Halloween events in San Diego

12 Halloween Events in San Diego

Everywhere in America loves to celebrate Halloween. From a festival in Oregon celebrating the original Halloween movies to The Festival of the Dead in Salem, Massachusetts, there are cities in every state that do it up big time for Halloween. Halloween events in San Diego are no exception no matter what floats your sheet.

Whether you are into haunted houses, zombie crawls or playing a pirate on a boat at sea, you will find something in San Diego to make your Halloween extra spooky. Halloween parties in San Diego can contain some of the most exotic and fun costumes ever. There are even tons of kid friendly Halloween events in San Diego, with plenty of fun for your little trick or treaters.

Hallloween at Sea World in San Diego

San Diego Halloween Events by Neighborhood

If you’re looking for some fun (and spooky!) Halloween events in your own backyard, why not check out these neighborhood San Diego Halloween Events?

La Jolla

The gorgeous La Jolla area is no exception when it comes to fun Halloween events. Another great location for Halloween events for the entire family, La Jolla is also often beautifully decorated and has many smaller local events around fall and the Halloween holiday.

Mr. Jack O’ Lanterns Pumpkin Patch

Mr. Jack O’ Lanterns Pumpkin Patch in La Jolla is a wonderful day destination for the season. This celebrated local spot is an all-in-one stop for your Halloween needs. Pick your own pumpkins, go for a hayride, and run through the spooky maze. Then you can visit the animals at the farm while making your way to a Halloween shop filled with all of the costumes and decorations you could possibly need.

  • Address: 6710 La Jolla Blvd., San Diego, CA 92037
  • Phone: (844) 452-2567
  • Dates: Oct. 1 – Oct. 31
    Mon – Thurs 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    Fri – Sun 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Haunted Aquarium

In La Jolla, the Haunted Aquarium is a one-of-a-kind experience. A family-oriented fun time, children and adults are encouraged to wear costumes. Activities focus on Halloween-oriented things like spooky types of animals, things that feel slimy or scaly, and what happens at a whale boneyard. There is a haunted kelp maze and plenty of other family-focused activities.

  • Address: 2300 Exhibition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037
  • Phone: (858) 534-3474
  • Dates: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. every day in Oct 

Carlsbad

Carlsbad is a wonderfully fabulous place to celebrate Halloween events in San Diego CA. With places like the San Diego Zoo and Legoland, you know there are going to be super fun Halloween activities for both kids and adults. 

LEGOLAND Halloween in Miniland

LEGOLAND Halloween in Miniland happens every weekend throughout October with fun activities and decorations as well as treats for the whole family. Costumes are encouraged and may be seen on characters throughout the park.

  • Address: 1 Legoland Dr., Carlsbad, CA 92008
  • Phone: (877) 376-5346
  • Dates: Oct 2 – 4, 9 – 11, 16 – 18, 23 – 25, 30 – 31

Carlsbad Strawberry Company Pumpkin Patch

The Carlsbad Strawberry Company Pumpkin Patch is another huge attraction in Carlsbad. Get back to some old-fashioned fall fun with hayrides, a corn maze, picking your own pumpkin, and even seeing how far you can shoot an apple out of a cannon. While this is one of the great Halloween events for toddlers in San Diego, even teenagers can have some fun after dark at the haunted corn maze.

  • Address: 1050 Cannon Rd., Carlsbad, CA 92008
  • Phone: (760) 603-9608
  • Dates: Sat – Sun – Thru Nov 8

Del Mar

Del Mar is a beautiful, quiet area with many parks, restaurants, and residential homes, and a great place for Halloween events in North County San Diego area. Del Mar may have some of the best Halloween events for kids in San Diego, with family-friendly Halloween movies at the park, tours of haunted locations, and trick or treating galore. Del Mar is also known for its haunted houses.

Scream Zone Del Mar

At Scream Zone Del Mar, this 23-year-old haunt has something to terrify everyone. Scream Zone is the county’s longest-running haunted attraction and brings followers from all around. This trail of terror has been touted as one of San Diego’s goriest and scariest attractions throughout the years. 

  • Address: 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014
  • Phone: (858) 755-1161
  • Dates: Check website at thescreamzone.com

Mission Bay

Mission Bay has beautiful views, beautiful resorts, and plenty of fun things to do during the Halloween season. California may not get the foliage changes that the rest of the world experiences, but you will never know the leaves aren’t dropping when you explore these fun fall activities. 

SeaWorld Spooktacular

The SeaWorld Spooktacular at SeaWorld packs a fantastic experience for the whole family. Featuring characters from Sesame Street, this ranks as one of the best Halloween events in San Diego for children of all ages. Everyone can trick or treat during the day, and participate in things like spooky storytime and Halloween dance parties, as well as tons of other fall and Halloween-related fun.

  • Address: 500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA 92109
  • Phone: (619) 222-4732
  • Dates: Sat-Sun Sept 18th – Oct 31st

Harvest Walk at Belmont Park

The historic Belmont Park features the Harvest Walk at Belmont Park, which focuses more on fall and enjoying the season than Halloween-specific enjoyment. However, there is trick or treating for the kids and you can see one of the world’s largest pumpkins. Kids and adults alike may also enjoy the street magic and go-kart track. The Harvest Walk features street vendors, local food, artisans, and a craft beer garden. 

  • Address: 3146 Mission Blvd., San Diego, CA 92109
  • Phone: (858) 488-1549
  • Dates: Sat 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Oct 24 – Nov 14

Mission Valley

Mission Valley is considered the heart of it all in San Diego. With easy, close access to nearly all the popular spots around, Mission Valley makes it easy to get to your favorite fun destinations. However, this area doesn’t lack in fun things to do during the Halloween season, either.

The Disturbance

If you are looking for more adult-oriented fun, The Disturbance in Mission Valley may be your go-to. Three attractions in one location make this a hefty haunted house attraction to visit. Let The Haunted Hotel, Kill-billy Chaos, and the 3-D Freak Fest fulfill all of your haunted house and spooky scary needs. Not recommended for children 10 or younger or anyone who is easily frightened!

  • Address: 1640 Camino Del Rio N., San Diego, CA 92108
  • Phone: (619) 696-SCARE (7227)
  • Dates: Almost every day in Oct 

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach in San Diego is a beautiful spot frequented by sunbathers and surfers alike. Temperatures in the fall do not deter this crowd, and this spot is a great one for the younger, bar-hopping crowd looking for a day of shopping or a night out on the town.

Pacific Beach Halloween Pub Crawl

The Pacific Beach Halloween Pub Crawl can be a super fun activity for those adults who love to dress up and have all the fun. Get an all-access pass to over 10 pubs, including drink vouchers, invitations to Halloween parties, and free welcome shots at select venues.

  • Address: 1165 Garnet Ave., San Diego, 92109
  • Phone: (858) 999-0158
  • Dates: Oct 30 at 9 p.m. – Oct 31 at 5a.m.

Downtown

Downtown San Diego needs no introduction and has all of the Halloween fun you could ever need.

WCKD Village

WCKD Village turns the whole of Gaslamp Quarter into a frightfest for Halloween. Creepy and spooky characters lurk in every corner. There are tons of interactive elements and frightening games. Plus escape rooms, 3 music stages, and a $3k costume contest. This experience is one of the best for Halloween.

  • Address: 7th Ave. (Between Market St and J St.), San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: (619) 233-5008
  • Dates: Call for more info

Halloween Trail at Petco Park

For great fall activities in San Diego, the Halloween Trail at Petco Park is a family-friendly event that rolls a pumpkin patch, haunted trail, and Halloween market all in one. Kids will love visiting different booths with different fun themes like Star Wars and dinosaurs, while adults will love the easy, contained family fun with a Halloween market to browse for all of your fall decorating necessities.

  • Address: 100 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: (619) 795-5555
  • Dates: Oct 23 – Nov 1

Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

One of San Diego’s best-known haunted trails, the Haunted Trail of Balboa Park will certainly have everyone jumping and running and maybe even releasing a scream. Winding throughout Balboa Park, this trail is not for the faint of heart and certainly not for children under 10 years of age. Make sure you take your time!

  • Address: Balboa Dr and Juniper Rd., San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: (619) 696-SCARE (7227)
  • Dates: Select Dates & Times Sept 24 – Oct 31

HalGLOWeen at the San Diego Zoo

Another well-known event in San Diego is the HalGLOWeen at the San Diego Zoo. If Halloween brings out your hidden love for fluorescent lights and blacklight glow paint, this is the place for you. This is a family-focused event with tons of activities including glow-in-the-dark hula hooping, bubble dance parties, and cupcake walks.

  • Address: 2920 Zoo Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: (619) 231-1515
  • Dates: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., Oct 9 – 11, 16 – 18, 23 – 25

San Diego Halloween Yacht Party – The Black Pearl

Do you want to spend your Halloween on a haunted boat on the ocean? Look no farther than the San Diego Halloween Yacht Party – The Black Pearl. This 21 and over event features an open bar and complimentary appetizers while you explore the floating haunted mansion, dance to DJs, and party all night long in your favorite pirate (or other) costume.

  • Address: 990 N Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
  • Phone: (714) 485-6543
  • Dates: Oct 31, Check-in begins at 10 p.m., Cruise goes to 1:30 a.m.

Coronado

The rich history of this beautiful resort city already includes a hotel built in the 1800s, which entails many spooky stories in and of itself. Coronado has beautiful beach walks and many shops and storefronts that celebrate the fall season in beautiful and fun ways.

Ghost Roasts at Hotel del Coronado

For Halloween in Coronado, the Ghost Roasts at Hotel del Coronado is a fun family event that can be entertaining for the young and not so young alike. While it may not be what you think (there is no telling of jokes at a ghost’s expense!), but rather, you will be making s’mores at a campfire on the beach while hearing stories from the hotel’s historian.

  • Address: 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado, CA 92118
  • Phone: (619) 435-6611
  • Dates: Evenings in Oct, 5:30 p.m – 7p.m.

Conclusion

San Diego has fun for everyone all year round but the fall season and especially Halloween provide some exceptional opportunities for special events and activities throughout the city. For fun fall Halloween events in San Diego this weekend or in the future, there are many great choices. So get that costume decided and plan for any number of these wonderful choices whether for yourself or the whole family.

Best Instagrams of July 4th 2021 In San Diego

San Diego’s known for its epic beaches, fireworks, and rich military history so where better to spend a 4th of July with your friends and family. 

 

Take a scroll to see our top pics from all around San Diego during this year’s celebrations! 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Even big-time Instagram influencers like Addison Rae got into the action with a Fourth of July post.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Cove Fireworks Cancelled : Our Top 4 Firework Recommendations for Locals Seeking A New Spot

Happy 4th of July! 

Due to the recent development at the La Jolla Cove, there will be no firework show there tonight leaving many locals scambling to find a new spot to watch. Luckily, we did our homework this time and got you covered with our top 5 spots that aren’t our beloved La Jolla Cove….

 

Short Drives North & South

1) MISSION BAY
SeaWorld fireworks: SeaWorld San Diego start their firework show at 9:30 tonight. If you’re close enough or in the park, you will be able to hear a patriotic soundtrack to go along with the blasts. Prime viewing of this show can be found away from Seaworld anywhere you can see the bay such as…

  • Kate Sessions Park 
  • Mount Soledad 
  • Bay Ho
  • Crown Point Park
  • Mission Beach
  • Anywhere along the Mission Bay Bike Path 

 

 

2) Del Mar
Del Mar Fairgrounds fireworks: The Del Mar Fair’s annual grand finale is the fireworks on 4th of July. They start popping tonight at 9pm. All can purchase tickets to see them from the fairground themselves but other free viewing points include….

  • Del Mar Beach
  • Solana Beach 
  • Del Mar Plaza 
  • Northside of Crest Canyon Hiking Trails 

 

Towards Downtown 

1) San Diego Harbor
Big Bay Boom: the largest of all firework shows in San Diego begins at 9pm from four barges parked in the harbor. Some areas to consider for watching include …

  • Shelter Island 
  • Harbor front (think near the Midway Museum)  
  • Mission Hills (think anywhere you can see the airport from above) 
  • Spanish Landing 
  • Cesar E Chavez Park 
  • Anywhere along the Harbor Bike Path 

 

 

2) Coronado Island

Glorietta Bay fireworks: From Coronado most should be able to see the Big Bay Boom, but at 9pm there is an independent show from Glorietta Bay, south of the bridge and near the backside of The Del. Most viewers will need to be on the Island to get an upclose and personal show but they should be visible from….

  • National City
  • Chula Vista
  • Stingray Point 
  • Logan Heights

Sycuan Casino Resort in San Diego

San Diego Casino Hotels

When you think of luck, what comes to mind? Is it four-leaf clovers? Horseshoes? What about rabbit’s feet? (Perhaps it’s not quite so lucky for the rabbit that once possessed it, though!) Well, for us, having the privilege of calling San Diego our home is arguably the pinnacle of what we’d call good luck. From the incredible weather that we get to experience all year ‘round, to the genuinely friendly locals that make up our population, very few places compare to our fine city.

However, luck can take on a number of faces, and some people seem to have all of it. That’s why folks from around the world love to flock to our San Diego casino hotels to try their hands at roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. With just a few dollars in their pocket and hope in their hearts, they start their winning streaks… and somehow manage to walk away from the table richer than when they started. And, of course, they also have the good fortune to know how to quit while they’re ahead. 

The Best Hotel Casinos in San Diego, CA

While we’re not going to go as far as to say that everyone’s going to hit the jackpot while gambling in our San Diego casino hotels, we will say that if you’ve decided to make our city your vacation destination, then you’re already a winner. Nevertheless, gambling is a game of chance, and you do need to play in order to be able to win. If you’re wanting to start your very own flirtation with Lady Luck herself — and you’re currently wondering, “What are the best casinos in San Diego?” — then why not check out these seven amazing casino hotels, found right here on our very own California coast?

How this Post is Organized

For ease of browsing, we put these in alphabetical order. If you’re looking for the closest resort casino to San Diego, try Sycuan; it’s about 15 miles from the airport and about 21 miles from La Jolla Cove. Barona is the next-closest, at a little over 30 miles from the airport and the same distance from La Jolla Cove. The rest on our list are between 40 – 6o miles from the airport. But whatever you do, have fun!

Barona Resort & Casino

At San Diego’s only non-smoking casino, the Barona Resort & Casino is a welcome breath of fresh air. With its impressive hospitality and award-winning service, you’ll love the numerous amenities that can be found here at one of the finest San Diego casino hotels. Charging no resort fees whatsoever, Barona doesn’t skimp on the opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment. It’s one of the few properties to have an on-site golf course, the Barona Creek Golf Club. The deluxe rooms include a Keurig coffee maker, quality linens on the beds, and free Wi-Fi.

Once you make your way down the casino, you’ll immediately see why so many people love coming here. Voted as having the best blackjack in the entire country, you won’t want to hesitate to sign up for the VIP membership so you can start playing. Be sure to slip away to the hotel’s pool, where the sparkling waters will rejuvenate you after a long day of winning. If you work up an appetite, grab a bite to eat at the award-winning (noticing a theme here?) on-site restaurants. Award yourself tonight with a stay by calling the hotel directly to book your reservation.

How far is the Barona Resort & Casino from the San Diego Airport?

Barona Resort & Casino is a little over 30 miles from the airport.

How far is the Barona Resort & Casino from La Jolla Cove?

Barona Resort & Casino is about 30 miles from La Jolla Cove.

Harrah’s Resort Southern California

What is it about our San Diego casino hotels that make them so incredible? Is it the idea of winning big while at one of the many tables found there? Or perhaps it’s the anticipation of fine dining at one of the on-site restaurants? Maybe it’s the promise of unmatched entertainment, without having to leave the property? At Harrah’s Resort Southern California, the answer is “all of the above”! As one of the top San Diego concert venues, you’ll find big names headlining at Harrah’s Event Center, including talents like Alice Cooper and The Killers. You can also fill your stomach at Fiore steakhouse, where you can pair bold vintages with filet mignon. 

