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The PSG Blog
But if you’re new to San Diego (or California) you may not know where to best places to grocery shop at. So, to help you out here are some good local choices to buy groceries for every budget and foodie out there.
Location Nearest to our Rentals:
1260 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Sprouts is a great place to find cheap produce, arguably the cheapest produce you’ll find in San Diego. They have just about everything from sweet potatoes, to Brussel sprouts, to apples to pineapple, etc. This is the place to go for the freshest and best-priced produce and meat. They also have a ton of health food options here for all of the vegans, vegetarians, gluten-free persons and healthy eaters in your party. You can also try a local favorite, the pollo asada. Buy about 2 pounds of this marinated chicken, throw it on the grill with some bell peppers and corn tortilla. Taco Tuesday has never been easier.
Location Nearest to our Rentals:
1640 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
This is my go-to place to buy chips and snacks whenever I have friends and family coming into town. Whether it’s peanut butter filled pretzels, crunch mochi balls, or just some good old potato chips; the prices and selection here cannot be beat. This is a great spot to stop at for specialty items and health foods. And did I mention their wine selection? They have so many different wines that fit into every budget. You can get at $3 bottle of wine here and it actually be drinkable. If that’s not a win I don’t what is.
Location Nearest to our Rentals:
1702 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Vons is a good staple grocery store that you can find all your favorite brands. Here is a good place to buy hamburger buns, hot dog buns, a starter log for your bonfire, and s’mores makings. Make sure you find a local with a Von’s Club card if you are from out of state or just don’t have one because this little card can offer up some major savings. Also, their craft beer selection here is reasonably priced and pretty extensive, so if you can’t go to all the breweries in San Diego you can at least try a few different local brews here at Von’s.
Local Farmer’s Market
Location Nearest to our Rentals:
Pacific Beach Tuesday Farmer’s Market - 901 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
My favorite San Diego Farmer’s Market: Little Italy Mercato
Summer is coming up and that means festival season has already begun and is going strong. San Diego boasts some fantastic outdoor summer festivals for everyone to enjoy. Make time in your vacation to enjoy one these uniquely San Diego-inspired festivals that are all about food, music, art and love.
KAABOO - Sep. 14th-16th
KAABOO is hosted at the Del Mar Fair Grounds and hosts a massive line up of comedians, musicians and other entertainers. This year’s lineup includes Foo Fighter, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons, N.E.R.D, Robert Plant, Halsey and more. This is San Diego’s biggest music summer festival and is not one to be missed.
Fiesta Del Sol - May 19th- 20th
This North County based festival is a staple for Solana Beach, Encinitas and Del Mar. With hundreds of art and food vendors, live music and the ocean steps from it all; this is the perfect summer festival for the whole family to enjoy.
PRIDE - July 13th-15th
The LGBTQ PRIDE Parade and festival is a celebration of love for all. This festival takes over the Hillcrest area and is held annually. But your tickets in advance because this event does sell out! The best part of this festival is that the money you spend on drinks and tickets goes towards charities and movements that support equality, pride and respect for San Diego-based members of the LGBTQ community.
San Diego Comic Con - July 18th-July 22nd
For all those geeks and nerds out there, this is your time! SDCC is one of the biggest events in San Diego. The entire Gaslamp area is packed with people dressed up as their favorite characters from movies, comics, books, and TV shows. Don’t be surprised when you try to go out to Downtown that weekend and the Uber prices are at an all-time high. But hey, at least the people watching is fun and you may even spot a few celebrities.
91X BEER X - June 23rd
This is an all day, 21+ event and is a celebration of craft beer, local food trucks, chill music and the San Diego sun. Located at Water Front park you can pick what kind of ticket you want. You can include beer tastings throughout the day or just buy a concert ticket. The 2018 lineup includes Pepper, Stick Figure, Fishbone, Ethan Tucker band, and the headliner: Slightly Stoopid. So, if you are up for a day in the park with some relaxing music and over 120 craft beer options, this is the summer festival for you.
As a vacation rental company, it would be considered foolish to not have our listing on Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO. It would be leaving out a core part of our intended audience and we probably wouldn’t get as many bookings as we do now.
But consider this blog post a PSA.
Book directly through the vacation rental company’s site and bypass the third parties. Why?
Here are the top 3 reasons why by booking your vacation rental directly through the vacation rental manager’s site will save you time and money.
1. You’ll save on a boat-load of fees
HomeAway, VRBO and Airbnb all have to make money too. Which means that on top of what we charge for our nightly rates or weekly rates they place their own fees and charges. Suddenly your beach vacation became a lot more expensive.
The worst part is when you message us on any of these sites asking for reduced fees or discounts, we really can’t help you because most of those fees aren’t ours. And there is no way we can tell you to book through the PSG Rentals website, where we don’t charge those fees, because those 3rd party sites block us from directing you to our website. Which you can’t really blame them because if they did they’d lose customers.
2. You’ll get better service
When you book directly through a vacation rental site you are likely to receive more personal and detailed information. This is because you are working with the actual property manager or an assistant to the property manager. When you have an issue with a property you book through Airbnb or HomeAway you may have to go through the company’s customer service line (who have never seen the property), the owners or property manager of the property or go through an automated messaging service.
This makes things a lot more complicated and time-consuming. If you have an issue with your vacation rental you should be able to get it resolved as quickly and quietly as possible. So, you can enjoy the whole reason you rented the property: your quality vacation time with loved ones.
3. You can get EXACTLY what you’re looking for
Maybe you see a property on Airbnb and you want to book it for a month instead of the average 4 days. Well you can, but the nightly price probably doesn’t change even if you do book it for a month. And there is no way to negotiate that because it’s all through Airbnb.
But if you had booked it directly through the rental’s site or over the phone with the property manager there is a chance you could have gotten a better deal since you are planning on booking the property for a longer stay.
Also, if you talk to the property manager directly over the phone or email, it allows for clearer communication. You can ask for a different check in or check out time than is what is listed. You can clarify if you can or cannot bring a certain breed of dog. Or you can request certain amenities for the property manager to provide. It’s faster, it’s easier and you’re more guaranteed to get exactly what you want.
So, look does this mean we’re going to get rid of our listings on these third-party sites? Absolutely not. We love that our guests find us from all over the Internet and do our best to provide the best service as possible no matter which platform you are using.
But if you want to save on fees, or get the exact vacation you’ve been dreaming of and the absolute best service? Then we suggest booking directly through the vacation rental site.
With Mother’s Day rapidly approaching you are going to need a place to grab a delicious brunch with your favorite mama. Luckily for you San Diego has no shortage of brunch spots for you to check out.
With multiple locations scattered all over San Diego, this breakfast hot spot has become a San Diego treasure. With a mashed potato omelet, breakfast mac n’ cheese or churro pancakes you can’t go wrong with any of the creative options here at Breakfast Republic. But the biggest draw in? Their massive cups of coffee with witty lines written on the mugs.
Hash House A Go Go
This famous breakfast spot is known for its giant portions. Either come prepared with a big appetite or a friend who is down to split a meal because they give you a lot of food here. My favorite food here are the flapjack’s. You can get a bunch of different types, each piled high with your favorite toppings like Mango Coconut, Butterscotch Almond, Blackberry Granola and more.
Located in the lovely downtown area of La Jolla, this classy spot almost always has a line, but the food is well worth the wait. They have a lovely outdoor area where you can enjoy your carafe of hot coffee and lemon ricotta pancakes. Or you can be sat inside surrounded by cozy white walls and small tables. The Southern California omelet is something to beat and their house made scones are the perfect sweet end to a savory brunch.
Harry’s Coffee Shop
This cute diner in La Jolla sports a 1950’s vibe that is the perfect spot for breakfast or lunch. The food is classic and tastes great, the coffee is endless, and the staff is friendly. This retro spot also usually has a line on the weekends, but Harry’s does provide doughnut holes and coffee to all their patient customers while they wait.
A Typical Waffle Company/ Wow Wow Waffle
This outdoor waffle pop up in North Park just changes names from Wow Wow Waffle to A Typical Waffle Company. The new name might not be as fun to say but the waffles are still just as tasty. My top pick is the number 7. Sweet meets savory in this awesome waffle with candied bacon, smashed avocado and goat cheese. The Jackie’s Jam and Brie waffle is a close second with slices of brie topped with jam. Yum!
It’s Spring time here in San Diego and that means its crunch time for getting that summer bod. But you’ve been in spin classes since February and if you have to listen to another EDM playlist with a peppy instructor who looks like she just came out of a Barbie doll house you might just destroy your spin bike. Or maybe you’ve been doing yoga for the last 5 months and aren’t seeing the results you want.
It looks like you need to get out of your exercise rut. Here are. Couple of ideas to make exercising fun again!
If you are taking fitness classes indoors, try something different this Saturday morning and go on a hike at the Torrey Pines State Reserve or Mission Trails. Or how about a run down on the Cardiff cliffs or the walkway between Belmont Park and Pacific Beach. Being outside is great for your attitude, your attention span and your body. There is much more to look at when you’re out in nature than when you’re staring a screen in the gym.
Get a New Goal
Maybe instead of trying to get that summer body, maybe make your goal be running your first 5k. Challenge yourself in different ways. Sign up for the local color run or Rock N’ Roll Marathon and work hard for the next couple of months so you can achieve that goal. Not only will you get in great shape, but you will have accomplished something that never seemed remotely possible for you before. And if that’s not solid motivation I don’t know what is.
