Want to have an absolutely epic summer, but need some ideas first? We’ve done the work for you and compiled a list of some of San Diego’s most awesome activities. Start planning out things to do this summer in San Diego that’ll make your friends jealous; enjoy the best that America’s Finest City has to offer!
1. Get Your Adrenaline Pumping
Skydiving, paragliding, and hang gliding – San Diego has it all. The Torrey Pines Gliderport is a great venue to sign up for activities that will get your blood flowing.
2. Stay overnight at the Zoo Safari Park
During the summer, the Zoo Safari Park hosts several Roar ‘n’ Snore Safaris – an unforgettable overnight camping experience! Get an after-hours look at the wildlife, enjoy guided walks, and dine next to the animals.
3. Watch the sunset at the beach with a bonfire
Head over to one of San Diego or La Jolla’s many beaches – our favorite is the Shores – and snag a fire pit early to ensure a spot. Take some s’mores fixings and some friends and you’ve got yourself a great summer night!
4. Camp at the beach in San Elijo
San Elijo along the 101 offers year-round by-the-sea camping. Tents and RVs are allowed, and there’s no minimum stay required; perfect for a weekend getaway or holidays with the family. Check out their website for more information.
5. Take your bike out for a ride from OB to La Jolla – stop along the Mission Beach Boardwalk for ice cream.
The route from Ocean Beach to La Jolla is scenic and laid back – perfect for a lazy summer afternoon. Take half the day for a leisurely ride along the water, and when you get tired, stop for an ice cream cone or slushie on the boardwalk.
6. People-watch at the Boardwalk
Speaking of the boardwalk, the one at Mission Beach is home to some of the most unique characters in Southern California. Keep an eye out for Slo-Mo, the Beach’s legendary roller blader, or just grab a seat on a bench and see who you can see!
7. Relive your childhood and ride The Giant Dipper at Belmont
Everyone who grew up in San Diego remembers the Giant Dipper; headache-inducing and clunky though it may be, it’s a beloved favorite of old and young alike. Belmont Park is open until midnight most weekends.
8. Take a drive along the 101 with the windows down
What’s better than riding along the beach at night, windows down and heat blasting, with some good music and friends? We argue there isn’t much. Summertime provides the perfect conditions for road trips – and be sure to stop for some Mexican food along the way.
9. Watch a horse race and catch a concert afterwards
Opening Day is July 17th – and most Fridays after that, concerts are free with entry to the races that day! Del Mar’s 4 o’clock Fridays have been a hit with all ages for several years now, and the concert lineup is nothing to scoff at this year.
10. Go to the zoo at night
The San Diego Zoo has extended its hours for the summer – it’s now open from 9am to 9pm. Check out all their newest exhibits and enjoy the zoo after dark.
11. Treat yourself to lunch at the Hotel Del Coronado
The Hotel Del boasts a 5-star rating and quintessential old San Diego charm. Treat yourself this summer to a delicious lunch at one of their many restaurants – take some light reading or your current Sudoku game and enjoy some quality one-on-one time.
12. Tour San Diego’s breweries
Take a free tour of Stone Brewery in Escondido, or check out one of the many others San Diego has to offer! Most tours even offer a complimentary beverage afterward; who can say no to that?
13. Attend the LGBTQ Festival
San Diego’s Annual LGBTQ Pride Festival is July 19-20 this year in Balboa Park. Enjoy multiple stages of entertainment, more than 200 musicians, bands, comedy and dance performers, 300 participating vendor booths, an Art exhibit, cultural presentations, and delicious food!
14. Learn to surf at La Jolla Shores
There are a few different surf schools offered at the Shores, and most of them are open all day every day this summer! Bust out those skills and impress your friends on the board this year.
15. Go to the Over the Line Tournament
That childhood game we all know and love once again returns to Fiesta Island as the 61st annual World Championship Over the Line Tournament. The dates are July 12-13 & 19-20 this year. Check their website for complete details.
16. Catch a flick outdoors
Head over to the South Bay Drive-In or the Athenaeum; both venues are showing outdoor movies on various days throughout the summer.
17. Hunt for treasures at Kobey’s Swap Meet
The Swap Meet at the Sports Arena is a longstanding tradition. Kobey’s is a great place to find unique little gems – stuff you didn’t even know you wanted! Check their website for hours.
18. Take a wine tour
Trains, bicycles, walking – you name it, there’s a tour with it! Sample craft beers and/or local wines with one of San Diego’s many tour companies and discover some our city’s most delicious libations.
19. Rent a wakeboard for the day from the Mission Beach Aquatic Center
Ever wanted to learn how to wakeboard? Now’s your chance! The Mission Beach Aquatic Center rents out equipment every day during the summer. Take some friends and become a pro in no time.
20. Spend a day south of the border
Enjoy some of the best tacos you’ll ever have and spend the day touring Tijuana’s colorful Avenidas; trinkets, tacos, and sunny beaches make for the perfect summer afternoon.
Do you have more ideas for epic things to do this summer in San Diego? Share with us on Facebook!
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