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Why San Diego Is a Great Place to Grow Your Startup

Posted By Mclain

Image source: VRBO


In the world of startups, there’s one place that comes immediately to mind: Silicon Valley. After all, Silicon Valley is home to some of the biggest startups and is historically known for catering to entrepreneurs who hope to become the next best business in their industry. As a startup founder, it’s no secret that the stretch between San Jose and San Francisco is the place to be if you want to rub shoulders with other entrepreneurial peers, meet investors, and partake in incubator programs.


However, lately a trend in the startup ecosystem is that many businesses are leaving Silicon Valley in favor of other startup-friendly cities around the country (and world). The high cost of living (San Francisco is the most expensive city to live in the United States), increasing level of competition, and low tolerance for mistakes can start to feel hostile for a business in its infancy.

Startups experiencing momentum may quickly discover that those strides are being halted by the saturation of Silicon Valley.


Today, there are many cities that are also well suited for catering to growing startups, and San Diego is one of them. Here are a few reasons why San Diego is a great place to grow your startup:


Less Competition

As previously mentioned, growing a startup in big cities like San Francisco means you’re not only competing with the hundreds of viable startups, but you’re also competing with some of the biggest tech companies in the world: Facebook, Uber, Twitter, Google, and many more. From an investment standpoint, you’re competing with companies across every industry for investment dollars. Venture capitalists and angel investors only have so many dollars to spread, but the amount of potential places to spread those dollars is significantly higher.


From a talent perspective, you’re competing with big corporations for the best hires in engineering, marketing, sales, and more. As a startup, you need the best of the best, and to have that, you should reside in places where those conditions to thrive exist. In San Diego, those conditions are much more attainable.


San Diego Has a Growing Tech Scene

There’s plenty that San Diego is already known for: gorgeous, wide sandy beaches, nearly perfect weather, amazing attractions, and great cuisine. But what many people don’t realize is that San Diego is also a growing tech scene.


The prime coastal location epitomizes the balance between work and play, which creates a strong balance between an active, healthy lifestyle, and an infrastructure for innovation. And as many studies have demonstrated, the happier you are in life, the more productive you are in work. Within one year, the year-to-year growth of startups in San Diego jumped seven ranking spots, from 11 to 4.


Mark Cafferty, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, said in an interview,  “Since I came to San Diego a little over 17 years ago, I’ve seen the city undergo incredible change. Whereas before, the downtown area seemed to hollow out at night, now there’s a significant amount of business activity from technology-based startups as well as co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators.”

Image source: ExoNexus

Innovative Incubators

San Diego has plenty of incubators and accelerators where startups can grow their businesses. Incubators help support startups who are in the early stages of building their businesses. Typically, this is when they have a great idea and/or talent to bring something new into a respective marketplace, but don’t have the business model or support to translate that into reality.


On the other hand, accelerators are designed to assist with growth for startups that already have a business model and traction, building upon existing foundations. The primary goal of incubators and accelerators are to help businesses grow through mentorships and investor fundings.


Incubators and accelerators are both present (and growing) in San Diego. For example, Ad Astra is a female-focused accelerator that provides guaranteed funding at the completion of the program. On the other hand, the Wireless Health Hub is an accelerator that focuses on businesses in the wireless health industry. Over at BlueTech, the incubator program caters to startups in the ocean and water-based industries.


There are also plenty of new coworking spaces in San Diego, sprouting across the city to accommodate the growing number of startups who are launching or migrating to the sunshine city.

Image source: KPBS


Startup Community

No matter where you intend to grow your startup, community can make all the difference. In fact, many people agree that building a community is much more important than networking. This is because networking is traditionally based on the concept that you should create introductions based solely on what they can do for you, and then afterwards, what you can strategically do for them. A community, on the other hand, is based upon creating genuine connections with people whom you’re eager to help, and receiving the same passion from others as well.


According to Daniel Passov, President of Greek U, “Over the past few years, San Diego has become a community of startups. The sense of camaraderie within the entrepreneur community has given me unlimited resources to help in every aspect of my company. This allows all companies in San Diego to grow together and put San Diego on the map to hire better talent and find more funding for new ideas.”


And there are plenty of different resources available to San Diego residents who have chosen San Diego as a base for building their business. Take one look at the SD Tech Scene and you’ll see exactly what it means to have a community in this area. The calendar is chock full of startup and tech events, co-working space information, and tech job listings.