And yes, you’ll love the gaming options at Harrah’s! Rincon Craps, Blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and Mystery Card Roulette are all available to you. If you need a break from the tables, head on over to the Spa at Harrah’s, where you can treat yourself to what’s been billed as “the best massage ever.” We might even go as far as to say it’s the best casino hotel in San Diego! How far is Harrah’s Casino from San Diego? Just a quick, 50-minute drive, and rates start at a refreshingly affordable $209 per night.

How far is Harrah’s Resort from the San Diego Airport?

Harrah’s is at least 50 miles from the airport, depending on your route.

How far is Harrah’s Resort from La Jolla Cove?

Harrah’s is about 45 miles from La Jolla Cove.

Pala Casino Spa Resort

With its breathtaking views of the Palomar Mountains and private spas in each room, the Pala Casino Spa Resort is the place to go if you’re wanting to combine luxury with entertainment. The suites in this AAA Four-Diamond resort hotel feature amenities like a separate wet bar, a 42” flat-screen television, a free daily newspaper, and an oversized bathroom (complete with two sinks!), making it one of the best casino hotels in San Diego, CA. In-room coffee and tea are complimentary here, meaning that you won’t have to leave your room to get your caffeine fix. If you’re looking for five star hotels in San Diego, you’ll absolutely feel like you found one here at Pala Casino Spa Resort.

Of course, you’ll want to head down to the casino before too long, as table games like Pala Roulette and Pai Gow Poker await you. You can also enjoy live music and entertainment, penny slots, and delicious drinks from the hotel’s bar. Be sure to check out the Pala Spa to unwind with a facial or hot stone massage after an exciting day of winning. Or if you prefer, burn off some energy at the fitness center, or take a dip in your choice of five heated pools. A night here starts at just $200, making this a totally affordable indulgence!

How far is Pala Casino from the San Diego Airport?

Pala Casino is at least 55 miles from the airport, depending on your route.

How far is Pala Casino from La Jolla Cove?

Pala Casino is a little over 50 miles from La Jolla Cove.

Pechanga Resort Casino

Rated as the #1 casino not only in all of California, but also in the entire country, Pechanga Resort Casino just may very well be the best casino in San Diego. Sprawling out an impressive 188,000 square feet, it’s also the largest casino floor in the entire state. With over 158 table games and over 5,000 slot machines, this resort has no shortage of impressive amenities and offerings to delight and entertain you. To add to the excitement, more than 20 people win greater than $1,200 here — every single hour!

Furthermore, this hotel casino is also the home to some of the biggest names in music, inviting award-winning talent from around the globe to perform for its guests. Over a dozen restaurants provide a flavorful array of culinary fare for your tastebuds, and the drinks are both strong and delicious. Each room has been carefully decorated to maximize comfort and style, allowing you to bask in the wonder of the Temecula Valley while surrounded by locally made art and quartz countertops. Even better, rates start at just $289 per night.

How far is the Pechanga Resort Casino from the San Diego Airport?

Pechanga Resort Casino is about 65 miles from the airport.

How far is the Pechanga Resort Casino from La Jolla Cove?

Pechanga Resort Casino is about 60 miles from La Jolla Cove.

Sycuan Casino

If you’re looking to treat yourself to a luxurious retreat in the Dehesa Valley, why not get away from it all at the Sycuan Casino resort and casino? As one of the best casinos in San Diego County, you won’t have to drive too far to find it. How far is Sycuan from San Diego? You’ll be delighted to know it’s just a quick half-hour drive away, conveniently located close to the action of downtown San Diego to explore the city, but far enough away that you can truly feel like you’re getting away from it all.

With live local music, on-site fine dining establishments, and a plethora of games to choose from, you’ll never once feel bored while here. When you’re done winning at bingo and slots, be sure to check out the Retreat Pool and Cabanas, complete with oversized daybeds, cabanas, and signature cocktails. At night, you’ll be surrounded by modern and handsome decor as you rest your head on plush linens. And if you’re wondering, how much is a room at Sycuan? You’re in luck — a night here starts at just $89.

How far is the Sycuan Casino from the San Diego Airport?

Sycuan is about 15 miles from the airport.

How far is the Sycuan Casino from La Jolla Cove?

Sycuan is about 21 miles from La Jolla Cove.

Valley View Casino & Hotel

As one of the premier San Diego casino hotels in the city, Valley View Casino & Hotel is what many of its competitors aspire to be. Featuring well-appointed suites with floor-to-ceiling windows, marble and granite bathrooms, free VIP breakfasts, and breathtaking views of the Palomar Mountains, class and luxury all but exude from this high-end casino hotel. Of all the hotels near Valley View Casino Center San Diego, this one is our absolute favorite. The dining here, at your choice of on-site restaurants (including an all-you-can-eat buffet!), is also equally unmatched, taking your experience to new heights.

However, you can’t spend your entire stay in your room, as this casino hotel is brimming with exhilarating San Diego activities for adults. With that in mind, do be sure to venture down to the casino and take in your choice of games. With high-limit slots and your favorite card games, you’ll be raking in the chips before you know it. Once you pocket your winnings, you’ll want to head on over to the Main Stage Bar, where live entertainment and ice-cold brews are on tap every night until 2 a.m. Or feel free to cool off in their infinity pool, which boasts incredible views of the mountain range. To book a night here, you’ll want to contact the hotel directly.

How far is the Valley View Casino & Hotel from the San Diego Airport?

Valley View Casino & Hotel is between 40 – 50 miles from the airport, depending on your route.

How far is the Valley View Casino & Hotel from La Jolla Cove?

Valley View Casino & Hotel is about 40 miles from La Jolla Cove.

Viejas Casino & Resort

Between the exquisite dining which can be found at its award-winning on-site restaurants, the endless entertainment options found here, and the completely indulgent suites and rooms, you’ll feel right at home at Viejas Casino & Resort from the moment you arrive. This adult-only resort doesn’t shy away from treating its guests like royalty, and you’ll find rooms with two-way fireplaces, terraces overlooking the stunning hotel grounds, plush down pillows on king-sized beds, and a wet bar. 

While here, feel free to choose from a wide assortment of wines when savoring a steak at Grove Steakhouse, one of the many restaurants featured at this San Diego casino hotel. Entertainment options include live music and concerts, as well as the hotel’s very own private casino. Bet on live horse races, try your hand at Vegas-inspired Craps, or see if you know when to hold ‘em at three-or-six card poker. Be sure to prepare yourself for a day of bliss and pampering at the Willows Spa, where you can treat yourself to a mani-pedi, a haircut and style, and even a customized massage. You can have it all, with rates starting at just $149 per night.

How far is the Viejas Casino & Resort from the San Diego Airport?

Viejas Casino & Resort is about 40 miles from the airport.

How far is the Viejas Casino & Resort from La Jolla Cove?

Viejas Casino & Resort is a little over 40 miles from La Jolla Cove.

Are You Ready to Try Your Luck?

Sure, Las Vegas may seem to have all the glitz and the glitter, but if you want our humble opinion? The casinos in San Diego California area are vastly superior, full-stop. From our warm and sincere hospitality, to all the incredible amenities that can be found here, there’s no shortage of fun within our city limits. While gambling is always a calculated risk, having the vacation of your dreams doesn’t have to be. If you’re looking for nonstop thrills and winning big at a top hotel casino, San Diego is absolutely the place to go. So go ahead: blow on the dice, grab your favorite lucky charm, and start planning your next getaway to these San Diego casino hotels today!

About the author: When Karyl Trejo isn’t writing articles about health and fitness, you can find her hanging out with her husband and two cats on the beautiful Central Coast of California, chipping away at her next science fiction novel. If you want to hit her up for her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe or swap running tips with her, you can find her LinkedIn here.

The banner photo for this article is courtesy of IG user @sycuan_casinoresort

 

San Diego car shows

San Diego Car Shows

San Diego is home to more than breathtaking beaches and fabulous restaurants. People come from all around Southern California and the world to view and check out some of the raddest cars, from vintage to contemporary. 

The Best Car Shows in San Diego to Visit

Read below to check out our complete guide of San Diego Car Shows hosted year-round in America’s Finest City. 

La Jolla Concours d’élégance

San Diego’s premier event is the La Jolla Concours d’elegance highlighting some of the most elegant cars made. From historic beauty’s like the Rolls Royce to contemporary performance like the Lamborghini, this car show is a car lover’s dream. But the event is more than just a car show, from cocktail receptions to decadent dinners. The Concours d’elegance is the car event you won’t want to miss. 

  • La Jolla Concours d’elegance is held every April 
  • The 2022 dates are April 22-24
  • Address: 1133 Coast Blvd at Ellen Browning Scripps Park 

Rancho Santa Fe Cars and Coffee

Highlighting classic and vintage cars, the Rancho Santa Fe Cars and Coffee is held every Saturday from 8-11 am in the center of Rancho Santa Fe. Polish your ride, drive out to show off your classic car, or drive down and grab a bite to eat and check out all the showcase cars parked along Paseo Delicias and Avenida de Acacias. For the sports car enthusiast, rent a Ferrari and join the fun! Be sure you have comprehensive insurance first. If you need tips for renting a car in San Diego, we’ve got it covered. 

  • Held every Saturday 8-11 am
  • Free to the public
  • Address: 5978 Paseo Delicia, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067

Carlsbad Cars and Coffee

Come down and grab a cup of coffee and check out all the exotic, classic cars on Saturdays in Carlsbad. All makes and types are welcome at this San Diego car enthusiast’s tradition. 

  • Held every Saturday 7-9 am
  • Free to the public
  • Address: 5620 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008

JBA Speed Shop Car Show

Held the second Sunday of every month, the JBA Speed Shop Car Show is the one San Diego car show where spectators can check out the vintage collectibles, as well as catch a live burnout right in the middle of the show. Located in Kearny Mesa, check out the event calendar for more information. 

  • Held 2nd Sunday of every month 530-930 am
  • Free to the public
  • Address: 5675 Kearny Villa Rd., San Diego, CA 92123

Cars, Coffee, and Doughnuts San Diego

The Cars, Coffee, and Doughnuts in Mira Mesa are the event for you for a cooler vibe. Held once a month, cruise out, grab a donut and some coffee, and enjoy all the cool cars and cooler people. Monthly themes may highlight Cadi’s, VW’s, and more. 

  • Held once a month on Sunday 7-9 am
  • Free to the public
  • 8820 Kenamar Dr., Ste 503, San Diego, CA  92121

San Diego International Auto Show

The car show where cars are stars, the San Diego International Auto Show is the event for car fans everywhere. With the broadest selection of new and vintage makes and models, you need to get your San Diego car show tickets early as the event sells out fast. Held annually in late December or early January, this is the one car show in downtown San Diego that attendees come from worldwide to check out the coolest cars on the planet. 

  • Held annually in late December or early January
  • Located at the San Diego Convention Center, 111 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

Day at the Bay Car Show

Held at beautiful Embarcadero Park, the Day at the Bay Car Show is perfect for steel and ink enthusiasts. With classic cars, low-riders, and tattoo artists all in one place, the San Diego car show is a yearly event that showcases some fantastic cars and bikes from around the area. 

  • Held annually in late Summer
  • Free to the public
  • Tattoo artists and food vendors on-site
  • Address: 500 Kettner Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101

Motorcars on Main Street

The San Diego car show located in the resort town of Coronado, Motorcars on Main Street, is for the vintage car lover. For over 20 years, this annual event takes place off the main street of Orange Avenue and Isabella Avenue, blocks from the iconic Hotel del Coronado. This event features beautiful, timeless rides and live music.

  • Held annually in April
  • Free to the public
  • Located at the corner of Isabella Avenue and Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118

Cruisin’ Grand Escondido

The largest San Diego car show is held in North County. The Cruisin’ Grand Escondido is held every Friday evening. Over 5000 people come to view over 500 sports cars, muscle cars, and vintage cars. This is the classic car show in San Diego for enthusiasts to check out and run from mid-April through September from 5-9 pm. 

  • Held weekly on Fridays from 5-9 pm
  • Located in historic downtown Escondido, East Grand Avenue, Escondido, CA 92027
  • Free to the public

Encinitas Classic Car Nights

Known as a sleepy surf-town, Encinitas boasts the Encinitas Classic Car Nights featuring cars of a bygone era like woodies, hot-rods, and more. Held along the 101 freeway, this is the San Diego car show for nostalgia buffs. 

  • Held 3rd Thursday of every month running May through September, 530-730 pm
  • Located at South Coast Highway 101 from D to J Street, Encinitas, CA 92024

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals

The Del Mar car show in San Diego is your answer for sun, sand, and cool cars. This annual event is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds every spring, featuring vendors, live music, indoor and outdoor exhibits, and over 3,000 classic cars.  

  • Held annually in Spring
  • Located at the Del Mar Fairgrounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar, CA 92014

Cajon Classic Cruise

The Cajon Classic Cruise is a weekly event for classic and specialty car enthusiasts of all ages. Held in downtown El Cajon, this event features over 400 unique cars on display and cruising through the area every Wednesday with plenty of venues, restaurants, and shopping for everyone. 

  • Held late-April through October on Wednesday nights, 5-8 pm
  • Located at the intersection of Main Street and Magnolia, El Cajon, CA 92020
  • Free to the public

National City Automobile Heritage Day Car Show

America’s fascination with the automobile is over 100 years old. The National City Automobile Heritage Day Car Show reflects on the unique heritage and culture of the car in America. This event is held every August in National City by showcasing unique and exclusive historical and contemporary super-cars selections. 

  • Held every August
  • Located at Kimball Park – East 12th Street and D Avenue, National City 91950

American Heritage Car Show

The American Heritage Car Show is the San Diego Car Show for classic car fans pre-dating 1974, from woodies to hot-rods and muscle cars. Held every May at Grape Day Park in Escondido, this event has food vendors, DJs, raffles and prizes, and more to make your day extraordinary!

  • Held every May
  • Located in Grape Day Park – 321 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025

 

San Diego offers a ton of things to do, and for the car enthusiast, there’s a ton of events to check out. So whether you’re looking for a San Diego Car Show at Qualcomm Stadium to the San Diego International Car Show or simply something a little more casual, there is a show for everyone to check out.

About the author: David Throop is a freelance writer specializing in marketing, health, fitness, and wellness with an eye toward his clients achieving their outcome objectives. When he is not being bitten on the ankles by precocious puppies and children he likes to spend his time outdoors.

About the banner photo: A very special shout-out to Del Mar-based car enthusiast and friend Ryan W., who gave us access to his collection of car show photos, one of which we used for the banner photo in this article. He also helped us find some photos that he didn’t have. See you at the car shows, Ryan!

Torrey Pines Golf Course South

2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines

2021 U.S. Open LogoThe U.S. Open will be held at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California, from June 14 – 20 in 2021. This event is one of four major golf championships in the United States. Not only is the event on the calendar of the PGA Tour, it’s also on the schedule of the European Tour, making it one of the biggest golf competitions in the world. Last year the prize fund was $12,500,000, a staggering amount for any sport. This is where golf’s best players come to compete for the money and acclaim that comes with winning the competition.

Not only is La Jolla a perfect place for golf, with amazing weather, it also offers other activities for fans traveling to the US Open at Torrey Pines. It is a lovely area that won’t disappoint. This year the 2021 US Open Golf tournament takes its annual competition to San Diego, where fans can enjoy watching the best golfers in the world and the beautiful surroundings of La Jolla.

What To Know For the U.S Open Golf Championship

Torrey Pines South at Sunset
The third hole at Torrey Pines South. Photo by BommaritoArt.com.

US Open 2021 is an outdoor tournament, of course, and it will take place in La Jolla, where the weather is great. With outdoor activities, amazing restaurants, and luxurious places to stay, those coming to San Diego for the US Open Torrey Pines 2021 will be a fun escape for spectators. Most of the event is held outdoors, but there are also COVID-19 precautions to make sure all players and spectators are safe.

Will Spectators Be Allowed at the US Open in Torrey Pines?

The Torrey Pines US Open 2021 is set to allow limited fans to the course for the tournament. While the original tickets were refunded, they were put on sale again to create an even opportunity for fans to attend the 2021 US Open Torrey Pines.

Both in-state and out-of-state fans who want to attend the event will need to be vaccinated two weeks before the Open. Food will be sold on an app and eaten in designated areas. If you’re interested in watching the Torrey Pines Golf US Open, you will feel safe because they are taking the necessary caution to avoid contracting of  the COVID-19 virus.

