25+ Ways to Upgrade Your Weekend
Get the most out of your 48 office-free hours! Here’s how to make errands disappear, combine chores with actual fun, and booze it up on the sly at kids’ birthday parties.
Errands + Chores
Outsource your chores
Wash your car and your canine
Dog lovers know just how dirty your vehicle can get after a car ride with Fido. Treat your pup to a morning at the park or the beach and let them—and your car—get as dirty as they want, as long as you stop by Rosecrans Hand Car Wash on the way home. The pros handle your wheels while you hose down your hound. Hand-wash services start at $12.95 with a menu of upgrades available; active duty military, students, and seniors get $2 off every day and an early-bird deal gets a deluxe wash for the price of a regular Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 10 a.m. The coin-operated All-American Dog Wash costs $12 for 10 minutes and includes warm water, groomer-grade shampoo, flea treatment, leave-in conditioner, and a blow-dryer. Already have a clean car but a dirty dog? Try a mobile groomer like AAA K-9 or Absolute Pawfection.
Send out your laundry
Who wants to sit inside and fold laundry all day? With a 24-hour turnaround, Laundry Ladies will retrieve, wash, dry, fold, and return your clothes for $3 per pound with a 10-pound minimum. They also iron garments for $1.50 each. And no, they don’t mix your load with a stranger’s. San Diego Fluff ’n’ Fold serves central San Diego and charges $2.25 per pound ($1.80 for military, seniors, and disabled) with a 15-pound minimum. Tops Valet Service comes in at $2.50 per pound with a 12-pound minimum. Tops serves many zips in South Bay, Downtown, and East County, and also offers alterations, shoe repair, and more. Take a load off!
Grocery shop from your couch
When you’re short on time or energy, download the Amazon Prime Now app to shop the goods available at Sprouts Farmers Market, Bristol Farms, Northgate Market, and even the not-so-essential Sprinkles Cupcakes. With a $20 minimum at each store, it’s best to stick to one or two grocery outlets per order. (And keep in mind—if you order bananas, they might come green.) You can also get one-hour delivery of beer, wine, and spirits from local retailer Keg N Bottle. In San Diego, Prime Now is available every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Two-hour delivery is free; one-hour is $7.99. However, the service is only available to Amazon Prime members ($11 per month).
Outsource your chores
Suffering from a long “honey do” list? Try the TaskRabbit app to get someone else to do the errands for you. Pick from their list of tasks and the app matches you with a local who’ll make pickups and deliveries, do your shopping, or even return an item to the store. It also has a database of specialists in cleaning, handyman services, yard work, and even furniture assembly. Once you post a task, you’ll see different “Taskers” who are up for the job, along with their hourly rates. Select one, and they’ll hop to it. There’s also help on the Handy app. The company’s workers are all vetted and insured, and you can schedule an appointment as early as the next day. We were quoted $54 for a two-hour cleaning of a one-bedroom apartment, and $135 to assemble a large piece of furniture, like a dresser or bed.
Do away with admin
If you have the cash to spare, personal concierge service firm Elite Lifestyle Management (ELM) recently launched its Metropolitan Assistance Network, geared toward (fancy) men on the go. For a monthly rate of $300, members get access to ELM’s concierges, who will pick up groceries and dry cleaning, handle pet care, book golf tee times, arrange travel, and get you seats by the dugout at Petco Park.
Hybridize your errands
With summer party season upon us, combine your morning cuppa with a run to the gift shop at the new Communal Coffee in North Park, which combines a café and floral boutique in one shared space, as well as greeting cards for the whole gifting shebang. Join brunch and gardening forces at Nate’s Garden Grill in City Heights. It's located next to the City Farmers Nursery, stocked with fruit trees, succulents, planters, and even farm animals. At a mixed-use warehouse space at the corner of India and West Kalmia streets in Little Italy, you can get a shave (The Urban Shave), grab a latte (James Coffee Co.), have an eye exam (Specs Optometry), and more.
Get someone to fill your gas
For $5.99, the Purple app will send a courier with a portable tank to fill up your car with up to 15 gallons of regular or supreme fuel. Enter your vehicle’s info and parking location, leave the gas tank door open, and they’ll arrive within an hour. At press time, the average price of gas in San Diego was $2.80 per gallon, and Purple charged $3.05. Avoid wasting a sunny afternoon at the repair shop just to get an oil change or new battery with YourMechanic, which connects you to a certified mechanic who comes to your driveway—a service once reserved for fancy rides like Tesla. An oil change for a 2015 Toyota Prius was quoted at $60.
