A one-of-a-kind tasting event is just around the corner in beautiful San Diego – the Farm to Bay Food & Wine Classic. This magnificent event takes place on the San Diego Bay hosted by Living Coast Discovery Center, a non-profit zoo and aquarium. Already in its seventh year, this annual Food & Wine Classic sells out quickly and always draws a large crowd. As the only event held on a national wildlife refuge, it’s no wonder it’s so popular. As if the beautiful location isn’t enough, they throw in food and beverage sampling, live entertainment, animal encounters, and an auction filled with amazing prizes for good measure. And for the proverbial cherry on top, this fundraiser supports the Living Coast Discovery Center’s continual efforts to support sustainability, education, and wildlife.
A model of sustainability, this event diverted 85% of the event’s waste from landfills last year, and they have reduced overall waste by 57% since 2013; that translates to a little over 815 pounds. If you’ve been looking for a good cause to get behind, this is the event for you. You’ll get the chance to sample delicious beverages and foods from over 40 companies while you’re at it; now that’s a win-win. Keep in mind that tickets go quickly, so be sure to purchase them before it’s too late!
The Living Coast Discovery Center: What it’s All About?
San Diego is known for sandy beaches, perfect weather, excellent food, superb nightlife, and of course the surfer lifestyle, but what is often overlooked is the amazing, and varied nature that surrounds the city. You can bike along the water, hike diverse trails, enjoy an afternoon sail on the open ocean, whale and dolphin watch; the list is endless. Among the city’s natural treasures is the Living Coast Discovery Center located on the 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge in Chula Vista.
The mission of this non-profit zoo and aquarium is to inspire concern for, and exploration of, the living earth by connecting people with coastal animals, plants, and habitats. Their commitment is reflected throughout the center; immerse yourself in the diverse activities they showcase. When you enter the site, you get a quiet hello from the endangered sea turtles that tranquilly swim around in their lagoon.
Head over to the Discovery Center Gallery where unique creatures from the deep bay waters, salt water marsh, and drier upland habitats now reside. With over twenty exhibits, you’ll have a chance to see all of San Diego’s local water creatures such as sea stars, lobsters, eels, garibaldi, and others.
As you meander through the Living Coast Discovery Center, you can’t miss the 21,000-gallon tank where you’ll find captivating shovel-nose guitar fish, horn sharks, diamond rays, bat rays, and more. As an added bonus, visit the underwater viewing area for the endangered sea turtles you met at the start.
Now that you’ve enjoyed the underwater fun it’s time to head over to the Shorebird Aviary, a natural habitat of shorebirds. While strolling through this area you may encounter the light-footed clapper rail found exclusively in the salt marshes of SoCal. The hen-size marsh bird is currently an endangered species; you’ll learn about the Center’s efforts to change that.
The list of extraordinary creatures doesn’t end with the aviary; you’ll also have an opportunity to visit Eagle Mesa, filled with magnificent birds from Mexico and the United States. Golden eagles, ferruginous hawks, and bald eagles are just a few of the amazing birds you’ll see. Enjoy watching and learning how they take off, and home in on and catch their prey. Raptor Row is the next stop on your journey, here you’ll see osprey, owls, hawks, and the like. Finally, the beautiful Native Plant Garden offers an array of eye candy with more than 2100 different plant types. Take in the beauty along the trails, and enjoy Mother Nature in all her splendid wonder.
The Farm to Bay Food and Wine Classic: What to Expect at the Fundraiser
Each year Living Coast Discovery Center’s Farm to Bay event features a montage of delectable eats from seafood to pizza to desserts. Local favorites like Casanova Fish Tacos, Dang Brother Pizza, Cravory Cookies, Amore Cheesecake, Panama 66, and Rubio’s Coastal Grill serve up their best. These are just a few of over 40 sponsors looking to tantalize your taste buds on this fun night out.
Enjoy your food with an awesome array of beverages; coffee, juices, cold brews, and wines will all be available. Sierra Nevada, Bootstrap Kombucha, Juice Wave, Cool-Down Coffee, and Westfall Winery are a few of the business you can expect. If all this delightful food and drink is not enough, hold on, there’s more!
The Center’s fundraiser silent auction has some awesome items up for bid like concert tickets for Dave Matthews, Demi Lovato, and Jason Aldean, as well as fun activities such as sailboat lessons, a day of paint ball, and indoor skydiving. If a cultural experience is more your scene, there are passes for La Jolla Playhouse, Moonlight Theater, and the Cygnet Theater. Hotel stays, wine tastings, and tee times at Madera Golf Club or Bear Creek Golf Club are also up for auction. No matter what your interests are there is an auction item with your name on it.
Come enjoy the good food, tasty drinks, live music, and animal interactions. Farm to Bay Food and Wine Classic is an unforgettable good time for a great cause!