• San Diego

    San Diego is the No. 9 Best City for Chocolate Lovers

    Chocolate is wonderful on its own, but this luxurious treat also has the superpower to enhance the flavor of other foods like strawberries, bacon, pretzels, and coffee.

    To mark International Chocolate Day on Sept. 13, Lawn Love ranked 190 of the biggest U.S. cities to determine the Best Cities for Chocolate Lovers.

    How does San Diego stack up?

    San Diego’s Rank in Some Key Metrics (1st = Best)
    • Number of Chocolate Shops – 5th
    • Total Reviews for Chocolate Shops – 3rd
    • Number of Chocolate Museums – 4th

    Where are the best cities to give in to your chocolate cravings?

    Lawn Love ranked 190 of the biggest U.S. cities to determine the Best Cities for Chocolate Lovers.

    They looked for cities with abundant chocolate factories and high-quality shops selling chocolate, including chocolatiers, dessert shops, and patisseries. They also considered chocolate-themed entertainment like museums, tours, theme parks, and events.

    Melt into International Chocolate Day on Sept. 13 with the city rankings and analysis below.

    The meltdown: Key insights

    Big-city bonbons

    Large cities offer plenty of spots for residents (and tourists alike) to find quality sweets.

    New York takes the crown of the chocolate empire at No. 1 overall and in the Access category. The city is swimming in chocolate delicacies, being home to over 100 chocolate shops and the most chocolate manufacturers in the country. NYC also has hundreds more coffee shops and bakeries than any other city, so you don’t need to walk far for a chocolatey surprise.

    Las Vegas, at No. 3, is its own Chocolate Sin City, far outnumbering the competition in dessert shops, candy shops, and ice cream shops. Chicago (No. 7) follows closely behind, with the second-highest number of chocolate stores and bakeries.

    Meanwhile, smaller cities like Sioux Falls, South Dakota (No. 190), Columbus, Georgia (No. 189), and Mesquite, Texas (No. 188) gave a bittersweet performance overall, with scarce options for their small-town chocolate lovers.

    Willy Wonka’s West

    While California is better known for its health-food trends, the Golden State has a golden ticket in Access to delicious chocolate.

    Indulgent San Francisco (No. 2) is home to industry icon Ghirardelli, in addition to a number of smaller artisans and manufacturers. Head down the coast to SoCal cities Los Angeles (No. 5) and San Diego (No. 9), where you’ll find plenty of patisseries, candy stores, and dessert shops to satisfy your cocoa-flavored cravings.

    On the northern end of the West Coast, cities like Seattle (No. 6) and Portland (No. 14) also impress with many high-quality chocolate shops and bakeries, coffee shops, and dessert shops.

    Charming confections

    Can’t talk about the Best Cities for Chocolate Lovers without mentioning The Sweetest Place on Earth: Hershey, Pennsylvania (No. 4).

    Founded by the nation’s most familiar chocolate company, Hershey’s, this town is best known for its chocolatey genesis. Hershey might not have a variety of tasty chocolate shops to choose from, but it’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking for the ultimate chocolate-based entertainment.

    If you’re just searching for a good bite of chocolate, you might unexpectedly find it in small cities, such as Des Moines, Iowa (No. 19), Pomona, California (No. 26), and Garden Grove, California (No. 16). Des Moines earns the No. 1 spot in Establishment Quality, with the two Cali suburbs falling closely behind.

    Behind the ranking

    For each of the 200 biggest U.S. cities, Lawn Love gathered publicly available data on the factors listed in the table below. They replaced the smallest city in sample with Hershey, Pennsylvania, considering it is a popular tourist destination for chocolate lovers.

    Lawn Love then grouped the factors into three categories: Access, Establishment Quality, and Entertainment.

    Next, They calculated weighted scores for each city in each category.

    Finally, Lawn Love averaged the scores for each metro across all categories. They eliminated 10 cities lacking sufficient data in a single category, resulting in a total sample size of 190 cities.

    The city that earned the highest average score was ranked “Best” (No. 1), while the city with the lowest was ranked “Worst” (No. 190). (Note: The “Worst” among individual factors may not be No. 190 due to ties.)

  • Art,  San Diego

    Happy 4th of July from San Diego Local Little Artists!

