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If you are looking for a fun and popular springtime activity in Carlsbad, give strawberry picking a try!  Located in coastal Carlsbad, the third generation Carlsbad Strawberry Company is a family-run “U-pick” farm.  It is one of the oldest in San Diego County––they have been growing strawberries here for over half a century.

When should I go strawberry picking?

The strawberry harvest comes and goes quite fast – usually takes place between January and July. The west coast Carlsbad climate is ideal for growing strawberries, that’s why California is the number one distributer of strawberries across the nation.

Known as a Carlsbad tradition for 20 years, the fields closest to Cannon are marked “U-Pick,” where guests may pick their own strawberries for $10 a bucket. This can easily become an annual tradition, as one of the rites of spring, along with a visit to the nearby Flower Fields.

And if strawberry picking isn’t really your thing, there is also a sunflower maze, Bounceland with multiple jump houses and slides, pet and feed animals (goats, sheep and rabbits) and an assortment of food and drink options.

History of the Carlsbad Strawberry Company

The popular strawberry fields of Carlsbad, farmed by the Ukegawa family since the 1950s on land leased from San Diego Gas & Electric Company – and preserved by the voters of Carlsbad in November 2006 when they passed Proposition D, which zoned 208 acres of farmland on the southern shores of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon as open space and promotes agricultural uses “as long as feasible.”

The Carlsbad Strawberry Company maintains fruit stands during strawberry season, which typically runs from end of December through July. One is in front of the Flower Fields, another in Del Mar.

Giving Back to the Community

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Mr. Ukegawa has given away thousands of pounds of produce, both his own and donated by other farmers, to three local charities: The Boys and Girls Club of Carlsbad, the city of Carlsbad Senior Center, and the Carlsbad Unified School District, which through a food drive began handing out food to needy families after the mid-March closure of schools disrupted the school lunch program.

There is no limit on the number of strawberries you pick, so be sure to pile them in!

Where is the Carlsbad Strawberry Company located?

The Carlsbad Strawberry Company is located at the corner of Cannon Road and Paseo del Norte, just east of Interstate 5 at the Cannon Road exit in Carlsbad. They are just right around the corner from the Carlsbad Flower Fields, the Carlsbad Company Stores, and Legoland California.

They are open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. There is a $15 admission fee per person which includes a bucket; $10 per person without a bucket. They accept credit cards (Amex, Visa, MasterCard), cash & check. No reservation is necessary.

If you don’t live in Carlsbad and plan to visit, be sure to check out one of our vacation rentals in Carlsbad or the surrounding areas for a place to stay.

While San Diego is known for endless sunshine, we must have rainy days too. Rain or shine, San Diego has plenty of indoor options for fun. From aquariums to museums, here are six ideas to keep you busy on a rainy day in San Diego.

Birch Aquarium

2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037

Located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Birch Aquarium features more than 60 habitats of fishes and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and beyond. This exciting museum showcases research discoveries by Scripps Oceanography scientists on climate, earth, and ocean science and includes interactive elements. Get your rainy day tickets here.

Balboa Park Museums

1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

The Fleet Science Center is a great museum for all ages to explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet—and beyond—in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. For discounts and special offers, click here.

Watch A Movie At Cineopolis

6941 El Camino Real Carlsbad, CA 92009

If you haven’t treated yourself to a luxury movie watching experience now is the time to check out Cinépolis. This premier San Diego County entertainment destination (with multiple locations) offers handcrafted cocktails, a full dine-in menu, and delectable gourmet popcorn and snacks – all delivered right to your seat by our wait staff. Recline your luxury seat, push the button for service, and enjoy the show!

Indoor Ice Skating

2283 Cosmos Ct, Carlsbad, CA 92011

Icetown in Carlsbad is a great place to get out some energy and exercise! There are even monthly passes available if you want to visit multiple times per month.

Go Bowling

255 Redel Rd, San Marcos, CA 92078

Draft Republic’s boutique bowling alley features eight different lanes.  Two of those lanes can accommodate up to four guests each and the other six lanes can accommodate up to six guests each. They also offer dining options and a full bar.

Visit Your Favorite Coffee Shop

2956 Roosevelt St. Carlsbad, CA 92008

Revolution Roasters is a woman-owned specialty coffee company that serves small batch fresh roasted coffee, scratch made pastries, & has been built around and by the community it serves. Open daily 7am-6pm.

 

If Napa is known for wine then San Diego is known for its craft beer. There are countless brewery options around the whole city of San Diego, but the brew scene has really made a debut in Oceanside.  

Taprooms are a big part of the local brew scene in Oceanside featuring rotating regional beers with more on the horizon.

Read on for ten of our favorites.

1. South O Brewing Company
1575 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054

Must Try:
Saint Malo

Founded by South Oceanside locals, South O Brewing Company is a modern-day brewery proudly positioned along the famous California Pacific Coast Highway with such a great story. This brewery was founded by neighbors during the 2020 Covid pandemic, and with time to refine recipes during this time period and the passion to open a brewery, South O Brewing Company was born. 

