Local Wally's Guide to San Diego

Local Wally's Guide to San Diego

what to do this weekend in san diego

What to Do in San Diego: Bacon and Barrels Festival, May 21st, 2016

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Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, AND BEER!

The Bacon & Barrels Festival is back, and this time it’s better than ever.  On Saturday May 21st, the hottest chefs from the finest local restaurants will prepare and serve small plates starring bacon in its most inventive forms. The best mixologists, brewers and wine makers will quench your thirst with refreshing bacon-based and bacon-inspired cocktails and brews. The event will feature equally impressive views, as it will be held on the waterfront at Embarcadero Marina Park South.


This hog heaven will include artisan and local vendors, live music by The Spazmatics, demos by celebrity chefs and a whole lot of fun!  To celebrate special achievement in the bacon arts, one chef and one mixologist will be named the 2016 Jefe del Porko by well-known food enthusiasts. It's pretty much the Bacon Oscars, and not one to be missed!

Tickets are now available for those 21 years and older and can be purchased here. Not to mention, all food and drink tastings are unlimited and included in the ticket prices. Go hog wild!

THINGS TO DO IN SAN DIEGO THIS WEEKEND: Caffeine Crawl San Diego Coming Jan. 22 - 24, 2015

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Beer lovers have pub crawls and wine lovers have wine tours. Coffee lovers have...Caffeine Crawl! January 23rd and 24th will kick off a year of caffeinated connections with San Diego’s second Crawl and the first of 2015. Caffeine Crawl is a product of the innovative team at The LAB, a beverage marketing and creative firm based in Kansas City, Fort Collins and Portland. From the first Caffeine Crawl in 2011 to the current 15-city line up this year, response has been phenomenal. Grab your travel mug - the buzz is already building!  

We’ll start with a stroll along the North Coast on Friday afternoon, stopping at Cafe Ipe, Ironsmith Coffee Roasters, Lofty Coffee, and Pannikin. On Saturday, Crawlers will gather at kickoff locations throughout the city - InterAmerican Coffee, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, or The WestBean Coffee Roasters - for event bags full of swag, presentations, and plenty of caffeination before heading out by car or bike to experience the magic at Cafe Moto, Bay Park Coffee, Bean Bar, Broke Girls Coffee Bar, Cafe Virtuoso, Caffe Calabria, Dark Horse Coffee Roasters, and Ladies and Gentlemen Coffee Roasters, with treats along the way from David Bacco Chocolates and Biscuit Gourmet Biscotti.

Each shop will present on a topic unique to their style and passion, and crawlers will receive samples to sip while they soak up the info. The Crawl after party, hosted by James Coffee Co on Saturday afternoon, will conclude a weekend of caffeination and local craft fun with more great drinks and some surprises!

Tickets for the Caffeine Crawl cost $23-$30 (biking or driving routes available) and early bird discounts apply through December 12th. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.caffeinecrawl.com/san-diego-tickets.html

For a unique interactive experience that is educational, delicious and fun, Caffeine Crawl can’t be beat. See you there!




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Things to Do in San Diego this Weekend:  “Stretch 4 Vets” on the Flight Deck of the USS Midway in Support of Veterans

When:  Saturday, Nov. 21, 8 to 10 AM, at the USS Midway, 910 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego

What is it?: In recognition of Veteran’s Day month and Thanksgiving,the nation’s leading yoga studio CorePower Yoga – America’s leading yoga studio – is partnering with Embrace, a non-profit benefitting homeless veterans to host a 75 minute class on the flight deck of the USS Midway.  Participants will raise funds by collecting pledge money for their practice.  The class will feature live music by Buddha Music Group. Amy Opielowski, CorePower Yoga’s San Diego Program Manager will teach the class with the help of 20 local instructors.

How:  Students, Veterans, Active Military and CorePower Yoga Members: $25; Civilians: $35

     Registration and more information here: http://www.stretch4vets.org/

WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND IN SAN DIEGO: Del Mar Beer and Cider Fest Nov. 28, 2015

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Get hoppy at Del Mar’s Fall Beer and Cider Fest that will be held at The Racetrack Saturday, November 28 starting at noon in the Seaside Concert area. This month, cheers to Bing Crosby Season by sampling a variety of 100 local and international craft brews including seasonal ales and ciders.

San Diego brewers will set up camp and serve tastes of their signature craft brews – five seven-ounce frosty samples for $20. Come out, grab a beer or cider and catch some world-class Thoroughbred racing. The races begin at 12:30 p.m., gates open at 11:00 a.m. Entrance to Beer and Cider Fest area is free with admission.
Confirmed seasonal brews include:
-       Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout
-       Tieton Cider Cherry Cider
-       Mission Brewing Hard Root Beer
-       Uinta Brewing Company Oak Jacked Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale
-       Delirium Noel
-       St. Bernardus Christmas Ale
-       101 Cider House So Cal Scrumpy
-       County Cider Company- Waupoos Cider
-       Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin
-       Ballast Point Pumpkin Down
-       Dogfish Head Punkin
-       Port Brewing Santas Little Helper
-       Alpine Duet IPA  
-       Nickel Beer Co. Pearfect Apple Pie Ale
-       Angry Orchard Crisp Apple
-       Magners Pear Cider
-       Washington Gold Hard Cider
Pair your beer or cider with gourmet food truck offerings. The event is free with racetrack admission of $6. Stay after the festival and races to catch a free concert by Sublime with Rome.

THINGS TO DO IN SAN DIEGO: San Diego Homebrew Festival, Nov 15th, 2015

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Sample some of San Diego's best home brews and support a good cause at the same time at the San Diego Homebrew Festival and Competition.  All proceeds will go to Friends of Jefferson to engage in efforts to support children attending their neighborhood school, Thomas Jefferson Elementary, and to raise funds needed to create and sustain educational enrichment programs and purchase unfunded capital & non-capital improvements.  Hey, I like kids, I like beer, sounds like a winner to me.