What is there to do in the Torrey Pines Area?

The Torrey Pines area is famous for its outdoor activities. You can spend the perfect day at Torrey Pines. With such a great network of trails, people attending the US Open 2021 can take a Torrey Pines hike and enjoy the outdoors. It doesn’t end with hiking. There are a whole bunch of outdoor options when you’re spending time in the La Jolla area for the tournament.

The Torrey Pines Gliderport is where you can take off from cliffs and fly over this beautiful region. Soar above the ocean and find peace in the sky. Not interested in flying? You can also come to the Gliderport with a coffee or picnic and watch the brave people fly above you and glide through the air.  

Where to Eat in Torrey Pines?

The city of La Jolla has plenty of dining options. If you don’t want to leave Torrey Pines, there is The Grill at Torrey Pines, A.R. Valentin, the Cliff Hanger Café, and Bella Vista Social Club & Caffe. Beyond Torrey Pines, there are Thai restaurants, Italian restaurants, sushi joints, burgers, burritos, and pretty much everything else you can think of. Finally, if you are taking our suggestion on staying at the Hilton in Torrey Pines for the 2021 US Open Golf tournament, you’ll have the Torreyana Grille where you can enjoy seasonal seafood, drinks, and gorgeous ocean views.

Where to Stay in Torrey Pines?

There are many places to stay in the La Jolla Torrey Pines area, but the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines is what you want when you’re coming to the US Open 2021. Not only is it close to the course, you will have the option to eat at the restaurant in the hotel and luxurious rooms to choose from. The Hilton is the ideal hotel where you should stay when you’re coming to the US Open in Torrey Pines.

Where is the U.S. Open in 2022?

If you live in the Southern California area, it’s the time to go to the US Open at Torrey Pines. Next year, the US Open will take place at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. While you could go the 2023 US Open at the Los Angeles Country Club, you will have to wait two years for it to return to Southern California. It also won’t be in the open, beautiful area of Torrey Pines and La Jolla.

The US Open 2021 is a great opportunity to enjoy one of the most famous golf tournaments in the world in a perfect setting during the pandemic or any time. With so much space to spread out, you can make a vacation out attending the Open. There are so many amazing things to do in La Jolla, you’ll be satisfied with outdoor activities, great restaurants, and amazing weather. It’s a perfect time and place to watch some of the best golf players in the world.

About the author: Ryan Beitler is a writer, journalist, and blogger who has written for a variety of publications including The Slovenia Times, Paste Magazine, Deadline News, and more. He used to live in San Diego.

About the banner photo: The photo in the banner up top is a view of Torrey Pines Golf Course South, the more challenging of the two golf courses at Torrey Pines. This is the course where the U.S. Open is to be held. The photo is used with permission from BommaritoArt.com.

San Diego Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets in San Diego

San Diego farmers are an incredible group of people. Their hard work means that people around the nation have access to quality honey, avocados, eggs, limes, and more. Not only that, but they provide an attractive option to local restaurants and home chefs who want to source their ingredients from more sustainable suppliers. 

As anyone who lives here knows, it’s great to have access to all these foods fresh from the farm when you go to local farmers markets. If you’re really lucky, you live within blocks to one and you don’t even have to look for parking!

What is a farmers market? 

A farmers market is an open-air market where farmers, artisans, crafters, food trucks, local cooks, and more all go to sell their handmade, farm-grown, and handcrafted wares to the public. Vendors rent space and bring their tents, tables, and supplies to get their products in front of thousands of people a week. A typical farmers market in San Diego is divided into two sections; one section has booths with wares including local farm-fresh veggies, artisanal honey, local cheeses and meats, imported oils and vinegars, baked goods, kombucha, and hand-made apparel. The other section is where you’ll find food stalls. Typical food options at a farmers market in San Diego include Vietnamese iced coffee, organic smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, stuffed hashbrowns, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, crêpes, gyros, vegan Buddha bowls, East African sambusas, Hawaiian poke, and even fresh sea urchin!

Is it cheaper to shop at a farmers market?

Yes. No. Maybe. Shopping at a farmers market gives you access to local food that is fresh from the farm. There are many reasons to visit your local farmer’s market. Some farmers pick food the morning of the market or the day before to ensure you get the highest quality fruits and vegetables possible. The pricing for this is typically a little higher than the grocery store. Although, some non-food vendors may sell their products a little cheaper than they would online because there are less fees to pay.

Can you haggle at a farmers market?

Many business owners at the farmers market are willing to give a little bit of a price break if you buy more of an item at one time. For example, a pint of strawberries could cost $5, but if you buy two pints, the pricing might be closer to $8. If you really want a deal, wait until the end of the day, when many farmers want to get rid of their old produce to make room for new.

Where to park at a farmers market 

If you plan to drive to a farmers market in San Diego, there will be different parking options at each of the farmer’s markets. See below to find out where to park at each location. Other alternatives include taking public transportation or riding a bicycle. And it’s not unheard of for a local to ride a skateboard to their local market.

How to sell at a farmers market?

Selling at a farmers market in San Diego means you need to have the right credentials. Food producers need to be inspected and pass the inspection with a certificate from the County Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures Office. Many markets also require vendors to have liability insurance and other business credentials. Some of the most important supplies to buy include a tent—like the ones from Instent Industries— a credit card processing solution, tables, signage, and a chair to sit on if you can get a moment.

The Top Farmers Markets in San Diego to Visit

 Spend your morning or afternoon perusing these San Diego farmers markets to find fresh fruit and vegetables, grass-fed and organic meats, pasture-raised eggs, unique gifts, flowers, and so much more. With more than 6,000 farmers in the region, you’re sure to find something delicious to feast on, and something amazing to bring home.

Little Italy Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Little Italy Farmers Market (@littleitalymercato)

Little Italy is known for its delicious foods, smells, and sights that bring you into the Old World while walking through San Diego. They host a weekly farmers market in San Diego where people can purchase fresh olive oil, supplies to make a delicious Italian meal, fresh-baked bread, paninis, handmade jewelry, and refreshing lemonades to go. Little Italy is a delightful walk with authentic Italian restaurants, boutiques, and more. 

  • Day & Time: Saturday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Parking: Parking for the Little Italy Farmers Market is easy when you use one of the many surrounding parking garages. There is one located at 601 Ash Street and offers interior parking for only $5 per vehicle including all-day Saturday and Sunday. Street parking is limited outside the bounds of the market at metered spots.
  • Address: 501 W. Date Street from Kettner Blvd. to Front St., San Diego, CA 92101

Hillcrest Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Hillcrest Farmers Market (@hillcrestfarmersmkt)

The Hillcrest Farmers Market is the original farmer’s market in San Diego. It is also the largest and boasts over 175 vendors. Many vendors offer exquisite selections of international foods and ingredients to make your next meal a true foodie haven. With vendors offering locally grown organic produce, you’ll be able to find many options that fit your pesticide free lifestyle. Hillcrest Farmers Market also features incredible craftsmen who make one-of-a-kind pieces for your home. Parking here is simple because it’s Sunday! This means that all parking is free at the meters or one of the designated free lots. This market is also open year-round including on Christmas and New Year’s.

  • Day & Time: Sunday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
  • Parking: You’ll find 300 FREE Spaces at the School District Parking Lot on Campus Ave. Additionally, there are 153 FREE spots available at the Hillcrest DMV at 3960 Normal Street. 
  • Address: 3960 Normal St Intersection of Normal and Lincoln San Diego, CA 92103

Carlsbad Village Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by RELM Wine & Beer Bistro Cbad (@relmwinecbad)

Swing by the Carlsbad Farmers Market in San Diego on your way home from work. Their mid-week market means you’ll always have something fresh to cook with. Whether you come for fresh-baked cookies, or tart and tasty fermented pickles, there is something for everyone at this weekly farmers market in San Diego. If you’re looking for a bouquet of flowers, Carlsbad Village Farmers Market vendors have you covered. They are known for their extraordinary variety of beautiful arrangements that you can take home each week.

  •  Day & Time: Wednesday 2:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Parking: Hunt for spaces in the Village, because they are there. There are also spaces available in one of the public parking lots within just 2 blocks of the market. Make sure you remove your car from State Street starting at 1 p.m. to make room for the market.
  • Address: State Street at 2965 Roosevelt St, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Ocean Beach Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Ocean Beach Hotel (@obhotel)

People come to the Ocean Beach Farmers Market in San Diego for the local music, the handpicked fruits, and the unique beach vibe. Guests will walk the market on their evening stroll, they’ll come from the beach in their bathing suits, and find local honey, flowers, food truck style meals, and more.

  • Day & Time: Wednesday 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. 
  • Parking: There are many affordable parking spaces in the area. The best option is to use Park Connect to find a spot. Additionally, for those requiring ADA parking, you can find it at Union Bank, located at 1858 Cable St, San Diego, CA 92107. 
  • Address: 4900 Newport Avenue between Cable and Bacon Streets, San Diego, CA, 92107

La Jolla Open Aire Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by La Jolla Open Aire Market (@lajollaopenairemarket)

What makes the La Jolla Farmers Market in San Diego special is their connection to the community. The vendors at this market are like family, but the market does something unique each week. All proceeds from the market benefit La Jolla Elementary School and help to fund the arts, music, additional classroom teachers and more. The farmers and vendors who sell here bring their best meats, honey, fruit, vegetables, and more. You’ll also enjoy free parking because this market is on Sunday.

  •  Day & Time: Sunday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Parking: There are many affordable parking spaces in the area. The best option is to use Park Connect to find a spot. Additionally, for those requiring ADA parking, you can find it at Union Bank, located at 1858 Cable St, San Diego, CA 92107. 
  • Address: 7335 Girard Avenue La Jolla, CA 92037 at the corner of Girard Avenue and Center Street

Mission Hills Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Mission Hills San Diego (@missionhillssd)

Designed to be a local neighborhood market, you will find a small, curated selection of around 20 different vendors at the Mission Hills Farmers Market in San Diego. Say hello to neighbors and choose from a local produce, unique cupcakes, and more. The relaxed vibe will help you discover new things and easily find your favorites.

  •  Day & Time: Wednesday 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. 
  • Parking: Park anywhere on neighboring streets where there is a meter or at a local public parking lot. 
  • Address: Falcon Street (between Fort Stockton and Washington), San Diego, CA 92103

North Park Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by SAN DIEGO FOMO (@sdfomo)

Bring home the catch of the day with fresh seafood at the North Park Farmers Market. They also offer vendors featuring cheeses, salts, fresh honey, and local chef demonstrations and food. With more than 65 vendors, this farmers market is a fan favorite in San Diego. The live music adds a festival flair to the weekly market and people enjoy shopping the vendors whether rain or shine.

  • Day & Time: Thursday 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. 
  • Parking: Parking at the North Park Farmers Market can be limited. Get there early to ensure you get a spot. The local North Park Garage has some parking options as well as neighboring streets at meters.
  • Address: Located between 29th and Ray Street on North Park Way, San Diego, CA 92104 

Pacific Beach Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Wicked Sisters (@wickedsisterssd)

With a location right by the beach, you can get some fun in the sun and stop by the market on your way home. The Pacific Beach Farmers Market in San Diego is known for its wide selection of seafood, vegan soups, and organic produce. Neighbors love to shop, socialize, and explore this local market.

  • Day & Time: Tuesday 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 
  • Parking: Parking can be found on the street at meters or at parking garages. The cheapest parking around is located at 1245 Garnet Avenue.
  • Address: 901 Garnet Avenue, San Diego, CA 92109

Imperial Beach Farmers Market

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Kevin Anderson (@kevinakabatman)

Imperial Beach, or “I.B.,” as the locals call it, has a reputation for being one of the most laid-back beach towns in all of Southern California. It’s also the most southwesterly city in the continental United States. Take advantage of the relaxed vibes by visiting the Imperial Beach Farmers Market on Thursdays, and stick around to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

  • Day & Time: Thursday 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. (open until 7 p.m. during the summer)
  • Parking: Parking can be found on the street in the surrounding area
  •  Address: Seacoast Drive Pier Plaza, 10 Evergreen Ave., Imperial Beach, CA 91932

Conclusion

No matter where you work or live in San Diego, there is a farmers market nearby. Whether you go for the food, the music, to say hello to friends, there are infinite reasons to visit your local farmers market. Find your favorites and try something new at the farmers market in San Diego.

About the author: Kristi Crosson is a writer, photographer, and farmer. She and her family raise chickens and rabbits and they are attempting to grow herbs as well. Her favorite part about summer is the time in the evening when the fireflies light up the fields with their luminescent glow. You can find her at KristiCrosson.com.

The banner photo of the Little Italy Farmers Market in this article is from IG user @mikireaume.

Seals at La Jolla Cove

Discover & Experience the Cove

La Jolla Cove is unquestionably a delight for all of your senses. From the salty scent of the ocean brine on the air to the delicate spray of the water wafting off the cresting waves, it truly is a wholly immersive experience that absolutely must not be overlooked. However, while it’s one thing to say that La Jolla Cove is breathtakingly beautiful, it’s another one entirely to actually witness it for yourself. Don’t believe us? Check out this amazing 4K drone footage of our stunning turquoise waters and inviting golden-sand beaches.

 

 

Use Your Senses

Of course, as incredible as this footage is, it’s only a taste of what La Jolla Cove has to offer to its guests. Not only will you want to bring your sense of adventure with you, but you’ll also want to make sure you don’t forget to bring your five basic human senses, as well. Once you experience everything our little corner of the world has to offer, we promise that you’ll never want to leave!

Sight

One of the first things you’ll notice when you visit La Jolla Cove is the impossibly clear aquamarine waters of the Pacific Ocean, stretching out almost to eternity on the horizon. Once you pry your eyes away from it, though, guide your gaze up to the azure skies overhead and take in the fluffy white clouds drifting lazily right above you. 

But please don’t let the seemingly endless expanse of blue distract you from the other vistas of La Jolla Cove, though! The warm beige sand and the vibrant green grassy knolls complement the water and the sky perfectly, and the wide, happy grins you’ll see on the other visitors’s faces will surely put a smile on your own face, too. And if you glance up at the bluffs, you’ll see our famous La Jolla seals sunning themselves as they loll on the craggy outcroppings, fully rewarding your eyes for their inquisitiveness. 

Sound

 

 
 
 
 
 
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While at La Jolla Cove, you’ll want to make sure that you take a moment to close your eyes and simply let the sounds of the beach wash over you with their harmonious notes. Immerse yourself in the soft roar of the ocean as it rushes in to greet the sand, and revel in the quiet splashes of the waves crashing onto the beach. In the distance, you’ll be able to hear the sharp vocalizations of the seals barking on the rocks.

It won’t be just the sounds of nature greeting your ears, though. You’ll also hear the low murmurs of people talking among each other and the jubilant shouts of children playing on the grassy fields, followed by their tinkling laughter. And of course, you won’t be able to ignore the strident calls of the seagulls swooping overhead, either.

Smell

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The scents of La Jolla Cove are both distinctly unique and comfortingly familiar, and the smells of the beach will infuse you with a sense of tranquility. The salty ocean water will tickle your nose as you take in deep breaths of air into your lungs, and directly beneath it will be the undernotes of pungent kelp. If you’re particularly observant, you may also be lucky enough to catch a whiff of the fragrant sea lavender that dots the cliff faces, filling your nose with their trademark perfume.

Taste

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The bounty of unique flavors and tastes which can be found here at La Jolla Cove is completely unparalleled. Of course, you can reasonably expect to sink your teeth into fresh seafood (caught just this morning!) — at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, but that’s not the only dining you’ll encounter here. You’ll also be able to experience a variety of potent but delicious cocktails at George’s at the Cove, fine Italian cuisine La Dolce Vita Ristorante, and authentic Mexican plates at Jose’s Courtroom. 

When you’re done filling up on this hearty and savory fare, why not take a stroll down the block to treat yourself to one of the delightful pastries that can be found at Sugar and Scribe Bakery Fine Food? That said, any of the tempting bakeries that line the oceanfront will hit the spot for dessert. Or if you’re looking for something a little bit lighter, why not dip into one of our quaint gelato shops, such as Bobboi Natural Gelato, for a scoop or two?

