Things To Consider When Choosing a Venue for an Event

If there was ever a perfect destination to plan an event, San Diego would be it. The city has plenty of beautiful beaches, luxury hotels, cultured restaurants, and popular bar scenes to choose from. Whether you’re planning a business event, birthday party, bridal shower, or gender reveal party, there are several options available to you. With so many venues, however, you’ll need to iron out a few details to determine which is best for you.

Location

Though you know you’re going to have your event in the San Diego area, you have to consider the location of the venue based on attendee convenience. If it’s a local event, it is ideal to have it somewhere neutral to those you’re inviting so they don’t have to travel far. If you’re expecting mostly out-of-towners, then you might opt for a venue closer to an airport.

Number of Attendees

How many people will be attending your event? This will be important for several reasons. First, you’ll need to find a venue that can host that many people. You’ll also need to make sure there is enough parking. Lastly, you’ll need to know how many are in attendance for seating, food, and beverage preparations.

Services and Amenities

As you think about the type of event you’re planning, what type of services will you need? If you were planning a corporate event, for instance, you might need a conference room, technical equipment, and lunch catering. If you were planning a wedding you might prefer a venue with a caterer, baker, and wait staff. You’ll also want to ask about things like tables, chairs, tents, and whatever else you might need to host your event.

Decor Acceptions

The decor is often a big part of event planning. However, not all venues allow all types of decor and devices onto their premises. If you were throwing a gender reveal party, for example, you might want gender reveal smoke bombs and gender reveal confetti cannons to share the sex of the baby. What makes a lot of gender reveal celebration products great is they are safe for indoor and outdoor use! You can pop gender reveal confetti and make a moment to remember. You may want to check with the venue if you are planning to use gender reveal smoke though. This might be fine at a venue that has an outdoor area, but for a secluded place like a small restaurant or bar, these things may not be allowed. However, you can also decide to just use gender reveal confetti cannons.

Availability

San Diego is a really popular place to host events, so you’ll want to find out about availability right away. Try to choose several dates that your event could take place, just in case the date you want isn’t available. Find out about what options are available if there’s inclement weather or another unforeseen reason you need to postpone your date.

Layout

The layout of a venue will need to be considered for your event. You need to consider the number of people you’re inviting, the type of event it is, and activities that will be taking place. You’ll need to have enough space to accommodate your guests, food, and anything else you plan on having at your event. Going to see venue layouts in advance is recommended to ensure it flows with your vision.

Holiday parties, weddings, business conferences, gender reveals, birthday parties, they can all be great when you host them in a city like San Diego. As you browse the town for the perfect venue, be sure to keep all these factors in mind. In doing so, you’ll ensure that your event goes off without a hitch.

High Tide Dinner at The Marine Room: Oceanfront Dining at its Best

Since it opened its doors in 1941, The Marine Room has been the benchmark for quality oceanfront dining in La Jolla. It brought first-class French-inspired cuisine to San Diego for the first time; and with it, an inclusion of all things nautical: even its seahorse emblem, which has remained the same for more than 75 years, has become synonymous with quality and elegance.

We were invited to experience what a High Tide Dinner at this special place is all about! Here’s an inside look at the magic behind one of La Jolla’s most beloved icons.

76 Years in the Making

Spindrift Inn was built in 1916 and for years served as the only lodging along La Jolla Shores. In 1935, the Inn, along with the La Jolla Beach & Yacht Club (now La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club), were purchased by Frederick W. Kellogg. It was actually his son, William Scripps Kellogg, who opened the restaurant we know today in 1941.

The opening day menu featured Fresh Lobster à la Newburg in a shell for $1.35; Rainbow Mountain Trout Sauté Amandine for $1.25, and martinis for just 35 cents!

Remarkably, it wasn’t until the El Niño storms of 1982 that the relentless tide forced its way through the windows and flooded the restaurant, resulting in a nine-month remodeling and restoration project. This included installation of even tougher windows; ever since, the glass has held and the windows have remained beautifully intact.

Not Your Typical Oceanfront View

Being situated on multiple levels, the views begin right when you step foot into the restaurant and make for a stunningly dramatic entrance. A short, winding staircase leads one to the main dining areas, where there are tables and elevated booths arranged with white linens and elegant tableware. Wall-to-wall windows give patrons a sweeping 180-degree panorama of the ocean, and waves can be heard crashing against the windows from nearly every table.

