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 offers so many amazing experiences that you couldn’t find anywhere else. Sign up you family for a guided adventure through the park or an early morning cheetah expeience. 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 County Fair
In town from June 8 to 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 “Heros Reunite,” so be sure to pack your cape and a sidekick!
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.
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.
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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 Hotel Del Coronado 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!
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.
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.
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This is a no-brainer for families with kids! Legoland California has something for kids of all ages, including a 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.