Touch

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Why should your other senses have all the fun when you take a visit to La Jolla Cove? Your sense of touch will be blessed with numerous unique sensations and textures, such as the sun-baked sand beneath your toes and the balmy ocean breeze coming off the Pacific Ocean. The soothing heat of the sun’s rays caressing your skin will be like a warm embrace, soothing you with its gentle touch. Don’t be afraid to roll up your pant legs and wade into the beckoning waters to allow its coolness to bathe your calves, either.

A Hidden Gem in La Jolla

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Between the myriad of things to experience while here, to the tantalizing wonder it’ll bring to all five of your senses, your La Jolla itinerary would be incomplete without a side excursion to La Jolla Cove. Whether you’re a solo traveler or you’re coming here with your entire family, it really does have something for everyone. From the gorgeous waters to the exquisite dining — and everything in between! — its splendor truly speaks for itself. Once you experience it for the first time for yourself, we guarantee you: you’ll definitely want to come back again and again!

About the author: When Karyl Trejo isn’t writing articles about health and fitness, you can find her hanging out with her husband and two cats on the beautiful Central Coast of California, chipping away at her next science fiction novel. If you want to hit her up for her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe or swap running tips with her, you can find her LinkedIn here.

The banner photo for this article is courtesy of @nickipedia_ on IG.

San Diego Architecture

San Diego Architecture

Just as San Diego itself is a melting pot of eclectic cultural influences that coexist here, so is the diverse array of magnificent architecture which can also be found within our city limits. From our graceful and regal Victorian homes, to the stark and bold Contemporary residences that line our streets, our beautiful city has wholly embraced the inventive diversity which inspired these breathtaking edifices. Whether you’re strolling down Broadway in the Gaslamp Quarter or you’re meandering around in some of our more suburban areas, you’ll be sure to find countless examples of the sublime architecture San Diego is famous for.

Best Local Architecture in San Diego, CA

While there are already so many amazing things to do while in San Diego, it’s always worth it to take the time to appreciate the artistry that went into creating these incredible structures. Sure, you may love our city for our pristine beaches, world-class dining, and friendly locals, but if you’re a fan of majestic architecture? San Diego CA is the place to be! You’ll definitely want to carve out a day on your schedule while here to experience your very own San Diego architecture tour in order to fully take it in. No matter what your tastes in design elements are, though, we’re confident that you’ll delight in what you discover when you delve deeper into the architecture that has shaped our community throughout the years.

San Diego’s Architectural Design Styles

There’s no shortage of distinctive architectural styles to be found here in San Diego. Ranging from the romantic to the spartan, our fine city is all but steeped in stunning design elements. While each style may seem to stand alone in situ, silently demarking our transitioning interests in each architectural era, there is also a fascinating overlap as a burgeoning architectural type becomes slowly in vogue. In turn, there’s an unexpected style intersection in many of our buildings, revealing how reluctantly we give up the old while simultaneously eagerly embracing the new.

Victorian

Example of Victorian architecture in San Diego
Villa Montezuma, a local example of Victorian architecture. IG photo by @hiddensandiego

As the oldest type of architecture in our city, many people are surprised to learn that Victorian homes are so prevalent here. Nevertheless, the Victorian home was the gold standard of San Diego architecture for many decades. However, trying to define the archetype of a quintessential Victorian-style house can be difficult, as no one singular type of Victorian home can be found here. While the Queen Anne model is the more popular style of a Victorian home, this style also included Shingle, Folk, and Stick style Victorian houses, as well. These buildings were erected between the 1860s and the early 1900s and made up nearly 15% of all of our homes before WWII. Notable features of Victorian homes include intricate trims, cheerful colors, the addition of turrets and towers, and stained glass.

Craftsman

Craftsman bungalow style architecture
The Craftsman a.k.a. “California bungalow.” IG photo by @cottagesandbungalows

Synonymous with the “Californian bungalow,” the quaint Craftsman homes in San Diego arose as a protest to the cookie-cutter houses that were once popular during the Industrial Revolution. If they could be summed up in just one word, it would have to be “cozy.” While many of these homes tended to be smaller in size, there was no limit on how large one of these charming houses could be. Inspired by the British Arts and Crafts movement, Craftsman houses gained popularity between 1905 and 1930. Trademark features of the Craftsman house include deeply overhanging eaves, symmetry, and a front porch with square columns supporting a low-pitched roof.

Spanish

Spanish style home in San Diego
A Spanish colonial revival style home in North Park. IG photo by @zuzusanfrancisco

Up until the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park in 1915, many San Diegans were proud to have a Victorian-style home to call their own. This all changed when they descended upon the festivities celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal and observed the ornate designs of the Casa de Balboa. Suddenly the Spanish Colonial Revival was underway, marking an abrupt transition into Spanish architecture. San Diego embraced it wholeheartedly, and this style of home remained popular until 1940. You can identify a Spanish Colonial Revival home by its low-pitched red-tiled roofs, stucco walls, circular or arched windows, and wrought-iron or wooden balconies.

Mission

Mission-style home in San Diego
A Mission-style home in Southern California. IG photo by @yourfavoritehousewife

Not to be confused with the Spanish Colonial Revival homes, the Mission style of San Diego architecture had its own notable distinctions. Influenced by the Spanish missions, these homes first started to gain traction in the later 18th century, when the first mission was established in San Diego by Father Junipero Serra. Dubbed the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, it was the first of twenty-one California missions and gave rise not only to the Catholic faith in San Diego, but also to this style of home. Notable features of Mission homes are red-tile roofs, interior patios with gardens, arched entryways, a belltower, and natural plaster, stone, or stucco facades.

Midcentury Modern

Midcentury modern style home in San Diego
MacNofsky House in Mt. Helix. IG photo by @gingerweatherford

If large windows and open floor plans are your favorite San Diego architecture style, then you’re going to love Midcentury Modern houses. Created with the idea of bringing the outdoors inside, these homes were not afraid to use glass as a major design element. Originally introduced by visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1945, this type of house was built in San Diego up until 1965. These houses featured bold geometric shapes, crisp lines, and a curious lack of excessive ornamentation. You can’t miss its distinct style, which showcased flat roofs with wide overhangs, concrete exteriors, open floor plans, and expansive, floor-to-ceiling windows.

Ranch

Ranch-style home in San Diego
Ranch-style home in San Diego IG photo by @springvalley_homes

While you may not have given second thoughts to the attached garage on the front of a Ranch house, it actually was a fairly significant addition to the features of our San Diego architecture. This is because Ranch houses arose not long after the invention of the automobile. The use of cars allowed San Diegans to spread out, and these flat, sprawling homes were built further away from the bustling city centers and more in the rural pockets of our pre-WWI city. Low and wide, these homes have many features that set them apart from other styles, including their asymmetrical facade, large picture window in the front, and an off-center entryway.

Mediterranean

Mediterranean-style home in San Diego
Mediterranean-style home in Del Mar. IG photo by @realtordotcom

The myriad of Mediterranean Revival homes here in San Diego drew their inspiration from a variety of sources, notably Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. While the original Mediterranean houses first started cropping up in the late 1800s, they didn’t start to gain traction here in San Diego until the 1970s. Even though this type of house isn’t quite as popular with our San Diego architecture historians, they still are fairly ubiquitous in this region. Mediterranean homes tend to have a stucco exterior, red-tiled roofs, carved wooden doors, lofty ceilings, and wooden or wrought-iron balconies.

Contemporary

Contemporary style home in San Diego
Contemporary-style home in La Jolla. IG photo by @modrnlistings

The Contemporary style of houses clearly derived its look from its namesake: thanks to their eccentric embellishments, these homes are quite current and are a prime example of San Diego modern architecture. While they don’t fit neatly into any one style box, the Contemporary houses are still a quintessential part of our architectural history. Built largely in the 1960s and 1970s, these homes were a testament to the shifting cultures in our growing city. Contemporary houses are statement pieces, and they certainly have their own personality. Builders of these homes weren’t shy about incorporating quirky elements like flat roofs, glass curtain walls, large windows, asymmetrical edifices, and cantilever balconies.

San Diego Architecture History

A mere glance at any of the buildings here can easily confirm that San Diego has always had a passionate infatuation with architecture, and we have never been one to veer away from incorporating unexpected design elements in our structures. Even though our original settlers of San Diego are long gone, their influence still lingers here, their creative fingerprint firmly emblazoned on each and every one of our buildings. Our historic San Diego architecture can trace its roots back to our earliest residents, the Spanish missionaries, and its influence can still be found in numerous buildings.

Just as our culture has shifted and changed with the times, so have our architectural styles. From Queen Victoria to Frank Lloyd Wright, we have always drawn inspiration from our architectural mentors in order to integrate their ideas into our community. The various influences can readily be seen through many of the structures erected here — as a mere glance at our Gaslamp Quarter or Old Town can easily verify! More often than not, these styles spill over one another to create a style as unique and diverse as our city self. 

Even though San Diego has continued to grow and progress with each passing decade, each of the remaining buildings constructed in our previous eras continues to serve as a reminder of those who once lived here and called our city home. Whether it’s the original Mission-style homes found at Mission San Diego de Alcala, the turn-of-the-century Victorian mansions standing regally in Mission Hills, or the Midcentury Modern houses in La Jolla, we continue to bring beauty and wonder to our San Diego architecture.

Architecture Landmarks in San Diego

With so many competing architectural designs influencing our city, it’s no surprise to see these various elements translated onto some of our more famous architecture in San Diego. From using clean, sharp lines to employing more curving, sinuous shapes, these buildings are sure to leave you speechless with both their innovation and their unprecedented design techniques.

Salk Institute

The Salk Institute in San Diego
The world-famous Salk Institute. IG photo by @khiro_kawajiri

When Jonas Salk (famed for his polio vaccine) decided he wanted to build a research facility in San Diego back in 1960, he didn’t want another generic laboratory. He wanted one that would draw the audience of even Pablo Picasso himself. To accomplish this, Salk turned to the renowned architect Louis Khan for help. In turn, Khan designed a building that has since been dubbed “single most significant architectural site” in all of San Diego. Featuring ample natural light and using materials that can withstand our harsh climate, the Salk Institute not only continues to impress with its appearance, but also with its contributions to medical research.

Geisel Library at UC San Diego

Geisel Library in San Diego
Geisel Library. IG photo by @alhoconsultingproyect

If the name “Theodore Geisel” doesn’t ring a bell, then perhaps the name “Dr. Seuss” will. Named after the famed children’s book author, the Geisel Library at UC San Diego presents the same whimsy as can be found between the pages of one of Seuss’s books. Almost inverted in appearance, it was designed by the American architect William L. Pereira in 1970. Marrying brutalism with futurism, this building is arguably one of the more unique buildings in San Diego. A sight to behold in the daytime, its true splendor becomes apparent after the sun sets and it starts to glow from within.

San Diego California Temple

The San Diego California Temple
San Diego’s Mormon Temple. IG photo by @austinnhoang

At first glance, this building closely resembles a fairytale castle, fit for royalty. Featuring white marble and plaster on its exterior, the San Diego California Temple takes on an almost golden hue in the late afternoon sunlight. There is something almost magical about this building designed by one of our more famous San Diego architects, William S. Lewis, Jr., in 1993. Its stark-white color lends to the wonder and intrigue of the temple, and its jutting spires seem to pierce the heavens. Perched atop of this building is a statue of Moroni, who — according to the Mormon faith — was the prophet who delivered the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith.

Superior Court of California

Superior Court of California in San Diego
The Superior Court building downtown. IG photo by @susan_thacker

Towering at an imposing 22 stories above our cityscape is the Superior Court of California, the tallest building in all of San Diego. An iconic piece of downtown San Diego architecture, this building completed its construction in 2017. Architect Javier Arizmendi dotted aluminum panels along the exterior of the courthouse to bounce light off its surface, a symbolic gesture of San Diego’s own radiant internal light. A canopy juts out from the roof of this building, shielding it from the brilliant California sunlight and further adding to the appeal of this distinguished structure.

San Diego Convention Center

San Diego Convention Center
San Diego Convention Center. IG photo by @sdconventionctr / Scott Murphy

When people flock to the San Diego Convention Center each year, they’re likely not doing it to admire its architecture — but they definitely should! Vaguely resembling a ship at full mast, this building was created in 1989 and was crafted as a celebration of our city’s long-standing maritime history. The nautical motif continues inside, where vaulted ceilings welcome in natural light. The convention center was not the work of one singular architect, but a collaboration between many, including Arthur Erickson Architects and Ward Wyatt Deems of Deems Lewis McKinley. 

San Diego Central Library

San Diego Central Library
San Diego Central Library downtown. IG photo by @sandiego.city

Seeing the San Diego Central Library come to fruition was the result of nearly two tireless decades of earnest campaigning by a local San Diego landscape architecture prodigy, the respected and highly talented Rob Quigley. His goal was to make the library a welcoming and enjoyable place for all, and with its stately dome, two-story clear-glass windows, and breathtaking views of the city from its penthouse level, he certainly succeeded at it. Opened in 2013, the library features several novel elements, such as a wall made entirely out of discarded books and its own lush, garden courtyard. 

Torr Kaelan

Torr Kaelan in San Diego
Torr Kaelan. IG photo by @kaori_fukuyama

The word “Torr Kaelan” comes from the Gaelic word for “outcropping,” and it’s easy to see why Rob Quigley named this building such. Built in 2015, this zero-energy building was groundbreaking in its design. Quigley created it to encourage an interactive experience between its guests and the street below, thanks to its large bay windows and open balconies. The Torr Kaelan serves several purposes, as the lower levels are offices, and the two upper levels are residential. With its abstract geometric shapes, it’s certainly one of the most handsome additions to our San Diego architecture.

Point Loma Nazarene University Science Complex

Who says science and art can’t get along? Designed in 2017 by architectural firm Carrier Johnson + CULTURE, the Point Loma Nazarene University Science Complex successfully subverts expectations. This university science building manages to merge form and function exceptionally well, resulting in a stunning and purposeful structure. Boasting a curved exterior and perforated panels on its facade, the Point Loma Nazarene University Science Complex invites both students and visitors into it. The Greek letters “alpha” and “omega” are etched into its side, allowing dazzling sunlight to stream down onto the walkways.

Spanish Colonial Style Confections in Balboa Park

Spanish colonial style confections Balboa Park
Spanish colonial style in Balboa Park. IG photo by @never.ending.summertime

Nothing had quite the same impact on our San Diego architecture as did the Spanish Colonial Style Confections in Balboa Park, which revived an enthusiastic interest in this type of Spanish-style architecture. Designed in 1915, this building is an exhilarating mélange of various architectural styles. While they may have been somewhat haphazardly thrown together, they still manage to attain striking visual harmony. Bearing incredibly ornate carvings in its edifice and delicately patterned columns, taking in the Spanish Colonial Style Confections in Balboa Park can easily feel overwhelming, it’s so stunning in its design.

William Heath Davis House

William Heath Davis House
The oldest building in San Diego. IG photo by @joelglobetrotter

With its unassuming yellow paint and perfectly square foundation, the William Heath Davis House bears the distinct honor of being the oldest building in San Diego. Erected in 1850, this historic saltbox-style home now serves as a museum, transporting everyone who steps through its doors back in time to the Victorian era of yore. While it once was the home of one of our earliest settlers, William Heath Davis himself, it now affords its visitors a glimpse into our past. Each room portrays the various responsibilities that the house once bore, which include a hospital and a military barracks. 

Our History Within These Walls

San Diego has always been an inviting and diverse city, warmly welcoming to anyone who calls it home. Every one of these buildings represents a pivotal time in our history, and witnessing our history come alive through our San Diego architecture further crystallizes how eclectic and impressive we truly are. It’s not difficult to recognize the various influences which have shaped and molded our community when they are as tangible and salient as these remarkable structures are. From the original Spanish missions to the more Midcentury Modern homes found here, we continue to build upon our evolving San Diego history with every new structure we add to our skyline — and we will undoubtedly continue to do so for many years to come.

About the author: When Karyl Trejo isn’t writing articles about health and fitness, you can find her hanging out with her husband and two cats on the beautiful Central Coast of California, chipping away at her next science fiction novel. If you want to hit her up for her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe or swap running tips with her, you can find her LinkedIn here.

