From Oceanside Pier to Pier South Hotel (snazzy spot in I.B.), and the Carlsbad lagoons to Mission Bay, San Diego symbolizes sand and sunshine. As for what’s making waves along the waterfront, dive in...
June 5: SPF/949
Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre, fm949sd.com
AWOLNATION and six other bands will perform on two seaside stages at SPF/949, radio station FM94/9’s summertime concert at Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre.
“With the Pacific Ocean and the sand as a backdrop, there’s not a more beautiful spot in the world than that venue as the sun’s going down, and you’re listening to live music,” says Chris Turner, FM94/9’s marketing/promotions director.
June 11: KSON CountryFest
Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre, kson.com
Country music superstar and multiple Grammy Award-winner Jennifer Nettles, the lead vocalist for Sugarland, headlines KSON CountryFest, which this year moves from Lakeside Rodeo Grounds to Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre. Jordan Rager, Drew Baldridge and Runaway June are also slated to perform.
July 22-24: Supergirl Pro
Oceanside Pier, supergirljam.com
An elite field comprised of some of the world’s top professional female surfers, including defending champion Tatiana Weston-Webb, returns to Oceanside for what’s billed as the world’s largest female surfing contest. Spectators enjoy an oceanfront festival village teeming with entertainment, activities and vendors.
August 20-21: World Bodysurfing Championships
Adjacent to Oceanside Pier, worldbodysurfing.org
According to a 1963 song by the Beach Boys, “Catch a wave and you’re sittin’ on top of the world.” You’ll get no argument from the approximately 400 bodysurfers from across the globe who will compete - sans surfboards - in their respective age divisions for trophies, prizes and the coveted title of Grand Champion.
June 9-12: USA Surfing Championships
Oceanside Harbor North Jetty
June 14, 18: Race Across America (RAAM)
June 28-30: U.S. Police and Fire Surfing Championships
Oceanside Harbor North Jetty
July 16: Rubio’s CoastFest Beach Cleanup and Party
Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre
August 12-14: Oceanside Longboard Surfing Contest
Del Mar & Cardiff
July 15 - September 5: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Del Mar Fairgrounds, dmtc.com
Bing Crosby personally welcomed the first guest to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club 79 years ago. So, with a concert lineup featuring Ziggy Marley, 311 and Chris Young - and, possibly, California Chrome vs. Nyquist in the August 20 Pacific Classic - is Del Mar still “Cool as Ever”? You bet.
August 13: Cardiff Dog Days of Summer
Newcastle Ave., Cardiff
July 9: Switchfoot Bro-Am
Moonlight Beach, Encinitas, broam.org
For San Diego-based alternative rock band, Switchfoot, “This is Home” (the name of a Switchfoot song featured on the 2008 soundtrack for the flick The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian). For the 12th year, Switchfoot will welcome about 15,000 of their closest friends for a day of surfing and music to raise awareness for children in need. Kids from several youth organizations will be treated to a VIP experience.
July 10: Carlsbad Triathlon
Tamarack State Beach, Carlsbad, carlsbadtriathlon.com
Tri again! Hundreds of competitors of all ages will swim, bike and run in the 35th annual Carlsbad Triathlon, one of the longest-running events of its kind in the United States. The course begins at Tamarack State Beach and follows the Carlsbad coastline past scenic beaches, lagoons and a wildlife preserve.
June 21: Kundalini Windansea Grand Opening
7405 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla, kundaliniwindansea.com
DJ Krishan, who performs at major Kundalini festivals and is renowned for remixing ancient mantras with EDM and hip-hop beats, will perform at the summer solstice (June 21) grand opening of Kundalini Windansea, a new yoga and meditation center with a patio view of the ocean.
“They call his events ‘esoteric dance,’” says Sheel Seidler, founder of Kundalini Windansea and wife of the Padres’ largest shareholder, Peter Seidler. “Kundalini is about raising an inherent energy up our spine that makes us able to perform our mundane tasks in an energized, calm and subtle, unyielding state of bliss.”
Date TBA: Windansea Surf Shack Resurrection
The famous Surf Shack at Windansea Beach - a 240-palm-frond palapa erected in 1946 by Woody Ekstrom, Fred Kenyon and Don Okey - is no mas. Designated a historical landmark by the San Diego Historical Resources Board in 1998, the Shack was struck down by large waves during a high tide on Christmas Eve, 2015. The Windansea Surf Club and other devout La Jollans are making plans for its resurrection.
“They’ve already bored out the holes for the new support,” says legendary local surfer Bird Huffman, owner of Bird’s Surf Shed on Morena Boulevard. “The top of it remains intact on-site, and it’s just a matter of them finding the proper supports before they put it back up again.”
