Find Local Produce, Art & Crafts Every Sunday at La Jolla Farmer’s Market

The La Jolla Open Aire Farmer’s Market happens each Sunday from 9am-1pm, rain or shine, at the corner of Girard Street and Genter Avenue (parking lot of the La Jolla Elementary School). Spend just a few hours here, and you’ll find more than 150 local vendors offering fresh, locally grown produce; international food; and unique handcrafted crafts and gifts.

There are usually musicians playing on the grass, and some Sundays are Family Fun Days – which is great if you are looking for activities with kids in tow. Here’s what to look for and a few tips for shopping at the La Jolla Farmer’s Market!

A Little Background

The market was started by former La Jolla Elementary School mom and La Jolla community supporter, Sherry Ahern. In 1996, Sherry had two children enrolled at LJES and was on the Friends of La Jolla Elementary, Inc. Board, the school’s non profit education foundation. The original motivation for the market was to help fund a library — at the time, it consisted only of a small collection of books in the back of the auditorium.

With help and support from San Diego Unified School District, local community groups, the Friends Board and Board President at the time Sarah Agler, the vision became a reality two years later. The first market was held on October 25, 1998 with 14 farmers and one artisan! Now, it’s a vibrant weekly community gathering, featuring more than 140 vendors.

Fresh Produce & Local Food

The food vendors are too many to name! One of the great things about this particular market is that some extremely popular eateries (usually too crowded to try on the weekend) have a booth here – making it ten times easier to grab a bite.

The market carries local organic and conventional produce, eggs, breads, cheese, grass-fed beef, seafood, almonds, jams, smoothies, olive oils, guacamole, hummus, baked goods including a variety of gluten-free options, chocolate, kettle corn, and coffee. The international food court features cuisine from the Mediterranean, France, Germany, Latin America, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Korea, and China.

Some of our favorite spots include:

  • The Donut Bar
  • Crepes Up
  • SoCal Lemonade
  • Small Goods (delicious cheese!)
  • Belindas Cocina (known for her outstanding Mexican food, Belinda serves up delicious dishes and flavors that change weekly!)
  • Cravory Cookies
  • Tango (empanadas are their specialty!)
  • Baba Foods (go for the hummus)
  • Egyptian Delights
  • Green Door Catering

At the center of the market are the Certified Farmers Market vendors, or the CFM. Many of the growers operate small family farms in San Diego County, and most of them have already developed a reputation for quality and high-value specialty crops. Here, you’ll find various fresh produce such as tomatoes, peppers, corn, avocados, strawberries, and more.

Local farms at the market include:

  • Living Earth Ranch
  • Carlsbad Strawberry Company
  • JR Organics
  • Tom King Farms
  • Futterman Farm

Don’t forget to check out the fresh flowers – they are always gorgeous! This is a great place to pick up some flowers for the table at home (and they aren’t too expensive).If you’re a cactus lover, keep an eye out for the succulents tent; there is always a great variety, and plenty of smaller options that you can carry home easily! Some of the cheapest ones start at just a few dollars each.

Artisans & Crafts

One of the things that makes this market so unique is the incredible variety of local boutiques, artisans, artwork, and multitude of arts and crafts available to look at and to purchase.

You’ll find everything from jewelry to small gifts, unique little knick-knacks, and wood-carved tableware; there is usually some artwork out and available to look at, as well. Other items include French linens, handmade T-shirts, hats, clothes, and scented, all-natural handmade soap. If you’re looking for a unique gift or something a little different for your own home, this is definitely the place! Many items that you see one Sunday may not be there the next, so the selection is really quite different each week.

For a Good Cause

All proceeds from the Farmer’s Market benefit La Jolla Elementary (LJES), a public school. The proceeds fund various initiatives enjoyed by all children at LJES, including school improvements and programs such as art, music, library, technology and additional classroom teachers to lower class sizes.

 

9th Annual La Jolla Art & Wine Festival

The 2017 La Jolla Art & Wine Festival heads to downtown La Jolla this October 7th and 8th! Now in its ninth year, this two-day festival is packed full of great art from more than 120 juried artists; a beer and wine garden featuring local brews and wine from California’s best wineries; a kids’ activity zone, and plenty of food and local craft vendors. This is a great experience for the whole family! Day one is from 10am-7pm, and day two from 10am-6pm. Here is everything you need to know about this annual local event!

