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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?