This really isn’t your typical ‘oceanfront dining;’ you are quite literally on the water, which, needless to say, makes those crashing waves all the more dramatic.

It’s interesting to note that this is the only restaurant of its kind in the area, and that is mostly due to present-day building restrictions. Because it was built in 1941, before local authorities were closely watching coastal development, the Marine Room’s construction was uninterrupted – and the result is breathtaking.

Mouthwatering Cuisine

Our dinner that evening was ordered from their specialty a la carte menu, created especially for the High Tide Dinners. We began with the signature lobster bisque, a wonderfully sweet rendition of the classic, and the crab cakes; paired cleverly with acorn noodles, the cakes were warm, moist, and perfectly flavored.

For the entrees, we ordered the Lobster tail, which was melt-in-your-mouth delicate; and the Ahi Tuna (recommended by our server), which did not disappoint with a side of sticky black rice, avocado, mango, and an unusually evocative white port hibiscus infusion.

Dessert was a lovely finish to the meal: the Spindrift Cobblestone Pie, which has been on their menu for years and remained a consistent favorite. The pie comes with espresso and vanilla ice cream, toasted hazelnuts, and a perfectly flavored Maker’s Mark bourbon sauce for just the right amount of kick. It wasn’t too sweet or too heavy, which is perfect on the palate after an incredibly flavorful three-course meal. We definitely did the right thing going with seafood for our main dishes – everything was cooked to perfection.

Wall of Waves

During dinner (reservations are held from 5pm to 10pm), it’s common to see kayakers, scuba divers, and even the occasional seal or sea lion trying to snatch up the last of their meal. A floodlight is angled directly onto the water, illuminating sea life several feet outward and enhancing the up-close view of crashing waves.

Between courses, we took nearly every opportunity to photograph the waves crashing against the windows; there is something to be said for having that kind of entertainment to accompany your meal! High tides typically range between 4 and 5 feet above sea level, so the 6-foot to over 7-foot high tides during summer are reason enough to make this a memorable experience.

That evening, the peak tide was reported to be 6.7 feet at 9:52pm. We arrived around 8:00 and were able to see the progression towards the larger and more impressive tide. Once night fell, two seals made an appearance; our waiter noted that over the years, several seals have situated themselves right on their property for days (even weeks) at a time!

The magic of The Marine Room is more than just the waterfront views. It’s the ambiance, the attention to detail, and the tireless hospitality that truly place this restaurant in a class of its own.

Other opulent dining experiences throughout the year include Mother’s Day and Easter Brunch and special Father’s Day dinners. High Tide Breakfasts are held every October through March, and High Tide Dinners are from April through September. The Marine Room is located at 2000 Spindrift Dr. in La Jolla Shores. To make a reservation call (858) 459-7222 or visit their website!

9 Essential Drinks You Need to Try for Happy Hour in La Jolla

When La Jolla gives you beautiful sunsets, delicious restaurants, and a thrilling downtown what more could you ask for? Ah, of course, Happy Hour. La Jolla Happy Hour is the best time to sample drinks from some of the top restaurants in La Jolla.

Even though there are so many different restaurants in La Jolla, we narrowed it down to our top 9 choices which we think are the most deliciously exceptional at the best happy house price. From custom cocktails to classics with a twist, there’s something for everyone on this happy hour roundup.

1. “Organic Moscow Mule” – Beaumont’s Eatery

If you haven’t tried a Moscow Mule, you’re missing out. This delicious drink is one of Beaumont’s Eatery’s most popular drinks. The drink is made of Tru Organic Vodka, Ginger Beer, Angostura Bitters, and a lime.

The Moscow Mule is an enjoyable cold-copper mug experience that’s a lot of fun. They’re served in copper cups to keep the drink as cold as possible, so you can enjoy it for as long as possible.

Beaumont’s Eatery. located in Bird Rock, is one of La Jolla’s best restaurants for live music. Its fun party vibe and casual feel make it one of the top choices for La Jolla locals.

Happy Hour is from 11:30 am – 6:30 pm daily for drinks.