Wine & Beer Garden

Festival visitors who are 21 and older can enjoy regional and international wines as well as local San Diego craft beers at the Wine & Beer Garden. Stop by and sample delectable wines from Valle De Guadalupe, California, France, and of course, a wide variety of internationally renowned brews by several local San Diego craft breweries.

Single tickets for a wine or beer tasting: $4
Six-pack of tickets: $20

***GIVEAWAY ALERT: We will be giving away two 5-packs of tasting tickets! CLICK BELOW TO ENTER!

Congrats to our winners: Karen Luscomb and Gloria Hernandez!

Live Music & Stage Entertainment

On both days, there will be live entertainment on two different stages starting at 12pm, and ending at 7pm.

Some highlights of this year’s live entertainment include a variety of different talks and discussions from local businesses, including a “Taste Talk” from LJ Crafted Wines at 3:30pm on Saturday, and a brief talk from Congressman Scott Peters at 12:30pm on Sunday. There will also be a “Taste Talk” from Sierra Nevada on Sunday at 2:45pm. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the stilt walkers! They’ll be wandering around the festival (and make for some great photo ops) all day.

Live music will be happening in the Wine & Beer Garden on both days. Enjoy music from the likes of Brad Perry, Susie with Oh La La (an America’s Got Talent contestant), and the La Jolla High School Marching Band. For a full schedule, head here.

Geppetto’s Family Art Center & Lab

This year, the Geppetto’s Family Art Center is getting a makeover as the Geppetto’s Family Art Center and Lab! This extensive family area will not only feature fun crafts and art projects but will also include science experiments and other participatory activities for kids of all ages.

The La Jolla Art & Wine Festival encourages kids to roll up their sleeves and express themselves, all day long. Kids will be able to paint on a car, enjoy multiple hands-on activities, learn all about how 3-D printing works, and contribute to a public space art project. The inspiration is endless and the fun is abundant in this free activity center that continues to grow every year.

The Art

Art is definitely the highlight of the festival! Featuring the works of over 150 established artists from San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Baja and beyond, the LJAWF features something for everyone. The carefully curated, handpicked and juried collection of artists truly showcases the incredible talent of today’s top creators in a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, jewelry design, fine glass, ceramics, woodwork, mixed media, and photography. You’ll be able to purchase most artwork that you see, and the artists will be around to answer any questions or discuss their work.

Stay tuned for more detailed information on which artists will be there this year!

Silent Auction

There will be several auction items this year for trips, spa resorts (including Rancho la Puerta), La Jolla’s finest restaurants, jewelry, and clothes from our best boutiques, gift certificates for local hair and spa services – and much more.

There will be two separate auctions, one on Saturday and a separate one on Sunday. Last year the silent auction raised more than $26,000 to support the underfunded programs in the elementary and middle schools in La Jolla! All of the profits go towards a fantastic cause.

Food, Food, and More Food!

The food never disappoints at the LJAWF! From Greek food to crepes to Maine lobster and everything in between – this is more than your typical festival food so be prepared to indulge in something delicious at this year’s food court. Stay tuned for all of the 2017 vendors!

La Jolla Art & Wine Festival Hours & Location

Saturday, October 7th: 10am-7pm

Sunday, October 8th: 10am-6pm

The festival will take place all along Girard Avenue, between Torrey Pines Road and Prospect Street.

For more information and an up-to-date activity and event schedule, visit the LJAWF website.

Historic La Jolla Hotels: Experience Hollywood Glam in San Diego

La Jolla has been a resort town for decades, attracting visitors from all over the country with its allure of sparkling ocean waters and essentially perfect climate. In 1894, the railroad line was extended to La Jolla from the heart of San Diego, making access to its beaches even easier for locals and visitors.

Here are the stories behind three incredible historic La Jolla hotels – when you stay at one of these beauties, you’ll be experiencing a decadent part of the Village’s incredible history.