About the banner photo: The banner photo is of a house in Alvarado Estates, designed by Richard Neutra for Julian Bond in 1960. IG photo courtesy of @modarchitecture.

Sightseeing in San Diego

Tips to Make Renting a Car in San Diego a Breeze

When you’re sightseeing in America’s Finest City, why not make it your finest experience in every way? That includes getting the finest deal on a rental car as well as rental car insurance.

We’ll give you car rental tips so you can devote more time and have more spending money to enjoy your San Diego getaway.

Why get a rental car in San Diego?

If San Diego suffers from anything, it’s an embarrassment of riches, especially in the eyes of a tourist. There are more than 500 things you can do in the San Diego area.

While San Diego does have many public transportation options such as buses, trolleys, ferries, and a rail commuter system, each has limitations. For example, Coronado may be a ferry hop away from where you’re staying, but it only takes you to the Bayside of the peninsula. If you’re aiming for the beach, that’s another 1.5 miles.  

#1 – Expand Your Sightseeing

There’s nothing wrong with sticking to downtown San Diego or the Gaslamp Quarter. But if you don’t have a rental car, you’ll miss out on so many drop-dead gorgeous San Diego-area sights.

For one, you’ll kick yourself if your San Diego vacation doesn’t include La Jolla Cove, where you can catch a glimpse of the bright orange Garibaldi, the California state fish, as well as seals and sea lions.

#2 – Create Your Own Schedule

Your leisure time should be leisurely, not fraught with fretting about what trolleys or buses to take and catching the trolley or the bus on time, let alone worrying about seating availability.

You’re not on a tightly scheduled group tour. Enjoy Balboa Park, San Diego Wild Animal Park, Temecula wine country, and the San Diego Botanic Gardens when you want and how long you want.

#3 – Control Cleanliness

A rental car is less of a potential coronavirus risk than public transportation. Rental car companies have adopted stringent policies of enhanced cleaning measures between each rental.

They sanitize key areas with disinfectant, including the key and key fob, center console, cupholders and compartments, seat surfaces, seat pockets, instrument panel, steering wheel and column, door interiors and pockets, all door handles, and mirrors. 

And you have much more control over keeping a rental car clean. You can wipe down high-touch areas such as the steering wheel, knobs, dashboard, window buttons, and armrests.

Now let’s see how you can achieve that high amount of freedom and control the most affordable way.

Best Deals on Rental Cars

The average cost of a car rental in San Diego is $42 a day. Let’s look at how to get your rate on the lower end of the cost spectrum.

Use Space Sparingly

Want to fantasize that you live in San Diego while you’re visiting? Then tool around in a Honda Civic. It’s both the most popular new car and used car in San Diego, according to a new analysis by the car search engine iSeeCars.com. 

Luckily, if you have your heart set on that vehicle, as a compact car it’s on the more affordable end of rental car types. The most affordable is the economy category, while a fancy sports car would be 50 percent more, and an SUV would be double the cost.

It may seem like an economy car and a compact car would be the same thing, but the differences come down to your comfort level. An economy car has few seats and limited luggage space. A compact car is often a regular-sized car, so you’ll have more space and room for more people.

If you’re fine with an economy car, opt for that since it’s the most affordable. That means they’re the most popular, but that also means if the car rental company doesn’t have one on the lot, they’ll give you an upgrade.

Start Comparing Rates Early

Comparison shopping online is always the key to savings. Try Kayak, Priceline, and Cheapcarrental.com. When you find options you like, go directly to the car rental company’s site, as sometimes they discount more, especially if you pay right then.

You may be able to save at least $5 a day by expanding the field from Enterprise, Hertz, and Budget to second-tier car rental companies like Advantage, Pay Less, Thrifty, and Dollar Rental.

Take advantage of the perks that come with those annual memberships you pay for, including Costco, AAA, and American Airlines’ frequent-flyer program. Costco consistently beats online sites and you can often add a driver for free. AAA offers 8 percent savings with Dollar and 10 percent savings with Thrifty. 

AAdvantage members can get 35 percent off Budget and Avis, but the rental has to be from an airport. This can be a good deal as well as convenient if you’re flying in, as it’s usually recommended to rent a car from a location away from the airport to avoid airport surcharges.

But San Diego has found a way to have car rental companies be competitive and still be close to the airport. In 2016, the new Consolidated Rental Car Center opened just a few minutes from the airport in Little Italy. 

One of the 14 companies in San Diego that has excellent prices is National Car Rental. Avis, Budget, and Hertz are recommended as well.

There is a quick, complimentary ride on a dedicated alternative-fuel shuttle to the center from the San Diego International Airport on an interior airport roadway. An airport easing congestion and reducing its overall carbon footprint? That’s hard to resist.

The earlier you book your rental car, the better. The sweet spot is three to six months before your trip, when prices are most competitive.

Avoid Rental Car Extras

Don’t get talked into paying for add-ons like navigation. You don’t need to shell out $15 more a day for the rental car company’s Garmin device when you can use Waze or Google Maps on your cell phone for free.

When it comes to fuel, you could be spending more if you automatically agree to the car rental company’s prepaid fuel service.

As noted above, there’s a charge for adding a driver, which could be $12 or more a day. So unless you can use Costco Travel, stick to one driver.

Best Deals on Rental Car Insurance

Rental car insurance can add as much as $30 a day to your rental car rate.

This is another reason you should do research, compare car rental companies, and reserve ahead: You may find out you don’t need the expensive coverage they’re offering, and you can reduce unnecessary expenses to have more money for your vacation.

Here are options to check so you won’t be at the mercy of the car rental agent:

Check Your Insurance Policies

Your car insurance policy may already extend to rental cars. Contact your insurance agent for complete details. If it doesn’t already, you may be able to get a better deal by adding coverage to your policy, rather than getting it at the last minute from a rental company.

If you have travel insurance, check that policy. Not all travel insurance plans have coverage for car rentals, but some comprehensive plans do have an add-on option for rental car collision coverage if the rental car is damaged in an accident. Another term for it is car hire excess insurance.

And note that if you already have health insurance, there should be no need for another personal accident insurance or personal injury protection insurance.

Check Your Credit Card Perks

One of your credit card accounts may already provide rental coverage if you use the card to pay for your rental. But read the fine print or call customer service directly. Not every card offers the same coverage, and sometimes coverage differs depending on the bank issuing the card.

For example, Visa usually covers theft, damage to the rental car, towing, and loss-of-use charges if you aren’t covered by your car insurance policy. If you have your own insurance, Visa will reimburse your deductible as well as other charges your insurer may not cover. But they (and Mastercard) don’t cover injury, property damage, and damage to other vehicles.

A few credit cards automatically give you primary coverage, even if you already have a car insurance policy. This can be useful if you don’t want to risk a premium increase on your car insurance if you need to make a claim. American Express offers primary coverage if you go online or call them to pay a one-time fee of $16-$25 to upgrade from secondary coverage.

One final note: If you don’t refuse the collision damage waiver insurance offered at the car rental counter, however adamant the agent may be, you will negate your credit card company’s coverage.

We hope we’ve shown you ways not to give more money to car rental agents, keeping more for yourself to enjoy checking off your San Diego bucket list.

About the author: Karen Condor writes and researches about road trips, rental cars, insurance coverage, driver discounts and more for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsuranceComparison.com.

San Diego Museum

The Top Art Museums & Galleries in San Diego

Imagine a lazy day in Balboa Park browsing a photography museum, a natural history museum, a modern art museum, and a train museum. You take a break in there somewhere to grab a bite and sip a local beer at one of the park’s open air restaurants. Or imagine an afternoon at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, after which you stroll over to sit on a bench in the sun and marvel at the La Jolla coastline. 

As you begin your search for museums and art galleries in San Diego, you’ll soon realize that you have more options than you ever thought possible. You could spend days on end at local museums and galleries and still only see a fraction of what the area has to offer.

What to Know About These Art Museums & Galleries in San Diego

The San Diego art scene is every bit as impressive as you can imagine. From museums in downtown San Diego to La Jolla art galleries, keep an open mind as you decide which venue to visit next. So while there’s no shortage of San Diego art museums and galleries to visit, we’re here to bring you a list of the best. Below, you’ll find our choice of the TOP 14 VENUES in and around San Diego. Did we say 14? That’s right!

San Diego Museum of Art

 

 
 
 
 
 
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When it comes to any art lover’s itinerary, the San Diego Museum of Art is generally somewhere near the top of the list.  Located in Balboa Park (along with 16 other museums), the San Diego Museum of Art is best known for its large collection of paintings. For example, there’s no shortage of art from both Italian and Spanish old masters. Combine this with paintings, such as the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection and displays from well-known artists such as Zurbarán, Rubens, and Goya, and you’ll quickly find yourself lost in the moment. 

It’s also worth noting that exhibition text is available in both English and Spanish, which goes along with the museum’s goal of providing a diverse cultural experience. In addition to paintings, don’t forget to check out the many full-body sculptures located throughout the museum. These are breathtaking! 

  • Address: 1450 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92102
  • Hours:
    MON-SAT 10AM-5PM
    SUN 12-5PM

White Box Contemporary

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Sadly, White Box Contemporary is permanently closed. But it was clear that this gallery used some type of review management platform, as visitors had nothing but nice things to say. And although White Box Contemporary only dated back to 2011, it quickly became one of the best venues in and around the San Diego area. Opened and managed by artist and international art dealer Alexander Salazar, this was the place to be in the region for access to works from top new talent.  For example, White Box Contemporary has displayed the works of Andrew Salgado, who’s regularly named as one of the top artists of today.  You’re weren’t going to find any historic art at White Box Contemporary, but that didn’t make it any less exciting. As far as San Diego contemporary art galleries, it was a clear favorite. 

  • Address: 225 Market St., San Diego, CA 92101
  • Hours: Permanently Closed

Space 4 Art

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Some art galleries are more lively than others, and Space 4 Art fits that mold. When it comes to San Diego’s contemporary art scene, this gallery in the city’s East Village is the place to be. Located in three former warehouses, it’s now home to more than 30 artist studios. It’s a great place to visit if you’re interested in art by promising local young artists. 

Adding to the above, Space 4 Art is one of the area’s hottest art communities. So, don’t just visit this gallery for the art. Visit it to connect with other like-minded individuals. You never know who you’ll meet! 

  • Address: 340 16th St., San Diego, CA 92101
  • Hours: Events are typically held on Friday or Saturday evenings

Wonderspaces

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Interested in Virtual Reality? Located in Liberty Station, Wonderspaces brings a unique take to the local art scene. Every other Friday through Sunday, Wonderspaces is home to the VR Film Series. For example, Gloomy Eyes, an all-age-appropriate spooky animated film narrated by Colin Farrell, was popular among visitors to the gallery.  But movies aren’t all they offer. Another popular exhibit was called “Submergence.” Visitors would walk through an installation made up of over 8,000 points of light, which were continually changing colors in response to music that was playing. “A Religious Experience” was an exhibit that depicted the night sky in a spiritual framework. If you’ve yet to visit Wonderspaces, take in a show the next chance you get.

  • Address: 2590 Truxtun Rd., Bldg 176, Studio 200, San Diego, CA 92106
  • Hours: 
    FRI 5-10PM
    SAT 2-9PM
  • SUN 11AM-6PM

Thumbprint Gallery

 

 
 
 
 
 
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You’re not going to find many galleries in the local area that are as unique as Thumbprint Gallery. It features various forms of art, ranging from murals to street art to graffiti — and that’s just the start.  Located in La Jolla, Thumbprint Gallery has been wowing visitors since opening its doors in 2009.

With month-long exhibitions, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take in art from some of the top talents in the area. Some of the most popular exhibitions over the past few years include Red White Blue by Saratoga Sake and Monstro and the Kelp Kids by Michael ‘Monstrinho’ Amorillo.

Even if you don’t think you’ll enjoy this type of art, it’s worth a second glance. 

  • Address: 920 Kline St. #104, La Jolla, CA 92037
  • Hours: SAT 12-4PM

Best Practice

 

 
 
 
 
 
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From 2000 to 2014, Best Practice was one of the top art galleries in the area. And then they closed their doors. Fortunately for the local art community, Best Practice is back and better than ever. For instance, its Voz Alta: Time & Space — courtesy of artist Noé Olivas — attracted a large audience.

One of the many things that makes this venue unique is the intimate interviews with the artists, poets, and musicians who once set up shop in the former space. 

  • Address: 2284 Kearney Ave., San Diego, CA 92113
  • Hours: Only during exhibitions SAT 11AM-2PM

Murals of La Jolla

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The name says it all, right? Since 2010, Murals of La Jolla has been attracting both locals and those from other parts of the San Diego area (and beyond). But here’s the cool thing: the Murals of La Jolla advisory committee is responsible for commissioning artists to create unique pieces to cover the walls of private buildings throughout the neighborhood.  It doesn’t cost anything to visit La Jolla and take in the murals that are displayed. There’s nothing better than free art! 

  • Address: None. Just drive around La Jolla!
  • Hours: N/A

Helmuth Projects

 

 
 
 
 
 
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In 2011, Joshua Pavlick decided to turn a part of his home into an art exhibition space. And while that sounds like a wild idea, it’s paid off big time for Pavlick, local artists, and the community as a whole. Helmuth Projects was designed with the idea of helping lesser-known artists display their work to the masses. Additionally, the shows at Helmuth Projects are often done in collaboration with other art venues, thus bringing even more eyeballs to the gallery. 

  • Address: 1827 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
  • Hours: Google reports this gallery as closed as of April 2021

Mingei International

 

 
 
 
 
 
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It’s an art gallery. It’s a museum. It’s a theater. It’s all three! Upon setting foot in Mingei International, you’ll soon realize one thing to be true: there’s nothing like it in the area. In fact, you may conclude that there’s nothing like it in the rest of the world.

The primary mission of Mingei International is to celebrate the art of the people, regardless of culture and when it was created. In addition to the gallery, there’s a museum that displays more than 25,000 unique pieces of art. And best yet, they’re produced by non-artists. Remember, Mingei International is all about displaying the “art of the people.”

The next time you’re seeking a unique experience, spend a few hours at Mingei International. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Address: 1439 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Hours: Temporarily closed – scheduled to reopen Sept. 3, 2021.

Bread & Salt

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Don’t let the name fool you. Bread & Salt (all 45,000 square feet of it) is a unique gallery that currently operates by appointment only. Also known as the Barrio Logan gallery, it has displayed the works of artists such as Melissa Walter, Kaori Fukuyama, and Alanna Airitam. The focus is on international artists here, along with events that can only be described as “eclectic.” Even though you have to make an appointment to visit, it’s well worth the effort. This will give you access to breathtaking art in a quiet and intimate environment. 

  • Address: 1955 Julian Ave., San Diego, CA 92113
  • Hours: TUES-SAT 11AM-4PM, Closed Sundays and Mondays

Museum of Photographic Arts 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Museum of Photographic Arts has a long history, as it first opened in 1983. It’s well known for being one of the first museums in the United States to exclusively exhibit photographic images. With such a rich history, you won’t be disappointed by what you see. There’s truly something for everyone at this museum.

Currently, there are roughly 7,000 photographs by nearly 1,000 photographers. This includes big names such as Margaret Bourke-White and Alfred Stieglitz. If photographic art is your thing — and even if it isn’t — visit the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego. 

  • Address: 1649 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Hours: FRI-SUN 11AM-4PM

Quint One

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Many people forgot about Quint One, as it shut its doors for four years. However, the former Quint Gallery recently returned under the name Quint One. Located in La Jolla, this is an appointment-only gallery. As long as you plan in advance, it’s easy to find a spot in your schedule for a private tour. Quint One reopened with a bang, thanks to its display of Gisela Colón’s wall sculpture Rectangluoid (Gold Spectrum). This exhibit goes to show you what type of quality you can expect in the future. 

  • Address: 7722 Girard Ave., La Jolla, CA 92037
  • Hours: TUES-SAT 11AM-5PM, Closed Sundays and Mondays

Lux Art Institute

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Lux Art Institute is anything but a traditional art gallery or museum. Instead of exhibiting finished pieces, the Lux Art Institute provides a different type of experience. Artists take up residency at the venue and share their creative process with anyone and everyone who stops by. This provides the unique opportunity to see world-class artists at work.  If you’re an inspiring artist or simply want to connect with a professional on a deeper level, visit the Lux Art Institute in Encinitas. 

