Toasty temps, cloudless skies, and stellar sunsets — San Diego’s got it all, so can you blame anyone for not wanting it to end? Give us all the pools, all the festivals, all the everything outside, and we’re in.
If it’s luxe you like, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa recently introduced yet another exquisite amenity: The Paddock, a resort pool designed for families, but with signature Rancho Valencia panache. For the full experience, book The Paddock’s aptly named Game Cabana, styled with a retro arcade table, classic arcade game console, foosball, a craft table, and an Xbox. Non-gamers can select from additional offerings including four-person cabanas or deluxe cabanas with seating for six to eight, and cabana-less loungers are by no means left out, with plenty of floating pool toys, a regular schedule of poolside perks and amenities, complimentary popcorn and soft serve ice cream, a full service menu, and a stocked bar.
Not to be outdone, The Lodge at Torrey Pines has enhanced its poolside experience with the introduction of its new dining venue, Judson’s, in addition to brand-new cabanas outfitted with TVs and a stocked fridge. But with a menu that boasts delectable bites that are fit for savoring whilst soaking up some rays, plus wine, local brews on tap, and a curated cocktail list (who could resist ordering a “Private Jet” of bourbon, amaro, aperol, and lemon?), Judson’s is sure to draw guests out of even the cushiest cabana. Also upping its game is L’Auberge Del Mar, which recently debuted the La Dolce Vita Pool Bar, a poolside pop-up with Mediterranean flair: florals, classic Italian flavors, and signature cocktails like Negronis and Bellinis to cement those Amalfi Coast vibes. It’s also the site of an upcoming “Paint & Sip” series, where aspiring artists find inspiration in Italian landscapes — and Italian wines. First up on August 25 is “Brushstrokes and Bellinis,” followed by “Palette & Prosecco” on September 15. Both events are presented by Solana Beach’s Gallery Blu.
Channel your inner Hollywood starlet with a stay or a day at LaFayette Hotel & Club. The property just unveiled a $31 million transformation, reflecting all the edgy glamour of its history as well as that of its ownership, CH Projects — San Diego hotpots Born & Raised, Raised by Wolves, Craft & Commerce, and many more are among its venerable portfolio — LaFayette Hotel & Club is the San Diego destination to return to a bygone era. Stay in one of its 139 fully renovated rooms that exude maximalist design, grab a suite or even a townhouse on the property to soak up all the splashy decadence, or splash — literally — in the resort’s pool with a day pass, drink in hand from the Pool Bar. On the spa and wellness side, Russian, Roman, and Turkish baths will debut this fall. Not surprisingly, F&B is key here, and three new options, Beginners Diner, The Lobby Bar, and Quixote, offer uniquely different dining and drinking options. Le Horse Continental Room, a lavish, European-style restaurant, as well as nightclub Lulu’s Jungle Room & The Mississippi Room, will debut nearer to year’s end.
Because the only thing better than a cool movie theater in summer is watching a movie without ever having to leave the pool, Lakehouse Resort’s Dive-In Movie Series is a must on our summer bucket list. It kicked off during July’s record heat wave, and continues this month with showings on August 4 (Moana) and August 11 (Pirates of the Caribbean). At just $10 a ticket, choose between a lounge chair on the pool deck or a float in the water, and each showing will have signature-themed cocktails and mocktails, a full bar, and classic movie eats like popcorn, nachos, and hot dogs for purchase. All you need to bring is a towel.
Down in Mission Bay, a celebration of a different kind is happening as the Bahia Resort goes retro all summer long in honor of its 70th anniversary with activities, food, and music to span the decades from the 1950s to today. A highlight: Nightly trivia games to test your knowledge of fun facts from a different decade every night of the week in the Residents’ Lounge, and a weekly Wednesday sightseeing cruise on the Bahia Belle accompanied by all the ’80s hits you still know all the words to. For a decidedly modern pivot, you can now reserve an eFoil at Mission Bay’s Chuck’s Watersports for futuristic fun on the water. The innovative Lift4 by industry leader Lift Foils is the brand’s quietest eFoil ever created that allows riders to be out on the water longer than ever before at a fraction of the charging time of any other eFoil available on the market. These silent battery-powered toys can propel riders up to 30mph — but not to worry, the folks at Chuck’s are ready to teach riders of all abilities to harness the power of these gravity-defying marvels.
Even with fall creeping ever nearer, summer-staple festivals are far from being in the rearview mirror. This month, Bleached Festival takes over San Diego’s Waterfront Park on August 5 and 6. Spanning genres including alternative, indie-pop, and new-age R&B, with more than 30 acts already confirmed, Bleached has something for everyone in a laid-back, outdoor setting that’s quintessentially San Diego. Prefer laying back on a rooftop with a view? Pendry San Diego has that covered at The Pool House. Open to the public Sunday through Friday, this indoor/outdoor lounge seamlessly blends urban chic and summer sun, and bumps up its own game with Pool House Sundays, featuring a rotating calendar of events, DJs, and more.
If you’d rather taste than tan, reserve August 29 to 30 on your calendar for the inaugural Taste of East Village hosted by the East Village Association. Each event day will showcase a different segment of the neighborhood from 4 to 8pm, featuring beloved eateries such as Tavern + Bowl, Wicked Chicken, and Doggos Gus (at The Church at Lost Abbey). Ticketholders will receive a passport to guide them on their culinary journey to savory, sweet, and sipping heaven in the heart of downtown.
Why should only tourists get to enjoy a luxe urban rooftop pool and fitness day? In San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, The Westgate Hotel’s (state-of-the-art fitness + wellness club, AquaVie features a junior Olympic-sized pool, hot tub, 40,000 square-foot fitness facility, and an outdoor running track. For $45 (kids are just $20), locals can reserve a day pass and enjoy the ultimate rooftop wellness day with access to all AquaVie amenities as well as the steam rooms, dry saunas, poolside food and beverage service and daily wellness classes including poolside vinyasa, barre, and master swim.
If you haven’t been to Town and Country Resort lately, it’s time to check it out. The mid-century Mission Valley property, which debuted a multi-million dollar renovation in 2020, boasts a 10,000-square-foot pool complex with a zero entry pool, four-story 150-foot “Twister” waterslide, a children’s pool, and plush cabanas and daybeds for poolside relaxation. This Saturday, July 29, visitors can enjoy a dive-in movie at the pool, featuring How to Train Your Dragon, with additional features slated for select Saturdays in August: Happy Feet (August 12), Cars 2 (August 19), and Shark Tale (August 26). The resort is also home to five dining outlets including ARLO, Lapper Kitchen + Tap, and the pop-up 1950’s trailer, Trixie, serving regular and boozy milkshakes for guests of all ages. Day passes are available on ResortPass, and are $40 for adults and $20 for children; visitors can upgrade their pool pass by reserving a daybed for $110, or a cabana for $225.
“Post-Labor Day” doesn’t have to mean “back to work” as the festivals stretch into September. On Friday, September 8, from 6 to 10pm, the San Diego Festival of Beer takes over Broadway Pier, hosted by the nonprofit San Diego Professionals Against Cancer. The ’80s-themed event encourages festival-goers to come in their best looks of the decade to sample the more than 100 craft beers on offer, all for a good cause: all proceeds are donated to local cancer research and patient care programs.