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Your San Diego Summer Bucket List

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Your San Diego Summer Bucket List

Is there anything better than summer in San Diego?! There’s always sunshine in America’s Finest City, but everything seems that much better in the summer months. Hiking, swimming, hanging out at the fair—there are so many fun things to do in San Diego from June to August, we thought it’d be fun to create a San Diego summer bucket list for you to tackle this year! Full of easy, affordable day trips, you and your family will love.

As a top travel destination in the U.S., San Diego hosts nearly 35.8 million visitors each year.

San Diego Zoo

It’s world famous for a reason! The San Diego Zoo recently opened an all-new section “Africa Rocks!” with beautiful landscaping and even more beautiful enclosures for Africa’s most beloved animals. The rest of the zoo is just as spectacular, with a kid’s petting zoo and a Skyfari to take you above the enclosures to go from one side of the park to the other.

san diego zoo

San Diego County Fair

In town now through July 4, the San Diego County Fair is loved by locals and visitors. There’s a little something for everyone here, with fun rides, cool exhibits, live concerts and insanely good food (we see you, fried Oreos). This year’s theme is “The Wizard of Oz,” so be sure to look out for the yellow brick road!

The San Diego County Fair, formerly known as the Del Mar Fair, first started back in 1880 as an agricultural fair. Once it planted roots in Del Mar in 1936, the fair as we know it today was born.

san diego fair san diego fair

Day Hike at Torrey Pines

One of the most beautiful hikes in San Diego, Torrey Pines is great for a morning or sunset hike with the family. There are a few different trails to choose from with varying lengths and difficulties. Our favorite is the beach trail, which takes you down the side of the cliffs and right down to the shore so you can walk along the ocean on the way back to your car…just make sure to check the tide levels.

beach familyhiking familybeach cliff

Beach Day in Coronado

Coronado is famous for its long stretches of “glitter” sand, making it one of our favorite spots for a beach day. For an extra full day, consider parking your car in Downtown and taking the ferry over! You can then rent bikes and head straight for the beach. Either way, be sure to swing by the Coronado Hotel Del to refuel from the beach fun.

Famous movies include the Hotel Del Coronado, most popular is “Some Like It Hot,” the romantic comedy starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. You can even stay in the room that Marilyn stayed in!

beach view girl jumping beach family

Daddy and baby

Drive-In Movie

Sure, you could go to your local movie theater…but why would you when you can go old-school at the drive-in! San Diego has two drive-in theaters, one in South Bay and one in Santee, that both play current and past feature films. Keep a lookout for the calendar to see when they’re playing the next must-see film.

Ronald Reagan was the first person to drive across the Coronado Bridge when it opened in 1969.

drive in movies

Bonfire at the Bay

For an end-of-the-day gathering, head down to Mission Bay to stake out a fire pit for a summer bonfire. Grab some beach blankets, chairs or beach towels and of course, all the makings for s’mores! Time it right and you may be able to spot the seasonal fireworks over SeaWorld.

sunset beach

roasting marshmallows


This is a no-brainer for families with kids! Legoland California has something for kids of all ages, including a new Duplo Playtown, perfect for your little ones. Bring the whole family to get in on all the rides, play areas and shops for a full day of excitement and family bonding.

Belmont Park’s Giant Dipper roller coaster is the only roller coaster in the country to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

legoland kid

mom and baby

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