  • Address: 1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024
  • Hours: THURS-SAT 2-5PM

Timken Museum of Art

 

 
 
 
 
 
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It’s not a large museum — in fact, it’s one of the smallest in the area — but the Timken Museum of Art is home to art created by Anne and Amy Putnam. The two sisters are well-known throughout the world for creating a variety of American and European paintings during the early 20th century.  But that’s not all there is to see. The museum is also home to a variety of paintings from the Italian Renaissance, dating as far back as the 18th century. Adding to the excitement of what you find inside the Timken Museum of Art, the building itself is just as unique. Designed by Frank Hope Jr., it’s a great example of American modernist architecture.

  • Address: 1500 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Hours:
    SUN 12PM-4:30PM
    TUES-SAT 10AM-4:30PM
    CLOSED MONDAYS

Conclusion

What do you think about our list of the top art museums and galleries in San Diego? Do you agree with these choices, or would you add others to the list? From must see art spots in La Jolla to art museums in San Diego, spread your wings and take in anything and everything that piques your interest. You never know what you’ll find! 

Looking for more to do in San Diego?
  Click here to save over 50% on attractions like the USS Midway, Zoo, and more!


About the author: Chris Bibey is a professional writer who loves creating travel, finance, and entertainment-related content. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Haunted places in San Diego

Haunted Places in San Diego

From our beautiful white-sand beaches to our friendly and welcoming community, there are so many wonderful things about our little corner of the world here in sunny San Diego, California. However, our turquoise waters and close-knit atmosphere only begin to touch on what it has to offer to both guests and locals alike. Many people don’t realize that we’re also the home to some of the most historical — and dare we even say, spooky — sites in the entire state, as well. In fact, we’d even argue that we’re one of the most haunted places in California.

While not everyone knows about the many haunted attractions in San Diego that we have hidden here, we’re more than happy to share them with you. If you’re a fan of old Victorian mansions, we’ve got ‘em. More into World War II history and the eerie lore that surrounds it? You can find it right here. The bottom line is, there is no shortage of haunted places in San Diego, and they’re just begging for you to explore them further.

The Top Most Haunted Attractions in San Diego

We are proud to be the go-to spot for thrill-seekers and history buffs alike, and there’s plenty of that to be found here. If you’re looking for the best haunted places in San Diego, then look no further. We’ve rounded up ten of the most spooky places to go in San Diego just for you, which means only one thing: you better grab onto your britches, because there’s seriously nothing holding you back from tapping into your own spirit of adventure by checking out these ten hair-raising haunted places in San Diego!

Sign for the haunted Whaley House in San Diego
Is the Whaley House haunted? IG photo by @thespiritchick

The Whaley House

The Whaley House (2476 San Diego Ave. in Old Town) has been many things throughout the years (including a courthouse, general store, and public theater), but even its humble origins are admittedly disturbing. Thomas Whaley, one of San Diego’s earliest settlers, built the famed Whaley House on top of an old execution site. Little did he know it would become a bonafide San Diego haunted house after tragedy repeatedly struck the poor family. Not long after they moved in, Thomas Junior succumbed to scarlet fever. Then Violet, one of their daughters, took her own life after being betrayed by her husband.

With its dark past, there’s little doubt that the Whaley House is one of the most haunted places in San Diego. Many other members of the Whaley family also perished within its walls, lending to its spooky aura. If you listen carefully while there, you might be able to hear baby Thomas’s little footsteps pattering around, or catch a glimpse of Violet’s heartbroken spirit lingering upstairs. 

The William Heath Davis House
The William Heath Davis House may be one of the most haunted places in San Diego. IG photo by @redfishingboat

William Heath Davis House

As the oldest surviving structure in San Diego, the William Heath Davis House (410 Island Ave. in the Gaslamp) has its own share of paranormal history. Since San Diego didn’t have enough lumber to build a house, a “salt-box” house was shipped in from Maine. Davis’s home is unquestionably one of the more haunted places in San Diego thanks to the sheer number of people who once lived — and died — there. 

There was significant pushback from locals about the salt-box houses, and it took the work of one Anna Scheper to get the community to come around. She determined that San Diego was long overdue for a hospital, and the William Heath Davis House was the prime location for it. She was paid a dollar per patient she saw per day, no small sum for the era. These days, you can possibly see the ghost of a German WWII spy roaming around the property, or the apparition of one of the many patients who died there.

The Steam Ferry Berkeley
Be on the lookout for the Fedora Man on the Steam Ferry Berkeley. IG photo by @ocghostsandlegends

Berkeley Steam Ferry Boat

When many people think of famous haunted ships, they often tend to think of the Titanic. However, don’t let the Steam Ferry Berkeley slip under your radar; this ferryboat saw some incredible things during its tenure… but it also has its own supernatural backstory, too. Launched in 1898, it was the largest passenger ferryboat at the time, capable of carrying up to 1,700 passengers.

It came in handy after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, where the Berkeley was responsible for shuttling the survivors of the devastating earthquake to safety. While it never actually sank during its active years, it did see its own shares of death aboard. In turn, you’d be wise to be on the lookout for the Fedora Man, an ominous being who loiters aboard the vessel. It’s rumored to be the ghost of John O. Norbom, who died aboard the Berkley when he dropped a bottle of nitroglycerin, blowing himself up and injuring five others. The ferryboat is now an exhibit at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Horton Grand Hotel in San Diego
According to local folklore, Room #309 at the Horton Grand Hotel has a story behind it. IG photo by @dannysoliz1

Horton Grand Hotel

Usually when you think of haunted places in San Diego, what probably comes to mind are abandoned places in San Diego. The Horton Grand Hotel (311 Island Ave.) is anything but. A flourishing and gorgeous historic building in the Gaslamp District, it still sees plenty of activity. However, it also has its own sordid past, too. And if you decide to stay there? While this is definitely one of the places to see in San Diego if you’re a fan of haunted locales, you just may want to avoid room #309.

According to legends, a debt-stricken gambler by the name of Roger Whitaker spent his last fateful night in that room back in the 1800s. After cheating at a card game, he retreated to his room, but his pursuers still found him and shot him to death as he hid inside his wardrobe. To this day, he still continues to raise a ruckus at guests who are brave enough to stay in #309.

Kate Morgan at Hotel Del Coronado
What happened to Kate Morgan at Hotel Del Coronado? IG photo by @ohthatmichael

Hotel del Coronado

Unlike the rambunctious Roger Whitaker who lodged at the Horton Grand Hotel, the spirit who resides at the Hotel del Coronado (1500 Orange Ave. in Coronado) is said to be a kind and gentle ghost by the name of Kate Morgan. Her tragic tale begins back in 1892, when the young woman checked into her room on Thanksgiving Day. According to other guests, she waited five whole days for a gentleman to join her. When he never showed, she took her own life.

Since she never checked back out, her ghost still remains at the Hotel del Coronado. According to paranormal experts, there’s ample evidence of her presence. Guests have reported seeing lights flicker, felt a cool breeze rush past them, and saw televisions turn off and on. Others have been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to see her transparent shape with their own eyes. There’s just something about San Diego haunted hotels that keep us on edge, and the Hotel del Coronado is no different.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse
Listen for heavy footsteps on the spiral staircase at the Point Loma Lighthouse. IG photo by @itwasthelight

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

When it was first built, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse had the distinct honor of being the highest elevated lighthouse in the country, towering over the world at an impressive 462 feet above sea level. Unfortunately, this was actually a disadvantage, and fog made it hard for passing ships to make it out in inclement weather. Because of this, the presiding lighthouse keeper oftentimes had to fire off a shotgun to warn vessels to stay away.

The numerous keepers of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse took their duties very seriously, and these days, it’s reported that they’ve returned back to their outpost. Visitors have noted that they can hear heavy footsteps in the spiral staircase, securing its position as one of the more haunted places in San Diego. Without a doubt, this spot is one of the top places to see in San Diego for a chance at a ghost sighting. To visit the lighthouse, you’ll have to go to the Cabrillo National Monument.

USS Midway in San Diego
Sailors on the USS Midway thought it might be haunted even back then. IG photo by @roamingbison_

USS Midway

The USS Midway (910 N. Harbor Dr. downown), a decommissioned United States Navy aircraft carrier, has never been a stranger to supernatural activity. Even when it was still in service, crewmembers would discuss in hushed tones the existing resident ghosts aboard the vessel. One such entity allegedly made the ship’s cold storage his home, and many people stated that they could smell the stale, copper odor of blood from time to time.

Paranormal experts have been quick to point out that the ghosts that haunt the USS Midway are not to be feared, though. The haunted crew aboard the Midway aren’t those who perished on the boat and roam the vessel like lost souls, but instead, they came back to serve on it after they left the mortal realm. Their sense of camaraderie and love for the ship, as well as their crewmates, makes them a welcome guest aboard it.

The Star of India under full sail
Feel something peculiar when visiting the Star of India? That might be a ghost. IG photo by @markrogerbailey

Star of India

The oldest working sailing ship, the Star of India (formerly known as the Euterpe) is no stranger to its share of supernatural phenomena. Named after the Greek goddess of singing and dancing, the Euterpe was seemingly doomed from the start. Its first voyage to India was met with a collision and a mutiny. Its second? It was so stressful, the captain perished not long after it limped into its port of call.

Sadly, many sailors who worked aboard the Euterpe passed away, as being a deckhand was no easy job. Drownings were quite commonplace, as were serious illnesses and diseases. One of the ship’s youngest ghosts was a stowaway by the name of John Campbell. Not long after he was discovered, he fell from one of the masts and died three days later from his injuries. It’s purported that if you stand close to the mast from which he fell, you can sometimes feel his cold hand grasping your arm. The Star of India, like the Steam Ferry Berkeley, is part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

The Julian Pioneer Cemetery
Things can get spooky at the Julian Pioneer Cemetery. IG photo by @ghosty_girlz_official

Julian Pioneer Cemetery

The story of the Julian Pioneer Cemetery (Julian, CA) is a heartbreaking one, but it’s also one that lends to quite a few supernatural sightings on its grounds. Back when the gold rush was in full swing, pioneers came from across the country to see if they could stake their claim of the treasure. Sadly, the reality of the situation was far worse than the fantasy lives they dreamed of, and many of them perished from disease, alcoholism, and even during childbirth.

These days, the old mining cemetery is very old and somber, and it carries the weight of all of the lives lost during the gold rush period. Visitors to it often report that they have spied a ghostly apparition weaving through the tombstones, further reinforcing the notion that this is one of the most haunted places in San Diego. And according to first-hand accounts, one of these entities is none other than the town’s founder, Drury Bailey.

Villa Montezuma Museum in Sherman Heights
Stay away from the Villa Montezuma Museum if haunted places frighten you. IG photo by @dj_arkon

Villa Montezuma Museum

The Villa Montezuma Museum (1925 K St. in Sherman Heights) is arguably the most haunted location in the entire city, making it one of the best places to go in San Diego for a ghost sighting. Crafted in the distinct style of Queen Anne architecture, it was built in 1887 for an English Renaissance man by the name of Jesse Shepard. Surprisingly, he abandoned the mansion only one year later. Evidently, after finding himself living in a haunted house, San Diego was no longer his preferred city.

As it turned out, he was responsible for the events that drove him away from his home. One of his hobbies included holding séances, and passersby noted that they could hear full orchestras playing in his house — even when he was all alone! One of the ghosts that loiter at the Villa Montezuma Museum today is allegedly a man who had bought the house after Shepard moved out. Soon after, he hanged himself from the second-floor observatory.

A Haunting and Enchanted City

There’s no shortage of mysterious happenings here in San Diego, and its vast and rich history only contributes to its intrigue. The sheer amount of spooky evidence makes it difficult for even staunchest cynics to refute the presence of specters, ghosts, and supernatural beings within our city limits. However, despite all of the eerie phenomena found here, we can all agree that there’s no place in the world like San Diego — and the true spirit of the city can easily be found in the heart of each and every one of the wonderful people who call it home.

To go with your eerie ghosts and supernatural sightings, there are also a wide variety of attractions and things to do throughout the city. From theme parks, tours, museums and more, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in San Diego! Learn more about what attractions and activities are waiting for you!

About the author: When Karyl Trejo isn’t writing articles about health and fitness, you can find her hanging out with her husband and two cats on the beautiful Central Coast of California, chipping away at her next science fiction novel. If you want to hit her up for her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe or swap running tips with her, you can find her LinkedIn here.

Bioluminescence in San Diego

Bioluminescence in San Diego

Imagine how cool it would look if someone emptied out a million glow sticks into a swimming pool. Now imagine that a mad scientist found a way to make the glow sticks inactive until the water was disturbed – in other words, the water would look like normal water until something moved it. Drop a penny in the pool, and it will glow like a comet all the way to the bottom. Well, nature is better than even the maddest scientist out there, and has, over the course of millions of years, cooked-up a natural phenomenon just like the spectacle described above… but on steroids and sprinkled with fairy dust.

The Bioluminescent Waves & Beaches in San Diego

A bioluminescent beach in San Diego, La Jolla
A bioluminescent beach in La Jolla. Photo by BommaritoArt.com.

These natural phenomena are called bioluminescent waves, and if seeing these waves in person is not on your bucket list then you either do not know what they are or you are more boring than Ben Stein giving a lecture about the impact stamp collecting has on liquidity in the municipal bond market. Fortunately, you do not need to travel the world over to experience this awe-inspiring site for yourself because it is right in your own backyard. It is not that hard to find a bioluminescent beach in San Diego.

What Is Bioluminescence in San Diego?

Chances are, that even if you have never been to a bioluminescent beach in San Diego, you are already familiar with at least one bioluminescent phenomenon: fireflies. Bioluminescence simply refers to any organism that produces light. There are many different organisms that are capable of bioluminescence, and they can be quite different from one another – for instance, the bioluminescent plankton in San Diego are entirely different from the bioluminescence of fireflies. People travel the world to catch a glimpse of this natural phenomenon, but the chances are that there is a bioluminescent beach in San Diego near you right now. Before we get into that, however, let’s start with the basics.

What Is a Natural Phenomena 

First, the grammar nerd in me is just screaming to point out that, even though most people say “a natural phenomena,” it should actually be “a natural phenomenon” because “phenomena” is the plural form of “phenomenon.” Okay, I feel better now that I got that out there. In any event, regardless of how you choose to say it, there is still the question of what exactly natural phenomena are.

The dictionary definition is that a phenomenon is simply something that can be seen, heard, felt, etc.; however, in practice, it usually means something that is exceptional or unusual that can be seen, heard, felt, etc. So natural phenomena are simply things that occur in nature that are interesting and exceptional – think a solar eclipse, a cicada emergence, or a tornado.

Is There Still Bioluminescence in San Diego?

The short answer is “it depends.” The presence of bioluminescent algae in San Diego can change drastically from even one day to the next, but they are most common during the spring and summer months. To get an exact answer as to if you can see them right now, your best bet is to look at resources that are updated from one minute to the next. Places like Reddit, news outlets, Facebook, and surf cams are all good bets. Another resource that might be helpful is UC San Diego’s Scripps Institute. They study red tides (which cause bioluminescent waves) and are even working on a forecasting tool so that soon they will be able to predict when the next one will be near you.

 Where to See Bioluminescence in San Diego?

When the San Diego bioluminescent waves are in town, you can likely see them along most of the coast. That said, the best place to see bioluminescence in San Diego is at a beach with as little man-made light as possible. The darker out it is, the better you will be able to see the bioluminescent lights San Diego style. Some good spots would include Torrey Pines, State Beach, Sunset Cliffs, and Solana Beach in San Diego’s North County.

If you would like to learn more about the beaches near you, these links have oodles of information that will help you figure out just where exactly you would like to have your mind blown: La Jolla beaches, Del Mar beaches, Coronado beaches, and Mission beaches.

Bioluminescent waves in San Diego
Bioluminescent waves in San Diego. Photo by BommaritoArt.com.

Are Bioluminescent Algae Still in San Diego?

