San Diego

Weekend roundup

August 26-29

Outdoor Fun

Hiking at Hollenbeck Canyon

Open. At 6,100 acres of rolling hillsides, riparian forests and freshwater marshes, Hollenbeck Canyon is one of San Diego’s better-kept hiking secrets. The 4.5-mile trail starts in an open meadow, then climbs along an eroded wall of a steep gorge—with views of Otay Mountain and Lyons Peak ahead, and a sweeping vista of the valley behind. It drops back down to an oasis of green trees along a streambed—an idyllic spot to rest before turning back. Keep an eye out for soaring hawks and raptors. Honey Springs Road (just off Campo Road), Jamul, 858.467.4201. More Info

Old Mission Dam

Open. Located in Mission Trails Regional Park, the Old Mission Dam is an unsung local gem. A nationally registered historical landmark, it dates back to the early 1800s and was one of the first dams on the West Coast. Built out of cobblestone, bricks and cement by Spanish missionaries and Kumeyaay natives indigenous to the area, it’s now a scenic place for picnics, bird watching and meditating. It’s also a prime starting point for hikes into such areas as Oak Canyon, East Fortuna Mountain and more. 1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, Mission Gorge, 619.668.3281.

San Dieguito River Park

Open. Take in San Dieguito River Park’s vast and diverse landscape—which includes Lake Hodges and Bernardo Mountain—with a hike along 45 miles of the 70-mile Coast to Crest Trail. Also popular with equestrians and mountain bikers, the trail starts in Del Mar (the coast) and reaches the summit of Volcan Mountain (the crest), north of Julian. Hikes range in difficulty and terrain, which becomes more rugged and remote as you head east. Bring plenty of water. Accessible trailheads are located in Del Mar, Del Dios Gorge, Lake Hodges and San Pasqual Valley. (See websites for addresses and more info.) |

Food + Drink

National Red Wine Day at Bleu Bohème

Aug. 28. Celebrate at French bistro Bleu Bohème, which is offering its signature boeuf bourguignon paired with a quarter-liter carafe of Fallbrook Winery’s syrah for $40—available only on Saturday. The dish comprises beef short ribs with red wine, mushrooms, bacon, carrots, baby potatoes and caramelized pearl onions. The restaurant will also offer its full dinner menu of French classics; plus new items such as tuna “steak” frites; Gruyere gnocchi; and the Boisson d’Ete cocktail with Citadelle gin, St. Germain liqueur, grapefruit and Champagne. Call for reservations. 5-9 p.m. 4090 Adams Ave., Kensington, 619.255.4167.

Metlbar Creamery & Cafe

Now Open. We’ll scream for ice cream, especially if it’s loaded with booze! Serving Southern comfort food and spiked frozen treats, Metlbar beckons with splurge-worthy indulgences. Sample libations in the form of ice-cream flights, shakes, sundaes and push pops—with rotating boozy flavors such as tequila-pistachio, mezcal-peanut-butter-cup and white-Russian-Oreo; plus a fun selection of bloody marys and direct cocktails. Eats include country-fried steak ‘n’ eggs, shrimp ‘n’ grits and hearty burgers; plus a full breakfast menu. Open daily beginning at 9 a.m. 2835 University Ave., North Park, 619.915.5572.

Tapas Bar at Romesco

Reopened. Nestled off the beaten culinary path in Bonita, Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro is a community-gathering hub known for its refined, Mediterranean-infused Mexican cuisine. And now its popular Tapas Bar (a separate space within the restaurant) is back—offering live music, happy hour specials and shareable small plates. Offerings include grilled lamb lollipops, “roadside” ahi tuna tostadas, and bone marrow sopes with fried parsley; plus cocktails such as the Mexapan Martini with vanilla vodka and the Tamarindo Margarita. Tu-Su (see website for hours). 4346 Bonita Road, Bonita, 619.475.8627.


Open. Serving Sicilian cuisine with seasonal offerings, the Busalacchi family’s modern trattoria offers indoor dining and a quaint alfresco patio. Our menu picks: the fried-squash blossoms stuffed with four cheeses, Sicilian meatballs with pine nuts and pecorino, and oxtail risotto. Barbusa is also known for its handmade pastas, such as the cavatelli with bone marrow, ricotta and sausage; and Southern Italian wines and cocktails. Try the Sicilian mule with Absolut Elyx vodka, Aperol, ginger beer and lemon. M-Th 4-10 p.m.; F-Su 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. 1917 India St., Little Italy, 619.238.1917.

The Plot

Open. Now operating at full capacity, this entirely plant-based eatery crafts delicious vegan dishes with nearly zero waste—growing most of its ingredients on the property. New chef de cuisine Ryan Orlando has further spiced up the kitchen, which churns out plates such as potato cakes with lentil caviar, sweet-potato gnocchi and meatless shepherd’s pie. There’s even a vegan sushi menu featuring fun specialty rolls, including the Mexifornia with spicy avocado mousse; and the Chronic filled with tempura-fried goodies. W-Th 4-8:30 p.m.; F-Sa 4-9 p.m. 1733 S. Coast Hwy., Oceanside, 442.266.8200.

Arts + Culture

Carlsbad Music Festival

Aug. 27-29. The 17th annual festival returns to the St. Michael’s by-the-Sea lawn with dozens of musicians—spanning chamber music, Latin jazz and eclectic genres in between. The lineup includes instrumental band Build, featuring violinist Matt McBane; the Charlie Arbeláez Afro-Cuban Sextet; bluegrass band The Get Down Boys; Son de San Diego (pictured), playing Son Jarocho music from Veracruz, Mexico; jazz-folk duo Nathan & Jessie; and Jason Diaz—whose repertoire includes jazz, blues and Spanish guitar classics. See website for schedule and ticket pricing. 2775 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad.

Maraya Performing Arts Center

Open. South Bay’s arts movement continues to bloom. Founded by Filipina-American Anjanette Maraya-Ramey, Maraya is Chula Vista’s first multicultural performing arts center. The industrial space hosts multigenerational training in dance, music and theater—spotlighting BIPOC artists and operating under the Filipino bayanihan philosophy (meaning “communal unity”). Classes range from ballet to hip-hop to youth theater workshops; plus professional development training and artist networking events. See website for all offerings and hours. 861 Harold Place, Suite 208, Chula Vista, 619.934.2999.

Photo credits: San Dieguito River Park by Jim Coffee. The Plot by John Dole. Carlsbad Music Festival / Son de San Diego by Charlie Spadone. Maraya by Sue Brenner Photography. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

Let's Stay In Touch

with weekly roundups

Sign up for FREE to receive our exclusive Weekend Roundup!

Get the best things to do in our favorite SoCal spots delivered to your inbox every week

Los Angeles

Orange County

San Diego