! Just kidding, skip the line and register at the Adult Swim event site. Also check the site out for a schedule of signings with “Rick & Morty,” “Robot Chicken,” and “The Jellies.”

TBS “Wrecked” Marina behind Convention Center
When: Th-Sun 12-5pm; 21+
What: This is probably the most legit new event to pop up on the offsite circuit. This “floating island” will include an island bar, coconut skeeball, minigolf, palm tree climbing, and a mechanical boar – all on a barge in the SD bay! They’re even advertising that you can pee in an airplane cabin, but that’s up to you!

VICELAND Party Bus w/James Van der Beek 530 Island Avenue
When: Th–Sat 9-6PM
What: Official Party w/Diplo at Fluxx, RSVP only
I know what you’re thinking – what the hell is this flyer and what does Dawson have to do with Comic Con? Well, it looks like the VICELAND Party Bus is parking itself at SDCC to celebrate the launch of their new show starring James Van Der Beek, “What Would Diplo Do?” Yeah, I have no idea either – but it sounds a trip! The bus is fully loaded with a lounge area, snacks, drinks, music, wi-fi, swag, and even a rooftop deck. There will also be special guests stopping by throughout the week. Probably Diplo. Ask him if you can get into the exclusive party, just don’t catch any STDs.

Mr.Robot 327 4th Ave btwn J and Island
When: Th-Sat 11-7pm, Sun 11-4pm
What: While many people seem to be bummed that Mr.Robot doesn’t have a ferris wheel or panel this year, there is something better! A free meal! Alright, so I am biased. I can’t say I know much of Mr.Robot, but I can say I am a fan of free food. Head to the “E Corp’s Bank of E” for an E Corp Card. That card will give allow you to make purchases (I assume), but best of all, if you go to the “Red Wheelbarrow BBQ” next door, they will give you a free bbq meal. You’re welcome.

For more offsite events visit SDCC’s official list. Now onto the parties!

Thursday Parties

Thursday is THE day for parties. I am listing them in the order of importance, most important to backup plan.

IGN x Sony x MRC Studios: The Dark Tower Fan Party Tipsy Crow
When: 8-2am; Free; 21+
What: They list baby ribs and drinks, I don’t know if that means it is free eats and drinks, but with sponsorships like that – you best show up and find out! They’ve also got live performances as well, should be a great time! Register now on eventbrite.

Syfy x The Nerd Machine Fan Dance Party The New Children’s Museum
When: 9-12pm; Free
What: If you’re one of the many who were disappointed in the lack of a physical Nerd HQ, have no fear! There are not just one, but two fan dance parties by Syfy and Nerd HQ! Show up in your cosplay and dance with all your best friends. This is the party to just let loose at!

Rave of Thrones Omnia
When: 9:30-2am; $20; 21+
What: Kristian Nairn is back with the Rave of Thrones! If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones or dance music, this is not an event to be missed! It is, however $20 pre-sale and probably an arm and a leg the day of. Buy tickets at the Omnia website.

Bangarang Heroes and Rebels Bassmnt
When: 9-1am; $15; 21+
What: Famed for his roles as Rufio in “HOOK,” and Prince Zuko in “AVATAR: The Last Airbender,” Dante Basco is hosting a dance party at the nightclub Bassmnt. Cosplay is encouraged, egos are not – check it at the door. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased here.

Modern Times Beer Dinner w/Star Wars Spelling Bee BIGA
When: 7-11pm, $35 online $45 at the door, 21+
What: This event is probably going to be pretty dope as who doesn’t love a three course dinner, local beer pairings, and a super geeky spelling bee? Do you know how to spell Tatooine? I’ll give you a hint: I just wrote it. Buy tickets here.

Friday Parties

Ghostbusters Mass Hysteria Werewolf
When: 8am-2am; Free; all ages until 9pm
What: A beloved event by all, Ghostbusters Mass Hysteria is an all day event with panels and prizes, followed by a party for the adults! It is first come, first serve – and tons of fun. For schedule and more info, follow their FB invite page.