 

2. Belching Beaver
1334 Rocky Point Dr, Oceanside, CA

Must Try:
Honey Wheat Ale

Belching Beaver offers a number of locations around San Diego. The Oceanside location features a lineup of food vendors and live music to go along with your craft beer.

 

3. Black Plague Brewing
2550 Jason Court Oceanside, CA

Must Try:
1347 Blood Orange

Black Plague Brewing is an award-winning craft beer brewery & taproom located in Oceanside, California bringing premium beer and a quality tasting room experience to the local community – kid and dog friendly.

 

4. Stone Brewing Tap Room
310 N Tremont St, Oceanside, CA 92054

Must Try:
Stone IPA

At Stone Brewing Tap Room, enjoy Stone beer in a relaxed, intimate setting, located in Downtown Oceanside, a short walk from the beach. Stone Brewing Tap Room – Oceanside is a tasting room and retail store with an outdoor patio in a former pottery shop in downtown Oceanside. Enjoy your brew in a luscious garden that is now filled with native trees and plants that incorporate with a fire-rock communal table.

All ages welcome, as well as leashed pets and service animals. No food served but outside food is welcome.

 

5. Booze Brothers Brewing Company
606 Mission Ave. Oceanside, CA 92054

Must Try:
1-800-TROPICS Hazy IPA

Brewery featuring live music and wood-fired pizza.

 

6. Oceanside Brewing Company
312 Via Del Norte Oceanside, CA 92057

Must Try:
Summer Picnic Blonde Ale

Serving up 22 craft brews on tap, Oceanside Brewing Company has one of the largest custom brew selections in Southern California.

They also host a wide array of events, promoting all of the amazing talent that Oceanside has to offer from comedy shows to various bands.

 

7. Craft Coast Brewing
275 Mission Ave, Oceanside, CA 92054

Must Try:
Agua Baja Mexican Lager

At Craft Coast brewing, you can get two Southern California favorites – handcrafted beer and authentic, baja-style tacos in the coastal town of Oceanside. Can’t ask for much more.

 

8. Northern Pine Brewing
326  N Horne St Oceanside, CA 92054

Must Try:
Golden Horizons IPA

Northern Pine Brewing brews their award-winning independent craft beer in Oceanside where it took years of planning and over a year to transform their old Oceanside building into our dream business.

They are kid friendly, dog friendly, and have a delicious BBQ restaurant under the same roof. BBQ is offered daily until 7:30PM.

 

The benefits of applying sustainable practices to your short-term rental business is not only vital to the future of our planet; it grows your earnings too by giving your business more credibility and appealing to environmentally friendly guests.

About 76% of global travelers said they want to travel more sustainably this year, according to Booking.com’s most recent Sustainable Travel Report. The most extensive Sustainable Travel research from Booking.com to date also highlights a divide in people’s actions; some are more intentional about how they spend their money with the perception that sustainable travel options are too expensive, while others are willing to pay more for these options to feel reassured they are driving impact.

In recent years, the concept of sustainability has gained significant traction across various industries, including tourism and hospitality. As more travelers seek eco-friendly options, vacation rental owners have a unique opportunity to contribute positively to the environment while also attracting conscious guests. Whether you’re a seasoned host or new to the vacation rental scene, here are some practical tips Haustay utilizes to make our properties more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

 

1. Embrace Energy Efficiency

This one is a no-brainer – replace your incandescent lighting with LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs are the next best thing to keeping the lights off because they consume 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. For less than $3 a bulb, they offer three-in-one benefits: They’re better for the environment, they save you money on electricity, and they consume less time for replacement.

 

2. Ditch Single-Use Plastic

Tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash that often come in short-term rentals are convenient, but they’re wasteful for the environment. Instead of single-use plastic containers, opt for soap, shampoo, and conditioner dispensers that can be refilled as needed. You will even save money buying in bulk.

Here at Haustay, we purchase shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, and dish soap from Public Goods because they only provide eco-friendly sustainable products. They are proudly “tree-free” with all of their bottles being made out of sugarcane and bamboo. This means everything is biodegradable and will not be sitting in overfilled landfills for the next thousands of years. They are also cruelty-free and offer a variety of vegan food options. Guests rave about these products on their reviews.

As a courtesy, we provide boxed water to our guests upon arrival. Boxed Water is the most renewable option in the water aisle: their carton is made from 92% renewable materials. The water is sourced close to the consumers to reduce their carbon footprint (instead of islands like Fiji). All cartons are 100% recyclable, refillable, and BPA free.

 

Furniture from West Elm

 

3. Quality Furniture

A major contributor to environmental waste is furniture that is thrown out soon after purchase due to it’s poor quality. Brands such as West Elm and Pottery Barn make quality furniture items that are built to last. They use durable “contract grade” furniture that lasts considerably longer due to it being built for wear and tear. In addition to their furniture, 60% of their product sales support at least one of their sustainability initiatives. These brands sustainably source their furniture wherever possible, sourcing FSC®‑certified, recycled and upcycled materials, creating less waste. They have also committed to planting a tree for every solid wood piece of indoor furniture sold, approximating about 6 million trees planted by 2023. The results so far are about 1.5 billion gallons of water filtered, 68 thousand tons of air pollutants removed and 1.1 million tons of carbon dioxide absorbed.

