For most of the country, spring may not bring upon images of beach days, surfing & sun-soaked sunsets. However, in “America’s Finest City,” residents and visitors alike know that nothing beats a San Diego spring break!
We have put together a list of essential spots and activities to enjoy during the gorgeous spring San Diego days. Whether you are searching for a kid-friendly activity or have the desire for some adults-only time with a side of ocean views, we’ve got you covered with our newest Spring Bucket List of 2023!
Get your jazz and zydeco blues fix at the annual Gator by the Bay. With everything from A-Zydeco this 4-day event is filled with colorful and lively music, Mardi Gras decor, and soulful food. Pick a day or stay the whole weekend, there is plenty to enjoy with over 100+ live musical acts, 7 stages, the mouthwatering French Quarter Food Court, kid crafts and more!
Not quite warm enough to hit the sand and surf, no problem! Enjoy the one-of-a-kind hot tub boat and cruise through Mission Bay while relaxing in a warm, bubbly jacuzzi. The boat seats up to 12 people and comes with a sound system to play your favorite tunes as you cruise in style and take in the bay views and toast to the amazing San Diego lifestyle!
Take your driving range to a whole new level and check out Arrowood Golf Course’s Flight Deck. The Toptracer technology will track your ball with real-time results as you hit on the “live” range. Enjoy playing some fun and interactive virtual games while relaxing in your private furnished bay with TVs, full-service staff and fun for the whole family! Have a blast at the Flight Deck any day of the week or take advantage of their Sunday Funday package on the last Sunday of each month for $25 per guest and includes a pitch of beer and an appetizer. See you there 😉
Spring is in full bloom indoors at the Top of the Hyatt, which has been turned into a lush enchanted garden for a special spring pop-up that runs until Tuesday, May 23. The landmark rooftop bar, perched high on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Take a seat in an enchanting garden-like setting surrounded by larger than life botanic displays and fantastic backdrops, complete with a custom menu full of luxury cocktails and towers of shareable treats, you are sure to catch an Instagrammable moment here.
The perfect day trip. Often known for apple picking, there is actually a lot of fun stuff to do when venturing to the small town. Of course, you must stop at Julian Pie Company to try the famous and delicious apple pie, but you can also hit one of the many wineries, check out the historical district downtown or explore the luscious mountains.
You know the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” well how far would you hike to get your most Instagram worthy photo? Depending on where you start from the hike time can vary, but plan on about 2-3 hours to accomplish the hike and experience one of the most photographed landmarks in San Diego County. Due to its popularity and daredevilish feat, expect crowds and lines of people waiting for their chance to take a photo to add to their feed.
Tour the bay the tiki time way! Daily tours of San Diego Bay with a tropical theme and comedic twist. Spend a day in the sun with good friends, premium drinks + lots of tiki. A fun and memorable experience for all ages.
Donut Bar has now become a franchise that is spreading across the nation, but the very original still stands in downtown San Diego. Featured on various talk shows and TV programs, you “donut” want to miss this yummy treat! Warning: You might have to wait in line, that’s how good they are.
The Bali Hai is one of those places that you need to try at least once. We don’t know what’s better, the views or the Mai Tai’s… One of the strongest drinks you’ll find in the city, they say you can’t have more than two, if that tells you anything.
La Jolla is well known as one of the most beautiful, picturesque neighborhoods. If you’re a local here, you more than likely have heard of the secret swings. Although they are hidden, they offer some of the most jaw-dropping views you can take in. Tucked away near the hills of the Birch Aquarium, the secret swings are an ultimate insider and a must to see. Half the fun is trying to find them…so good luck! 😉
One of the best restaurants in La Jolla. If you are lucky enough, you can catch the tide at a time where the waves are crashing straight onto the windows looking out into the ocean. It’s definitely a San Diego bucket list item.