Think Outside the Box
Did you know there is aerial yoga offered at Trilogy in La Jolla? Did you know that there is “Hoppy Yoga” offered at breweries all over San Diego? If you are tired of going on a daily run or have been doing the same boot camp classes every day for the last 2 months, try to think outside of your wheel house. Maybe today instead of going to the gym you go a pole dancing fitness class. Or this weekend, you grab a friend and join a kick boxing class. There are so many options in San Diego when it comes to pursuing fitness goals you can literally change it up almost every day if you wanted to.
It's baseball season! And Petco Park is an amazing venue to see the San Diego Padres, go on a unique date, or have a good time with friends. What Petco Park also boasts is some of the best craft beers in San Diego. Here is a list of my favorites:
AleSmith: Orange X Extra Pale Ale
This beer not only tastes great but it smells amazing. You really get the fresh, sweet citrus of the orange in every sip. It’s a pretty dark color, but don’t let that intimidate you. This beer is incredibly drinkable and goes well with some salty popcorn.
Iron Fist: Nelson the Impaler
I am a big fan of Iron Fist in general and this beer is no exception. This beer is heavy on the alcohol content and smooth on the taste buds. With this brew, you definitely get a lot of bang for your buck. Pairs nicely with hot dogs, tacos or maybe a burger if you’re extra hungry.
Karl Strauss: Red Trolley Ale
Karl Strauss brewing is a San Diego staple and the Red Trolley Ale is a staple of Karl Strauss, so it’s no wonder Petco Park makes it available throughout the venue. This red is almost too drinkable, so be careful. But with a plate of Phil’s BBQ and a Red Trolley Ale you are in for a truly delicious meal.
Belching Beaver: Peanut Butter Milk Stout
For those feeling ice cream, cotton candy but also a nice, strong draft beer find a compromise with this dessert-y stout. Belching Beaver is known for their peanut butter stout and after you taste it you won’t wonder why. This stout is heavy, robust and lined with a true taste of peanut butter that will leave you full and satisfied. I recommend enjoying this beer by itself cause, really, it’s like drinking a meal.
What makes this spot so exciting is that here you can get trendy Thai rolled ice cream. Bing Haus is a pretty hip, aesthetic coffe, dessert and ice cream hot spot on Convoy. You can expect a bit of a line if you want rolled ice cream but while you’re waiting you get to watch the employees as they spread cream and your favorite toppings around on a glistening silver surface and then, somehow, roll that into a delicious frozen treat. For those whole like decadent, creamy ice creams this is the place for you.
Our recommendation: Milk and Cereal flavor with fruity pebbles.
If you want traditional soft serve steps away from the ocean, then Mr. Frostie in Pacific Beach is a must. Here you can get delicious malts, milkshakes, sundaes and twisted cones. Expect a line, especially if visiting in the summer, but this old-fashioned home of deliciousness is worth the wait. Also heads up this a purely outside, grab and go joint. There is a couple of wooden tables and benches, but you might be better off taking your ice cream and enjoying it as you head towards the beach.
Our recommendation: Vanilla soft serve on a sugar cone topped with rainbow sprinkles
Hammond’s has three locations in San Diego. One in North Park, one in Pacific Beach and one in Point Loma. Here you can get equally unique and yummy flavors and most importantly you can try them all. You can have salted caramel with your raspberry sorbet with your chocolate peanut butter Oreo in one of their flavor flights. You may have seen a video on Facebook that featured a 32 flight of mini ice creams? Yup that was here.
Our recommendation: Kona Coffee with Oreo cookies.
Mariposa ice cream is a handmade ice cream staple of San Diego. You can find them at the Renaissance faire, pumpkin patches in Octobers and other festivals. But their main location is on Adams St. in North Park. A small, unassuming hole in the wall is where you will find a ton of Beatles memorabilia, San Diego accolades and reviews, pictures of celebrities that have frequented Mariposa and of course delicious homemade ice cream. Don’t forget during the holidays you can order a pumpkin ice cream pie! Yup, you read this right, I said PUMPKIN ICE CREAM PIE.
Our Recommendation: Mexican chocolate ice cream on a sugar cone.
Now that spring is officially here it’s time for some great spring inspired cocktails to kick off my favorite season! So, if you are seeking some nature-inspired, pretty and flavorful cocktails this is the list for you:
This pretty in pink cocktail is the perfect refresher as we transition to the warmer months. A little bit of gin matched with mint and elderflower liqueur makes this cocktail truly the perfect spring pick-me-up.
Few things go better together than whiskey and honey or chamomile and honey. So why not combine all three to make a delectable, sweet and charming cocktail perfect for every part-guest. Decorate this drink with adorable fresh chamomile flowers to truly bring in the Spring vibe.
Spring means pastels and lots of pink! So here is another adorable pink cocktail for you with Luxardo Maraschino, vodka and bianco vermouth. These would be the perfect cocktail for a pink, girl or floral themed Spring-time baby shower or bridal shower. This martini is truly the ideal drink for sipping and gossiping in the sunshine.
This vodka centric cocktail allows you to get a fruity and sweet punch for the end of a lovely Spring day or afternoon. With a sugar rim, this cocktail echoes yummy and sweet. And who can deny a zinging and summer-y mixture of sour and sweet?
When you choose PSG Rentals you get the opportunity to be right next to Pacific Beach, which is known for it’s great nightlife, ocean views and awesome Happy Hours. There are lots of options and truly something for everyone.
To make it a little easier to choose we have complied what we think are the best Happy Hours are in Pacific Beach (PB):
Monday through Friday, this club located right on the water serves 2 for 1 drinks! That’s right, it’s rare to find that good of a deal here in San Diego and to find it literally steps from the sand is even crazier.
Regular Happy Hour: 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Late Night Happy Hour: 10:30 PM – 12:30 AM
From 3-6 PM Monday through Friday, this beer featured hot spot serves all local brews for $2 less than the usual price. This family friendly tap room features some great beer and even better bar food that matches perfectly with every pour.
Happy Hour: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
This New Zealand inspired restaurant can get pretty crowded on the weekends. But the Monday through Friday 3-hour happy hour is one worth going in for during the workweek. Here, they host $5 craft beers, $5 house wine, $5 Moscow Mules, and $5 sangria. And wait, I’m not finished! They have $5 select munchies too! Here you will get some delicious grub and good beer or sangria for a solid price.
Happy Hour: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
This Mexican-Southern Californian fusion restaurant has a nice location right before the pier. It is centrally located so you can either make your way to the beach or make your way to another restaurant or bar. They have $12 bottles of champagne on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. But their happy hour is where the real magic happens. Monday through Friday, you’ll get great daily food specials, cheap appetizers and $4 margaritas. Taco Tuesday is probably the best day to go cause of the great taco specials!
Happy Hour: 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM *SERVED IN BAR ONLY
The blog posts we usually write here are mostly for tourists or locals looking for a new hip spot or activity or restaurant to hit up. We also try to incorporate recipes for the holidays and other such fun content for everyone to enjoy.
A while back I wrote a post on how to be more environmentally conscious and take steps closer to becoming waste-free. I do think that it is important that we all play our part in making our planet safer and a healthier place for every being to live in and enjoy.
With that said, I have embarked on a recent challenge to refuse all plastic-ware when eating out! This means that when a fast-food or dine-out restaurant tries to give me any time plastic ware with my food I will have to politely refuse and utilize my own re-usable silverware that I will fashionably carry around in my purse on the daily. This is my small effort to move towards a waste-free lifestyle and lessen my plastic use. So, this is how my first week went:
The Work Week:
I usually bring my own lunch to work and this week was no exception. I usually use the plastic knives, forks and spoons they have on hand here at work. But instead I used my own reusable wooden cutlery. I washed my dishes as usual at the end of my meal and I didn’t feel like I was killing the environment or making any big change really.
My boyfriend and I had pho for dinner on Tuesday night and we got it to take home, instead of eating at the restaurant. No biggee, EXCEPT they automatically put plastic cutlery with the soup before I noticed it and I didn’t even think to ask them to refrain from putting it with our take-out meal. So already failed there.
Coffee stirrers. You forget about these things, you really do. But they kind of count as single-use cutlery. I totally used one of these wooden sticks instead of my reusable spoon when I made my afternoon cup of coffee on Wednesday and Thursday. Oops!
On Sunday morning, my boyfriend and I treated ourselves to Acai Bowls at The Mad Beet in PB. Which, if you haven’t been there it’s delicious! I successfully almost took a single-use spoon but my boyfriend actually caught me and made sure I used my own re-usable cutlery. The one issue is now you have dirty cutlery in your purse. The small sealed bag that carries my bamboo cutlery helped with this. But still…
Basically, it’s kind of hard to remember you have your own cutlery, especially when your food automatically comes with single-use cutlery. But I think like anything in life, it just takes some getting used to. And making our world a better place one plastic utensil at a time is well worth the effort.
For me, Easter is a time for sweets. I want all the sugar. I want the caramel, the chocolate, the fruit, the candy, everything. Which is why I have compiled a list of fun and creative Easter desserts for you and you your family to try. Each and every one of them is sure to bright up your dinner table. And if you can’t decide which one you want to make, just make them all and have a festive dessert table.