We have partnered with Hostgpo to purchase from companies like West Elm, Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel at a discount.

 

 

4. Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats are energy-saving gadgets that offer an efficient way to heat and cool your home. The devices save energy by detecting whether a room is occupied or vacant and adjust the temperature accordingly, based on how you program it.

Many smart thermostats are accessible through voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home. Systems designed for rentals allow managers and owners to set minimum and maximum temperatures to prevent unnecessary energy consumption.

 

 

5. Recycling

Eco-conscious guests most likely recycle in their own homes, so they expect to recycle when staying at your vacation rental. Even those who don’t recycle might make the effort if you make it as easy as possible for them. Provide well-marked, easily accessible recycling bins that are close to the trash can. Additionally, if you expect guests to tote recycling carts to the curb, make sure to post a pickup schedule near the bins and include the schedule in your welcome manual.

 

 

Haustay Recommendations

Regularly assess your property’s sustainability initiatives and track key metrics such as energy and water consumption, waste diversion rates, and guest feedback. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and set new sustainability goals to strive toward. Celebrate milestones and achievements with guests and stakeholders, fostering a sense of collective responsibility for environmental conservation.

Incremental eco-friendly swaps can pay off in the long-term with added cost savings and increased guest demand. Here are some more ideas that are easy to implement and that will add sustainability to your rental.

In conclusion, making your vacation rental more sustainable requires a proactive approach and a commitment to continuous improvement. By incorporating eco-friendly practices into every aspect of your hosting operations, you can reduce your environmental footprint while enhancing the overall guest experience. And once you’ve added eco-friendly features to your rental, be sure to brag about it! In other words, make sure you advertise your short-term rental’s sustainability features. Let your guests know on your website and in your listing the specific, eco-friendly features that you offer and why your guest made a smart choice by staying at your home. Together, we can pave the way for a more sustainable future in the hospitality industry—one vacation rental at a time.

 

 

 

San Diego is known as America’s Finest City for a reason. It’s mild climate, must-see attractions, and culture help it to live up to its name. If you happen to visit San Diego around Halloween or anytime for that matter and want a little scare, be sure to visit to one of these five locations and uncover why San Diego is surprisingly one of the nation’s most haunted cities.

 
haunted places in san diego
 

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse

Over 200 years old, The Old Point Loma Lighthouse stood watch over the entrance to San Diego Bay for 36 years. At dusk on November 15, 1855, the light keeper climbed the winding stairs and lit the light for the first time. It seemed to be a good location 422 feet above sea level, however, low clouds often obscured the light. On March 23, 1891, the light was extinguished, and the lighthouse decommissioned.

Many have held to the belief that they have personally witnessed heavy footsteps emanating from the upper rooms of the lighthouse. Other accounts have come from guests who have felt extreme drops in temperature mostly felt at the entry landing that leads up to its spiral staircase.

A number of ghost hunters believe the spirit of the famed Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo lives here, waiting to transition to the other side. Others say that the lighthouse’s final light keeper, Captain Robert Decatur Israel returned after his death, watching over his beloved lighthouse, and keeping his eye on all who venture inside.

Today, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse still stands watch over San Diego, sentinel to a vanished past. Situated in the Cabrillo National Monument, it is now open to the public as a museum.

 
haunted places in san diego the cosmopolitan hotel
 

The Cosmopolitan Hotel

Built in 1829, the Cosmopolitan Hotel was originally designed to be a home for Don Juan Bandini, a cattle rancher who was said to exemplify Mexi-Cali culture from that era. Cattle ranching was his livelihood and served to make him quite wealthy.

After the United States wrested control of California from Mexico in the 1840s, his wealth and health faded. In 1859 he sold his beloved home in an effort to pay off debts and died just months thereafter.

Ysidora (one of Bandini’s three daughters) passed away in 1897, and it is believed that hotel rooms four, five, and 11 are haunted by her spirit. Room 11 in particular is said to see the most mischief, with lights turning on and off, items moving around, and doors opening and closing at will.

The Cosmopolitan still operates as a hotel and a restaurant in Old Town San Diego.

 
William Heath Davis House
 

William Heath Davis House

Built in 1850 by William Heath Davis, this historic house is the oldest structure in what is now downtown San Diego, but ironically, Davis was never an actual resident of the house.

Among the residents that did live in the house were Alonzo Horton, the founder of San Diego, and his wife Sarah, a German Spy along with others whose spirits are believed to still be lingering about. There were also numerous deaths that occurred during the ten years the building served as a hospital. One of the home’s most eminent spirits is that of an unknown Victorian woman, who has appeared many times in front of visitors. Lights have been known to turn off and back on again – even when the house was not yet wired for electricity and only used gas or coal oil lamps. Each evening the interior lights are turned off before the security alarm is set, yet many mornings a light in a back room is found mysteriously turned on.

