San Francisco is one of America’s most spectacular cities. Not only is the weather fantastic all year long, but the city also boasts miles and miles of spectacular beaches. They’ve got fantastic tacos, craft brews, surfing, skydiving, and so much more! Whether you’re into the more well-known, iconic landmarks or the off-the-beaten-path places only the locals know about, San Diego has all kinds of super cool adventures you can enjoy any time of year.
Adventures at Balboa Park
Balboa Park literally has it all, including a concert hall and museums for culture, a zoo for the family, and miles upon miles of green grass to escape the city. But what many people don’t know about are the hiking trails that crisscross the park and cactus garden. Hiking at Balboa Park will make an urban adventurer feel like he’s on a mountain in the wilderness, rather than strolling through a park in the middle of San Diego.
Once you’ve had your fill of hiking, be sure to check out Balboa Parks’ world-class museums! There are several of them to explore, including the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, The Museum of Photographic Arts, and the San Diego Museum of Man.
Surfing and Sunbathing
Blacks Beach is probably best known as San Diego’s best gay nude beach… but it’s also super popular with surfers because it has one of the best surf breaks in the area. The hike down to the beach is an adventure in itself, and the environment is super friendly and laid back, so it’s a popular spot even with local families.
If the nude, surfing life isn’t for you there are miles and miles of beautiful shoreline to indulge your need for a tan. Try Coronado Beach with its red-roofed, iconic beachfront resort, or Windansea Beach with its rocky shore and cliffside mansions.
Skydiving in the San Diego area is spectacular! Of course, you’ll have breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and the city itself on your way down, but you will also want to look for Otay River Valley and the Lower Otay Lake. You might even be able to see into Mexico since the border is only 10 miles away. Finding a skydiving dropzone in the area is easy, and the weather is perfect for it almost all year long!
Explore the Tide Pools
If stunning, natural beauty is your thing, consider a hike down to see the tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument. It’s an adventure that locals and visitors will both enjoy. Be sure to go at low tide so you can explore the caves and crevices on the cliffs and hop from pool to pool along the shore of the Pacific Ocean.
Hit the Farmer’s Market
There are tons of farmer’s markets throughout San Diego, but the Ocean Beach Farmer’s Market is one of the quirkiest. It’s held in the intimate hippie beach community of Ocean Beach on Wednesday afternoons. Of course, you’ll find plenty of local farmers and vendors with all kinds of homegrown and handmade goodies, but the adventure really starts with the colourful fire dancers, jugglers, guitarists, and drummers that are common to see throughout the market. You shouldn’t be surprised to find an impromptu yoga class or prayer circle either.
Take the Family to the Drive-In
On one of those nights when everyone’s tired from the sun, swimming, and hiking, head over to the South Bay Drive-In Theater. This is so much more than just your old-fashioned drive-in movie experience. The movies are fully digital with the highest picture quality and shown on three 100-foot screens!
If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, head to the Manchester Grand Hyatt. They have a rooftop movie theatre where your family can take in panoramic views of downtown while enjoying a lux movie experience that includes comfy chairs, craft beer, movie-themed cocktails, and upscale munchies.
Build a Sand Castle at San Diego Sand Castles
We all love to build sandcastles on a beach vacation, but this takes things to a whole new level. JT Estrela is a former math teacher, a sandcastle artist, and the founder of San Diego Sand Castles where you can take a three-hour lesson to learn how to create sandcastles like the pros.
They’ll teach you how to stack the sand, make towers, and carved doors, windows, walls, stairs, and textures. You’ll even learn how to make super cool arches and bridges. They provide all the tools you’ll need for the class and you can purchase them to take home if you plan to continue your sand construction endeavours.
Go on a Food Adventure
Tacos, tacos, and more tacos rule the food scene in San Diego, and they are truly fabulous. But, don’t let your food adventure end there! Check out Surati Farsan Mart for snacks, sweets, chaats, and delicious fresh Indian vegetarian dishes. Go to Kindred in South Park for a unique experience that includes craft cocktails, vegan food, and death metal.
For a true food adventure, head to Muzita Abyssinian Bistro in University Heights for their warmly spiced Ethiopian stews. They’re served in injera, which is a sort of spongy sourdough crepe that doubles as your fork and your plate.
Ice Skating at UTC Ice Sports Center
Hit the ice at the UTC Ice Sports Center. Skate for a while, then hit one of the many fabulous bistros and restaurants on the Dining Terrace, then head back for more skating. Skates and helmets are available for rent, and there’s a free 30-minute beginner’s class on Saturday mornings.
More Adventures at Coronado Ferry Landing
You can hop on the Coronado Ferry at either the Convention Center or the Broadway Pier. The 15-minute ride takes you across San Diego Bay to Coronado Ferry Landing with tons of dining and shopping. For the more adventurous, activities from stand-up paddleboarding to biking can be found within a few minutes’ walk of the Landing.
San Diego is a fantastic place to visit any time of year. From shopping and incredible food to skydiving and sunbathing, it’s a city that truly offers something for everyone. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous than your average beach vacation, San Diego is the destination for you!