This Saturday, get decked out in green and celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the Gaslamp Quarter at the annual ShamROCK Festival. March 15 will see lots of revelers take to the streets, which are transformed by green décor, live bands and lots of beer and whiskey.
Center stage at the outdoor festival is the Field Irish Stage, where the Irish Rock bands and other live bands featuring Celtic music will take to the stage to get everyone into a rockin' mood.
The ShamROCK festival lasts from 4 p.m. to midnight. Tickets for the festival are $40 if bought in advance and $45 on the day of the event. There are also VIP tickets for $75 ($85 the day of) that gives you a special entrance to the festival, VIP bathroom access, a VIP lounge and tickets for free cocktails.
Attention Pet Lovers! The San Diego Pet Expo is tomorrow, March 1, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The expo is running from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and you'll find a slew of pet-friendly demonstrations and activities. Plus, pets are welcome!
The San Diego Pet Expo will have many exhibitors showcasing the latest and greatest pet products and businesses in the San Diego area. Your furry friend can also get discounted vaccinations or their nails trimmed while there. Don't have a pet yet, but want one? Then this is your day - the San Diego Pet Expo will have dozens of rescue groups on the premises and there will be available animals to adopt at the expo as part of its Mega-Adoption Event. There will also be lots of prizes given away, including a costume contest - yes, it's perfect acceptable to dress up your pooch or other pet for this event.
Entrance to the event is free, though parking costs $10. The Del Mar Fairgrounds is located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard in Del Mar. After the event, take advantage of being in Del Mar and head to a delicious Del Mar restaurant close to the sea.
$5 Burgers! $5 Burgers! You've heard of Restaurant Week in San Diego and now there's...Burger Week. San Diego has become a hot spot for gourmet burger joints over the past decade and now you can try them all (or at least a good sampling of them) without breaking the bank.
The San Diego Museum of Art is hosting a Culture and Cocktails event this week on Thursday, February 20, to commemorate the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection that the museum now houses. The collection features Indian miniature paintings.
In keeping with the Indian art theme, the Culture and Cocktails: Indian Collection event will also feature a Bollywood performance. Culture and Cocktails: Indian Collection will also give guests an opportunity to discuss the museum's other art exhibits and culture of southeast Asia.
The Culture and Cocktails: Indian Collection event lasts from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and costs $20 for non-members of the San Diego Museum of Art (members get in free). Tickets can be purchased in advance here.
Did your Valentine disappoint you this year? Give yourself a Valentine that will never let you down and will love you forever...a new pet. In honor of the month of love, the San Diego Humane Society is offering a special promotion -- all adult pets are free until the end of February.
Typically there is an adoption fee, but for those who want to adopt an adult pet this month, it will be waived. You can see a list of available pets on the San Diego Humane Society website complete with pictures and descriptions. The special $0 adoption fee includes spay/neuter of the pet, microchip, up-to-date vaccinations and a certificate for a free vet exam.
Remember, older pets need love, too! And they're often considered to be the most loving, affectionate and thankful for being adopted. To visit these animals in person, head to one of the San Diego Humane Society locations.
Valentine's Day Weekend might be over, but lovebirds can still get some romance in at the San Diego Civic Theatre. This week on February 18 (7 p.m. show time), February 21 (7 p.m. show time) and February 23 (2 p.m. show time), the San Diego Opera will be presenting The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti.
The Elixir of Love is a comedic opera with a love story woven through it that gets help from a possible love potion. Though the performance is in Italian, English subtitles are shown above the stage. Tickets can be bought here and start at $52.50. The San Diego Civic Theatre is located at the crossroads of 1100 3rd Avenue and B Street in downtown San Diego.
Need a gift for your Valentine? The L'Auberge Del Mar is here to help this year with their Valentine's Valet Basket. Why the valet in the name? Because L'Auberge is putting together these gift baskets and letting you pick them up curbside -- you don't even have to get out of your car -- at the hotel on the evening of February 13 or the morning of February 14. With this San Diego Valentine's Day gift, you'll be all conveniently set for Valentine's Day on the 14th.
The Valentine's Valet Basket includes a gift certificate for L'Auberge Del Mar which can be used toward an overnight stay, spa treatment at Spa L'Auberge or dining at one of L'Auberge's onsite restaurants. The basket also comes with chocolate covered almonds, sparkling wine and a Spa L'Auberge product. You can choose a $150, $250 or $350 gift certificate and the price of the basket costs $200, $300 or $400 respectively. With this gift you'll be all set to amp up the romance in San Diego this Valentine's Day.
You can order your Valentine's Valet Basket online here. L'Auberge Del Mar is located at 1540 Camino del Mar in Del Mar.
A Travel Icon Speaks at Warwick's Plus Details on Warwick's Next Speaker
If you're a book lover, one benefit of living in San Diego is being close to Warwick's, a locally-owned San Diego bookstore located in La Jolla. Warwick's has regular speaking engagements from some of the top minds in the literary world and last night it had an icon in the traveling industry speaking in its store: Pauline Frommer of Frommer's guidebooks fame. I happily attended the fully packed, standing room only event and learned some top travel tricks from one of my travel idols.