NYLON AND NVE EXPERIENCE AGENCY PRESENT AFTER-CON AT OMNIA NIGHTCLUB SAN DIEGO
When: Friday, July 21  9:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.  Held at San Diego’s OMNIA Nightclub located in the legendary Gaslamp Quarter.
What: Tyler Posey (“Teen Wolf”), Danai Gurira (“Black Panther”), Jamie Chung (“Big Hero 6: The Series”), Warren G (Hip-hop artist), Brody Jenner (DJ), Jamie Iovine (DJ),  Aimee Garcia (“Lucifer”), Bree Turner (“Grimm”), Bryan Greenberg (“The Mindy Project”), Cassie Scerbo (“Sharknado 5: Global Swarming”), Fabio Lanzoni (Model), Ian Ziering (“Sharknado 5: Global Swarming), Katheryn Winnick (“Vikings”), Lana Parrilla (“Once Upon a Time”), Marie Avgeropoulos (“The 100”), Paul Johansson (“Van Helsing”), Robert Buckley (“iZombie”), Shohreh Aghdashloo (“The Expanse”), Tara Reid (“Sharknado 5: Global Swarming”) and more to be announced.

Pirate Con Maritime Museum of San Diego
When: 8-12pm; $40; 21+
What: I’ve heard stories about this party. Depending on who you are, this could be either good or bad. You’ve been warned! Bonus! You get a Funko toy with the purchase of your ticket! Tickets may be purchased at the Maritime Museum of San Diego website here.

Japanese Pop Culture Party: Yokai Omatsuri Japanese Friendship Garden
When: 7:30-11:30pm; $25; 18+
What: If kawaii Japanese culture is more your thing, check out the Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park for activities, food, and DJs. Tickets can be purchased here.

Das Bunker Galactic Dance Party at SDCC Spin Nightclub
When: 9pm- ???; $25; 21+
What: Los Angeles’ famed Industrial Dance Club treks over to San Diego for a night of galactic fun. Spin is known to go well into 4am, so if you’re looking for an all nighter, this is your party! Buy tickets here.

Saturday Parties

Syfy x The Nerd Machine Fan Dance Party Pt. 2 The New Children’s Museum
When: 9-12pm; Free
See Thursday’s description.

horror vs scifi san diego comic con 2017

SDCC Horror Cosplay Meetup • Club Sabbat Presents Horror vs Sci-Fi
MEETUP: Location TBA; 6:30-7:30pm; Free; All Ages
AFTER PARTY: Numb3rs Nightclub 9-2am; $7; 21+
The well beloved Zombie Walk is no longer, but lives in the spirit of an all new horror meetup! In zombie fashion, the location is TBA, follow the FB account herefor more info. Following the meetup is the after party presented by Club Sabbat, come in your horror gear or switch it up to galactic babe status. Watch the tentacles! The after party is 21+, sorry horror kids.

Comic-Con Club Crawl Analog Bar
I’m not a huge fan of crawls, but I admit they can be fun – and people seem to enjoy them. Use this discount from Goldstar. This crawl is also on Friday, but don’t pay more when you can pay less. Go Saturday. More info and tickets here.

Itinerary for a Day at Birch Aquarium: Things to Do Already Planned

San Diego is a mecca for aquatic wildlife and oceanic ecosystems; it’s one reason you must visit the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla. This La Jolla aquarium has much to offer kids and adults, making it one of the top things to do in La Jolla for families.

Situated on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Birch Aquarium is home to more than 3,000 fish and 60 habitats, providing a unique opportunity to become immersed in an underwater world of sharks, seahorses, living coral reefs and more! Contained within the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, the aquarium offers an immersive experience of the ocean sciences, conservation and research.

Here’s a planned itinerary for a day at the Birch Aquarium, so you can focus on enjoying the day – not worrying about the details of planning.

Buy Birch Aquarium Tickets Online

To make planning a trip to Birch Aquarium easy, we recommend buying aquarium tickets in advance online. It saves you time and even money vs. buying them upon arrival.

Head to this page on the Birch Aquarium website for special deals and discounts.

Check the Event Calendar

Before you go, make sure to check the calendar of events at Birch Aquarium. Each day, there are things to do at different times such as the Kelp Tank Dive Show. Check out the daily schedule for an updated list of everything happening each week.

Fuel Up with Breakfast in La Jolla

Eat before your trip to Birch Aquarium, so you and your posse can focus on the great exhibits – rather than stopping too often to snack.

We recommend local spots that open early, good no matter what time you & your family are hungry, and serve great food.

Caroline’s Seaside Cafe – This La Jolla cafe overlooks the Pacific Ocean, providing a great view and a variety of breakfast options including, but not limited to: pancakes, eggs (such as vegetable and Mediterranean egg scramble), greek yogurt parfaits and more.

The Daily Bagel – A local San Diego bagel shop known for great fare and a welcoming family atmosphere.

