Cabrillo National Monument

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The Passport Blog

Learn about San Diego’s greatest attractions and destinations. Find something new to try on the weekend, explore new areas, and taste new flavors in sunny San Diego!

Dive into the world of sharks, seahorses and living coral reefs at Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Published by Terri Graham



Perched on a bluff above the Pacific and featuring more than 60 habitats of fish and invertebrates, the aquarium hosts daily animal-feeding and hands-on educational visitor activities. Birch Aquarium also offers seasonal outdoor excursions such as whale watching, grunion runs, pier walks and more. Other programs include Summer Learning Adventure Camps. Also not be to be missed are living tide-pool displays allowing visitors to touch sea stars, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers and other other unique animals local to San Diego’s tide pools. Check out the summertime […]

Indulge in an entertaining and delicious dining experience as Master chefs dazzle guests at Shogun Restaurant in Kearny Mesa.

Published by Terri Graham

Shogun Restaurant



Written by: Cynthia Lamont & Cathy Hendrie

Master chefs dazzle guests with their samurai-like swordsmanship as they skillfully slice, dice, juggle, and entertain, while preparing entrées on a sizzling Teppanyaki grill.

Start with an assortment of appetizers, like lightly battered Shrimp Tempura, Pot Stickers, Spicy Edamame and much more. Savor sublime sushi rolls, prepared with everything from shrimp to tuna to crab, salmon and yellowtail. Or feast on Shogun’s signature entrées while taking in a tableside Teppanyaki cooking show. Personable chefs display amazing knife skills, flipping shrimp […]

Enjoy the Ride With North County Transit District!

Published by Terri Graham

North County Transit District Coaster



Sit back and enjoy the ride with North County Transit District! NCTD’s family of services includes the scenic north-south COASTER commuter train, east-west SPRINTER hybrid rail, and BREEZE bus network. In addition to transporting more than 11 million passengers throughout North San Diego annually, the COASTER and SPRINTER offer a great way to enjoy some inexpensive sightseeing. The COASTER’S double-decker cars traverse the beautiful coastline between downtown San Diego and Oceanside all day long with stops near beaches, restaurants, and boutiques. The modern and sleek […]

Shop, Dine By the San Diego Bay at Seaport Village!

Published by Cathy Hendrie

By Cathy Hendrie
PassPort to San Diego

Nestled along the San Diego Bay with its coastal breezes and views of the Coronado Bridge, Seaport Village is a stunning 14-acre waterfront shopping and dining complex in downtown San Diego. It offers eclectic shops, fine and casual dining and family-friendly entertainment.

Finding a favorite flag, trying on eco-friendly clothing or appreciating exclusive art are just a few of the offerings at the 50-plus diverse shops dotting the village. Visitors can also grab a bite at more than a dozen eateries […]

Be Pampered at San Diego’s Premier Day Spa • Med Spa located in the Carlsbad Village Faire.

Published by Terri Graham


Relax and rejuvenate with luxurious items available at Skinsational, San Diego’s premier Day Spa • Med Spa located in the Carlsbad Village Faire. Choose soothing bath and body care products, from moisturizing hand creams and body butters to massage oils and exfoliating body scrubs. The spa also sells fragrant candles, mineral-based makeup and jewelry. Enjoy the spa’s infrared sauna with a complimentary glass of champagne before or after your treatment. Services include custom massages, a choice of relaxing or result-oriented facial and skin […]

Unearth A World Of Adventure At The San Diego Museum of Man in Balboa Park!

Published by Terri Graham

Museum of Man


Unearth a world of adventure at the San Diego Museum of Man, the impressive cultural anthropology museum in beautiful Balboa Park. Aside from its numerous artifacts and immersive exhibits, the museum offers tours of the California Tower, providing stunning views from 198 feet above San Diego. Visitors can trace the history of human evolution, explore the world of Ancient Egypt, learn about legendary monsters, delve into assumptions about race and much more.

During your visit, you’ll explore a variety of unique, interactive exhibits that cover a […]

Discover the San Diego Coastal Community of Ocean Beach!

Published by Terri Graham


Groove to the beat of this eclectic California beach community, famous for its half-mile long fishing pier, OB Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off Festival, OB Oktoberfest, OB Holiday Parade and OB Holiday Parade. Start any visit to “OB” at the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association on Bacon Street. Smiling staffers can recommend favorite eateries, tasting rooms, shops, entertaining events and specialty services. Shopping for a special occasion? Pick up plants and order dreamy bouquets at THISTLE, a cozy 1920s cottage featuring an outside nursery stocked with […]

It’s All Fun and Games at City Fun Center!

Published by Cathy Hendrie

Kids love the mini-bowling lanes at City Fun Center.

By Carolyn Howard
PassPort to San Diego

A Sunday morning around 11 a.m. is a great time to have a birthday party at City Fun Center in San Diego. My son was turning 11 and he invited 15 of his friends to help celebrate his big day. Given the time, our group basically had the place to ourselves until noon when another celebration was scheduled. We had selected the “Extreme Party Package,” which included pizza and bowling. We […]

Chill Out at Lighthouse Ice Cream in Ocean Beach!