Frommer was an intelligent, humorous speaker and shared her years of travel experience and wisdom with the audience. In case you didn't have the chance to attend, I've listed out some highlights from her presentation. In addition, I've included details on Warwick's next event, featuring a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, at the end of this post.
Frommer started out her presentation of travel tricks and hints by talking about airfare and when to buy your ticket for the best price. To get the best deal on your airfare, she said it's ideal to do your booking on a Tuesday or Wednesday and to book your ticket six weeks before you travel. She also mentioned to follow airlines on Twitter as airlines sometimes do flash sales. (This might also be a good hint to try to get friends and family to visit you in San Diego!)
Frommer discussed how to save money by using alternatives to hotels, like Airbnb or VRBO. Though if you're set on hotels she gave some good tips, like checking Tingo, which will reimburse you if your hotel room goes down in price after you book it.
She also mentioned that air and hotel packages are a good way to go for top destinations like London, Paris and Cancun as you can get a steeply discounted rate on the hotel due to a plethora of accommodations in popular locations. Some of the travel package companies Frommer recommended looking into were Gate1Travel, Virgin Vacations and Aer Lingus Vacations.
Frommer really stressed that volunteer vacations can be amazing and life changing. A few she recommended looking into are Give the Kids the World Village (it's like a mix between Make a Wish Foundation and Disney World), Parismina Turtles (save baby turtles), Global Volunteer (help children around the world) and American Hiking Society (clean up America's parks).
Pauline's #1 cruising rule: Use a travel agent to help you choose the cruise line and ship that's right for you.
For great cruise deals, consider going during hurricane season. However, Frommer said the trick is to go in October or November as hurricane season is from June through October, but hurricane cruise pricing typically goes until November. Therefore, cruise in October or November when you generally don't need to worry much about hurricanes but can still get a good deal. A repositioning cruise (for example, when the ship is traveling from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean to start running itineraries in a new location) is also a good value.
Frommer had three top recommendations on where to travel for your next vacation. They are:
Next Reading at Warwick's
Think Pauline Frommer's speaking engagement at Warwick's sounded interesting? Then you'll want to check out Warwick's next event on Monday, February 10, to hear Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar discuss his new play, The Who and the What, which is premiering at the La Jolla Playhouse on February 11 and playing there through March 9. He'll also be signing his novel, American Dervish. The event begins at 7:30 p.m.
Just as Pauline Frommer's speaking engagement was completely packed, Warwick's is also expecting this event to be a full house. You can purchase a reserved seat to ensure you're not stuck standing, plus the reserved seat will give you 20% off a ticket to see The Who and the What at the La Jolla Playhouse. To reserve a seat, call Warwick's at 858-454-0347. Warwick's is located at 7812 Girard Avenue in La Jolla.
-Photo of Pauline Frommer Speaking at Warwick's courtesy of Gina Tarnacki
A new gravity-defying bar space has opened in downtown San Diego: City Sights, a rooftop bar located in the San Diego Marriott's ALTITUDE Sky Lounge in the Gaslamp Quarter.
What makes the rooftop bar and lounge of ALTITUDE Sky Lounge and now City Sights so special is that it's the highest open-air rooftop bar on the West Coast of the United States. At 22 floors high, the bar and lounge provides panoramic views of downtown San Diego. It also has great views right into Petco Park. The first time I was at ALTITUDE Sky Lounge wasn't on a game day and I immediately exclaimed to my husband that we had to come back someday when the Padres were playing. City Sights is an expansion to ALTITUDE Sky Lounge that offers an indoor area to socialize. City Sights serves up drinks from a full bar plus appetizers.
City Sights has floor to ceiling windows that offer incredible views of San Diego. City Sights has relaxing and trendy furniture to comfortably sit on and have conversations with friends or a date. Those who want to enjoy the San Diego weather can do so on City Sights glass-walled balcony.
ALTITUDE Sky Lounge and City Sights is located at 660 K Street in downtown San Diego. For questions regarding bottle service or other services and events at the bar, call 619-696-0234.
-Photos courtesy of ALTITUDE Sky Lounge
The post-holiday season usually contributes to one romantic thing: love is in the air from all the engagements that happen over the holidays. If you're a soon to be bride or groom planning a wedding in San Diego, don't miss the upcoming San Diego Wedding Party Bridal Show on February 16 at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay.
The San Diego Wedding Party Bridal Show will have exhibitors for wedding photography, planning, cakes, catering, music, venues and more. There will also be a fashion show displaying trendsetting designs for wedding gowns. In addition, this bridal show has a beauty lounge, DIY workshop and a cake challenge.
Tickets are $20 at the door and $15 if purchased in advance. There are also $50 VIP tickets ($40 if purchased in advance) which gets you front row seating at the fashion show plus a swag bag with over $100 worth of bridal goodies in it. The event begins at noon and last until 5 p.m. with the fashion shows happening at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.