If you’re feeling brave, you can tour the Davis-Horton House. Their programs serve as educational tools that allow the Foundation to fulfill its mission of preserving the architecture, culture and history of the Gaslamp Quarter, while sharing San Diego’s amazing heritage along the way.

 
The Whaley House
 

The Whaley House

It is known as America’s #1 Most Haunted House and for good reason. The Whaley House gets its name from the residence’s previous owners, the Whaley family. Built for them back in 1857, the famous mansion has a dark past riddled with death, suicide and mystery. One of the more popular San Diego attractions, the Whaley House is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

The Whaley House has functioned as a multitude of services – it was once the city’s courthouse, San Diego’s first commercial theater and a general store. But the time between such endeavors was burdened with sadness and turmoil.

While several spirits are regularly seen, one is thought to be the lovely Violet Whaley, who killed herself after being ostracized by society for her divorce. Depressed and humiliated, the Whaley’s 22-year-old daughter shot herself in the chest with her father’s gun. Other ghosts include Yankee Jim Robinson who was convicted of grand larceny and hanged on the site where the house now stands. Unexplained sounds and shadows and more unusual events continually occur at the Whaley House, drawing in visits from ghost hunters across the world.

Today the Whaley House serves as a museum that is open to the public. There, people can get a first-hand look at the house that was meant to be the Whaley’s forever home.

 
Hotel del Coronado
 

Hotel del Coronado

The most famous ghost in San Diego is at Hotel del Coronado, a historic hotel that opened in 1888. Kate Morgan has haunted the hotel since 1892, the year she checked in and awaited the arrival of her husband. The 2 were traveling con artists. Her husband never showed up and, 4 days later, the hopeless (and pregnant) Kate was found dead at the bottom of an outdoor staircase leading to Coronado Beach, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Her ghost is often seen both in the hotel and on the beach.

In case you’re curious and/or want a scare, Kate stayed in Room 3327 (formerly Room 3312). That’s not the only creepy spot. So is Room 3519 (formerly Room 3502): Once a maid’s room, it has been the site of numerous paranormal occurrences, such as objects moving around by themselves.

 

Unwind with Haustay

After your ghost tour, it is time to take a deep breath and find a place to relax and unwind. Check out Haustay’s properties for a comfortable and scare-free stay.

 

Fall is a great time to visit San Diego. In October and November, the weather is ideal usually in the 70’s with the sun shining and a decrease in the summer crowds making for a great time to visit.

October is an especially great time to be a kid in San Diego as all month long select museums, aquariums, gardens, zoos, restaurants, hotels and more around San Diego let kiddos in for FREE! And this isn’t just for San Diego residents. This is a perfect time for a family vacation to San Diego as visitors can get in on this offer as well. Read on for more info!

Over 100 different locations all around San Diego County accept the Kids FREE in October deals. From the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld, several museums at Balboa Park to aquariums, children’s museums, cultural & historical sites, restaurants, hotels and many more. See below for direct links to some of our favorite sites that offer free deals in San Diego.

 

 

San Diego Zoo – 2920 Zoo Dr., Balboa Park

Located adjacent to downtown San Diego in Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is 100 acres in size and is home to more than 4,000 animals from around the world.

October 1–31, 2023, entrance for ages 11 and younger is free—no ticket required. October Kids Free entrance for youths includes the Guided Bus Tour, Kangaroo Bus, and Skyfari Aerial Tram (subject to availability). A 4D Theater add-on is available for $6 per child (ages 3 and older) upon arrival, at any Zoo ticket window (subject to availability). During our October Kids Free event, each ticketed supervising adult may bring up to 5 youths (ages 11 and younger) free. Click here for the offer.

 

 

SeaWorld – 500 Sea World Dr., Mission Bay

Get your kids’ costumes ready, because kids go FREE (1 per paid adult) to SeaWorld Spooktacular through October 31, 2023!

Enjoy their decorated trail and meet all sorts of colorful characters. From a Halloween dance party to a pumpkin scavenger hunt, and more, this is fun for the whole family. SeaWorld Spooktacular runs on Saturdays & Sundays, Sept. 17 through Oct. 31. Click here for the offer.

 

 

Belmont Park – 3146 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach

Belmont Park has so much to offer, but their Fall fun is back this season and better than ever! Get into the festive spirit with FREE Trick-or-Treating every Sunday in October,  live acoustic performances and festive beer on tap every Friday night, specialty treats from your favorite stops, seasonal events at Plunge Pool, iconic rides and attractions and MORE! 

For the month of October, get one free junior combo wristband for kids 12 & under (who are also under 48″ tall) with the purchase of one combo wristband for someone who is 48″ and taller. Use code KIDSFREE when you buy online or mention it in person. Click here for the offer.

