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Credit Kambria Fischer

8 Outdoor Activities in San Diego for Summer—From Ball Games to Donut Dashes!

Get Some Vitamin D With These Summertime Must-Dos

Summertime in San Diego—there’s nothing quite like it. Thanks to the Pacific Ocean, the hottest season here boasts warm temperatures, low humidity, limited rainfall and cool nights. With weather like this, why would you ever want to stay indoors? From volleyball on the beach to a 1-mile race circuit (that ends with donuts!), San Diego has an abundance of outdoor activities for the whole family. There’s a reason this place is called America’s Finest City. Here are eight must-do outdoor activities in San Diego perfect for summertime!

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Volo Day at Petco Park

Labor Day weekend in San Diego is nothing short of eventful with Volo Day! San Diego’s premier recreational sports league, Volo Sports, puts on everything from social events to—you guessed it—sporting events. On Sept. 4 in Petco Park, show your local pride by cheering on the San Diego Padres as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies. Volo Day tickets include a limited seating and standing area at the Toyota Beach hospitality space in right-center field, as well as access to bottomless food and drinks. Catering starts 90 minutes before the first pitch, so get there early! Food service continues until an hour after the first pitch, and drinks flow until the end of the seventh inning. Make sure to buy your tickets in advance. We dare say that you can’t call yourself a local if you’ve never been to a Padres game!


Pacific Beachfest

best outdoor activities in san diego
Credit: Kambria Fischer Photography

Looking for a free outdoor event on the beach? Pacific Beachfest is here for you. On Oct. 7, people of all ages are welcome to hit the heart of Pacific Beach and spend the day on the sand. Support local vendors, throw back some of the best fish tacos in the city and dance the day away with live bands. Volleyball players won’t want to miss out on the fifth annual Volo 4 Sum Volleyball Tournament, where teams can flex true talent or simply win for having the best costumes. Teams are separated by Super Social, Intermediate and Competitive, so regardless of your skill level, you can gather your friends and get in the game!


Tappers Mini Golf at The Loma Club

If a chill day on the green sounds more your speed, head to The Loma Club for Tappers Mini Golf. The best part about this place? There’s a full bar serving up your favorite cocktails, and you’re encouraged to sip them while swinging that club. Don’t worry: If you’re coming with children, they have a separate course for the kiddos. The club is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and they close an hour later on Friday and Saturday. For added incentive, show up for the happy hour special from noon to 4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday. Who needs to work when there’s mini golf to be played?


Donut Dash

Did someone say donuts? Yes, we did! The Donut Dash is a family-friendly race held at Rancho Bernardo Community Park on Sept. 9. Choose from three races—a 5K dirt/trail course, a 10K dirt/trail course or the Donut Dash run that takes place on a bike path and grass. The Donut Dash is a 1-mile course with four laps where you devour a donut after each lap. You even get to choose how to carb load: either regular glazed or cake donuts will get you through the race. Regardless of which course you choose, you’ll get to taste some of the area’s best donuts once you make it to the finish line. Up for the challenge? Register on their website now—they only accept 25 runners for the dash.


Take Your Pup to The Dog Society

Welcome to doggy heaven! The Dog Society is a one-stop shop where your favorite fur babies get to play and make canine friends. Services include daycare, grooming and training programs for the pups. As for the humans, they have a cafe, a beer garden and an outdoor game area. With over 35 TVs, you can sit back and watch a sports game while your dog has his best day yet. And while you don’t need a membership to visit, The Dog Society has three packages for those pups (and humans) who need extra attention. Check the website for their weekly schedule, and make sure to sign the doggy waiver before your first visit. 

Local Insight: Volo Sports also offers cornhole leagues at The Dog Society!


Join a Volo Sports League

best outdoor activities in san diego
Credit: Kambria Fischer Photography

Go outside and get social by joining the best coed sports league in the city—Volo Sports! With a dozen sports teams to choose from, including volleyball, softball, flag football, kickball and more, there’s something for everyone. The league makes it flexible by allowing you to choose your preferred days and sports, all while keeping your skill level, gender and neighborhood in mind. If you’re new to San Diego, this is a great opportunity to meet people, get out of your comfort zone and step up your fitness routine. Plus, proceeds support The Volo Kids Foundation, granting underprivileged children access to sports. Join a team and make a difference just by playing a game!


Hot Tub Cruisin

This unique outfit, appropriately called Hot Tub Cruisin, takes you on the ultimate seafaring excursion across San Diego’s beautiful Mission Bay. Choose from three tubs based on seating capacity (six, eight, or 12 people per boat). In addition to a hot tub, each vessel has an integrated sound system, a propane grill and coolers, so don’t forget your favorite playlist and barbecue fixings. Assign a captain to your crew, as each two-hour cruise is self-guided and only requires a brief orientation before setting off into the sunset. There’s even a captained cruise that coincides with SeaWorld’s fireworks display. Take a break from land activities, and treat yourself to some time on the water!


Enjoy a Picnic in Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a 1,200-square-foot cultural haven where nature, architecture and history come together. Pack a brown-bag lunch and take your time exploring the park. Or, love bugs can sprawl out on a blanket to enjoy the scenic Marston Point, located on the west side of the park. Local residents can visit museums for free on certain days throughout each month, or level up by grabbing an Explorer Pass for year-round access to all 16 museums. And if you didn’t know, Balboa Park is home to the world-renowned San Diego Zoo. Animal encounters, interactive experiences, public artwork—this park really does have it all.

Jessica Young has lived in San Diego since 2003. She is a graduate of San Diego State University, where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Anthropology from San Diego State University. She also holds Master's Degree in Education from University of California, San Diego. Young works as a journalism teacher at Orange Glen High School in Escondido, Calif.

Young is the President of the San Diego Journalism Education Association and serves on the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees for the Quill and Scroll International Journalism Honor Society. She is an active member of the scholastic journalism community and teaches at workshops and conventions around the country. She was recognized as a "Rising Star" by the Journalism Education Association.

In addition to teaching, Young enjoys running with her adopted golden retriever, Maxwell. She has conquered the Original Marathon course in Athens, Greece as well as the Inca Trail in Peru. Young also dabbles in baking and photography. You can follow her adventures on instragram at: @racingcupakes.




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