Posts Tagged ‘Toyota’

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 4
Ben & Jerry’s, Worldwide
http://www.benjerry.com/scoop-shops/free-cone-day

Get one FREE ice cream cone this Tuesday at any participating Ben & Jerry’s store.

Free Punk Show @ Five Star Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 4
Five Star Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/257703838022358/

Enjoy a free punk rock show in Downtown LA this Tuesday night. No one under 18 may enter.

6th Annual Roar in The Shore
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 5
Legends, Belmont Shore, Long Beach
http://www.belmontshore.org/roar-in-the-shore/

Completely free to attend, guests can view race cars on displays, and receive racer autographs.

D.I.Y. Festival Competition
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 5-6
Clash City Station, Riverside
http://bricktoyaface.com/

Check out this music & art festival this week in Riverside. Admission costs $7 presale or $10 at the door. No one under 18 may enter.

OC Roller Derby Orientation
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 5
The Rinks, Huntington Beach
http://www.ocderby.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/394631604250005/

If you ever wanted to try roller derby, you have a chance to join a league. Click the link to send your information to them, and then show up to orientation this Wednesday night in Huntington Beach.

Scrapbook Expo – Orange County
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 6-8
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim
http://www.scrapbookexpo.com/

The nationally-famous Scrapbook Expo comes to Southern California this week! Admission to this all-ages expo varies in price, starting at $8 for a one-day general admission adult ticket.

Taste of Leucadia: Food For Thought
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, April 6
Leucadia 101 Main Street, Encinitas
http://www.leucadia101.com/events/taste-leucadia/

Sample the local flavors of Leucadia this Thursday evening at the Taste of Leucadia. For $25 presale or $30 on the day of the event, visitors get treated to unlimited food samples from all the participating restaurants. For an additional $15, guests can receive ten beer/wine tastings from select locations. The organizers have provided a shuttle that runs to and from city hall to alleviate the parking situation.

Tecate Light Thunder Thursday
6:30 pm – 10:30 pm, April 6
The Pike Outlets, Downtown Long Beach
http://gplb.com/thunder-thursday-moves-pike-outlets/

Completely free to attend for all ages, guests can catch motorcycle shows, race cars on display, racer autographs, a rock wall, live music, and more. Guests can find free parking for up to two hours in the structures east of Pine and north of 3rd.

The Damned 40th Anniversary U.S. Tour
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 6, The Belasco Theater, Downtown Los Angeles
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 7, House of Blues, San Diego
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 8, House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.officialdamned.com/

Legendary punk rock band The Damned embark on an international tour starting this week in Southern California. Ticket prices to these all-ages show vary by location, so check with the website for details.

Ragnar Relay So Cal 2017
5:00 am – 8:00 pm, April 7-8
Waterfront Beach Resort, Huntington Beach
http://www.runragnar.com/event-detail/relay/southerncalifornia

Take part in an epic overnight relay race that stretches from Orange County down to San Diego this weekend starting Friday morning. Grab a team, grab supplies, and make the trek from point A to point B, finally finishing at Crown Point in Pacific Beach.

43rd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
7:00 am – 9:00 pm, April 7-8
7:00 am – 5:30 pm, April 9
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.gplb.com/

Catch all the excitement of the races all weekend in beautiful Downtown Long Beach, as the streets transform into a speed zone. Open to all ages, racing events take place throughout the day, so attendees can catch a race at most times of the day. Consult the website to further read about the race schedule, but know that the celebrity race takes place in the early afternoon on Saturday, and the grand prix takes place Sunday afternoon. Ticket prices vary by type, but a general admission weekend pass costs $70. The massive area that the grand prix covers features multiple entrances, so visitors do not need to seek out any particular entrance – just the entrance most convenient to them. All visitors must mind the increased traffic in & around Long Beach during this weekend, plus the multiple street closures. Preferably, public transportation remains the same price, so visitors should look into that option. As the races take place entirely outdoors, attendees should prepare for the excess heat with sunblock and plenty of hydration. Most if not all of the vendors accept cash only, but attendees can still access businesses in Shoreline Village, which will accept cards.

7th Annual East Village Opening Day Block Party
10:00 am – 6:30 pm, April 7
11:00 am – 7:30 pm, April 8
J Street b/w 6th & 10th, East Village, Downtown San Diego
http://eastvillagesandiego.com/7th-annual-east-village-opening-day-block-party-on-april-7th/

This free and all-ages event celebrates the San Diego Padres’ annual opening game. This street party will have craft beer, live music, food, drinks, vendors, and more.

Lucidity Festival 2017
10:00 am – 8:00 am, April 7-9
Live Oak Camp, Santa Barbara
http://www.lucidityfestival.com/

Basically, a music & art festival that spans an entire weekend, similar to Coachella. This event runs nonstop from Friday morning through Monday morning. Lucidity requires many words to explain, which the website does a great job of. With dozens of stages, hundreds of vendors & artists, and endless activities, visitors will never run out of things to do here.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 7
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

This monthly artwalk occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each location offers different activities, but most will contain food & drink specials, art exhibits & displays, street performers, and more. Venice and Long Beach have the two largest gatherings of all First Fridays. Other locations include Westchester, Fullerton, and City of Industry. Most First Fridays locations cost nothing to attend, while the local businesses uphold their standard rules (e.g. bars 21+ only).