 

 

Legoland California – One Legoland Dr., Carlsbad

With more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions for families with children ages 2-12, there is so much to explore at Legoland! Get a free 1-Day Park Hopper Ticket with Full Paid Adult Ticket. OR, an overnight stay at a Legoland Hotel and get Free 2-Day Child Tickets with purchase of 2-Day Adult Tickets. Click here for the offer.

 

 

Balboa Park – 1549 El Prado San Diego, CA 92101

Balboa Park is home to a host of museums and cultural institutions that provide an enriching and captivating look at the human experience. Click here for more info on what museums are free for kids in October including the Fleet Science Center, the San Diego Natural History Museum and the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

 

 

Downtown / Embarcadero – San Diego

There is so much to take in when you visit downtown San Diego. There are a number of options for the kiddos along with the USS Midway Museum, the New Children’s Museum, the Maritime Museum, and Flagship Cruises to name a few.

 

 

Kids Eat Free

You can find that these restaurants offer one free child’s meal per paid adult meal. Be sure to call to check directly with each venue for the deal.

 

 

Old Town San Diego – 4002 Wallace St San Diego

Old Town offers lush gardens and plazas, specialty stores for treasures from around the world, authentic cuisine and nightlife, strolling mariachis and baile folklórico along with rich history at museums, historic sites, and cultural events.

Free options for kids at Old Town includes Junipero Serra Museum, Whaley House Tours (great for a Halloween activity), and Old Town Trolley Tours.

Casa Guadalajara in Old Town offers one free child’s meal per paid adult meal. Be sure to call to check directly with the venue for the deal.

 

 

Coronado – San Diego

Situated just across the bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado offers gentle surf, sparkling wide-sand beaches, a charming main street and great hotels, including the famous Hotel del Coronado, this island paradise is perfect for a family vacation or romantic getaway.

Check out Wheel Fun Rentals, Bike & Kayak Tours, Gondola Company, and Coronado Historical Association.

 

 

La Jolla San Diego

From the crashing waves to the award-winning culinary creations, La Jolla shines with sights and attractions in a picturesque village where everything is immersed in a casual, relaxed luxury.

Take a day and check out Bike & Kayak Tours, (use code KIDSFREE22), and the La Jolla Historical Society.

Birch Aquarium has a Kids Free offer and tickets must be reserved online in advance. When reserving your tickets at aquarium.ucsd.edu, add tickets (including the child tickets) and use the coupon code at the Shopping Cart to receive up to two (2) free child tickets per each paid qualifying* adult admission. Child tickets must be added to the Shopping Cart prior to checkout to validate the Kids Free offer.

Kids eat free at Embassy Suites La Jolla – Receive 10% off standard hotel rates, includes complimentary Dinner at “Indulge” for up to 2 children! To redeem please print this offer and present it to the front desk associate at time of check-in.

 

 

North County San Diego

North County San Diego is anchored by historic Highway 101 and unquestionably has a laid-back, SoCal vibe. Here you’ll find plenty of dining options, shopping opportunities and outdoor adventures.

Be sure to check out the following free options for kids. San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas, Institute of Contemporary Art in Encinitas, Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, Wheel Fun Rentals at the Oceanside Pier, Oceanside Whale Watching Adventures, California Surf Museum in Oceanside, and the Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside.

That was just a taste of all of the free options for kids around San Diego in October. Be sure to check out ALL of the options here. Have fun!

It’s officially fall in San Diego and despite the warmer weather and sunny skies, there are plenty of fall festivities happening around town to celebrate Autumn! From apple picking to Dia de los Muertos, these six fall activities will get you into the fall spirit.

Day Trip To Julian

The historic gold mining town, Julian, is fun to explore year-round, but their most popular time of the year is the fall. Located about an hour north of downtown San Diego, Julian is a great spot for apple picking season, which typically runs from late August through October.

Popular “U-Pick” businesses include Volcan Valley Apple Farm (1284 Julian Orchards Dr.). Volcan Valley Apple Farm is open Friday through Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You pay $15 for a bag that you can fill with apples (about 6 pounds), and this includes admission. Kids 5 and under get in free. The farm features seven varieties of apples, most ripening through mid-September.

Julian Farm and Orchard specializes in U-pick berries (strawberries, raspberries), apples, and pumpkins. The orchard also offers seasonal activities like hayrides, apple cider-pressing, bouquet-making, and ax-throwing. There’s a $10 minimum purchase of tickets per person to enter (which can be used for activities, picking, and merch); parking is free.

It is best to check the websites or call ahead before making the trek east. Apple farms will close if all the apples have been picked.

Oktoberfest is on October 7th from 10am to 6pm and will feature live German music, brats and beer, desserts, bingo every hour, a pie/cake walk, carnival games, a silent auction, raffles and more. More info here.

On your way out of Julian, be sure to grab a pie from Julian Pie Company.

 

Pick your own pumpkins at Bates Nut Farm

 

Bates Nut Farm

The picturesque North County family farm, known as Bates Nut Farm has been attracting visitors for over 50 years now. Families can grab a wheelbarrow and pick their own pumpkins to take home!