There’s also Startup Week San Diego and San Diego Startup Weekend, an annual event that celebrates innovation in the community with a roster of events and seminars designed to create networking opportunities and help local startups learn more about how they can progress their own businesses. CleanTech San Diego, CONNECT,  and San Diego Venture Group are all organizations that help foster a community, too.


Freedom to Make Early Mistakes

Part of being an entrepreneur is making mistakes. If you look at some of the most well-known startup founders, you’ll likely discover that the vast majority of them experienced some mistakes as they built their companies. Some had several failed companies before finally landing on something that worked. Unfortunately, in high-competitive places like Silicon Valley, there is little room for mistakes. And that means there’s hardly any room for an entrepreneur to make mistakes that many people make, and to grow from them.


Because San Diego isn’t considered a major “tech hub,” it leaves entrepreneurs with the opportunity to test freely without added pressure or fear of the industry. This ability to make mistakes, pivot, or fail and bounce back, coupled with a community atmosphere, makes it easy for startup founders to feel comfortable in their skin and explore limitless boundaries.

The Most Unique Experiences You Can Find In San Diego

Posted By Mclain

There’s plenty of reasons people travel or move to San Diego. The town’s laidback attitude serves as the foundation for a land of sea and sun. With a booming culinary scene, gorgeous beaches, nearly perfect weather, an amazing craft beer scene, and nature and hiking at your fingertips, there’s no shortage of possibilities in San Diego.


And let’s not forget about all the famous San Diego staples, like the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, Balboa Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, and much more. However, there’s much more to San Diego than meets the eye. Whether you’re considering relocating, or simply visiting for the weekend, it’s important to check out the lesser well-known sites, too. Here are some of the most unique experiences you can find in San Diego:

Image source: San Diegan


The San Diego Railroad Museum

The San Diego Railroad Museum is a unique and massive miniature display of how an extensive railroad system looks and operates. At 28,000 square feet, it is currently the largest operating model railroad museum in the world.


This display represents the California railroad system, and the museum’s mission is to preserve both the history of model railroading (which has been popular in San Diego for many decades), as well as educate the public of different aspects of the railroading system. It features detailed recreations of some of the state’s most beautiful train routes, like the Pacific Desert Lines and Cabrillo Southwester.


If you want to take your kids for a visit, there’s much more than the base base museum for them to enjoy. They can also play in the Toy Train Gallery, which has an interactive layout with state-of-the-art theatre lighting.

Image source: San Diego Magazine


Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

The Spruce Street Suspension Bridge isn’t well-traversed by tourists and visitors. This pedestrian-only suspension bridge is 375 feet long, with beautiful vista views of the Sessions Canyon. This massive bridge is supported by cables that are cemented into concrete slabs 70 feet below.


Like all suspension bridges, it isn’t rigidly rooted, which means it can sway in harsh winds. But for many, this is all a part of the experience. Because it’s secluded in the Bankers Hill neighborhood, many locals come here for a leisurely stroll or date picnic. Originally built in 1912, it’s still proven a sweet spot to enjoy, and holds true to its Indiana Jones-aesthetic.

Image source: Red Tricycle


San Diego Museum of Man

Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego Museum of Man is a  museum of anthropology that’s been around for over 100 years. The central exhibit is called “The Story of Man through the Ages”, but there are several other things to learn here, from the history of beer to the subject of cannibalism to the origins of folklore monsters. You’ll also find one of the most important collections of ancient Egyptian artifacts, which includes figurines, burial masks, and painted coffins—including a Ptolemaic child’s coffin (from around 300 BC), of which only six in the world have been discovered.


Here, you’ll also find the historic Lemon Grove Mummy. A fun fact about this mummy: two local teenage Californian boys went to Mexico in search of a mummy in 1966, and found two centuries-old mummies after a month of looking. They smuggled the mummies back over the Mexican border, and hid them in a friend’s garage. A full 14 years later, the garage was being renovated when the mummies were discovered and police were called in. Because of their juvenile status, and the amount of time that had passed, the boys didn’t face any criminal charges, but the mummies were given a special place at the San Diego Museum of Man.



Image source: California Through My Lens


Harper’s Topiary Garden

Harper’s Topiary Garden is a beautiful, natural work of art created by Edna Harper, who purchased her Mission Hills home and didn’t feel satisfied with the cookie-cutter shrubs that dotted her front lawn. Instead of getting rid of them, she decided to create a topiary for passerby to enjoy.


