People from all over the world visit San Diego. After all, with a perfect stretch of Southern California’s coastline, there is plenty of sun and sand all throughout the year. However, with all that San Diego has to offer, humans are not the only ones who like to visit the area. In fact, San Diego is also a popular destination for one of the most distinctive animals in the world.
Gray whales live in the Pacific Ocean and spend most of the year near Alaska. However, during the winter, these massive mammals make the journey down the coast for the warm waters near Baja California. Once in these warm waters, the gray whales often birth calves and see their numbers grow before taking the young back north. This yearly migration takes them right by San Diego, giving guests a unique opportunity to see these impressive animals in their natural habitat.
The migration of gray whales occurs anywhere between December and April, which encompasses their round trip. However, the best month to catch a glimpse of these marine giants is definitely January, which is the time when the vast majority of the whales pass through the area on their way south. Most gray whales move in small pods of two or three, which gives visitors a number of chances to see groups passing along the Southern California coast. Larger groups sometimes opt to make the long trip together, which can make for a magnificent display for watchers. Therefore, for those who are looking for the best opportunity to whale watch, be sure to try whale watching this January in San Diego.
1. Cabrillo National Monument. This park is one of San Diego’s finest attractions for a number of reasons, but in the winter, it is the view from Point Loma peninsula that truly shines. From Point Loma, guests have a spectacular panoramic view of the water, which is perfect for spotting whales. Better still, the park has a recently renovated observatory to provide a better whale watching experience. This observatory is made of glass so as not to obscure the full view of the water. There are also a variety of whale-related exhibits to educate visitors, and guests can listen to a taped narration for additional information. Rangers are also on hand to answer questions and point out things guests may miss.
2. Birch Aquarium. The Birch Aquarium at Scripps is dedicated to the preservation of marine life in Southern California. Therefore, it is no surprise that the aquarium celebrates whales in the winter months. During this time, there are a number of exhibits and activities about whales for guests to consider. However, the aquarium also has a great vantage point overlooking the water. Guests can visit the aquarium and hang out in the outdoor tide-pool plaza. From here, guests can not only see the impressive tiny lifeforms in each tide-pool, but they can look out across the water to see whales on their migration. The Birch Aquarium has various events and guided tours available for a more structured experience.
3. Whale Festival. Although the entire month of January is fantastic for whale watching, there is no better opportunity than the Whale Festival. The Whale Festival is a fairly new event, hosted at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier in San Diego. Here, guests can partake in any number of activities to celebrate these massive seafaring mammals. Of the numerous attractions, the walk-through whale is always very popular, offering guests a unique look at the impressive anatomy of a gray whale. There are other educational exhibits on hand in addition to a number of fun-filled activities. This includes face painting, bounce houses, a trackless train and a mural coloring project. There is even live music and dancing. Plus, the museums along the waterfront are open at discounted prices, and local boat tours also provide services at reduced rates during the festival.
4. Boat tours. While there are plenty of opportunities on the coast, some of the best whale watching experiences are on the water. A boat tour is a great way to see these creatures up close, offering guests a unique experience with these awesome mammals. There are a number of privately owned tour companies in San Diego, each with its own tour schedule. These tours are often hosted by knowledgeable guides, providing guests with information while on the tour. While there is no guarantee of spotting whales during any tour, these companies are well informed regarding the migration habits of the animals and will often pick their course to offer guests the best possible chance of seeing whales. These tours are also great for seeing the San Diego coastline, making them a wonderful opportunity in the winter months.
5. Kayak tours. Like boat tours, kayaking tours give guests a closer view of the whales. However, kayaking gets guests even closer to the water, which is why kayakers sometimes have the most intense encounters with whales during their migration. While anyone can rent a kayak and take to the open water, going on a guided kayak tour can be a good way to find the hotspots for whales. These kayak tours are often led by skilled kayakers and whale experts, which promotes safety and allows guests to learn about whales and their migration during their tour. Be sure to bring a waterproof camera during such a trip, because some of the encounters are well worth capturing for posterity. Kayak tours require more physical fitness than other whale watching opportunities, although the experience is often the most intimate.
Whether by sea or by land, whale watching is a fantastic experience for people of all ages. Guests will enjoy their first glimpse of the gray whales in their natural habitat, but it is also a wonderful activity to experience time and again. Therefore, consider the options and be sure to try whale watching this coming January in San Diego.