Monsterpalooza 2017
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, April 7
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 8-9
Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
http://www.monsterpalooza.com/

Basically, a convention for horror, Halloween, and other similar media. Check out costumes, apparel, accessories, toys, media, speakers, demos, celebrities, artists, and more all this weekend in Pasadena. Admission to this all-ages event costs $30 per day or $70 for the full weekend.

Wasted Ones @ The Redwood Bar
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, April 7
Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/1757209697930122/

Get your weekly dose of punk rock at this local punk show this Friday night in Downtown LA. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

6th Annual Hollywood Half Marathon & 5k / 10k
5:00 am – 1:00 pm, April 8
Dolby Theatre, Hollywood
http://hollywoodhalfmarathon.com/

The streets of Hollywood close down this Saturday morning for this series of races. Registration costs $105 for the half-marathon, $50 for the 10k, or $45 for the 5k.

43rd Annual Run Seal Beach 5k/10k
7:00 am – 10:00 am, April 8
Marina Community Park, Seal Beach
http://www.runsealbeach.com/

A 5k/10k run will cover the streets of Seal Beach this Saturday morning. Registration costs $40 and includes an event t-shirt (XXL size costs $3 more). Plan your commute accordingly.

4th Annual Street Machine & Muscle Car Nationals
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 8-9
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.streetmachinenationals.net/StreetMachineAndMuscleCarNationalsPomona

Come see over a thousand muscle cars, classic cars, hot rods, and more at this weekend-long car show at the Fairplex in Pomona. Tickets cost $18 if purchased from participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores, or $20 if purchased online or at the gate. Children can enter for $5. Bring cash for parking which may cost up to $10.

ArtFest 2017
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, April 8-9
San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas
http://sdbgarden.org/artfest.htm

Enjoy hundreds of art displays, cars, and live music this weekend at the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. Admission costs $14, with discounts available for seniors, military, students, and children.

SoCal Corgi Beach Day
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 8
Huntington Dog Beach, Huntington Beach
http://www.socalcorgination.com/

Corgi lovers and Corgi owners unite this Saturday afternoon for a dog day at the beach, free to attend and for all ages. Share your love of this wonderful breed by showing off your adorable companion or by showing love for someone else’s adorable companion.

6th Annual Healthy Living Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 8-9
Del Mar Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, Del Mar
http://www.healthylivingfestival.com/

Check out this health & wellness expo this weekend, FREE to attend for all ages (with printable coupon found on website). Guests can experience cooking demos, medical testing, belly dancers, fitness workshops, food & drink samples, massages, speakers, fitness tests, yoga classes, speakers, and more.

2017 Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire: Opening Day
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, April 8
Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, Irwindale
http://www.renfair.com/socal/

This renaissance faire will run from this Saturday through May 21st this year. Admission costs $29 for adults or $15 for children.

Food Truck Fetish Festival 2017
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, April 8
Exposition Park Event Parking, Los Angeles
http://www.foodtruckfetishfestival.com/

Remember food truck festivals from over five years ago? One returns this Saturday in Los Angeles. Admission costs $5 presale or $10 at the gate, and grants you access to gourmet food trucks where you will have to pay again for food. This event will also have a beer garden (drinks sold separately), live entertainment, and a VIP admission that includes unlimited soft drinks and one free dessert.

JANM Free Family Days: Celebrate Japanese American History
11:00 am – 4:00 pm, April 8
Japanese American National Museum, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles
http://janm.org/familydays2017

Learn about Japanese American history at this free and all-ages cultural educational event this Saturday in Little Tokyo.

Champagne On Main Spring Wine Walk & Street Fair
11:00 am – 6:30 pm, April 8
Main Street, Downtown Ventura
http://www.champagneonmain.com/

A cluster of events will take place in Downtown Ventura this Saturday afternoon. A free and all-ages street fair will take place all day, consisting of vendors, food, arts & crafts, live entertainment, and more. A champagne/wine walk takes place from 3pm to 6pm. This costs $50 to participate in, and gives participants a wristband with tickets and tasting cup to walk around the street fair getting samples of champagnes, wines, or craft beers. A VIP admission costs $70 and also grants access to a dessert bar. Since this takes place in the street fair, no one under 21 may participate, but they can still walk around with the adults.

9th Annual Los Angeles Beer Fest
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 8
LA Center Studios, Los Angeles
http://www.drinkeatplay.com/labeerfest/

Everyone’s favorite drunk fest returns to Los Angeles this Saturday. This festival allows attendees to drink unlimited beers while enjoying live music from local bands. Food trucks will sell their delicious foods to hungry guests. Tickets cost $40, but does not include parking. No one under 21 may attend.

