Local Wally's Guide to San Diego

Local Wally's Guide to San Diego


San Diego Symphony 2018 Bayside Summer Nights Schedule

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Summer concert series to include Roger Daltrey With Band Members From The Who, Patti LaBelle, Megan Hilty, Rick Springfield, Clint Black, Star Wars: A New Hope In Concert, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™ in Concert with a live symphony orchestra and more!

San Diego Symphony Summer 2018 Schedule

August Concert Highlights: 


Burt Bacharach

The one-and-only Burt Bacharach is returning to Bayside Summer Nights for a night of lively pop hits! Accompanied by sensational singers and the orchestra, his fresh twist on pop favorites has made him a San Diego Symphony favorite.  


       Roger Daltrey with Members of The Who Band

Rock icon Roger Daltrey will perform Who hits and rarities and songs from his latest album, As Long as I Have You, at a special concertaccompanied by members of the Who band and special guest Leslie Mendelson. This is one of the most sought-after shows of San Diego’s summer concerts.


Gerswhin on Broadway feat. An American in Paris and Porgy and Bess

The Embarcadero will come alive with the music of one of America’s finest composers, George Gerswhin! Led by famed Broadway Conductor Rob Fisher, this concert will focus on the recent revivals of An American in Paris and Porgy and Bess and feature special appearances by top Broadway stars including performer Norm Lewis from the 2012 Porgy and Bess Broadway run and singer, dancer and Tony Award-nominated star of the An American in Paris revival, Robert Fairchild.


Star Wars: A New Hope – In Concert

Step into the thrilling world of Star Wars at this special San Diego Symphony concert! The San Diego Symphony will perform John Williams’ iconic score live-to-picture at the Embarcadero Marina Park South.   


Ladies Who Jam: Women in Jazz

Celebrate the many iconic women of jazz at Ladies Who Jam! The concert will feature some of the most innovative, up-and-coming female talent in today’s jazz music scene including violinist Nora Germain, pianist Helen Sung, and Grammy and Tony Award-winning jazz veteran Dee Dee Bridgewater. 


1812 Tchaikovsky Spectacular

The San Diego Symphony’s fantastic Bayside Summer Nights series will end with a bang! Join us for the ever-popular annual Tchaikovsky concert led by Associate Conductor Sameer Patel and watch the night sky light up with a spectacular firework display over San Diego Bay! 

This year, the San Diego Symphony will also be hosting a fun new weekly event: Flamingo Fridays. On Fridays, the Symphony will offer lower ticket prices, happy hour drink specials, pre-concert entertainment, giveaways and gifts!

Box Office: 619.235.0804
Website: www.sandiegosymphony.org
San Diego Symphony - Bayside Summer Nights 2018
Embarcadero Marina Park South
206 Marina Park Way
San Diego, CA 92101

Ben & Jerry's FREE Cone Day at Seaport Village, April 4, 2017

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Free ice cream cone at Ben and Jerry's, Seaport Village, April 4, 2017

Free ice cream cone at Ben and Jerry's, Seaport Village, April 4, 2017


Ice cream lovers can head to Ben & Jerry’s at Seaport Village (the only store location in San Diego) for the 38th annual Free Cone Day happening next Tuesday, April 4. From 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., guests can get a free scoop of their favorite flavor. In the spirit of giving back, Ben & Jerry’s will also partner with The San Diego Youth Services to collect donations that day and raise awareness about their local programs.

WHERE:  SEAPORT VILLAGE, SAN DIEGO (859-A West Harbor Drive San Diego, 92101)

WHEN:  APRIL 4, 2017, FROM 10 AM TO 9 PM


For the past 38 years, Ben & Jerry’s has opened Scoop Shops to dish out free ice cream to fans, thanking them for being so uniquely awesome. The tradition has continued to grow, beginning in the small state of Vermont, and now spanning across the globe. Come join in on the company’s long-time tradition of thanking fans for their commitment and ongoing support.

The company was founded on the idea that business has not just the opportunity, but also the responsibility to give back to the community. Free Cone Day is a long standing tradition when it comes to benevolent acts, and as Jerry said, "If it’s not fun, why do it?" The annual anniversary merges the two founding principles and demonstrates that giving back to the community is just as sweet as free ice cream.