Full price Moscow Mules are $10.75 but for Happy Hour it’s only $6.

2. “Cucumber Basil Smash” – Seasons 52

There’s only one way to describe the Cucumber Basil Smash. Smashing. The drink is made of Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka, White Cranberry Juice, Cucumber, Basil, and Lime.

It’s a local favorite because it’s light, refreshing drink that is light on calories.

Seasons 52 is a great spot for happy hour after a long day of shopping at UTC mall. They have seasonally inspired menus featuring ingredients at their peak of freshness. They use rustic cooking techniques like brick oven roasting and open-fire grilling that bring out natural flavors. All in all, it’s a great atmosphere and high-quality food and of course, excellent drinks.

Happy Hour is M-F 4-6:30 PM.

Cucumber Basil Smash is normally $10.50 but for Happy Hour this Specialty Cocktail is $8.

[Image courtesy of George’s at the Cove]

3. “Southside” – George’s At The Cove

This is one of their most refreshing cocktails! The Southside includes Plymouth Gin, lemon, mint, and cane sugar. It’s minty, refreshing and citrusy – perfect after a long day in the office or just to quench your thirst among friends.

Happy Hour is hosted in their mid-level bar, George’s Level2. They are also launching a brand-new Late Night happy hour, which will be Thurs-Sat from 9pm-midnight and feature $10 specialty cocktails and discounted small bites.

George’s at the Cove is a renowned three-level dining destination located in the heart of La Jolla overlooking the Pacific Ocean and northern coastline. Cocktails are made with in-house ingredients and hand cut ice. There are recipes and twists on classic drinks along with unique punches, sours, coolers and more.

George’s At The Cove Happy Hour is M-F 3:30 to 6:30 pm. All Happy Hour Cocktails are $8.

Duke's La Jolla Ocean View

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4. “Heart Opener” – The Hake

The Heart Opener is heart wrenchingly good. It’s the Hake’s tastiest drink made up of Avua Cachaca, Luxardo, Pistachio Falernum.

The Hake Restaurant uses a seasonal farm-to-table approach focusing on fresh seafood and an upscale casual bistro atmosphere. It offers a unique global-inspired menu created by Chefs Federico Rigoletti and Roberto Craig of Mexico City’s Puntarena Restaurant fame.

The bar offers Craft and classic cocktails, local beers on tap, a fine collection of single malt whiskeys and a large selection of Mezcal. A carefully selected wine list with over 30 wines by the glass, reflects our passion in the glass as well as on the plate.

Happy Hour is every day 5-7 PM.

Signature Cocktails are $8.

5. Rosé – We Olive Wine & Bar

Don’t whine, just wine. The rosé showcases aromas of crushed raspberries and watermelon. The pale salmon coloring of this classic Provencal style wine is made from 100% Grenache.

Debuting in early 2011, We Olive La Jolla was the first We Olive to expand beyond premium California Olive Oils and feature an ocean-view Wine Bar, showcasing small-production California wines, local craft beer, and a menu of olive oil inspired small plates.

Happy Hour specials are from 3:30 to 6:30 M-F where beers are $2 off and wine is $3 off except on Wednesdays. On Wine Wednesdays, all wine glasses are half off from 3:30 to 6:30 pm.

Their other Happy Hour specials include Sunday Funday where wine bottles are $7 off.

6. Sangria – Herringbone

Sweet and fruity, Herringbone’s Sangria is delicious. The Sangria is made of Red wine, raspberries, cinnamon sticks, pomegranate, and lime.

Located in the coastal community of La Jolla, Herringbone is a restaurant brand conceptualized by Top Chef alum Chef Brian Malarkey. Herringbone features “Fish Meats Field” coastal cuisine with an emphasis on line-caught seafood and high-quality meats.

Happy Hour is 4-6 pm daily & all night Mondays. Bonus Tip: Oyster Hour $ Oysters daily from 4-6pm.

Sangria’s are $6.

7. “Maya Jungle Cruise” – Leña Craft Mexican

If you like exotic alcohol, this is the drink for you. It’s made of Tequila Exotico, Xtabentum, Amaro Nonino, fresh pineapple, fresh lime, banana demerara, and pomegranate molasses.

