12th Annual San Diego Film Festival

| Entertainment

The San Diego Film Festival is back and bigger than ever this fall, where it will be celebrating its exciting 12th season! From October 2nd – 6th, the festival will be screening more than 100 independent films in downtown San Diego and La Jolla. The annual festival is growing, and ready to take on some of the top events of its kind and establish itself as a significant player in the film festival world. The San Diego Film Festival rolls the red carpets out for a five-day extravaganza of feature films, shorts, and documentaries, as well as VIP events and industry panels all on La Jolla’s sunny shores, as well as at the center of San Diego’s entertainment scene, the Gaslamp District.

Produced by the San Diego Film Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting both national and international independent filmmakers, the festival seeks to bring the magic of film to those who make them and those who love them. Through storytelling, compelling visuals and intelligent discussions, the San Diego Film Festival seeks to build and strengthen our community through the power of cinema. 2013 is a huge growing year for the festival, bringing in new leadership, an additional screen and even four new film categories: Native American Voices, Action Sports, Family-Friendly and Music and Horror.

Among the 120 new movies from over 55 countries being premiered at the event is the highly-anticipated documentary Ricky Whitlock, following the story of an injured surfer’s road to recovery after breaking his back in two places during a near fatal surfing accident. In addition, the event will host Running From Crazy, a compelling documentary following Mariel Hemingway’s journey to understand her family’s history of suicide and mental illness.

Having earned more than 12 Best Film Festival awards as well as being named one of the Top Ten Best Regional Film Festivals in the country, this cinematic experience is not to be missed. Pacific Beach’s Ocean Park Inn, centrally located between both screening locations, could not agree more that the San Diego Film Festival has rightfully earned its place as one of the best film festivals held in vacation destinations. With America’s Finest City serving as the acclaimed event’s backdrop, the combination of five-star films in a five-star city will get rave reviews by even the toughest of critics. Can’t wait to see you there! Check out http://sdfilmfest.com for more information.

San Diego Latino Film Festival (March 7-17)

| Entertainment

The San Diego Latino Film Festival (SDLFF) is going above and beyond to create a truly spectacular event in celebration of their 20th anniversary this year! This March 7-17, join the fun as filmmakers, producers, celebrities, and community leaders alike come together to commemorate this event!

The festival will feature the latest films in Latino cinema, from the historical drama Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla to the widely acclaimed documentary Hecho en Mexico featuring Diego Luna! The SDLFF is promising a “unique and exciting film experience to audiences and participants” for this year’s event.

Looking to immerse completely in Latino culture? The SDLFF will span across the border into Tijuana, where the Centro Cultural de Tijuana will present films for the audiences of Tijuana as well.

Keep in mind–the party goes on long past the screenings! Every after party will include free transportation to and from the festival. Join the fun on Opening Night at Café Sevilla. Entrance includes 1 hour of hosted sangria, appetizers, and live music by Todo Mundo. On March 13th the party will move to FLUXX nightclub. Entrance includes a free drink ticket and live entertainment by Styletones. To close the festival, attendees will have the change to attend the “Closing Weekend After Party” hosted at the San Diego Air and Space Museum. Entrance will include a free drink ticket, live music and Dj’s to help you dance the night away in celebration!

After-partying not your thing? Allow us to suggest an alternative: enjoy some of  San Diego’s best Mexican food in Old Town! Hop on the trolley from Hazard Center over to some of our favorite Old Town restaurants like Café Coyote, Casa Guadalajara, or Old Town Mexican Café. Sit back and relax as you indulge in a margarita… or two!

General Admission tickets are $10.50 per film. Students, seniors, Military and MACSD Members may receive a discount. For more information on the event and ticket pricing please visit www.sdlatinofilm.com.

Opening Day is March 7th, 2013. The festival runs from March 7-17 at the Digiplex Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center, a short drive from your favorite San Diegan accommodations at Ocean Park Inn!

For information on room rates, please give us a call at 858-483-5858 or visit http://www.oceanparkinn.com.

5 Dates Ideas for Celebrating Valentine’s Day in Pacific Beach

| Entertainment

With Valentine’s Day less than a month away, many people are finding themselves in a panic! They want to make the day special for their loved one, but they’re not exactly sure how to do so. Look no further than San Diego, CA, which houses a vast selection of restaurants to choose from, but also boasts great activities for couples to enjoy in this romantic day. On a day where it’s somewhat expected to take your date to a nice restaurant, we guarantee that finding a table will be hard to come by, as the best spots will be packed and you may have to wait for hours to get your food. San Diego is a very romantic city and we would like to offer Valentine’s Day alternatives to the basic “going out to dinner.” The best part? Most of our date ideas are right in the Ocean Park Inn’s backyard. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day weekend at this great local boutique hotel, and pick a date idea located in the surrounding Pacific Beach area!

1. The Full Moon Drive In: The classic drive in is a rare find today, but we’re fortunate to have Full Moon Drive In just a few blocks from the hotel. This is the perfect date spot for couples that just want to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Grab some blankets, dress down for the evening and cuddle up to your significant other. If you’re hungry, turn your car’s interior light on and a staffer will stop by your car and take your order. During Valentine’s Day weekend the drive in will be playing all love-related features. Although the drive in won’t be open on Valentine’s Day, it will be open Feb. 15-17. For more information please visit http://www.fullmoondrivein.com/.

