San Diego Local Custom Tips by lmkluque Top 5 Page for this destination
San Diego Local Customs: 124 reviews and 179 photos
Every weekend there are extra events going on at Balboa Park. Of course while walking around the park, the botanical displays are seen, and there are street performers with tip cups out as well as palm readers, face painters and craft sellers all hoping to attract your attention long enough to make a sale. Also there are clubs, associations and hobbyists who hold meeting or gatherings once a month or several times a year. These are generally open to the public and free of charge. These gatherings are usually announced in the local papers as well as on the Balboa Park website calendar. All sorts of Hobby clubs will have some sort of display going on at the weekends.
Usually there is no admittance fee and often times there are items to purchase. Two of my favorites are the Turtle Shows and the Orchid Shows. Almost any "hobby" will be represented during the year so it might be worth your while to check out what will be going on the weekend you're in San Diego.
My kids & grandkids especially loved the turtle shows. So many different kinds are represented and many can be held for a closer look. There usually are some for sale too. The only problem with buying a turtle is the they can live a hundred years.
I enjoy the orchid shows and usually buy a few that I like but I have no green thumb with these beautiful plants so never would try to win a prize.
An added bonus to these shows is that the participants are happy to answer your questions and freely give advice.
Address: 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Directions: Between 6th Ave. & Park Blvd.
Phone: (619) 239-0512
Every year, in July, San Diego is host to the surreal world of Comic-Con International. The United States largest comic book and pop art convention. It is the biggest convention held in this city and partially for this reason, our Convention Center was expanded, about double it's original size and will be expanded again in the coming years just to accommodate this specific convention.
Comic-Con began in San Diego. The 1970 Convention had about 150 members, by the time I found out about it in 1983 there were about 5,000 members. That's pretty impressive but it continued to grow. By 2013 there were more than 130,000 members! Even more by 2014.
However, this number is not enough to describe how many people are on the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter during the week of Comic-Con! I'd guess for each Member of Comic-Con there are at least two or three non-members milling about soaking up the fun atmospher of such an eclectic gathering.
If this is something you'd like to do I will warn you that to buy a badge for entrance to Comic-Con, you must have a Member ID. To get a Member ID you have to practically get one before the convention the year before! That's right. The system is set up so that those Members who went to the convention this year, have the advantage of pre-registration for next year's convention. So, get your Member ID early! Just go to the website listed below and find the section for joining.
Also, you should know that Comic-Con can be sold out within hours after general registration opens up for the next year!!
Now, for those who would like to join in the atmosphere but are not Members, its simple. Just go downtown to the Gaslamp Quarter and around the Convention Center where there are a lot more things to see and do because of the overflow.
2012: Not only the Convention Center, but the Marriot next door and the Hilton across the way have programs/displays of the overflow. In fact almost every spot around the Convention Center is packed with displays and venders offering product based gifts as well as a preview of what's to become.
2012 Travelogues will give you a small view of the experience:
Nerds in Charge 1
Nerds in Charge 2
Nerds in Charge 3
ThIs year's photos have arrived, Comic-Con 2013 was as great as last year I went Saturday and Sunday. I've replaced the 2012 photos on this tip with 2013 photos. Each year the "tone" of costumes change depending upon the newest things coming out this year.
2013 Albums will give you a small view of the experience:
Comic-Con 2013 Saturday
Comic-Con 2013 Sunday
2014 Albums will give a small view of the experience.
Comic-Con 2014 Wednesday
Comic-Con 2014 Thursday & Friday
Comic-Con 2014 Saturday & Sunday
( Parts are still under construction, but the photos are there now.)
Stage as an Aztec Structure
Barrio Logan is an impoverished neighborhood in San Diego. It is one of the earliest to develop, as dockworkers were recruited and this bit of land near the Bay became home to the families of the workers. As happens in most towns where poverty flourishes, crime and a bad reputation seeps in and the city, in general discounts the value of the people who live there, so they get the least of our consideration.
In July of 1969 the beautiful Coronado Bridge was built and what else, but it's span was allowed to overshadow Barrio Logan! If you've ever taken a look under any of these huge bridges, you'll know that the land below is wasted. Most likely you'll find trash, the homeless and drug dealers hiding there.
Well, the gentle people who live in Barrio Logan decided not to accept the fate that was dealt to their community. They Revolted on 22 April 1970 and Took over the land below the bridge. They turned the land into a park that not only they could let their children play in, but also they turned into an historical and art museum of their own history.
The murals seem to be restored frequently and many of the subjects have changed, in fact some of them are being restored again now.
There are more photos in my Chicano Park Travelogue.
Chicano Park Day is celebrated on 22 April and this is a good time to visit. Actually the best time is the Saturday nearest to 22 April because that is the party day and we do know how to party!
Those who rely on public Transportation, there is a Barrio Logan Trolley station, which is not far from Chicano Park. Across from the Trolley station there are other murals to see also.