Tickets are on sale now and just $35 - check out San Diego Homebrew Festival's official website here.  Tell your friends, mark your calendars, and make sure you head over to the 1st annual Homebrew Festival on Nov. 15th, 2015, in North Park.  See you there!

San Diego's Mission Brewery Takes Home the Gold!

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Mission Brewery wins again!

In a few short years, San Diego has become the home of one of the most thriving craft beer cities across the country. With big-name breweries like Green Flash, Mission Brewery, Stone Brewing Co. and Ballast Point being brewed in San Diego, the city has experienced strong support for the growth and spread of this industry. A community that seeks innovative methods for perfecting their newest brews, San Diego has proudly help foster some of the most original craft beers that we have seen on the market.

One of the community’s newest legends is Mission Brewery’s Hard Root Beer. A twist on the classic IPAs and ales that we see being created, Mission’s Hard Root Beer has opened up a new door for those looking to expand their craft-brewed palette.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the response our craft hard root beer has received in the market,” Mission Brewery owner Dan Selis said. “We expect it to continue growing in popularity.” 

A new taste on the craft beer scene, the Hard Root Beer has seen growing popularity in the past year. In the 2015 US Open Beer Championship, Mission proudly received the Gold Medal for their Hard Root Beer, beating out competitors from all across the country. Creamy, smooth, and sweet but not cloying, Mission’s Hard Root Beer has traditional root beer notes of sarsaparilla and vanilla. This new trend on the craft beer market is one that you don’t want to miss! Get out of your comfort zone and experience one of San Diego’s newest innovations: a gold-medal winning hard root beer, proudly brewed right here in down town San Diego.

Guest Blog by  Alisha Starelli

Wally Adds a Few Comments

Great local beer at San Diego's Mission Brewery

When I was a kid my favorite school field trip was to the Wonder Bread factory. The smells of baking bread were intoxicating and the tiny little loaf of Wonder Bread they gave you at the end was like a tiny block of edible gold.  Today that same Wonder Bread factory is home to Mission Brewery and while they no longer make bread you can get some pretty darn incredible beer there!  I wonder if kids today go on field trips to Mission Brewery to see how beer is made and to take home a sample 6 pack for Dad?  Doubt it, but what a good idea!

It's no surprise that Mission Brewery has won awards and you need to get yourself in there to taste for yourself why it's one of San Diego's most popular beers.  Go before a Padre game, go after, go whenever, it's still one of the best field trips you will ever go on.

Congrats, Mission Brewery!

Local Wally

What to Do This Weekend in San Diego: Beer and Flowers at Balboa Park

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Looking for something to do this weekend in San Diego other than fireworks?  How about checking out my new secret beer spot in Balboa Park and then a stroll through the gardens?  Whether you're a local or tourist, here's the perfect Sunday afternoon in San Diego.

Panama 66 is the best place to get a cold, local beer in Balboa Park


I knew that getting rid of that parking lot in front of the San Diego Museum of Art would be a good thing.  Where there once was a fairly non-descript and generic "park food" cafe is not Panama 66, the offshoot restaurant from Blind Lady Ale House and Tiger! Tiger!, two foodie (and beer) favorites in the North Park area.

Wish there was still a parking lot here?  Not me!

Order up some food and a cold beer and grab a table looking into the new plaza.  It's not Paris but you can sort of pretend it is, watching people stroll by and the tourists with their cameras.  Oh crap, I look like a tourist!  Well, these are the sort of things I do for my readers.

Panama 66 in Balboa Park makes some serious pub food like these fries.

Really great food at Panama 66 - not too fancy, perfect lunch spot.

Really great food at Panama 66 - not too fancy, perfect lunch spot.

The menu at Panama 66 is short and casual and the quality is beyond what you might expect from a cafe in Balboa Park.  You order at the bar and don't be discouraged if all you want is a beer and you see a long line - the line on the left, the short one, is for beer and wine only. 

You probably already know that I LOVE french fries and Panama 66 does a very credible job with crispy kennebecs that can be topped with truffle oil and parmesan if you want, though truffle oil is so last decade and who wants to be mocked by a foodie (or Gordon Ramsey, for that matter)?  The turkey and brie was great and the salads all looked outstanding - I'd get one next time, with fries, of course.  Kids meals too, get one for your dog if you don't have a kid as dogs are welcome here.

The secret picnic spot for beer and wine in Balboa park!

Behind the cafe is the Art Sculpture Garden, a place you probably walked by a hundred times and never stopped.  Well here's my secret - it's also the place you can grab a beer or glass of wine (get the sparkling!) and have a wonderful picnic.  Family friendly, nice grassy area, I could sit here all afternoon.  And while I love the food at Panama 66, they won't let you take it to the lawn area so next time I'm packing in my own bread and cheese and we'll see if I get kicked out - I'll let you know!

Next up, the Botanical Gardens

Visit the Botanical Gardens in Balboa Park.

If you're looking for FREE stuff to do in San Diego, Balboa Park is the place.  While the museums all charge a fee (except for the first four Tuesdays of each month for residents), there are plenty of things to do and see that doesn't cost anything.  I love just going to the gardens to shoot some pics and take in the scenery.  I gave my camera to my wife and she shot the pics below.  Pretty good!

So there you have it - a perfect thing to do this weekend in San Diego.  Go to Balboa Park for a light lunch, a dark beer, and a stroll through the gardens.  It's a fabulous way to spend a few hours exploring the town we call home.