For many years, Edna shaped her foliage into different creations inspired by her travels around the world. Within the suburban garden, visitors will find a buddha, a pyramid, a herd of elephants, and even a dinosaur. Edna is consistently reshaping her bushes to fit her newest whimsical dreams.


For those interested in making a nice stroll of it, the Topiary is just a 45 minute walked from the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge. You’re welcome to take pictures, explore the garden (you aren’t permitted to touch the hedges, however) and admire the creations, but keep in mind it’s a private residence, and Edna still resides there.

Image source: San Diego Fly Rides


San Diego-La Jolla Underground Waterpark

Believe it or not, there’s a 6,000-acre underwater marine park right in San Diego’s backyard. This vibrant submerged park features four different habitats: kelp bed, sandy flat, rocky reef, and submarine canyon. The diverse marine life here thrives with rich food resources, making it easy for visitors to spot all types of sea life, from leopard sharks to Orange garibaldi to seals and sea lions.


Bordering the park is 75-million year old sandstone, comprising seven different sea caves (including Sunny Jim’s Cave, however, only Clam’s Cave is visible above the surface of the water). To explore the underwater park, turn to local operates that lead guided snorkeling and scuba diving excursions.

Image source: Travel Pockers


Sunny Jim Cave (Store)

As previously mentioned, the Sunny Jim Cave is located at the San Diego-La Jolla Underground Waterpark. And what makes this place so unique is that the Sunny Jim Cave Store has the only sea cave entrance that’s accessible by land. The store connects its retail location to the sea cave via a narrow tunnel across 145 steps. Thanks the saltwater affect and natural minerals, the cave walls are very colorful and make a perfect home for seabirds.


Although it might look like a natural tunnel, in 1902, German mining engineer and painter Gustauf Schultz hired two laborers to begin digging the tunnel, which has since become a Historical Landmark in California. In the early days, visitors had to descend the cave by rope instead of stairs. In the early 1900s, there also used to be a restaurant and cafe here until it burned in 1915. Today, the Cave Store features a variety of trinkets for purchase, such as handcrafted jewelry, vintage clothing, and local plein art.

Image source: The Headquarters at Seaport District


Cinema Under the Stars

Outdoor cinemas haven’t completely gone extinct, and Cinema Under the Stars in San Diego is alive and thriving. This outdoor movie theatre is in Mission Hills under a retractable dome with infrared heating, making it easy to see movies during any weather and providing the comfort of an outdoor theatre without compromising the nostalgic, fun feel of an outdoor theatre.


Movies are projected onto a 20-foot screen complete with a surround system and HD projection. There are plenty of seats to choose from: zero gravity recliners, ottomans with tables, and loveseat cabanas. Popcorn and candy are available at concessions stands. The theatre tends to play timeless classic and old favorites, and you can reserve your seat and check the movie lineup on their website.



San Diego Calendar of Events: January 2019

Posted By Mclain

January may be a time to recuperate from the holidays but the fun keeps going in San Diego! The mild winter weather is the perfect inspiration for a variety of events that take place during the month of January. Take a look at some of the highlights.

Poway Winter Festival
January 11, 2019 from 5-9 PM
January 12, 2019 from 3:30 – 8:30 PM

Image credit: poway.org

Winter enthusiasts will be drawn to the Poway Winter Festival where you can build a snowman, sled down the snow hill, roast marshmallows by the campfire, make silly faces in the free photo booth and take a spin around the synthetic skate rink!

Along with a host of winter activities, there will be a variety of specialty and food vendors on-site. There will be no ATM machines at the event, so please plan accordingly.

FREE shuttles to and from the event will be available from two locations: Poway City Hall parking lot, located at 13325 Civic Center Drive; and the Boys and Girls Club parking lot at 12988 Bowron Road.

San Diego Brew Fest
January 12, 2019
12 – 4 PM

Image credit: sandiegobeerfest.com

The 9th annual San Diego Beer Fest returns to Liberty Station and promises another fun-filled day with beer, food trucks, and music. The event features dozens of local and international craft beers, as well as San Diego’s most popular food trucks (food sold separately).

Admission is $45 for general admission (1:00 – 4:00 PM) and $55 for Early Admission (Noon to 4:00 PM). Both include unlimited beer tastings, with VIP admission offering an added hour. Please keep in mind that the event is limited to 21 and over and no pets are allowed.

The San Diego Brew Festival’s proceeds will benefit Noah’s B-ark, Inc., whose aim is to rescue dogs from shelters and find permanent homes for rescued pets.