- Whale pod feeding frenzies caught on camera (cbs8.com)
- Top 12 Things to Do in San Diego in January 2014 (hmghotelsblog.com)
- Should SeaWorld Free the Killer Whales (crossfire.blogs.cnn.com)
1. La Jolla is often referred to as ‘the jewel’ of San Diego, featuring luxury homes, upscale dining and swanky houses. The beaches are the main attractions, however, free to all visitors, with beautiful crystal clear waters. At La Jolla Cove, there are sea caves where one can paddle to, with a small beach, carrying brightly colored fish and tame marine life, as well as a breathtaking view.2. Mission Bay Park is an expansive, 4,600-acre aquatic playground, offering a variety of inlets, islets and waterways to enjoy; here, one can engage in almost any water sport imaginable, from sailing to boating to kite surfing.
3. The Mission Bay Park is also strewn with numerous scenic trails, available for jogging, walking and hiking, with stations located along the various routes.
4. Just a one-hour drive away, Mt. Laguna offers a magnificent hike, with fresh mountain air and sweet-smelling pines to sweeten the adventure.
5. There’s the San Diego 59-mile scenic drive, a beautiful route marked with blue and yellow signs, for those willing to take 3 relaxed hours to simply cruise through all the sights that San Diego has to offer.
6. Located one hour east of downtown San Diego, there’s a historic town by the name of Julian, nestled in the Cuyamaka Mountains, offering a getaway to the rustic picture of the country. There are a number of day trips available here, from exploration to their famous apple pie to the beauties of the tranquil outdoors.
7. At the Torrey Pines State Reserve, one will find a protected habitat for numerous beautiful bird species, from swifts and thrashers to woodpeckers and wrentits.
8. If you venture down to Point Loma, the waters aren’t tame enough to swim in, but you’ll find a host of tidepools, where you can interact with flowery anemones, scampering shore crabs, elusive octopus, spongy deadman’s fingers and many other sea creatures.
9. On the eastern side of San Diego county, you’ll find the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest state park in California. It boasts 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas and numerous hiking trails, and a genuine look into the California Desert’s beauty. Desert wildlife, concerning wildflowers, palm groves, washes, cacti and sweeping vistas can be found here, alongside iguanas, rattlesnakes, golden eagles, roadrunners, kit foxes, bighorn sheep and mule deer.
10. The Big Bay is 34 miles of a wonderful waterfront, scenic in its lovely history and charm, filled with shops, attractions, parks and restaurants, alongside the docks and marinas. The Big Bay is divided into seven distinct areas, and the Big Bay as a whole provides a great backdrop for walking, jogging and cycling.
11. The Sunset Cliffs Natural Park spans 68 acres of a steep, dramatic cliff formation, riddled with caves and tidal areas; it’s a scenic area to visit, a coastal environment along the Point Loma peninsula’s western shoreline.
12. If you’re one to golf, venture on over to the Torrey Pines Golf Course, a 36 hole golf facility that overlooks the Pacific Ocean on the scenic coastal cliffs in La Jolla.
13. Mount Soledad is a veterans memorial, standing as a landmark in San Diego; upon the mountaintop, the Mount Soledad cross resides, a large white figure from the distance. This area is also a popular route for cyclers to pass through.
14. Mission Trails Regional Park features 5,800 acres of preserved wildlife, with a picturesque setting of rugged hills, valleys and open areas. It’s a wonderful rustic getaway located just eight miles northeast of downtown San Diego, and is the sixth-largest municipally owned park in the US, as well as the largest in California.
15. The Miramar Reservoir, also known as Miramar Lake, is a beautiful, scenic stretch body of water, pooling from the California Aqueduct and the Colorado River Aqueduct. It’s a popular location for boating, fishing and picnicking, around the 5 mile trail wrapped around the lake.
16. The Japanese Friendship Garden, also called San Kei En, is located within Balboa Park in San Diego, and stands as a symbol of friendship between San Diego and its sister city in Japan, Yokohama. The tranquil garden presents a loveliness in its simplicity, displaying principles of Japanese garden with basic elements of trees, shrubs, rocks and water designed in natural balance create a peaceful, harmonious, and transcendental environment made for contemplation and meditation. The garden aims to educate and inspire diversity, and the Japanese culture, through its displays and exhibits.