Well, the fact is that there are always some bioluminescent algae in San Diego – it is just that there are not usually enough to put on a show. The kind of algae we want are called dinoflagellates, and, just like all plankton, they are much happier when there is plenty of food and nutrients around for them to gobble up. The nutrients they like can come from currents, upwellings, storms, and even man-made waste.

When the algae find a source of food, they reproduce like bunny rabbits. Their numbers increase so rapidly that they frequently turn the water a reddish color, and for this reason when their population explodes people call it a “red tide.” There are a number of websites that track the water quality of local beaches, and these will tell you if there is a red tide in the area. If there is a red tide, the odds of finding bioluminescence in San Diego go through the roof.

What Is the Best Time to See Bioluminescence in San Diego?

The spring and summer months are the times when it is most likely that you will be able to see bioluminescent waves in San Diego. Bioluminescent algae like warm water, so if you want the very best chance possible, shoot for late summer.

How Long Does Bioluminescence Last in San Diego? 

The length of time the bioluminescent algae in San Diego stick around depends on how long the nutrients they like to munch on last, which, depending on their source, can be anywhere from a week to a month or more. 

How Often Does Bioluminescence Occur in San Diego?

Bioluminescence in San Diego usually happens once every few years. There have been times, however, when bioluminescence in San Diego has happened in sequential years. Though this used to be a rare occurrence, the odds of it happening are actually increasing quite rapidly because of climate change. It is kind of like the consolation prize we humans get for doing such a great job of ruining our atmosphere.  

Bioluminescence is a natural phenomena in San Diego
Bioluminescence is one of many natural phenomena in San Diego. Photo by BommaritoArt.com.

A Few Tips

While it is almost impossible to not have a jaw-droppingly memorable experience if you get a chance to witness bioluminescence in San Diego, there are a few things that you will want to consider before heading out. Chief among these is safety. Remember that you are going to purposely try and find beaches that are dark and isolated. 

To make sure that you know where you are going, it is a really good idea to scout out the area you plan on visiting ahead of time in the daylight. Many of the paths along the shore with the best views also just happen to be terrifyingly close to cliffs and bluffs. Just because you put seeing bioluminescence in San Diego on your bucket list, that does not mean that you want to kick the bucket right after you see it! Scouting the area will also help you get to know the best route to take so that you do not get lost.

Assuming you figure out where you are going and how to safely get there, you will almost certainly want to take pictures. I mean, let’s be honest – if you are going to go around telling people you saw the ocean come alive, sparkle, and turn neon blue in the middle of the night, you will probably want proof. 

To get a good picture, you will need to do better than just using the standard settings on your phone. While almost any bioluminescent beach in San Diego is likely to be absolutely spectacular in person, the amount of light that the bioluminescent waves put out is less than your phone is meant to capture. Ideally, you will be able to bring along a standalone digital camera, but whatever you use to take the pictures, the key will be to use a longer-than-normal exposure time. This will allow the camera to collect enough light to truly showcase the beauty of the bioluminescent waves. Just be sure to keep your camera as still as possible because the longer exposure time makes it very easy to get a blurry picture if your camera moves even the slightest bit.

Bioluminescent waves in San Diego are the kind of natural phenomena that people spend thousands of dollars and travel the world to see, so don’t under-appreciate just how lucky you are to get the chance to visit a bioluminescent beach in San Diego. Take your time and soak it in. It is a spectacle that will not only leave you in awe of its beauty, but will also remind you just how amazing this world we live on truly is – and that is something we could all use.

About the author: Ethan Margolis is an academic research librarian and freelance author. He is also a lifelong musician who loves writing and playing all types of music, and especially enjoys the classical guitar.

Photo credit: The beautiful photos of San Diego bioluminescence, including the banner photo, on this page are from local photographer Jeff Bommarito. Check out his website at BommaritoArt.com.

Fishing in San Diego

San Diego Fishing

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to fish and they go to San Diego where the fishing is always good. That is because when you teach a person to fish, you also teach them about the best places to do it. California enjoys an embarrassment of riches when it comes to world class fishing locations. San Diego boasts some of the best places in a state full of the best places to fish. 

What makes a place good for fishing? Here are a few things to look for:

  • Access to a lot of water
  • Favorable laws for hobbyists
  • Sound regulations for environmental protection
  • An active and vibrant community of like minded people
  • A strong and supportive ecosystem

If you narrow your focus to this handful of items, you will see why San Diego volts to the top of the list of great fishing locations. San Diego fishing is not just a passing fad. People have been fishing in San Diego for ages. In fact, San Diego is one of the world’s premier fishing destinations. 

Yellowtail fishing in La Jolla
Boat fishing in La Jolla can yield yellowtail. IG photo by @slayerangler

Your Full Guide to Fishing in San Diego

In this guide to fishing in San Diego, we will be exploring the best places to fish and the kind of fish you can expect to catch. You will also learn about licensing and even deep sea fishing in San Diego. When you are done reading this guide, you will be ready to pick up a San Diego fishing report along with your gear of choice. 

One of the best things about fishing is how it tends to bring families together. Fishing is great as a solitary experience. But it is amazing when shared with family and friends. Getting outside is a good thing. And learning about nature and appreciating its diversity and splendor is even better. So before you pack up the vehicle and put on your favorite fishing hat, here are a few things you need to know:

Fishing America’s Finest City: Is Fishing Good in San Diego?

Is this a good time for fishing San Diego’s waters? The good news is that no matter when you read this the answer is yes, it is an excellent time for fishing San Diego! One of the reasons for this is the year-round perfect fishing weather. The weather in La Jolla ranges anywhere from mid 60s to high 70s with a handful of exceptions on either end. Weather like this is not only good for the fish, it is good for the person doing the fishing. 

The thing to remember is that fishing is not just a singular event. It can take all day, or several days. A fishing trip consists of more than the time spent angling. It consists of beer runs, or coffee runs if you prefer. You also have to find something to eat during the day. Everyone in the family will need to use the facilities while out fishing. So make sure there are some facilities nearby. There is a whole infrastructure required for a good day (or week) of fishing. San Diego has that infrastructure in spades. With that in mind, here are some of the places to go for the best fishing in the area:

Where to Go Fishing in San Diego

Where can I go fishing in San Diego? This is a common question. It is one thing to know that San Diego is great for fishing, and quite another to know all the great San Diego fishing spots. The best fishing areas in San Diego is a rather subjective call. It depends on what kind of fish you are after. Pier fishing San Diego spots are a good alternative to a deep sea adventure. Searching for fishing near me will surface places to go for the more casual angler. Here are a few locations to check out:

You will find that all of the major San Diego neighborhoods are never far from great fishing. 

Fishing in Diamond Valley Lake
Bass fishing in San Diego’s Diamond Valley Lake. IG photo by @bass_brosfishing

Fresh-Water Fishing in San Diego

For fresh water fishing, try the following:

Diamond Valley Lake

Don’t be frightened off by word of an algae bloom clogging the lake. The cleanup went very well and the area is good for fishing. Bass fishing is good at DVL year-round. 

Chollas Lake

This spot is interesting because it is a kids only fishing spot. They define kids as 15 and under. While exact numbers are not known, this lake is stocked with trout. 1/2 pound is the average weight of each fish. 

Dixon Lake

This is a good choice for catfish and bass lovers. When the water is colder, go for trout. Because the water is clear, you will have to fish more tactically. If the fish can see you, they will be harder to catch. Shad is their meal of choice so stock your bait box accordingly. Dixon boasts another feature worth mentioning: You don’t require a license to fish there. 

When it comes to fresh-water fishing, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to explore. 

Saltwater Fishing in San Diego

Beyond the lakes, there is plenty of fishing to be found. Here are a few examples associated with key neighborhoods and communities:

La Jolla

You don’t need another good reason to visit La Jolla. But if you need just a little more convincing, the fishing should be reason enough. If you like halibut, yellowtail, barracuda, lingcod, and calico bass, La Jolla is your place to be. What’s that? I had you at halibut? That’s good to know. Because this isn’t the only San Diego spot to get it. The kelp line is equally generous as the shore line when it comes to giving up fish to the hungry angler. You can cast your line from a motor boat, canoe, or your own two feet planted firmly on mother earth. Either way, you probably won’t go home empty handed.

San Diego Bay

No one who has seen it denies the scope and grandeur of San Diego Bay. Shore fishing San Diego Bay is fishing nirvana for angling from land or boat. Of the 12 miles of shore, there are no bad spots. The catch of the day could be any of a large variety of species. Try Shelter Island and the Cays for something a little different. The Bay is a great place to find bonefish, spotted bay bass, and of course Halibut. 

 San Clemente and Catalina Islands

Why would you need to bother with the islands when there is so much bountiful shore? Tuna. It is not the chicken of the sea. It is the filet mignon stuffed with caviar topped with truffles of the sea. Perhaps you had tuna last night and have your heart set on a giant yellowtail. Either way, the decadent delights of the deep await.

Drop your line in the drink and it is likely one of the premier, San Diego fishing spots. Tuna fishing San Diego islands is as satisfying whether or not you catch your limit. Where can you fish in San Diego? If there is not a faucet attached to it, you can probably fish in it. Check the signs just to be on the safe side.

What Fish Are in Season in San Diego?

Check the San Diego fishing report or San Diego fishing calendar to know what is in season when you get there. Here is a quick look:

  • Year-round: rock cod, rockfish, yellowtail
  • Spring: blue fin, bonito, calico bass, halibut, wahoo, swordfish, white sea bass
  • Summer: barracuda, durado, marlin, 

There are no fish exclusive to the fall season. But some of the summer fish start in late summer just as some of the spring fish start in late spring. Because there is so little change in the weather from one month to the next, the fishing is relatively consistent all year. There is never a bad time to visit San Diego for fishing. It is always fishing season in San Diego.

Do You  Need a Fishing License in San Diego?

You will definitely need a California fishing license for many of the best spots. But there are still plenty of free fishing San Diego locations if you just want to give it a try without committing too much investment up front. You do not need a license when fishing from any one of the 7 public peers. Licensees must be a minimum of 16 years old. 

  • A sport fishing license for residents is $52.66 and $142.05 for non-residents.
  • It is $7.98 for disabled vets, recovering service members, and low-income seniors. 
  • The license is free for low income Native Americans and people with various types of disability including visual, mobile, and developmental.

There is a 10-day sport fishing license for non- residents costing $52.66. That is the same amount for the annual resident license. You can also get licenses for one or two days at $17.02 and $26.49 respectively. 

How Much it Costs to Go on a Fishing Trip

Deep sea fishing charter out of San Diego
Deep sea fishing charter out of San Diego. IG photo by @tisvlad

You are going to love deep sea fishing in San Diego. A guided fishing trip is great fun for the whole family. Your deep sea charter could last anywhere from three hours to three weeks. You can turn it into a full-blown cruise vacation replete with 5-star meals and lavish accommodations. Prices run the gamut from reasonable to REALLY? 

You can do a day trip off the Coronado Islands for as little as $5,000 for up to 60 people. That’s less than $85 per person. Obviously, the bigger the party, the better the value. It’s not exactly fishing. But if you are in for some great white shark cage diving, you can find a 5-day trip for around $3,500 per person. 15 days will set you back over $5,000. 

Naturally, pricing varies depending on the charter. The long-range charters will usually require a passport. Some require half the charter fee up front. The trips are usually booked out well in advance. So be sure to plan ahead, especially for the longer trips. Usually included are meals like you have never had before. Bait and tackle is provided. Expect the crew to help you with your catch including cleaning and bagging. On the multi-day charters, be prepared to get up early for an incredible breakfast and maybe a giant tuna. Those who sleep late miss out. 

Conclusion

Teach a person to fish and they go to San Diego. Any travel agent will tell you they come from all over the globe. They come by land, sea, and air. They drive past, sail through, and fly over fertile fishing waters to get to the sand and surf of San Diego. One begins to suspect that there is something in the water. And it isn’t just the yellowtail. Come sea for yourself.

About the author: David Johnson is a professional writer whose relationship with La Jolla started with a family vacation at a young age. A former professional musician, he enjoys creating music in his free time.

 

A San Diego book store

Book Stores in San Diego

San Diego has no shortage of great businesses, retail stores, and boutique shops. Most people might not think of books when they think about this sun-soaked city, but as it turns out there are plenty of amazing bookstores where you can find copies of new, used, and rare books. Whether you want to buy the latest novel by a famous author or an old book of poetry, there are plenty of bookstores in San Diego to browse and find copies of your favorites and books you’ve never discovered. 

The Best Bookstores in San Diego, CA

San Diego bookstores range from your basic commercial establishment to boutique used stores where you can find rare first editions. With the ability to find the best bookstores in San Diego, you’ll be amazed by the options to find just what you’ve been looking for or something you never knew you needed. The independent bookstores in San Diego will blow you away. Look below to find some of the best options to purchase books around San Diego.

Warwick's Book Store in San Diego
Warwick’s in La Jolla. IG photo courtesy of @warwicksbooks

Warwick’s

Warwick’s (7812 Girard Ave), for example, is an iconic shop and one of the best bookstores in San Diego. Located in La Jolla, the store has a wide variety of books, stationary, journals, pens, and other items. It has the title as the country’s oldest family-owned and operated bookstore. If you want to find a wide selection of books without going to a corporate shop, look no further than Warwick’s. You won’t be disappointed by the selection or the atmosphere. 

The Book Catapult

Another great option for one of the best independent bookstores in San Diego is The Book Catapult (3010-B Juniper St.). With an amazing selection and a laid-back vibe, this store in the neighborhood of South Park is a great option. They specialize in contemporary fiction, but pride themselves on the ability to provide books that you didn’t know you wanted. The Book Catapult has 5,000 books in the small store, accompanied by clothing, accessories, and folk art. 

Barnes & Noble

There are ten Barnes & Noble locations in San Diego. If you’ve been to one of their retail stores you probably know what you’ll find in a San Diego branch, but it is an option for when you need to find something specific they keep in stock. Not only does the highly corporate bookshop have a wide selection of books available, there is typically a café serving Starbucks inside. If you type in “bookstore near me,” Barnes & Noble will probably be the first to pop up. 

Bay Books

Located in Coronado, Bay Books (1007 Orange Ave.)  has an inventory that includes titles from local writers, travel books, and a variety of other items. You can get a cappuccino at the Bay Books café while you browse through the selection of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. It offers a great environment for browsing for exactly what you want. In addition to the location in Coronado, Bay Books is also inside the San Diego airport. 

The Mysterious Galaxy

The Mysterious Galaxy (3555 Rosecrans St. Suite 107) is a store in San Diego that stocks genre fiction like mystery, fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. Not only does the store have niche books for lovers of genre fiction, they host book signings and readings by various local and out-of-town authors. With thousands of genre fiction installments, this bookstore is perfect for anyone who is looking for the next book in a series or wants to dive into the worlds of specific genres. 

Verbatim Books in San Diego
Verbatim Books in North Park. IG photo courtesy of @dha.raiter

The Best San Diego Used Bookstores – Verbatim Books

San Diego used bookstores vary, but all of them provide great options for rare and old copies of your favorite titles. Verbatim Books (3793 30th St.) in North Park offers a highly curated selection of rare and used books. They also have a selection of zines as well as work from local authors and writers. The space is adorned with art and the atmosphere is eclectic. Verbatim has a huge selection. Take a dive into their inventory and you will find something you absolutely love. 

The Best San Diego Used Bookstores – La Playa Books

La Playa Books (1026 Rosecrans St.) is located in Point Loma. There are thousands of used and out-of-print copies in the shop. Not only will you be able to find a specific book you’re looking for, you will stumble upon titles you never knew about. An integral part of the community, La Playa has been around since 1886 and continues to thrive.

The Best Independent Bookstores in San Diego

San Diego has a decent amount of independent bookstores where you can support local owners and book lovers. Verbatim Books is an independent bookstore in North Park that provides high-quality options. Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Point Loma is another independent bookstore in San Diego that goes above and beyond to satisfy the needs of their customers. 

Both of these shops curate their selections for their patrons, creating vibrant communities around specific lanes of books. Another independent bookstore in San Diego is Bluestocking Books (3817 Fifth Ave.) in Hillcrest. This retailer stocks a broad range of books for kids and adults. Their inventory consists of fiction and non-fiction as well as graphic novels, humor, self-help, and more. 