2019 Carlsbad Marathon & Half Marathon
Sunday, January 20, 2019
7 AM – 1 PM

Image credit: inmotionevents.com

With ideal weather conditions, a spectacular coastal course, 26 fully staffed course support stations and continuous entertainment, the Carlsbad Marathon is more than a race, it’s an unforgettable experience.

Each participant receives a gender specific long-sleeve technical fabric shirt, virtual goody bag, finisher’s medal, post-race mylar blanket, refreshments (including chocolate milk!) and much more. Participants have several race options, including a full marathon (26.2 miles) or half marathon (13.1 miles), the Surf Sun Run 5K and the Double Down Challenge which begins at 6:45 a.m. with the Surf Sun Run 5K then finishes with the 7:45 a.m. Carlsbad Half Marathon.

San Diego Restaurant Week
January 20 – January 27, 2019

Image credit: sandiegorestaurantweek.com

San Diego Restaurant Week will be held Sunday, January 20 through Sunday, January 27 with a FEAST for the senses at over 180 participating restaurants. Enjoy delicious selections at restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County.

During the week, more than 180 participating restaurants will offer three-course prix-fixe dinner menus for $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person and/or two-course prix-fixe lunch menus for $10, $15 or $20 per person. The participating restaurants span across the county from the South Bay to East County and to the borders of Oceanside and Fallbrook to the North and touch on all cuisine types and cravings.

Tickets are not necessary for this spectacular week of discounted dining, but reservations are recommended! San Diego Restaurant Week is brought to you by the non-profit San Diego Chapter of the California Restaurant Association.

Save the Date: Farmers Insurance Open to be held in San Diego Jan. 24-27, 2019

Posted By Mclain

Image credit: farmersinsuranceopen.org

Golf enthusiasts and those looking to enjoy spending a fabulous day in the fresh air and sunshine will celebrate the news that the Farmers Insurance Open is returning to Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California. The prestigious tournament, which takes place annually, will be held January 24-27, 2019.

The renown Torrey Pines Golf Course provides stunning ocean views as the backdrop to this world-class competition. There are a number of attractions for spectators including the Grey Goose 19th Hole, The Michelob ULTRA Zone, Fan Village and a variety of concession stands.

Each day, once the last group of golfers has played through the 15th hole, the Post Party begins! The Fringe, presented by Harrah’s Resort SoCal, will open to the public at approximately 3:30 p.m. (once play is concluded) to keep the fun going.

In addition to watching the PGA TOUR’s rising stars, individuals can take part in the Harrah’s Resort SoCal Pro-Am. The event takes place on Monday, January 21 and offers the unique opportunity to spend time with members of the PGA TOUR. This event allows individuals to play with a TOUR professional on Torrey Pines South Course under the same conditions they will face for the tournament. There are packages for single players as well as foursomes. Learn more here.

Another event that lets you feel like part of the PGA TOUR is the Farmers Insurance Pro-Am held on Wednesday, January 23. Participants will play with one of the players from the top 100 on the FedExCup points list. Feel like a pro while your skills are challenged under tournament conditions on either Torrey Pines North or South Course. There are packages for single players as well as foursomes. More details can be found here.

Image credit: farmersinsuranceopen.org

There are a variety of ticket options for single and multi-day admission which can be found here. If you find yourself in the San Diego area toward the end of January, be sure to pay a visit to the Farmers Insurance Open for this memorable fan experience!

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Top Ways to Celebrate New Year’s in San Diego

Posted By Mclain

There are almost limitless way to celebrate the New Year in the San Deigo area. From wild to elegant, over the top to understated, there is something for every interest and age. Here are a few of the many events in the area to consider when making your holiday plans.

New Year’s Even Yacht Party 2019
December 31, 2018

Celebrate in style aboard the Inspiration Hornblower Yacht, a $25 million ship that is nearly as large as a football field. Enjoy stunning 360° view of San Diego Harbor from the top deck while you are tempted with an incredible selection of hors d’oeuvres and beverages. The fun continues all night with three levels of music that will keep you dancing until 2019.

New Year’s Eve Vintage Vegas Celebration
December 31, 2018

Image credit: www.hornblower.com

Step back in time and experience the glamor and sophistication of old Las Vegas. This high-end cocktail party will be complete with casino tables, themed music, entertainment and classic cocktails. Get into the groove and dress up as one of the era’s icons or don the retro accessories provided for the evening.