I saw these and I just thought “how cute!” For those who want to indulge in a lemon bar or a piece of lemon cake, but not commit to a huge cake or pie, these tarts are the perfect middle ground. They are super sweet and innocent too, making them ideal for the kiddies in your family.
You had me at cookie dough. These chocolate covered eggs are the perfect treat for those who can’t wait for the cookies to bake and just want dive head first into the dough. You can even experiment with different icings and dyes to reinvent the “egg dying” experience and create a memory for you and your family to remember.
This mousse rings in the start of spring with a sweet, yellow bell. This perfect mousse combines your favorite lemon meringue pie and lemon bar to make a delicious and decadent dessert. This will surely “wow” the adults at your Easter dinner table with its classy twist on a Spring favorite.
This easy Easter recipe is more ideal for the kids and is great for an after Easer-Egg hunt reward. This recipe is simple, yummy and colorful with pastel colored M&M candies on top, a graham cracker crust and lots of chocolate.
There are those Saturdays and Sundays where you want nothing more than to put on a dress, some cute heels, maybe a sun hat and got out for a nice brunch with your girlfriends. But what is fancy, girls only brunch without mimosas?
Here are the top place in San Diego to get bottomless mimosas and a delicious brunch:
This farm-to-table hot sport in Mission Hills is a great place to enjoy any meal. But their brunch on Sunday’s host bottomless mimosas for only $8 from 10 AM to 2:30 PM which makes it the best meal to enjoy here.
This wine focused bistro shop is located in Ocean Beach and hosts brunch every Saturday and Sunday. During the weekend, you can enjoy $20 bottomless mimosas from 10 AM to 3 PM. After you enjoy all the mimosas your heart desires you can move on their exclusive wine collection and have a full and fun day of drinking.
This La Jolla classic has a great bottomless mimosa special for $18 on Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 10 AM to 2 PM. You can enjoy the picturesque views of Prospect St. in La Jolla through the bubbles of multiple mimosa glasses. Now that sounds like my ideal, late Sunday morning.
Get your wedges and summer dress ready because this New Zealand inspired restaurant offers a boozy brunch with $1 mimosas! That’s right, you can enjoy $1 mimosas every Saturday and Sunday from 9AM to 12 PM. Then you are right in the middle of the hip and trendy area of North Park, which means you can after brunch you can move onto to the numerous breweries and beer pubs on 30th St. or just check out all the cool little boutiques throughout the area.
I have year Zoo passes so I try to go as much as I can to see my favorite animals and walk the massive animal park to get some weekend exercise. But of course, there are my favorite exhibits that I simply refuse to miss every time I visit.
I would recommend these exhibits for any tourist who is visiting the San Diego Zoo for the first time or those who have limited time at the zoo.
The Elephant Odyssey
Elephant Odyssey is epic, in a word. The exhibit is huge and takes a good amount of time to walk around. You can watch the caretakers feed the elephants or watch the elephants cool themselves over by the pool. There are also no bad spots to watch the elephants either, no matter where you are around the exhibit you can get a good look at these majestic animals.
The Panda exhibit is the most popular exhibit at the San Diego Zoo. For good reason, too. You might have to wait in line to see these cuddly bears, but once you get in the exhibit you get a pretty close and intimate view of the pandas. There is always a Panda specialist there informing you on the two different pandas, their personalities, their history and their habits. These caretakers are also there to remind you to keep quiet, refrain from taking pictures of the pandas with a flash and keep moving along so everyone can check out the pandas.
Africa Rocks is one of the newest exhibits in the San Diego Zoo and it’s so cool. For starters, its spread out over a large area so you can make your way through the twists and turns and find new Africa-based species every step you take. The wide-open enclosure makes you forget that you’re in a zoo at all and more likely on a wide-open African safari. There are birds, lemurs, panthers, monkeys and more; so get your walking shoes ready.
The hippo exhibit is one of my favorites for one simple reason: there is a baby hippo here currently! His name is Tony and he is small, sweet and fearless. He likes to swim with his mama and explore his enclosure. He is so cute and chubby, you just want to cuddle him and smother him with all the love. When you check out the hippo exhibit I have no doubt you’ll fall in love with him too.
If you are visiting the Public Market in Liberty Station for the first time you can get a bit overwhelmed and not know where to get the best grub. There are just too many great options!
So, to help out here are my top pics on where to eat in Liberty Station’s Public Market:
This sandwich, meat-lover focused mini bistro is my all-time favorite place to eat in the Public Market. Why? Because you can’t go wrong with anything you order here. The chicken, the pork, the beef, honestly all good. But my favorite thing to order here is the Porchetta sandwich. Thin pork slices lined with crispy skin, topped with broccolini, provolone cheese and salsa verde on a delicious roll. It is to die for.
Their prices may be a little higher, but the quality of meat on this sandwich makes it completely worth it. Excuse me, while I drool over my keyboard while writing this.
This Spanish inspired eatery has a ton of options when it comes to the classic empanada. My personal favorite is the 5-cheese topped with their chimichurri sauce. Their chicken empanadas are also pretty amazing. But I’m telling you don’t forget the sauce, whether it is creamy olive, chipotle chimichurri or just the classic chimichurri sauce. You can’t go wrong here.
This cheese paradise is ideal for anyone looking to snack on a cheese board or a grilled cheese. Or maybe for anyone who wants to bring home fancy, international cheeses to share with the whole family.
The “Grilled Venini” is a staple of this small European inspired cheese shop, which is basically a sourdough panini made with mouthwatering cheese and your choice of jam or salami or fruit. Again, there are no wrong or bad answers here as everything is sure to be delicious. Just say yes to the cheese.
Located right next to Crafted Baked Goods, this small ice cream parlor offers some delicious ice cream desserts. You can stick with a classic scoop of your favorite flavor or you can get a bit adventurous and try an ice cream taco, sandwich or my personal favorite bon-bons.
The German chocolate ice cream bon-bon is rich, smooth, absolutely delicious and a must-have every time I come to Liberty Station. They’re pretty small too so you don’t have to feel too guilty about it!
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, which means it’s time for everyone to step up their game and show their significant other how much they care with creative and fun date ideas. It’s a good thing San Diego is full of great places for casual, fancy, and romantic dates for the Holiday.
Here are some fun San Diego inspired Valentine’s date ideas for you and that special someone:
I am a big fan of the San Diego Zoo. I am even bigger fan of the zoo when it’s not crowded. Valentine’s Day falls on a Wednesday this year so why not play hookie with your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife and enjoy a day at one of San Diego’s favorite attractions. You can take cute selfies with panda, watch the adorable baby hippo and his mama, and share a churro. Cute, right?
Then at the end you can enjoy a Valentine’s Day inspired fancy dinner at Albert’s located in the zoo with a great view. Talk about a date to remember.
Check Out a Brewery
You’ve been seeing someone for about 3 weeks and it’s going well but now it’s Valentine’s Day and you have no idea what to do. You’re not serious, but you’re not seeing other people, so where does that leave you on the Valentine’s Day gift totem pole?
Make your life simple by taking your new fling out to one of the many craft breweries in San Diego. You can split a flight after work and grab a bomber as a gift to take home. Check out some of the outdoor beer gardens and enjoy some brews underneath twinkly lights and a warm San Diego sky. Easy, peezy, lemon squeezy.
Head out to Convoy Street and enjoy a less traditional Valentine’s Day meal that is interactive and fun for everyone. Try out one of the many Korean BBQ places in Claremont or Kearney Mesa and cook some yummy food with and for significant other without all the prep work. This will be a great experience that you will both remember and enjoy whether it’s one of your first dates or your hundredth date.
What speaks classic romance louder than taking your loved one to a drive-in movie? You can lower the seats, grab some blankets, pack some of your favorite candy and get some popcorn while you cuddle up and enjoy a new release on the big screen. If you’re up for it you can even sneak a double feature. Check out South Bay Drive In for the latest movie show times and get ready for a cute, retro Valentine’s Day!
It is February and in San Diego that basically means pre-summer. This also means it’s time to get your summer body ready for those long days at the beach with your friends and family. Luckily, in San Diego there are tons of ways to exercise and get fit that are fun and unique.
There are so many hikes in San Diego that it can be hard to choose one to take! There are ones for all levels that go over mountains, creeks, deserts, beaches, hills, etc. These hikes will definitely give you a work out and get you tanned in the process. You could probably take one every weekend and never get bored.
San Diego is a beach city and it is the home to many surfers of all different levels. Here in San Diego, some of the middle schools even host Surf P.E.! So, you could say the people here are into it. Even if you have never surfed before there are plenty of easy breaks, especially in North County, that will ease you along. Even if you can’t stand up or catch a wave, just paddling out is a work out enough and you’ll definitely be feeling it the next day.
For lengthening, strengthening and stretching there may not be a better work out than yoga. There are some groups of yogis that meet on the beach or in local parks throughout San Diego. Or there are yoga studios like Trilogy Sanctuary, who host their classes on the roof of their building in La Jolla. So, you can enjoy the view of the ocean and enjoy a tasty vegan snack after your class. If you’re feeling a little adventurous you can take an aerial yoga class or a yoga and beer class at a San Diego brewery.
Whatever you choose to do as your way of exercise, have fun and be safe with it. Love your body and give it the nutrients and care that it needs to stay healthy and able. Good luck fitness lovers!
