Although the spirit of summer never fades in San Diego, the season must eventually come to an end.
This summer gifted us locals with wild festivals, sun-filled beach days, cocktail-fueled rooftop nights and new restaurants to try. Although the weather is just heating up, the descent into autumn is just around the corner. To make sure you make the most of these last few weeks, we’ve compiled a list of quintessential activities for summer in San Diego.
From adventure staycations to outdoor spa treatments, cool charity events and the last call for warm weather shopping sprees, discover ten things you must do before summer is over.
San Diego Staycations
We’re lucky to live in one of the best destination travel cities in America, and if you’ve yet to take advantage of an at-home summer vacation, you are missing out. I recommend taking a trip across the iconic blue bridge to discover Coronado. The two leading resorts – Hotel Del Coronado and Loews Coronado Bay Resort – offer everything from luxury hospitality to fine dining, spa indulgence, and sea-side activities. Live vicariously through my Insider Staycation at Loews (pictured below). Want to go further away? Escape to Harrah's Rincon Casino.
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If you prefer your own pool and barbeque, turn the staycation vision up a notch with one of our local adventures. From San Diego helicopter tours to wine tours in Temecula, skydiving, water sports and even shark diving trips, our city is full of thrilling ideas. It’s easy to get trapped in routine during everyday life in San Diego, but I encourage you to escape your comfort zone and embrace the vacation mindset with a local adventure. Get details here.
Warm Weather Shopping
While mall stores usher in fall fashion during summer’s peak, smart San Diego boutiques know the local climate and offer haute summer styles through September. Mog & Rue in Encinitas features such trendy transition must-haves as Level 99 Newport Pants in Gunmetal, Milly Geometric Print Dresses, Gypsy05 Maxi Dresses and Splendid Button Cardigans. Local shop owners know local shopping; thank our San Diego boutiques by treating yourself to a last call warm weather shopping spree before ocean breeze and bikini cover ups are replaced by winter wind and the modern re-emergence of bell bottoms per request of Katie Holmes (yep, we're serious... !). Get details here.
Outdoor Spa Treatments
If you’ve been stuck working indoors this summer, we recommend you beat the heat while indulging in a spa treatment at one of our favorite San Diego spas. Whether you prefer your pedicure by the pool or a full-service body wrap in a private garden cabana, San Diego spas have you covered. From island charm at Sea Spa to bay-side breeze at Blue Marble and countryside bliss at Rancho Valencia, every local must experience their favorite treatment al fresco at these luxury spas. Get details here.
If you’ve yet to party on one of the many posh rooftop lounges in San Diego, I really just don’t even have anything more to say to you. Ride the elevator up to one of my favorite rooftops to upgrade your nightlife to a whole new level. Pose by the fire pits at Float, dance under the stars on Ivy Rooftop or catch a local fashion show at Stingaree (pictured). Discover my picks for the top ten rooftops. See the scene for yourself with San Diego party pics.
Sunday Funday Duo
Summer weekends in San Diego start with Industry Wednesdays and run through Sunday Fundays. The must-try Sunday duo is brunch followed by a pool party. And of course, San Diego offers plenty of brunching and party-hopping options for you to try before summer is up. Scenesters can’t get enough of Sunday brunch at Firehouse and Maryjane’s. If you’re feeling swanky, splurge for Sunday brunch at Le Fontainebleau or El Bizcocho. Let your mimosa-fueled party spirit take you to Intervention at Hard Rock Hotel (pictured), SHINE at KIN Lounge or Euphoria on Ivy Rooftop. Discover more brunch options, and view pool party pics.
Try Something New!
It’s hard to diverge from our favorite restaurants and clubs, but there’s no better time than the present to try something new! This summer San Diego introduced us to such new restaurants as Cucina Urbana, El Vitral, Sunset Bar and Grill, Alchemy and a new Corvette Diner. New to the nightlife scene this summer are Voyeur, Jakes on 6th, Syrah and a new Side Bar. Give your staple spots the cold shoulder and try these new summer favorites. Pissed you missed the opening? Sign up for our newsletter!
Best Summer Events
San Diego is known for our signature summer events. Though the San Diego County Fair, Comic-Con and Opening Day at Del Mar are over, there are still some events all locals must attend. San Diego Street Scene is August 28-29 (win VIP tickets!); Del Mar Racing season runs through September 9; Simon Fashion Now is September 11 (pictured). Find more San Diego events.
Cool Ways to Give Back
San Diego events are no longer just about having fun, they’re about giving back. Upscale and unique charity events in San Diego are the best way to help out a great cause without sacrificing your lifestyle. August and September just happen to be overflowing with amazing charity events. New Children’s Museum Gala (8/22), Stay Classy Fire Run (8/23) and Art of Fashion (8/29) are just a few the affairs your conscience can’t afford to miss. Get details here.
Have Fun on the Cheap
Before summer started I outlined the best free things to do in San Diego. What have you checked off your list so far? Don’t miss out on free concerts in the parks and on the beaches, fun festivals, outdoor hiking trails, cheap happy hours, free museum days and much more. Get details here.