San Diego was meant for summer. Opportunities to surf, swim, snorkel and hike abound. But there’s also plenty of ways to just relax, whether you want to lounge on a beach towel or sip margaritas and mai tais on a restaurant patio. Check out our top tips and summer activities in San Diego for a great summertime trip.
Best Restaurants for Outdoor Seating
When San Diego pairs its love of great food with its wonderful climate, you get a long list of restaurants with fantastic outdoor seating.
Hello Betty Fish House in Oceanside takes outdoor seating to the next level, literally. We love eating fish tacos, Baja stone crab cocktails and oyster shooters from on their rooftop patio. Try happy hour (2:30-5 p.m. every day) at Sea180 Coastal Tavern. You’ll get 180-degree ocean views with your tuna tacos, crab cakes, and $5 cocktails. If you’re looking for something a bit more chill or with more of a party vibe, check out Draft for beautiful ocean and boardwalk views, twice daily happy hours, and lots and lots of sports shows. Bagby Beer Company in Oceanside offers a sidewalk porch, a back patio, and a rooftop.
Outdoor San Diego Summer Things to Do
Of course, no San Diego guide would be complete without mentioning surfing, one of the top San Diego summer things to do. There are beaches for every skill level. For the advanced, try the waves at Windansea and Black’s Beach in La Jolla and the Lower Trestles, both local favorites and incredibly busy for good reason. If you’re a beginner, try Pacific Beach, where the waves break softly.
If you want to take lessons for the first time or to brush up on your skills, there are tons of great options. Prices for private lessons rarely top $95 for a 90-minute session and group lessons rarely top $65 per 90-minute lesson. We recommend Mission Beach Surfing School, San Diego Surf School, Pacific Surf School, and Ocean Experience.
For a cheap, fun activity you can do with the whole family, try snorkeling. We love La Jolla Cove Underwater Park. You might spot kelp bass, leopard sharks, sting rays, spiny lobsters, Garibaldi fish and more. If you want a guided tour, check out Scuba San Diego. For $70, you’ll get a wet suit, fins, mask, and snorkel.
Have an Adventure
San Diego knows how to do parks. From serene gardens to high-speed water slides at amusement parks, there are a ton of fun and adventurous San Diego summer things to do. Check out Aquatica, SeaWorld’s waterpark. You’ll find sandy beaches, lounge areas, high-speed water slides, and even turtles and flamingos. For a more classic amusement park experience, check out Belmont Park, San Diego’s only beachfront amusement and entertainment center. You’ll find roller coasters, a carousel, games, and tons of great food and beer.
For the quintessential San Diego experience, travel in the summer. The city shines brighter when the sun shines brighter. Call us today to learn more about summer activities in San Diego and to book one of our beautiful vacation rentals!