Lena Craft Mexican is a gastropub, located in the heart of La Jolla, CA. Local’s love the authentic flavors and good vibe that Leña gives.

Happy Hour is M-F 3-6 PM.

All Margarita’s are $6 and beers are $1 off.

8. “My First Time” – Wheat and Water

Everybody’s scared the first time they do anything. Drink creator Ashley Moore says “My First Time” is a fun play on the phrase. It’s a handcrafted drink made with jalapeno-infused Rancho Alegre Tequila, St. Germain, Yellow Chartreuse, lemon, grapefruit bitters, and salt.

Wheat & Water specializes in wood-fired pizza, shared plates, healthy salads and charcuterie. Featuring a variety of beer from local and national breweries, wines ranging from California and Europe and a cocktail list of originals and our favorite classics.

Happy Hour is M-F 8PM to Close.

All cocktails are $7.

Duke’s Mai Tai – Duke’s La Jolla

Anyone who’s been to Duke’s knows that this is one of their best drinks. The Mai Tai is made with Pineapple Passion Orange Guava and La Lahaina Rum.

Overlooking the La Jolla Cove, Duke’s serves genuine, friendly hospitality with contemporary interpretations of traditional island plates. As a tribute to Hawaii and Southern California beach lifestyles, Duke’s celebrates family, views and the spirit of aloha. We welcome our guests to become a part of our ’ohana.

Duke’s Aloha Hours happen daily from 3-6 PM.

All cocktails are $8 during Aloha Hours.

 

Where to Find the Best Late Night Eats in La Jolla

After a night out at La Jolla Playhouse or after spending a whole day at the beach, we all need a little something to fill our empty stomachs. However, it can be hard to find a La Jolla restaurant open after 10 pm! To help, we’ve rounded up all the best late night eats in La Jolla.

Open 24 Hours

Rigoberto’s is a locals go-to late night eatery known for their salsa bar and substantial burritos. If you need a good chile relleno, carne asada burrito, or some dank carne asada fries you won’t be disappointed. Find them at 6990 La Jolla Blvd.

 

Open Late on Weekdays

Popular with students, the Living Room Coffeehouse (cover and top image) is open until 2 am every day and offers a variety of coffee drinks, desserts, and meals. The first floor has both a bistro and a full bar, and lots of tables and other seating to recharge or wind down or chill out upstairs in their Hookah bar where you can order drinks and food. Find them at 1010 Prospect St.

 

Hennessey’s Tavern La Jolla is an Irish-style pub, open until 2 am every day (according to their Facebook page). Stop by for great deals on drinks and food and daily specials! Find them at 7811 Herschel Ave.

Jose’s Courtroom is a Mexican restaurant and bar, open until 11 pm on Thursday and until 1 am on Friday and Saturday. Known for tasty dishes like ceviche, albondigas, and mahi mahi tacos, Jose’s also serves margaritas, beer, tequila and mezcal, and other drinks. Find them at 1037 Prospect St.

 


Shore Rider Bar along La Jolla Shores Beach is open until 11pm on weekdays and midnight on Friday and Saturday. Cold beers and seafood are Shore Rider’s specialties (try the Crispy Squid starters!) though the menu is mainly centered around classic burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Find them at 2168 Avenida De La Playa.

The Spot restaurant and bar is famous for their deep-dish Chicago style pizza and fine wines. The kitchen is open until 11 pm on weeknights and open until midnight on Friday and Saturday, though the bar serves until 1 am on on weeknights and 2 am on Friday and Saturday. Find them at 1005 Prospect St.

 

Herringbone La Jolla is open until 11 pm nightly serving drinks and savory bites! If you’re looking for something larger, they also serve dinner until 10 pm. Don’t miss Herringbone’s specialty cocktails and selection of local craft beers. Find them at 7837 Herschel Ave.

Open Late on Weekends Only

If you’re looking for some late night eats on the weekend, you have a few more options! Enjoy a crispy wood-fired pizza at Wheat and Water, open until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Find them at 5737 La Jolla Blvd.

You’ll find amazing Italian food at Piatti La Jolla! Piatti is open until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Find them at 2182 Avenida De La Playa.