Don't miss it!  Free Ice Cream Cone at Ben & Jerry's, Seaport Village, San Diego

Don't miss it!  Free Ice Cream Cone at Ben & Jerry's, Seaport Village, San Diego

"We love getting involved with and giving back to our communities.  It’s amazing what we can do together over shared values and several scoops of ice cream," said Michelle Alcantar, Owner/Operator, Ben & Jerry’s of Seaport Village. Ben & Jerry’s has been a longtime advocate of social causes like marriage equality and climate justice, and ensuring that their ice cream is made in the best way possible which includes sourcing Fairtrade and non-GMO ingredients.

Ben & Jerry’s continues to deliver on the chunky and funky flavors fans have grown to love and expect. In addition to dishing out the chunks and swirls, Ben & Jerry’s of Seaport Village will partner with local organization San Diego Youth Services to spread the word about their mission to improve the lives of homeless, runaway, abused, and at-risk youth.

So the biggest question is, what flavor will you have on Free Cone Day? 

Old Mission Beach Athletic Club to Host First-Ever Craft Beer Festival & Over the Line Tournament at Mariner’s Point on May 20th and 21st, 2017

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Put your toes in the sand with a drink in your hand at the only local beer festival on the beach!

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) is taking its renowned Over the Line (OTL) Tournament to the next level this year. The organization will host its first-ever Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, May 20 in conjunction with the first rounds of Over the Line at Mariner’s Point on May 20-21—because nothing gets you warmed up for bat like a cold one. Players are invited to bring their bats, balls and most creative team names to the tournament, while spectators watch the games and enjoy local craft brews, cocktails, and bites for a cause.
On Saturday, May 20 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., sip craft beer from many of San Diego’s top breweries and enjoy fare from local food trucks. Breweries will include Aztec Brewing, Belching Beaver, Benchmark Brewing, Bolt Brewery, Dos Desperados, Fall Brewing, Helms Brewing, Indian Joe Brewing, Iron First Brewing San Diego, Ironfire Brewing, Left Coast Brewing, Resident Brewing, Second Chance Brewing, and more to come. Cutwater Spirits, from the band of liquid pioneers behind Ballast Point, will also be selling craft cocktails onsite.
General admission, including the four hour beer tasting, for guests ages 21+ is $30 with advance online purchase via Eventbrite, or $40 at the gate on the day of event.
The OTL Tournament will host 125 teams in a double elimination format. The first rounds will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 with winning teams returning from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 21. Tournament divisions include: Men's Pro; Men's Open; Men's Masters; and Women's Open. The entry fee is $120 per team and will increase as the tournament fills up.
This two-day event is a precursor to the 64th Annual World Championship Over the Line Tournament set for July 8/9 and July 15/16 at Fiesta Island, Mission Bay Park, San Diego.
For more information on OMBAC charities, please www.ombac.org/omcharities/ and for general inquiries, contact us at info@ombac.org. Get social with OMBAC on Facebook at @ombac and on Instagram at @ombacsd.
About Old Mission Beach Athletic Club
OMBAC is a 501(c) 4 non-profit organization that focuses on amateur sports, youth athletics, and local charities. OTL is the main fundraising event. Past recipients of OMBAC’s fundraising and donations included UCSD Cancer Research, Jr. OTL Scholarships, Wounded Warrior Foundation, Huntington’s disease, Bikes for Kids, Jr. Lifeguard Foundation, Cancer Walk, Marine Family Christmas Fund, Alpha Project, Meals on Wheels, Hospice, Pacific Beach Youth Group, San Diego St. Patrick’s Day Parade, San Diego Blood Bank, OMBAC Rugby, OMBAC Lacrosse and OMBAC Water Polo. For more information, visit www.ombac.org, Facebook or Instagram.

San Diego 2016 Christmas Holiday Events

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Hanging for the Holidays in San Diego 2016


Best Things to Do from Ice Skating at the Hotel Del Coronado to Special Events at the San Diego Zoo

It may not be a white Christmas, but there is plenty to do in gorgeous San Diego to get you in the holiday spirit! Whether you’re visiting for just a bit or a long-time local, you’ll want to check out these holiday activities:

Neighborhood Holiday Lights

Garrison Street Christmas Lights (Point Loma) – this amazing neighborhood covers their homes in shining lights, nativity scenes, Santas, sleighs and so much more. You can drive through, but you’ll probably want to park and stroll down the street to truly enjoy the details. They are ready the day after Thanksgiving until December 31st. Plug this address into your GPS and you’ll find yourself right there! 3663 Garrison Street, San Diego, CA 92106. There are many wonderful neighborhoods all over San Diego that have similar over-the-top decorations. To find a neighborhood closer to you, use this handy map of Christmas Lights.