New Year’s Eve Gala at the Del
December 31, 2018

Image credit: www.hoteldel.com

Ring in the New Year at The World’s Greatest Legend, a once-in-a-lifetime celebration with dazzling star attractions and awe-inspiring performances. Experience the oceanfront Ballroom as it transforms into a lavish big top with black tie clad aristocrats, an incredible five-course feast, open bar and dancing to the sounds of the Mighty Untouchables. All attendees must be over 21.

Kids and teens can ring in the New Year at their own party from 7pm-12:30am. The night includes dinner, ice skating (ages 8+), special shows, games, s’mores roast, and a midnight toast with sparkling cider. Teens ages 13-17 can also hang out in their own teen lounge and watch movies as they mingle.

Kids’ New Year’s Eve at Legoland California
December 31, 2018

Image credit: www.legoland.com/california

Families who want to experience the excitement of New Year’s Eve but don’t want to stay up late can visit LEGOLAND California Resort where “Midnight” comes early. LEGOLAND California re-creates the Times Square ball drop with a giant LEGO brick falling 22 feet in the air at the area’s largest Kids’ New Year’s Eve Party!

Join in the festivities with party hats and special glasses for viewing fireworks. The party concludes just in time for our countdown at 6 p.m. with a fireworks display illuminating the sky and providing a great ending to an amazing year.

130th Pasadena Rose Parade
January 1, 2019

Image credit: www.tournamentofroses.com

Experience this iconic New Year’s Day tradition for yourself! The 2019 parade will feature floral floats, spirited marching bands and high-stepping equestrian units along the 5 ½-mile route down Colorado Blvd. Whether you enjoy the parade on your own or as part of a tour, you will be awed by the magic of this unrivaled celebration.

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Holiday Events in San Diego

Posted By Mclain

There are so many ways to embrace the holiday spirit and enjoy the magic of the season in San Diego. Throughout the city, people come together to help bring cheer and create lasting memories. Here are a few of the many holiday-related activities in and around the San Diego area.

Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village
Saturday, December 1, 2018
4 – 8 p.m.

Image credit: sdentertainer.com

Festive family fun can be found at the 20th Annual Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village on Saturday, December 1 from 4 – 8 p.m. Enjoy the community’s festive décor, seasonal vendors, live music and entertainment, horse carriage rides, holiday treats, a tree lighting, a visit from Santa and more!

Experience the beauty of the neighborhood’s holiday décor including a 25-foot tower of more than 1,100 beautiful Poinsettias, located in the center of Piazza Basilone along with a permanent 20-foot tall live tree in the Piazza della Famiglia. The Poinsettia tree will be lit-up the whole evening and the 20-foot permanent tree will be lit at 6:30 p.m.

Winter Wonderland Festival
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
3 p.m.

Snow in Escondido? Yes, it’s true! Thanks once again to the Center, children will have the chance to play in real snow, create winter-themed arts and crafts, and even see live reindeer!

From carolers to stilt walkers, to hula dancers and of course, Santa, kids of all ages will delight in the Winter Wonderland Festival. Food and drink will be available and a number of local businesses will be displaying their wares for your holiday shopping needs.

At dusk, our Lyric Court will come alive with twinkling lights and keep an eye out for a few extra surprises!

Don’t miss the featured events, including:
Pictures with Santa
Santa’s Reindeer
Snow Play
Activities for Kids
Princess Meet and Greets
Train Rides
Holiday Light Show

47th Annual San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
December 9, 2018
December 16, 2016
5 p.m.

Image credit: https://sdparadeoflights.org

Get into the holiday spirit, nautical-style with the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights. Enjoy the procession of approximately 80 boats as they show off their fully adorned décor based on this year’s theme of “Tropical Island Christmas.”

The parade will proceed to the pier at Cesar Chavez Park before making the turn to Coronado, giving viewers an additional area to watch the parade. The parade begins a 5 PM and is free to attend.

11th Annual Vet + Pet West Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade
December 16, 2018
12PM – 5PM

Image credit: https://www.gaslamp.org/events/pet-parade/

If you want to spread some holiday cheer with your four-legged, furry pals then be sure to check out the West Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade. Grab your favorite holiday costume and enjoy the parade with your favorite critter. Dogs, cats, birds, and even fish are welcome to take part in this jolly good time!

Parade participants get goodie bags of samples, toys, coupons, and other gifts for your pet at the FREE Holiday Pet Market, open to the public from 12PM to 5PM with live music, presentations, and fun for all. Entry to participate in the Pet Parade is $15 per pet in advance, and $20 on the day of the event. Free for Spectators!