Manhattan of La Jolla, located inside the Empress Hotel, serves fine Italian food and cocktails. Catch live music performances with the style of an old New York jazz club! Manhattan of La Jolla is open until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Find them at 7766 Fay Ave.

What are some of your late eating spots in La Jolla?

5 Perfect Spots to Watch the Sunset in La Jolla

The most beautiful sunsets often appear during the fall and early winter, making December and January some of the best times to watch the sunset in San Diego and La Jolla. Places along the beach often have incredible panoramic views of the ocean, which only adds to the beauty! Some spots are better than others, though; and some are a bit more hidden – which is why we’ve rounded up our favorites!

 

 

 

La Jolla Natural Park

La Jolla Natural Park (sometimes referred to as La Jolla Heights Open Space) is a hidden gem comprised of 42 acres of untouched natural beauty atop Mount Soledad that provides one of the best 360-degree panoramas of San Diego. Looking to the north, you can see La Jolla County Club’s golf course, with its much greener sea of rolling hills. To the west, the hike offers amazing views of La Jolla Village, and La Jolla Cove.

There is actually a path that leads up to the viewpoint from Al Bahr Drive; it winds through some chaparral and heads uphill to an opening in the brush and a small bench (you can also park on Encelia Drive and take a short walk to the viewpoint). Arrive a few minutes early to snag a spot on the bench or nearby. Trust us, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most incredible views in San Diego!

Windansea Beach

With a rugged, rocky coastline and a particularly picturesque surf shack, Windansea is a fantastic place to capture the perfect sunset shot. On a clear day, you’ll be treated to unobstructed views of the Pacific and an incredible sea of color as the sun begins to go down. There might even be some surfers in the background, but that just makes for an even more authentic La Jolla snapshot. Be sure to get there an hour or so before the sunset and snag a good viewpoint; it can get very crowded here during sunrise and sunset.

 

La Jolla Hermosa Park

This little spot is just off La Jolla Blvd. in Bird Rock. There are several benches that face strategically west and even a couple of grills – meaning you can bring some burgers and hot dogs down for a pre-sunset picnic! This park is definitely all about the views. It’s tucked away in a quiet little neighborhood, and you’d likely miss it if you drove by too quickly. There is a white fence bordering the cliffs below and a good flat spot behind it that makes for a great viewpoint area.

The park is located right at the intersection of Camino de la Costa and Chelsea Avenue. Get here a bit early, as the park is quite small and tends to fill up quickly on the weekends. Luckily, though, it isn’t nearly as well known as nearby Ellen Browning Scripps Park so you’ll never get the big crowds.

Sunset Cliffs

This well-trafficked hiking area is aptly named, as it remains one of the most beautiful places to catch a gorgeous sunset in San Diego (it’s located in Ocean Beach). The sandstone cliffs here are rugged, jagged and turn a picturesque shade of gold as the setting sun hits them just before it sets completely. The colors you’ll be able to capture will definitely make for some frame-worthy shots. If you’re going to check out the sunset here, arrive at least one or two hours beforehand to walk along the oceanfront path and see the cliffs.

For the more adventurous, at some points along the trail you can trek down a path to get to the secluded beach below. Be cautious though; it can get wet and very slippery from the splashing surf. When it’s time to start taking photos, stake out a place on top of one of the rocks and try to get as close to the water as possible.

Torrey Pines Gliderport

No sunset roundup would be complete without the Gliderport! A local gem, this launch site sits atop the cliffs at a particularly picturesque spot. With nearly 100 years of flying history behind it, it’s one of the most historic aviation sites in North America. You can learn how to paraglide, hang glide, or – for the less adventurous – eat at the scrumptious Cliffhanger Cafe (open til 4pm). Plan to eat here first, then stake out a spot on one of the benches or the grass while you wait for the sunset to arrive. The views from here feature Black’s Beach to the south and Torrey Pines and Del Mar to the north.

