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in California State

South Course at La Costa PicmonkeyTeeing off at the South Course.

CARLSBAD, Calif. (August 19, 2013) – Golfers can get in the best shape of their lives while learning or improving their golf skills at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, which is introducing its new TOURAcademy Golf & Fitness Program.

This program combines expert golf instruction from its well-established TOURAcademy with the fitness and wellness expertise of the award-winning Premier Fitness Camp (PFC) – two of the special offerings available at Southern California’s only GOLF Magazine Gold Medal Resort. The certified instructors at the TOURAcademy will take the student’s game to the next level while PFC’s comprehensive and life-changing exercise, nutrition, and wellness program help them meet their weight-loss and fitness goals.

Designed for all golfers, beginners to low-handicappers, each day starts with high-energy workouts at PFC’s state-of-the-art Omni La Costa facility. Throughout their stay, participants enjoy healthy cuisine prepared by the resort’s culinary team.

Spa Entrance at La Costa PicmonkeySpa Entrance at La CostaThe PFC weight-loss program has helped thousands reach their fitness goals by tailoring individualized programs incorporating daily caloric needs to favorite exercises. The expert staff ensures health and wellness success by teaching proper nutrition, exercise, motivation, and personal accountability. And the proprietary program continues at home, with on-line assistance for staying on track to reach long-term results.

In the afternoon, guests move to Omni La Costa’s championship golf courses to work with top golf professionals on a custom-designed course of instruction. The TOURAcademy mixes expert personalized instruction with state-of-the-art technology to help every golfer identify his or her strengths and improvement areas, learn ball-flight laws, correct mechanics, and ensure proper club fitting. From start to finish, the name of the game is game improvement.



Along with everything mentioned The TOURAcademy Golf & Fitness Program includes:

Spacious room at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Gourmet healthy meals and snacks (3 meals and 2 snacks per day of stay) curriculum

Complete baseline health and fitness evaluation with blood work and Polar Heart Rate Monitor

Half-day fitness training and education classes

The Real Life Transformation 12-week at-home coaching program complete with book, meal and fitness plans

All golf instruction

18 holes of golf at one of Omni La Costa’s legendary championship golf courses, Champions or Legends

Single occupancy rate is $4,945 per week; double occupancy is $3,945 per person, per week.

Omni La Costa is about to complete a second major renovation project on its award-winning courses, completing a long-range golf-renewal project at the iconic championship venue. Under the direction of Pascuzzo & Pate Golf Design – which remodeled La Costa’s Champions Course in 2011 – the renovated Legends Course is to reopen in late 2013.

More information about the TOUR Academy Golf & Fitness Program can be found at www.premierfitnesscamp.com.

Saturday, 20 July 2013 15:45

Base Your So Cal Vacation in San Diego

Downton SD View from Harbor Island PicmonkeyDownton San Diego viewed from Harbor Island. Photo by Joanne DiBona SanDiego.org

Nearly perfect weather, palm-lined beaches and a friendly, easy-going vibe make San Diego the quintessential Southern California (SoCal) experience. California’s second largest city also offers vacationers the ideal home base for exploring the entire SoCal region with easy access to nearby Anaheim, Los Angeles, Temecula Valley and neighboring Mexico.With direct flights from nearly 50 major U.S. and Canadian cities and a manageable, centrally located airport in the heart of downtown, arriving in San Diego is quick and hassle-free. Visitors can check-in and begin their vacation shortly after landing with dozens of hotels, ranging from family friendly to boutique and luxurious, located just a 10-minute drive from the airport in downtown and neighboring communities like picturesque Harbor Island, Shelter Island and Old Town San Diego.Downtown San Diego and popular neighborhoods are walkable, casual and friendly. The city’s urban core is surrounded by picturesque San Diego Bay and a vast outdoor playground, defined by 70 miles of stunning Pacific coastline. With easy-to-navigate public transportation, uncomplicated freeways and Amtrak servicing northern neighbors, Anaheim and Los Angeles, visitors can base their vacation in San Diego and venture effortlessly to other popular SoCal destinations. San Diego makes for the perfect SoCal vacation with the following suggested day trips.

Sea World San Diego PicmonkeyDolphins are fun at Sea World San Diego.