If you’re up for a road trip, one of the best day trips we could recommend would be Anza-Borrego State Park. Known for their extraordinary spring wildflowers, and plentiful majestic views of so many of nature’s wonders. Visitors can expect cacti-studded hills, peninsular ranges, natural palm oases and gorgeous slot canyons.
Where: 200 Palm Canyon Dr, Borrego Springs
Nothing quite screams spring break like catching a Padres home game! Not to mention, the stadium is conveniently in downtown San Diego and walkable to many of San Diego’s most popular restaurants and shops, so you can make a whole day out of it.
Mellano Farm Stand is fun for the whole family! You’ll find tractor rides, u-pick strawberries, fresh flowers and produce, food trucks, live music…and even pigs! This farm truly brings the farm-to-table vibe with its wholesome events and activities. Be sure to check their website for all the up-to-date events and activities – there is always something fun going on at the farm!
Featured in Travel Magazine’s Top 10 Things To Do in San Diego! The mission of Butterfly Farms is to conserve native butterflies and their habitats through education and conservation. Set to reopen April 15th, cruise around the exhibit and see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitats. They might even land on you for the perfect photo.
Combining land and water, climb aboard the big, bright blue amphibious vehicle and rumble around San Diego’s oh-so-fun and active waterfront areas. Perched high up, you get to see things from a different perspective. Cruise around until you get to the boat ramp on Shelter Island, where the Captain switches gears from land to sea mode, and takes off for the splash-in! A crowd favorite is circling the floating bait cages to watch sea lions basking in the sun and frolicking around.
If you’re in San Diego at all during March & April, the Carlsbad Flower Fields are essential for any spring break itinerary. The iconic ranunculus bloom a rainbow of colors during those months, offering vibrant flowers that can be viewed in over a dozen different colors. Not to mention the adorable tractor rides, and other events offered. Also a popular spot to capture your next best Instagram photo.
History, science, and stunning biological beauty all collide in Balboa Park, where over 16 museums, multiple theaters, an abundance of lush gardens and trails are present. You could easily spend a day wandering around the many things Balboa Park has to offer. Fun Fact: Several museums offer free general admission on a rotating basis throughout each month to residents of the City and County of San Diego, and to active military personnel and their dependents.
Looking for a unique and memorable experience that brings a little piece of Italy? Book a 50 minute long Italy-inspired gondola ride through the Coronado Cays. It’s one of the best things to do in San Diego for couples wanting a romantic date night. Make sure to make a reservation though, because they tend to get booked up in advance.
Need to occupy some little ones for the day? Introduce them to the wild world of wonder that gets exposed during San Diego’s low tide. San Diego’s tide pools can actually be a great educational afternoon, searching for volcanic rocks, sandstone, seals, shore crabs, barnacles, mussels, fish, and even octopus.
Reserve yourself a night of fun when you dine underneath the stars while at sea. The Classic Harbor Dinner Cruise could be the best romantic evening for a significant other or an elegant girls night out. Escape land and set sail for over 2 hours while dining, enjoying sensational scenic views, live entertainment, and more.
Spring Break is gray whale migration time. From December to April, these magnificent creatures migrate down to the California coast on their journey from the Bering Sea to the breeding grounds of Baja California. As you can imagine, sighting these gigantic mammals breaking the water’s surface with a huge splash is a jaw dropping experience that is sure to please the entire crowd!
If you’re looking for the highest peak in San Diego, with some of the best panoramic views you could ever ask for, Cowles is the hike for you, serving up 3 miles there and back with soaring views from Mexico all the way to Orange County. Because of the wide scenic presence, it is one of San Diego’s most popular hikes.
Sightseeing has never been more fun! Get into the beautiful sunshine and cruise through San Diego gliding on a segway. Another Side of San Diego Tours offers a 1.5 hour training and ride through Gaslamp District. You have a tour guide to lead the pack and narrate along the way. If you love that one, catch one of their others, Coronado, Balboa Park, Embarcadero, Downtown and City tours.