4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 8
Doheny State Beach, Dana Point
http://sabrosotacofest.com/

From the ensorcelling minds behind OC Brew Ha Ha comes a Spring version of Orange County’s biggest beer festival – a beer & taco festival rebooted. A lot has changed since last year. Admission still provides includes unlimited beer tasters, a souvenir glass, live entertainment, games, a cigar lounge, and more. All tacos will still cost $3 each, so prepare to carry cash, preferably singles. This big festival outgrew its previous home and has moved to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point for this year. In addition, this event now features a music component similar to their previous Cali Uncorked and Ye Scallywag festivals. Live bands will perform throughout the day, and all drinks after 4pm come at cost. No one under 21 may attend.

“When We Were Young” Festival
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 8-9
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.whenwewereyoung.net/

A huge rock concert comes to The Observatory in Santa Ana this weekend. Tickets to this all-ages concert start at $60.

2nd Annual Punktography
1:00 pm – 12:00 pm, April 8
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/384558055264067/

Enjoy a free photography and punk rock show this Saturday all day at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. No one under 21 may enter.

5th Annual VinDiego – San Diego Wine & Food Festival
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 8
NTC Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.vindiego.com/

VinDiego returns to Liberty Station this Saturday afternoon. Enjoy tastings of over 75 different wines from California’s top wineries, and delicious eats from many of San Diego’s top restaurants and chefs. General admission presale costs $115 and allows entry at 4pm, while VIP admission costs $150 and allows entry at 3pm. No one under 21 may attend.

7th Annual Broke LA
3:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 8
Enox Events, East Los Angeles
http://brokelafest.com/

Cannot afford to dump money on Coachella? Check out Broke LA, a miniature version of the money-guzzling concert, this Saturday in Downtown Los Angeles. Expose yourself to the variety of local art and music at this intimate experience, and keep your wallet happy too. Admission to this event costs $20 presale or $25 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

Color Fun Fest 5K San Diego
3:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 8
Mattress Firm Amphitheatre, Chula Vista
http://colorfunfest5k.com/san-diego/

Subject yourself to another color run at this color 5k this Saturday in Chula Vista. This event features two running events: one during the day, and one at night. Registration for this run costs $25 presale or $60 on the day of the event, if any tickets remain.

4th Annual San Diego Beer & Music Festival
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 8
NTC Liberty Station, San Diego
http://www.sandiego-beerfestival.com/

This beer & music festival will take this Saturday at NTC Liberty Station. Attendees will find over a hundred different types of beer, live music, food trucks, and other forms of entertainment. General admission costs $35 presale or $40 at the door, and starts at 7pm. VIP admission costs $50 or $60 at the door, and starts at 6pm. All attendees receive unlimited beer tasters, regardless of admission type. No one under 21 may attend.

Night Nation Run – Orange County
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 8
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://nightnationrun.com/orange-county-anaheim/

People always seem to want to find any way possible to make running less boring. Introducing Night Nation Run, a glow run that now involves EDM. Run a course complete with lights, glow sticks, lasers, EDM, and more. Registration costs $30 presale or $60 once presale registration runs out, and includes a t-shirt, a glow necklace, a goodie bag, and access to the after-party with more EDM.

Montrose Brew Fest 2017
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, April 9
Benitoite, Montrose, Glendale
http://brewfest.montrosechamber.org/

A beer and food tasting event comes to Glendale this Sunday afternoon. General admission costs $35 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $45 and starts at 12pm. All attendees receive unlimited food and beer samples while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

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The 41st Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach returns this week to grace Downtown Long Beach with all of its festivities and tourist attractions. As Long Beach’s largest annual event, the grand prix attracts tens of thousands of race fans from across the globe to spectate the races and immerse in Southern California culture. Like any large outdoor event, attendees should take extra precaution to endure the weather conditions, which in the case of the grand prix usually consists of adequate hydration and sunscreen application. Regular attendees know to stick to the normal game plan, as the layout of the grand prix remains consistent every year. However, those attending for the first time may feel overwhelmed by all the path closures, stairs, ramps, and temporary paths. Even the map provided by the grand prix explains little without a veteran explaining the map. Read on for further clarity on how to navigate the grand prix, as the layout will likely remain the same next year.

Five public entrances exist for the grand prix. The main entrance lies directly in front of the performing arts center, where Long Beach Blvd ends. Guests without tickets can purchase tickets here or pick up tickets from will call.

Entering via the main entrance places guests on a platform directly above the back straightaway of the race track.

Moving further towards the front of the track, guests will find all of the main activities that guests can participate in. These include the celebrity car paddock, hospitality village, go kart track, indy car paddock, and one of the entrances to the lifestyle expo, an expo for all things automobiles.

Leaving the lifestyle expo going east, guests will discover the hospitality village, filled with more active lifestyle vendors, plus the location of the Formula Drift competition area. Crossing over the track at this point places guests at the Exotic Car Paddock, where guests can exhibit and take pictures with rare and/or expensive cars.

From the hospitality village area, moving towards the starting line will have guests face two bridges, one of which will take guests over to the Marina Green side, which we will cover in just a bit. A second bridge running parallel to the track going west serves as a shortcut for reaching Turns 6 & 7.