Attraction ActionSouthern California is recognized for its popular family attractions, and San Diego is home to several, including SeaWorld San Diego, LEGOLAND California Resort, the world-famous San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Fortunately for families, the original Disneyland in Anaheim and Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles are just a quick hop up the road from San Diego and are part of the money-saving Southern California CityPASS. 

Getting there: Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner runs from downtown San Diego’s historic Santa Fe Depot to Anaheim with a station located at the Disneyland Resort; the travel time is just over 2 hours station to station. The drive from San Diego to Disneyland is an easy 90-minute cruise up Interstate 5, making it a cinch to get there and back in one day. Los Angeles is a longer drive north and a further stop on Amtrak which would most likely require an overnight stay while visiting Universal Studios Hollywood.

Money savings tip: Guests can package their trip to popular SoCal attractions and save money with the Southern California CityPASS. Valid for 14 days, this single admission card allows guests three days of access to Disneyland

Hollywood Boulevard Sign PicmonkeyIt's just a couple of hours north of San Diego.

Hooray for HollywoodFrom audience favorites Anchorman and Top Gun to film classics Some Like It Hot and Citizen Kane, many San Diego locations have played important roles in film history. Film buffs traveling to San Diego can walk in the footsteps of Will Ferrell, Tom Cruise, Marilyn Monroe and the master filmmaker Orson Welles before heading north to Los Angeles, the film capital of the world. 

Getting there: Just over a two-hour drive from downtown San Diego, Hollywood offers movie fans Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the chance to see one of their favorite film or TV actors in person. For visitors who don’t want to maneuver through Los Angeles’ expansive, and oftentimes complicated, freeway system, they can also take an Amtrak train to downtown Los Angeles and get around on the city’s rapid transit rail system; its most popular line connects downtown L.A. with Hollywood. A visit to Hollywood is a must-do for many SoCal visitors and can be an easy overnight stay from San Diego.

Keeping it local: San Diego visitors can get a feel for Hollywood at a variety of local settings. Kansas City Barbecue in downtown San Diego served as the backdrop for some of Top Gun’s popular bar scenes, and fans of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy know the importance of the “Panda Watch,” so a visit to the San Diego Zoo with the endangered pandas on display is a must-do for many visitors. The iconic Hotel del Coronado, set along the beautiful Pacific, was the backdrop for the 1959 comedy classic Some Like it Hot, featuring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.

Wine Country, Social StyleKohill Winery tasting room PicmonkeyEast County wineries like Kohill are friendly.San Diego’s East County is a burgeoning wine region with new wines being harvested in the rural communities of Ramona and Warner Springs. Pair these offerings with a trip to the award-winning wineries of the Temecula Valley Wine Country, located just 45 minutes north of downtown San Diego, and wine aficionados can enjoy the romance of a wine vacation without leaving southern California.  

Touring the wineries: Numerous wineries located in San Diego and Temecula offer a wide variety of experiences. Some stand atop hills and provide sweeping views of the Temecula Valley, while others are set off secluded, winding dirt roads; almost all offer wine tastings and tours daily. Many San Diego tour companies offer round-trip wine tasting excursions to Temecula’s wineries, and Destination Temecula offers a variety of tours departing from several San Diego area hotels. Tours include deluxe transportation to and from wineries, with informative narration by knowledgeable guides along the way.

Beyond the region:  California’s award-winning wines reap international recognition, and San Diego is the perfect starting point for a California wine vacation. Guests can begin their journey in San Diego and Temecula Valley and sip their way through popular wineries in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo before ending up in the vineyards of Napa Valley and Sonoma County in northern California

Two-Nation Vacation

San Diego’s unique location along the U.S.-Mexican border provides the perfect home base for visitors to enjoy the best of both San Diego and Tijuana, a city that has experienced remarkable growth in its culinary and cultural offerings in recent years. With an incredible Mexican heritage and influence stateside complemented by exciting dining and arts south of the border, San Diego and Tijuana enjoy a close bond that make for a unique two-nation vacation.