San Diego Boat Parade

For a unique coastal twist to the holidays, plan to see the 45th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Find a Bayfront spot and watch the procession of approximately 80 lavishly decorated boats as they dazzle and entertain on December 11th and 18th, starting at 5:00pm.

Ice Skating

Outdoor ice skating is a special treat during the holiday season and here are two wonderful choices for this activity.

The iconic Hotel del Coronado offers “Skating by the Sea,” a seasonal oceanfront ice skating rink open from November 24th to January 2nd. Visitors will surly feel the holiday spirit strolling through their winter wonderland of beautiful decorations, DELights display, and the spectacular two-story lobby Christmas tree.

“Fantasy on Ice” at historic Liberty Station begins November 17th with live performances and remains open until January 8th. There are a variety of different public skating times so check here for more information. One hundred percent of profits from this rink benefit Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital.

Major Attraction Holiday Event:  San Diego Zoo, LegoLand, Seaworld

Visit the World-Famous San Diego Zoo from November 24th to January 3rd to experience “Jungle Bells.” Enjoy an array of holiday lights and animal-shaped light sculptures, ride the twinkle trolley, see the acrobatic trampoline elves, visit with Santa and much more.

Celebrate the Holidays at LEGOLAND with a life-size Lego Santa, reindeer and sleigh among twinkling lights, nightly snowfall and special holiday treats.

Visit Sea World’s Christmas Celebration to feel a wave of holiday cheer. The 320-ft. tall Sky Tower shines with twinkling lights and all the park’s various shows have Christmas themes. You can have breakfast with Shamu and Santa, visit Santa’s Cottage, see the 40-ft. happiest dancing Christmas tree, and much more.

San Diego is the perfect place to experience so many outdoor holiday activities to put you in the festive spirit. Plan ahead to make sure to enjoy all your favorites! Happy holidays!

Guest Post Provided by Molly McCrackin

Molly McCrackin grew up in San Diego and has been managing short term vacation rentals in the beach area since 2008. She is the owner and manager of Molly's Rentals - a short term vacation rental company that specializes vacation homes in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, and downtown San Diego.


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The Moment Has Arrived – Tickets Now On Sale For Southern California’s Most Anticipated Culinary Classic, November 11 -18, 2018

San Diego, CA – The San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival® launches ticket sales for its 15th annual culinary classic held November 11 -1 8, 2018, and announces an impressive lineup of new events and celebrity chefs. Featuring over 40 citywide tasting experiences, Southern California’s largest food and wine festival will welcome 10,000 eager epicurean enthusiasts to America’s Finest City.

I go EVERY year without fail because this is absolutely the best food event in San Diego.  With over 90 booths of gourmet foods from some of San Diego's best restaurants and food companies there's something for every foodie.  And I'm not talking small bites of pasta, I'm talking about the good stuff - beautifully plated small bites and wine, beer, and spirits to wash it all down.  Add to that the normally gorgeous San Diego weather this time of year and it's an absolute winner.  Check out this impressive list of restaurants participating this year. 

san diego wine + food fest

Here's how it works - During the week there are tons of events, from Excursions to sample the best of Baja wines and cuisine to Wine Education classes and dining events.  You can see all of the events here.  On Saturday, Nov 17th, 2018, the Grand Tasting Event happens where food booths take over the Embarcadero area near Seaport Village.  The VIP tickets get you in an hour early for four full hours of eating, drinking, dancing, and San Diego style people watching.  Standard admission opens an hour later but if you can swing it the early tickets are the way to go as the crowds are much thinner the first hour.

This year there's a special priced four pack for $485 - that's a good deal!  And remember, the event is all you can eat, all you can drink, all the gourmet food you can handle!  Look, you have to trust me on this one - GO!  I've gone to a lot of food and wine festivals and nothing compares to the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival!

Photos to Tempt You!


Del Mar Prepares For Fall Season of Thoroughbred Racing November 11 – December 4

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‘Bing Crosby Season’ returns to the seaside oval for 15 days of sport along with free concerts and events November 11 – December 4

DEL MAR, Calif. – The iconic racetrack is gearing up for its fall meet, the ‘Bing Crosby Season’, set to kick-off Friday, November 11. The fall season, now heading into its third year, is all about bringing back the old-school cool, journeying back to the era and style of the track’s founder who started it all, Hollywood legend Bing Crosby.