17. A local artist, JT Estrela, hosts an attraction called San Diego Sand Castles on Ocean Boulevard, where he constructs elaborate, almost impossible-like structures of sand, changing on an almost daily basis. His art is free for viewing, and his album of work is also available for perusing.
18. The Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve is a park stretching nearly 7 miles and 4,000 acres; it’s a rocky environment made of large boulders and beautiful, gushing waterfalls, and hosts a rich biodiversity of over 500 plant species, 175 bird species, and an impressive multitude of reptiles, mammals and amphibians. It is one of the largest urban parks in the United States.
19. Razor Point and Beach Trail Loop is located near the Torrey Pines beach, featuring a trail alongside the slight cliff overlooking the sparkling blue seawater. It’s a scenic route for a quick, 2 mile hike, offering a beautiful view of the Pacific ocean and bay.
20. The Alcazar Garden at Park Boulevard is a garden designed after the pattern of the gardens of Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain, and with their white walls, Spanish detailing, carefully constructed fountains and Moorish tiles, represents an exotic sort of charm.
These are just twenty of the endless scenes to visit around San Diego, the bustling city of understated splendor and natural beauty. Most of these locations, if not all, are available to tourists and visitors free of charge, and are named attractions for their location amidst untouched nature. Take a weekend getaway to San Diego, for days filled with picturesque moments and breathtaking beauty.
- Traveling in San Diego During the Winter Month (sandiegohotelscircle.wordpress.com)
- Top 12 Things to Do in San Diego in December 2013 (hmghotelsblog.com)
- New Report Shows How Fracking Could Boost California’s Economy (prweb.com)
- Ft. Rosecrans soon full, even for ashes (utsandiego.com)
San Diego’s year-round balmy climate and sunny weather makes it a favorable tourist destination at any time of the year. This Californian city is known for its extensive coastline, scenic attractions, and quaint parks. Therefore, a number of upscale nationally acclaimed events are held in San Diego every year. Visitors not only come here for surfing and swimming, but also for enjoying its one-of-a-kind attractions and events. Even in winter, San Diego is one of the top tourist destinations in the USA. Though tourists cannot enjoy surfing and swimming during winter, they can certainly enjoy a range of outdoor fun activities, a number of holiday themed activities, seasonal events including San Diego’s most renowned wine and food fest, and tours to the city’s historic parks and old town.
*Photo winter sunset in La Jolla/San Diego
Even in winter, the city boasts near-perfect weather with temperatures at 70.5 degrees F on an average. Although there will be a slight temperature fluctuation, the temperature doesn’t go down 50 degree F. That makes the city one of the best outdoor towns in the country. Due to low water temperature, swimming and other water activities cannot be enjoyed. However, this is the time when visitors can enjoy watching the migrating blue and gray whales in the waters of San Diego Bay. A number of local tour operators offer hourly whale watching cruises. Guests can board this cruise and go on a voyage to watch those huge and intriguing whales.
Escape into the holiday setting by participating in traditional holiday parades and festivals. During winter days, a number of local communities celebrate Christmas at the Old Town. Don’t miss out to watch the famous Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade and the show during your San Diego vacation. Also, check out the free expo showcasing some of the best canines in San Diego. Even the holiday Chula Vista’s Annual Starlight Parade is one among the best parades in the city. This huge parade features floats, classic cars, drill drums, traditional carolers, marching bands, and Santa Claus. After all, the aim of the parade is to spread that holiday cheer in this vibrant city.
Although it is winter, that doesn’t mean there is no fun at the coast. Take a walk along the famous La Jolla beach and dine at a famous sea-view restaurant. Those not interested in taking a whale watching cruise can hike along the shores and cliffs of Point Loma. This is where you can watch some migrated gray whales. Some of these migrated whales come here especially to give birth to their offspring on their breeding grounds off the coast of Baja. Don’t miss this spectacular sight on your San Diego trip. After some fun in the day time, head over to the shopping district of Seaport Village. Enjoy some live music and check out those quaint shopping stores offering a range of amazing handmade crafts, clothing, and accessories. Bring your kids to meet with Santa at the Boardwalk. Also, watch the vibrant holiday parade along the Seaport Village boardwalk that features music, bands, and even photo opportunities with Santa.