1. Historic Aztec Stage
2. Varrio Logan
Artists: Victor Ochoa & Team, Year: 1978
3. Frida Khahlo
Artists: Mario Torero & Fuerza, Year: 1996
Artist: Felipe Adame, Year: 1978
J. Jessop and Son's is an old, established jewelers, has a lovely shop in Horton Plaza and it's street clock has become a landmark of San Diego.
In 1907 it was first located at 952 Fifth Avenue, twenty years later, it was moved to 1041 Fifth Avenue and in 1984 it found it's home in Horton Plaza. The clock's history began as an idea thought out in England and not until Joseph Jessop settled in San Diego did it become a reality.
Stories and legends have been told about it, a poem has been written about it and San Diegans have, for nearly 100 years, known the time by it's accuracy. There are 21 dials, marking hours, minutes, seconds, date, week and month and 12 of the dials tell the time of major cities around the world. It has stopped only three times.
1. Mysteriously, the moment it's creator died.
2. When a carriage drawn by horses ran into it.
3. Not surprisingly during an earthquake.
Throughout San Diego such treasures have been honored in such a way to preserve our history. The lovely buildings of the Gaslamp as well are testimony to the active efforts of the San Diego Historical Society and the interest people of San Diego show to remind us of days past.
Jessop's Clock has been removed from Horton Plaza. It has not found another home yet but I'll let you know where it has found a new home.
Phone: (619) 232-6203
San Diego is situated along the coast of California with the Pacific Ocean. There are many beaches, beach communities and beach cities in the County of San Diego to choose from. Each beach has it's own personality which offers a variety of experiences depending upon one's mood. Some beaches are young and vibrant, some are pristine and elegant, some are rough and challenging and some are a dream for anyone interested in water sports. Throughout my San Diego page and other pages about towns and communities in SD County, I've given clues about the personality of most or our beaches. So, you can pick one that fits with you.
If your hotel is downtown, it will be on the east side of S.D. Bay but the Bay is not a place to swim. You could take the Coronado Ferry across the Bay to Coronado Island and from there it's a mile or so to the beach. Also, Imperial Beach is just down the Silver Strand from Coronado if it is a surfing beach that is of interest.
Other than that the nearest beaches are Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.
Accessable by public transportation, take the SD Trolley at the Station nearest your hotel and get off at the Old Town Station, from there catch the bus to any of these beaches.
Keep in mind that the Pacific Ocean is a much larger body of water than, say, the Mediterranean Sea and it takes much longer to warm up. The water here never gets very warm. Of course, even when it's cooler, once you start swimming you'll warm up.
Superman and Wonder Woman in San Diego
The second photo is a view of the convention center from Fourth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter in it's original size. That has been many years ago. It has expanded since and there is talk of it expanding again. It is here that many people come for business conventions or seminars. It is located within a few blocks walking distance of Seaport Village, the San Diego Trolley, a relaxing park and the Gaslamp Quarter which makes it convenient to plan off hours without much effort.
San Diego is a tourist destination town, but not like New York, Paris or London. The people living here are a bit more relaxed in a general sense. It's sort of a hidden secret in the world of travel, but still well known and well thought of.
It must be our weather that makes us so relaxed. Mild all year round, never too hot or too cold, but especially never too cold. It's only been about twenty years now that the city administrators have pushed to make our town more presentable and it sure has been working.
The construction of our Convention Center was one of the first displays of the rennovation efforts the city planned. It attracts a wide variety of people. Of course, at present, I'd say that the Comic-Con is the most notable. When Comic-Con held it's first convention here, it was a sleepy little effort and like the growth of S.D., it grew to what I would say now is an impressive, fun loving event attracting the best and the brightest.
If you're visiting in mid-July, take a trip downtown and see the most unsual sight of Superman, Darth Vader and other comic/movie characters come alive. They are all over the place. It's a unique and fascinating experience.
The size of the building was doubled recently and the roof resembles huge sails, a fitting sight along the bay.
111West Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA. 92101
Phone: (619) 525-5420
On 1 December 1995 The University of California at San Diego, (UCSD) renamed their University Library Building, "The Geisel Library," in honor of Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel, (Dr. Seuss,) for their generous contributions to the library and their life long efforts to improve literacy. Theodor Geisel lived his last years in San Diego, and through dontations, of his wife, Audrey, many of his collections are on display at the UCSD Geisel Library, which is open to the public. The Geisel Library is located nearly in the center of this huge campus and not too far from the bookstore, which sells much more than books. Also next to the bookstore is a nice little food court where students gather between classes and is a good place to, "meet the locals," if that is what a visitor is interested in.
There are three major university campuses in San Diego, University of San Diego-(USD,) San Diego State University--(SDSU) and University of California at San Diego--(UCSD) and many more not so major. The point being, these campuses are lovely to tour, they have great bookstores and each offer seasonal sports that can be watched while visiting. Also, there are plenty of opportunities to meet young people--and some not so young--without feeling awkward or out of place.
