Welcome back to Off The 56! Today we’re sharing some useful hacks for living in San Diego!
Museum Pass at a Discount
If you and your family enjoy visiting some of the great museums here in San Diego, you’ll love this first hack! If you become a member of select museums in other areas of the country that are part of the NARM (North American Reciprocal Museum Association), you may be able to get a reciprocal membership for The NAT and The Fleet Science Center in San Diego – and save yourself tons of money in the process. Check out the NARM website here to learn more!
Travel on a Budget
After moving to San Diego, you’ll quickly realize that the San Diego International Airport is not the cheapest airport. In fact, it only has one runway. This means international flights are generally more expensive and there are less flight options. We recommend checking out flight options from Los Angeles International Airport for international travel or even the Tijuana Airport if you’re heading south of the border. You can save a lot of money by exploring other airports!
Parking at the Airport
Although there are airport parking options, it can quickly get expensive. So if you need to leave your car at the airport during a quick trip, check out this hack! The Sheraton Hotel and Marina is right across the street from the airport and only $12 a day for valet parking! Plus, there are shuttles that run every ten minutes to take you to and from the airport. The Four Points by Sheraton also allows you to park your car nearby, at only $10 a day.
California State Explorer Parking Pass
If you are a regular to our channel, you have definitely heard this hack already! But we just had to mention it one more time. This parking pass allows you to park at almost every state beach and park in California for one annual fee! Check out the details here.
Kids Go Free to the San Diego Zoo in October
Every October, the San Diego Zoo allows children free admission! If you have children in your family, this is a great offer to take advantage of!
Balboa Park Free Museum Days
Balboa Park also offers free days at select museums for residents each month, usually on Tuesdays. This is a great way to save some money and entertain your whole family while getting a little education at one of Balboa Park’s many fabulous museums.
SeaWorld Preschool Pass
SeaWorld also offers a free pass for kids ages 3-5 living in San Diego or Orange County for the entire month of December! December is a great time to take your family to the park, as they decorate for the Holidays! Just be sure to claim your spot ahead of time, as there are only 10,000 free tickets allotted each year. For more details, click here.
San Diego has a large military population, so there are many deals for both active military and veterans to take advantage of! In fact, they actually have a ticket office at the commissaries on base with amazing discounts to Legoland California, Disneyland, and more! It also doesn’t hurt to ask businesses if they offer a military discount – they most likely do!
San Diego County has lots of farmers markets running throughout the weekdays and weekend. This is not only a great way to get fresh, affordable produce, it’s an opportunity to meet locals and get involved in the community. Check out the full list of San Diego County markets here.
We hope you liked our San Diego Hacks video. Let us know your favorite hack in the comments below! And we’ll see you next time on Off The 56!
Next up on our tour of San Diego is the beautiful neighborhood of Del Mar! Del Mar is a rather small area, totaling 2.1 sq. miles and has a population of only 3,347 people. You’ll quickly see that although it might be a small neighborhood, Del Mar makes up for it with beautiful beaches and lots to do!
Our first stop today is Del Mar Beach. It can get busy in this area during the summer because it is such a great beach to walk, run, surf, and hang out at! You can also grab a bite to eat and still enjoy the view at some of our favorites, Poseidon Restaurant or Jake’s Del Mar. Del Mar Dog Beach is another awesome spot in Del Mar. It’s just about a mile north of the main Del Mar Beach and is a great spot to take your dog for some sun and sand all year round. Check out more information about Dog Beach here.
The next stop on our tour is Seagrove Park in Del Mar. This beautiful park is tucked away between palm trees and ocean views, making it the perfect location for private events. In fact, you can rent the space for your own special event! For more information about Seagrove Park, click here. The park also sits right in front of the Pacific Surfliner train tracks. The Surfliner transports passengers all the way from downtown San Diego up to San Luis Obispo in Central California. It is a great public transportation system that many San Diegans use to commute to and from the Los Angeles area.
Next on our list is the beautiful Del Mar Village. One of the great things about Del Mar Village is its central location. The neighborhood of Del Mar is located on the central coast of San Diego County and is only about 20 minutes North from downtown and 20 minutes south of Carlsbad as well. This area is very walkable and full of great shops, restaurants, and bars to enjoy! You’ll also want to check out the view from the brand new Del Mar Civic Center!
Of course, it wouldn’t be a day with Courtney without a stop for a sweet snack! Next on our tour of Del Mar is Stratford Court Café for coffee and a cinnamon roll. (Got to keep Courtney happy!)
Perhaps, one of the most famous attractions in Del Mar is the Del Mar Race Track. There are now two racing seasons, one in the summer that starts after the County Fair and the other in late November. After Hollywood Park closed in Los Angeles they moved its race season down to San Diego and added a fall meet. Click here to get the complete 2020 Race Season schedule. The Del Mar Race Track also hosts major events such as The San Diego County Fair, KAABOO Del Mar, and many more special events year round.