Slightly west of the main entrance lies another entrance to the grand prix, in case the main entrance starts to overflow. Unlike the main entrance, this straightforward entrance serves as a direct path from Marina Green to the Ocean Blvd exit. This entrance places guests directly above Turn 8 of the race track, a common spot for racers to wipe. From this area, guests can reach the main entrance area by traveling into the convention center’s west entrance and navigating through the lifestyle expo.

Moving further inward from this entrance, guests will discover one of the main general admission viewing areas – a bridge going over Shoreline Drive. From this vista, guests receive a vantage point over Turns 6 & 7, as well as the straightaway following the starting line. Guests can also spot two of the ramps used in the Super Truck demonstration. In order to reach the viewing area for Turn 6 from here, guests must take the stairs going down from the convention center’s west entrance, walk south, then take the temporary bridge going towards The Pike.

Reaching the end of the bridge will place guests at a split – go west towards The Pike, or go east towards Shoreline Village and the starting line. For the duration of the grand prix, all businesses at The Pike and Shoreline Village will remain open for business, so guests can opt to eat and/or drink there instead of at vendors.

All entrances will eventually converge at Marina Green, which faces the starting line. From the main entrance, taking the main path places you here. From the second entrance, moving east at the split at the end of the first bridge places you at Marina Green after moving past Shoreline Village. Once at Marina Green, guests will find behind the grandstands a lengthy row of food & drink vendors. Also behind the grandstands, guests can find the food truck village.

Marina Green stretches far along the race track, which consists of half of the straightaway where the starting line lies. This creates plenty of space for spectators to approach the fence for either a closer look or to take pictures. Two additional public entrances exist for guests to take here at Marina Green, although I have never personally taken either entrance. Guests may enter at the far east end, or for those that purchased a Marina parking pass, they may enter directly from the parking lot.

If guests move west towards The Pike, they will discover more restaurants and more viewing areas, especially near Turn 1. To get to the other side by Turn 6 from here, guests must travel west towards the aquarium, take the temporary bridge, climb up more stairs (great view of Turn 2 here), cross the bridge going over Shoreline Drive (can view Turn 5 from here), then take the only stairs down. The last public entrance lies here at The Pike.

For any major race during the weekend, you will want to end up at Turn 6 sooner or later. This turn certainly stirs up the most buzz among race fans. Many wipes occur on this turn due to racers attempting to pass right here. The tight turn also means a racer could accidentally run into the girder. Race fans receive a convenient view of a monitor showing the race live as well as real-time results, and plenty of speakers allows guests to hear the commentators between racers passing by. Lastly, winners will usually performs donuts at this turn following the race.

Hopefully this guide helps you better understand the layout of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This layout has remained the same for at least the past four years because it works. Navigating this course without a plan can leave many tourists lost and confused, and they end up wasting a lot of time trying to figure out how to reach a certain point. Some tourists may get frustrated and not return due to the complexity of getting around the area. But once you attend and build a visual map for yourself, you will discover that all the paths and bridges make sense. For this year’s grand prix, I suggest obtaining a free ticket to the grand prix on Friday – every year, countless promotions exist allowing guests free entry on the Friday of grand prix weekend. Do not miss this opportunity, as this will determine if you will enjoy the races or not as a first-time visitor.

The 40th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach returns this week to grace Downtown Long Beach with all of its festivities and tourist attractions. As Long Beach’s largest annual event, the grand prix attracts tens of thousands of race fans from across the globe to spectate the races and immerse in Southern California culture. Like any large outdoor event, attendees should take extra precaution to endure the weather conditions, which in the case of the grand prix usually consists of adequate hydration and sunscreen application. Regular attendees know to stick to the normal game plan, as the layout of the grand prix remains consistent every year. However, those attending for the first time may feel overwhelmed by all the path closures, stairs, ramps, and temporary paths. Even the map provided by the grand prix explains little without a veteran explaining the map. Read on for further clarity on how to navigate the grand prix, as the layout will likely remain the same next year.

Five public entrances exist for the grand prix. The main entrance lies directly in front of the performing arts center, where Long Beach Blvd ends. Guests without tickets can purchase tickets here or pick up tickets from will call.

Entering via the main entrance places guests on a platform directly above the back straightaway of the race track.

Moving further towards the front of the track, guests will find all of the main activities that guests can participate in. These include the celebrity car paddock, hospitality village, go kart track, indy car paddock, and one of the entrances to the lifestyle expo, an expo for all things automobiles.

Leaving the lifestyle expo going east, guests will discover the hospitality village, filled with more active lifestyle vendors, plus the location of the Formula Drift competition area. Crossing over the track at this point places guests at the Exotic Car Paddock, where guests can exhibit and take pictures with rare and/or expensive cars.

From the hospitality village area, moving towards the starting line will have guests face two bridges, one of which will take guests over to the Marina Green side, which we will cover in just a bit. A second bridge running parallel to the track going west serves as a shortcut for reaching Turns 6 & 7.