Over the course of the four-week meet, Del Mar will come alive once more with signature seasonal events and a pair of free concerts, first with Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals on Saturday, November 12 and then another popular Reggae Fest featuring Iration on Saturday, November 19.

Opening Day of Bing Crosby Season is also Veterans Day and is a day to celebrate and also one to remember. In collaboration with the American Legion, the afternoon’s Veterans Day Salute will feature patriotic activities including the unfurling of one of the largest U.S. flags in the country – the famous Holiday Bowl flag; parachute jumpers; a Stars and Stripes fashion contest; a ride-in by several veteran motorcycle clubs, and award winning Cali Comfort Bar-B-Q. There will also be a special post-race concert by rising country star Coffey Anderson, along with other military bands and musical guests.

Then on Saturday, November 19 the track welcomes college students to its annual College Day where all students get in free with valid college I.D. and can enjoy live music by DJs, activities, football and more on the third floor of the Clubhouse. On tap the following Saturday, November 26 is Del Mar’s Craft Fall Beer and Cider Festival offering more than 100 local seasonal brews and ciders to taste. Also on that Saturday, Del Mar will host a Fall Food Truck Festival with more than 30 food trucks from San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange County bringing their best mobile delights.

Additionally, Del Mar will be open on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24 with a special racing card and an early 11 a.m. post time. Catching a few races while the turkey cooks is the perfect way to create a new holiday tradition with friends and family. Or, leave the cooking up to Del Mar and reserve a Thanksgiving package that comes with admission, Turf Club table, and a mouth-watering brunch menu or turkey dinner with all the trimmings to chose from. Also on Thanksgiving morning, bring the entire family out to stretch their legs around the track before the big meal during Del Mar’s One Mile Family Fun Run at 8 a.m. Runners will complete a one-mile loop on the dirt track and may even find themselves running alongside a jockey or two. A host of family-friendly activities will be available after the race, along with a puppy run and puppy adoption event put on by the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

Saturday, December 3 is Fleece Blanket Giveaway Day. Guests that afternoon will receive a soft, fleece blanket to cozy up with.

Every Saturday throughout the fall season early morning risers can take in amazing track views and enjoy a fresh breakfast during the morning workouts at Daybreak at Del Mar, from 8 -10 a.m.  Former jockey-turned-owner Jeff Bloom will host an interactive Q&A session during the workouts providing insight and fun facts about everything horseracing.

Then every Sunday brunch lovers have something to celebrate with Taste of the Turf Club. Guests’ can purchase a brunch package that includes bottomless mimosas, a rotating menu by popular San Diego chef Brian Malarkey and a Turf Club table for the race day.

Racing during the ‘Bing Crosby Season’ will take place Thursday through Sunday. Post time will be 12:30 p.m. The one exception will be Thanksgiving Day, with first post shifted to 11 a.m. Admission at ALL gates will be $6 ($3 for Diamond Club members). All concerts are 18 and up.

For more information, call 858-755-1141 or visit www.delmarracing.com. You can follow Del Mar on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat @DelMarRacing or like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/DelMarRaces.

Bing Crosby Season is Back at Del Mar
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club kicks off its fall season on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11

DEL MAR, Calif. — The iconic racetrack is gearing up for its fall meet, the ‘Bing Crosby
Season,’ now heading into its third year. It’s all about bringing back the old-school cool,
journeying back to the era and style of the track’s founder who started it all, Hollywood
legend Bing Crosby. The 15-day session will bring world-class racing the seaside track
is historically known for, along with signature seasonal events including a pair of free
concerts, festivals, Thanksgiving day events and eclectic outdoor dining options.

• Opening Day & Veterans Salute – Friday, November 11, Opening Day of Bing
Crosby Season is also Veterans Day, and guests are invited to celebrate the
holiday by joining the seaside track as they team up with a nearby American
Legion Post, Encinitas’ American Legion San Dieguito Post 416, for a
special Veterans Day Salute and fundraising event that will have stars and
stripes written all over it to hail those who have served in U.S. military branches.
The day’s patriotic activities will include the unfurling of one of the largest U.S.
flags in the country – the famous Holiday Bowl flag; parachute jumpers; a ride-in
by several veteran motorcycle clubs, and an award winning Cali Comfort Bar-BQ.
There will also be a special post-race concert by rising country star Coffey
Anderson, along with other military bands and musical guests.