La Valencia Hotel

La Valencia’s iconic pink hues and Spanish flair became a part of La Jolla’s history in 1926, when it first opened its doors as an apartment hotel. While its first name, Los Apartmentos de Sevilla, was not widely used, the new locale was designed to integrate the finest elements of various styles of the Spanish school of architecture.

Officially named La Valencia in 1928, the iconic hotel survived the Depression and quickly became a favorite among locals and Hollywood stars alike. And during World War II, because of La Jolla’s proximity to San Diego, La Valencia Hotel was very much a part of the war effort – locals spent long hours perched in the windswept tower scanning the skies and seas for enemy planes or ships.

The pool was built in 1950 with the gym, sauna, putting green and shuffleboard court put in shortly afterwards. The owner acquired Hotel Cabrillo (located next door) a few years later, increasing the number of guest rooms to 100. The old Hotel Cabrillo actually still stands today as the hotel’s West Wing.

The Hotel Cabrillo was designed by famous architect Irving Gill and constructed in 1908 under the supervision of James A. Wilson. When When it opened in 1909, it was considered a landmark achievement; with commanding ocean views and luxurious accommodations, it was the first hotel on the Pacific Ocean north of the Hotel Del Coronado. Four steam and motor trains stopped near the hotel each day, making it an easy destination for guests until it was bought by La Valencia in 1956.

Hollywood Glam

Notable actors of the time were known to stay at La Valencia and gather for glamorous parties: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, Mel Ferrer, Jose Ferrer, Joseph Cotton, Richard Basehart, Charlton Heston, Ginger Rogers, Jennifer Jones, Lorne Green, David Niven and many others to numerous to mention over that seventeen year period.

The Grande Colonial

The Grande Colonial is La Jolla’s oldest original hotel. The original Colonial Apartments and Hotel, as it was known when it opened in 1913, was designed by Richard Requa, the master architect of the California Exposition in Balboa Park. That old Colonial Hotel, a wood framed structure located on the corner of Prospect and Jenner streets, was moved down the street to the rear of the lot – where it still stands and is used today.

The owner of the property, George Bane, chose to build a new hotel out of concrete that would “rival anything in the west.” Completed in 1928 and boasting 28 apartments and 25 single hotel rooms, it was the first fireproof hotel to be built west of the Mississippi.

Fun fact: when it first opened, the Grande Colonial was only charging its guests $1 per night!

La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

The Club originally opened in 1927 as the La Jolla Beach & Yacht Club; in 1935, Frederick William Kellogg (known as F.W. Kellogg) purchased the property with visions of an oceanfront resort that would attract people from all over the country.

Kellogg broadened the Club’s appeal by changing the emphasis to that of an exclusive oceanfront tennis resort. He built four tennis courts and a swimming pool, and promptly renamed the resort the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. To attract out-of-town guests, he constructed the “Beach Club Apartments” at the south end of the property.

After his death in 1940, his son William Scripps Kellogg (known as W.S. Kellogg) took over the hotel’s management. Under his watch, the resort quickly became a vacation destination.

Up until the early 1980s, W.S. Kellogg was still a familiar sight at the Club, taking children for rides on the beach in a 1915 Packard, known affectionately as the “Old Black Goose.” Children who rode in the convertible became members of the Old Black Goose Club, swearing an oath to never become litterbugs. Today, locals will often see W.S. Kellogg’s grandson behind the wheel – and children still take the oath after each ride, patrolling the grounds to pick up litter!

The historic La Jolla hotels were what drew the Hollywood stars to its shores by the mid-1930s. Initially, celebrities simply came to La Jolla for relaxation and retreat; but by the 1940s and 1950s, Hollywood stars began creating and producing plays at The Summer Playhouse, located in the auditorium of La Jolla High School – which is today known as the incredible La Jolla Playhouse!

14 Free Things to Do in La Jolla

If you’re looking for ways to get out there and explore without breaking the bank, you’ve come to the right place! Though San Diego’s jewel has plenty of upscale attractions – fine dining, fancy hotels, and classy galas – there are also plenty of free things to do in La Jolla (and you may not even know that some of these are free!). You can plan an entire day filled with activities, all without spending a cent. Here’s our list of the best free things to do in La Jolla California.

