San Diego

Weekend roundup

September 16-19

Outdoor Fun

San Diego Bayfair

Sept. 17-19. This family-friendly festival has served as an end-of-summer San Diego tradition since 1964. Watch some of the fastest watercraft in the world—including different models of high-tech racing boats—zoom around a 2.5-mile oval racecourse on Mission Bay, reaching speeds of over 200 miles per hour. The fun also includes live music, hydro-flight games, food vendors, kids attractions, a barbecue festival, craft beer garden and beach party. See website for schedule. General admission starts at $20, with three-day passes available. 1404 Vacation Road, Mission Bay Park, 858.578.7454.

Campland on the Bay

Open. Beachfront glamping, anyone? This iconic waterfront property offers RV and tent camping just steps from the Mission Bay shore. Simply select your rig type—rental options range from tents to tricked-out motorhomes—and preferred dates, and the staff can arrange the rest. Amenities include bike and water-toy rentals, two heated pools, and alfresco dining at Cantina restaurant. If your staycation needs to double as a “workation,” the resort offers its open-air Study Hall—complete with strong Wi-Fi and power outlets. 2211 Pacific Beach Drive, Mission Bay, 858.581.4260.

Food + Drink

Golden Door Country Store Grand Opening

Sept. 18. North County’s 600-acre Golden Door spa and wellness retreat debuts its Country Store—an “evolution” of its popular farm stand. Shop among 2,000 square feet of certified-organic produce from the property’s biodynamic gardens and local farms; as well as gourmet foods such as Rancho Gordo heirloom beans, Borgo De Medici pasta and Wildwood Chocolate; plus seasonings, dips, spreads and sustainable housewares. Festivities include music, raffles and product sampling. Proceeds will be donated to organizations that help children of abuse. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 314 Deer Springs Road, San Marcos.

National Cheeseburger Day at Samburgers

Sept. 18. Celebrate this sacred day at the newest outpost by culinary personality Sam the Cooking Guy (Sam Zien) at Little Italy Food Hall. Expect hearty, creative burgers—such as the Blazing Saddles with bacon and spicy barbecue sauce; the double-patty Double Fisted burger; the teriyaki-bacon burger with grilled pineapple; and the jalapeño burger with guacamole and crispy onions. Sides include grilled-corn salad, bacon-ranch potato salad, tater tots, and baked beans with bacon and maple syrup. Consider skipping breakfast. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 550 W. Date St., Little Italy, 619.900.7267.

Cafe Gelabong

Now Open. Calling all gelato lovers! This new dessert cafe is sweet-tooth approved, serving gelato ice cream with taiyaki—a traditional, Japanese fish-shaped cake akin to a waffle cone. Simply choose your gelato flavor (try the strawberry and yellowcake); then choose a filling, with options including Nutella, custard, red bean and honey; and finish with toppings such as Oreo cookie crumbles and Fruity Pebbles. Offerings also include house-made mochi doughnuts with daily rotating flavors; and a wide selection of specialty teas. W-M noon-10 p.m. (closed Tu). 3882 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest, 619.379.1137.

Hamburger Hut

Now Open. Ever ordered a wagyu burger from a roadside joint? Now you can at this new eatery by the folks behind Moto Deli and Corner Pizza. Executive chef Andrew Halvorsen is cooking up charred, wagyu-beef-blend patties to make single, double and triple cheeseburgers—served “smash-style” on King’s Hawaiian rolls with house-made “10,000 Island” dressing. Add a side of Jabba fries or the signature Hut salad; plus bubbly, wine and draft beer to drink. Enjoy on the bustling shaded patio. Open daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m. 190 N. Coast Hwy. 101, Leucadia, 760.420.5333.

La Taverna Ristorante

Open. Incorporating recipes from Rome and Sicily, this casual trattoria offers an authentic Italian dining experience. Choose from scratch-made pastas, entrees and traditional desserts—all made with organic ingredients, with gluten-free options also available. Signature pasta dishes include the lasagna Bolognese and ricotta-stuffed cannelloni; or guests can build their own pasta bowls, with add-ons such as meatballs and fennel sausage. Also try the brick-oven pizzas, including a selection of vegan pies; plus tiramisu for dessert. Open M-Sa (see website for hours). 3650 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest, 619.230.5508.

Portside Pier

Open. All six outposts at this indoor/outdoor waterfront complex are open and offering something delicious for every taste. Feast on fresh catches and crab-stuffed jumbo prawns at Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar; veggie enchiladas and margaritas at Miguel’s Cocina; IPA-battered fish ‘n’ chips at Ketch Grill & Taps; and roasted-banana gelato and cappuccino at Portside Coffee & Gelato. The two-story venue also features Topsail, a rooftop terrace with fire pits and craft cocktails; and the Ketch Brewing Tasting Deck with craft beer and other libations. 1360 N. Harbor Drive, Embarcadero.

Arts + Culture

The Gardens of Anuncia at The Old Globe

Through Oct. 17. Live theater returns! Don’t miss this world-premiere musical inspired by the life story of Broadway legend Graciela Daniele. Based on the book and music by Michael John LaChiusa, the story centers on Anuncia, who reflects on her childhood in Argentina (and the women whose sacrifices paved her path) as she gardens at her country house—all infused with intoxicating tango music. Daniele herself directs the production and choregraphed it along with Alex Sanchez. (Pictured: Kalyn West as a younger Anuncia.) 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619.234.5623.

San Diego International Organ Festival

Upcoming | Sept. 20. Did you know the Spreckels Organ in Balboa Park is the largest outdoor instrument (and largest pipe organ with 5,098 pipes!) in the world? Witness its magic with the return of this annual festival, now in its 33rd year—showcasing world-class musicians in unique concerts every Monday evening through October. This Monday, enjoy “A Night of Mystery and Fantasy” led by civic organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez, artistic director of the Spreckels Organ Society. 7:30 p.m. Free admission (first-come, first-served seating). Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park.

Photo credits: The Gardens of Anuncia / The Old Globe by Jim Cox. All other images are courtesy of the venues and businesses featured.

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