A Stars & Stripes Fashion Contest with more than $3,000 in prizes, including a
fabulous stay at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, will take place as part of the
Opening Day festivities. Everyone is invited to dress up in their most festive and
fashionable attire by donning red, white and blue or going for best pin-up or
celebrity look. The fashion contest will take place between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
in the Plaza de Mexico.

• Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals – Saturday, November 12, Ben Harper &
The Innocent Criminals will kick off Del Mar’s fall concert series by taking the
stage after the last race, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Sit back, relax and enjoy the
eclectic mix of blues, folk, soul, reggae and rock music. Longtime fans are
ecstatic to see live hits from their newest album, Call It What It Is, which was
released earlier this year after an eight-year gap from their previous record. Mimi
Zulu will open.

• Taste of the Turf Club – Sunday, November 13, and every Sunday throughout
the fall season, one of San Diego's most celebrated chefs, Brian Malarkey will
bring his talents trackside for Taste of the Turf Club, which includes a rotating
three-course menu, Turf Club table and bottomless Chandon mimosas.
Reservations and dress code required.

• Free & Fun Sundays – Sunday, November 13, and every Sunday at Del Mar, is
Free and Fun. Receive FREE Stretch Run admission, FREE program and FREE
seat along with HALF PRICE Beer (domestic drafts), Bloody Marys, mimosas
and Champagne splits. Reserve a table with your own personal TV at First Turn
restaurant to watch your favorite Sunday Pro Football games or check them out
at 17 Hands Pub or the Paddock Tavern.

The Bing Crosby Season runs November 11 – December 4, racing Thursday – Sunday
with post time for the first race at 12:30 p.m. On Thanksgiving Day the first post is
shifted to 11 a.m. For more information, call 858-755-1141 or visit
www.delmarracing.com. You can follow the Del Mar on Twitter and Instagram
@DelMarRacing or become a fan on Facebook/DelMarRaces.

Estancia Resort: Photos from 4th Annual Wine & Whiskey BBQ

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Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa is a gem of a resort, looking a bit like an upscale California ranch. Tucked away in La Jolla near UCSD, Estancia has a lot to offer for both tourists and locals such as the 4th Annual Wine and Whiskey BBQ, one of the best food and drink events in San Diego. But we'll get to that in a moment after I show you around the resort a bit.

Yes, Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa is a great place, a wonderful stay-cation for locals and excellent pick for visitors. It's elegant but not stuffy, upscale without being pretentious, it's California casual.


Annual Wine & Whiskey BBQ photos

The problem with a lot of food festivals are the massive crowds but I love that Estancia La Jolla didn't over sell the tickets and pack them in. You want another drink, you get one. You want more food, no problem. And both food and drink were plentiful and delicious, from the lovely wines from Trintas Cellars, a Napa winery they own that has its own tasting room onsite, to the creative cocktails done up in craft cocktail style with big block ice cubes to the excellent BBQ shrimp, brisket, chicken, pulled pork, and enough beans and cornbread to make a cowboy happy. Dessert bar equally impressive - so full!

But I promised you photos so here you go. But before I go just remember this event for next year, it's really one of the best in San Diego!

DON'T MISS! 4th Annual Wine & Whiskey BBQ at La Jolla's Estancia Hotel and Spa Oct. 7th, 2016

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4th Annual Wine & Whisky BBQ at Estancia La Jolla

WHEN:  Friday, Oct 7th, from 6 to 9PM


WHERE:  Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
9700 North Torrey Pines Road
San Diego, CA 92037

WHAT:  The flavors of the deep South and northern California converge for the ultimate West coast BBQ bash at Estancia La Jolla. A nod to the property’s horse ranch heritage, this southern-style feast under the stars features a menu of barbecued brisket, pulled pork mac & cheese, warm cobblers and other comfort food favorites washed down with unlimited whiskey, bourbon and Napa Valley wine tastings.

Let Trinitas Cellars’ proprietor Garret Busch personally lead you through a flight of his winery’s best blends, then taste a trio of both single barrel whiskeys and Woodford bourbon with Jack Daniel’s brand ambassador Eric Tecosky as live blues music and bonfire sparks float on the night air.

WALLY SAYS: A cool local event that should be great fun for locals and visitors alike. Estancia Hotel has a SoCal "rancho" feel but with an upscale twist.  I suspect an event with whiskey, bourbon, wine and BBQ will be a bit hit with those who know the scene so put on your party clothes and get out there for a fun evening with great food and drink!