Visit the Comedy Store

Comedy Store

Everyone needs a break, a night to get lost in laughter and forget about the serious business of the day-to-day. At La Jolla’s Comedy Store, laughter is a guarantee. And here, you’re not just seeing comedians; you’re seeing the best comedians in the country!

la-jolla-comedy-store-entertainment-2

The History

This venue was actually the first road comedy club in all of the United States. It was first opened just south in Pacific Beach in 1976 and moved to La Jolla in 1977. (There’s another branch of The Comedy Store in Hollywood, so this one is technically The Comedy Store South.) In its starting years, this southern location hosted people that became some of the top-grossing names in comedy like Robin Williams, Michael Keaton and David Letterman. Since that time, the best of the best continue to come, such as Chris Rock and Pauly Shore. Check out a show to experience why history continues to be made here.

What to Expect (Including Rules & Warnings)

This is a cozy, intimate venue where you get to be right near the stage. Most nights, shows start at 7:00, 8:00 or 9:30 pm. When it’s only one headlining comedian, he or she usually does 2 sets for that evening, 7:00 and 9:30 pm.

The typical shows you’ll see on the calendar include single headliners, “Best of San Diego Comedy” nights and Sunday’s “Comedy Potluck & Open Mic”. Each show has its benefits. It’s great to get to know one comedian and his or her humor, especially if it’s someone you’ve seen before and enjoyed. Or, of course, by seeing a variety of comedians, you’re sure to find laughs for everyone in your group. The great thing is you don’t have to limit yourself; you can go to as many shows as you desire!

Be aware that shows are only open to those 21+. If you come with anyone under that age, they won’t be able to get in. This is likely because there is a 2 drink minimum, so make sure to eat dinner beforehand in preparation! You’ll also don’t want to come hungry because The Comedy Store doesn’t serve food except popcorn. And don’t worry about where to put your drinks; there are small tables by the chairs, so you’ll have a place to rest your drink or popcorn.

Accommodations

The management here is incredibly genuine and accommodating. For example, if you or anyone in your party is hard-of-hearing or deaf, give them a ring and they can set up as ASL Interpreter for your showtime. This is something they go out of the way to set up, so it is best to try and make this request at least a week ahead of time.

Parking wise, it can get crowded in the area, especially on weekends. Make sure to arrive early to secure your spot. After you’ve parked, having come early and leisurely strolled over, treat yourself to a drink, get cozy and prepare for a good time!

The Perfect Romantic Date in La Jolla: How to Plan It

Creating Romance in La Jolla

Candlelight. Wine. A moonlight walk on the beach. These are are classic images of romance for good reason. Whether you have a special occasion to celebrate or simply want to spend special time together, La Jolla’s sandy shores are here to set the perfect backdrop for the perfect date. We’ve researched the ultimate affection-maximizing spots and want to share them with you. Let us help you make the itinerary for a truly exceptional date.

Have a Romantic Picnic.

Start the day off working in those extra smile-inducing details. Packing a picnic lunch is a great example. Lay out a blanket and adorn it with your date’s favorite snacks and treats (purchased ahead of time) to show you truly know them. We recommend having the picnic on the grassy areas at La Jolla Cove or La Jolla Shores, where you can eat while overlooking the water.

Try Something New.

Have they always wanted to try kayaking? Do you both love to bicycle? Try doing something together you haven’t before! Whether it’s cycling the Bird Rock Path for the first time or trying a completely new adventure by paragliding…it’ll make the date simply unforgettable.

The Perfect Spa-t for Romance.

The work and needs of the everyday don’t always offer a lot of time for daily romance. Pair time relaxing and rejuvenating with time put aside to focus on you two. At the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, you can purchase a couples massage. And if you’re interested in more, there’s always extra services and packages for you to choose from.

Fine Dining…Preferably with an Ocean View

Sometimes the way to the heart is through the stomach. Share fondness for both food and one another at one of La Jolla’s divine, fine dining locations. To ensure an ocean view, we suggest going to the best of the best: George’s at the Cove or Eddie Vs. Make sure to book reservations ahead. Not only does it guarantee a table, but it shows your date that you took the special time and care to plan the meal ahead of time, making them feel that much more special. And, once you’ve been led to your table, ordering of wine and delighting in the menu can take over.

Nighttime Walk on the Beach

Walking along a La Jolla beach at sunset tends to look like a scene from a movie… perfect. As night takes over the sky, the lights of the surrounding hills and cliffs light up like a daily Christmas. It’s the perfect ending to a perfect day.

To choose which beach to take your honey to, learn more about each of La Jolla’s beaches at our Beaches Directory.