While summer may be coming to a close, some of San Diego’s best weather won’t be going away any time soon. As the tourists head home, now’s the perfect time for your family to become sightseers in your own backyard. So if you’re looking for some summer fun this Labor Day weekend and beyond, grab the kiddos and try one of these San Diego adventures.

imperial beachPhoto credit: Joy M. via Yelp

Hit the Beach
Nothing says summer like a day in the sun and the sand. While many of the most frequented beaches call North County home, look to the South Bay to build your next sandcastle. Imperial Beach, nestled between the Silver Strand and the Tijuana Estuary, welcomes visitors to this classic Southern California surf town with its vibrant “Surfhenge” public art sculpture. Stop by the Portwood Pier Plaza area that offers clean beaches, picnic areas, a tot-lot, and grassy expanses. Don’t forget to stop by throughout the year when Imperial Beach hosts fun events such as the Surf Dog Competition and the Sea and Sun Festival sandcastle building contest.

Tourist Tip: At the end of your fun-filled day, stop in for an ice cream treat at Cowabunga, or watch the sunset from the end of the pier while dining over the ocean at the Tin Fish restaurant.

Imperial Beach Pier
10 Evergreen Ave.
Imperial Beach, Ca 91932

Coronado Ferry LandingPhoto credit: Roxanna Holmes

Island Getaway
If you are looking for an escape, now is a great opportunity to make your way to an island — Coronado island, that is. To truly feel like you are a tourist for the day, hop on the Coronado Ferry at the Broadway Pier or Convention Center and take the scenic ride across the bay for $4.25 each way (kids 4 and under are free). Once across, your family will arrive at the Coronado Ferry Landing, a waterfront marketplace full of more than 25 unique shops and restaurants. Visit the family-friendly beach, try your hand at pier fishing, or journey along along the Bayshore Bikeway during your stay.

Tourist Tip: Grab your bikes before you head out to explore, the Coronado Ferry allows the transport of bikes for no extra charge.

Coronado Ferry Landing
1201 1st St.
Coronado, Ca 92118
Online: coronadoferrylandingshops.com


AquaticaPhoto credit: Roxanna Holmes

Slip and Slide
If you want to slip and slide through your remaining days of summer, San Diego’s water parks offer fun in the sun for many weeks to come. Both the Legoland Legends of Chima Water Park and Aquatica in Chula Vista are open into the fall. Kids will love splashing in the wave pool, floating down a lazy river, or racing you down the twists and turns of a major slide. Moms will love the lack of crowds since the water park visitors tend to decrease once school starts.

Tourist Tip: While you may love taking a plunge, your phone won’t. If you’re planning to photograph the water adventures, consider purchasing a waterproof pouch designed to keep your phone and essentials dry until you are safely back on “shore.”

2052 Entertainment Circle 
Chula Vista, Ca 91911
Open weekends through September
Price: $40/ adults; $34/ kids ages 3-9; Free/ kids under 3
Online: aquaticabyseaworld.com
Legoland Water Park
1 Legoland Dr.
Carlsbad, Ca 92008
Price: You must also purchase an admission to Legoland in order to access the water park.
Open weekends through October
Online: california.legoland.com

Balboa Park SurreyPhoto credit: Roxanna Holmes

Park It
Balboa Park is the quintessential San Diego tourist destination. But there are new things to discover even for the frequent visitor. Test your pedal power by renting a surrey to explore the park. Wheel Fun Rental, located near the Casa Del Prado Theatre, encourages park exploration with your choice of vehicles, including surreys,deuce coupes, and tandem bicycles. After you have worked up an appetite, stop by Panama 66. The park’s newest eatery, located within The San Diego Museum of Art open air courtyard, is currently serving lunch on weekdays (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), and weekend brunch (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). The entire family will be re-energized by the locally-sourced food, local draught beer, and an appetizing kids menu.

Tourist Tip: Don’t limit yourself to just one museum! Balboa Park’s new Explorer Pass gives you access to more than 17 Balboa Park institutions all within one pass. It’s a great deal if you plan to visit the Park more than once.

Balboa Park
1549 El Prado
San Diego, Ca 92101
Online: balboapark.org

How do you like to spend your days soaking up the sun in San Diego? Let us know in the comments section.

– Roxanna Holmes