Exercise + Grooming
Exercise in a place you plan to visit anyway
Get a haircut on your lunch break
Airstream trailers are hip. So are barbershops. So it only makes sense to combine the two for a conveniently cool way to get a haircut. For busy professionals who need the salon but have zero time to trudge through traffic, Sterlings Mobile Salon & Barber Co. solves your hair emergency by bringing a stylist to you. Savvy businesses can book Sterlings for their parking lot on select days of the week, then clients reserve an appointment online and simply walk down to the trailer (which features three barber chairs, three sinks, and a restroom) for a variety of services, including cut, color, nails, waxing, and threading. Men’s cuts start at $28 for the general public and $21 for a “partner” site, listed online at sterlingsmobile.com/sd.
Combine exercise and happy hour
Wine is as vital to our emotional health—it’s called happy hour for a reason!—as fitness is to our physical health. Merge the two at The Wine Pub, a Point Loma wine bar that offers a Sunday afternoon Vino Vinyasa class every month. Bring your own mat and $20 for a one-hour flow. Prefer bubbly? South Park’s Rose Wine Bar & Bottle Shop hosts a monthly Yoga-mosa brunch in their adjacent event space for $35, which includes yoga, brunch, and bottomless mimosas. If you’re looking to put a new spin on date night, welcome the weekend early with Studio Barre’s “Beer, Balls & Tuck” class, held every Friday at their Mission Hills location with beer and wine available during class and free entry for men. Have your fitness and drink it, too!
Get a shave, shoot some pool
For guys who have to be coaxed out of their man cave, a visit to Mister Brown’s barbershop should be an easy sell. Go for a haircut, beard trim, or hot shave ($20–$60 depending on the service), and stay to watch TV in the lounge or shoot a game of pool with your buddies. Your head won’t be the only thing buzzed while talking shop over complimentary beers. While you’re there, purchase sustainable grooming products and barbering tools to stay a cut above the rest.
Exercise in a place you plan to visit anyway
Make your workout part of a weekend excursion. Try hitting a yoga class like Namasteve’s on the oceanfront in Pacific Beach ($5 suggested donation) or at the Lux Art Institute in Encinitas ($10 for members, $15 for guests). For more heart-pumping cardio, try a bootcamp like AWL in Balboa Park or Core Fitness at Ski Beach (both are $20 for drop-ins).
Hire a personal trainer who makes house calls
On Saturday morning, the temptation to hit snooze rather than hitting a spin class is strong. How about making that wake-up call into an impossible-to-ignore doorbell? Personal trainers like Nikol Klein and Carly Bryner make house calls, arriving at your door with equipment and motivation. Klein brings kettlebells, free weights, TRX suspension trainers, Bosu balls, mats, and bands, and also offers group workouts if your friends want to join. Sessions range from $150 to $250 depending on where you live and how many you buy.
Attend a kid’s birthday party—and like it
Whether you’re child-free or have a brood of four, we know you can think of a million other things to do with your Saturday. So reward your party-going effort with some sugar. Curious Creamery has debuted a DIY ice cream kit, available at BevMo, with recipes for the kids (chocolate chips, marshmallows), and for the adults (beer, wine, or spirits). That’s right—they have a Spicy Chocolate Chili Beer Ice Cream and a Brown Butter Chardonnay Ice Cream. The sweet treats run $6 for a tub and two base mix packs, which makes about two quarts of ice cream. Grown-ups might be too big for the jumpy house, but they’re never too big for ice cream.
Meet Grandma and her new hip at a hip new place
She wants nothing more than time spent with her favorite grandchild, but even Grandma wouldn’t mind switching things up with a change of scenery and activity. Take her
for a stroll to buy macarons at the new Liberty Public Market. Go for a walk through the Botanic Garden. Get a table and try a tasting flight at Ballast Point on India Street. Tailgate at the San Diego Polo matches in Rancho Santa Fe. Eat at the Cliffhanger Café while you watch the paragliders over Torrey Pines.
Food Prep + Entertaining
Don’t plan dinner
Cook a big meal and have leftovers for the week
Look forward to easier weeknights by doing some weekend cooking in bulk to create leftovers. You can make it into a fun family activity by picking a recipe together, or taking a cooking class to learn from the experts. Try a Saturday night Thai cooking class at Hipcooks in North Park ($65), or check out a make-ahead cooking class at Katie’s Healing Kitchen in Mission Hills ($45).
Don’t plan dinner
When meal planning requires too much time and adulting, try a meal delivery service instead. Get ingredients for balanced, portioned meals shipped to your doorstep with recipe cards and prep times. Preselect your dishes and delivery dates online, or default to chef’s choice. Popular subscription services such as Blue Apron, Gobble, GreenChef, Hello Fresh, Plated, and Sun Basket are all available countywide. If you prefer greens, check out local salad delivery services Car’s Jars or Farmer’s Fix. Delivery meals range from $48 to $96 weekly for two-person plans; salads are $8.50 to $10.50 per container (delivery minimums and service areas vary).