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Thanksgiving Celebrations in San Diego

Posted By Mclain

If you are looking to expand your Thanksgiving traditions beyond turkey and football then look no further than San Diego. Spending Thanksgiving here means you’ll have lots of ways to enjoy the holiday.

Mother Goose Parade
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1pm

Image credit: http://www.mothergooseparade.org/

Now in its 72nd year, the Mother Goose Parade is held each year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving in El Cajon. The event which attracts more than 400,000 attendees features marching units, bands, floats, clowns, cartoon characters, equestrians and even some celebrity appearances.

Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K
November 22nd, 2018

Image credit: neighbor.org

Get energized before your feast at the 17th Annual Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K. Registration will open at 6:30 am and the race will begin at 7:30 am. Held in Balboa Park, participants can enjoy the company of more than 7500 racers and spectators while helping raise critical funds for the meal program which provides more than 1 million meals each year to those in need.

Skating by the Sea at Hotel del Coronado
Nov 22, 2018 – Jan 1, 2019

Image credit: www.hoteldel.com

Where else but in Southern California can you ice skate while overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the balmy San Diego weather? The Hotel del Coronado constructs a spectacular beachfront ice rink where you can enjoy a cold weather pastime without the chill. Reservations are recommended.

San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival
Nov. 21 – 25, 2018

Image credit: http://www.sdjazzfest.org

Known as the “the crown jewel of jazz festivals,” the Dixieland Jazz Festival is held at the Town and Country Resort Hotel. The event offers a wide variety of experiences from large concert rooms with double dance floors to small, intimate “listening” rooms. The Festival bands represent a wide variety of traditional jazz, dixieland, ragtime, swing, and rockabilly styles.

Surfin’ Santa Arrival
Nov. 24, 2018, 1-5 PM

Image credit: www.seaportvillage.com

If you are ready to welcome the holiday season, then head over to Seaport Village for the Surfin’ Santa Arrival. Kids and adults will enjoy watching Santa arrive in Southern California style via watercraft and dressed in board shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. After his arrival at 1 p.m., check out the festivities where you can get free photos on Santa’s giant surfboard and six-foot wave until 5 p.m. Cheer on Santa as he cruises down the boardwalk for a parade featuring live music, stilt walkers and holiday cheer. Kids crafting, live street performances and a variety of unique local shops and eateries will keep visitors entertained throughout the warm-weathered holiday event.

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!


San Diego Food & Wine Festival

Posted By Mclain

Image Credit: www.sandiegowineclassic.com

Food and drink connoisseurs can treat their palates to a wonderous journey during the annual San Diego Food and Wine Festival which will take place November 11-18, 2018. This week-long culinary celebration features food tasting events, domestic and international wineries, craft beer and spirits, local cooking legends and nationally recognized celebrities. The event culminates with the Grand Tasting on Saturday, November 17.

With more than 40 events throughout the week, it can be a daunting task to navigate through the many offerings and select the most appetizing options. Here is a run down of the week’s happenings:

Sunday, Nov. 11

The festival kicks off on Sunday, Nov. 11 with Pitmaster’s Veterans Day Barbecue. Celebrity Chef Graham Elliott of Master Chef and Top Chef will be on hand along with other well-known pitmasters to fire up their grills for a family-friendly barbecue.

Monday, Nov. 12

On Monday, Raised by Wolves, a speakeasy that can only be accessed through a hidden fireplace entrance will feature master mixologists preparing hand-crafted beverages from the Festival’s opening night cocktail menu. When hunger strikes, check out the Shake Shack pop up located out back.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

Tuesday evening’s offerings include a screening of the documentary film SOMM and SOMM: Into the Bottle, reception with select wines and canapés followed by a guided blind tasting.  Or if you prefer indulging in an authentic Japanese culinary experience, pay a visit to Kaiseki: The Soul of Japanese Cuisine.

Wednesday, Nov. 14

Wednesday provides a robust array of options beginning at 7:30 AM with the Expedition Baja day trip. Participants will explore Valle de Guadalupe’s most prestigious wineries, restaurants and culinary experiences. At 9 AM the inaugural San Diego Food Tank Summit begins, featuring more than 30 different speakers from the food and agriculture industry.

Indulge your sweet tooth beginning at 11 AM for Chuao Chocolatiers hands-on, chocolate truffle rolling experience. If the sea is calling, then be sure to stop by the Marine Room for Master Chef Bernard Guillas’ exclusive five-course Ocean-To-Table luncheon. As the day comes to a close You and Yours will host a hands-on introduction to cocktail basics where participants can learn to mix up drinks like the pros.