Super Bowl Sunday is almost here, which means it’s time for Super Bowl themed snacks. I mean that’s really the best part of Super Bowl Sunday anyways, right?
Here are 4 awesome Super Bowl snacks ideas that will be a sure-fire win on Sunday:
My favorite soft pretzels are sold at Disneyland. They’re warm, salty and served with a yummy cheese dip that is hard to pass up. And I never thought that I would be able to replicate that taste myself by making my own pretzels. But then this recipe came into my life. Now I can make Disneyland-grade pretzel bites for my whole family and myself to enjoy.
I love double stuffed potatoes and loaded potato skins, so this recipe is everything I could ever want in a Super Bowl snack. This recipe is easy to make and even easier to eat and is sure to be a “touchdown” with your super bowl crowd this Sunday.
When you think Super Bowl you think wings. It’s just one of those staple items. Here is a great recipe for a spicy and sweet take on the classic chicken wing. It’s baked too! Making it a little bit healthier (not much) than if you had gone out and bought wings for your party. You’ll also get to brag about the fact that you made these yourselves.
Nacho cheese dip and guacamole are some of my favorite parts about the Super Bowl other than the commercials, of course. But, let change it up this year a have a dessert dip. I mean you pretty much have me sold with peanut butter and chocolate, so why not try this with some pretzels for dipping.
San Diego has plenty of tourist attractions and some of the most popular of these attractions are the theme parks. While we don’t have Disneyland or Universal Studios, we do have some great parks that are worth the admission price and a day of walking around.
To give people, that are new to the area or are coming in just for the San Diego theme parks, I have rated the 5 theme parks of San Diego with a score out of 10. 10/10 being the highest score, 1/10 being the lowest score. **
**This is based off of my own personal opinion. Yes, I have been to all of these parks and enjoy each and every one of them for different reasons.
The San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is a must see for newcomers to San Diego and is a staple for locals. The zoo hosts a variety of animals from all over the world. Most notably, this includes the pandas! Yes, you will have to wait in a bit of a line to see them. But they are big, fluffy and wondrous and well worth the wait. The zoo is also massive and definitely requires a whole day in order to see all of the attractions. So, expect a lot of walking, unless you take one of the big double-decker tour busses that circle around the park.
The Zoo is also extremely well-kept and there are plenty of employees around the park to answer your questions. Craft beer is sold throughout the park and you can enjoy it as you check out all the animals. Albert’s Restaurant, located within the zoo, is a well-known fine dining experience that looks over a waterfall and host a variety of holiday themed meals.
So really, it doesn't matter how old you are there is something at the Zoo for everyone and is really a great San Diego experience.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly The Wild Animal Park) is an associate of the Zoo, but is located in North/East San Diego county, closer to Escondido. It might be a bit of a drive out here, but like the zoo, this animal theme park has plenty of attractions to keep you busy the whole day.
My favorite part is the nursery, which hosts different baby species. Recently they hosted a pair of recued tiger cubs, who were to die for. And even more recently they hosted a small female baby cheetah – also super cute!
A close second favorite is the safari tram, which lets you stay cool and sit as you go around checking out all the awesome African animals in a huge enclosure that feels almost like you’re on an actual safari.
The one downside of this park is that many of its attractions cost additional money, like certain experiences including a ride on a massive hot air balloon. Which is why I have to give this adventure place a solid 9/10. On the upside, they too sell local craft beer and even have a café that serves purely vegetarian options.
Belmont Park is a San Diego classic. “The Giant Dipper” is a famous roller coaster and was built in 1925 and in 1986 it was designated as a National Historical Landmark. Go on at your own risk! Belmont Park also hosts mini golf, escape rooms and is one of the few places you can still get “Hot Dog On A Stick”.
This is a perfect date, if you are trying to re-create scenes from “The Notebook” and get a little history lesson at the same time. There are plenty of other rides, traditional fair games, an arcade, and San Diego restaurants and bars in the area to keep you busy.
But the most notable thing about Belmont Park is that there is a kiosk that sells Dole Whip. That’s right. There is another place outside of Disneyland that sells Dole Whip and it is just as delicious as the one you get from Disneyland.
Belmont Park might be a little run down and older, but it’s definitely a must-see when visiting San Diego.
Legoland is located in North County, San Diego in Carlsbad and is a favorite amongst locals and tourists. Why? Because it is truly great for kids. Little boys and girls will fall over themselves thinking that every ride, attractions, castle and show are built purely out of Legos. This is also a downside for older siblings, cousins or parents who are looking for something to enjoy themselves. They will most likely find the rides and other attractions a little took “kiddie”.
The best part, in my opinion, is miniature world area where there are now Star Wars worlds and characters built purely out of Legos. It’s amazing to see the creativity in design and architecture by these Lego master artists and I can honestly say that even the adults will enjoy this bit.
The apple fries are also something to note at this park. Get them. They are sold in the medieval area and I cannot recommend them enough. I have never found them anywhere else that makes them that delicious.
I feel like SeaWorld is one of the more famous attractions in San Diego. Now, keep in mind I haven’t been there in a few years. So, it may have gotten better or worse since I visited there. But I remember loving the dolphin show, my sister loved the Shamu show and we both loved the Atlantis ride.
The Artic experience ride was also a fun one. It is similar to the Star Tours ride at Disneyland in feel and experience. The penguins, beluga whales, narwhals and polar bears were some of my favorite attractions. I also thought all the shows were extremely well performed and definitely think that was my favorite part.
One of the coolest parts of SeaWorld is that you get to interact with the animals. You can pet starfish and stingrays and as a kid I was able to swim with the dolphins here at SeaWorld. It was mind-blowing, I felt so cool.
Lastly, if they still have the Shamu shaped cookies, get one. Man, those things are delicious!
Ok, so flu season is definitely here. I work in an office with about 35 other people and most of them have already caught it…including me. I am currently covered in blankets, in bed with a tissue box, hot tea and Emergen-C. And I’m dying.
So today I am writing a blog post to make sure that all of you, lovely people, don’t get stuck where I am currently at and instead start off 2018 super healthy.
Here are a few tips on staying healthy and avoiding the flu:
If you are sick, don’t come to work.
I know it’s hard. You have bills to pay and mouths to feed. But the reality is when you come to work sick you are endangering everyone else of getting sick. And then you put your workplace in an awkward spot of missing half of its staff.
Also, if you are sick you should be staying home and getting lots of rest. Rest is the best and only way you are going to get a full recovery.
Wash your hands. A lot.
Whether you’re going to dinner at a restaurant or just staying around the office or even staying at home; wash your hands a lot. Avoid spreading germs and getting in contact with more germs. Your co-workers, friends and family may not realize they’re getting sick and still spend time with you in close proximity. Stay on the safe side and wash your hands a lot.
**On the note of being clean: If you start to feel some congestion in your nose and head try taking a hot shower. Let the steam clear you out and the water wash you clean. You’ll thank me for it later.
Fluids. Fluids. Fluids.
Drink a ton of liquids even if you aren’t sick yet. Just to be on the safe side. Get your probiotics with Kombucha, drink that orange juice, drink green smoothies, down that water. Have a lighter soup instead of that In-N-Out burger and fries. Trust me, you don’t want to be in bed with the flu. It sucks. Stick with the healthier meal alternatives and soups.
**I know I said drink lots of liquids but this does NOT include alcohol. If you feel like you are getting even the slightest bit of a cold avoid beer, wine and liquor. A splash of whiskey in your tea might help your throat but any more than that and you’ll wake up the next day feeling like the Grim Reaper brought you back from the dead. (Not a great feeling)
Coffee lovers rejoice! This is the blog post for you. I am going to tell you exactly where to get the best and coolest cup of coffee in San Diego. So, say goodbye to Starbucks you are in San Diego now and you’ve got some great local coffee roasters to choose from.
Here is a list of my top 3 places that give you an eclectic experience and some really tasty coffee:
This hidden gem offers a care-free and cute experience in the heart of San Diego. It’s hippie decor matched with its superbly strong and delicious coffee make this place a go-to.
Bird Rock is a San Diego staple! It offers seasonal roasts that rotate in and out of the shop. The coffee boasts beans taken from the best farms in the world at the peak of their harvest. Can we go now?
They say location is everything and when you’re located in the heart of bustling North Park, you’re destined to be a hit. This is especially true for Holsem coffee with their clean and white aesthetic, yummy pastries and creative coffee drinks.
It’s that time of year again. Time for resolutions, most of which we don’t keep. But let’s change that and make the year of 2018 the time for us. Let’s make it a year of change, excitement, and fun. Let’s make this year a time for self-love and enjoy a long-awaited vacation to spend some quality time with yourself or your loved ones.
Here are 4 New Year’s Resolutions that you can actually keep to make sure you take a much-deserved vacation and travel the world in 2018:
Experiencing the best takes money and time, so make it your 2018 resolution to work more, eat out less and count down the days until you are living your best life in a new place!
This is your life, so make this year the time for you. 2018 is the time to see new places, meet new people, eat crazy food and enjoy this earth, cause it’s the only one we got!
A lot of folks might have reservations about spending such a family-centric Holiday like Christmas and New Years in a vacation rental. They question if Grandma will be able to cook her traditional recipes, if it will feel "homey" enough, if the rental will be big enough, how difficult it will be to coordinate everyone, etc.