Bella Vista Social Club & Caffe – This oceanside cafe in La Jolla has a breathtaking view and a large parking lot. Nestled near the world famous Salk Institute, it has both indoor and outdoor seating. Breakfast includes options like decadent bagels, omelettes served with rosemary potatoes, acai bowls, black truffle quiche and more.

How to Get to Birch Aquarium (Details for Driving, Parking & Public Transport)

Address: 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037

Hours of Operation: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Directions: You can drive yourself to the aquarium or – if you are visiting without an automobile or don’t want to worry about finding parking – here are options for public transport to Birch Aquarium.

  • MTS Bus Route 30 – Stops at La Jolla Shores Drive & Discovery Way. From there, walk 100 feet east to Expedition Way. Walk downhill .3 miles to the entrance
  • North County Transit District Bus Route 101 – Stops at Expedition Way. Walk down Expedition Way to the aquarium (15 minutes)

Parking: Free parking is available for three hours in the designated aquarium lot. After three hours, parking is $8 per every 24 hours. Handicapped parking is located in the traffic circle at the front of the aquarium.

What to Expect & Explore at Birch Aquarium

Whether you’re exploring one of the interactive exhibits, checking out the tide pools or participating in one of the numerous aquarium events, there are many things to do at Birch Aquarium.

Here are some of the top attractions at this La Jolla aquarium.

  • Elasmo Beach: Discover sharks and rays that are native to La Jolla’s waters in a 13,000-gallon tank.
  • Living Tide Pools:Take the opportunity to get close-up views of sea stars, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, lobsters and more.
  • Virtual Experience of Mexican Seas: A virtual and visual photographic experience of four biodiversity hot spots found in Mexican waters.
  • There’s Something about Seahorses: An up-close encounter with more than a dozen seahorse species.
  • Boundless Energy: Experience first-hand how we can use renewable energy from wind, sun and sea.
  • Giant Kelp Tank:  Arguably one of the most popular attractions at the Aquarium, this 70,000 gallon, two-story tank is an awesome display of an underwater forest ecosystem. You’ll see tons of leopard sharks, Moray eels, an endangered Giant Black Sea Bass, and more. Be sure to check out one of the Kelp Tank Dive Shows, too; divers actually feed the tank creatures and will answer any questions.
  • Animal Feedings:Ever wondered what it would be like to dine with fish, sharks and lobsters? Consider this your official invitation to dinner! Each day, aquarists feed the different animals within their live displays, giving you a front row seat to the action. For a schedule of feedings, visit this handy itinerary.
  • Infinity Cube **NEW**:  The Infinity Cube is now open! It’s a huge, immersive installation that explores bioluminescence in the marine environment. It surrounds guests in projected and reflected larger-than-life images of bioluminescence accompanied by soundscape. Definitely worth a stop!

Where to Have Lunch at Birch Aquarium

Pack a Picnic Lunch – After your day at Birch Aquarium or, as a break, bring a picnic lunch. Pack a cooler beforehand so whenever you and your family are hungry, it’s right at hand.

OR

Enjoy Lunch at Birch Aquarium’s Splash! Cafe – This La Jolla aquarium has a gourmet cafe with food by The French Gourmet, where you’ll enjoy sandwiches, salads and side dishes here.

Get an Amazing Oceanview Picture

Birch Aquarium is nestled above La Jolla Shores, providing an incredible view year-round. Make sure to head outside near the tide pool area to get picture of you and the family in front of the Pacific.

Hit the Beach After

After learning about the ocean and the ecosystems it holds, why not go explore it for yourself? It’s easy. Simply hop down to the beach below.

We recommend heading down to La Jolla Shores Beach – only 4 minutes away by car or 10 – 15 minutes using public transport to La Jolla Shores. This beach has equipment rentals, playgrounds and bathrooms – making it perfect for a kids day in La Jolla. It’s also great for a sunset walk on the beach.

Dinner at La Jolla Shores

The La Jolla Shores area offers a variety of great cuisine. Grab dinner at La Jolla restaurant spots such as:

The Shores Restaurant : Nestled on the 1st floor of the La Jolla Shores Hotel, this restaurant is a hidden gem in La Jolla. After a busy day of touring Birch Aquarium and visiting the beach, this elegant, beachside restaurant is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a glass of wine. Make reservations at The Shores Restaurant here.

(If you can make in time for happy hour, you should. Learn about the amazing Shores Restaurant happy hour here.