Weekend in San Diego can be carless, stressfree


By Steve Scauzillo, Staff Writer

You’ve arrived at your weekend getaway. After inhaling that complimentary chocolate chip cookie, you’re in the middle of a slow-motion swan dive onto your hotel bed where you sense the pillowy duvet hugging your road-weary body.

The last thing you want to do is get back in the car and drive to dinner or the museum. But in San Diego, you don’t have to.

Believe it or not, in car-centric San Diego, you can leave the minivan in the hotel parking lot and still enjoy the sights. That’s because a weekend vacation near the city’s restored Embarcadero can be carless and stress-free.

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Macy’s Museum Month gives half price admission


Leap into 45 museums in San Diego this February. Presented by Macy’s, this popular event allows participants to enjoy half-off entry fees at 45 San Diego Museum Council membership museums.

The savings encourages locals and visitors to explore a variety of arts, culture and science-oriented destinations. From Oceanside Museum of Art down to the Tijuana Estuary, there are ample opportunities for edutainment, creating memories and fun for the whole family.

Museum Month Passes may be picked up starting February 1, 2015 at any of Macy’s fourteen locations in the San Diego Area, Temecula and Imperial Valley. The passes are free to obtain while supplies last.

With a pass, up to four visitors can gain admission to any of the over 40 participating museums for half-price. Plus, you can use the pass all month long!

Follow this link to find the Macy’s store nearest you

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San Diego brews up events for Beer Week in November

Building off the success of the past five San Diego Beer Weeks, the San Diego Brewers Guild is preparing for San Diego Beer Week 2014 on Nov. 7-16.

San Diego Beer Week is a ten-day celebration inspiring people to drink local, craft beer and promoting San Diego’s thriving brewing culture with multiple events happening across the county.

San Diego is home to more than 90 breweries and has gained an international reputation for brewing award-winning beers. The city’s breweries brought home more medals at the 2010 World Beer Cup than the traditional beer countries of England, Germany, and Belgium combined and won 20 medals at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.

With the popularity of craft beer on the rise, San Diego is poised to be the capital of craft beer tourism in the United States.

Scenes from the 2011 Beer Week

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Let the Kidvasion of San Diego begin all October

Kids are free in San Diego again this year! During the entire month of October, kids eat, stay and play for free throughout San Diego.

Take advantage of great deals at over 100 participating partners and get ready for the ultimate family vacation.

↓ Browse through the offers below and plan your Kids Free in San Diego vacation.

San Diego Museum Council's Kids FreeKids Free in October Badge

San Diego Museum Council’s Kids FreeKids free admission to more than 30 museums
Ride to San Diego with AmtrakKids ride free on Amtrak Pacific Surfliner
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Hotel del Coronado offers Labor Day package in San Diego

Hotel del Coronado shines at dusk in San Diego. (Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado)

Hotel del Coronado shines at dusk in San Diego. (Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado)

For those looking to celebrate a long, Labor Day Weekend with a glimpse into classic Victorian architecture dating back to the holiday’s origin without sacrificing the modern amenities of today, Hotel del Coronado is offering two packages for some end-of-summer savings.

Del Beach & Breakfast Package

Start the day with an ocean-view breakfast, and then lounge all day on the new “Del Beach” and enjoy the warm sun and sparkling blue waves while sipping a cocktail or enjoying a beach lunch. The “Del Beach & Breakfast” package includes:

15% off overnight accommodations (two night minimum stay)

  • Daily breakfast buffet for two at Sheerwater (includes tax and gratuity)
  • One full-day rental of two luxury lounge chairs and a half-moon cabanette at Del Beach
  • Promo Code: DELBEACH1

 Del Perks Package

Get some added perks included in your room rate when you stay two nights or more! With the “Del Perks” offer, your room rate includes your:

 Daily resort charge (a $56 value based on a two-night stay)

  • Overnight self-parking (a $74 value based on a two-night stay)
  • A daily $50 resort credit (a $100 value based on a two-night stay)
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Borrego Springs: Desert town makes great weekend getaway

Photo courtesy of San Diego Visitors and Convention Bureau

Photo courtesy of San Diego Visitors and Convention Bureau

By Steve Scauzillo, Staff Writer

If hiking, botany or four-wheeling are not your things, Borrego Springs can be a great weekend getaway for the metropolitan couple or the Southern California family. Though remember, this is not Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack desert. You are far from the car-choked boulevards of Palm Springs or the highway-close Indian casinos.

Borrego Springs (borrego is Spanish for bighorn sheep), is a fancy name for an isolated desert valley east of Temecula and west of the Salton Sea.

The town has two main streets: Palm Canyon Drive and Yaqui Pass Road. You know you are there when you see the traffic circle, known as Christmas Circle. From here, actually a city park, spin a cluster of restaurants and inns.

Some notable places to stay include the Borrego Valley Inn, a 15-room hotel; the Borrego Springs Resort & Spa, a 1970s-like throwback with a karaoke room and a bar that is straight out of “Mad Men,” one of our favorite places to hang out (don’t miss the all-day happy hour); or the low-budget Hacienda del Sol motel. For RVers, there’s the Leapin Lizard RV Ranch in nearby Ocotillo Wells, and the Desert Sands RV Park in town.