Getting there: The Mexican border is located only 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of downtown San Diego, making a day trip to Tijuana quick, easy and convenient. Guests can drive to the border and park at one of many lots located on the U.S. side before walking into Mexico, and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System also transports guests from downtown to the border on a light rail trolley that runs daily. Avenue Revolucion, Tijuana’s main tourist center full of restaurants, shops and street vendors, is located only a short walk or taxi drive from the border.

Best of Baja: The easiest and most enjoyable way to experience Tijuana is on a day-trip tour. San Diego Scenic Tours offers full- and half-day tours that explore the top sights of Tijuana, departing directly from many San Diego hotels. For a taste of how the locals enjoy Tijuana, Turista Libre offers tours exploring some of Tijuana’s hidden gems, including a disco roller rink and water park, that meet and depart from the border.


Editor's Note: TravMedia.com provided TASTE News Service with information for this article. For more information, visit www.sandiego.org or Taste California Travel's Resource Directory where you'll find links to to the websites hundreds of Lodging and Dining options in San Diego County, as well as links to area wineries and beer-centric establishments. 


Del Mar Beach Picmonkey

Del Mar is a city best navigated in the mindset of a local. A coastal community located twenty minutes north of Downtown San Diego, Del Mar teems with restaurants, beaches, and activities beloved by residents who know where to be and when. This intimate guide to discovering Del Mar sheds insight on how to capitalize on everything this beach town has to offer.

The Beach, But Not Where You Think: The anchor of the Del Mar coastline is Powerhouse Park, which provides spectacular views, rolling grassy hills for picnics, and playgrounds for the little ones. But for a more authentic, private excursion to the shore, make like a local and head to the right or left of the park. This will allow you to experience total peace and relaxation, away from crowds. Here is where you can lay out your beach towel, soak up the rays, spot pods of dolphins, and watch the surf, all in your own space. Tips: After walking down to the sand, head left towards 15th street or right towards 20th street to discover your own oasis.

Oceanfront Dining: Enjoying front row seats to exquisite sunsets never goes out of style, and natives of Del Mar know this. Jake’s Del Mar and Poseidon Restaurant, two celebrated eateries, are situated on the shore’s edge, giving visitors the opportunity to experience a real Southern Californian sunset. Indulge in fresh seafood and delicious dishes while absorbing the view in casual and friendly environments. Around Happy Hour, both restaurants evolve into hubs of excitement, great for people watching. Tip: During summer, take the kids to the Del Mar Snack Shack after a day at the beach. There’s nothing quite like eating an ice cream cone in the sun.

Architecture and History: Integral to Del Mar is its rich history and beautiful design. Historic structures include the Canfield-Wright House, the Alvarado House, and the Olde Del Mar Train Station. Prominent architects involved in the development of Del Mar include John C. Austin, who later went on to design Los Angeles City Hall and the Griffith Observatory. Today, Del Mar’s not-to-be-missed design destinations include Stratford Square, a stunning example of English Tudor architecture and a community landmark, and the L’Auberge Hotel, designed by Barclay Butera. Tip: Book a reservation at L’Auberge far in advance of Race Season; rooms fill up fast! (July 18-September 5)

Animal Attractions: As a pet-friendly community, Del Mar hosts fun events for the area’s furry friends. Each September, the biggest dog surfing competition in the world takes place at Dog Beach during Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon. Owners and canines participate in 20-minute heats, showing off their best moves to earn a placement in the finals. Across the lagoon, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, people and pooches exercise for a cause in the Petco 5K9 Walk Run, held in January. Families will flock to Freeflight, an exotic bird sanctuary open to the public seven days a week. Get to know the facility’s resident Macaws, Cranes, Cockatoos, Parrots and more. Tip: Don’t forget to find a souvenir for your pet. Stop by Dexter’s Deli before your departure for premium health foods, toys, fashions, and supplies.

Award-Winning Cuisine: Seven Del Mar Village restaurants earned eight top titles in Ranch and Coast magazine’s Best Restaurant’s 2013 List. Pacifica, Kitchen 1540, Rendezvous, Board & Brew, Café Secret, Smashburger, and Prepkitchen were awarded highest honors in their respective categories, confirming Del Mar as a certifiable culinary destination and a hotspot to watch in San Diego’s burgeoning food scene. Tip: Ask for the secret sauce with your sandwich at Board and Brew, a favorite local hangout.