October 1: Pacific BeachFest
Pacific Beach Boardwalk, pacificbeachfest.org
Pacific BeachFest 2016 features surf and volleyball tournaments, a 5K race and live music on three stages. It’s where to go for DJs, bands and beer by the beach, brah!
September 10: Brazilian Day Festival
Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach
June 18: U.S. Open of Flowboarding
Belmont Park, Mission Beach, belmontpark.com
Go with the flow as elite athletes from around the world compete for $10,000 in cash prizes at the second annual U.S. Open of Flowboarding (surfing on machine-generated waves). The beach party during the week leading up to the big event includes wave shows, big-trick contests and other high-adrenaline hijinks.
July 9-10, 16-17: Over the Line Tournament
Fiesta Island, Mission Bay Park, ombac.org
Over the Line, a 3-on-3 softball-esque game born in San Diego, celebrates a local-tournament history that began in 1954. The annual ruckus brings athletes and revelers to Fiesta Island for bats, balls, bikinis and BYOB by the bay.Come up with a raunchy team name and compete, or just hang out and soak it all in. And be sure to congratulate this year’s Miss Emerson (as in ‘em are some nice ones).
September 16-18: San Diego Bayfair
Vacation Isle Park, Mission Bay, sandiegobayfair.org
From as far away as Old Town, it’s easy to realize why Bayfair’s hydroplanes are called “thunder boats.” At speeds in excess of 260 miles per hour, which they sometimes reach in less than three seconds, they’ve been skimming the waters of Mission Bay since 1964. An all-weekend party surrounds the high-octane racing action.
June 25: OB Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off
Newport Ave., Ocean Beach, oceanbeachsandiego.com
Vendors, five stages of live music, a beach-side beer garden and an artist’s alley featuring local artists and handmade products highlight the annual OB Street Fair and Chili Cook-off, this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the OB Pier.
June 30 - July 31: Ocean Beach Pier Art Show
Teeter Shop, Ocean Beach, shopteetersd.com
Artwork submitted by members of the community and inspired by Ocean Beach Pier will be exhibited at Teeter, a gallery a half-block from the Pier.
July 2: Ocean Beach Pier 50th Anniversary
Ocean Beach Pier, oceanbeachsandiego.com
Dedicated on July 2, 1966, the OB Pier was built to help prevent fishermen from tangling their lines and lures in vast kelp and rock beds that lie near the surface of the water by the shoreline. Quickly after being erected, the iconic structure became - and remains - a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
TBA: OB Surf Lodge Opening
5083 Santa Monica Ave.
Shades Oceanfront Bistro, a long-standing and popular O.B. restaurant, will close its doors September 5, giving way to OB Surf Lodge.
“After the remodel, we’ll offer champagne-brunch attitude seven days a week, plus a simple lunch, dinner and happy hour menu,” says Mina Desiderio, who’s among a group of local restaurateurs who will own and operate the beachfront venue. “It’ll be a place for drinks ‘til late-night, with a casual but cool beach atmosphere. We’re excited.”
San Diego Bay
Dates through October: Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay
2241 Shelter Island Dr.
Thirty-four years after jazz musician Maynard Ferguson stepped onstage for the inaugural edition of Humphrey’s Concerts by The Bay, the series has become a summertime entertainment phenomenon.
Capacity crowds are the norm at the nationally known bayside concert venue, which has played host to an incredible array of A-list musicians, comedians and other performers. Spectators on boats, rafts and inner tubes get great views of the stage from Shelter Island Harbor without having to pay for tickets. Ahoy!
Tori Kelly kicked off Humphrey’s 2016 schedule April 5. Bob Dylan and His Band will perform at the waterfront venue June 13 and 14; both shows are sold-out.
2016 lineup (as of May 24)
6/13-14: Bob Dylan and his Band
7/1: Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band
7/9: Lyle Lovett and his Large Band
7/15: Felipe Esparza
7/19: The Psychedelic Furs
7/20: Happy Together Tour 2016
7/21: Straight No Chaser
8/1: Boz Scaggs
8/2-3: Gary Clark Jr.