Pumpkin patch activities include tractor hayrides, straw maze, petting corral and pony rides. There is also kettle corn, food trucks and lots of additional kids’ activities like a rock-climbing wall, petting zoo and pony rides. No admission fees on weekdays, $8 entry per car on weekends.

 

Brick-or-Treat Party Nights at LEGOLAND California

LEGOLAND Brick or Treat Party Nights is a family-friendly nighttime Halloween event that takes place on select evenings in the fall at LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad. Guests are encouraged to dress in costume and enjoy spooktacular sweets, meet-and-greets with exclusive creepy-cool LEGO® Halloween monsters, larger-than-afterlife LEGO® build activities, limited time seasonal themed snacks PLUS BOO-tastic nightly fireworks to create the ultimate family Halloween celebration– all included with regular day admission and select Annual Passes.   

 

 

Dia De Los Muertos at Old Town

Each fall, Old Town celebrates Mexican culture and those who have passed away with a giant Dia De Los Muertos party. The festivities usually take place November 1st and 2nd and include a traditional candlelight procession that starts at the Old Town entrance at San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street and ends at the historic El Campo Santo Cemetery.

Originating in Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is a celebration to remember and honor those who have departed. On this day in Mexico, the streets near cemeteries are filled with decorations, flowers, candy calaveras and parades. Mexican families create special altars displaying offerings of food, candles, incense, yellow marigolds and photos of departed loved ones.

 

 

Get Lost in a Corn Maze

Test out your puzzle solving skills and take a trip through the corn maze at Carlsbad Strawberry Company. For $10 per person, this is a great way to bond as a family and laugh your way out of the maze. The Strawberry Company also offers an apple cannon, rides, games and food on the weekend. Test out your puzzle solving skills and take a trip through our corn maze – it’s a great way to laugh and bond as a family, and it’s a great date activity. With 1.5 miles of trail, you can be sure that you’ll be challenged, but not so much so that’ll you’ll be stumped. The maze is open 7 days a week 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

And if you’re looking for something scarier, check out the haunted maze. The haunted maze is perfect for teenagers and adults, guaranteed to get your heart thumping. It is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., so make sure you plan accordingly to get your fix of a good Halloween scare! Admission is $25 per person.

 

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse

 

Visit a Haunted San Diego Location

Over 200 years old, The Old Point Loma Lighthouse stood watch over the entrance to San Diego Bay for 36 years. At dusk on November 15, 1855, the light keeper climbed the winding stairs and lit the light for the first time. It seemed to be a good location 422 feet above sea level, however, low clouds often obscured the light. On March 23, 1891, the light was extinguished, and the lighthouse decommissioned.

Many have held to the belief that they have personally witnessed heavy footsteps emanating from the upper rooms of the lighthouse. Other accounts have come from guests who have felt extreme drops in temperature mostly felt at the entry landing that leads up to its spiral staircase.

Today, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse still stands watch over San Diego, sentinel to a vanished past. Situated in the Cabrillo National Monument, it is now open to the public as a museum.

If you happen to visit San Diego around Halloween or anytime for that matter and want a little scare, be sure to visit to one of these five locations and uncover why San Diego is surprisingly one of the nation’s most haunted city’s.

 

Southern California is one of the top tourist destinations in the entire United States.  From theme parks to the beach, to the mountains, there is something for everyone when they visit San Diego. But if there is one thing that you can count on, San Diego loves the water.  

If you have a desire to learn and have fun on the water, you’ll find it here in San Diego. Opportunities for fun on the water range from kitesurfing, windsurfing, stand-up (aka SUP) surfing, sailing, scuba diving, kayaking, wakeboarding, and jet skiing. Each of these specialties takes its own special approach to wave-riding and requires its own specialized gear and a specific San Diego location.

Here are some of the exciting water sport activities that can be enjoyed in North County San Diego.

 
 

1. California Watersports at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon

4215 Harrison Street, Carlsbad, California 92008

From paddleboards and kayaks to Waverunners and power boats, California Watersports has something for everyone on the calm Agua Hedionda Lagoon! The lagoon is the perfect place for all experience levels to get out on the water and have a great time. Whether you’re looking to get a workout in or just chill and enjoy the scenery, this is the place to be to enjoy the water. Kick back on one of their private beaches, whip around on a mini power boat, or tour the lagoon on a swan boat – there is a lot of fun to be had here.

The lagoon is big enough to accommodate those who want to experience the thrill of power sports such as jet skiing, motor boating or wake boarding while at the same time offering slower-paced sports such as kayaking, paddle boarding and aqua cycling.

Use code or mention Haustay-10 at check-out to receive 10% off!

 
 

2. Learn To Surf

Enjoy The Ride Surf School is a company that instructs beginners and intermediates into the world of surfing. For a first-time beginner or a seasoned intermediate, Enjoy The Ride Surf School has the experience and skills to help anyone progress and have an amazing surfing experience. They provide lessons from Encinitas to Oceanside.

 
 

SoCal Surf Lessons coaches surfing based on each person’s skill level and offer same-day appointments. They will provide top-of-the-line wet suits and surfboards and guarantee you’ll be up and surfing your first lesson or your next lesson is free!