New Faces at the Del Mar Plaza: An exciting change at the Plaza has been the entrance of two new venues: Del Mar Chocolate Bar and Erik Skoldberg Gallery. The Chocolate Bar is a one-stop shop for gourmet chocolates, coffee, tea, gift baskets, pastries, and retail wines and champagnes. The confectionary and its adjacent patio are located on the second level, and boast unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean. The newest member to join the Plaza family is Erik Skoldberg, a San Diego-bred painter whose work portrays passion, movement, and vivid color combinations. Skoldberg’s gallery displays the artist’s impressive portfolio, a collection of modern, contemporary, and colorful pieces designed to uplift visitors’ moods. Tip: The Plaza’s ocean view deck, which is just outside the gallery on the third level, is the perfect place to enjoy sunset cocktails and a savory chocolate treat.

Summer Concerts: In 2001, singer Jack Johnson put Del Mar on the musical map after his performance at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Since then, well-known acts like Billy Idol have performed during Del Mar’s Summer Concert Series. This year, twelve bands are scheduled to perform on the Seaside Stage, and tickets are free for fans attending the races. For a more relaxed, family-friendly venue, set up lawn chairs at Powerhouse Park during Del Mar Summer Twilight Concerts. These concerts are a Del Mar tradition, and provide families the opportunity to socialize, picnic, and listen to music together as the sun sets over the ocean. Tip: Clear the calendar for September 1st, when Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts Reggae Festival with Ziggy Marley plus Beer Fest.Del Mar Racing Picmonkey

The Race Track: Race season is arguably Del Mar’s most buzzed about moment. Both locals and visitors look forward to trying out their gambling hands and placing bets on the sport’s champion thoroughbreds. Whether taking a seat in the Turf Club or in the grand stands, the atmosphere swells with excitement, and a little competition. Hollywood legends and former patrons of the track include Bing Crosby, Jimmy Durante, and Lucy and Desi Arnez. Tip: Park at the racetrack and ride the new, free shuttle that will take guests to and from the track and the village of Del Mar. Enjoy ocean views, shopping, and dining before, during or after the races.

Spa and Wellness: Life can get hectic, so what better way to unwind than with a soothing treatment at one of Del Mar’s luxury spas? Spa L’Auberge serves as a sanctuary for those seeking pampering and rejuvenation. The spa menu features a diverse selection of treatments that utilize organic, vegan products, as well as exotic plant extracts. Enter a realm of relaxation at Place360, an integrated lifestyle center offering acupuncture, homeopathy, nutrition services, skin care, and massages. Tip: Celebrate your birthday at Spa Namara, a peaceful spa retreat housed within Hotel Indigo that offers ocean views. Show your ID during your birthday month to receive a complimentary spa enhancement with any 50-minute service, or book a spa party with friends to receive special pricing.

Outdoor Recreation: Del Mar is an ideal setting for outdoor activities. Sign up for a surf lesson during summer at Surf Sessions, which offers private lessons, day camps, overnight camps, and weekend clinics. Boards and suits can be rented from Rusty Surfboards Del Mar. After the water, join a game of beach volleyball, take a tennis lesson at Surf and Turf Tennis Club, or embark on a scenic hike up Torrey Pines State Reserve. For a special adventure, take a hot air balloon ride with Skysurfer Balloon Company. Tip: Book the sunset balloon ride for incredible views of the coast and picturesque landscape.

Editor's note: If you're planning on visiting this part of California you may want to check out Taste California Travel's Resource Directory. In it you will find links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options. Also there are links to San Diego County wineries (there are some) and most of the brewpubs and beer-centric hot spots.

(TravMedia.com contributed information for this TASTE News Service article.)

La Costa Champions Hole 18 Picmonkey18th Hole at La Costa Champions CourseLa Costa Resort and Spa, one of golf’s iconic venues, is hosting the 102nd California Amateur Championship in 2014, the first time the prestigious event has been held at the legendary San Diego County destination. Next year’s tournament is scheduled for June 16-21.

Recently undertaking a second major renovation project on its award-winning courses, La Costa will next summer see its two new courses – the Champions Course and the Legends Course – tested together by a field of competitors that will certainly include some of the future stars of the game.