8/12: Indigo Girls
8/15: Grace Potter
8/19: The Fab Four
8/21: The Gipsy Kings
8/23: Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals
8/24: Culture Club featuring Boy George
8/26: Tower of Power
8/27: Gov’t Mule
8/28: Dave Koz + David Sanborn
8/29-30: Jackson Browne
8/31: The Australian Pink Floyd Show
9/1: Huey Lewis and The News
9/2: The Mavericks
9/9: Lost ‘80s
9/10: Jake Shimabukuro
9/21: Leon Bridges
9/22: Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
9/23: Air Supply
9/28: Aaron Lewis
9/29: The Four Tops + The Temptations
9/30: Paula Poundstone
10/2: Echo and The Bunnymen
10/3: Cyndi Lauper
10/4: ZZ Top
10/6: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
10/7: Kamasi Washington
10/20: Tracy Morgan
June 17-18: San Diego Oysterfest
Embarcadero Marina Park North, Downtown, oysterfestsd.com
Come out of your shell for Oysterfest, a pearl of a music-and-food festival on San Diego Bay. This year’s headliners are Thievery Corporation, Mark Farina, and Boombox on Friday; and reggae bands Rebelution, The Expanders and Through the Roots on Saturday. Food booths (with succulent oysters, of course), drinks and music, too? Aw, shucks!
July 1 (Give or Take): Coasterra’s Harbor Float Opens
Coasterra, Harbor Island’s half-acre dining and entertainment mega-plex (which took nearly a decade and $15 million to build), will finally be completed thanks to the pending arrival of Harbor Float, the custom-built, solar-powered barge that will soon sit between the expansive restaurant and its unobstructed skyline and Coronado views.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind, floating event center with the best 360-degree views in SoCal,” says David Cohn of Cohn Restaurant Group, which co-owns Coasterra with chef Deborah Scott.
Name: Harbor Float
Size: 6,000 square-feet
Functions: Weddings, banquets, fundraisers, DJ/club nights, movie nights
Features: Two gangways, full bar, live-action cooking stations, bathrooms, bride’s changing room, green room for entertainment.
July 4: Big Bay Boom
Several viewing locations around San Diego Bay, bigbayboom.com
See the rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air from a variety of waterfront locations - including Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero, Marina District, Seaport Village/South Embarcadero and the Coronado Ferry Landing - as fireworks launch from four barges on the bay.
June 11-12: San Diego Festival of the Arts
Waterfront Park, Marina District
June 18-19: Wooden Boat Festival
Koehler Kraft Boat Yard, Shelter Island
August 12-15: Latin Food Fest
Embarcadero Marina Park North, Marina District
August 27-28: San Diego Spirits Festival
Port Pavilion Broadway Pier, Marina District
August 28: Bike the Bay
Embarcadero Marina Park South, Marina District
September 2-5: U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge
B Street Cruise Ship Terminal, Marina District
September 3-5: Festival of Sail
Maritime Museum, Marina District
June 9: Chef Throwdown
Hotel del Coronado, hoteldel.com
Thirty top chefs from San Diego and Baja will present their signature hors d'oeuvres and desserts - with beer pairings by local breweries and wine pairings by Valle de Guadelupe vineyards - as they compete for “best dish” in this oceanfront event benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
June 19: Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band Concert
Hotel del Coronado, garysinisefoundation.org
Paratroopers will descend from the sky, and then wave Old Glory over the beach to kick off a rock ‘n’ roll concert performed by actor Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band, a moniker born from his role in Forrest Gump. The 12-member group will cover hits by Stevie Wonder, Kelly Clarkson, Adele and many others.
July 4: Crown City Classic 12K & 5K
Tidelands Park, Coronado
September 25: Ironman 70.3 Superfrog
Silver Strand State Beach, Coronado
November 13: Silver Strand Half Marathon
Sunset Park, Coronado
Visit Anytime!: Pier South Resort
800 Seacoast Dr.
Owned and operated by Pacifica Host Hotels, whose multi-state hospitality portfolio includes La Jolla’s La Valencia Hotel and Del Mar’s Hotel Indigo (among many others), Pier South Resort lures tourists and stay-cationers to its magnificent 78-suite (all with ocean views) boutique hotel on the sand in Imperial Beach.
“We call it the hidden gem, as Imperial Beach hasn’t really been a destination on a lot of people’s radars,” says Carin Martens, director of sales and marketing for the property, which boasts the nation’s southwestern-most hotel.
July 15-16: Sun & Sea Festival
Portwood Pier Plaza
See world-class sandcastle sculptors create gravity-defying works of temporary art at the Sun & Sea Festival, which also includes live music and what’s dubbed as an International Food Fair.
July 30: Unleashed Surf Dog Competition
Portwood Pier Plaza
Now in its 11th year, the Unleashed by Petco Surf Dog Competition features fearless four-legged K-9s hanging 20. The fabulous fun for Fidos and their human friends includes a doggie food garden, beginners’ agility course and a beer garden.
June 25: Imperial Beach 5K
Portwood Pier Plaza
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