Cool on the Coast: May you find arts, food, causes, information

Layla Marino

2016_COLUMN_MARINOThis year, May is full of interesting culture, lectures and sports on the North Coast. Gearing up for summer, closing sports seasons and garden planning are all on the roster for residents of coastal North County, and there are events to accommodate everything spring and summer. If arts and culture are your thing, there’s plenty to do down that way too. Get ready for the best summer ever on the coast.

Venue Spotlight: Cole Library

The Cole Branch of the Carlsbad Library is one of the county’s leaders in musical performances, lectures and classes. They also have an ongoing film series where movies can be screened for free on Cole’s huge screen. A theme is often picked each month with discussions and panels sometimes following. When you’re making plans around the North Coast, don’t forget to check out Cole Library’s website to see all of its amazing programs. Here are some of the highlights and for more info go to

  • May 21: From Pics to Pixels — Check out Cole Library’s state-of-the-art tech lab for this hands-on class on how to scan, upload and post pictures on social media or websites. There will also be tutorials from Mike McMahon on how to use Photoshop, and genealogy Librarian Sarah Dana on how to preserve photographs.
  • May 21: Carlsbad Film Series: “Suffragette” — Come see the film everyone was talking about during Oscar season. The film about early feminism, the right to vote in Victorian London and the women who were willing to risk everything to gain equality under the law. The all-star cast features Helena Bonham Carter, Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep. Discussions on the film and the Suffragettes’ place in history will be held both before and after the screening.
  • May 24: Cancer: What to Do and Say — Cancer survivor and author Claudia Mulcahy will help cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones through a sticky situation: how to talk about cancer. Helping each party see the other’s perspective and ways to ask questions and discuss in loving and gentle ways. Anyone who has been affected by cancer and feels helpless will find help and relief from this beautiful and sensitive discussion.
  • May 24: Doing Business in Carlsbad — City of Carlsbad Community and Economic Development Associate Analyst Kevin Pointer will give information on what entrepreneurs need to know when doing business in Carlsbad. From the legal red tape to taxes to practical application, Carlsbad residents won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to get all their questions answered about business and the city of Carlsbad.

The Belly Up in Solana Beach

Just because summer is here and the outdoors are calling doesn’t mean the Belly Up Tavern is skimping on its lineup of musical acts. In fact, except for one day, this legendary rock venue will be having a show every night. Here are just a few of the bands rocking the Belly Up this month. Check out their calendar at for the full lineup this month.

  • May 21: Frightened Rabbit — The appearance of Frightened Rabbit, Scotland’s breakout indie band, is a rare thing indeed. With their indescribably beautiful rock fusion sound, Frightened Rabbit are on the cutting edge of the new alternative rock movement. If you’re in the know, you won’t want to miss this unique and emotive show.
  • May 28: The Spazmatics and Betamaxx — Get ready for a double-shot of the ’80s! The Spazmatics and Betamaxx are both known for their raucous, hyper-fun ’80s cover experience. Get out your sparkly glove and Aquanet and head out for a nostalgic time warp back to the loudest, most fun era of music ever.

Summer fun

No matter what the weather, it’s clear that summer is here as far as the North Coast is concerned. From surf expos to soccer finals, sunset markets and wine tastings, out in the sun is the only place to be in this part of the county. Don’t forget to take a breather every once in a while, and the coast has you covered in that case, as well, with charity events, world-class food and, of course, the famous San Diego craft beer scene. Here just a few events where you can have fun in the sun, chill by the grill or help others in coastal North County.

  • May 19: Rides for Rescues Benefit for Coastal German Shepherd Rescue — Bushfire Kitchen in Carlsbad hosts this benefit for the Coastal German Shepherd Rescue, a nonprofit charity for rescuing abandoned Shepherds. The restaurant will provide food wine and craft beer for a prix fixe fee where all proceeds go to benefit the rescue. For more information go to
  • May 19: Barrel Republic Battle of the Barrels — It’s finally happening. The age-old debate settled: Which is better? Beer or wine? Beer may have the home field advantage in San Diego, but that doesn’t scare wine aficionados one bit. This innovative pairing dinner, despite the debate, will make both beer snobs and wineauxs happy! Go online to for information.
  • May 20: Glamour, Glitz, Hats and Heels Carlsbad Chamber Benefit and Business Luncheon — This is the second year the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce has held this fun and festive afternoon tea. Not only a fun fashion and makeup show, this event allows women in business to network and build relationships. Clothing provided by Cabi with makeup demonstrations from Mary Kay. The proceeds from this event will go to benefit The Pregnancy Resource Center of Vista. Visit for information and tickets.
  • May 21: Oceanside Pier Open-Water Swim — 3K ocean swim along the Oceanside Pier is for pros or amateurs alike. Say hello to the ocean after a long winter! Sponsored by Oceanside Beach Fest, this swim is the first leg of the Trident Swim Series. Go online to for information.
  • May 23: Swinging for Seany Golf Tournament — The Hyatt Aviara resort hosts the ninth annual Swinging for Seany charity golf tournament, to benefit Seany’s Camp Reach for the Sky. This charity provides services, activities and a normal camp experience for children affected by cancer. On top of the golf tournament, this event will feature contests, raffles and a cocktail hour catered by the Aviara. For more information, tickets or entry forms, visit
  • May 26: Tea and Tonic — AnnaLynne McCord, FX star of “Nip/Tuck,” hosts this “high tea” at the Grand Del Mar. This charity event’s proceeds go to benefit victims of assault, abuse and stalking. For tickets and information, call 858-272-5777, ext. 123.
  • May 28: Palm, Cycad, Bamboo and Tropical Plant Sale — Learn about the best summer planting for your garden and yard at the San Diego Botanic Garden. The trendy plants this year are palm, cycad and bamboo, and the Botanic Garden’s got them. Learn how to plant and care for these beautiful and sustainable plants. The show and sale is free with admission to the garden. For more information, go to

This list is just a small sample of the summer fun to be had in coastal North County. As the sun becomes more and more present, there are endless ways to enjoy the amazing weather and beautiful scenery in our picturesque region. Get out and enjoy the heat on our Cool Coast.

Columnist Layla Marino is a San Diego music and arts writer. Visit Follow her on Twitter at Send questions and comments to