“We’re thrilled to bring such a prestigious championship to La Costa,” said California Golf Association President Chris Clark. “When you combine La Costa’s history of hosting prestigious tournaments with its new renovations, we’re confident this will be a terrific championship. Players from all over the state should be excited to be a part of this historic event.”

Virtually every generation of California golfing greats has taken a swing through the “State Am,” from Gene Littler and Ken Venturi to Johnny Miller and Bobby Clampett, to John Cook and Mark O’Meara to Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. Past champions include Littler, the San Diego legend (in 1953 over Venturi), Clampett (1978, 1980), O’Meara (1979) and Duffy Waldorf (1984).

“It’s an honor for La Costa to be chosen to host the California Amateur,” said Paul McCormick, vice president and general manager at La Costa Resort and Spa. “La Costa has been synonymous with the top echelon of golf for more than 40 years, having hosted 37 PGA Tour and LPGA events. Now we are adding one of the game’s most distinguished amateur championships to the next era of our golf legacy.”

That next era includes the much-anticipated completion of renovations to all 36 holes at La Costa. Under the direction of Pascuzzo & Pate Golf Design – which remodeled the Champions Course in 2011 – the new Legends Course is to reopen in late 2013.

“It will be interesting to see how these top amateurs handle the two new golf courses and the different challenges they will present,” said Damian Pascuzzo, whose design partner, Steve Pate, is a former contestant in the California Amateur. “La Costa is an ideal place for an event like this, with its long history and tradition.”

This will be just the fourth time in the 103-year history of the California Amateur that the event will be contested in Southern California.

La Costa’s first 18 holes opened in 1965, with nine holes added in 1973 and the final nine holes in 1984. Since opening in the coastal foothills north of San Diego, La Costa Resort and Spa has had a distinguished relationship with the greatest players in golf, dating back to the Tournament Of Champions in 1969. La Costa’s list of winners includes legends from various eras, starting with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player to Woods and Mickelson. La Costa hosted the Match Play Championships for seven years until 2006 and in 2010 and 2012 was home to the Kia Classic on the LPGA Tour.

One of the nation’s oldest state amateur golf championships, originating in 1912 at Monterey’s Del Monte Golf Course, the State Amateur was held at Pebble Beach Golf Links from 1919 through 2006. The event began rotating in 2007 to selected courses throughout the state, alternating years in Southern California and Northern California. It was first played in Southern California in 2008. This year the tournament is at Monterey Peninsula Country Club in Pebble Beach, June 17-22.

The tournament consists of 156 players who play 36-holes of stroke play before determining the 32-player match play field. The final match is played over 36 holes.

For more information on La Costa Resort and Spa visit www.lacosta.com.

Saturday, 02 February 2013 00:37

February 1, 2013 Beer Pick of the Week

Coronado Brewing Idiot tap handle Picmonkey Idiot IPA


Producer: Coronado Brewing Co.

Location: Coronado, California

Style: Imperial India Pale Ale

Alcohol: 8.5%

IBUs: 90

Serving type: 4-pack bottles, 22 oz. bottles, draft

Availability: Year around in much of the U.S.


Appearance:  Golden/Amber

Aroma:  Somewhat floral

Taste:  Medium bodied, citrus and pine. Quite bitter.

Food Affinity:  Try with slow-cooked and very spicy pork ribs, finished with a pineapple glaze.

General Background:  Sampled on draft. Great tap handle featuring Hotel Del Coronado reference from this San Diego area brewery  .


mug of Dan  Picmonkey

  --reviewed by Dan Clarke, a writer and editor

    in Sacramento, California

Sunday, 06 January 2013 14:08

April 23, 2017 Fallbrook Avocado Festival

Region: San Diego County     City: Fallbrook     Contact: www.fallbrookchamberofcommerce.org

Region: San Diego County   San Diego     Contact: http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com

Region: San Diego County     City: La Jolla     Contact: www.lajollaconcours.com

Region: San Diego County     City: San Diego     Contact: www.stpatsparade.org

Region: San Diego County     City:  San Diego     Contact: www.sandiegobrewfest.com


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