But I am here to put those questions aside and give you 3 big reasons why utilizing a vacation rental for your holiday family time is great choice:
I think the best part about deciding to do your holidays in a vacation rental instead of your family home is that you can get a huge house! So no matter how big your family is, no matter how many kids there are, no matter how many half-cousins or significant others will be joining you this Holiday season, you can each spend time together and have some of your own personal space.
You can get a massive living room and kitchen to be together in, open gifts and cook in. But you can also have plenty of rooms and nooks so that each person can escape and have some quality alone time or couples time with their significant others.
This is a lot easier for family–bonding time than if you were all stuck in separate hotel rooms. Where are you going to open gifts? All of you are going to stuff yourselves in your grandparents’ room or find room at the hotel lobby or bar?
2. All of Your Family Can Meet Up
When deciding to host the holidays at a vacation rental you can choose somewhere that is easy for every family member to get to. You can pick a city, town, beach or a mountain that is right in the middle of everyone. So if you have family coming up from Mexico City, some others coming down from Santa Barbara and then more cousins coming from Arizona, San Diego is a great meeting spot that isn’t super out of the way for everyone.
This makes travel plans a lot easier to coordinate and travel days relatively shorter than they might have been if everyone decided to go to your parents’ house that is out of the country or across the U.S.
3. You Can Go Somewhere New
Another great aspect about having Christmas or New Years or both in a vacation rental is that you can pick a spot that no one has ever been too. Maybe your San Diego raised kids have never had a White Christmas, maybe your in-laws haven’t seen the ocean since they were kids, maybe everyone decides that they want to be somewhere that has a hip nightlife to enjoy New Year’s Eve.
Whatever it is, you can pick a place that caters to everyone’s wants but is in a new place that is full of discovery, mystery and adventure. Not to mention utilizing VRBO, HomeAway or Airbnb, or privately owned vacation rental sites will be much cheaper for everyone than getting separate hotel rooms for everyone.
Some of you might remember that my parents recently went vegan and completely turned our holidays around. Seriously.
The Holidays are centered around food and when you can’t use some of the classic ingredients like eggs and cream, it can make cooking for the Holidays challenging. Especially baking. I love to bake. I spend one whole day each Christmas season baking cookies to give out to my co-workers, friends and family.
But baking vegan is a whole new beast for me to tackle. And as “veganism” continues to develop in popularity, more and more of my circle are turning to a plant-based diet, which means I need to “up” my baking game.
So here are 5 vegan recipes that I think everyone will enjoy, no matter what their dietary preferences are:
Anything chocolate and you pretty much already have my interest. So Crinkle Cookies that are also vegan? Sold! This is the perfect cookie to round out the cookie plates you’ll be giving out to your own social circles.
You can’t get through the Holidays without a bit of Peppermint Bark, right? So here is the perfect substitute for all those pure and simple herbivores out there.
Wow your friends and family with this delicious dessert after your Christmas dinner. This is a cake that stays moist and full of flavor down to the last bite. I’m always skeptical when it comes to vegan cakes, but this sounds like a winner.
I love how there is a vegan version of everything! Even Egg-Nog! It literally has egg in the name! But this recipe does sound just as good as the original with full levels of cream to get you that flavor that screams Christmas.
Keep the Holiday traditions alive this year with vegan gingerbread cookies. You can still break out the cookie cutters, and that ginger spice flavor that you’ve been craving. This is a vegan winner!
There are some people in your social circle that simply don’t need anything more this holiday season. Maybe they have everything they need, maybe they have the means to get whatever they want, whenever they want, or maybe he/she is a minimalist. But there is always that one person that you just don’t know what to get for the upcoming holidays.
So PSG is here to help. Here are 5 gift ideas for that one person in your life that doesn't want anything this holiday season:
Target Gift Card
It may be winter but that doesn't mean it’s snowing or even that cold here in San Diego. This also means you can throw on some jeans and a light sweater and still enjoy the sunset outdoors. With that in mind here are 4 great spots in San Diego for you to take your friends and family to watch the sunset when they come visit for the holidays. Finish the article, visit each spot and thank us later.
1. Presidio Park
Presidio Park gives you the opportunity to watch the sun set over all of San Diego. You can have a picnic, a drink and surround yourself with lush green trees and grass as you enjoy watching a colorful sunset over the grey buildings of San Diego. Talk about romantic! No wonder so many folks have their weddings here...
2. Sunset Cliffs
Sunset cliffs may be the most obvious place in San Diego to check out the sunset. I mean just look at their name! But seriously this place lives up to the hype! Watching the waves crash against the cliffs against the backdrop of a never ending sea and a descending sun is pretty majestic. Another thing that makes this spot so nice is you never have to worry about parking, there is plenty! So everyone can enjoy nature’s best nightly show.
3. Top of the Hyatt
Nothing better than watching the sunset over downtown San Diego except for a fancy cocktail AND the sun setting over downtown San Diego. From one of the highest points in San Diego you can enjoy a creative cocktail under the “sunset” portion of the bar menu. This is one view you probably can’t beat.
4. Mission Bay
Mission Bay is known for being the place for tourists and locals alike to enjoy one spectacular beach sunset. Here you can enjoy a bonfire with your friends and family, some light beach time and of course a first row seat to a San Diegan sunset. Bring out the blankets and hoodies to stay for the sky’s encore with the SeaWorld fireworks that light up the sky after dark.
So my family just decided to make a major dietary transition in the last 6 months. My parents and my little sister have recently become vegan! And that’s awesome for a variety of reasons.
But one thing that they were all a little worried about was the holidays. Thanksgiving is one of my mom’s favorite holidays. She’s usually the cook and makes a massive feast for the whole family, however her typical recipes definitely aren’t vegan friendly. So together we started to brainstorm what both of us could make to try to replace her favorite dishes.
Here is a list of what we came up with after a lot of research and drooling over Pinterest posts featuring vegan alternatives:
Just because you don’t have a turkey doesn’t mean you can’t get gravy! It’s one of the best parts of thanksgiving and now you can have it without all the grease and fat from the Turkey.
Mashed Potatoes are essential to Thanksgiving and probably my mom’s favorite dish. But she likes it with a lot of butter and a lot of heavy cream. Those a “no-go” now, so this is a new recipe that will probably cut the calories in half and still be delicious.
Growing up this was the only vegetable we ever had with our Thanksgiving spread. And it was always covered with cream and fried onions, so not sure how much it counts as a vegetable. But now with this vegan twist it might actually still land in the vegetable and dare I say “healthy” category?
Now we’re onto my dad’s favorite dish. He always eats the leftover stuffing for a solid week after thanksgiving. To say this is his favorite dish is downplaying it. He waits patiently for his Thanksgiving stuffing all year. Now he can continue his healthy dietary journey without giving up his favorite holiday dish. That’s a win.
This recipe is great because it can definitely replace the giant turkey that takes hours to make. This recipe in corporates our favorite, warm flavor of squash with some hearty vegetables and grains that will still give you your Thanksgiving food baby. This dish is delicious and nutritious for your body, sounds like the perfect main dish to me.
Now I flat refuse to have Thanksgiving without a pumpkin pie. I refuse! So my contribution to this year’s festivities will be an easy vegan pumpkin pie that will hopefully curve my pumpkin cravings and give my mom a new holiday recipe.
You can never just have one pie, right? So here is a recipe for a pecan pie that will leave everyone reaching for a second piece. It looks pretty simple and has some cool twists that you would never have thought of yourself. Ahhhh I love Pinterest.
You can also check out these vegan holiday recipes on our Pinterest Page. We’re always on the hunt for great recipes, vegan or not. So if you find yourself unsure of what you want to make for this year’s holiday feasts check out our page for some unique recipe ideas for everyone, of every diet, to enjoy!
Hey PSG Followers, we thought we’d try something a bit different this week and give you some easy tips on how to make your lifestyle a bit more environmentally friendly. Because even with the fun of the Holidays rapidly approaching, we should always be thinking about the environment and what changes we can make to help Mother Earth get a bit healthier.
You probably imagine you’ll be being giving up convenience, time and money by trying to be more “green”. But if you don’t have to give up any of these things! To start you on the right track here are 3 ways that you can start being more environmentally conscious today:
A lot of our favorite and healthy foods have their own packaging including onions, bananas, apples, avocados, oranges, nuts, eggs, etc. These foods are can easily be composted or thrown away without largely affecting the environment. They are also great tasting and great for your body!
If you are a fan of oats, trail mix, nuts, dried fruits and other pantry items you can buy these items in bulk using cloth backs to hold the items. You can do this by shopping at Sprouts! They have a ton of barrels full of delicious goodies for you to choose from. You can even buy your coffee here in bulk!
2. Replace your plastic water bottle with a reusable one
Replace the hundreds or thousands of plastic water bottles you bring with you to work, the gym or when you’re running errands with a reusable canteen or water bottle. It’s a small investment that can actually save you tons of money and help the environment out.
If you drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, you could save about $1400 a day on water. That’s right $1400. That same amount of water will cost you about $0.49 a year if taken from the tap. And hey that’s what Brita’s are for right?