We finished up our tour of Del Mar in true San Diego fashion, at Roberto’s Del Mar to grab a California burrito!
We hope you enjoyed our tour of Del Mar! Did we convince you to make the move here? If you are curious about moving to Del Mar or another neighborhood in San Diego County, give me a call anytime! (858) 737-5255
1. Torrey Pines State Park
If you’ve been following Off the 56 for a while, you’ve probably seen Torrey Pines State Park come up over and over again. That’s because there’s tons of great stuff to do for kids and parents alike! Besides the beach, there are several great trails in the reserve that aren’t too difficult for young kids. A lot of it is pretty flat, plus you can choose how far you go. And, it has the best view of any hiking trail in San Diego.
Check out our first visit to Torrey Pines State Park on Off the 56 here.
2. Carlsbad Flower Fields
Located in North County San Diego, the Carlsbad Flower Fields are known for their gorgeous giant ranunculus flowers. While the exact dates the Flower Field is open changes every year depending on the flowers, usually you can see the blooms between March and May.
Aside from the flowers, they have tractor rides through the fields, a maze, food, and more. You do need tickets to get in, but tickets are relatively reasonable. Plus you’ll have the opportunity to take beautiful family photos amongst the flowers.
3. La Jolla Cove
While San Diego offers locals many great beaches with stunning views, La Jolla Cove makes our list of the best things to do with kids in San Diego in part because of the abundance of sea lions that hang out there! No matter when you go or what the weather, you’re sure to find several dozen sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks or splashing in the water. Kids absolutely love watching the animals and listening to them bark!
Insider Tip: when the tide is out, you can actually walk through the cave at the edge of the cove and explore the tide pools. Pretty neat!
4. Birch Aquarium
While you’re in La Jolla checking out the sea lions, make a stop at Birch Aquarium. Not only is it extremely affordable for families, they have lots of great exhibits without it being too overwhelming for your youngest kids. There are lots of hands-on activities and special events throughout the year like their Green Flash Concert Series.
When you’re done exploring the aquarium, head to the patio to check out one of the best views in all of San Diego! You’ll be able to look out over the pier and take in all of La Jolla.
5. San Diego Zoo and Safari Park
Of course the zoo made the list – it’s world famous after all!
At the San Diego Zoo, we particularly love taking the double decker bus through the park and spending time at the reptile house. But there’s something for everyone at a zoo this size – there’s even a petting zoo near the front! And if you come at different times of the day, you’ll see different animals as some are more active at dawn and dusk than during the day.
The San Diego Safari Park is a little smaller in size, but no less fun. Much like the zoo, you’ll find creatures living in different habitats up near the front. But you can take the tram around the whole thing and see some of the animals that are living out in the large group enclosure. If you have older kids, you may want to treat them to one of the “safaris” where you’ll actually be driven out into the herd to meet the animals. You may even get to feed some giraffes! Plus, you can even go zip lining at the Safari Park!
While LEGOLAND California isn’t as big as Disneyland or California Adventure, it’s much more manageable for kids and more affordable for parents. With its location in Carlsbad, it’s also much easier to get to.
Even if you’re not into LEGOs, there’s something for everything there. They have Star Wars, Ninjago, a water park, aquarium, live shows, and more. And if you’re looking for a staycation, you can stay at the LEGOLAND Hotel.
Insider tip: Visit Costco and buy their LEGOLAND pass for great savings!
7. San Diego Botanic Garden
One of San Diego’s best-kept secrets, the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas is a wonderland for families. It’s scenic, walkable, and full of activities for kids. They even have a giant tree house for the kids to go nuts with. Plus they have different events throughout the year, like their Holiday Garden of Lights.
8. Belmont Park
If you’ve never been to Belmont Park, it’s like taking a trip to an East Coast amusement park without hopping on a plane. Located right on the boardwalk in Mission Beach, they have a giant wooden roller coaster, a merry go round, pool, tons of fair games, food, and more.
9. New Children’s Museum
If you have younger kids, you’ll definitely want to check out the New Children’s Museum in Downtown San Diego. This is a great museum for kids between ages one to eight. It’s a three-story hip and modern space with lots for kids to do. There’s plenty of things to climb on, crawl under, and experiment with. They have rotating exhibits as well so even if you’ve been before, you’ll want to come back again and check out what’s new. Our kids always have a blast at this museum!
10. Whale Watching
December through April is whale-watching season in San Diego as the whales migrate along the coast. It’s estimated that over 20,000 whales pass through the waters of San Diego each year! There are different boat companies that take you out to see the whales and you’ll usually spot at least one if you go during this prime season.
Insider Tip: Check Groupon for ticket deals to help you save some money on this family excursion.
11. Julian, CA
Last on our list is historic Julian, CA! A great daytrip from San Diego, you’ll step back in time as you visit this picturesque mining town. While Julian is known for their apple pie, you can also browse the antique shops, go hiking, take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, take a tour of the old mines, and even visit the local cemetery. In the fall, you can also go apple picking!