1. Walk the seawall at Children’s Pool

Go a step further than hanging out at the beach and take a stroll along the Children’s Pool sea wall. Constructed in 1931, its main purpose was to create a cove-like beach that children could safely swim and play in; nowadays, the La Jolla seals and sea lions have taken over and are a popular tourist attraction. It’s an incredible photo op, however, and gives you some unique views of the shoreline. Be careful about that tide, though – you will get splashed!

2. Take a self-guided tour of La Jolla’s historical buildings

The La Jolla Historical Society offers free maps for several different self-guided walking tours. Each one focuses on a different aspect of La Jolla’s history (historic beach bungalows, mid-century modern architecture, etc.) and features anywhere from 10-15 different buildings within the Village. The tours can typically be completed in a couple of hours, and make for a lovely afternoon stroll – plus, it’s a great way to get to know La Jolla!

3. Walk along Coast Blvd. for endless ocean views

Coast Blvd. runs the length of the La Jolla shoreline and is a terrific way to get all those ocean views in at one time! Start at Sunny Jim Sea Cave (Cave Street becomes Coast Blvd. here) and continue along past La Jolla Cove, the Children’s Pool, and Cuvier Park. The road will eventually curve just past Windansea Beach and become a different street, which is a good stopping point. Make sure to look for the rest of the seven sea caves along the coast; especially the larger caves like Clam Cave and White Lady Cave!

4. Check out the tide pools

La Jolla is home to several great tide pool areas: Shell Beach, False Point, Dike Rock, south La Jolla Shores, and Hospitals Beach. Each spot has its own unique highlights, and you’re bound to always see at least a few little sea creatures (or at least sea lions)! Always go at low tide (or even minus tide), and be very careful on the rocks as they do get slippery, and always be mindful of what you may be stepping on. During certain times of the year, the Birch Aquarium offers guided tours of the tide pools; check their website for information. Please note that it is illegal to remove any sea life from the tide pools.

5. Hike along the Coastal Meander Trail

The Coastal Meander Trail is a 380-foot section of pathways that extends from La Jolla Shores Dr. down to a bluff overlooking Scripps Pier. The  trail is actually a part of the state’s California Coastal Trail program, which is a network of public trails that, when finished, will allow people to walk along the entirety of the California coast – from the Oregon border all the way to Mexico. It will eventually span 1,200 miles and 15 different counties, and is currently more than 50% complete.

The trailhead is at the top of Biological Grade, across from the old NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Look for the “Coastal Trail Access” sign on the west side of La Jolla Shores Drive.

6. Have a bonfire at La Jolla Shores

There is really no bad time to have a bonfire in San Diego, but warm summer nights are tough to beat. There are fire pits along most of the beach at La Jolla Shores, though they do fill up early – especially on weekends and major holidays. Barbecuing on the beach is prohibited, but if you’re in the mood to grill up some burgers, there are a few BBQ pits on the grassy area just behind the sand.

7. Visit the Map & Atlas Museum

As the only museum that offers free admission in La Jolla, this one had to make our list. The museum is a hidden gem, and houses rare and often quite beautiful old maps from all over the world. This is a real treat to visit, especially if you are a history buff. Learn more about the museum here.

8. Check out the La Jolla Open Aire Market

La Jolla’s very own little Farmer’s Market happens every Sunday from 9am-1:30pm at the corner of Girard Ave and Genter Street. Incredible fresh produce, goodies from local artisans, and amazing farm-to-table eats are just some of their unique offerings. It’s great for grabbing breakfast or just picking up some things to take home.

9. Take an Architecture Tour at Salk Institute

The Salk Institute offers free guided public tours from Monday through Friday at 12 pm. The one-hour tours are led by trained and knowledgeable docents, and you’ll get to see why the Institute is truly one-of-a-kind. Please note that online reservations are required for all tours.

10. Look for shells at Shell Beach

True to its name, Shell Beach is a great place to explore and look for unique rocks or shells. Note: please practice ethical, responsible shell collecting. Don’t take anything that is alive, and leave the spiral shells where you find them. Better yet, just take some photographs – this is a great spot to practice your micro-photography skills!