Even if you love sipping on tea or coffee throughout the day, instead of buying a coffee in a paper cup at your local coffee shop, whether it's Bird Rock Coffee Roasters or Better Buzz, bring in your thermos to keep your coffee or tea piping hot and save a disposable cup in the process. That's a win-win!3. Check out your nearest refill station
Refill stations, like Earthwell Refill in North Park, can help you help the environment. Bring in old containers from hand soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, and dish soap to refill so you’re utilizing the packaging, whether it’s plastic or glass, more than once. It is the ultimate
Also when you buy these products at Target, CVS or Costco you are paying partly for the nice packaging. So the refill stations end up saving you money in the long run. Also the products found at refill stations are much better for your body and health. These products are usually made with better, safer and more environmentally conscious ingredients that will treat your body, clothes, and dishes with more care.
The Holidays are right around the corner which means holiday parties are right around the corner. This is the time to “wow” your friends and family with holiday inspired cocktails that will get the party moving and taste delicious with every sip.
As always PSG is here to help! Here are our favorite holiday cocktail recipes for you to try out this holiday season:
If you are looking for a warm, easy drink to cuddle up with in front of your fireplace then this hot toddy is the perfect drink for you.
This might be the ideal drink to impress a crush with its spicy and sweet taste.
Who doesn't love pecan pie? This is ideal after dinner drink that is light and sweet enough to enjoy with a full tummy.
This one is made for the holiday party. Let the bubbles mix with the sourness of the cranberries and the spice of the ginger to create a playful cocktail for everyone to enjoy.
This is one is for all the chocolate lovers out there and is the perfect dessert cocktail.
Eggnog is an essential flavor for the holidays so why no give it a creamy summer twist with coconut and then add some Tequila. We are in San Diego after all.
This is a fun twist on the Moscow mule and switches out that ginger taste with refreshing mint. Get out your candy canes for this one!
This simple two ingredient cocktail is going to take you right through all the family and food craziness of Thanksgiving.
Apple pie is one of the most essential parts of the holiday season, so why not spice it up a little with some alcohol and ice.
This is the adult version of the kid classic. What could be better than caramel, apple and a little champagne?
Happy November everyone! We thought we would start this month off a little differently and give you a guide to the craft beer industry in San Diego.
People call San Diego the mecca of craft beer and they wouldn’t be wrong. No matter what part of San Diego you are in there are numerous breweries to choose from. There’s so many it may be hard to decide where to start so we’ve broken it down into 3 top areas for you to begin your San Diego brewery hopping experience:
Stay on 30th, University and El Cajon Boulevard and you’ll have plenty of award winning breweries to keep you busy. My vote would be to start at Belching Beaver, known for it’s hearty stouts and good vibes, on 30th and work your way down to University St. From there you’ll hit Rip Current, a laid-back surfer spot with excellent beer, hop across to the Mike Hess and the brand new North Park Beer Co. If you still have room after those, head towards the famous taproom of Modern Times and finish off with some of the best ramen ever right next door at Underbelly. Don’t worry they have beer too.
I recommend beginning your tour in Little Italy, you’ll have a walk ahead of you if you’re aiming to end in the Gaslamp but long walks with friends are always the best way to spend an afternoon after a few cold ones. Here you’ll be able to make a stop Bolt Brewery; a small brewery with some serious spark, Ballast Point; arguably San Diego’s most well known brewery and Stone Brewery on Kettner St; another San Diegan beer classic. Mission brewery is also close to here, but I would recommend grabbing an Uber as you’ll find yourself strutting across some major freeways and streets to get there.
If you are in San Diego just for the craft beer then you have to hit up Miramar. It is a warehouse-business district; so don’t expect much when it comes to walking around and enjoying the picturesque views. But here you will get the chance to drink some great beer at St. Archer and AleSmith Brewing Company, which are some of the bigger names featured in Miramar. If you’re looking for more unique beer tasting experiences check our Little Miss Brewing, White Labs, Amplified Ale Works, and Green Flash. All of which are on the smaller scale but deliver that punch that all tourists and visitors now expect when sipping San Diego craft beer.
It’s that time of year for spooky marshmallow snacks and Frankenstein shaped cookies! It is a good thing that all the PSG vacation rentals have a full kitchen that you can utilize to bake all of your favorite seasonal treats.
So get out your aprons and oven mitts because here are three Halloween themed recipes for you and your whole family to enjoy!
These treats are perfect for the kid within all of us! I man who doesn’t like the classic rice crispie treat? This just adds a cute Halloween twist without sacrificing the original taste that we all know and love.
One box of cereal makes 12 pumpkins, if you want more you can always make the pumpkins a little smaller.
These creepy salty and sweet snacks will wow your kids! It’s even on the healthier side too! Just paint some almonds with black food coloring, dip stick pretzels in melted green candy coating and you’ve got yourself some witch fingers. Not bad huh?
This is the time of year where everything is pumpkin flavored and we love it! So jump on the bandwagon and make some pumpkin filled desserts for you upcoming Halloween party. Add some candy eyes and you’ve got some mummy shaped pastries to impress your friends and family.
Halloween is right around the corner and if you’re looking to get in the spooky spirit with some pumpkin picking, we’ve got you covered. Here is a guide to the best of the best pumpkin patches around San Diego so you can enjoy some quality time with your family or significant other and get a great pumpkin to carve before the ghostly holiday.
Bates Nut Farm:
I used to come here as a kid and now as an adult I make my boyfriend come with me to relive some childhood memories. There are pony rides, farm animals to feed and pet, a straw maze, and a large pumpkin garden where you get to pick your own pumpkin.
There’s also a great little market where you can purchase a variety of homemade goods from trail mixes to chocolates to jams. They even have homemade ice cream and BBQ stands!
These stations are everywhere in San Diego and are great for a quick stop to get a pumpkin and get in the Halloween spirit! There’s one even in Mission Valley, which is real close to all the PSG rentals. So you can be a part of the October festivities even if you are on vacation. Parking and admission for these stations are FREE!
Pumpkins, rides and entrance into the corn maze are priced individually.
Julian Milling Company:
If you are willing to travel into the mountains to check out this pumpkin patch you’ll be rewarded with a small town that specializes in offering some serious holiday cheer. Julian is known for it’s delicious pies that are now sold in most grocery stores all over San Diego. They also make some mean apple cider which is the best apple cider you’ll have, whether its hot, cold or hard.
Lavender Hill Pumpkins:
Fallbrook might be a bit of a trek, but this pumpkin patch is an OG favorite in San Diego. This beautiful family owned farm is known for it’s big or simply unique pumpkins. I mean you can find some of the most disgusting pumpkins you have ever seen at this pumpkin patch. And for Halloween, well that just might be perfect!
San Diego is known as a summer city, where the sun always shines and the beach is always an option. Most of the malls here are outdoors, a lot of the restaurants have patio seating and some of the best attractions of San Diego require you to be outside. So what do you do when it’s raining in the greatest city in the world?
There are a few options and they might still be just as fun as the activities you can enjoy when the sun is hot and shining!
Tiki Town Adventure Golf in Belmont Park is a mostly-indoor mini golf attraction. The tiki themed game will keep summer fresh on your mind as you enjoy making your way through the some-what complex holes. Enjoy a well-deserved dole whip at the end of the game in the small tiki bar next to the mini golf building. You can only get this pineapple soft serve two places in California, here in Belmont Park or Disneyland, so take advantage!
Nothing is more relaxing on rainy day than enjoying a daytime flick. Try Arclight in La Jolla’s UTC which not only serves great films, delicious drinks and foods but a luxury movie-going experience. There is also an AMC in Mission Valley or Fashion Valley, which is relatively close to all of the PSG properties in Mission Bay.
The indoor skating rink in the mall at UTC, La Jolla is open all-year round! Which means rain or shine you can fall on your butt and make a fool of yourself any time you want. They offer ice-skating lessons too if you’re looking to impress a date or you can just enjoy a few rounds the rink until the rain stops.
Escape rooms are a fun bonding experience for a family or a group of friends. You get to figure out a puzzle together and get your adrenaline pumping at the same time. These games are exciting, unique and may be a little scary to younger participants but they’re gernally fun for everyone!
See here for the list of top 5 Escape Rooms in SD.
I don’t know about you but I love theme parks in the rain! Sea World is especially great because of how close it is to our PSG Rentals, but also because most of the rides, shows and attractions are water based so you’re likely to get wet anyways! Also the crowds will have greatly thinned out because of the rain so there won’t really be any long wait times for anything!
Torrey Pines Reserve
Tip: If you’re lucky you might get the change to see some dolphins, keep an eye out as you enjoy the breathtaking views of the never-ending ocean.
Sea Caves at Cabrillo National Monument
Tip: Make sure it’s low tide when you’re visiting this scenic spot or you will either be swept away or drenched by the incoming waves.
Tip: If you go in the early morning hours you’ll beat the heat and the crowds and be rewarded with a breathtaking sunrise against the backdrop of perfect purple mountains.
Potato Chip Rock
This hike is for all the Instagram lovers out there! This 7.5 mile hike from the Mt. Woodson trail is located near Poway and like Iron Mountain can get real hot real fast. While this hike might not seem like much as you’re travelling up the steep inclines, the top is picture worthy as you can sit, stand, or hang off a thin but sturdy rock that sits at the very top.
Tip: This trail can get pretty packed on the weekends. We recommend trying it during the workweek so you don’t have to wait an hour or so just to take a picture on the famous Potato Chip Rock.
