13 of The Best Summer Activities In San Diego

Bobby Dyer
Summer Activities In San Diego 2 Fpo

Summer Activities In San Diego You Must Do!


Summer Activities In San Diego 1 Fpo

Summertime in San Diego has arrived, and the blue skies and sunshine are glowing on traveler’s smiling faces! Summer activities in San Diego are mostly based around spending time enjoying the refreshing Pacific Ocean.

The weather in San Diego is excellent year-round, but during the summer from July through September, you get to enjoy “America’s Finest City” at it’s best.

If you are looking for a warm and laid back city where people live for enjoying the outdoors and sunshine, then San Diego will be your paradise! The absolute peak months to enjoy the summer weather in San Diego is from July through September, but you can often find warm days of sunshine in the spring and fall seasons.

Temperatures typically range between 72 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit (20 – 23 degrees Celsius) near the coastal areas with light winds and plenty of sunshine.

As a local San Diegan for over ten years and a person who loves to explore and adventure, I always make sure to enjoy my favorite activities during the summer months.

San Diego offers year-round entertainment for those who love the outdoors and adventures. Here is my list of the best summer activities in San Diego you can do if you want the authentic local experiences.



Sailing In San Diego

1. Get on a boat

San Diego is located on the Pacific Ocean and has two bays, San Diego Bay and Mission Bay. The watersport friendly coastline creates a variety of boating opportunities for you to enjoy.

Life doesn’t get much better than cruising in the sunshine on the open water with friends. Ship N’ A Bottle is a relaxed local experience where you can go out for a nice boat cruise in Mission Bay and enjoy some time on the water!


Summer Activities In San Diego

2. Surf Scripts Pier in La Jolla Shores

For the most crisp and clean waves, you have to wake up early, head to La Jolla Shores.  Here you will find some on San Diego’s best waves with pristine scenery of the surrounding La Jolla cliffsides.

The team at Everyday California can hook you up with a board to get out and have fun in the waves.


Bali Hai San Diego FpoImage Source | Bali Hai Restaurant

3. Happy Hour Enjoying The World Strongest Mai Tais

With such ideal summer weather in San Diego, there are plenty of great bars and restaurants near the water where you can enjoy a local beverage or some tasty food!

One of my favorite places to visit is the Bali Hai Restaurant! The delicious cuisine is from the South Pacific and perfect on a summer day with friends overlooking San Diego Bay.

The Bali Hai is also known for having the strongest mai tai in the world, this drink is tasty, and you only need one!


Snorkeling In San Diego Fpo4. Snorkel La Jolla Cove & Caves

The best place to go for a swim on a hot summer day is at La Jolla Cove. Bring your mask and snorkel and dive down to see colorful fish and native sea life.

To access the caves, you must swim to them or go through the La Jolla Cave Store, which has direct access underneath their store into the caves! If you need any snorkeling gear or paddleboards, the crew at the Cave Store Rental Shop can take care of you!


Kayaking In La Jolla

5. Kayak La Jolla Shores

Grab a kayak and launch from La Jolla Shores to explore the coast and see all of the playful marine life. There are friendly sea lions that will come up to you, leopard sharks that hang out in the area, and you may even come across some dolphins.

Sea caves line the cliffs just north of La Jolla Cove, and if the conditions are right, you can kayak right up in the caves. Single and double kayak rentals are available at Everyday California in La Jolla Shores.


Summer In San Diego Fpo6. Surf Session At Sunset Cliffs

San Diego is known for sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. If you haven’t experienced it yet, my favorite way to have the best sunset experience is to hop on a board and go for a surf at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park.

The colors of the cliffsides and sounds of the waves crashing as the sun goes down will be an experience you will never forget. The wave is generally pretty mellow and slower at Sunset Cliffs, which makes it great for a calmer and relaxing surf.


Summer Activities In San Diego Fpo7. Paddleboard Mission Bay

For a peaceful and tranquil experience, I love taking a paddleboard out and glide the calm waters in Mission Bay. The exercise is enjoyable, and the water is even a few degrees warmer when you want to cool off and jump in.

Mission Bay Sportcenter is an excellent water sport rental outfitter with locations in Mission Bay and San Diego Bay where you can rent boats, paddleboats, and other adventurous sports.


Blacks Beach San Diego Fpo8. Tan Nude at Blacks Beach

Blacks Beach is a must-do for anyone coming to San Diego. The hike down is a bit of a journey, but the reward will leaved you stunned. Miles of natural coastline with cliffs hundreds of feet high surrounding you.

The waves are also known to be some of the biggest in San Diego. Clothing is optional, so be ready for that, but hey, if you haven’t tried it before, find a private area and work on your full body tan!

You can park at the Gliderport in Torrey Pines and hike down the trail for beach access.


Hornblower San Diego FpoImage Source | Hornblower Cruises

9. Hornblower Sunday Brunch and Music

We love our brunches here in San Diego. The sunshine makes for the perfect climate to head out and enjoy some of the local cuisine and maybe a few mimosas.

Hornblower Cruises offers a great deal where they provide a buffet brunch, endless mimosa, and live music all while touring you around San Diego Bay on a 150-foot boat. From the rooftop of the ship, you can enjoy mimosas with friends and soak up the local scenery.


San Diego Beach Fpo10. Enjoy a small Beach like Wind-an-Sea

Secret small beaches are what the locals go when they head down to the beach in San Diego. You can enjoy more privacy and sometimes have a beach all to yourself, while the rest of the tourists find themselves in a crowded beach or looking for a parking spot.

You can find some great small beaches along the coastline around La Jolla, Wind-an-Sea, Ocean Beach and Sunset Cliffs.


Tuna Fishing San Diego Fpo11. Fish for Tuna

San Diego is a tuna town built by Portuguese fishermen and home to some of the best sportfishing in the world. Trips head out from both San Diego Bay and Mission Bay. You can hop on everything from a half-day boat out to the kelp beds or even a multi-day trip out to international waters.

Common fish caught during the summer are bluefin tuna, yellowtail, snapper, and sea bass. Check out the current fish report and see what people are catching. If you need some local fishing tips, the fisherman at Seaforth Landing has put together some great insight!

You can book a trip through Seaforth Landing. It is always best to book ahead as boats do fill up when the fish are running!


Paragliding In San Diego

12. Hang Glide Torrey Pines

Find yourself floating over the cliffsides with an endless view over the Pacific Ocean. You have two options for getting a birds-eye look,  either hang gliding where you are facing forward with your chest to ground or paragliding where you are in a sitting position.

Even if you are not up for the adrenaline rush of flying over the cliffs, the Torrey Pines Gliderport has a great cafe where you can have lunch over the cliffs and watch all the action.


Surfing In Baja

13. Make A Day Trip To Baja

You probably didn’t realize how close Mexico is to San Diego. Within 20 minutes from Downtown San Diego, you can find yourself eating street tacos and sipping on margaritas in Tijuana.

If you have a little more time and have a car, I highly recommend taking the trip down the coast of Baja for the day and stopping for some fun in Rosarito, eat fresh-caught fish in La Polpa or ride horses on the beach in the scenic town of La Mision.

If you don’t have a car, the local Tijuana white van taxis run up and down the coast for less than a few dollars each way.



San Diego is a great destination anytime time of the year.  Having the warm air and ocean breeze makes you want to chase the endless summer!

If you have any ideas for the best summer activities in San Diego or comments on my recommendations, please share in the comments below.


Accessories For Summer activities in San Diego

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Cofounder of ITH Hostels. I love traveling, hosting, gardening, golfing, fishing, and sailing.

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