11. Have a picnic at Ellen Scripps Park

Wide expanses of grass and plenty of sitting benches make Ellen Browning Scripps Park on Coast Blvd. a terrific place for an afternoon picnic that’s close to both La Jolla Cove and the Children’s Pool. You’ll have your pick of both sun and shade (the park is home to the famous Dr. Seuss Lorax tree!) and there is plenty of room to spread out a blanket and a yummy lunch.

12. The Stuart Collection at UC San Diego (Fallen Star, Bear & More!)

Sprinkled throughout the UCSD campus are several unique works of outdoor art. Ranging from neon lights to a house perched precariously atop a building aptly titled, Fallen Star, and a bear made from boulders, these 18 pieces are hidden gems – and finding each of them makes for a great day of exploration! Did you know you can enter the Fallen Star house? Entrance is free and open to the public on Tuesday and Thursdays from 11-3pm. Follow this printable map and start exploring!

13. See some artwork by Dr. Seuss

The Legends Gallery [1205 Prospect Street] is home to an incredible collection of Dr. Seuss artwork. From rare pieces to some of his most well-known prints, the gallery has it all. Most works are available for purchase, though it’s fun to just go and have a look around; there are some rare collectibles here that you won’t see anywhere else! Want to see more? Head to the Geisel Library at UC San Diego during summer and around the month of March to see what special exhibit is on display. Because of the fragility of the materials in the Seuss Collection, access to the collection is restricted. Items from the collection are usually on exhibit during the summer session and during the month of March (Dr. Seuss’s birthday). Please consult the list of exhibits for more details.

14. Visit the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

Don’t miss the chance to visit one of only 16 nonprofit membership libraries in the US! This beautiful library is open and free to the public five days a week. The art exhibitions rotate every few months, but the beautiful collection of books and artists’ books stays year-round (note that only members can check out books). The current art exhibits are usually on show in the front room and are definitely worth a look.

When you’re done with these, start checking these things off your La Jolla California bucket list!

Del Mar’s San Diego County Fair

Del Mar’s San Diego County Fair

Summertime in Southern California is the epitome of a beachside Hollywood film. After you’ve soaked in plenty of sun at the beach, next stop? Hitting the Del Mar County Fair. From breathtaking gardens and wine tasting to deep fried Oreos and amusement park rides, it is a phenomenal event that truly has something for everyone.

Entertainment

There’s a lot to do at this fair; it’s why so many people come back multiple times each summer. They want to make sure they see it all! Here’s our outline of the most major, must-see fair points.

Competitive Exhibits:

Walking through the best of art, gardens, wine, photographs, livestock and other exhibits is very eye-opening. You get to see the talents of many people from all walks of life. If you have your own homemade cheese or art that could be prize-worthy, enter your selection! With a large number of prizes, you never know what you could win.

The Animals:

A county fair simply isn’t a county fair without animals! Wave to horses, meet bunny rabbits, pet goats and so much more at the many animal exhibits here.

Concerts:

This county fair is full of a variety of live music. There are great local artists at many of the small stages, and there are large concerts hosted throughout the season. Some of the bands are big names, so look out to make sure you don’t miss your favorite group.

Amusement Rides & Arcade Games:

Bumper cars. Flying swings. Haunted mansions. Need we say more?

The Food

The beauty of this fair is that you can cater the experience to your own taste, literally. You can take a day off your heart-healthy regime and go for the stereotypical fair food. Try items like deep fried Oreos, deep fried candy bars, chocolate covered bacon, massive barbecued turkey legs and more.

If those items sound a little much, don’t worry; the fair offers lighter options and upscale dining, as well. If you’re of drinking age, add onto to either meal type with an extra special kick!

For those Over 21

Perhaps you adore merlots. Maybe you love Stone IPAs. Whether you’re a wine or beer person, or hey, maybe are a fan of both, there are two specific events we want to draw your attention to.

The Toast of the Coast Wine Festival: A ticket in here covers unlimited samplings, the opportunity for some truly VIP dining and your admission into the fair.

San Diego International Beer Festival: Featuring beers that are local and from across the globe, this festival has become the largest beer festival on the entire West Coast. If you love beer, it’s something you don’t want to miss.