Slightly west of the main entrance lies another entrance to the grand prix, in case the main entrance starts to overflow. Unlike the main entrance, this straightforward entrance serves as a direct path from Marina Green to the Ocean Blvd exit. This entrance places guests directly above Turn 8 of the race track, a common spot for racers to wipe. From this area, guests can reach the main entrance area by traveling into the convention center’s west entrance and navigating through the lifestyle expo.

Moving further inward from this entrance, guests will discover one of the main general admission viewing areas – a bridge going over Shoreline Drive. From this vista, guests receive a vantage point over Turns 6 & 7, as well as the straightaway following the starting line. Guests can also spot two of the ramps used in the Super Truck demonstration. In order to reach the viewing area for Turn 6 from here, guests must take the stairs going down from the convention center’s west entrance, walk south, then take the temporary bridge going towards The Pike.

Reaching the end of the bridge will place guests at a split – go west towards The Pike, or go east towards Shoreline Village and the starting line. For the duration of the grand prix, all businesses at The Pike and Shoreline Village will remain open for business, so guests can opt to eat and/or drink there instead of at vendors.

All entrances will eventually converge at Marina Green, which faces the starting line. From the main entrance, taking the main path places you here. From the second entrance, moving east at the split at the end of the first bridge places you at Marina Green after moving past Shoreline Village. Once at Marina Green, guests will find behind the grandstands a lengthy row of food & drink vendors. Also behind the grandstands, guests can find the food truck village.

Marina Green stretches far along the race track, which consists of half of the straightaway where the starting line lies. This creates plenty of space for spectators to approach the fence for either a closer look or to take pictures. Two additional public entrances exist for guests to take here at Marina Green, although I have never personally taken either entrance. Guests may enter at the far east end, or for those that purchased a Marina parking pass, they may enter directly from the parking lot.

If guests move west towards The Pike, they will discover more restaurants and more viewing areas, especially near Turn 1. To get to the other side by Turn 6 from here, guests must travel west towards the aquarium, take the temporary bridge, climb up more stairs (great view of Turn 2 here), cross the bridge going over Shoreline Drive (can view Turn 5 from here), then take the only stairs down. The last public entrance lies here at The Pike.

For any major race during the weekend, you will want to end up at Turn 6 sooner or later. This turn certainly stirs up the most buzz among race fans. Many wipes occur on this turn due to racers attempting to pass right here. The tight turn also means a racer could accidentally run into the girder. Race fans receive a convenient view of a monitor showing the race live as well as real-time results, and plenty of speakers allows guests to hear the commentators between racers passing by. Lastly, winners will usually performs donuts at this turn following the race.

Hopefully this guide helps you better understand the layout of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This layout has remained the same for at least the past four years because it works. Navigating this course without a plan can leave many tourists lost and confused, and they end up wasting a lot of time trying to figure out how to reach a certain point. Some tourists may get frustrated and not return due to the complexity of getting around the area. But once you attend and build a visual map for yourself, you will discover that all the paths and bridges make sense. For this year’s grand prix, I suggest obtaining a free ticket to the grand prix on Friday – every year, countless promotions exist allowing guests free entry on the Friday of grand prix weekend. Do not miss this opportunity, as this will determine if you will enjoy the races or not as a first-time visitor.

The 39th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach wrapped up its weeks of festivities this past weekend in Downtown Long Beach. As Long Beach’s largest annual event, the grand prix attracts tens of thousands of race fans from across the globe to spectate the races and immerse in Southern California culture. Like any large outdoor event, attendees should take extra precaution to endure the weather conditions, which in the case of the grand prix usually consists of adequate hydration and sunscreen application. Regular attendees know to stick to the normal game plan, as the layout of the grand prix remains consistent every year. However, those attending for the first time may feel overwhelmed by all the path closures, stairs, ramps, and temporary paths. Even the map provided by the grand prix explains little without a veteran explaining the map. Read on for further clarity on how to navigate the grand prix, as the layout will likely remain the same next year.

Five public entrances exist for the grand prix. The main entrance lies directly in front of the performing arts center, where Long Beach Blvd ends. Guests without tickets can purchase tickets here or pick up tickets from will call.

Entering via the main entrance places guests on a platform directly above the back straightaway of the race track.

Moving further towards the front of the track, guests will find all of the main activities that guests can participate in. These include the celebrity car paddock, hospitality village, go kart track, indy car paddock, and one of the entrances to the lifestyle expo, an expo for all things automobiles.

Leaving the lifestyle expo going east, guests will discover the hospitality village, filled with more active lifestyle vendors, plus the location of the Formula Drift competition area. Crossing over the track at this point places guests at the Exotic Car Paddock, where guests can exhibit and take pictures with rare and/or expensive cars.

From the hospitality village area, moving towards the starting line will have guests face two bridges, one of which will take guests over to the Marina Green side, which we will cover in just a bit. A second bridge running parallel to the track going west serves as a shortcut for reaching Turns 6 & 7.

Slightly west of the main entrance lies another entrance to the grand prix, in case the main entrance starts to overflow. Unlike the main entrance, this straightforward entrance serves as a direct path from Marina Green to the Ocean Blvd exit. This entrance places guests directly above Turn 8 of the race track, a common spot for racers to wipe. From this area, guests can reach the main entrance area by traveling into the convention center’s west entrance and navigating through the lifestyle expo.