Families and couples will surely enjoy free organ concerts held at San Diego’s famous Balboa Park. Every Sunday during the winter, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion performs in Balboa Park. Till date, this Organ Pavilion showcases some of the best and world’s largest outdoor pipe organ and show. This famous San Diego landmark has become a top photographic spot for over 90 years. While visiting Balboa Park, don’t forget to take a walk around Balboa Park and explore its breathtaking buildings and its beautiful architecture. A number of museums in the park offer free admission on specific days.
Outdoor enthusiasts will also find something fun to do here at San Diego even in winter. A number of driving trips are well enjoyed during this month. Take a driving trip to the mountain town of Julian and enjoy some delicious homemade desserts. Don’t miss to sip the town’s famous warm mug of hot apple cider. Also, take a stroll through the town’s quaint neighborhood to explore small stores, old-fashioned streets, and the colorful holiday decorations.
Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy hiking near Point Loma and take pictures of the tide pools. If you are an avid hiker, don’t miss walking to the Cabrillo Point. Walking along the 70 miles beaches in San Diego is also enjoyed during winter days. The Beachside avenues in San Diego also sparkle with colorful lights and festive decorations during this time of the year. Another great scenic drive is the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Explore the park’s huge parkland and acres of natural setting. Take a hike to see the park’s diverse wildlife and some huge trees, shrubs, and even wildflower plants.
In winter, the city hosts a number of nationally acclaimed events. The most famous one is of course the San Diego Bay Food and Wine festival. This classic fest draws visitors from all over the country. Famous wine makers from many Californian destinations come here to participate and showcase their talents. Guests can expect to get some finest gourmet foods and wines here at the San Diego food fest. Entice your appetite with some great meals and finest wines here at this fest. Sports enthusiasts will be happy to know that the city celebrates the famous Holiday Bowl and Marathon race during winter. Each of these events welcomes many local participants and players.
Those interested in enjoying a white Christmas can go on an hourly scenic drive to the top of Mount Laguna. This picturesque mountain features some excellent mountain slopes and beautiful snow-capped arenas. Enjoy building snowmen and play in the snow during your visit to Mount Laguna. Bring your kids to this snow-filled arena and they will surely enjoy snowball fights. This beautiful hill station is a perfect Winter Wonderland in Southern California. A number of free activities and events are also enjoyed here at San Diego. No matter when you visit the beautiful city of San Diego, there is an amazing array of things to see, do, and experience here.
- Top 12 Things to Do in San Diego in December 2013 (hmghotelsblog.com)
- 10 Great Hikes in San Diego (sandiegomagazine.com)
- The Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association : Your Guide to the Anza-Borrego Desert (abdnha.org)
- A road trip to San Diego’s favorite mountain town (examiner.com)
- A Guide to Whale Watching in San Diego (sandiego.org)
- Top Restaurants of San Diego, California (toprestaurants.com)
San Diego, also known as America’s Finest City, never disappoints when it comes to beautiful weather and fun outdoor activities. There are countless things to do every day for all sorts of visitors, from a relaxing stroll down the beaches of Coronado to an exhilarating ride on the Giant Dipper roller-coaster. For visitors looking to experience San Diego in a different way and get a bit of a rush while on vacation, there are some new options for amazing San Diego activities.
As the editor of SanDiego.com, I get to try out all the new and exciting activities and attractions that land in San Diego. I’ve flown through the air, kayaked with dolphins and stuff myself on food tours all in order to inform visitors of the best things to do while staying in San Diego. So, here are my picks for the three things to do in San Diego that you HAVE to try:
- Take Flight with Jetpack America: This is by far the most amazing thing I’ve done to date. Jetpack America recently set up shop on San Diego’s Mission Bay and is making the dream of effortless flight come true for guests looking to soar. The incredible water-propelled Jetpack technology straps onto your back and lifts you up to 30ft in the air above the water. You can soar, hover and do tricks all with subtle movements creating an amazing flying experience. For visitors who fall in love with the sensation of flying, jetpacks are for sale for upwards of $70,000, but with Jetpack America, you can fly for areasonable amount and even get a monthly membership. Book your next flight online at www.jetpackamerica.com and enter discount code SDDOTCOM for 10% off any flight package.
- Jump Off a Cliff at Torrey Pines Gliderport: Another awesome way to take flight is by paragliding or hang gliding at Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla. This facility lets visitors float hundreds of feet in the air over the Pacific Ocean and Torrey Pines State Beach for an unforgettable experience in San Diego. Visitors can literally jump off the cliffs of La Jolla and catch the breeze as they soar through the air. For guests who don’t want to partake in the flying action, this is also a great spot to hang out and be a bystander. It’s exciting to watch as people take flight from the gliderport with the beautiful coastline of San Diego as their background.
