Fri, May 5
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Game Day the San Diego Way

One of the best sports-outing experiences in San Diego is with the San Diego Seals lacrosse team. Playing in the NLL, which features the best players in the world, the Seals bring the energy and the party to sunny California. 

For many sports fans, the festivities preceding a game are almost as important as the game itself. So for the best experience, planning your whole day after grabbing tickets to an action-packed Seals game is essential. 

I’ve rounded up three perfect game day itineraries that include some of my favorite spots within ten minutes of Pechanga Arena San Diego that consistently deliver quality food and beverages to get you in the mood to cheer for the Seals. Here’s your guide to packing in the fun for a truly unforgettable day before catching the game!

Early Birds on the Beach

Ocean Beach – 2.2 Miles to Arena

If you want to explore a laid-back San Diego beach close to the Arena, head to Ocean Beach. Start your morning with a stroll along the beautiful Santa Cruz Cliffs, featuring stunning rock formations along the shoreline. Then, you can make your way to the famous Ocean Beach Pier after grabbing a coffee and pastry at Azúcar, a Cuban-style patisserie. Take your time as you enjoy their azúcar quiche or a café cubano and soak up the Pacific Ocean’s stunning views. 

Once you’ve taken in the ocean views, it’s time to venture into Ocean Beach’s quaint surf town. If you’re looking for best-in-class Asian fusion with a laid-back vibe, check out OB Noodle House & Sake Bar. Featured in Food Network’s Diner, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy Fieri has given his stamp of approval, so you know the food is rockstar quality. 

Hodad’s dive-bar experience is the perfect place to get in the game-day zone if you’re looking for a killer burger and local brewery options. 

If you’d prefer to stay closer to the Arena, you can always visit San Diego’s legendary barbeque joint, Phil’s BBQ, which consistently draws a crowd for its tasty baby back ribs and homemade cornbread.  

For this early bird experience, you’ll be set to head to the arena to catch some fun surprises ahead of the game, such as mascot activities and celebrity characters.

The All You Can Eat

Liberty Station – 2.1 Miles to Arena 

Liberty Station is just minutes from Pechanga Arena San Diego and boasts a wide variety of restaurants, bars, activities, and local shops, making it the perfect place to explore before a Seals game. 

Start your day by perusing the Liberty Public Market for a sampling of food vendors and local artisanal shops. For craft beer enthusiasts, check out BottleCraft, a boutique beer shop and tasting room, as well as Mess Hall, a full-service bar within the market. You can dine inside the food hall or take your meal outdoors, which comfortably accommodates large groups, including children. 

If you’re looking for a sit-down dining experience, take your group to a San Diego favorite, Officine Buona Forchetta, which serves authentic Neapolitan-style pizza in a cozy, family-friendly setting. If craft beer isn’t your flavor, head across the street from the market to Moniker General, home to Moniker Cocktail Co. and Moniker Coffee Co., to pick up a craft cocktail or coffee before heading to the arena.  

The Historic Route 

Old Town – 1.2 Miles to Arena 

Experience rich Mexican heritage in what is considered the birthplace of California by exploring Old Town, San Diego. You can start your day early by visiting one of the notable museums and taking a stroll through Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. If you’re not an early riser, no problem; start your game day experience by exploring the various authentic Mexican restaurants. 

New to the dining scene is Old Town Urban Market, which offers a variety of food and beverage vendors in a casual, open-air setting. This curated food hall features top-notch delicious eateries. If you enjoy Mezcal, grab cocktails at Tahona Bar or Oculto 477, a speakeasy featuring a wide selection of specialty cocktails.  

If you need a pick-me-up before heading to the arena, grab a specialty Mexican-inspired coffee from Por Vida Cafe and get ready to enjoy some action-packed lacrosse with the Seals.

Get the Party Started with the Seals

Now that you have your tickets and game day itinerary, you’re ready to get the party started at Pechanga Arena San Diego! It’ll be a day filled with high-intensity competition and exciting fanfare, so make sure your stomach is prepared for delicious bites and your phone is charged for pictures with Seals’ mascot, Salty, the Sirens Dance Team, and capture the high-energy action on the turf. You’re sure to have a memorable San Diego experience with the Seals!


Learn more about Paula Schloss

San Diego Seals