Cedar Creek Falls
This moderate 4.2 mile trail is a sunny one that ends up at an oasis marked by a waterfall and pool. Be sure to bring your bathing suits, extra water, sunscreen and hats as this trail can pretty sweaty but the chance to jump into a cool fresh-water spring is well worth the effort.
Tip: During the summer this area gets pretty dry and exposed to crazy temperatures. You might just get to the finish line and find that the waterfall is all dried up. Not cool. So save this trail for the winter and spring seasons.
If you are vegan or transitioning into becoming vegan and you are visiting San Diego you don’t need to worry there are plenty of food options for you! Whether you enjoy cooking with locally grown produce or eating out, there are numerous options for you here in SD!
Here are a couple of our favorite Vegan options in San Diego:
Cook at Home:
If you are more into trying out new recipes with fresh, organic produce and whole foods look no further than one of the many farmers markets hosted in San Diego. Whether you want to venture to North Park, North County, Little Italy, Hillcrest of Pacific Beach there are farmers markets happening every week. They have the best of the best foods at reasonable prices for you to gather and wow friends and family with. Check out our local area guide for a complete list of farmers' markets dates and times.
Also all of the PSG vacation rentals come with a full kitchen, stocked with all the essentials you need to cook a homemade meal!
This vegetarian/ vegan hot spot has two locations in Clairemont and North Park. It’s menu is massive and heavily features Asian inspired cuisine. If you’re into vegan sushi for instance you can get a large of range of creative and unique rolls that will have you wonder why you don’t always have vegan sushi.
This yoga studio/café offers a vegan menu complete with vegan pastries. Located on the roof of a La Jolla building, you not only get some “feel-good” foods but an excellent view of downtown La Jolla. Maybe take a stab at aerial yoga before hand to increase your appetite cause these portions are huge!
Did someone really mix an all plant-based cuisine with fast food? Yes, they did and it’s awesome! This local spot is right near all of the PSG vacation rentals in Ocean Beach. They even have vegan ice cream so you can get a “guilt-free” vegan burger and shake!
This downtown classic is located in Little Italy and is the perfect place for the adventurous vegan. They have a little bit of everything from a broad range of cultures. This might be the only restaurant where you can get both plant-based nachos and a vegan bibimbamp bowl.
Craving a burger? No problem! San Diego is not only home to some of the best Californian-Mexican food around but also some of the juiciest and biggest burgers. So depending on if you’re looking for a quick stop for a solid burger or a place with great atmosphere, better drinks and a good burger, here is a complete list of the best of the best in San Diego when it comes to burgers:
2910 Damon Ave
If you’re new to the west coast then you have to try the one and only In-n- Out burger. There’s a lot of talk about these burgers throughout the internet wilderness, so you might be skeptical. Don’t be. This place will match and exceed all of your expectations without hurting your wallet. Make friends with a local and get a tutorial on the “secret menu”.
Our recommendation: The #2, with light-well done fries and a lemon-up!
3408 30th St
While you’re checking out the art scene of North Park, stop by The Smoking Goat but make sure it’s on a week day and it’s before the dinner rush. You won’t get into this hot spot without a reservation during the weekend or the popular dinner hours. The brioche bun and grilled onions make this burger a favorite, but the truffle, duck-fat fries that come with it take it to the next level!
777 G St, San Diego, CA 92101
The Neighborhood bar is a staple in the Downtown San Diego nightlife. It’s the perfect setting for the young hipster generation, but their burger can speak to everyone. This burger hosts guyere and blue cheese, onions and arugula, no sauce. Sometime a simple burger and a good beer to wash it down is the recipe for happiness.
3175 India St,
This bar has been on our Local Area Guide since forever. We love it! Whether you’re coming here for a drink, the beginning or the end of a night out or a meal with friends this is the place to be. Now let’s talk burger. Lucky for you this burger is on their late night dining menu as well as their dinner menu, which means you get a chance to get this locally, organically, deliciously crafted burger just about any time of the night.
Now that you have splurged on attractions and vacations throughout the summer, you might be thinking it’s time to simmer down and to get back on track financially. Maybe you have a family reunion coming up in San Diego or a business trip where you are lucky enough to be sent to California’s finest city, either way we still want you to have a taste of San Diego's culture and history even if you're not willing to spend large amounts of money!
So here is a list of all the great things you can enjoy on your next trip to San Diego for free! But sifting through the dozens of websites, Yelp reviews and Facebook suggestions can be exhausting.
So we thought we’d make your research into free activities to do in San Diego a bit easier and give you a list of 10 of our favorites:
Timken Museum of Art
Unlike the other museums in Balboa Park, which are free on only one Tuesday a month, the Timken Museum of Art is always free! Here you get to enjoy both classical and modern art in an air conditioned space, which can be a savior if you’re walking around Balboa Park in the heat of San Diego’s early fall months.
There are 33 beaches in the San Diego area. That’s right, 33! So if you’re looking for some “me” time or just trying to get your tan on take a day at one of the beaches in central San Diego or North County San Diego. It won’t cost you a dime and at this time of year the beaches are slowly becoming less crowded with tourists.
There are so many different hikes to do in San Diego it would take me a couple hours to go over them all and tell you what make each and every one of them so special. But a personal favorite is the Torrey Pines Reserve, where you get a bird’s eye view of the ocean over some sandy cliffs, you can even walk down to the actual beach and if you’re lucky catch a view of some dolphins!
Looking for a romantic, but budget-friendly activity? How about a picnic for two looking over the city of San Diego? And if you go between the hours of 8am and 8pm you can bring a bottle of champagne or red wine without getting into trouble! That's right, Presidio Park is one of the few parks in San Diego that you can legally drink at!
Dive In Movies @ The Pearl
The Pearl hotel host free movies every Wednesday night by their pool. They also serve snacks and have a full bar available for those ready to splurge a little. Check out the full list of what’s playing here!
This is a lovely little hike or walk or drive depending on what you’re feeling up to and it’s right over La Jolla! Enjoy the ocean views, the monument and the other tourists that come to crowd the popular spot.
If you’re looking for a beautiful spot close by to enjoy the sunset and walk down to the ocean this is the spot for you. It’s nearby our vacation rentals too, located right in Ocean Beach.
Seaport village is a quaint little area located right on the edge of the Gaslamp quarter. It looks over the bay downtown and hosts a variety of little shops that are fun to poke around. There are also always a good number of street vendors and performers that highlight the experience.
Have a free Sunday? Try going to the Balboa Park International Houses, they are truly adorable! Each mini home represents a different country and is hosted by volunteers ready to share food, music and history with you. Donations are readily accepted!
Julian is a small mountain town on the outskirts of San Diego. The best times to visit here is in the late fall and early winter, the chilled weather goes perfectly with freshly baked apple pies and hot apple cider. But really just walking the cute town with loved one is probably the best part and really gets you in the mood for the holidays.
So here are 3 delicious last-minute marinade recipes for every San Diegan who is determined to get their grille on and enjoy the outside despite the gloomy weather:
This Morton Salt recipe is a one of a kind and will have your friends and family craving more! You only have to marinade the steak for an hour so if you are deciding to pull off a last minute Labor Day party this might be the perfect recipe for you!
Maybe you’re in a taco mood today, tacos are great for small are large parties and can be made any way you want them. The most important ingredient is the mean or beans that you make the taco with right? Try this marinade for some chicken with a zing!
*This link also gives you 6 more ideas for chicken marinades just in case you’re feeling something a bit different than tacos!
Feeding a bunch of vegetarians or vegans or just wanting some tasty veggies? No worries! Try this marinade out; it mixes soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to make your grilled vegetables stand out!
Looking to make this veggie based meal more hearty? Try the same marinade on some tofu before you grill it. The tofu will absorb the marinade and then become nice and crispy on the outside.
UPDATE: The sun has come out everyone! Time to get grilling and enjoy the last of this summer’s heat before fall kicks in!
As the summer winds down we have one last holiday to enjoy the long, hot summer days here in San Diego. The real question is though what is the best way to spend that Labor Day in San Diego?
For tourists there can be an overwhelming number of activities to do in San Diego that they don’t even know where to start especially if they’re just here for the holiday weekend.
So to help out here are our top 3 suggestions of the best things to do in San Diego during the upcoming Labor Day weekend!
This goes on through September 4th and although the place might be a little busier on this summer holiday the lights, music and attractions are well worth the trip. You will also be able to enjoy the opening of the Zoo’s newest attraction, Conrad Preby’s Africa Rocks! So don’t miss this one on the upcoming holiday.
With so many awesome craft breweries here in San Diego it could take you the entire three-day weekend to experience most of them! So for the beer lovers out there, we recommend taking a craft brewery tour so you can safely venture from one brewery to the next. It’s a great way to spend the holiday with friends and get a little slice of San Diego culture while you’re at it.
This nautical festival takes over the North Embarcadero during Labor Day weekend! There are tons of things to enjoy and see for every sea lover including live music, a beer garden, local food vendors and a kid’s zone. There is something here for everyone to enjoy throughout the weekend.
Do I need to rent a car when in SD?
This is a question that often comes up for tourists who are vacationing in San Diego for the first time. San Diego is a big city with its counties spreading out over a vast area, so how are tourists meant to get around? Is renting a car the best and easiest way to see and experience the most in San Diego?