- Kayak the La Jolla Sea Caves: San Diego Bike and Kayak takes guests on kayak tours through the protected La Jolla Underwater Park. This area boasts some of the most stunning coast in all of San Diego with steep cliffs dropping right into the ocean, beautiful shores and the seven sea caves. Kayaking is a solid workout, but also a relaxing experience gliding along the water’s surface. On a tour with San Diego Bike and Kayak tours, guests can get up close to seals and sea lions, check out the bright orange Garibaldi below and occasionally run across dolphins. If the conditions are right and tides are cooperating, San Diego Bike and Kayak Tours will lead guests into the seven sea caves for a unique and exhilarating experience in the oceans of San Diego.
For more fun things to do in San Diego including harbor cruises, surf lessons and sightseeing tours, go to www.sandiego.com/things-to-do.
This article was written by Carli Leavitt, the editor of SanDiego.com. Carli is a San Diego native with a wealth of knowledge about local hotels, attractions, fun things to do and nightlife venues across San Diego County.
Old Town San Diego is a historic California town that features antique buildings, quaint shops and cultural dining at many of the town’s restaurants. The city’s officials have maintained the town’s history, and as a result, visitors have the opportunity to view structures that are more than a hundred years old. In addition, the city presents several annual summer events and festivals.
Events and Festivals
When travelers decide to visit San Diego in the summer, they should consider booking their trip over a weekend because the “Old Town Saturday Market” is held every Saturday. The market is the perfect place to purchase unique souvenirs as artisans sell handmade merchandise, such as jewelry, pottery and blown glass, as well as home décor and clothing. The market event is free to attend, and guests will welcome the opportunity to bring home an exceptional handmade item.
On May 17 and 18, the “Chocolate + Jewelry: A Purely Decadent Event” will be held at the Bazaar del Mundo Shops. Attendees will have the chance to taste complimentary chocolate samples and view merchandise like chocolate-themed cookbooks and other chocolate-based items. Several local chocolatiers will share their cooking tips, and guests can shop for jewelry and treats.
The annual “Fourth of July” event is a memorable celebration that includes historic activities such as wagon rides, antique games and a pie-eating contest. In July and August, the city presents “Stagecoach Days,” which includes historic recreations, cannon and anvil shootings and activities for children.
While in town, guests can reserve a Ghost Tour and visit the historic Whaley House, which locals claim is haunted. In fact, it is frequently called America’s most haunted house. The tour also includes a trip to the Adobe Chapel. The Mormon Battalion is another entertaining attraction where guests can pan for gold and build bricks. Visitors will also enjoy the venue’s video tours and interactive computers.
Old Town Trolley and State Park Tours are additional attractions in the area. During the Trolley Tour, guests will take a trolley bus through the city while the tour guide provides historical information along with funny stories. The tour is two hours long, and guests will welcome the opportunity to rest their feet. When visitors arrive for a State Park Tour, they’ll view physical reminders of the city’s past. The tour features the structural changes that occurred when San Diego transformed from a classic Mexican village into an American community. The venue includes reconstructed structures and early 20th century buildings along with museums, charming retail shops and several dining establishments.
The town offers guests a variety of dining options. Be sure to sample some of the area’s authentic Mexican specialties from establishments like the Barra Barra Restaurant and Saloon. The Café Coyote and the Mexican Café are popular eateries with the locals, and guests will enjoy cultural dishes such as burritos, fajitas and enchiladas. In addition, visitors will find plenty of places that serve fine tequila and frosty margaritas.
If visitors prefer other food styles, then they can dine at Jack and Giulio’s Italian Restaurant where they can order a pasta, poultry or seafood dish. Additional food styles in the area include traditional cuisine at the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant along with international food and European baked goods at Twenty Five Forty.
For this year’s summer entertainment, consider visiting Old Town San Diego. The city stages a number of memorable events and offers guests a glimpse into its past. While there, visitors will surely enjoy an authentic meal at one of the city’s many exceptional dining establishments followed by a stroll through the area’s distinctive shops.