Footnote Books, Hillcrest, San Diego
Footnote Books in Hillcrest. IG photo by @footnotebookssandiego

You’ll also find Footnote Books (1627 University Ave.) tucked away on the other end of Hillcrest, near North Park and University Heights. Footnote Books is a must-visit for true bibliophiles who love to search the stacks for hidden treasures. One Yelp reviewer writes, “Tightly packed treasure trove! Every topic, and not just the standards, but some rare and hard to find titles. Obviously collected by someone who knows at least a little about a lot of things.” Another writes: “They really have it all, you just have to look for it. This place is filled to the brim with books.”

These are some great options if you want to support independent stores and people who truly care about books. 

FAQs About Bookstores in San Diego

Q: Does Borders bookstore still exist?

A: No, Borders no longer exists. It used to rival Barnes & Noble but went out of business, filing for bankruptcy in 2011. 

Q: Where were the old Borders locations in San Diego?

A: You may remember shopping at the Borders locations in the Gaslamp (668 6th Ave, now a Fogo de Chao Brazillian Steakhouse), Mission Valley (1072 Camino del Rio N., now a Trader Joe’s), or National City (in the Plaza Bonita shopping center).

Q: What happened to 5th Avenue Books in Hillcrest?

A: Fifth Avenue Books (3838 Fifth Ave.) was located in Hillcrest for 30 years before closing in 2017. The owner, whose name was Robert Schrader, told the Union-Tribune that he had been losing money for years and was losing about $1,000 a week near the end. This store was located across the street from Bluestocking Books, which is still open.

Q: What happened to Wahrenbrok’s Book House on Broadway?

A: San Diegans may remember Wahrenbrok’s Book House (726 Broadway), a delectable three-story store that one Yelp reviewer called an “Aladdin’s cavern with a myriad of treasures.” Another reviewer wrote: “Book nerds could spend an entire day looking through the stacks,” and she was right. She continued: “If you need something in a hurry, go to Borders. If you need something with a little more soul, go to Wahrenbrok’s.” The bookstore abruptly closed during the summer of 2009.  Its owner, Chuck Valverde, Jr., took over after his father passed away the previous year. He reported to the Union-Tribune that “not enough people came in.” He continued: “These days, you can get just about everything you want off the internet.”

Adams Ave Books in San Diego
One of the resident cats in the now-closed Adams Ave Books. IG photo by @
ontherunfromjohnnylaw

Q: What happened to Adams Avenue Books?

A: Another beloved San Diego bookstore was Adams Avenue Books in Normal Heights, which closed its doors during the summer of 2018. The bookstore was 53 years old. Its owner, Brian Lucas, had run the bookstore for over 30 years. He reported to NPR that online books led to the store’s financial decline, although he had stayed open as long as he did because he was trying to help create “a culture of books.” Adams Avenue Books often had a cat or two in the store, which many regulars loved to stop and pet. 

Q: Where can I sell used books in San Diego?

A: You can sell or trade used books at Verbatim Books, La Playa Books, Footnote Books, Bluestocking Books, and just about any other used bookstore. 

Q: What is the largest bookstore in the US?

A: Barnes & Noble is the largest bookstore in the United States with 633 retail stores in all 50 states. 

Q: What is the best online bookstore?

A: Amazon (combined with its used-books acquisition AbeBooks) dominates the online bookselling market, but there are others if you want to spread the wealth. One of the most inspiring options is Bookshop.org. The Chicago Tribune said this: “Bookshop.org hopes to play Rebel Alliance to Amazon’s Empire.” Profits from purchases made on the platform are distributed to independent bookstores. You can also buy from Barnes & Noble online, Powells.com, BAM! Books A Million, Target.com, and Walmart.com. And there is always your local public library, which provides both physical book lending and ebooks.

Q: Why are bookstores going out of business?

A: Many bookstores went out of business in part because Amazon became so convenient for online sales and Barnes & Noble dominated retail stores. However, there is a resurgence of the independent bookstore, especially in the used books category. Just like record stores specializing in vinyl are enjoying a second round of popularity, so are bookstores.

Supporting Bookstores

With independent bookstores becoming scarcer and scarcer, it has never been more imperative to support them. San Diego is ripe with independent and used bookstores where you can find titles that the book giants don’t stock in their inventory. Not only will you be able to find rare and old books, there are independent stores where you can talk to people who love reading. 

When it comes to bookstores in San Diego, you have a wide variety of options. You don’t have to settle for corporate booksellers. Instead take a deep dive into the selection of books available at these independent shops. You can get lost in the towering inventories, where you can discover books you never knew that you needed.

About the authors:

Ryan Beitler is a writer, journalist, and blogger who has written for a variety of publications including The Slovenia Times, Paste Magazine, Deadline News, and more. He used to live in San Diego.

Sterling Guelich has passed many pleasant hours in San Diego’s finest bookstores. While he mourns the loss of Wahrenbrok’s, Fifth Avenue Books, and Adams Avenue Books, he gives his patronage to independent book sellers every chance he gets.

Places to relax in San Diego

Places To Relax in San Diego

The city of San Diego is a lively, busy city where people come to from all over the country to enjoy the many attractions the city has to offer. The city can get a bit too busy sometimes so if you’re looking to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing vacation it is best to choose an ocean view vacation rental in a serene surrounding where you will not be disturbed by the big city’s hassle. 

Where To Stay for Relaxing in San Diego

There are plenty of charming small, beach towns for places to relax in San Diego, each with its own personality and perks. According to your preferences, you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Here are the top 4 cities we recommend you to check out when planning your trip:

Cardiff-by-the-Sea

Cardiff by the Sea
Cardiff-by-the-Sea. IG photo courtesy of @katelyn.gardener

Cardiff-by-the-Sea is a world-class surfing destination known to have almost perfect weather, located in a serene natural environment, it’s almost like a peaceful oasis, perfect for a relaxing getaway. 

The area in and around Cardiff-by-the-Sea is a very spiritually rich area where you can find various hidden gems such as beautiful natural sceneries, soothing meditation spots, stunning sunset-watching spots, and others. 

The best thing is that even though it is located in such a beautiful natural environment, you can also easily reach the city of San Diego (just 20 minutes) if you want to check out some of its attractions too.

 

 

 

Encinitas

Swami's Beach in Encinitas
Swami’s Beach in Encinitas. IG photo courtesy of @billyy.martinez

The city of Encinitas is the parent city of Cardiff-by-the-Sea. It was founded in 1986 and brought together the communities of New Encinitas, Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain, and Leucadia to create a single city rich in history and steeped in tradition.

Spreading across six miles of Pacific coastline, the city of Encinitas represents a unique blend of old-world charm and sophistication and new-world culture. Its beaches are coveted by locals as hidden gems. 

The city is alternately known as the “Flower Capital of the World,” because of its extensive collection of unique nurseries and gardens, most extensive of which is the San Diego Botanic Garden.

 

 

 

Solana Beach

Solana Beach
Hanging out in Solana Beach. IG photo courtesy of @courtneyadrian

Located along the north coast of San Diego, Solana Beach is a quiet refuge with family-friendly beaches that has a mellow, small-town feel, making it one of the best places to relax in San Diego.  The charming, seaside community is approximately a 30-minute drive from downtown San Diego. 

Besides gorgeous bluffs overlooking the ocean and a serene shoreline, Solana Beach boasts one of San Diego’s top shopping districts, locally as “The Avenue with Everything.” If shopping is your way of relaxing then this is something you should definitely check out.

 

 

 

La Jolla

La Jolla
‘Wild tide’ in La Jolla. Photo courtesy of @bommaritoart

La Jolla is a seaside community best known for its beaches, rugged coastline, and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. The moment you arrive here is the moment you’ll realize that you’ve made a great choice for your vacation destination.

There are many reasons why La Jolla is one of the best places to relax in San Diego, including the fact that there are a variety of outdoor activities that will put your mind at ease. 

For example, imagine the peace that comes with laying on the beach as the sun sets (or rises) in the distance. 

As you plan your vacation, start by making a comprehensive list of places to stay in La Jolla. With no shortage of options—ranging from hotels to vacation rentals—you’re sure to find something that suits your wants, needs, and budget.

While there’s no limit on the number of outdoors activities in La Jolla, don’t stop there. You’ll also fall in love with the world-class dining, museums, and variety of local shops.

No matter how you define a relaxing vacation, La Jolla has you covered. 

 

 

 

Tips for Relaxing Things To Do in San Diego

Yoga class at Sunset Cliffs
Yoga class at Sunset Cliffs. IG photo courtesy of @mindbodybadass

Go on a morning walk by the ocean and admire the sunset in the evening

Every trip to San Diego should have some time spent on a morning walk by the ocean, being a great way to set up your mood for the day. Watching the sunrise above the ocean’s waves is a truly spectacular view and the fresh morning ocean air is very good for your body.  When you return to your housing, you are bound to be in a more relaxed state and ready to start your day.

Enjoying the sunset from a beautiful ocean view setting will help you relax and unwind after a busy day of fun activities. Let go of any worries and just be in the present and let the beauty of nature inspire you and bring you to a place of stillness.

 

 

 

Meditate in a charming natural setting

If you are aware of the benefits of meditation then you know it can be a very powerful tool to reach a state of complete relaxation. Meditation quiets your mind, relaxes your body and brings your mind, body and soul into alignment. Besides, when you add the soothing power of nature’s beauty you are bound to have a profoundly relaxing experience.

Treat yourself with a day at the Spa

A little pampering is something we all need, every once in a while, and when is the perfect time to do this if not when going on vacation? A day at the Spa is one of the perfect relaxing things to do in San Diego to let go of any stress or negative feelings for a state of deep relaxation. A spa experience can have many beneficial effects:

  • improves sleep quality
  • relieves muscle and joint pain
  • improves circulation and helps prevent varicose veins
  • helps your body eliminate toxins
  • releases built-up stress
  • helps with weight loss

Now do you see why San Diego hosts nearly 35.1 million visitors each year? Now do you see why approximately 1.4 million people call this city home? 

From a morning walk on a local beach to a day at the spa, you don’t have to look far for things to do on your next San Diego vacation. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can find a place to relax and enjoy your surroundings. 

When you combine all the activities above with enjoyable weather year round, you’ll find it difficult to leave “America’s Finest City” at the end of your trip.  

And should that be the case, it may be time to look into moving to San Diego. There are single family homes, condos, and townhouses for sale in and around the city. By making a purchase, you’ll be able to enjoy the area day after day—and that should put a smile on your face. 

Hopefully, this brief guide will come in handy when looking for places to relax in San Diego for having that peaceful getaway.

Relax Like A Local

Check out some of our best local stories on ways to kick back and enjoy La Jolla for all its perks.

 

Mormon Temple in La Jolla area of San Diego

The Mormon Temple in San Diego

Let’s start with a quick note about the amazing photo of the San Diego Mormon temple photo in the banner of this article. It’s from a super-talented photographer and friend of ours, Jeff Bommarito. You can–and should–see more of his work on BommaritoArt.com.

If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you likely already know about the Mormon temple in San Diego. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is informally called LDS, or Mormon church. But there is nothing remotely informal about a Mormon temple. That is even more true about the Mormon temple local members get to enjoy.

You might look at an undertaking like this temple and pause to think about the business side of things. And obviously, churches don’t run without a certain machinery behind them; that’s why there are architects who build places of worship, that’s why there are church secretaries, and that’s why there is even a growing business in the sector of software for churches. But the longer you look at this magnificent temple, the less you think about how difficult it must have been to build. You start to think, “Wow, I can’t believe how beautiful this is.”

Architecture is as much an emotional art as is music. The difference with architecture is that we are also compelled to ponder the science and engineering of the construction. This is especially true with very large structures. Like standing in the shadow of a mountain, we are taken by the sheer size of the thing compared to us. It is fascinating to think about how a mountain was formed. But it is even more awe inspiring to stand in the shadow of a handmade structure conceived of and executed by humans like ourselves. When faced with such a monument, we can’t help but feel at least a little touched by the divine.

What to Know About the San Diego Mormon Temple?

The La Jolla Mormon temple by day
The La Jolla Mormon temple by day. Photo by BommaritoArt.com.

The outside of a temple has one main function: It is to create awe in the hearts of those outside the faith. The inside of the temple is for those who are literally insiders. Temple exteriors serve as a passive evangelistic tool of sorts. It gives the outsider a hint of the divine experienced more fully within. If it feels this good to be in the presence of a temple, imagine how much better it must feel inside the La Jolla Mormon Temple. The most important thing you need to know about the temple is that it does its primary job extremely well. You can’t see it, even from a distance, without wanting to get more of what it has to offer.

La Jolla Temple Facts

In size, the San Diego Temple is the 24th largest. Its 72,000 square footage is rather impressive compared to the over 200 temples it dwarfs. You can see the twin towers from a distance even before you glimpse the scope of the 7.2 acres of land. As you get closer you will notice those two majestic towers are not alone. They are each accompanied by four smaller spires like fingers on a hand reaching up toward the heavens. If you are a Mormon, you already expect to see the statue of the angel Moroni at the tallest point.

The Temple was announced in April of 1984. Temples generally get one open house viewing for the general public before being consecrated. Open house for the San Diego Temple was almost exactly 9 years later. For those noticing a numerological coincidence, the open house was enjoyed by 720,000 people inside the 72,000 sq ft building on a 7.2 acre property. One wonders if there might be more than coincidence at work regarding these auspicious appearances of the number 72, a religiously significant number.

Q: What Religion is the La Jolla Temple in San Diego?

LDS is a relatively modern offshoot of the traditional Christian faith. Historically, it is one of the smaller movements within the larger umbrella of the American Restoration Movement within Christianity. From that movement, we got denominations like the Church of Christ, the charismatic Pentecostal movement, and the LDS. All are extremely different and offer very little interoperability. But they all sprang from the desire to return to the original church founded by Jesus and get as close as possible to that original intent. That is the one thing all Restoration Movement churches have in common. The San Diego California temple represents a part of that proud tradition.

Q: Where is the La Jolla Temple located?

If you want to book a trip to visit the temple (it’s across the 5 freeway from a Best Buy), here are the particulars:

7474 Charmant Drive San Diego, California 92122–5000 United States

Telephone: 1 858–622–0991

Before finalizing your plans, there are a few more things you will need to know:

Q: Can anyone go inside the La Jolla Mormon Temple?

If you are not a Mormon, you cannot visit the San Diego California temple interior or any other temple interior unless you are a member in good standing or happen to find one in the process of an open house. There are occasions when a temple has to be re-consecrated, perhaps due to construction or storm. Before consecration, there will usually be a new period of open house available to the public.

To enter a temple during a period of consecration, a Mormon must be a member in good standing and have a temple recommend from state-level officials of the LDS church. If you are a Mormon, you likely already know the rules for preparing to enter the holy temple.

All others are welcome to visit the spectacular grounds and appreciate all other aspects of the temple. You can also visit the visitors’ center honoring the San Diego Mormon Battalion about 10 miles from the temple proper.

Q:  What is nearby the La Jolla Mormon Temple?

Visiting the Mormon Temple in San Diego is like being transported to another world. The best day in the Magic Kingdom has nothing on a San Diego California temple wedding. That feeling doesn’t end when you leave the temple. There is a certain aspect of otherworldliness permeating throughout La Jolla and greater San Diego. When you step into that world, you are still going to need to know where to stay, where to eat, and what to do.

Just know that when you enter San Diego, you are entering the unofficial coffee shop capital of the world. Your favorite cup of coffee will come from that little shop you visited while there. You can also bring your dog to the party. You will find hotels more welcoming of your dog than your own home if such a thing is even possible. Canines rank San Diego K10 out of 10 bones on the puppy love scale.

Conclusion

One of the best reasons to visit one of the historic and awe-inspiring sites in San Diego is that you have plenty to do before and after the main event. The San Diego Temple is the cherry on top of an already decadent treat. Whatever your religion, you will be right at home in the city. LDS is the third largest faith group by number of members and number of congregations.

You don’t have to be Mormon or even religious to appreciate the San Diego temple. Make it one of your first stops. You won’t be disappointed.

About the author: David Johnson is a professional writer whose relationship with La Jolla started with a family vacation at a young age. A former professional musician, he enjoys creating music in his free time.

 

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