Mention Haustay at both for 10% off!

 
 

3. Stand-Up Paddle (SUP)

Stand-up surfing requires a big floaty board and a long canoe-style paddle. SUP surfers sacrifice maneuverability in exchange for the advantage of catching waves earlier and riding them longer. Contact SoCal Surf Lessons for multi-day rentals and rental drop-off options.

 
 

4. Kitesurfing

Kitesurfing can be best described as a blend of wakeboarding and paragliding. One good thing is the ability to share the ocean. Kitesurfers thrive in the stormy, blown-out wind conditions that traditional surfers avoid. Instead of merely surfing the waves, kitesurfers use them as kickers to catch air. Similar to windsurfing, but with far more dramatic results, kitesurfers use oncoming waves to catch huge air and endless hang times, courtesy of the parachute-like kite’s lift power. Pacific Beach and the Coronado Shores areas are popular kite sites, although beginners like to start out at places like Fiesta Island on the protected waters of the Bay.

If you want to take a lesson, check out Manta in Fiesta Island.

 
 

5. Charter a Sailboat

The charming Oceanside harbor is a great spot to go on an ocean adventure by chartering a peaceful sailboat at sunset with Pacific Coast Sail Charters, embarking on a thrilling whale-watching expedition with Oceanside Adventures, or joining a sport fishing excursion hosted by Oceanside Sea Center or Helgren’s Sportfishing!

 
 

6. Go Deep Sea Fishing

Deep sea sportfishing: Helgren’s Sportfishing is a family-owned company that has been operating out of the Oceanside Harbor for 45 years! With 3 different vessels to choose from, and half-day to multi-day excursions, or the option of a private charter, you can select the fishing trip that best suits your needs. Excursion packages range from $75-$300 per person.

 
 

7. See Whales or Dolphins In the Wild

Join in on the adventure as you set sail in search of your special sighting of dolphins and whales with Oceanside Whale Watching. Climb aboard a luxury, single-level vessel that provides fun for all ages. Tours are 2 hours long, and depending on the time of year, you have a chance to see gray whales, minke whales, humpbacks, fin whales, and all 4 species of dolphins. You may even get lucky and see orcas, pilot whales, turtles, sharks, and of course a lot of sun fish and sea lions. Tickets range from $45-$55 per person for your seat on the catamaran.

 
 

8. Custom Beach Setup With Beach Genie

Beach Genie is focused on fulfilling your ultimate beach day wishes and taking the stress out of bringing all of your gear to the beach.  They provide everything you need for a completely pampered experience, including extra plush beach towels, handcrafted chairs, side tables, high quality fiberglass umbrellas with over 7 feet of shading, and coolers stocked with local, alkaline waters. Choose from a cabana party during the day to a s’mores setup in the evening.

Mention that you are a Haustay guest and receive 10% off your setup.

 

When it comes to food San Diego is stocked with options, but when it comes to breakfast, the restaurants shine. From savory egg dishes to sweet pastries and morning sips often inspired by global cuisines, we have a variety of morning-focused restaurants to choose from. We have gathered a list from  Del Mar to Oceanside that should start your morning right with the most important meal of the day.   

 

1. Stratford Court Cafe – Del Mar, California

Must-Order: Stratford Scramble

For decades, locals and visitors have enjoyed this home-style cuisine and the warm cozy atmosphere of the Stratford Court Café. This cozy café in a circa-1900 house with a deck is a family-owned and operated business, serving up breakfast, sandwiches and coffee drinks.

For something light try the Veggie Scramble which is eggs scrambled with tomato, onion, mushroom, arugula, pesto and feta served with toast.

 

2. Claire’s On Cedros – Solana Beach, California

 

Must-Order: Caramelized Tahitian Vanilla Bean French Toast

A quaint homey vibe with a back patio for outdoor dining. At Claire’s you almost feel like you’re walking into someone’s home for breakfast. They offer breakfast entrees, sandwiches, coffee and baked goods.

3. The Waverly – Cardiff, California

Must-Order: Breakfast Rice Bowl

The Waverly is an all-day café serving Progressive American cuisine with a European influence. Located in beautiful Cardiff by The Sea, Waverly is a full-service restaurant with a full bar and specialty cocktails. Try the Breakfast Rice Bowl which is avo, kale, egg, yams, broccolini with a curry aioli or if you prefer a sweet breakfast try the Funfetti pancakes.

4. Goodonya – Encinitas, California

Must-Order: California Burrito

Located on the 101, GOODONYA is all about making REAL food and drinks that help you feel GOOD. They have one of the largest organic menus out there and have a super laid-back SoCal vibe. Be sure to try the California burrito which is the biggest burrito they have made with pastured eggs, ham, sweet potato, black beans, grass fed cheddar and jack cheese, avocado and house-made salsa – 100% organic.

