San Diego

Weekend roundup

March 17-20


Irish 4 A Day

March 17. The Gaslamp Quarter rolls out the green carpet for an evening of festive debauchery in the form of a party hop. Your “golden ticket” grants you access to at least 15 local bars (all within easy walking distance of each other in the Gaslamp), live music, DJs, dancing, green beer, Irish car bombs and other drink specials, and discounts on Irish-inspired fare; plus hotel and parking perks. 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Tickets start at $28. The opening party kicks off at American Junkie, 528 Fifth Ave.; with a finale party at Vin de Syrah, 901 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter. More Info

Shamrocks and Shenanigans Rooftop Party

March 17. The expansive pool rooftop at Hotel Solamar will be hoppin’ this St. Patrick’s Day. Don your festive attire and dancing shoes for an evening of celebrating under the stars—presented by the Levinson Group—overlooking the Gaslamp Quarter. Guests can enjoy live music spanning the ‘80s through current hits; plus lawn games, performers, special vendors and drink specials all night. Turn the party up a notch by reserving a luxury poolside cabana and bottle service (see website for details). 5-10 p.m. Free entry. 435 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.819.9500. More Info

St. Paddy’s O’Beach Party

March 19. Why not extend the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations to the weekend? We like how Ocean Beach rolls. This all-day party on Saturday will be jampacked with shenanigans—including the Beach 5K Fun Run, the Corned Beef Invitational cornhole tournament, a pup pageant, the Mr. and Mrs. Corned Beef contest, a “Guac Off,” beer garden and live local music. The first 500 guests get a special gold coin redeemable for prizes. 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. VIP tickets are $49 in advance; $10 general admission at the door. Corner of Newport Avenue and the beachfront, Ocean Beach.

Waves of Wellness at Belmont Park

March 20. Experience a quintessential San Diego Sunday with a day of self-care by the beach. Belmont Park’s wellness event starts with a muscle-building HIIT workout class with fitness studio Zeno Gym. Then reward yourself with a hosted cocktail and some retail therapy as you shop among local wellness-minded vendors. Guests also receive a swag bag of goodies and discounts. Afterward, we suggest a stroll along the beachfront boardwalk and brunch at Belmont Park’s Draft restaurant. 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. $35 per person. 3146 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach. Tickets

Carlsbad Strawberry Company Adventures

Now Open. Strawberry season has arrived in San Diego County. And the berries are ripe for the picking at this popular family-owned farm—home to 25 acres of “U-pick” strawberry fields. (Fun fact: Each acre produces an average of 21 tons of strawberries per year!) Later this spring, visitors can also wander through the sunflower maze and take tractor rides around the property (check website for updates). Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 admission per person; $12 per single U-pick bucket. Walk-ins only (no reservations). 1050 Cannon Road, Carlsbad, 760.603.9608.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Open. Spring wildflower season is here, and depending on recent rainfall, you can expect bountiful blooms in Anza-Borrego. Located 60 miles east of Escondido, it’s the second largest state park in the U.S.—spanning 640,000 acres of hiking and biking trails, 500 miles of dirt roads, 12 wilderness areas, historical landmarks, paleontological sites, campgrounds, canyons and caves. On the wildflower front, be on the lookout for brittlebush, yellow asters and blueish-purple halgania solanacea. There’s even a wildflower hotline you can call for updates: 760.767.4684. (See website for location and entry points at Borrego Springs.) More Info

Food + Drink

Sabor Latino Food, Beer & Wine Fest

March 19. A signature event of the San Diego Latino Film Festival (through March 20), this celebration of Latino flavors and culture unfolds at Westfield Mission Valley Mall. Guests can sample bites and mingle with notable Latino chefs; as well as indulge in unlimited craft beer and wine tastings from San Diego and Baja. Purveyors include Caliche Taqueria De Ensenada, Casa Tijuana, Estrella Jalisco, Golden Road Brewery and more. All proceeds benefit Media Arts Center San Diego and its education programs. 1-5 p.m. $30-$50. 1640 Camino del Rio North, Mission Valley. Tickets

New Brunch Menu at The Smoking Gun

Now Available. They had us at “Frito Chili-Quiles” (pictured). The Smoking Gun has launched a revamped weekend brunch service with plenty of new comfort dishes. The Frito Chili-Quiles are made with wagyu-beef chili, corn chips, poblano-beer cheese, eggs and green onions, and topped with green chile sauce. Or try the waffle breakfast sandwich comprising a bacon waffle, sausage patties, fried eggs, American cheese and maple butter; or the French toast sticks with vanilla-agave cream cheese. Chase it with a Manmosa. See website for hours. 555 Market St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.233.3836.

Arts + Culture

Monet to Matisse at San Diego Museum of Art

Opens March 19. Explore more than 60 masterful works—created between the 1870s and 1930s by some of the most significant European artists in history—in Monet to Matisse: Impressionist Masterpieces from the Bemberg Foundation. The exhibit showcases works by painters including Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Pablo Picasso, Alfred Sisley, Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy and Pierre Bonnard. The pieces were collected over time by Argentine-French writer and musician Georges Bemberg (1915-2011)—comprising one of the finest art collections in Europe. 1450 El Prado, Balboa Park, 619.232.7931.

El Borracho at The Old Globe

Closes March 20. There’s still time to catch this world-premiere dramedy—developed as part of The Old Globe’s 2020 Powers New Voices Festival—written by Tony Meneses and directed by Edward Torres. Meet Raul—a heavy drinker who falls deathly ill and moves in with his ex-wife and their son, who wants to connect with his dad. Jesse J. Perez stars as Raul; with Zilah Mendoza as Alma (both are pictured); and Matthew Martínez as David. Bring tissues for this powerful play. See website for showtimes, safety protocols and tickets. White Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623.

Photo credits: El Borracho photos are by Jim Cox / courtesy of The Old Globe. Image for Monet to Matisse is an oil-on-canvas painting by Claude Monet, “Boats on the Beach at Étretat,” 1883, courtesy of the Bemberg Foundation and San Diego Museum of Art. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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