    Happy 4th of July !

    These artworks are made by Lulu’s students from US Arts Education Center in San Diego. These little artists from top left to bottom right are Bethica, Katie, Olivia, Julie, Ellen and Carol. They are only 5-8 years old. They are so talented and use their own way to celebrate 4th of July.

  • Art,  Gift Guide,  Home Decoration,  Los Angeles,  San Diego

    Happy Father’s Day! Get dad a custom gift made just for him, with love from Collage.com

    What! You forgot this year’s Father’s Day gift? No worries, it is never too late to show your love to dad. Anyways he loves you. Just let him know his gift is on the way. No matter how difficult dad is to shop for, custom Father’s Day gifts are sure to hit a home run. Find meaningful gifts for dad he’ll truly enjoy. Shop customizable gifts for dad at Collage.com! Remember, it is never too late, get a gift and send him a screenshot first. Haha, that is how I always do.

    For my dad, his favorite things are my arts. Yes, he knows his daughter is an artist, he is the one who supports me all the time. I know he doesn’t need to hang my arts everywhere at home, but I know he needs blanket, mug and home decos. I can print my arts on all of these products on Collage.com. Is that cool? This year, I printed one of my newest artworks on a blanket to gift my dad. The artwork is my city – San Diego. It is a Queen size Woven Image Blanket.

    Your design is woven directly into this 100% cotton blanket with tasseled edges. This impressive blanket will be a guaranteed conversation-starter.

    If you want to print photos on blankets, you’re in the right place at Collage.com. It’s so easy to print your favorite photos on a soft, cuddly photo blanket that the brand guarantees you’ll love. Add photos from your phone, computer, Facebook, or Google Photos to make a collage photo blanket. Use the website’s professionally created templates to make something extra special. See why hundreds of thousands of customers love their Collage.com photo blankets. Design your own photo blanket today.

    Collage.com is proud to be one of the most popular places to design and order photo blankets online, with tens of thousands of satisfied customers every year. Their photo blankets have been featured as perfect gifts everywhere from “Good Morning America” and “The View” to AARP: The Magazine, Forbes, Mashable and Buzzfeed. Every photo blanket is printed in the USA and protected by their Just Right 100% satisfaction guarantee.

    Make special blankets for holiday entertaining with your favorite family photos from the last year. Design an elegant blanket you can’t buy at the store with stylish custom patterns and a monogram to make sure everyone knows it’s yours. Customize a sherpa blanket in your favorite team’s colors to show your support while keeping warm at cold hockey and football games. However you design your woven image blanket, your order will be protected by Collage.com’s Just Right Satisfaction Guarantee.

    Other than blankets, there are so many different things that you can create at Collage.com, go to the website and get some ideas!


  • San Diego

    San Diego takes part in global scavenger hunts celebrating National Day of Unplugging March 6th

    This is weekend we are more than ready to take a break from tech after a long year of political craziness, Facebook fights and Twitter wars.

    For the last decade, National Day of Unplugging (NDU) has been celebrated the first weekend in March with thousands of in-person, unplugged events engaging hundreds of thousands of participants globally.  Plans for NDU during the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated a new approach.

    As we are all restricted from larger-scale IRL experiences, the conversation about limiting screen time has to be more nuanced.  Unplug Collaborative, the team behind the awareness campaign, is careful not to add guilt or shame on top of the anxiety people are already feeling after a year of unprecedented chaos.

    This year’s NDU efforts will focus on safe, in-home, and outdoor small group activities, along with contests and charitable partnerships aimed at amplifying social impact.  With a list of 50+ things that you can do on NDU ranging from the simple to the adventurous – there is an access point for any person looking to answer the collective call to unplug for 1 hour or 24 hours. Those looking to get outside can join one of the 40 no-contact, Little Free Library Scavenger Hunts scheduled to take place in neighborhoods across the globe. LFLs bring communities together and provide a cozy small-town feeling. Families get to work together to solve clues, figure out how to read a map and get exercise all at the same time.

    San Diego is leading the way as a model community collectively unplugging with 5 neighborhoods organizing Little Free Library (LFL) scavenger hunts on March 6th!

    • There are 57 San Diego stops combined: La Mesa (18), North/South Park (14), Santee (5), Clairemont Mesa (10) and Coronado (10).

