4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Crossborder holiday guide

Nocturnal bazaar - Image by @readerandy
Nocturnal bazaar

Let nature provide

Hills, valleys, and seaside

Nature's Bounty in East County

Let the seasonal bouquet of East County and coastal chaparral inspire homespun holiday treats. A pungent whiff of Cleveland sage on Sycuan Peak or Sycamore Canyon might inspire sage shortbread cookies. Wild rosemary calls out to infused simple syrup for Christmas cocktails. Radish blossoms punctuate a New Zealand spinach, wild fennel, and nasturtium salad. Respect sensitive species, know what you are eating, wash everything thoroughly, and never forage in protected areas. Better, plant your own and replace thirsty lawn fixtures with native, drought-resistant edibles.

Whale watch

Over 20,000 gray whales travel between the waters off Alaska and the Gulf of California every December through April. San Diego touts about 70 miles of coastline along this path (the longest annual mammalian migration on Earth) and several idyllic vantage points to spot offshore pods as they pass at around six miles per-hour. Grab some binoculars, pack a picnic, and head to Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma, or the bluff trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve for a glimpse.

Burton interpreted in Tijuana

Calle Sexta and Avenida Negrete, Zona Centro, Tijuana

This twisted Tom Burton holiday classic finds new context under the direction of Tijuana musico Sergio Gutiérrez, who has adapted the stop-motion film to the stage with original compositions sung live over studio recordings. “Entra al Mundo de Jack” (or “Enter the World of Jack”) runs December 4, 11, and 18 starting at 6:00 p.m. at the no-frills TJ Art & Rock Café. Tickets are available at the door for 200 pesos (about $15) or 150 presale.

Nocturnal bazaar

Nocturnal bazaar à la Blade Runner

2036 Avenida Ocampo, Colonia Cacho, Tijuana

Not long after a handful of forward-thinking restaurateurs transformed street eats into haute cuisine, Baja Med is being brought back to the streets via a growing number of outdoor gastrocourts. The most recent, Telefonica Gastro Park, is a caravan of food trucks parked behind a Telnor office. At 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 13, the park transforms into the second installment of Night Market 2419 — a nocturnal bazaar inspired by a Blade Runner skewed sci-fi vision of Asian flea markets. Here you’ll find 20+ expositions from local artists, boutique designers, and culinary vendors. Free. Pet- and family-friendly.

Chinese dinner in Mexicali

Mexicali is home to the most Chinese residents per capita in all of Mexico, thanks to an influx of agricultural laborers around the turn of the 20th Century. Today, the city is peppered with over 100 Chinese restaurants in addition to an enigmatic China Town, called Chinesca, which sits above a labyrinth of underground corridors that date back to the Prohibition Era. Celebrate the New Year’s tradition of Asian eats at highlights such as China Town (774 Madero), Rincón de Panchito (1990 Benito Juarez), Restaurante Beijing Mexicali (891 Justo Sierra), and the 24-hour Restaurant No. 8 (150 Avenida Juárez).

With a name like “Puerco Salvaje”...

Mexicali

Baja’s desert capital has been proving its weight in worth via biannual fests and creative collaborations with San Diego brewers such as Coronado, Green Flash, and Pizza Port. Hop into El Show (1326-2 Calzada Cuauhtémoc) and Industrial Bar (1360 Avenida Marmoleros) to sample local drafts from Tres B, Dos Pistones, Fauna, Juguete, Urbana, 686, Puerco Salvaje, Legion, Peninsula, and Picachos. Then buy some bottles to take home at El Sume (845 Boulevard Justo Sierra) and La Artesanal (Calzada Cuauhtémoc and Rio Fuerte). IPA fans will delight in Fauna’s Lycan Lupus, 686’s Teta de la India, and Dos Pistones’ Rocker.

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Nocturnal bazaar - Image by @readerandy
Nocturnal bazaar

Let nature provide

Hills, valleys, and seaside

Nature's Bounty in East County

Let the seasonal bouquet of East County and coastal chaparral inspire homespun holiday treats. A pungent whiff of Cleveland sage on Sycuan Peak or Sycamore Canyon might inspire sage shortbread cookies. Wild rosemary calls out to infused simple syrup for Christmas cocktails. Radish blossoms punctuate a New Zealand spinach, wild fennel, and nasturtium salad. Respect sensitive species, know what you are eating, wash everything thoroughly, and never forage in protected areas. Better, plant your own and replace thirsty lawn fixtures with native, drought-resistant edibles.

Whale watch

Over 20,000 gray whales travel between the waters off Alaska and the Gulf of California every December through April. San Diego touts about 70 miles of coastline along this path (the longest annual mammalian migration on Earth) and several idyllic vantage points to spot offshore pods as they pass at around six miles per-hour. Grab some binoculars, pack a picnic, and head to Birch Aquarium at Scripps, the Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma, or the bluff trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve for a glimpse.

Burton interpreted in Tijuana

Calle Sexta and Avenida Negrete, Zona Centro, Tijuana

This twisted Tom Burton holiday classic finds new context under the direction of Tijuana musico Sergio Gutiérrez, who has adapted the stop-motion film to the stage with original compositions sung live over studio recordings. “Entra al Mundo de Jack” (or “Enter the World of Jack”) runs December 4, 11, and 18 starting at 6:00 p.m. at the no-frills TJ Art & Rock Café. Tickets are available at the door for 200 pesos (about $15) or 150 presale.

Nocturnal bazaar

Nocturnal bazaar à la Blade Runner

2036 Avenida Ocampo, Colonia Cacho, Tijuana

Not long after a handful of forward-thinking restaurateurs transformed street eats into haute cuisine, Baja Med is being brought back to the streets via a growing number of outdoor gastrocourts. The most recent, Telefonica Gastro Park, is a caravan of food trucks parked behind a Telnor office. At 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 13, the park transforms into the second installment of Night Market 2419 — a nocturnal bazaar inspired by a Blade Runner skewed sci-fi vision of Asian flea markets. Here you’ll find 20+ expositions from local artists, boutique designers, and culinary vendors. Free. Pet- and family-friendly.

Chinese dinner in Mexicali

Mexicali is home to the most Chinese residents per capita in all of Mexico, thanks to an influx of agricultural laborers around the turn of the 20th Century. Today, the city is peppered with over 100 Chinese restaurants in addition to an enigmatic China Town, called Chinesca, which sits above a labyrinth of underground corridors that date back to the Prohibition Era. Celebrate the New Year’s tradition of Asian eats at highlights such as China Town (774 Madero), Rincón de Panchito (1990 Benito Juarez), Restaurante Beijing Mexicali (891 Justo Sierra), and the 24-hour Restaurant No. 8 (150 Avenida Juárez).

With a name like “Puerco Salvaje”...

Mexicali

Baja’s desert capital has been proving its weight in worth via biannual fests and creative collaborations with San Diego brewers such as Coronado, Green Flash, and Pizza Port. Hop into El Show (1326-2 Calzada Cuauhtémoc) and Industrial Bar (1360 Avenida Marmoleros) to sample local drafts from Tres B, Dos Pistones, Fauna, Juguete, Urbana, 686, Puerco Salvaje, Legion, Peninsula, and Picachos. Then buy some bottles to take home at El Sume (845 Boulevard Justo Sierra) and La Artesanal (Calzada Cuauhtémoc and Rio Fuerte). IPA fans will delight in Fauna’s Lycan Lupus, 686’s Teta de la India, and Dos Pistones’ Rocker.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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