We stayed at the newly restored La Casa Del Zorro, a 42-acre resort with five swimming pools, main room and individual casitas. We went in early June and the air conditioning at the place didn’t work. Even the AC in the casitas, where they finally moved us, didn’t bring down the temperatures inside the bedroom to less than 82 degrees.

Learn from our experience: Don’t go in the summer unless you don’t mind heat. In fact, most tourists visit in February and March, but Raffetto advised booking a stay for November or December, when the highs are 77 degrees and 69 degrees, respectively, as opposed to June, July and August, when the mercury tops out above 100 degrees.

From desert wildflowers to dazzling sky displays including a glimpse of the Milky Way, Borrego Springs makes you feel like you’ve left civilization behind.

In a way, you have.

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Hotel del Coronado unveiling new Del Beach on May 1 in San Diego

Del Beach offers many new amenities at Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. (Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado)

Del Beach offers many new amenities at Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. (Photo courtesy of Hotel del Coronado)

Hotel del Coronado and Beach Village at The Del has lured visitors to San Diego since before the turn of the century. Known for its wide flat sandy expanse and relatively calm waters, this beloved beach becomes even more irresistible May 1 when the resort unveils Del Beach, a luxurious new waterfront set-up featuring plush daybeds and half-moon cabanas, as well as a plethora of recreational activities for adults and youngsters alike.

The new programs and activities – including a lively beach playground for kids and boogie board, surfboard, stand-up paddle and kayak rentals – is the first West Coast operation to be managed by Boucher Brothers, a Miami-based hospitality management company charged with setting up and managing the beach daily from sunrise to sunset.

Adding a sophisticated new dimension to the picture postcard backdrop are new furnishings, beach towels and other accoutrements – in a crisp white and striped burgundy. Guests and locals alike can rent:

Chaise lounges complete with cushions and terry covers

  • ·         Expansive fringed sun umbrellas
  • ·         Half-moon cabanas for two with sun shade
  • ·         Plush daybeds

Furthering its beachfront appeal, the resort will offer food and beverage service – complete with salads, sandwiches, mai tais and margaritas – on the sand.

More activities for both spring and summer include:

An interactive kids’ play area on the beach – set up daily with a wooden boat and kids’ toys.

  • ·         The DelVenture program for younger guests (ages four to 12) starts at check-in, where youngsters receive a DelVenture explorer pack with a treasure map and all the tools necessary for an exciting adventure. Clues guide kids to golden crowns hidden throughout the resort ultimately revealing their final destination where a sweet treasure awaits.
  • ·         Kidtopia, a retreat for kids ages four to 12 is a lively colorful hub with underwater murals and separate beach-themed rooms for crafts and playtime –as well as a crazy funhouse mirror and movie-time media. The facility offers three-hour camps plus shorter programs with entertaining, interactive crafts and activities.
  • ·         Nightly family s’mores is where families can enjoy a crackling fire pit under the stars with toes in the sand nibbling on the classic combination of marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate. All equipment is provided.
  • ·         Dive-in movies. Guests can plunge into the main pool and watch movies with the family every Tuesday evening throughout the summer.
  • ·         An array of beachfront recreational options: boating, bike rentals, surfing, yoga on the beach and much more.

And for more family fun: the New Blue Dolphin and Blue Octopus suites for families feature a newly renovated master king bedroom and sitting parlor – along with an ocean-inspired kids’ bedroom, ocean-blue carpet, linens and playful artwork as well as bean bag chairs, bunk beds, a Wii or X-Box system and a treasure chest filed with toys.

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Seaport Village to host Spring Busker Festival in San Diego

Seaport Village welcomes the most colorful, entertaining and eccentric street performers from around the world at its annual Spring Busker Festival on March 29,30 from noon to 6 p.m.

Now in its eighth year, the celebration brings an assortment of stilt walkers, contortionists, acrobalancers and more to the cobblestone streets of downtown’s Seaport Village at this free festival.

Popular across the globe, buskers are public street performers known for their unusual and awe-inspiring acts. San Francisco’s Pier 39, Boston’s Faneuil Hall and London’s Covent Gardens are locations known to have vibrant busker scenes that showcase this incredible street art.
Seaport Village’s Spring Busker Festival is the only one of its kind in California, and brings 10 to 12 acts to perform throughout the outdoor waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment district.
“Buskers are unique performers who want to be on the ground with their audience, interacting and responding to their energy, which is what makes these performances so fun,” said Seaport Village General Manager Terry Hall. “Seaport Village is home to a special busker scene all year round, and we are thrilled to bring even more performers from across the globe to San Diego for this one-of-a-kind festival.”
This year, returning for another night of unforgettable acts, Seaport Village will let the street performers loose for Buskers After Dark on Saturday, March 29 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The untamed show will feature a DJ, food and drink specials and multiple busker acts best suited for those over 18.

Shops, restaurants and eateries will add to Seaport’s Spring Busker Festival flair with special sales. All shops, restaurants and eateries will be open for shopping and dining from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.  While the Spring Busker Festival is free of charge, all buskers will be accepting tips.

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