Moving further inward from this entrance, guests will discover one of the main general admission viewing areas – a bridge going over Shoreline Drive. From this vista, guests receive a vantage point over Turns 6 & 7, as well as the straightaway following the starting line. Guests could also spot two of the ramps used in the Super Truck demonstration that occurred Sunday late morning. In order to reach the viewing area for Turn 6 from here, guests must take the stairs going down from the convention center’s west entrance, walk south, then take the temporary bridge going towards The Pike.

Reaching the end of the bridge will place guests at a split – go west towards The Pike, or go east towards Shoreline Village and the starting line. For the duration of the grand prix, all businesses at The Pike and Shoreline Village remained open for business, so guests could opt to eat and/or drink there instead of at vendors.

All entrances will eventually converge at Marina Green, which faces the starting line. From the main entrance, taking the main path places you here. From the second entrance, moving east at the split at the end of the first bridge places you at Marina Green after moving past Shoreline Village. Once at Marina Green, guests will find behind the grandstands a lengthy row of food & drink vendors. Also behind the grandstands, guests can find the food truck village.

Marina Green stretches far along the race track, which consists of half of the straightaway where the starting line lies. This creates plenty of space for spectators to approach the fence for either a closer look or to take pictures. Two additional public entrances exist for guests to take here at Marina Green, although I have never personally taken either entrance. Guests may enter at the far east end, or for those that purchased a Marina parking pass, they may enter directly from the parking lot.

If guests move west towards The Pike, they will discover more restaurants and more viewing areas, especially near Turn 1. To get to the other side by Turn 6 from here, guests must travel west towards the aquarium, take the temporary bridge, climb up more stairs (great view of Turn 2 here), cross the bridge going over Shoreline Drive (can view Turn 5 from here), then take the only stairs down. The last public entrance lies here at The Pike.

For any major race during the weekend, you will want to end up at Turn 6 sooner or later. This turn certainly stirs up the most buzz among race fans. Many wipes occur on this turn due to racers attempting to pass right here. The tight turn also means a racer could accidentally run into the girder. Race fans receive a convenient view of a monitor showing the race live as well as real-time results, and plenty of speakers allows guests to hear the commentators between racers passing by. Lastly, winners will usually performs donuts at this turn following the race.

Hopefully this guide helped you better understand the layout of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This layout has remained the same for at least the past four years because it works. Navigating this course without a plan can leave many tourists lost and confused, and they end up wasting a lot of time trying to figure out how to reach a certain point. Some tourists may get frustrated and not return due to the complexity of getting around the area. But once you attend and build a visual map for yourself, you will discover that all the paths and bridges make sense. For next year, I suggest obtaining a free ticket to the grand prix on a Friday – every year, countless promotions exist allowing guests free entry on the Friday of grand prix weekend. Do not miss this opportunity, as this will determine if you will enjoy the races or not as a first-time visitor.

On a cloudy April day, the sound of screeching tires reverberated throughout Downtown Long Beach, reminding everyone present that the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach lies just around the corner. With only a week left until the grand event, Formula Drift: Streets of Long Beach utilized the track to provide plenty of racing and drifting action for race fans. Currently in its tenth season, Formula Drift utilizes turns 9, 10, and 11 of the grand prix track for racers to show off their drifting skills. Although this track has existed since 1977, Formula Drift has raced on this track for eight consecutive years. With more racers entering and cars getting faster every year, race fans can expect a loud and fast time.

Upon entering, attendees immediately find themselves immersed in the massive vendor village full of race cars, automobile merchandise vendors, and import models. Just like during the grand prix, the parking lot east of the convention center houses a plethora of cars and trucks, some of which guests may view up close or even sit in. Plenty of corporate sponsors around the vendor village provide interactions and/or free goodies for guests. Over on the side, guests will discover a mini skate park, complete with demos from local skateboarders and in-line roller skating from local roller derby gals.

The actual drifting course occurs close to the end of the race track, consisting of a hard right turn (turn 9), a wide left turn (turn 10), followed by a hairpin turn going right (turn 11). The first turn serves as a warmup compared to the second half, where drivers have to carefully drift wide to the left, then abruptly swing right to make the hairpin turn. I snapped the following photos between the first two turns:

On the other side of the race track from the entrance, guests could peruse through the Slammed Society Car Show. Contrary to the name, this show does not display slammed cars, but rather it showcases import cars owned by locals. In this entire parking lot, guests could gaze at all the vehicles, and ask owners about information about the car and the customization work done on the car.

For those who have not attended the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in the past, Formula Drift barely scratches the surface of the transformation of southwest Long Beach into the grand prix area. Grans Prix action already starts tonight with Roar in The Shore, where race fans can find race cars on display and obtain racer autographs in front of Legends in Belmont Shore. Tomorrow, race fans will find action in Downtown Long Beach with Tecate Light Thunder Thursday, complete with motorcycle stunts, more race cars on display, racer autographs, a rock wall, live music, and more. Come this weekend though, nearly all the streets around the grand prix will shut down, and security will significantly increase, especially due to the recent bombing in Boston.