San Diego has always been known for its range of eclectic eating. In fact, with so many options to consider, it can be difficult to find the best and most popular spots. Fortunately, San Diego always has something distinctive to offer. From new restaurants to established venues with renewed life, the dining scene in San Diego is constantly changing. This can be a real benefit for diners, but only if they know where to go for the best food options in this exquisite Oceanside city.
To taste the latest trends in San Diego for 2013, consider the three following restaurants.
1. Sora. The dining scene in San Diego is highly competitive, so the fact that Sora is being talked about as the next big thing in 2013 is significant. Sora offers a distinctive mix of Italian and Japanese inspired dishes. Some of the more unusual choices at Sora include traditional boxed Bento-style lunches and a full range of fromage and other ready tapas. Sora also has soups, salads, cured meats and pasta in addition to an extensive selection of entries. In true Japanese style, Sora has authentic sushi on the menu. Not to neglect the Italian influence, diners can also choose from a range of fresh pizzas as well.
Sora is open daily for lunch and dinner, and happy hour extends from 3-5 PM each day. The restaurant is located in San Diego’s financial district. The interior is large and decadent with bright red touches and fantastic ambiance. Sora’s unique blend of styles can be traced to its founders, Alessandro Minutella, Noriyoshi Teruya and Daniele V. Gilardi. Minutella has extensive experience establishing restaurants while Teruya is a well-respected chef, previously working at Nobu in New York. Sora also has an outdoor lounge and a savory list of wines, beers and cocktails.
2. Burlap. Burlap is actually located in Del Mar, which is just a few miles from the heart of San Diego. Even so, this restaurant is definitely worth a little extra commute. Burlap operates under the slogan “West Eats Meat,” which inspires its succulent range of meat dishes. Burlap is more than an average grill, however. For a little added flair, Burlap also borrows from Asian influences and incorporates a strong selection of fresh seafood into its hearty menu. Dinner options are divided into simple categories such as Green for salads, Land for meat and Ocean for seafood. Burlap also specifies dishes that feature local meat and seafood including responsibly raised poultry.
Burlap’s Asian Cowboy ambiance is available for lunch and dinner. Happy hour is available five days each week, and the restaurant is also open for Sunday Brunch. The menu is controlled by Executive Chef Brian Malarkey’, who provides unexpected and fun touches to the food and the atmosphere. The interior is decorated with deep colors and touches of Eastern serenity, all of which makes dining at Burlap a truly memorable experience. The bar is one of its more spectacular features with rich wood and ample lighting from dangling decorative bulbs. Burlap is also available for private events and catering upon request.
3. Eclipse Chocolate. Unlike the other eateries on the list, Eclipse Chocolate is more focused on desserts and sweet treats than actual meals. The counter at Eclipse Chocolate is full of options for delectable chocolate dishes including Asian truffles, burnt caramel rocky road and chocolate bars of all sizes and flavors. There is also a wide range of chocolate drinks available, all of which are expertly made. Eclipse Chocolate operates under the mantra of “Know Your Chocolate” and prefers to think of its selections less as confection and more as chocolate-making by alchemy.
Despite this range of sweet treats, Eclipse Chocolate also serves paninis and soups. Every Saturday and Sunday, Eclipse Chocolate hosts a Sweet & Savory Brunch. During this time, guests can choose three plates for $16. Menu options for brunch will vary by season and feature soups, salads, main courses and desserts. Eclipse Chocolate also has wines and beer available. There is also an exclusive dining experience each month called Small Plate. Small Plate offers thematic, three-course meals with Eclipse Chocolate’s touch of decadence. These events usually require a reservation, but the cafe is open daily starting at 9 AM.
From Asian flair to western boldness, from fresh pizza to decadent chocolate, these three hot spots have a little something for everyone. There may be many places to eat in San Diego, but the hype on these three restaurants is hard to ignore. Sora’s unique blend is alluring, Burlap’s vigor is hard to match, and there is simply no way to top the rich flavors and affordable prices of Eclipse Chocolate. Be sure to see what all the talk is about and make plans to visit Sora, Burlap and Eclipse Chocolate in 2013.
San Diego is a wonderful town for year-round fun. However, there is still something special about the spring. The cooler winter winds give way to warm breezes, and the entire coast comes alive with growth and color. The sun shines longer, the trees start to fill out, and the flowers begin to bloom in earnest, enlivening the city with new vibrancy and energy.
