San Diego’s Summer Bucket List

With 72 miles of coastline beaches, San Diego’s sunny days and warm temperatures draw thousands of visitors each year.  However, there is so much more to see during your summertime trip.

Major League Baseball Game, Baseball Diamond

Hit a Homerun at Petco Park
While cheering on the San Diego Padres, take a break in between innings to taste the delicious foodie favorites. Be sure to visit the Carnitas’ Snack Shack for the Triple Threat Pork Sandwich. If you’re looking for fresh seafood Lucha Libre Gourmet Tacos has a great Surf & Turf Taco. Satisfy your sweet tooth at The Baked Bear for a custom made ice cream cookie sandwich.

Did someone say craft beer?  With over 150+ breweries in San Diego, many offer draft selections throughout the park.  Check out the well-known brewery, Ballast Point, famed for their Sculpin IPA. They offer a new “Swingin’ Friar Ale,” specially brewed for the Padres 50th Anniversary Season!

Girl kayaking in a blue life jacket

Take the “Original La Jolla Kayak Tour”
The Pacific Ocean lingers around 67 degrees in the summer months which can feel a little chilly. If the cooler temperature doesn’t scare you, get out and explore the ocean by taking a kayak tour.  Everyday California features amazing tours including the “Original La Jolla Kayak Tour.”  You can rent wetsuits to keep warm, but you probably won’t need one on a nice summer day.

Rocky cove with dark blue waters

Once you pass the break in the cove, your guide will share an abundance of interesting information about La Jolla’s Ecological Reserve.  You will also learn fun facts about the history of La Jolla including a mention of the famous author, Theodor Seuss Geisel also known as Dr. Suess, whose inspiration came from the area.  Once you get out on the water and are peacefully paddling along, you will see why it is such a treat.  During the summer, you can catch a glimpse of one of the largest Leopard Shark gatherings in the world. Post-tour, check out Everyday California’s apparel shop and take home some of the Southern California outerwear. For an added bonus, you can receive a 10% discount at the shop after your kayak tour.

Golden sunset over the ocean

Head to Sunset Cliffs for a Breathtaking Sunset
One of my very first Instagram posts happened right after I moved to Southern California in 2011.  It was the sunset in Newport Beach, captured on my brand-new iPhone 4.  Little did I know, it would be the first of many instagrammable sunsets on the West Coast. In San Diego, the best location for beautiful Instagram photos is at Sunset Cliffs. The park is easily accessible through Ocean Beach and includes free parking. Get here before sunset to grab a picturesque view amongst the crowd.

Rocky Desert cliffs along the oceanside

Explore around the cliffs where you will find carved coastal bluffs, arches, and sea caves. Bring a blanket and watch the day fade away from one of the many rocks where you can capture the perfect sunset.

Enjoy Dinner in Little Italy
Little Italy is the epicenter of San Diego’s ever-growing food scene.  While the name showcases the Italian influence in the area, it is also bustling with breweries, wine bars, and Top Chef alumni.  For an unforgettable meal, reserve a table at Juniper and Ivy.  During your experience, there is a good chance you will catch famed Chef Richard Blais making his rounds and preparing dishes from the unique daily menu.  The plates are shareable, making it easy to try an array of dishes.  Enjoy an after-dinner cocktail at Nolita Hall, the menu features an elevated beer list and handcrafted cocktails.  Nolita offers a lounge vibe with shuffleboard and a custom-built split-flap display sharing real-time flight information as airplanes fly over the restaurant and land into San Diego International Airport.

Stop for a Nightcap in North Park
North Park has become one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Diego. It is under ten minutes from downtown, very walkable and offers some of the best cocktail bars and breweries around. Start on 30th Street and Upas and make your way north to Modern Times’ North Park tasting room, Flavordome.  Locally brewed, Modern Times offers 16 taps and some of the most unique décor in San Diego.  Continue north on 30th Street just past University Avenue to Bivouac Ciderworks and you will find San Diego is more than craft brews.  This craft cider house offers locally brewed flavors from cherry pie to blueberry pomegranate, and each cider pairs perfectly with Bivouac’s banana bread donuts.

During your summer getaway to San Diego, take advantage of one or all of these bucket list items during your trip.  From tasting the local cuisine in Petco Park, kayaking in the open ocean, fine dining in Little Italy and relaxing during a sunset. San Diego is the perfect destination for a variety of experiences. Start planning your trip today!

Know Before You Go

Girl with brown hair in a grey blazer and black shirt.

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Amanda R. Are you interested in traveling to San Diego? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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