Published by Terri Graham



Make your ice cream dreams come true at the coolest shop in Ocean Beach! Located a half-block from the ocean, Lighthouse Ice Cream not only features 39 flavors of the sweet treat (both traditional hard scoop and soft serve), but also offers yummy shakes, malts, sundaes and flurries. In addition to plain, sugar and waffle cones, Lighthouse offers specialty cookie cones and crispy pretzel cones. Not to be missed is the store’s showstopper, the Hot Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich, especially with bacon! With […]

Win Goes to Cougar Vineyard & Winery Varietals in 5th Annual ‘Cougar Meets Italy’ Competition

Published by Cathy Hendrie

By Barbara Pape
PassPort to San Diego

In a rare act of sobering (pun intended) courage, owners Rick and Jennifer Buffington allowed four of their favorite Italian varietals to not only be compared side-by-side in a blind tasting with their Italian counterparts, but to also be judged by a prestigious line-up of sommeliers and wine industry experts. Alongside the judges panel, their guests, including loyal wine club members, friends, family and the press were also invited to judge the wines using the UC Davis system, the gold […]

Get lost in aviation and space exploration at this top-flight museum in the heart of Balboa Park! 

Published by Terri Graham

san diego air and space museums


Get lost in aviation and space exploration at this top-flight museum in the heart of Balboa Park!  See a flight-worthy replica of the Spirit of St. Louis, which carried Charles Lindbergh on the world’s first solo trans-Atlantic flight.  Experience the real Apollo 9 command module, one of only a handful on display in the world. View aircraft used by barnstormers of the 1920s. Appreciate classic military aircraft from World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Enjoy the only 3D/4D in Balboa Park. Opening […]

Fleet Science Center Has Smart Fun For Everyone!

Published by Cathy Hendrie

Experiment with 100+ interactive, “do-touch” exhibits and check out fun traveling exhibitions in this inspiring science museum and planetarium in Balboa Park. Inside the Fleet Science Center you can construct marble roller coasters in the Tinkering Studio, interact with a swirling tornado, learn how to generate electricity and explore other fun science concepts!

The Fleet is also home to the world’s first IMAX® Dome Theater, showing stunning nature and science films in an immersive, wrap-around screen experience.

Without leaving your seat, you’ll feel as if you’re exploring […]

Pay homage to classic motorcycles and collectable autos at the San Diego Automotive Museum

Published by Terri Graham




Pay homage to classic motorcycles and collectable autos of the 20th century at this world-class museum in Balboa Park. Check out “Show Stoppers,” a permanent car and motorcycle collection including a stunning group of Indian Motorcycles, an extremely rare 1966 Bizzarrini P538 and of course the beautiful three-wheeled 1932 Morgan Super Sport just to name a few. Other exhibits include presentations on actor and automobile and motorcycle racer Steve McQueen, and Louis Mattar’s Fabulous Car.

San Diego Automotive Museum

2080 Pan American Plaza, San Diego   • […]

Visit Balboa Park’s Japanese Friendship Garden

Published by Terri Graham


Find peace and enjoy meditation among the ornamental plants, colorful Koi pond and beautiful Bonsai display in this expansive Balboa Park garden. Considered to be a living work of art in Japanese culture, the garden also features a meandering path flanked by artfully arranged rocks, shrubbery and trees.  The garden is a popular venue for weddings and corporate events and  has both indoor and outdoor facilities. Docent tours are free with paid admission, and special exhibits are also a must see while visiting!

2215 Pan American […]

Train Your Sights on the San Diego Model Railroad Museum!

Published by Cathy Hendrie

San Diego Model Railroad Museum Balboa Park

Cathy Hendrie
PassPort to San Diego

Engineer a day devoted to miniature heaven at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum in Balboa Park. Both San Diego locals and out-of-towners love this impressive venue, which spans 27,000 square feet of space in the lower level of the Casa De Balboa building.

The museum features six bustling train exhibits and an unparalleled attention to detail that has to be seen to appreciated. Chug along and be transported to real and imaginary railway lines with weathered and modern trains running through them.


The […]

Explore the 4-acre flight deck of the awe-inspiring aircraft carrier USS Midway! Get Your FREE Youth Admission, with Paid Adult Coupon!

Published by Terri Graham


Explore the 4-acre flight deck of the awe-inspiring aircraft carrier USS Midway, a naval aviation museum in downtown San Diego berthed at Navy Pier. The floating “city at sea” houses an extensive collection of restored aircraft. Admission includes a self-guided audio tour, narrated by former Midway sailors to more than 60 locations, including sleeping quarters, engine room, galley, brig, post office, machine shops and pilots’ ready rooms, officers quarters and the bridge—the tallest point of the ship and its command and control center. Family-oriented activities […]

Enjoy Healthy, Fresh Fare at Lanna Thai in Pacific Beach!

Published by Cathy Hendrie

By Carolyn Howard
PassPort to San Diego

Whenever I am in Pacific Beach around lunch time, I make it a point to stop by one of my favorite Thai restaurants: Lanna Thai. It’s a quaint restaurant tucked into a small strip mall on Mission Bay Drive.

Inside, easy listening music filters through the dining room and intricate wood carvings from Thailand adorn the walls. The warm waitstaff take eat-in and to-go orders of entrees like Pad Thai, Pa-nang Curry with rice and crispy tropical duck with mango. Other […]

Let Lanna Thai Make Your Day Memorable 

Published by Terri Graham


Delight in elegant ambiance and savor fresh, light and healthy homemade recipes passed through generations at this charming restaurant in Pacific Beach. Easy listening music filters through the dining room and intricate wood carvings from Thailand adorn the walls. The warm waitstaff take eat-in and to-go orders of entrées like Pad Kee-mao noodle, Panang Curry with rice and crispy tropical duck with mango. Other favorites include Summer Salmon, Spicilicious Seafood and Royal Nest (stir-fried shrimp, chicken, vegetables and cashew nuts on a crispy noodle nest). […]