San Diego Activities for Last Day of Summer
As the sun begins its gentle descent, casting a golden hue over the city, the last day of summer in San Diego arrives with a bittersweet embrace. It’s a day filled with nostalgia, reflecting on sun-soaked memories while also brimming with anticipation for the crisp allure of the coming seasons. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this day offers a unique blend of activities and moments, making it a poignant farewell to summer’s warmth and vibrancy. Join us as we explore the myriad ways to celebrate and cherish this special day in “America’s Finest City.”
Swim with the Leopard Sharks
If you didn’t get a chance to go snorkeling with the leopard sharks in La Jolla this year, you still have time! The leopard shark migration lasts through the end of September and some years into October. Book a snorkeling tour or rent kayaks and experience these fascinating creatures up close and personal.
Pro Tip: While Leopard Sharks are generally harmless and shy, always maintain a respectful distance and avoid sudden movements. Remember to wear snorkeling gear for a clearer view and to protect your eyes from the saltwater.
Have a Beach Day + a Bonfire Night
Nothing may be more quintessentially San Diegan than going to the beach. On the final day of summer, take a trip back to your favorite beach – or check out a new one – and relax the day away with your toes in the sand. Pack a warm sweater and tasty food to enjoy a fabulous bonfire after the sun sets.
Sunset at La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is more than just a beach; it’s an experience. The gentle waves crashing against the rocks, the seals playfully lounging, and the sun setting in a blaze of colors provide a tranquil setting. Pack a picnic, bring a book, or lie down and let the sounds of nature envelop you.
Pro Tip: Arrive early to secure a good spot, and bring a camera with a tripod for those perfect sunset shots.
Coronado Beach Day
The shimmering sands of Coronado Beach are inviting. The iconic Hotel Del Coronado stands as a testament to luxury and history. Engage in water sports, join a beach yoga class, or simply stroll along the shoreline, letting the waves kiss your feet.
Pro Tip: Parking can be challenging; consider taking the ferry from downtown San Diego for a scenic ride to Coronado.
Plan a Backyard Getaway with Smores
Who says you must go into the woods or desert to pitch a tent and sleep under the stars? You can just as quickly have a fun family camping getaway in your backyard! Get out the tents, roll out the sleeping bags, and stoke the campfire for s’mores. Look at these healthy grilling recipes if you’re craving more savory snacks.
Pro Tip: Use hardwood for a steady fire and ensure a fire extinguisher or water is available. Elevate your s’mores with flavored marshmallows or specialty chocolates, and add some string lights for a cozy ambiance. If you want to take this adventure further and go for an authentic camping trip, find the best summer spots here.
Balboa Park Exploration
This vast expanse is not just a park but a world in itself. With over 17 museums, beautiful Spanish-Renaissance architecture, and the world-renowned San Diego Zoo, you can easily spend the entire day here. Attend a workshop, watch a live performance at the Old Globe Theatre, or wander and let serendipity guide you.
Pro Tip: Purchase a Balboa Park Explorer Pass for unlimited access to multiple museums and attractions in the park.
Old Town San Diego
A vibrant blend of history and culture awaits you. Wander through the historic buildings, watch artisans at work, and indulge in a culinary journey with flavors from authentic Mexican to contemporary Californian cuisine. Remember to visit the Whaley House, rumored to be haunted!
Pro Tip: Visit during weekdays to avoid large crowds and have a more authentic experience.
Kayaking in Mission Bay
The serene waters of Mission Bay are perfect for kayaking. Glide through secluded coves beneath picturesque bridges and past lush landscapes. For the more adventurous, stand-up paddleboarding is also an option.
Pro Tip: Early morning or late afternoon kayaking offers calmer waters and fewer crowds.
Gaslamp Quarter Nightlife
This historic district transforms as the sun sets. The Victorian-era buildings are illuminated, and the streets come alive with music, laughter, and the clinking of glasses. There’s a spot for every mood, from jazz bars to rooftop lounges.
Pro Tip: Many venues have dress codes, especially on weekends. Check in advance and dress accordingly.
Take a Coastal Hike at Sunset
Hiking at sunset is one of the most beautiful and satisfying activities San Diego offers. Select a hiking trail along the coastline that offers breathtaking views. Go on a family adventure to kiss summer goodbye as the sky turns radiant pink, purple, and orange over the sea! Get all the tips to plan in this link.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Hike
This coastal state park is a haven for nature lovers. Traverse through pine forests, sandstone canyons, and open plateaus. Every trail offers a unique view, from the deep blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean to the rugged California coastline.
Pro Tip: Wear sturdy hiking shoes and carry plenty of water. Some trails can be challenging.
Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market
A bustling market where local farmers and artisans showcase their produce and crafts. From organic vegetables to handcrafted jewelry, there’s a treasure waiting to be discovered. Enjoy live music and street food as you shop.
Pro Tip: Bring reusable bags and cash for smoother transactions with local vendors.
Seaport Village Shopping
This isn’t just shopping; it’s an experience. Wander through quaint cobblestone pathways, discover unique boutiques, and relax by the lagoon, watching the boats sail by. Street performers enhance the ambiance with their enchanting presence.
Pro Tip: Visit during the evening when the atmosphere is more vibrant with live music and performances.
Surfing at Pacific Beach
The waves beckon surfers of all levels. Local instructors are always around for beginners, while seasoned surfers can ride the bigger waves. The vibrant boardwalk with cafes and shops adds to the beach’s charm.
Pro Tip: Check the surf report for wave conditions. Early morning usually has the best waves.
Plunge Into a Pool Day-Cation
Many local San Diego hotels and resorts offer affordable day passes to soak up some sun and make a splash in their pools, hot tubs, and spas. Treat the family to a mini day-cation for one last summer go-round of pool games, laughter, and great memories.
Pro Tip: Bring water-resistant sunscreen, a good book, and hydrating beverages. Consider a waterproof speaker with your favorite playlist for an extra relaxation touch.
Elevate your yoga experience, literally. Many studios in the city offer rooftop sessions, allowing you to meditate against the backdrop of San Diego’s skyline. The gentle breeze and the distant city hum only add to the tranquility.
Pro Tip: Bring a thicker yoga mat or a mat towel, as rooftop surfaces can be tricky. Whether you’re doing rooftop or sunset yoga by the beach, follow these helpful tips!
San Diego Bay Cruise
Sail through the bay’s calm waters on a luxury yacht. Enjoy a gourmet meal, dance to live music, and watch the city lights shimmer on the water. It’s an ideal mix of leisure and amusement.
Pro Tip: Opt for sunset cruises for a more romantic ambiance and stunning views.
Visit the Cabrillo National Monument
This historic site offers more than just panoramic views. Explore tide pools teeming with marine life, visit the military history exhibit, and learn about Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on the West Coast.
Pro Tip: The tide pools are best visited during low tide. Check tide schedules before heading out.
Taste Craft Beers
Dive deep into San Diego’s craft beer culture. Visit breweries that range from rustic barns to sleek urban spaces. Learn about the brewing process, experiment with flavors, and find your new favorite brew.
Pro Tip: Opt for a beer flight to sample a variety of brews without overindulging.
Picnic at Sunset Cliffs
This natural park is the epitome of beauty. The rugged cliffs, the vast ocean, and the gentle breeze create a serene environment. Pack a gourmet picnic, bring your favorite book, and let nature’s beauty wash over you.
Pro Tip: The cliffs can be windy. Bring weighted picnic blankets or stakes to keep things in place. Need additional information? Here are some other sites you can do a picnic at!
Do the One Thing You Didn’t Get to Do Over the Summer
Most of us have big plans for the summer. But there’s always one particular activity or event we just didn’t get around to doing. Make the final day of summer the moment you cross that fantastic experience off your list!
Events Happening That Last Day of Summer Weekend:
As the last day of summer draws near, San Diego has a variety of events prepared. The city offers a calm yet engaging transition from the warmth of summer to the upcoming season. With a mix of cultural, recreational, and community events, there’s an opportunity for everyone to find a fitting way to mark the day. Let’s explore what’s on the agenda.
Dine outdoors during Restaurant Week
San Diego Restaurant Week is back from September 24 – October 1! Wave goodbye to summer with a beautiful family dinner outdoors. Choose a participating restaurant with patio seating and enjoy a delicious meal together while enjoying the culmination of the summertime.
Old Town Art & Craft Show
This event showcases local artisans and their crafts. From handmade jewelry to unique home decor, there’s something for everyone. The free event will be held on Saturday, September 24th, and Sunday, September 25th, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
La Jolla Food & Wine Festival
A paradise for foodies, this event offers gourmet food stalls, wine-tasting sessions, and live cooking demonstrations from top chefs. The free festival will be held on October 7 and 8 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
San Diego’s charm lies in its diversity. From bustling city life to the calming embrace of nature, there’s something for everyone. As the last day of summer nears, immerse yourself in these experiences and create memories that will last a lifetime.
For more insights into San Diego’s local events and hidden gems, visit our Local Activities Page. After a memorable last day of summer and an even more adventurous summer season, prioritize your health by scheduling a call with a trusted doctor from our Doctor Directory.