Order food and drinks from your smartphone
A long day at the beach or golf course leaves us lazy. DoorDash picks up takeout from restaurants that don’t have delivery. The food tends to arrive earlier than the ETA, but it’ll cost you: fees range from $4.99 to $6.99, plus a default 15-percent tip for the driver. A few taps on Saucey summons a real-life Bacchus to your door with liquor, beer, and wine at prices that rival supermarkets, and even snacks and mixers (at an upcharge). Use it if you live between the 52 and 94 freeways (except for OB and Point Loma), and spend at least $35 to waive the service fee.
Be the most popular person at the block party
Be the most popular person at the block party
Rent a machine from Margaritas on Tap, and Bill the Margarita Man will deliver one of his machines with up to six flavor options (peach, tropical punch, etc.) for any kind of blended drink: margaritas, daiquiris, piña coladas, and hurricanes. $180 for one machine and mix that makes 50 9-ounce beverages—you provide the liquor, water, and power. Party on!
Swap the bottomless mimosa for rosé
Yes way, rosé! La Jolla’s Herringbone recently introduced Endless Rosé Brunch, a bottomless boozy meal that celebrates the pink drink in lieu of the traditional mimosa. The $25 brunch runs every weekend until Labor Day.
Save on happy hour
The Passport Program, a modern, drinking-focused take on those old-school Entertainment coupon books, recently launched in San Diego. The $20 book offers discounts on one signature drink at 32 local venues—places like Bottega Americano and Stella Public House—through September 5. Get stamped trying each libation, save more than $300, and cross off all those bars you’ve been meaning to visit.
Drink with friends while your dog exercises
The urban park Quartyard has given the East Village a much-needed community gathering place. This bustling city block is packed with shipping containers that have been converted into a coffee shop, restaurant, and beer garden. Let your pup romp at the off-leash dog run, then lounge at picnic tables while drinking craft beer and eating from a rotation of food trucks, plus sausages from S&M and coffee or smoothies from Meshuggah Shack. There are also regular music events and a monthly Thursday Night Market of local makers selling their wares.
Drink like you’re in Napa
See another side of Mexico
Just 40 miles from downtown San Diego lies Tecate, Baja California’s lone Pueblo Mágico, one of more than 80 villages recognized by Mexico’s secretary of tourism for its historic and folkloric value. Not only is the sleepy mountain town the birthplace of the self-named cerveza, which was also Mexico’s first canned beer, it’s known for some of the region’s most mouthwatering baked goods, too. Carb out at El Mejor Pan de Tecate, on the eastern end of the city center on Avenida Benito Juárez.
Get there: Take highway 94 east to the 188 south, which ends at the border.
Drink like you’re in Napa
The recent Baja wine country boom is anything but news, but given its arid climate, winemaking has actually been a way of life in Valle de Guadalupe since the 19th century. With the current vineyard count nearing 100, it’s no surprise that today Baja California produces 90 percent of Mexico’s wine. The weeks leading up to the annual Vendimia Harvest Festival, happening this August 5–21, make for the perfect time to visit.
Get there: Take Federal Highway 3 south from Tecate or north from Ensenada, or Federal Highway 1 south from Tijuana to La Misión and head inland from there. Want to stay? Go chic at boutique hotels Encuentro Guadalupe or La Villa del Valle, or glamp at CuatroCuatros.
Pretend you’re in the Mediterranean
While the tour buses cram into Puerto Nuevo in the name of lobster, locals flock to Popotla, a small fishing village alongside Baja Studios just south of Rosarito—some 20 miles from Tijuana—for seafood so fresh it might as well be flopping around (and sometimes still is). Makeshift eateries line the few dirt roads that overlook a small beach where fishermen haul their catches out of the waves and slice them up right on the spot.
Get there: Take the Tijuana-Ensenada toll road south, exit at the last Rosarito exit, and head south along the free road another five miles. Want to stay? Book a room at the recently remodeled Rosarito Beach Hotel, or rent a whole house at Las Gaviotas.
Taste authentic Mexican street eats
Ensenada already deserves to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for (purportedly) inventing the fish taco, but the busy port is home to one of Mexico’s oldest cantinas, too: Hussong’s dates back to 1894, when the only way to get to Ensenada from San Diego was by boat. The hour-long drive from Tijuana along the rugged Baja coast is a windblown mini-vacation in itself. The earlier you pull in, the better, to beat the cruise ship crowds for La Guerrerense’s diverse roster of ceviches and salsas a block north of Parque de La Bandera. The sea urchin is not to be missed, especially when topped with chile de árbol and peanut sauce. Save room for a pint at Cervecería Agua Mala’s tasting room in El Sauzal or Cervecería Wendlandt’s brewpub on the north end of Ensenada proper.
Get there: Ensenada is a straight shot from the San Ysidro border crossing. If you don't feel like driving, Autobuses de La Baja California offers regular departures from its Tijuana border terminal, a five-minute walk from the pedestrian crossing. Want to stay? Check out Hotel Coral & Marina, overlooking the coast just north of the city, or Hotel Posada El Rey Sol, in the heart of the city’s tourist district.