Liberty Station may very well be an undiscovered spot, even for local San Diegans. For those of you who might be new to this gem, here’s a little background. Once a naval training center, Liberty Station has been repurposed into an eclectic mix of businesses, homes, an arts district, golf courses, and even schools. History buffs interested in its past can take a walking San Diego tour to see where the past and present collide.
But what to do at Liberty Station? Since you asked, we will provide. By the end of this quick read, you’ll easily be able to build a full day’s itinerary from all the things to do at Liberty Station.
#1 There’s Quite A Lot to Do at… The Lot
Photo Courtesy: The Lot
Dinner and a Movie? Dinner and Dancing? You could do either (or both) at The Lot on Taco Tuesdays. If you’ve been searching for a fun date night idea or a place to hit up with your friends, don’t overlook this notable joint. On Taco Tuesdays, obviously, tacos are available. However, there’s an array of fancy foods and premium beverages to elevate a simple night out. For the bold or bored, why not try your hand at salsa dancing? The bar is nearby should you feel the need to “gain some courage” prior to stepping afoot the dance floor.
Hungry folks should head here to reserve a table. Don’t forget to check out what movies are playing tonight. Feel free to snag your tickets online to save you some time to hit the restroom—before you miss the plot twist that explains everything.
#2 Play Your Part and Buy Some Local Art
Photo Courtesy: Liberty Station Arts District
As a former naval base, the Arts District at Liberty Station impressively riffs off the also repurposed tagline Make Art, Not War. From photo-ready murals to installations, Liberty Station is an unofficial playground for art aficionados. One glance at the directory can let you know that they took the words “diversity” and “culture” and truly ran with it. Comic book collectors, watercolor wizards, and collectors alike might find themselves a new stomping ground.
And while a picture is worth a thousand words, a thousand words won’t pay the bills. One impactful way you can interact with the art is to purchase pieces from one of the galleries. Not only will you support local artists, but you’ll get to bring home a splash of life with you. Can you really call yourself a Californian if you haven’t bought a sea-themed art piece at one point in your life?
Additionally, anyone seeking a more hands-on approach can find workshops, paint nights, and the like being offered at various institutions in the Arts District.
First Friday Art Walk
Every First Friday of the month, the biggest outdoor art walk in San Diego takes place at Liberty Station from 5 PM to 9 PM. With free admission, visitors are welcome to walk around and explore exhibits, galleries, studios, and museums. Why not take advantage of this enriching outing the next First Friday of the month and see what the San Diego art community has to offer?
#3 Froze and Cons
Photo Courtesy: Lily Aguilera
While the mild climate plays a large part in the allure of San Diego, sometimes you might want to pretend that Southern California experiences all four seasons. Sponsored by Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, you can escape at Rady Children’s Ice Rink, a slice of a winter wonderland with a good cause.
This year, the net proceeds will go towards the Thriving After Cancer program. What better way to spread the holiday happiness than to give to others? So, go out and grab your skates. Take a date or a couple of your best mates any day (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas) until January 5, 2020.
Open from 10 AM to 10 PM, these are the ice rink admission rates:
- Adult Admission – $15
- Children Admission – $13
- Military Admission – $10
- Punch Card (5 skate sessions) – $50
Salute the Season
The festivities at Liberty don’t end at the edge of the rink. The ice skating is a single component of what is dubbed Salute the Season. Each year, Salute the Season plans activities that continue throughout the holidays.
Don’t miss out on special events like the Nutcracker Tea Party with the San Diego Ballet or the Hanukkah Celebration and Menorah Lighting. Stay up to date with upcoming options on the greatest line-up you’ll see before Coachella’s drop.
#4 Paddleboard with Your Pup
In case you’ve been traumatized by Frozen’s world domination or just don’t know how to deal with the cold as a Californian, you can hop into the Pacific. This, however, isn’t your average beach day. With SUP, you can not only get rentals and learn how to stand up paddleboard, but you can learn how to do it with your dog!
You’ll start with a meet-up, intended to let all the dogs get acquainted. Then, when all’s sniff and done, you’ll receive some instructions on safety and the basics before you launch. For an hour, it can be you and your furry friend coasting together, enjoying the beautiful views of the best beaches in San Diego. You might even catch a glimpse of the so-called dogs of the sea when you glide by the Navy Dolphin Training Facility.
