Published May 13, 2021
After over a year of social distancing – and serious emotional wreckage – we are more than ready to dust off our bucket lists for the most epic summer San Diego has ever seen. With the return of patio season, boat days, rooftop bars, and so much more we’re here to ensure that no one misses another summer again. Below we’ve broken down all the latest in-season spots and all the details you need to have the best summer possible.
Elevate your dinner and a movie date night with a private cinema experience on the sand. With a projector and giant screen, blankets and throws, cushioned seating and more already provided, all you need to do is bring your favorite snacks and a chilled bottle of rosé for the perfect evening. The movie nights are set up on Mission Bay and available for 2-4 people.
Where: Mission Beach
La Jolla Cove is a fan-favorite amongst not only visitors but locals as well. From show stopping sunsets to groups of seals and sea lions, it’s an ideal hang for a warm summer day. Pro tip: A favorite seal hang out, coined “Seal Rock” is often populated by these little guys closer to sundown, after they’ve gone out in search of food.
When: Accessible year-round
Where: 1100 Coast Blvd. (at Girard Ave), La Jolla, CA 92037
A true San Diego staple. Chances are you visited when you were in Pre-K and only have faint memories of monkeys left to show for it. Because cute, cuddly animals are without a doubt still enjoyable to stare at as an adult, make a plan to return to the best animal kingdom on the west coast. Pro tip: Purchase tickets to the gigantic Safari Park for a full day of fun.
When: Thursdays-Tuesdays 9AM-6PM
Where: 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
Grab a blanket, some snacks, and a spot in front of the big screen to watch crowd favorites at South Bay Drive-In. Plus, concession snacks are on the agenda, with popcorn, candy, carne asada nachos and more – just be sure to bring cash!
Where: 2170 Coronado Ave, San Diego, CA 92154
Welcome aboard an unforgettable catamaran adventure! Triton Charters offers access to Downtown on San Diego’s largest and newest Catamaran Yacht Charter. This 2.5-hour cruise will take you through San Diego Bay and boasts modern decor, a spacious open seating floor plan, an advanced 13 seat bar, and a bumpin’ dance floor. They truly thought of everything to make your cruise perfect, so you don’t have to.
When: Dates and times vary
Where: Departs from 2700 Shelter Island Drive
PROMO: Use code sdbucketlist10 for 10% off of weekend adventures or sdbucketlist20 for 20% off weekday adventures
They don’t call it Sunset Cliffs for nothing. This 68-acre park stretching along the Pacific Ocean bordering the western edge of Point Loma is debatably the best spot to watch the sun go down in California. With carbed coastal bluffs, arches, sea caves and of course panoramic ocean views, plan to spend a few hours taking in its beauty.
When: Open 24 hours
Where: Ladera St, San Diego, CA 92107
In the backdrop of the global pandemic, Picnics in the Chi was founded with the principle goal of bringing some much needed luxury and relaxation to Chicago residents. Enjoy a made-for-you pinterest-worthy escape with picnics tailored to fit a variety of events and occasions, from that special 1st date or 50 year wedding anniversary, to birthday parties, bridal showers, family gatherings, or just a simple meet-up amongst friends.
When: Book Now, Schedule Later
Where: Custom Locations
A classic summer activity, snag a seat and a beer to watch a game at Petco Park. This season, seating will be socially distant with 33% capacity and 80% in designated seating sections where fans are either fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 . However, we’d say that’s a small price to pay for some french fries and hotdogs.
When: See full schedule here
Where: 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107
Ready for laughs and libations this summer? Come for the comedy, stay for the vibes! Offering some of the best stand-up comedy – with a catch. Taking on a speakeasy type format, you won’t know where the show is being held until just before you’re set to attend!
When: Various Line-Ups
Where: Secret Locations throughout San Diego
A task we’ve been working years on. Have we accomplished this mission? Not yet. Are we going to eat our way through San Diego until we’ve come to a conclusion? Absolutely. So what distinguishes a California Burrito for say, any ol’ burrito? One not-so-secret ingredient: French Fries. *chef’s kiss* From Lucha Libre to Nico’s Mexican Food please go on this important journey and report back.
Choose a co-pilot or go on your own for a speedy-ish and fun tour of our favorite city. See San Diego at your own pace with an in-built tour guide, in the world's first GPS-guided tour car. Each option will take you to different parts of the city, from Little Italy to the historic Gaslamp Quarter and beyond!
When: Everyday 10AM-6PM
Where: 2555 Kettner Boulevard, 92101, San Diego
Coronado, located on a peninsula in San Diego Bay is known for the grand Victorian Hotel del Coronado, Coronado Beach (perfect for surfers and sunbathers), the leash-free Coronado Dog Beach, shops, restaurants and skyline views. Our tip for getting to Coronado – take the Flagship Ferry. Offering a scenic boat ride across the bay for just $5
When: See departure schedules here
Where: Boarding Locations: Broadway Pier: 990 N. Harbor Drive San Diego CA 92101 | Convention Center: 600 Convention Way, San Diego CA 92101 | Coronado Ferry Landing: 1201 First Street, Coronado CA 92118
Mission beach is the perfect stop for a range of water activities. From paddle boarding to surfing, you can spend a breezy summer day on the water while overlooking the coast. We recommend Surfari Surf (bookable below!) if you need a little help getting up on the board. If you’re simply looking to rent Paddle Boards and Surf Boards for the day, Mission Beach is the way to go.
When: Booking dates and times vary
Where: Mission Beach, San Diego, CA 92109
After debatably the longest year ever, you deserve to tap into your inner zen – and maybe just lay in savasana for a few hours. The best place to do so? Bird Rock’s open-air patio. Offering everything from Vinyasa and Sound Healing to Slow Flow and Restorative Yoga. If you’re closer to La Jolla, Riffs Studio also has an outdoor option.
When: See schedule here
Where: 5510 La Jolla Blvd
All aboard! Be your own captain by renting one of the Duffy electric boats. It’s the perfect way to enjoy an afternoon or sunset with your friends and loved ones, gracefully cruising the beautiful, serene waters of Mission Bay Park. No boating license required.
When: 90-minute and 3-hour rentals available
Where: Mission Beach, San Diego, CA 92109
In these modern times, there’s nothing we need more than a fresh, cold pint. One of our favorite places to grab one is the Modern Times brewery, famous for their delicious craft hybrids. They offer rotating seasonal beers, special session brews as well as crowd favorites that are always on tap. The brewery also doubles as a coffee roaster, so both beer drinkers and coffee aficionados can sip on their preferred brew.
When: Wednesday-Thursday & Sunday 12PM-8PM, Friday & Saturday 12PM-10PM
Where: 3725 Greenwood St, San Diego, CA 92110