    • Clairemont Mesa and North Park – partnering with San Diego Family Magazine, the Special Needs Resource Foundation and the SD Bike Coalition (giving out bike helmets and safety gear while supplies last).

    • Unique libraries – La Mesa (red outhouse), Clairemont Mesa (a trio of LFLs). Coronado (beach front library)

    • Local authors (Richard Louv, Sebastian Slovin, Nick Carter) are partnering with Book Fairies, hiding their books (on digital wellness and nature) in LFLs.

    • Addresses of the first stop of each hunt to be revealed March 4th HERE.

    • Hunt kick-off is Sat March 6th, 10 am – 1 pm at all locations. People can pick up instructions and maps to all other stops at that time. Can’t make the hunt then?  Many stops will keep the clue up until March 12.

    • Participants can register for this free event HERE.   Find an event flyer HERE

    How does a LFL scavenger hunt work? A clue is taped to each Little Free Library. People will look for clues and if they feel comfortable, can pick up books and other goodies some stops will have available (book marks, bike safety items, dog treats, games and craft kits to take home etc).  A participant can visit as many stops as they like and at the end go to the NDU website to check answers and to get a link to a recorded story time by Nocturnal’s author Tracey Hecht.

  • San Diego,  WorldWide

    Fiesta Old Town Goes Virtual!

    Arriba muchachos y muchachas! The Historic Old Town Community Foundation is getting creative for a FREE, colorful Cinco de Mayo virtual Fiesta live streamed through Facebook Live (@Fiestaoldtown), YouTube and website (https://www.cincodemayooldtown.com/virtual-fiesta) right to you, as you “stay at home”! On Tuesday, May 5th, Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo will come to life through your TV or computer screen. Featuring a series of festive interactive activities for the entire familia to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
    (Illustration by Lulu @qululululu)
    Únete a nosotros (join us) from 4pm to 6:30pm for a FREE virtual fiesta, jam packed with exciting salsa classes so you can shake your maracas, food & drink demos alongside master chefs and mixologists, live entertainment to dance to in your living room, a delicious dinner serenaded by a mariachi band, Tequila & Mezcal tastings & SO MUCH MORE! Enhance this FREE celebration with Fiesta Party Packs available for pickup or takeout from Café Coyote, Rockin’ Baja Lobster, and Tahona Bar all located in Old Town!
    You won’t want to miss this virtual Fiesta! Join us as we celebrate Cinco de Mayo “stay at home” style with FREE fun and festive activities for the entire family to enjoy! Virtual Fiesta will be a colorful celebration filled with exciting activities and elements that will bring the spirit of Cinco de Mayo to life. Although we can’t meet you in the streets of Old Town this year, we are excited and happy that we can still connect with all of our Old Town Fiesta-ers virtually! Grab your sombrero and prepare for an iconic Taco Tuesday/Cinco de Mayo celebration like no other!
    Headlining our Virtual Fiesta and ending the night for us will be world famous guitarist & special guest, Pablo Sáinz-Villegas! Praised as “The Soul of the Spanish Guitar,” Sáinz has appeared on some of the world’s most prominent stages such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Philharmonie in Berlin and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. His next stop will be on your TV or computer screens for a LIVE guitar solo performance!
    Schedule of Events:
    4:00pm – Welcome to Virtual Fiesta Old Town!
    4:05pm – Marg Makin’ & Michelada Shakin’ Time with Café Coyote
    4:15pm – Holy Guacamole & Salsa Dippin’ with Chef Juan of Rockin’ Baja Lobster Old Town
    4:30pm – Salsa Shakin’ Class with Danz Arts
    4:45pm – Manny Cepeda – Viva la Salsa!
    5:15pm – Let’s Tacobout Old Town San Diego – Past, Present, Future
    5:20pm – Nacho Average Mariachi Dinner
    5:45pm – Tasty Tequila vs Memorable Mezcal with Tahona Bar
    6:00pm – Infamous Tortilla Making with Café Coyote
    6:10pm – Headlining Performance by renowned guitarist Pablo Sainz-Villegas
    For more information and to pre-order Fiesta Party Packs please visit, www.cincodemayooldtown.com-virtual-fiesta.