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10 Thing to do in San Diego this Summer

10 Things to do in San Diego

From Scuba Diving and Pasta-Making Classes to Secret Pop-up Dinners, These San Diego Activities Are Sure to Jazz Up Your Summer Calendar

Whether you’re a tourist looking for must-do vacation activities or a local on the hunt for something new to try, San Diego has countless hidden gems worth adding to your summer bucket list. You might be wondering what there is to explore beyond the traditional attractions like Legoland, Sea World, Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. Well, we’ve searched far and wide to curate a list of San Diego’s most unique and diverse experiences—from tee time on the green to tea time with some cream. See what we did there?

Tee Time at Aviara Golf Club

Recognized as one of the country’s best golf resorts by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine, Aviara Golf Club at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort is an absolutely stunning spot to tee off. With rolling hills, SoCal wildflowers and over 7,000 yards of gorgeous green, you’ll want to spend all day at this Carlsbad golf club. Plus, it was designed by hall of famer Arnold Palmer (which means you might have to sip on some iced tea and lemonade in his honor).

This summer, stop by for one of Aviara Golf Club’s public tee times, open to golfers of all ages and skill levels. For some extra practice, you can sign up for golf lessons or enroll in the Aviara Golf Academy if you really want to get serious. After a long day on the course, head over to Miraval Life and Balance Spa Aviara and ask for the Warrior’s Recovery spa treatment—it’s the perfect way to end a day on the green. And if you decide golf just isn’t for you, don’t worry—they’ve got tennis and pickleball courts too!

Location: Carlsbad

Experiential Dinner With The Blank Table (June 6 + Sept 26)

We’re here to let you in on a secret: it’s called The Blank Table. Okay, maybe you’ve heard the name, but the experience is always a secret. Reserve your seat for an experiential dinner complete with perfectly curated music, craft cocktails and several courses of meticulously prepared plates. The catch? You won’t know the location until the day of! You’ll enjoy creative cocktails that pair with each dish and fresh, sustainable ingredients that’ll make your mouth water. Purchase season tickets for the year or sign up for their summer pop-ups on June 6 or September 26.

Location: It’s a secret!

Meet + Nurture the Animals at San Diego Animal Sanctuary & Farm

We all know the San Diego Zoo. We’ve seen it, we love it but we do not love those summer crowds and sweltering hot days. If you’re looking for a quieter, cooler and more relaxing getaway for yourself or your kiddos, check out the San Diego Animal Sanctuary & Farm, which is less than an hour drive east of the city in Alpine. As the name suggests, this place is a sanctuary—a peaceful and beautiful farm where you can feed and interact with rescued animals. They have all the farm animals you can think of—mini horses, goats, pigs, peacocks, tortoises and even a camel!

Location: Alpine

Barbie the Movie: In Concert

The movie premiere of “Barbie” was a cultural moment we’ll never forget. Men and women of all ages across the country put on their best pink outfits and hit theaters everywhere to watch Margot Robbie’s journey into the human realm (and Ryan Gosling’s singing). Now, it’s going to the next level. The Barbie Land Sinfonietta is an all-female and majority women-of-color orchestra, touring the nation offering immersive, movie-watching experiences. On July 28, you can catch them in Chula Vista accompanying the entire film with beautiful music. We know you wanted an excuse to bring back out the pink fit!

Location: Chula Vista (North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre)

Explore San Diego in a GoCar

Do you enjoy sightseeing and learning but dislike giant tour buses? Meet GoCar. This cute little yellow car comes equipped with a GPS and audio commentary that will guide you around San Diego, tell you stories and facts, provide recommendations and crack jokes! Take photos, grab a bite and linger a bit longer in your favorite places—you’re on nobody’s clock but your own. GoCars fit up to two people, and you can choose among different areas of the city (Balboa Park, Point Loma, Gaslamp, etc). Plus, they’re just so cute!

Location: San Diego

British Tearoom Experience at The Britannia Tearooms

Just last year, England met Point Loma when The Britannia Tearooms opened its doors. Although the menu changes every month, they always offer starters, finger sandwiches, sweets, and seasonal tea for the full afternoon tea experience. Beyond the delicious and authentic refreshments, this place has so much character. Owner Selina Stockley has poured her heart and soul into making it unique and special. They often host themed teas where everyone dresses the part. For several days in June, they’ll have The Beatles-themed teas, and in August will be “Bridgerton.” Check out their website for more info—pinkies up!

Location: Point Loma

Pasta-Making Date Night at Mattarello

Ever wanted to try making pasta from scratch? Hillcrest’s Mattarello will guide you through that journey step by step (so you can’t mess it up). For a special date night, choose any pasta you want from the menu, and they’ll teach you how to make it. They’ll provide you with all the supplies and ingredients—including some wine for sipping while you cook)—so all you have to do is show up and start cheffing. At the end, you’ll get to indulge in your creation and an appetizer and dessert as well. The best part: you don’t have to do your own dishes. Buon appetito!

Location: Hillcrest

Scuba Diving With Marissa Charters

While there’s plenty to explore above water in San Diego, there is so much beneath the surface. Sign up for a tour with Marissa Charters to choose one of several different scuba dive wrecks and reef sites for your underwater adventure. They offer single-day and multi-day excursions for divers of all levels, and no matter the conditions, you’re bound to see some rainbow-colored, alien-like sea slugs. Their guides really know their stuff, and they’ll be with you every step of the way (including Captain and Scout, their resident beagles who work on the boat!).

Location: Mission Bay (and multiple other dive sites)

Kayak the La Jolla Sea Caves With Everyday California

Summer is the perfect time of year to get out on the water, move your body and see some sea life, and La Jolla is the perfect place to do all of the above. The La Jolla Ecological Reserve is known as one of California’s most densely populated areas of sea creatures (AKA a super cool place to kayak). You can kayak on your own, or you can book a tour with Everyday California. They’ll take you through the Seven Sea Caves and show you one of the largest leopard shark gatherings in the world. Don’t worry—they won’t bite.

Location: La Jolla Cove

East Village Block Party (July 13, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

Nothing says summer like a good old-fashioned block party. On Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the East Village Association will be throwing their 12th Annual East Village Block Party on J Street from 7th to 10th Avenues, right in front of Petco Park. This event showcases East Village’s best, from local businesses to live music, tasty food, beer and cocktails, and, of course, Padres pride. If you know any baseball fans, send them an invite—they’re not gonna want to miss this. All ages are welcome, so it’ll be fun for the whole family!

Location: East Village

By: Sara Lesher