2. Bike Around the Bay: For the couples that want to avoid the crowds on Valentine’s Day and do something active, we suggest renting some bikes and taking a ride around Mission Bay. Make a date out of it by grabbing some food and blankets and having a picnic on the shore. There are so many great places to eat in Pacific Beach, but we guarantee they will be packed for Valentine’s Day. Plan ahead by making your meal or ordering take out, and bring it with you to the bay. Here are a few of our favorite eateries in the area that are known for large crowds, but offer great take-out options:

-Rocky’s Crown Pub: Known for some of the best burgers in San Diego! Rocky’s is          located in Crown Pointe, so it’s on the way to some great bike trails on the bay. We         promise you won’t be disappointed with these burgers. http://www.rockyburgers.com/

-Pacific Beach Fish Shop: You haven’t had a fish sandwich until you’ve tried one from     Fish Shop. Everything is fresh and there is usually a seasonal fish on the menu.      http://www.thefishshoppb.com/

-Rubicon Deli: Located in Mission Beach, Rubicon Deli has some of the        best sandwiches in San Diego. The sandwiches are huge and they are made      with fresh         baked bread, so this is a great food choice if you’ve worked up an appetite from bike riding.  http://therubicondeli.com/

3. At Home Wine Tasting: If you and your date just want to stay in for the night, have a private wine tasting event at home. Open up a bottle or two of wines that you’ve wanted to try–perhaps from local Southern Californian wineries?–put together a cheese and meat platter and indulge.  You’ll avoid the large crowds, probably save some money and have a better opportunity to talk one on one with your significant other!

4. Learn Something New: With the beach only steps from Ocean Park Inn, there are unlimited activities in our backyard. Spend Valentine’s Day trying something that both you and your date have never experienced. There are surf lessons, paddleboard lessons and even sailing lessons available year-round.

5. A Romantic Getaway at Ocean Park Inn: We’re offering some great Valentine’s Day specials at OPI. Extend Valentine’s Day throughout the weekend and stay with us. If you book our Valentine’s Day Package we’ll throw in a beautiful ocean front room and dinner for two on us. Dinner includes a $50 Firehouse gift card and in-room chocolates. With a great view of the Pacific, readily available room service and that special someone to keep you company, you have the option to lounge, relax and stay in all weekend! For more information on our Valentine’s Day Package visit http://www.oceanparkinn.com/hotel-specials-san-diego.html.

Big Night San Diego New Years Eve Gala (Dec. 31)

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Ring in 2013 at one of Southern California’s hottest New Years Eve parties when you visit San Diego this year! Hosted at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, the “Big Night San Diego New Years Eve Gala” is an all-inclusive event guaranteed to give a proper farewell to 2012.

Guests will have the option to choose from twelve different themed party areas, six dance floors, 10 bands/DJ’s, and a plethora of first class cuisine served by a world-renowned Hilton Catering Division, boasts the event’s website at http://www.bignightsandiego.com.

Party areas include a Retro Ballroom (best of 70’s 80’s and 90’s tunes), Electronic Ballroom (House music), a 93.3 Club Ballroom (Today’s hits), and more! (http://www.bignightsandiego.com/Tickets.aspx)

Food selections for the main event include spring rolls, marinated chicken, calzones, and assorted mini pizzas. Guests who purchase VIP tickets will be upgraded with an artisan cheese display, California crudités, Spike Baron of beef and Virginia ham carving stations and dessert with the chef’s selection of Petit Fours (http://www.bignightsandiego.com/EventInfo/Menu.aspx).

Ranging from $109.99 to $219.99, tickets include unlimited food and drink throughout the entire event. The event will start at 9pm and will continue into the New Year until 3am.

Just a 10 min taxi ride from the Hilton Bayfront, Ocean Park Inn will serve as your the perfect place to rest after a long night of celebration. Book your stay with us here http://bit.ly/QGTAEK

To purchase tickets for the event, please visit http://www.bignightsandiego.com/Tickets.aspx

Balboa Park December Nights (Dec. 7-8)

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As the weather cools down in San Diego, the fun heats up at Balboa Park with the 35th annual December Nights celebration!

Starting Dec. 7, Balboa Park will transform into a winter wonderland as the streets fill up with one-of-a-kind vendors, entertainment and over 30,000 guests throughout the two-night festival. Activities include live entertainment from the San Diego Junior Theatre and San Diego Civic Youth Ballet, international eats from the House of Pacific Relations Cottages, a variety of vendors for gift shopping, carousel rides, an original puppet theater adaptation of Charles Dickins’ A Christmas Carol, a children’s holiday movie theatre, and more!

In addition, participating Balboa Park museums will open their doors, free of charge, each night from 5-9pm. Museums include the Timken Museum of Art, San Diego Air & Space Museum, Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, Museum of Man, Model Railroad Museum, Hall of Champions Sports Museum, and Automotive Museum.

Just a short drive from Balboa Park sits Ocean Park Inn, your perfect beach getaway for this Christmas season. Take a break from your hectic holiday schedule and relax to the soothing sounds of the ocean from your room. Whether you’re visiting with your hubby, or the entire family, let Ocean Park Inn accommodate you this holiday season.

The festivities will commence Friday, Dec. 7, 5-10pm, and Saturday, Dec. 8, 12-10pm.

For a complete list of activities, please visit http://www.balboapark.org/decembernights/museums