If you have not obtained tickets to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach yet, you can still purchase tickets online on their website (linked at the top of this post). If you plan to purchase unreserved general admission for Saturday and/or Sunday, use promo code csulb3 to receive a discount. Race fans of all ages can attend, and racing events take place throughout the day, so attendees can catch a race at most times of the day. Consult the website to further read about the race schedule, but know that the celebrity race takes place in the early afternoon on Saturday, and the grand prix takes place Sunday afternoon. Ticket prices vary by type, but a general admission weekend pass costs $70. The massive area that the grand prix covers features multiple entrances, so visitors do not need to seek out any particular entrance – just the entrance most convenient to them. All visitors must mind the increased traffic in & around Long Beach during this weekend, plus the multiple street closures. Preferably, public transportation remains the same price, so visitors should look into that option. As the races take place entirely outdoors, attendees should prepare for the excess heat with sunblock and plenty of hydration. Most if not all of the vendors accept cash only, but attendees can still access businesses in Shoreline Village, which will accept cards. Try to dine at local establishments over the vendors in the fest, as those vendors will sell overpriced food that tastes bland, while the local places will serve either a full or modified menu, but with access to a full kitchen, meaning better quality food.

Free Cake Tasting
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, April 16
Blackmarket Bakery, Costa Mesa
http://www.facebook.com/events/125300704328632/

Have your cake and eat it too! On Tuesday evening, the crew at Blackmarket Bakery at The Camp in Costa Mesa will sample various cake flavors, so head down there to check it out, eat cake, and provide feedback.

2013 Taste of Point Loma
5:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 16
The Brigantine, Point Loma, San Diego
http://www.showclix.com/event/TasteofPointLoma2013

Sample specialties from local Point Loma restaurants this Tuesday night. For $20, guests gain access to free shuttles that will take them from various places around Point Loma so that guests can reach all the restaurants in time.

Roar in The Shore
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 17
Legends, Belmont Shore, Long Beach
http://www.belmontshore.org/events.html

Completely free to attend, guests can view race cars on displays, and receive racer autographs.

Bottle Share @ The Factory
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 17
The Factory Gastrobar, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/355125444607668/

Share your favorite beer, and taste some other great beers at this monthly bottle share at The Factory Gastrobar in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach. No purchase necessary – simply bring in a bottle of craft beer of your choice, and share it with other craft beer enthusiasts. The restaurant will still serve the full menu for anyone hungry, and all burgers costs only $8 each after 8pm.

Jello Biafra And The Guantanamo School Of Medicine, Spindrift, Death Hymn Number 9, White Murder @ Alex’s Bar
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 17
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/132118

Catch Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys fame with his latest band, as they headline this punk rock show this Wednesday night. Tickets cost $13 presale and $15 at the door. No one under 21 may enter.

2013 Spring Citrus Fair
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 18
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 19
2:00 pm – 12:00 am, April 20
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, April 21
La Habra Chamber of Commerce, La Habra
http://www.citrusfair.com/

This little city fair takes place all weekend starting Thursday evening. Open to all ages, guests can experience rides, games, food, merchandise, stage shows, and more. The fair requires no admission, though any sort of participation will require a cost.

LA Chinatown Dim Sum Crawl
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm, April 18
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
https://chinatownla.ticketbud.com/dimsumcrawl

For those who have never tried dim sum or want to experience dim sum in a new light, check out this fascinating experience this Thursday night in Chinatown. Attendees will sample various dim sum eats from around Chinatown, while enjoying beer pairings courtesy of Eagle Rock Brewery. Attendees will also enjoy other foods provided by local vendors and businesses. Each attendee also receives a souvenir beer glass to take home after the night. Tickets to this event cost $60. No one under 21 may attend. Attendees can find free street parking on Spring Street, or the streets east of it.

Tecate Light Thunder Thursday
6:30 pm – 10:30 pm, April 18
Pine & Broadway, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.downtownlongbeach.org/Latest-News-Detail/Tecate-Thunder-Thursday?id=64693

Completely free to attend for all ages, guests can catch motorcycle shows, race cars on display, racer autographs, a rock wall, live music, and more. Guests can find free parking for up to two hours in the structures east of Pine and north of 3rd.

One Way System, The Briggs, D.I., Mass Terror, Bad Samaritans @ The Vex Arts Center
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, April 18
The Vex Arts Center, Los Angeles
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/351104

Many great punk rock bands will play at The Vex this Thursday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $13.

39th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
7:00 am – 9:00 pm, April 19-20
7:00 am – 5:30 pm, April 21
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.gplb.com/

Catch all the excitement of the races all weekend in beautiful Downtown Long Beach, as the streets transform into a speed zone. Open to all ages, racing events take place throughout the day, so attendees can catch a race at most times of the day. Consult the website to further read about the race schedule, but know that the celebrity race takes place in the early afternoon on Saturday, and the grand prix takes place Sunday afternoon. Ticket prices vary by type, but a general admission weekend pass costs $70. The massive area that the grand prix covers features multiple entrances, so visitors do not need to seek out any particular entrance – just the entrance most convenient to them. All visitors must mind the increased traffic in & around Long Beach during this weekend, plus the multiple street closures. Preferably, public transportation remains the same price, so visitors should look into that option. As the races take place entirely outdoors, attendees should prepare for the excess heat with sunblock and plenty of hydration. Most if not all of the vendors accept cash only, but attendees can still access businesses in Shoreline Village, which will accept cards.