Thursday, Nov. 15

Heat up your Thursday with an Argentine cookout out on the water at Coasterra’s Harbor Float consisting of a three-course menu with tastings of Argentinian wines. Also taking place mid-day is the Rare 8 Decades of Barolo Tasting where patrons can compare Library Barolo wines from 1947 through 2013.

Enjoy some of life’s finer offers at the Oysters, Caviar & Dom Perignon tasting at 2 PM. Celebrity chefs will be hosting Pop the Cork, an evening of tastings to benefit scholarships for young culinarians, farmers, and fisherman. If you are looking to end the week with a late-night celebration then come out to Marina Kitchen for an evening of global flavors, guest DJ, and flowing libations hosted by celebrity chef and James Beard Award Winner, Abraham Conlon.

Friday, Nov. 16

Greet the day with a class in Organic, Natural Farming + Grape Growing at 9:00 AM. When the mid-day meal rolls around consider paying a visit to Louis Latour at Mister A’s for a five-course luncheon along with ten of the best Grand Cru Burgundies produced by Louis Latour. Another option is to stop by and see Culinary author, Michael Ruhlman, as he guides you through the craft of pâté and charcuterie featuring Groth Vineyards & Winery.

Friday night offers you the chance to experience Femme de la Fork where a group of ground breaking female chefs come together to create an extraordinary dinner paired with wines crafted by domestic and international female winemakers.

Saturday, Nov. 16

This week-long festival of delicious delights culminates with the Grand Tasting Event on Saturday. General admission begins at 12 PM and VIP early entry is at 11 AM. More than 60 celebrity chefs and restaurants will be in attendance to tempt your palate. Hundreds of domestic and international wine, beer and spirit purveyors round out the mix to create an epic event that shouldn’t be missed.

Don’t miss the Chef of the Fest Competition on Saturday. Watch as San Diego’s top chefs put their talents to the test in the pursuit of winning the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival’s elite competition.

Halloween Activities in and Around San Diego

Posted By Mclain

Image Credit: Nash FM 103.3

October is here which means the fun and frenzy of Halloween is quickly approaching. If you are planning a getaway to San Diego in late October be sure to check out some of the many festivities centered around the spookiest day of the year. Whether you are looking for family fun or adult-themed Halloween events, San Diego won’t disappoint with its many offerings!

Family Activities

10th Annual Balboa Park Halloween Family Day
October 27
11 AM – 4 PM

San Diego’s Balboa Park and its museums are treating families to a free Halloween Family Day with a spooky array of hands-on activities and other free goodies. The event features dozens of free craft projects for kids, Day of the Dead-themed displays and activities, costume contests and parades, carnival games with prizes, live entertainment, and food trucks.

Among the day’s highlights are a free performance by the San Diego Children’s Choir (all in costume); Day of the Dead altar, face-painting, and crafts presented by the Mexican Consulate; mini-carnival games for prizes courtesy of the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department; a doggie costume contest in the Spanish Village Art Center; a rooftop pumpkin drop experiment at the San Diego Air & Space Museum; “Thriller” flash mob dance in the Plaza de Panama; and the Fab Trailers photo booth.

HalGLOWeen at the San Diego Zoo
October 26-28 until 8 PM

Head to the Zoo for HalGLOWeen and have fun with a DJ spinning tunes for everyone to dance to among bursts of bubbles, glowing “Boolahoops,” exciting entertainment, special treats, Halloween-themed music, and more!

7th Annual HauntFest on Main
October 19
5 PM – 10 PM

HauntFest on Main is an exciting family friendly event in Downtown El Cajon. The event features live music on two stages along with Costume Contests; expanded Carnival Rides and Games; Car Show; Candy Challenge Activities; Kidz Zone, Face Painting; performances by TNT Dancers, Arts In Motion Crew & Jr. Crew, and St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center Pumpkin Patch; Craft and Game booths; LED Rock Wall; Inflatables for kids; Monster’s, Inc. & Monster’s University Movies Outdoors and more!

Mall-O-Ween Monster Mash
October 27
2 PM – 4 PM

The Hazard Center will host its 2nd Annual Mall-O-Ween Monster Mash – a spooktacular event brimming with family fun! This kid-friendly jamboree will offer fun and frights for all ages and feature a costume contest, carnival games, arts and crafts, music, refreshments and more. All proceeds raised will benefit Angels Foster Family Network, a nonprofit dedicated to creating safe, stable and loving homes for infants and toddlers throughout San Diego County.