Many tourists plan summer getaways in San Diego, and others opt for winter retreats. Because of this, many festivals and tourist attractions are teaming in those prime months. However, those who venture to San Diego in the spring may be pleasantly surprised by all the exhilarating options. To get started, consider the following list of springtime activities in San Diego.
1. Art Alive. Art Alive is a spectacular annual event that takes advantage of the vivid array of blooms in the spring. Organized by over 100 floral designers, Art Alive transforms the San Diego Museum of Art into a flower-filled paradise. Borrowing inspiration from the museum’s timeless collection, Art Alive recreates the artwork in floral form, giving guests a scintillating display of beauty and creativity. The 2013 event starts on April 25 and last for three days.
2. Butterfly Jungle. This yearly event lasts for three weeks and is hosted by the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. During this event, the Safari Park fills its Hidden Park display with thousands of butterflies, giving guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with the insects. The butterflies come in all colors and sizes, making the Butterfly Jungle a true visual treat. This year’s display starts on March 16 and runs through April 7.
3. San Diego Padres. The Padres kick off their baseball season each spring in San Diego, and guests can benefit greatly by choosing to attend one of the early games. The Padres play in PETCO Ballpark in downtown San Diego. Guests who visit during the spring can see the team as it comes together, getting a great sense of the season to come. Game dates and times vary, and the season starts in April and runs throughout the summer and into the early fall. The 2013 season opens on April 9 against the Dodgers.
4. Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo. The Latin holiday of Cinco de Mayo is a crucial part of the culture in San Diego. To best celebrate this exciting day, guests can attend the annual celebration in San Diego’s Old Town State Historic Park on May 4 and 5. To commemorate the holiday, the fiesta features authentic Mexican food, dancers and music. There are even historical reenactments to help people of all ages understand the importance of this spectacular Latin holiday. Guests can also experience more Mexican culture by visiting the nearby Bazaar del Mundo Shops, which also feature special events and displays for Cinco de Mayo.
5. Annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival. Avocados may not be the first thing people associate with spring, but this unique plant has a special place in nearby Fallbrook. Fallbrook, which is located north of San Diego, is known as the avocado capital of the world. The town takes this distinction seriously and puts on a yearly festival to honor their most famous produce. In addition to many unique dishes featuring avocado, there are also arts, crafts and other activities during this one-day festival. The 2013 festival is on April 21.
6. St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Every year, San Diego honors the Irish in everyone with a buoyant parade and festival. The parade kicks off the festivities, starting near Balboa Park and extending through the city. After the parade, guests can enjoy food, beer gardens, live performances and more. This year’s parade is on March 16. Then, the next day, guests over the age of 21 can move on down to the Gaslamp Quarter, which transforms itself for a rocking night of music, drinks and dancing with ShamROCK.
7. The Coronado Flower Show. Located in nearby Coronado, this annual flower show is a springtime must. The show is centered at Spreckels Park, and flower displays are set up under tents all around the gazebo. The displays are so numerous that this annual event is one of the largest flower shows in the country. In addition to the bountiful displays, guests can purchase flowers, talk to the designers, enjoy fresh food and listen to live music. The 2013 show is on April 20 and 21.
8. Spring Busker Festival. Spring is about new life, and there is no better way to feel alive than attending the distinctive Spring Busker Festival. Located in San Diego’s Seaport Village, the Spring Busker Festival is a venue for street performers to wow guests with the best and latest tricks. Some of the performances include juggling, sword swallowing, Didgeridoo and other stunts. All of this makes the Spring Busker Festival an experience that is hard to replicate at any time of the year. Check it out this year on March 23 and 24.
9. Flower Fields of Carlsbad. There is nothing more quintessential in the spring than fresh flowers, which is why the Flower Fields of Carlsbad are so popular. The display runs from March through May, depending on the weather, and features over 50 acres of vibrant blooms. The display has ornate gardens and unusual mazes, offering a tantalizing distraction for all visitors. The Flower Fields of Carlsbad also host 50 All American Rose Selection winners, ensuring that guests will certainly see the very best flowers San Diego has to offer.
10. Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. Starting in March, this concert series is an inviting option for music lovers. All performances are in the evening on Shelter Island. Guests are sure to enjoy the outdoor theater, which can seat up to 1,400. The performances will vary including selections of jazz, blues, rock and more. There are even hysterical comedic performances and other special guests during this ongoing event. Performances run throughout the spring and summer, ending in October.