America’s Family Pet Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, April 19-21
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://petexpooc.org/

Pet lovers will want to check out this pet expo at the OC Fair & Event Center this weekend. Open to all ages, attendees will find lots of pet resources, including food, merchandise, demos, exhibits, shows, pet adoptions, and more. General admission costs $13, but guests may NOT bring pets.

2013 Green Prix of Long Beach
11:00 am – 8:00 pm, April 20
Anderson’s Lot, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/296807210448572/

This FREE family-friendly event takes place across multiple city blocks this Saturday in Long Beach. Guests can enjoy local retail vendors, children’s workshops, food trucks, live music, art shows, and more. Guests may also participate in a farm-to-table dinner for $90 per person.

2013 Taste of Hillcrest
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, April 20
5th & Robinson, Hillcrest, San Diego
http://fabuloushillcrest.com/events/taste-of-hillcrest-2013/

Savor the flavors of all the amazing eateries in Hillcrest this Saturday afternoon. Over 40 restaurants will offer delicious samples to guests, while a handful of local breweries will provide beer tasters for guests. Admission costs $30 presale and $35 on the day of the event. Admission includes 50 taster tickets, and each location accepts different amounts of tickets. Guests can move at their own pace, and select which locations to spend their tickets at.

Echo Park Art Walk
12:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 20
Echo Park Ave & Sunset Blvd, Echo Park
http://www.artneedsfreedom.com/pda/

Completely free to attend for all ages, guests can view & create sidewalk art, chain link fence galleries, an art scavenger hunt, and lots more. The neighborhood features many businesses and shops to check out, plus a slew of great places to eat & drink at.

Taco Madness
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 20
Grand Park, Downtown Los Angeles
http://grandparkla.org/ai1ec_event/l-a-taco-and-grand-park-present-taco-madness/

At this free event for all ages, guests can check out some of LA’s best tacos from both trucks and booths, live DJ’s all day, real-time artists creating murals, a cerveza garden for those 21 and up, and more. No admission required – simply walk up to your favorite vendor and buy some tacos.

6th Annual CityBeat Festival of Beers
2:00 pm – 5:30 pm, April 20
Lafayette Hotel, San Diego
http://www.sandiegomusicfoundation.org/beerfest/home.html

Looking to get your beer on this weekend? Head to the San Diego CityBeat Festival of Beers, where guests receive UNLIMITED pours from over 50 breweries plus the souvenir taster cup. Guests may purchase food at an additional cost. General admission costs $40. No one under 21 may enter.

Kress Market Green Beer Tasting
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, April 20
Kress Market, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/628303773849726/

Enjoy $2 tastings of eco-friendly craft beers this Saturday evening at Kress Market in Downtown Long Beach. Guests may also purchase bottles for $3 each.

Sip. Savor. STOP CANCER Wine Tasting Fundraiser
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, April 20
Tiato Kitchen Bar Garden, Santa Monica
http://www.stopcancer.org/Main/default/EventsDetail.aspx?id=58#.URS9d7aTQ7A

For $130 (partially tax-deductible), guests can sip on wines from Californian wineries and enjoy small bites from House of An. If any guest purchases bottles of wine to-go, a portion of the sales gets donated towards the fundraiser. Guests may also enjoy a silent auction, a live DJ, dancing, and merchandise sales.

Pasadena Restaurant Week
Business hours, April 21-26
Various restaurants, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenarestaurantweek.com/

Between April 21 and April 26, 45 different restaurants in Pasadena will offer prix-fixe lunches and/or dinners. In addition, some locations will offer other discounts, prizes, and more. See the full list of participating restaurants by clicking the link to the website above.

CicLAvia – To The Sea
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, April 21
Downtown Los Angeles to Venice Beach
http://www.ciclavia.org/

Venice Blvd and some streets of Downtown Los Angeles through to Venice Beach will close to bikers this Sunday afternoon. Cars may not enter the designated areas during this time – only bikers and pedestrians may roam the streets.

Chef Karl’s Country Boil
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, April 21
Handlery Hotel, San Diego
http://countryboil.bpt.me/

Enjoy a southern feast complete with crawfish, shrimp, baby potatoes, andouille sausage, corn on the cob, and more this Sunday afternoon in San Diego. Societe Brewing will provide beer pairings for all guests at this feast. Tickets cost $25 per person. No one under 21 may attend.

Wine & Chocolate Tasting & Auction
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm, April 21
Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club, San Diego
http://www.dlhfoundation.org/?PageID=WineChocolate

At this 21 & over event, attendees will receive unlimited tastings of wine, beer, and chocolate. Tickets cost $60 per person.