Book a beach day with SUP Pups now!
#5 Eat and Repeat
Photo Courtesy: Taste of Liberty Station
Still running out of things to do in Liberty Station? Some people might not consider eating a past-time, but those people have never had good food in their life and, therefore, have no business giving their opinion. (Sorry, can you tell we’re a little… opinionated when it comes to food in this city? We are a San Diego food and drink tour company after all.)
Besides a number of eateries that would make the most indecisive of us panic, there are quite a few unique gastronomic events hosted at Liberty Station. Here’s a list of food-and-drink-oriented events that you won’t want to miss:
- Taste of Liberty Station – Why pick one when you can have them all? Taste of Liberty Station offers attendees the chance to sample bites from participating restaurants in Liberty Station. Not restricted to food, the Sips & Suds Garden is open to the 21+ crowd. A ticket includes five tastings of the ticket-holder’s choice. Of course, music and art are paired with this tasty experience. An annual undertaking, be sure to keep your eye out for its next appearance.
- BoochFest – Liberty Station was home to SoCal’s very first Kombucha Festival in May 2019. Kombucha lovers rejoice! With over twenty brands to sample from, even kombucha-virgins may find the flavor to convert them. Prefer booze to booch? You won’t have to pick between the two, with their hard kombucha lounge. In addition to gut-friendly beverages, BoochFest had live music entertainment, DIY workshops, installations, and lively photo-ops. Its next appearance will be June 2020.
Chow Down at Liberty Public Market
Photo Courtesy: Liberty Public Market/Ian Marsh
Speaking of great food and drinks, don’t forget about all the lovely and delicious dining options that Liberty Public Market has to offer!
- Buona Forchetta – Rustic Italian food served fresh daily, includes wood-fired pizzas, fresh pastas, and incredible wine.
- Solare – Voted SD’s best Italian Restaurant of 2016, it offers authentic flavors of Italy from master chef Accursio Lota.
- Soda & Swine – American pub known for their build-your-own meatball sandwiches and wide selection of beers.
- El Jardin – A warm and festive Mexican cantina with incredible Mexican fare, patio seating, an impressive array of tequilas, and margaritas that compete with even the best margaritas in Old Town.
- Breakfast Republic – A fun and hip brunch spot that takes its own spin on breakfast, from mimosas, to cocktails, it’s a blast.
- Fig Tree Café – This eatery offers an inviting and genuine dining experience that is based on California’s unique mix of culinary culture.
And the List Goes On…
Photo Courtesy: Russell Taylor / Loma 9-Hole Golf Course
Liberty Station is a truly remarkable place. One that, if planning correctly, could inspire weekend-long dates for many moons. Check out these additional activities that didn’t hit our top 5 list of things to do in Liberty Station, but are hard not to mention:
- Play Golf at the Loma 9-hole Golf Course – Don’t have time for a full 18? Don’t want to lug around your full set of clubs? The Loma Club is the premier 9-hole par 3 in San Diego.
- Learn to Cook from the Italian Masters at Solare – Up your cooking game as you learn how to prepare traditional Italian pasta under the tutelage of Chef Lota.
- Take a Trip Back in Time at Corvette Diner – A fun, 50’s diner and a family restaurant where waitresses sing and dance as they serve the food. Listen to the oldies, play at the arcade, and enjoy a fun afternoon or evening with the whole family.
- Sip on Craft Beer and Enjoy Live Music at Stone Brewing – Thirsty? Then head on over to Stone Brewing for one of their famous IPAs or double IPAs.
Another Adventure in San Diego
Stay in the loop and the know by following Liberty Station on social media platforms. That way, you won’t regret a thing, and you’ll no longer be slumped by a lack of activities.
Be active, San Diegans! With all the hidden gems in the city, there’s always a new adventure to discover in San Diego.
Liberty Station. Rady Children’s Ice Rink. https://libertystation.com/events/salute-the-season/rady-childrens-ice-rink
Liberty Station. First Friday Arts District. https://libertystation.com/events/First-Friday-ARTS-DISTRICT
BoochFest. BoochFest June 2020. https://www.boochfest.com/booch-blog-kombucha-blog/sneak-peek-2020-boochfest-sd