San Diego Outdoor Summer Activities
San Diego’s wonderful weather means we are lucky enough to get to do outdoor activities all year long, but there’s something about the summer months that makes being outside even sweeter. With many summer activities put on pause during 2020 due to COVID, now’s a great time to try a new activity or plan summer adventures for the whole family. While there are too many fantastic ways to spend a summer in San Diego for us to possibly ever list, here are a few outdoor San Diego summer activities to keep you entertained all season:
(Note: Because information related to the pandemic may have changed since the time of writing, please follow current CDC or local guidelines related to outdoor activities)
Sliding a kayak into the bay or ocean is a great way to spend a day, get some exercise, and see some new marine life and coastlines while you’re at it! One of the best places to kayak in San Diego is La Jolla Cove, where you can explore the Ecological Reserve and the La Jolla Sea Caves. You may make some new friends like the Garibaldi — California’s state fish — leopard sharks, sea lions, or dolphins.
Go for a Hike
San Diego has many beautiful hikes and options suitable for all members of the family, including pups! From the ocean-front hike at Torrey Pines, to the winding paths of Mission Trails, there is a hike for everyone in San Diego. Check out this article for a list of 7 of San Diego’s top hiking trails. Looking to get in a nice walk while exploring the city? Try the Seven Bridges Hike for an urban stroll through central San Diego.
See an Outdoor Movie
Watch a movie under the stars! Check the movie schedules and showtimes at the Rooftop Cinema Club on the roof at the Manchester Grand Hyatt downtown, Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills, or the South Bay Drive-In in Chula Vista for a unique outdoor viewing experience. Make a night out of it by grabbing dinner first at a neighborhood restaurant you’ve never tried before!
Learn to Paddle Board
If you’ve ever been to Mission Bay or La Jolla Shores and saw someone standing on a board, paddling through peaceful waters on a sunny day and thought “that looks nice”, get out there and join them! A quick internet search will help you find several places that rent paddle boards, and many offer lessons as well. Paddle boarding is excellent exercise for both adults and children, so take the whole family out to learn a new skill together.
Have a Day at the Beach
San Diego County has over 30 beaches — make a game out of visiting a new one each time you’re in the mood for a beach outing until you find your favorite (for this year, anyway). Pack a picnic, grab your sunscreen, and enjoy for free what countless tourists pay good money to experience! If you need some ideas for keeping the kids entertained during a day at the beach, check out these fun beach activities for the whole family.
See a Baseball Game
Now that Petco Park is back to full capacity, grab some tickets and watch a Padres game in person. Check their schedule for various promotions and theme days. Don’t forget to go hungry — Petco Park has an impressive collection of excellent eateries, where you can get everything from the classic ballpark hotdog to hearty fish tacos to gourmet pizzas!
Attend a Local Street Fair
Many communities throughout San Diego County host street fairs during the summer months. Depending on the event, you may see musical acts, meet vendors selling all sorts of art, crafts, and interesting items, eat classic festival food, visit multiple beer gardens, or ride giant carnival rides.
Check out local event calendars for San Diego street fairs and attend an event in a part of town you don’t usually visit to get to know more about your home city.
See an Outdoor Concert
San Diego attracts musicians from all over the world, and summer is a great time to see one of your favorites perform live, or take the family to one of the free events around the city. Head to Balboa Park to check out the free Spreckels Organ Concerts every Sunday at 2pm, or spend a Friday evening in downtown El Cajon for the “dinner and a concert” series held on the Prescott Promenade. If you’d prefer your music be accompanied by the sounds of the ocean, you might like the Coronado Summer Concert Series which take place every Sunday evening through mid-September.
Try a Staycation Activity
If you want to mix outdoor activities with some fresh ideas for entertaining the kids at home, check out this article full of staycation ideas to have a great time together, even if you never leave the house!