Plus, an earthquake simulation and SDSU's commencement ceremonies.
May 11, 2023 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

62º | Sunny | 0% chance of rain | Sunrise 6:52 a.m. | Sunset 4:59 p.m. | High tides 6:25 a.m. and 8:27 p.m. | Low tide 1:53 p.m.

🌅 Greetings from San Diego
San Diego skyline photo in black and white
| Photo via @barryalman
We’re in the middle of National Travel and Tourism Week, a celebration of US travel and its impact on economic growth, job creation, and support of vibrant communities, like San Diego.

With our beautiful beaches, pristine hiking trails, famous theme parks, and beloved annual events, America’s Finest City is a tourist hotspot — and these 2022 stats from the San Diego Tourism Authority prove it.

SD Convention Center Embarcadero

The San Diego Convention Center hosted 51 primary conventions and trade shows in 2022.


Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

🔢 Local tourism, by the numbers

  • 214,000: The number of locals directly and indirectly employed by the visitor industry — including lodging, food service, and attractions.
  • $13.6 billion: The amount visitors spend annually in SD — in 2022, nearly 80% of this was spent at local businesses other than lodging.
  • 28.8 million: SD’s annual visitors — in 2022, 16.5 million of them stayed overnight.
  • 64,021: The number of local hotel rooms, available across 562 hotel, motel, bed + breakfast, and casino properties.
  • 72.6%: The average hotel occupancy in San Diego in 2022.
  • $1+ billion: How much the local tourism industry generates annually in taxes.
  • 437,171: Attendees across 51 primary conventions and trade shows at the San Diego Convention Center in 2022.
  • 10.8 million: Passengers who arrived at the San Diego International Airport.
  • 2.2 million: Northbound travelers served by Cross Border Xpress across the bridge from Tijuana Airport to San Diego.
  • 30 seconds: The length of this catchy “Happy & You Know It” local tourism ad.
SD Mission Beach

San Diego’s beautiful beaches — like Mission Beach — are a major draw for visitors.


Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

🌴 Livin’ la vida local

To tour San Diego like a local (or maybe branch out a little), try this:
Thursday, May 11
Friday, May 12
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers 2023 Tour | Friday, May 12 | 6:30 p.m. | Snapdragon Stadium, 2101 Stadium Way, San Diego | $140-$950 | The iconic rock group brings its tour to the Mission Valley venue.
  • Ricardo Arjona | Friday, May 12 | 8 p.m. | Pechanga Arena, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego | $45-$385 | The Latin Grammy Award-winning pop singer performs in SD.
Saturday, May 13
  • Art Glass Guild Art Show and Patio Sale | Saturday, May 13 + Sunday, May 14 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Spanish Village Art Center, 1770 Village Place, San Diego | Free | Browse art glass created by 30+ local artists and enjoy live, family-friendly art demos and entertainment.
  • OTL Beer Fest | Saturday, May 13 | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | Mariner’s Point, Mission Bay Park, San Diego | $40 | This kickoff to OTL season features gameplay, craft breweries, and food trucks.
  • San Diego Epiphyllum Mother’s Day Show and Sale | Saturday, May 13 + Sunday, May 14 | Times vary | Casa del Prado, Room 101, San Diego | Free | Browse this annual flower show and sale in the heart of Balboa Park.
  • Makers Arcade | Saturday, May 13 + Sunday, May 14 | 11 a.m.-6 p.m. | Broadway Pier, 1000 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego | $6-$50 | This market features 100+ makers, craft cocktails and beer, gourmet food trucks, live music, styled lounges, and more.
  • 26th Annual Fiesta de los Peñasquitos | Saturday, May 13 | 12-6 p.m. | Rancho Peñasquitos, 13255 Black Mountain Rd., San Diego | Free | This street fair features vendors, crafts, business booths, food, carnival rides, and entertainment.
  • Dia de los Niños Kids Concert and Festivities | Saturday, May 13 | 1-3 p.m. | Mission Valley Branch Library, 2123 Fenton Parkway, San Diego | Free | Honor of Día de los Niños with a concert with Hullabaloo followed by crafts, piñatas, and face-painting.
Sunday, May 14
  • Mother’s Day Brunch Cruise | Sunday, May 14 | Times vary | Flagship cruises and Events, 990 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego | $56.70+ | Treat mom to brunch with views of beautiful San Diego Bay aboard a Flagship yacht.
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News Notes
  • Beginning at 10 a.m. today, the County Board of Supervisors will hear presentations from several departments on the recommended Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget. The public can attend the meeting at the County Administration Center (Room 310), watch on TV or via live stream, or listen by phone — (619) 531-4716.
  • An Italian restaurant owned by three brothers — AnniVenti La Trattoria — is now open at 8099 Broadway in Lemon Grove. The menu features antipasti like crunchy pistachio burrata, pasta dishes like Paccheri e Scampi, and entrees like Octopus Livornese. It’s open Monday-Friday, 4-9 p.m., and weekends, 12-9:30 p.m.
Coming Soon
  • SeaWorld San Diego will debut Rescue Jr. this spring, a play area featuring interactive experiences where kids can learn about animal rescue, rehabilitation, and conservation. The zone will feature a splash pad, climbing structures, and new rides — opening alongside the theme park’s new straddle coaster, Arctic Rescue.
  • UC San Diego’s earthquake simulation tool — the “shake table” — was recently used to rattle a 10-story tower mostly made of wood, and it withstood the test. The tool simulated a 7.7-magnitude temblor, and engineers believe this says a lot about the viability of wood as a construction material. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
  • Cue “Pomp and Circumstance,” it’s graduation season. At San Diego State University, 11,500+ students will receive their degrees at upcoming commencement ceremonies at Viejas Arena — the first of which are this Friday-Sunday. SDSU will broadcast the events online and via the university’s Facebook page.
  • Where the surf meets the turf, down at old Del Mar. Tickets for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s summer racing season go on sale today at 10 a.m. This includes passes for Opening Day on Friday, July 21 — so hold onto your hats and hop to it.
  • The PGA Championship tees off Monday, May 15-Sunday, May 21, in Rochester, NY, and San Diego is well-represented. Local golf icons Phil Mickelson and Xander Schauffele are both playing in the tournament, as is Rickie Fowler from Murrieta, CA.
  • Looking for something fun and outdoorsy to do with your mom or mother figure this Sunday? Several county parks will host special Mother’s Day events, including a Mother’s Day Hiking and Tea Party at Ramona Grasslands County Preserve, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., and flower pot crafting at Morrison Pond, 10-11 a.m.
  • The Monarch School will celebrate its students with its “Metamorphosis Art Exhibition” tomorrow, 5:30 p.m., at The Chrysalis in Barrio Logan. The event will showcase paintings, photography, and sculptures representing self-growth, with proceeds from tickets supporting the school’s Center for the Arts, providing arts education for unhoused students.
  • The historic Dorothea Laub Balboa Park Carousel remains closed for restoration, but Forever Balboa Park confirms it’ll reopen this summer — in time for National Carousel Day on Tuesday, July 25. The organization says the annual celebration will include free rides, family-friendly activities, food vendors, and live performances.
  • How does Going work? Sign up for free, follow up to five airports, and get notified when flights are 40-90% off. Bonus: You can browse deals immediately after signing up (like a ~$575 round trip to Fiji).*
🐊 Party on the Bay(ou)
SD Gator by the Bay festival
Gator by the Bay features 100+ musical acts. | Photo via Jeff Beeler
Spanish Landing Park will have Big Easy vibes when Gator by the Bay rolls in today through Sunday, May 14 — the annual Louisiana-themed music and food festival beloved on “this side of the bayou.”

The waterfront fest presented by the San Diego Bon Temps Social Club features 100+ musical acts across seven stages, tapping into genres like zydeco, blues, Cajun, rockabilly, swing, salsa, and New Orleans jazz. If that makes you want to boogie, hop into free dance lessons throughout the weekend.

The shindig also features traditional Southern cuisine — from seafood gumbo to beignets — plus 10,000 pounds of live crawfish hauled in from southwest Louisiana. Oh, and don’t miss the cooking demos so you can recreate the flavors at home.

Tickets are still available in single-day or multiple-day options. Bonus: Kids age 17 and under get in free with a paid adult.

Cue the tunes and see you later, gator.
SD sister cities sign

This sign in downtown San Diego — near the San Diego Civic Theatre — will show you the way to our sister cities.


Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

Earlier this week, we took you on a virtual trek around the world to San Diego’s 16 sister cities — found in countries like Japan, Scotland, Mexico, and Brazil. We asked you which city you’d like San Diego to add to its sisterhood, and you offered great ideas on how to extend the family.

Some of your suggestions were:
  • Seattle, Washington (BTW, we’ve got a great friendship with SEAtoday)
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Turku, Finland
  • Dublin, Ireland
The Wrap
Monica Garske headshot Today’s edition by:
From the editor
The Violent Femmes’ performance of their 1983 album alongside the San Diego Symphony Orchestra at The Rady Shell last night was epic. Now, we hear another act will perform their iconic record at the venue this summer.

Cypress Hill will recreate “Black Sunday” live — also alongside the orchestra — on Tuesday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. “Insane in the Brain” with mad strings? Oh, that’s loco alright.
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