From mid-June to early July, the Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts the San Diego County Fair. It is the largest annual event in San Diego County and draws more than 1.2 million visitors each year. Grab some kettle corn and enjoy the livestock competition, shop for antiques or enter a really silly contest, like the zucchini race. You and your zucchini might just go home with the blue ribbon.
Although the San Diego Wild Animal Park, a sanctuary for endangered animals, is great to visit anytime of year, summers are especially opportune. But it's not just about animals. With San Diego’s Mediterranean-like climate, the zoo is home to more than a million plants on a total of 1,900 acres, meaning the grounds are also a botanical garden. Take advantage of the extended hours with a glass of wine at the restaurant near the gorilla exhibit. As the evening breezes come flowing in, enjoy the sunset and the sounds of the wild.
Few things are as all-American as a baseball game. Balmy summer nights are just right for enjoying a hot dog, Cracker Jacks and nine innings of the San Diego Padres defending their home turf against visiting teams. Let yourself get caught up in the excitement of the crowd.
Driving over the Coronado Bay Bridge is an exhilarating experience, but getting back and forth by water taxi is a lot more fun. Park at the Coronado Ferry landing, take a boat across to the Gaslamp Quarter, Harbor Island or Shelter Island for just $7 per person.
With over 70 miles of beach, San Diego is an ideal place to enjoy an oceanside meal. Consider the Fish Market, where you can watch your budget by sharing a seafood cocktail on the outside patio or splurge in the dining room upstairs, with views from Point Loma to the Coronado Bridge. Or grab a beachside burrito at Roberto's in Del Mar. And with 35 independently operated breweries in the area, why not order an ice-cold microbrew and listen to the waves cascading in the distance?
The hardest part about talking a walk on the beach might be deciding where to go. A perennial favorite is Coronado Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in a town chock full of them. The expansive white sand is definitely a draw, but the 1888, iconic red-turreted Hotel del Coronado makes a sunset walk here all the more magical.
The California Surf Museum at the pier in Oceanside is a great place to learn about the history of the water sport. Or you can join in the fun by enrolling in a beginner's lesson at one of dozens of surf schools. Just want to watch the action? Head to La Jolla Beach.
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