Phone: (858) 534-2230
During the Labor Day weekend the Maritime Museum of San Diego annually hosts the "Festival of Sail," at the Harbor and in the SD Bay. Anyone remotely interested in historical seafarers, sailing, Tall Ships, battles at sea or just plain being out on the waters to be part of the action would enjoy the Festival of Sail.
The event begins early in the morning of Thursday as many of the Tall ships meet out in the Pacific Ocean to make their grand entrance into the San Diego Bay. This is the day of, "The Parade of Sail." Once gathered out at sea these beautiful sailing boats make their way along the east edges of the Bay past downtown and as far south as the north side of the Coronado Bridge. At the Coronado Bridge they turn and sail up along the east edges of the Bay until they reach the Embarcadero at the Maritime Museum.
Anyone happening to be standing anywhere along these edges of the SD Bay are attracted by the sound of cannon blasts and searching for the source of the noise, they see the Tall and some not so tall ships passing by. The view of the whole bay surrounded by these fantastic vessels at intervals is awesome and beautiful. I was lucky enough, because of my VT Blogger Press Pass, to be a part of this Parade of Sail and to experience the ballet of Tall Ships announcing the opening of the Festival of Sail.
The Festival of Sail gives an opportunity to see, not only the vessels of the Maritime Musuem, but also the Tall ships that participate and come from other areas of California, other states and other countries to be a part of celebrating Sailing on this scale. There are ships to tour, mock sea battles, a pirate themed ambiance along the Embarcadero, a petting zoo and venders selling all sorts of things, including food and drink.
The vendor area is free to enter but there is a small charge to enter the Maritime Museum section. This will give access to all vessels of the Maritime Museum, including the San Salvador build site at Spanishlanding, for the whole day or get the three day pass.
To sail on one of the Tall Ships and be included in a Sea Battle there naturally is an extra charge. It is so worth it. This experience is better than just a Harbor Cruise. If this is something that appeals to you, I suggest that you, sign up early as it can sellout fast.
If your budget doesn't include the extra cost of boarding one of the Tall Ships, there is another option of getting out on the Bay. The 1914 Pilot boat gives thirty minute narrated tours of the SD Bay, for about $7.00. (I saw a sign at the Festival of Sail entrance that Pilot boat cruise was $3.00. Don't know if it is for a shorter cruise or a discount. Check it out!)
If you can't make it to San Deigo during the Festival of Sail, you'd still have a chance to experience the exciting nature of the event. On most weekends the SD Maritime Museum offers a Sailing Adventure on the Californian, the official Tall ship of the state of California. This often times includes cannon battles.
Though you've missed the 2012 Festival of Sail, keep in mind that it is a yearly event and you can plan your trip to San Diego for the next Labor Day weekend. As 2013 is the 150th anniversary of our beloved Star of India, it is expected that the turnout for the Festival of Sail 2013 will be even bigger than this year!
There are more photos and more information about this aspect of a San Diego visit at my Maritime Museum Review and at my Parade of Sail Travelogue
Phone: (619) 234-9153
Relaxed & entertaining on the pier
In a general sense, the residents of San Diego are friendly, easy going and often times easy to mix with if you're a tourist on vacation.
This tranquil atmosphere makes San Diego a great vacation choice as well as a place to live. It could be because our weather is "moderate" (rarely too hot and never too cold,) that we can enjoy our own resort style enviornment. At least that is what my friends who come from colder or hotter climes tell me.
It is true that most of the people living in San Diego take full advantage of what it has to offer and can feel as if they are on vacation almost any week of the year. We tend not to resent tourists, as some communities do. Probably because we are so globally diverse, that we can't tell a tourist from a resident anyway.
Of course, this doesn't mean that a visitor has never had a bad experience here, but the fact is that it is unusual to hear a tourist here complain, except, maybe, when it's time to leave.
Relaxing in the warm San Diego sun in January, even the Sea Lions love to bask in the sun while vacationing in San Diego!
Whether it is a colored ribbon on the lapel, flags flying over the home, a yard full of political posters or a grand display of Christmas lights, San Diegans can be demonstrative with their statements.
During his recent visit to San Diego, Matcrazy was surprised to see a Polish flag flying next to an American flag, letting all who pass the house know these people have strong ties to Poland.
An especially pleasing sight is the creative efforts of people decorating their homes during the holidays. Halloween is becoming more popular as a chance to decorate the yard with pumpkins, witches, skeletons and sparkling orange lights. However, it is still Christmas time that we see the really impressive displays. Most residential streets have at least a few houses all decked out for the holiday and many just a few lights strung along the roof or windows.
There are a few streets throughout SD county, such as "Whitney Street and Mankato Street" in Chula Vista, that offer grand decorations at every house on the block and it is usually on the family's list of things to do, to drive or walk along those blocks to see the great gift given.
ღ (~_~)♫♫ I wish you a Merry Christmas♫, I wish you a Merry Christmas♫♫, I wish you a Merry Christmas♫, and a Happy New Yeaaaaar♫♫ (~_~)ღ ღ
Thank you "sayedaburas " for a very clever gift!
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