Adult Activities

San Diego Monster Bash
October 27, 2018
6 PM – Midnight

The San Diego Monster Bash will transform six blocks in the East Village into one of the most epic Halloween events in San Diego – featuring four stages of non-stop live performances (including headliners Cheat Codes, Michael Calfan and special guest E-40), immersive themed areas, over $5k in costume contest prizes and all new interactive features that give you a Halloween experience far beyond any basic block party.

Pre-Halloween Pacific Beach Pub Crawl
October 26
7 PM – 2 AM

Come party with hundreds of others costumed pub crawlers this Halloween in PB! Pacific Beach Halloween pub crawl gets you drink discounts, free welcome shots and entry at over 10 different Halloween parties.

3rd Annual Sinners & Saints: Night at The Haunted Museum
October 26
7 PM – 11 PM

Join us for our 3rd annual Sinners & Saints Halloween Party at the iconic Museum of Man as we raise money for a great cause: Urban Street Angels. Sinners & Saints promises to be a frightfully fantastic evening with delectable appetizers, stocked bars, costume contests, live entertainment from DJ Aaron K, and amazing raffle & silent auction items. The Museum will have all of their exhibits open for your enjoyment, including Ancient Egypt, Monsters!, and Beerology, but beware, creatures of the night roam about ready to scare all those who dare enter!

Nightmare on Normal Street
October 27
6 PM – 11PM

Hillcrest’s haunted Halloween dance party and costume competition is back! This year’s event benefits the San Diego LGBT Community Center and Fabulous Hillcrest. With late night live entertainment, costume competitions (including a special pet contest for your furry, fuzzy, and feathery companions) outdoor bars, and the best people watching in all of San Diego – this is an event you won’t want to miss!

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!

Get to Know Gaslamp Quarter

Posted By Mclain

Photo Credit: www.gaslamp.org

The Gaslamp Quarter is a lively downtown neighborhood that has embraced and preserved its Victorian roots while creating a bustling dining, shopping and entertainment destination. Comprised of 16 ½ blocks, the Gaslamp Quarter is centrally located in Downtown San Diego near the Convention Center, Petco Park, and Horton Plaza.


There is no shortage of dining options within the Gaslamp Quarter. The neighborhood’s eclectic offerings range from exclusive eateries featuring celebrity chefs to quaint little quick bite stops and everything else in between. A trip to the Gaslamp Quarter will make decisions difficult with everything from steaks to seafood, Mexican to sushi and breakfast to dessert.

Illusions Theatre & Bar is one of the newest venues to open in the Gaslamp Quarter. It offers patrons a night of entertainment along with a 3-course gourmet dinner and dessert. Diners will embark on a journey with a magical entry, escape room, strolling magicians and the grand finale of an on-stage magic show.


Those looking for a sophisticated setting to enjoy an evening out will find plenty of options in the Gaslamp Quarter. There are numerous venues where live music can be enjoyed throughout the week. Bars, nightclubs and lounges offer a variety of settings in which to enjoy a wide array of freshly crafted libations. Looking to nurture your creative side? The Gaslamp Quarter has a vast offering of art galleries, museums and theatres.

Looking for some adventure this Halloween? On Saturday, October 27, the Parq Restaurant & Nightclub will be hosting The Haunted Circus featuring The Stafford Brothers & E-40. The evening will offer guests five rooms of music and five different experiences including two nightclubs, a haunted maze spanning 35,000 square feet and more than 10 DJs.


If you are in the mood for some retails therapy then look no further than the Gaslamp Quarter! Shop-a-holics will delight by the endless boutiques, national retailers, and professional services that comprise the 16-block span of the neighborhood. The Gaslamp Quarter is comprised of more than 80 retail shops offering everything from accessories to furnishings, to travel and wine all within an easy walk to one another.

If you are in search of unique, one-of-a-kind treasures, then be sure to visit Bubbles Boutique. Locally owned and operated, Bubbles works directly with local artists to create an exceptional and exciting shopping atmosphere and experience. Can’t pay a visit in person? That’s okay! Bubbles now offers FaceTime Shopping which lets you see your selections in three dimensions on mannequins (live models are also available upon request).

McLain Properties has provided property management, vacation rental, and real estate services to clients in the San Diego area since 1978. We pride ourselves on responsive, customized service, and our extensive local knowledge and investment property experience combine to provide you with stellar representation in this competitive market. Call us to schedule a consultation today!