When you travel, you look to get out there—into the wild beyond. You eat new things, you see new sights, you experience life on a different register, and thus, adventure is born. And while attending an outdoor concert might not sound like a story from the Indiana Jones playbook, when 4518 pipes are expertly administered to delight and tantalize, I think you’ll agree that a concert at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in San Diego is an experience not to be missed.
At the turn of the 20th century, John D. Spreckels was one of the wealthiest and most influential men in San Diego. He loved the city and avidly supported its growth, giving the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ and its surrounding pavilion to the people of San Diego as a gift. Today, this beautiful outdoor pavilion hosts free organ concerts every Sunday at 2 p.m. and during the summer (now) Monday evenings. The shows feature lights and effects, and since free to the public, gather quite a crowd. The ambiance is one of sunsets, fantastic, earth-shaking organ music, and a happy family-friendly outdoors picnic. Be aware, however, that many people come to listen intently to the music, so if you want to bring snacks and gab with your friends, it’s best to do it on the lawn just across the street—it’s still free and you won’t feel pressured not to burst out into a cackle during a particularly virulent crescendo.
Located in beautiful Balboa Park, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion hosts an International Organ festival Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and a Twilight in the Park Series Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the summer at 6:15 p.m., both free to the public. To get here, take Highway 163 south to Park Blvd, head left at the stoplight and then left again onto President’s Way. The Parking lot is directly behind the pavilion on President’s Way.