There is something about the vacation mindset that makes us let our hair down and embrace new experiences, no matter how daring or dangerous. From hiking up waterfalls to bungee jumping down cliffs and swimming with great white sharks, our vacations are full of audacious activities that leave our hearts racing and our insatiable thirst for adventure wanting more. While we can’t wait to test our own limits on vacation, it’s easy to get trapped in routine during everyday life at home in San Diego. But it doesn't have to be that way...
Adventure is everywhere around us, but it’s up to us locals to seek out the experience. We’ve all heard of staycations, but we invite you discover daring and dangerous expeditions available right at home in San Diego. From skydiving in South Bay to helicopter tours through La Jolla Cove, wakeboarding across Mission Bay, and hot air balloon rides in Del Mar, discover our top picks for thrilling San Diego adventures.
San Diego Helicopter Tours
Corporate Helicopters is a local leader in service, security and style, and offers a variety of helicopter tours. From the summer-favorite Diego Delight to Surf and Turf and Temecula Winery Lunch Tour, there is a custom helicopter tour for all lifestyles. We recommend the Diego Delight: Skim along the beaches from Sunset Cliffs to La Jolla and Mission Bay, then down to the attractions of PETCO Park and the Coronado Bridge. corporatehelicopters.com
Coronado Gondola Rides
Gift your special someone with a romantic gondola ride through the enchanting Coronado Cays. There’s no need to visit Venice when The Gondola Company provides traditional Venetian gondola cruises right at home in San Diego. A trip to Coronado is an adventure in itself, but an hour long private gondola tour complete with complimentary dessert plates and a relaxed BYOB policy will make for a truly memorable experience. gondolacompany.com
Party Bus Wine Tours in Temecula
San Diego’s own wine country – Temecula – offers over 20 great wineries open all week for your tasting pleasure. Book a San Diego party bus and embark on a day journey to such famous Temecula wineries as Wilson Creek, Callaway, Leonesse and La Careza. A luxury party bus is the best way to turn typical wine tasting into a signature San Diego adventure. sandiegowinetour.com
San Diego Adventure Parks
Whether you’re in the mood to get splashed by Shamu, lounge around with elephants or enter a world made entirely of Legos, one of the theme parks in San Diego will surely satisfy your adventure needs. San Diego North has the inside scoop on the best deals for Seaworld, Wild Animal Park, San Diego Zoo, and Legoland, including hotel and ticket packages. These parks provide the perfect adventure experience for kids of any age. sandiegonorth.com
Skydiving in San Diego
One of the most exhilarating adventure experiences in San Diego is skydiving. From the thrill of watching jumpers before you to the in-flight anticipation and the free fall into nothing-but-clouds overlooking the San Diego coast and into Mexico, San Diego skydiving is a must-try for all locals. Grab a group of friends or dare your special someone into an adventure date; Sky Dive San Diego in Otay Mesa is a great place for tandem beginners as well as extreme solo jumpers. skydivesandiego.com
Hornblower Cruises in San Diego
From weekend champagne brunches to harbor cruises and whale and dolphin watching, the Hornblower offers a large range of adventure cruises in San Diego to fit the lifestyles of all locals. If you live in San Diego and haven’t been on the Hornblower, there is no better time than right now. The Sight & Sips Sunset Cruse is one of the coolest way to do happy hour in San Diego. hornblower.com
Hot Air Balloon Rides in San Diego
Private hot air balloon rides in Del Mar or Temecula are signature adventures in San Diego. Toast champagne and enjoy a Del Mar Sunset Ride with friends, or start your Sunday Funday off right with a Morning Flight in Temecula followed by wine tasting at Temecula wineries. hotairflyer.com
Water Sports on Mission Bay
Mission Bay is a great spot for all varieties of water sports. MTK Boarding is a unique company that specializes in water sports lessons as well as boat cruises. Test your skills at wakeboarding, waterskiing, wakesurfing, kneeboarding and boat adventures with expert trainers and top notch equipment. (mtkboarding.com) Looking for an all-girls adventure? Check out wavediva.com, a new company for fun and fearless females.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in San Diego
Whether kelp forest diving, La Jolla Cove snorkeling, shore or boat diving, or ocean kayaking, the San Diego coast is ideal for underwater adventures. Scuba San Diego offers unique experiences such as guided night dives, guided snorkel adventures as well as unguided San Diego boat dives for experienced locals. The La Jolla Cove Ecological Reserve is teeming with the most beautiful temperate water fish on the west coast, and sea lions and harbor seals are known to frequent the reserve. A close-up encounter with these sea mammals is not unlikely and always a high point of any adventure. scubasandiego.com
La Jolla Kayak Tours
Discover La Jolla sea cliffs, the seven caves and the underwater park with abundant marine life including Sea Lions, Leopard Sharks, and Garibaldi on a kayak tour in San Diego. La Jolla Kayak offers kayak tours and kayak rentals to explore the coast line with a certified guide or on your own. They also offer multiple snorkel tours that bring you within feet of Leopard Sharks and Garibaldi. lajollakayak.com
Insider Tip: San Diego Shark Diving offers world-wide shark trips. From white shark trips to Fiji bull shark trips and an adventure to Galapagos – the “Enchanted Isles” – visit sdsharkdiving.com to pick your poison this summer.