Pictured above: Old Town Trolley, San Diego. Photo courtesy: Edelweiss – Melanie Stocker
Beaches, neighbourhood hangouts, picture-perfect landscapes – they all say summer in San Diego.
And travellers looking for a great summer getaway can find it all in this California beach city, which offers a diverse array of activities and events to take any vacation to the next level.
Whether running a marathon, relaxing with yoga, savouring Latin cuisine or learning about history, here are 10 ways to make the most of a San Diego summer vacay:
For Sport Fans
Baseball fans can head to East Villages Petco Park to catch a Padres game, not to mention some breathtaking views of San Diego. Petco Park offers a complete entertainment experience including a varied food selection from local favorites like Phil’s BBQ, Buona Forchetta, Hodad’s and Lucha Libre, along with top San Diego craft breweries such as Alesmith, Coronado Brewing Co., Thorn Street, Ballast Point, and more.
The ballpark is also home to The Breitbard Hall of Fame, which honours accomplished athletes from throughout San Diego’s sports history. Guided tours are available during non-home games.
More than Fried Food
Everybody loves a county fair and the San Diego County Fair is perfect for travellers who enjoy mingling with locals. The fair is one of the most anticipated events of the summer, attracting more than a million people to the coastal city of Del Mar.
It’s underway now and continues to July 4, 2019, with the San Diego County Fair’s OzSome! theme delivering an experience inspired by the Wizard of Oz with thrilling rides, over 100 food vendors, interactive exhibits and attractions, contests and concerts by international performers like Pitbull and Justin Moore.
Naturally, the fair closes with a bang on the Fourth of July with fireworks and a parade.
Movies and Chill
Couples, friends and families looking to relax together can catch one of several free outdoor movie nights set around San Diego.
Running now through October, Summer Movies in the Park features family favorite movies at unique locations like downtown’s Waterfront Park and the USS Midway Museum.
Also, every Tuesday during summer, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Liberty Station hosts Liberty Station Movie Nights showcasing a variety of popular and classic films on a 12-foot screen in their garden.
Arts & Trucks
Every Friday night during May 31 to Sept. 27, Balboa Park shines under the stars with Friday Night Alive!
Visitors can gather in San Diego’s cultural heart to enjoy live entertainment from DJs and musical performers and a rotating selection of gourmet food trucks, plus family game sets, crafts and hands-on activities for kids.
Participating museums stay open late, with some offering special programs and admission discounts.
Rock and Run
Every fitness enthusiast’s bucket list should include the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, which originated 20 years ago in San Diego.
Held from June 1 to June 2, 2019, the annual event features a 5K, half-marathon and two full marathon courses that start in stunning Balboa Park, traverses through some of San Diego’s most picturesque neighborhoods and finishes with views of downtown’s waterfront.
The epic race is notorious for its lively atmosphere, musical performances and cheering stations. A free Health & Fitness Expo held May 31 to June 1 at the San Diego Convention Center kicks things off.
In celebration of the United Nations International Day of Yoga, the Festival of Yoga & Healthy Living, held June 23, 2019, offers a chance to unwind with guided meditations and yoga classes along downtown San Diego’s relaxing Waterfront Park.
With more than 2,500 yogis in attendance, this free, all-ages event is one of the largest yoga festivals in San Diego.
Additional activities include music and sound experiences, lectures, a marketplace with holistic food vendors and tents specializing in Asana, sound immersion and healthy living.
To celebrate San Diego’s evolving craft ice cream and gelato scene, the hipster North Park neighborhood will host the first ever Scoop San Diego Ice Cream Festival on June 23.
Local ice cream shops, connoisseurs and aficionados will unite for a fun day of tastings, treats, activities, arts and lots of Instagrammable moments.
Proceeds from this event will benefit Barrio Logan’s Monarch School for homeless youth.
Throughout 2019, San Diego is commemorating 250 years since its establishment as the first settlement of Alta California in 1769.
To celebrate, the City of San Diego and Old Town San Diego Chamber of Commerce have planned special activities and events, including the San Diego 250, Where California Began event on July 16, 2019, at Presidio Park’s Junipero Serra Museum, featuring entertainment, refreshments and lots of historic facts.
On Sept. 14 to Sept. 15, 2019, Old Town San Diego will celebrate the “birthplace of San Diego” with Founders’ Day featuring entertainment, vendors and free family activities.
Savouring the Sabor
Foodies seeking gastronomic excitement can sample San Diego’s diverse Latin culinary scene at the Latin Food Fest!, Aug. 16 to Aug. 17, 2019, at the Embarcadero Marina Park North along San Diego Bay.
The annual event features a festival kick-off party, cooking demos, celebrity chef appearances,
Best of Fest Chef Awards, Latin product showcases and a grand tasting with a comprehensive selection of more than 150 Latin food and spirits stations.
The event benefits the fight against hunger, supporting Mama’s Kitchen and Westside Food Bank.
On Sept. 13 to Sept. 15, 2019, KAABOO returns to the Del Mar Fairgrounds to deliver a three-day festival featuring seven stages packed with musical performances and comedy acts.
This year’s lineup includes Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band and Mumford & Sons, plus renowned comedians like Bert Kreischer and Bob Saget. KAABOO entered the scene five years ago and offers an elevated festival experience with contemporary and public art exhibits, spa services, pool parties, local and regional culinary offerings, and a wide selection of wines, cocktails and craft beers.
So for those looking for an activity-filled summer vacation, San Diego offers its visitors lots of options.
Go to www.sandiego.org for more.