 

5. The Goods – Carlsbad, California

Must-Order: Nutella Buttercream Cruffin

Serving up artisan doughnuts crafted with the finest Locally sourced ingredients, The Goods is a must for doughnut lovers. Everything is made in-house and baked in batches throughout the day, ensuring their doughnuts are always fresh. And with gluten-free and vegan varieties available, everyone can enjoy a treat.

Try the Nutella Buttercream Cruffin which is a croissant in muffin form filled with Nutella buttercream. The s’mores doughnut is a nostalgic tribute to summer beach bonfires with marshmallow smores.  Another delicious, melt-in-your mouth doughnut is the Brown Butter doughnut. And if you like coffee, they proudly serve Stumptown Coffee.

 

6. Cafe Topes – Carlsbad, California

Located one block from Carlsbad Village Drive, Café Topes provides a warm and friendly atmosphere along with classic breakfasts with a twist.

Try the Crack & Eggs – A buttered English muffin piled with cuts of the local Seaside Market’s “Cardiff crack” a tumbled Burgundy tri-tip cooked to your favorite temp, a hot poached egg resting on top and blanketed in hollandaise. And of course, the cinnamon roll is a local favorite. Ordering it “dirty” is going to double the icing.

 

 

7. Toasted Gastropub – Oceanside, California

Must-Order: Stuffed French Toast

Toasted Gastropub is a great buzzy locale for brunch, cocktails & an espresso bar, plus outdoor seating around a fire pit. Popular dishes are the stuffed French toast which is brioche, fresh berries, mascarpone, vanilla, fresh cream, with passionfruit caramel.

 

The Oceanside Harbor

 

8. Stratford At The Harbor – Oceanside, California

Must-Order: Chilaquiles Jalisco

Stratford At The Harbor is a cheerful dockside eatery serves classic egg & pancake options, plus burgers & sandwiches. They pride themselves on creating a family atmosphere where everyone feels like an Oceanside local. And when your belly is full, you can walk the entire harbor on foot. Try the Chilaquiles Jalisco which is chicken machaca & spicy red sauce, homemade chips, guac, salsa fresca, sour cream, cilantro & queso fresco with poached eggs.

I know we missed a lot of great spots, but did we miss your favorite? Leave us a comment below!

For most, the main goal for owning a vacation rental is for the investment and for the extra income it can provide. The thought of putting extra money into an investment property is not ideal to most, but with the right decorating ideas, you will be able to bring more value to your vacation rental and attract a greater number of travelers. And it may not cost as much as you think. See below for five simple changes you can make to spruce up your property.

 

Increase your ROI
Shelf styling at La Costa Chateau

 

1: Keep it simple. Less is more has always been my motto when it comes to furnishing and decorating a space. Too much clutter can be overwhelming to a lot of people making an otherwise clean and comfortable space feel busy, messy and dusty. That goes for wall color too. And while it may seem boring to some, plain white walls don’t only go with every color and type of furniture, but also makes a room appear to be larger. Here are some examples of our favorite whites:

CRISP WHITE

 

OC-65 | Chantilly Lace
Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace

 

WARM WHITE

 

OC-17 | White Dove
 Benjamin Moore White Dove

 

SOFT WHITE

 

OC-117 | Simply White
Benjamin Moore Simply White

 

2: Invest in quality bedding. A good night’s rest is important, and travelers want to feel comfortable. By introducing a nice mattress, plush cushions and cozy blankets and sheets will make your visitors feel like they’re at home. And bedding doesn’t have to be expensive. At Haustay, we encourage our property owners to invest in these sheets in white. They are wrinkle, fade, and stain resistant as well as hypoallergenic and if you get them in white, they are easier to clean. Don’t forget that winter vacation bookings call for more or heavier blankets. Fresh bedding goes a long way toward ensuring guest satisfaction, so plan on replacing bedding—including pillows—annually.

3: It is the small details that make a big impact. Consider every aspect of your vacation home equally, and critically evaluate how the space is being used. When a guest arrives, sometimes the first thing they want to do is to charge their cell phone. Have a charging station (preferably next to the bed) with multiple USB ports available so they can charge their phone without having to dig through their luggage for a charger. Equip your shelves or coffee table with tasteful books and visually pleasing—but useful!—accessories, such as maps. Wall-mounted hooks for hanging coats and/or bags and a suitcase stand provide guests with an easy introduction into your property so they can do what they came to do – relax.

4: Provide beautiful, but functional furniture. The furniture is one of the most vital elements in your vacation rental that your guests will observe right away. If the furniture is old or damaged, your property will simply make a bad impression and possibly a lasting impression for your guests to leave a bad review. We find that it is better to buy quality furniture that will make your Airbnb look more luxurious and inviting. Invest in high-end, contract grade furniture that will last. Why contract grade specifically? Contract grade furniture is designed specifically for commercial use. It is made to meet the demands of high traffic areas and is tested for durability, fire retardancy, and other safety standards. West Elm offers contract grade furniture that you can get for a fraction of the cost through HostGPO. We purchase all of our furniture items at a discount through Hostgpo.

What to buy: Round Dining Table, West Elm sofa, Accent chair