Get Out Of Town!: The Rady Shell In San Diego

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The Rady Shell at San Diego's Embarcadero Marina Park is a newly-opened year-round outdoor concert venue. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Since beginning this occasional column more than six years ago, Get Out of Town! has recommended places, events and experiences both nearby and far flung. With the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a natural contraction to focusing on places closer to Burbank.

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We have started adventuring out again and this time we’re recommending the outdoor performance space of the The Rady Shell in San Diego as a fun way to Get Out of Town. Add in an overnight stay nearby, delicious restaurants and plenty of outdoor activities, plus a six-hour round trip commute, and Burbankers have an easy weekend getaway in the works.

With a full weekend schedule of live music performances scheduled through November 14, The Rady Shell hosts a well-curated mix of popular and classical music for events that can seat 2000 to 10,000 people. Think of it as a smaller Hollywood Bowl experience. There’s pre-show picnicking, table service for those in front of the stage, a grass area for general admission, food and drinks for purchase on site and a a large number of clean and well-functioning restrooms.

We recently attended the debut of Stewart Copeland’s Police Deranged for Orchestra summer concert tour on Friday, August 27, at The Rady Shell. Performing with the full San Diego Symphony and a small group of vocalists, electric guitar and bass, Copeland held court on the drum kit and as occasional conductor and power chord rocker.

The Rady Shell at San Diego’s Embarcadero Marina Park is a newly-opened year-round outdoor concert venue. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Parking is available nearby at the San Diego Convention Center. After a short walk to the Embarcadero at which The Rady Shell is built, concergoers check in through security and enter the grounds of the Shell which are nicely organized and staffed. Disabled access and drop off for the concerts is also well thought out.

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The $85 million dollar Rady Shell finally opened in late July after a 19-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. Touted as a year-round, outdoor concert venue, the Shell is located at Jacobs Park which is part of San Diego’s Embarcadero Marina Park. With views of the bay, the venue boasts of gorgeous sunsets. Several of the shows are also concluded with nice display of fireworks from a barge anchored nearby.

San Diego’s city coastal area does cater to tourists, with the average type of shops and restaurants to be found at a lot of highly trafficked areas. Yet, there are some fantastic restaurants to be found along the coast and through the town with a little research, even if they might be chain eateries.

One gem we found was Puesto, a chain with locations from San Diego to Huntington Beach, who’s updated take on Mexican standards can please even the most die-hard traditionalist. The potato taquitos were absolutely excellent, served with chili oil and salsa verde. Cocktails were delicious and pricey, particularly the watermelon margarita made with watermelon infused tequila (an option instead of mescal.)

The tacos, served on handmade blue corn tortillas, were creative, colorful and perfect. Our favorites included the lobster taco, verduras (made with squash blossom, nopales, rajas, papas, corn and more and fried with cheese), chicken al pastor and tamarind shrimp. For a light dessert, frozen horchata slushies were cooling and perfect.

Blue corn tacos of lobster and verduras are an excellent dish at Puesto in San Diego. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

There’s a lot to see and do in San Diego. We’ve covered fun in Balboa Park for Get Out of Town! just a few years ago. So for an easy weekend away, although around a lot of people, The Rady Shell and San Diego have some enjoyable options for Burbankers who want to get out of town.

For more information on The Rady Shell, upcoming concerts and to purchase tickets, visit theshell.org.

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

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