What’d you think of this list? Anything you’d add? Leave a comment below and maybe we’ll check it out soon on Off the 56!
The Merge 56 project will begin grading this upcoming January of 2020. After numerous delays, the project finally looks to be moving forward. I spoke with the developers this past week and they confirmed grading will begin in January before the start of the bird nesting season. There are a few approvals still needed to begin the actual building but if the city is allowing them to grade the project it would seem to be close.
The project will consist of a retail village-style shopping center with restaurants, movie theatre, & fitness center. It will also consist of some office space as well as residential units including Single Family homes, condos and townhomes. This project will also connect Torrey Highlands to the Park Village neighborhood by extending Camino Del Sur through the canyon.
The project has been met with mostly positive sentiment from the community, the detractors don’t want any more building into our beautiful preserve. If all goes well the project may open by the end of 2021 or early 2022. I will update again when I hear more information.
Pacific Village is a new master-planned community located in Rancho Penasquitos community in San Diego by the builder Lennar. The community will consist of 601 homes, from single-family homes as well as condos and townhomes. The Single Family homes are priced mostly in the low $800,000’s. The condos and townhomes start in the $600,000 range. The community is also set to include a swimming pool, park and BBQ area.
Pacific Village is located off of Carmel Mountain Road, at the northwest corner of Route 56 and Interstate 15, Pacific Village will feature 99 single-family homes, 105 triplex homes, 120 townhomes, and 277 apartments.
One of the biggest selling points of this community is that there won’t be any Mello-Roos which is rare for a new community here in San Diego. Unfortunately, it will come at the expense of the previous low-income housing development that was there previously and since been relocated. Lennar has promised 115 subsidized, low-rent units. Sixty of the apartments at Pacific Village will be subsidized for low-income households. The other 55 subsidized apartments will be offsite at other projects owned by the developers.
The Single Family homes will range in size from about 1,900 sqft to 2,220 sqft and lot size will be on the smaller size at about 4,000 sqft – give or take. The homes will not have driveways but will have a two-bay garage. The condos and townhomes will range in size from about 1,400sqft to 2,200 sqft.
Lennar states that the homes will have ‘Everything Included’ from the latest smart home technology to upgraded cabinets and countertops. They also say that would include Solar Panels. But the solar will be leased and not owned which can sometimes be troublesome when you go to sell the home.
If you have any questions about the community please free to reach out. For more Community news be sure to check out offthe56.com
Sorrento Mesa isn’t typically the first place that comes to mind when you think “cool beer spot” or “fun restaurant to enjoy with the whole family,” but the newly opened Gravity Heights is determined to change that. I recently dropped by to talk with General Manager Jon Broesel about the vision for Gravity Heights and of course, to sample some bites and brews.
The brainchild of Whisknladle Hospitality Inc.’s Arturo Kassel and the original Alesmith brewmaster, Skip Virgilio, Gravity Heights is a 12,000 square foot brewpub just a stone’s throw away from Qualcomm’s massive campus. Part restaurant, part bewery, and part event space, Gravity Heights is a feast for the eyes and the palette. Vibrant, California modern dining spaces flow seamlessly from outside to inside, with seating options allowing for everything from intimate conversation to casual gatherings to large celebrations.
Rather than restricting their clientele to the 21+ crowd, Gravity Heights has embraced families by filling their outdoor side yard with games and AstroTurf. As Jon Broesel explained, the vision for Gravity Heights was to create a space that families could enjoy as well. I’d say this vision has been well executed. On any given visit to the brewpub, you’re sure to find the crowd is representative of the diversity of people living in our Off the 56 community from young professionals to families to retirees.
But what really makes Gravity Heights stand out in my opinion is the quality of the food AND the beer. Like I said in the video, usually when you find a place with good beer, they don’t have good food and vice versa. But the team at Gravity Heights has really nailed it on both fronts. While I was meeting with Jon, I got to try a few of their beers and the Meat pizza. That pizza is honestly one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had in San Diego – I’m still looking for an excuse to go back and order it again! And the beers were outstanding. I particularly enjoyed the June Gloom Hazy IPA. Though if you’re not into IPAs, they have plenty of other beers on tap including some collaborations and guest beers, hard kombucha and cider, mixed drinks, and wine. To try the menu for yourself, make plans to join them for daily happy hour from 3-6pm in the bar and beer garden!
If you’re looking for a space to host your next event or celebration, look no further. Gravity Heights is equipped to handle parties of all shapes and sizes. They also have a private mezzanine you can book that overlooks the brewery and restaurant below. In addition to having its own bar and lounge, the mezzanine also has a pool table, shuffle board, and arcade games.
Gravity Heights is open every day except for select holidays. Click here to browse their dining menu and their current drink list. They do accept dining reservations, which I highly recommend as they have been quite popular since the brewpub opened at the end of January.
Have you checked out Gravity Heights yet? If so, let me know what you thought by leaving me a comment below. And if you’ve got a business Off the 56 I should hit up next, just post it below!