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9 Fun Things To Do in San Diego During the Summer

June 16, 2023 By CityPASS

Sun's out, fun's out! While San Diego, “America's Finest City,” is known for its warm weather and sunny skies throughout much of the year, summer is when the excitement really starts heating up in this city. Thanks to the area's Mediterranean climate, you can expect beautiful weather throughout the summer months as you explore all of San Diego's attractions, landmarks, and natural areas.

So what are fun things to do in San Diego in the summer? Here's your handy guide to ensure you enjoy the city's best spots.

San Diego Is the Place To Visit for a Memorable Summer Vacation

If you're looking to escape sweltering heat, hop on over to San Diego, where you'll get only mild, gorgeous temperatures. From amusement parks to cruises to taking in a baseball game, there are so many things to do in San Diego for the whole family to enjoy in the summertime. These nine check off all the boxes, so here's what to consider when planning your trip.

1. Experience Exotic Plants and Animals at the San Diego Zoo

Kick off your wild adventure in San Diego with a thrilling trip to the San Diego Zoo. Located in Balboa Park, this conservation zoo is home to over 4,000 animals from 650 species and subspecies. If that wasn't enough, the zoo has a sister park called Safari Park that lets visitors experience the excitement and wonder of an African safari without leaving California.

One tip: Give yourself plenty of time to fully explore the zoo since there is so much to see and do. If you plan on spending the day there, San Diego Zoo has several dining options and a gift shop so you can find the perfect souvenirs to bring home with you.

2. Visit the Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Another place to spot some truly exotic creatures is the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Each year, this aquarium receives more than 439,000 guests who come to explore the wonders of the deep and marvel at the more than 3,000 animals that call it home. The Birch Aquarium at Scripps has more than 60 habitats that feature hands-on activities and exhibits all ages are sure to enjoy.

3. Watch the Padres Play at Petco Park

No summer is complete without a day at the ballpark! Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, is a must because you can partake in America's favorite pastime while enjoying sweeping views of San Diego. And if you need transportation to the game, it's one of the stops on the city's Old Town Trolley.

While peanuts and Cracker Jacks are ballpark staples, Petco Park is known for having a fantastic selection of food and drinks. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, too, so there's something for everyone.

4. Visit Sea World and Other Destinations at Mission Bay

SeaWorld San Diego is another family-friendly stop where you can learn more about creatures of the deep through shows, attractions, and rides. Here, you can spot several kinds of dolphins and whales before taking a spin on a roller coaster or water ride.

SeaWorld is in Mission Bay Park, a man-made saltwater bay that's a hub for all kinds of outdoor and water sports. Some popular activities here are fishing, golfing, camping, and bird-watching.

5. Discover the Maritime Museum of San Diego

Ahoy, matey! Next is a trip to the Maritime Museum of San Diego, where you'll find an impressive collection of ships and memorabilia exploring America's military history at sea. San Diego has a long naval history, so this museum lets the public explore artifacts and see historic ships with stories to tell up close. This museum is located on the water, where you can traverse 500 years of nautical history from the U.S. and beyond.

6. Hit the Beach

No trip to San Diego is complete without hitting the beach. There's no shortage, but some of the most popular spots are Mission Beach, Del Mar, and La Jolla. Many of these options offer pristine waters and plenty of other things to do, too. Mission Beach, for example, has a bustling boardwalk lined with shops and eateries. Take a simple dip in the sea or try something more adventurous, like surfing or boogie boarding.

7. Visit Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument commemorates Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the first European to arrive on the West Coast in 1542. With sparkling tide pools, a charming lighthouse, and a unique statue, there are several things to explore at this monument with beautiful views next to the sea. To get the full scoop, several audio guides are available that explain this important landmark's history.

8. Sail Along the San Diego Bay

Seeing San Diego from the water is a view that never gets old. San Diego City Cruises has several cruise options that take guests out on the harbor to learn more about the history and culture of the city while seeing it from a totally new perspective. Along the way, your guide will point out the most iconic landmarks and share stories about how San Diego has changed over the years.

9. Enjoy Free Outdoor Concerts

If you're looking for live music, there are several places to catch a free summer concert. Point Loma Summer Concerts will have a free show each week from mid-June to mid-August at Loma Park. You can head to the park with your picnic and relax to the sound of a local musician. San Diego also offers concerts at beaches and restaurants throughout the summer that are free to the public.

Get Tickets to San Diego Attractions

As you plan your trip to San Diego, don't forget to purchase your San Diego CityPASS® ticket. This combined ticket package saves you up to 43% at five of San Diego's most exciting attractions, several of which are on this list. Buying a San Diego CityPASS® ticket is your way to explore more of San Diego for less.

San Diego Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in San Diego, we recommend finding lodging near San Diego's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

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