While the answer isn’t a firm yes and there are buses, the Amtrak, tours, Uber and other modes of transportation, I would strongly recommend tourists rent a car while vacationing here in San Diego. Here is why:
San Diego is huge.
San Diego is a big city and if you want to venture to the beautiful beaches of North County or go on one of the great hikes in Mission Trails Regional Park or even check out the quaint downtown area of Coronado, you’re life would be made a lot easier if you had a car.
So if you’re looking to see the most you can of grand San Diego and discover the hidden gems this city has to offer you might want to get a rental car. It will allow you to experience more of the city and get lost in it in your own way, thus giving you more freedom to explore ALL of San Diego.
Public transportation is “eh”.
Unless you’re in downtown San Diego and only spending your vacation time in the downtown San Diego area, where you can pretty much walk everywhere or take advantage of the trolley system, it’s pretty hard to get around San Diego by bus or train. With the Amtrak there are only 4 stops within the San Diego area; Oceanside, Solana Beach, Old Town and Downtown. This limits you pretty drastically and would still likely require you to take an Uber to your vacation rental, hotel or desired location.
As for the buses, they rarely run on time and stop running relatively early which can put you in a bit of a pickle if you’re relying on public transport after a night out. This makes Uber or Lyft the better option, especially if you’re only staying in San Diego for a short time but that brings us to the next point.
Uber or Lyft adds up.
If you’re planning on mostly utilizing the handy Uber or Lyft app during your stay in San Diego you should think about a few setbacks. If you’re planning on enjoying a Padres game, a night out Downtown or in PB on a Friday or Saturday or even attending an arts festival in North Park or Hillcrest there will almost definitely be a surge. This means that your average price to go home or to go out while using the apps will go up significantly.
Not to mention using these convenient apps when you have a whole family to cart to different locations all over San Diego, which requires all 4 seats in a car, is going to start to add up quickly. This is especially true if you’re planning on venturing out of the immediate area of your vacation rental or hotel, going to one of San Diego’s theme parks, one of San Diego’s farther counties or are simply spending a longer time here in San Diego.
3 Summer Margarita Recipes #MargaritaMonday
Inspired by Margarita Monday here our 3 great, summer margarita recipes to enjoy on Mission beach or the balcony of one of our lovely vacation rental properties!
So if you’re not feeling up to going to one of the many great bars or restaurants in San Diego, sit back and relax with one of these homemade margarita recipes that will be sure to “WOW” everyone.
A refreshing way to end a summer day, this margarita will make you the talk of your friendship group or family. And it’s so easy! You don’t even need a blender for this one of a kind, delicious drink that will make you forget the San Diego heat.
This margarita combines two of my favorite things in the world: strawberries and mangos! This tropical treat is nice and sweet, disguising the tequila perfectly and making you and your friends come back for more!
This margarita isn’t your typical margarita as it’s creamier than the others, making it more like a pina colada than a margarita. Not that we’re complaining! This margarita might be the easiest on the list to make and won’t disappoint! You might just keep yourself on the balcony drinking the sun away!
Top 5 California Burritos in San Diego
As most people know San Diego is the home of some of the best taco shops and Mexican restaurants in the U.S. But what San Diego locals know best is that the California burrito is one of the most delicious, most awesome, and inspiring California-Mexican foods our town has to offer.
But who makes this carne asada, sour cream, and french fry filled delicacy the best in San Diego? Well you’ll never find a group of San Diego locals that agree on just one place, everyone has their favorite. But to help you and other tourists narrow down the search for the perfect California burrito we created a list of our top 5 favorites!
3753 30th St
Located in the hub of North Park, this place is hard to beat. Its open 24 hours and has a drive through window. They’re burritos range from $5+ and the California burrito sits on a throne in this small taco shop. Don’t forget to try the salsa they give you as well! It offers a perfect kick to an already perfect burrito.
820 Birmingham Dr
You might have to venture to North County for this local favorite but the trip will be well worth it. Don’t get deterred by the fact that it is attached to a gas station and car wash. While you enjoy your mouth-watering California Burrito that is as big as your forearm, you can take in the piteresque views of the Cardiff cliffs and beach. If you still have room try one of their $0.99 fish tacos.
3. Don Bravo
This burrito joint might be a little more upscale than what you were expecting but that doesn’t make it’s California burrito any less good. With ocean views, non-traditional options like burgers and ceviche this is one place you’re not going to want to miss.
4. The Taco Stand
This taco shop has 3 locations in La Jolla, Downtown and Encinitas. But the La Jolla shop has freshly made churros, which are the perfect way to end a day at the beach and California burrito meal. Be prepared to wait though, this shop is popular with locals and tourists alike so it almost always has a line out the door.
You can find Roberto’s taco shops all over San Diego from Carlsbad to Tijuana. These joints are surfer classics and a “must-go” if visiting the sunny beaches of SD. These California burritos are greasy and messy just like we, here in San Diego, like ‘em. Perfect for the end of a night out or to refuel after surfing for a few hours.
Congratulations you have rented your first vacation home with PSG in San Diego! You are new to San Diego, but are determined to not waste your precious vacation time on the tourist traps but instead want to explore the local scenery, museums, restaurants and nightlife.
So PSG is here to help! Here is a guide to really as the locals do.
9:30 AM: After a bit of exercise you’re stomach is going to wonder if you forgot about it. It’s time for some yummy food to keep up your energy and make your stomach a happier camper. How about The Olive Café? Steps away from your temporary San Diego home, you can enjoy a morning cup of joe and a fresh, delicious breakfast!
12:00 PM: San Diegan’s love their nature, so if you’re wanting to continue your daily life as a local, stay outside and walk around the nearby shops in PB or walk along the longest pier in San Diego in OB. Maybe stop at Hodad’s for one of their world famous burgers or The Mad Beet for a lighter, healthier Acai bowl!
2:00 PM: You’re still on vacation, even if you are an honorary local, so why not try one of the hundreds of craft breweries in San Diego! You can even hop around with one of San Diego’s brewery tours, which even locals love, or just pick two or three at random that are nearby. Check out the “Craft Beer Scene” section of our Local Area Guide for our favorite local breweries!
5:30 PM: Almost time for sunset, which means it’s time to set up your picnic and bonfire at Mission Bay. It also means its time for dinner! There are plenty of barbeque pits in mission bay where you can cook up some hot dogs or veggie burgers. After those couple of beers, all you might want to do is lounge in the sand, take a nap and gain a tan.
7:00 PM: Sun is setting and the brilliant oranges, pinks and red light up the San Diego, summer sky. You can start your bonfire now and get out the s’mores makings to everyone’s delight. Nothing beats a good sunset and s’mores!
8:00 PM: It’s dark now but it never really gets too cold in San Diego, so with a couple of blankets and sweatshirts you can stay out and enjoy the night sky. It gets even better when the Sea World Fireworks light it up. It might be for the guests of the amusement park but locals loves the sky spectacular just as much as the tourists.
9:00 PM: Now it might be time to go home and enjoy a couple of hours with a new book, a new TV show or a family film. If you’re with friends, now might be just the beginning of your night. Which means you’re heading to the bars of PB or the Gaslamp area to dress up and enjoy the local nightlife scene! Check out our “Nightlife” section in the Local Area Guide to see what our favorite bars are.
Now you can live like a local! After this day you might just want to move here to San Diego and become a real “local”.
Here are 3 top reasons why you should choose Mission Bay as your next vacation spot:
Here in Mission Bay you get the very best of everything San Diego has to offer. If you’re looking for a relaxing day at the beach, a fun theme park for a family day or a night downtown, Mission Bay is just a few minutes away from it all!
Directly surrounding Mission Bay and all of the vacation rentals we offer are multiple beaches, Liberty Station, SeaWorld, Belmont Park as well as popular tourist towns, Pacific Beach and Point Loma. This means there is no shortage of diverse restaurants, bars, hikes and entertainment literally steps from your new vacation home. There are also a series of highly ranked hotels in Mission Bay in case you’re looking for a relaxing day at the spa.
Downtown and Balboa Park are a 15 minute drive from the bay, which means that you can enjoy a few museums, a trip to seaport village or an evening drink in the Gaslamp district without going too far from your temporary San Diego home.
Yes, in Mission Bay you get to enjoy fireworks throughout the summer and holiday seasons. This is thanks to SeaWorld and their popular fireworks spectacular, which is located close to all of our available rental properties. This allows you and your family the chance to enjoy a SeaWorld’s evening display of fireworks right from your vacation living room, porch or balcony.
Have an evening picnic or barbeque on the beach or enjoy one of the many bonfire pits that Mission Bay offers and wait for the light display in the summer night sky. Kids and parents alike are sure to enjoy this added surprise to their vacation.
All of the available vacation properties we offer here at PSG are either on a beach or steps away from one. This allows you and your family to enjoy and explore a wide array of aquatic sports like kayaking, snorkeling or scuba diving. You can even try your hand at kite surfing or rent a board and practice “standing up” for the first time! There are rental equipment services all over Mission Bay to teach, coach and guide you through San Diego’s finest waters.
Kids will love the available bonfire pits and varied children’s parks that are scattered throughout the area. You can spend a whole day out on the water and then watch the sunset while keeping warm beside the fire pit. Did someone say S’mores?