Discover What’s New at San Diego Attractions this Summer

SeaWorld Auqatica - San Diego Attractions
SeaWorld Auqatica - San Diego Attractions

Things are heating up…or should we say cooling off at SeaWorld Aquatica, one of the newest San Diego attractions

Whether you’ve visited San Diego one time or many, one thing’s for sure: There’s always something new and fun to do for the entire family. The only challenge you may have is deciding what to do first! Here are a few exciting summer happenings at world-class San Diego attractions you don’t want to miss.

San Diego Zoo

Experience the Land Down Under at the San Diego Zoo’s new Conrad Prebys Australian Outback exhibit.  Visitors can check out the largest koala colony outside of Australia, as well as wombats, Tasmanian devils, wallabies, kookaburras and other Aussie critters.  Guests can also see the adorable new Chinese Giant Panda cub Xiao Liwu, which translates to “Little Gift.” The cub is the sixth Giant Panda born at the San Diego Zoo and is on display, weather permitting, from 9:00 AM to noon daily.

> Find out more about San Diego Zoo’s Conrad Prebys Australian Outback

SeaWorld Aquatica

From the waters of SeaWorld sprouts a whole different kind of water park, SeaWorld Aquatica San Diego. Located in Chula Vista in San Diego’s South Bay, Aquatica combines up-close animal encounters, exciting waterslide action and a sandy beach for the ultimate water park experience. There’s something for all ages in this tropical oasis where you can go from extreme to serene and bask in San Diego’s sunshine.

> Find out more about SeaWorld Aquatica San Diego

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Want to get up close and personal with a lemur? Visit the new exhibit, Lemur Walk in Gorilla Forest at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park. Lemur Walk is an immersive experience where guests walk on a pathway through the animals’ habitat and watch these endearing primates socializing, grooming, jumping, climbing, and even sunbathing, one of the lemur’s favorite pastimes. Native to Madagascar, lemurs are known for their trademark long, black-and-white ringed tails.

> Find out more about the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Lemur Walk

SeaWorld San Diego

Stop by SeaWorld’s newest show, Madagascar Live: Operation Vacation, an original 20-minute live musical show featuring the characters from the Madagascar movie franchise. The show features rock/pop music performed by a live band and includes both classic and original songs. Get your camera ready – the characters will also conduct meet and greets with park guests.

> Find out more about SeaWorld San Diego’s Madagascar Live: Operation Vacation

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Meet La Jolla’s legendary leopard sharks at the new Elasmo Beach exhibit at the Birch Aquarium. You’ll see leopard sharks as well as other species of sharks, rays and marine life that make their home along San Diego’s coastline. See these amazing animals in action in a 13,000-gallon Shark Reef. One of the best times to watch them is feeding time on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 10:30 AM.

> Find out more about Elasmo Beach at Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Living Coast Discovery Center

The Living Coast Discovery Center’s year-round animal exhibits typically focus on Southern California’s native animal species, but for the spring/summer season has been transformed to showcase dangerous animals from around the globe with one thing in common – they all make their homes in and around Deadly Waters. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to experience Red-bellied Piranha, California Barracuda, sharks and more up-close. Discover which ones really pose the biggest threat, which ones get a bad rap and which are just dangerously misunderstood.

> Find out more about Deadly Waters at the Living Coast Discovery Center

> Find out more about San Diego Attractions

Pick one of your favorite San Diego attractions and tell us about your experience!

Sarah Weinberg

Summer Play Days at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

Sheraton San Diego Hotel Pool and Marina
Sheraton San Diego Hotel Pool and Marina

Enjoy the water and more at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

One of the cool things about being a San Diegan is that you don’t have to own a boat or even a surf board to get out on the water and have a real outdoor adventure. For a family fun getaway, I schedule some play time on San Diego Bay. The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is my home base. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, guests and locals can enjoy the hotel’s Summer Play offerings with free poolside activities for families, daily deals and discounts on boat charters, whale watching excursions, paddleboat or kayak rentals, and more.

Unwind at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina Spa

After a day out on the bay, you can cruise back into the marina and enjoy some pampering at the spa or full service salon at the Sheraton; this includes complimentary parking and use of the pool facilities, of which there are three! After a dip in the quieter Lanai pool area, I followed with an aromatherapy massage at the Sheraton’s Island Breeze Spa. The intimate facility offers workout room, men’s and women’s locker rooms and a variety of treatment rooms offering massage therapy, body wraps and cleansing treatments. Island Breeze Spa has expanded their spa services by offering single or couple massages at an outdoor pop-up cabana that overlooks the San Diego bay.

Beyond Four Walls – Outdoor Yoga

Outdoor Yoga - Summer Play Days - Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

Find inner balance with cool ocean breezes and sunshine at Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina’s Outdoor Yoga

On my next visit, my daughter and I enjoyed the 10:00 AM Saturday outdoor yoga class courtesy of YogaOne ($17 adult, $12 child). Nothing starts off your weekend like doing a tree pose on a lawn surrounded by palm trees while gazing upon sailboats as they glide along the harbor.


Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina Pool

Escape the summer heat with a dip in the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina’s cool pool

After yoga, we headed to the Marina Tower pool and my daughter enjoyed some of the kids’ activities planned by the staff. The Shoreline Restaurant, next to the pool, provides full service dining with delivery right to your lounge chair. Rose played pool games and ping-pong then dug into a burger and mango smoothie while I relaxed poolside with my mojito.


We’ve yet to try the family friendly Dive-in-Movie every Friday and Saturday night in the pool; so we might just have to book a room to fit it all in.

Where’s your favorite place to cool off and relax during a warm San Diego summer day?


Sound of Summer: 2013 San Diego Concerts by the Water

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops Concert Series

The sound of San Diego summer arrives with the return of 3 popular outdoor concert series. Don’t miss out on the experience of listening to your favorite bands combined with ocean views and a blanket of San Diego stars during these summer concerts.

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay host a large selection of great shows throughout the summer.

The popular summer concert venue returns with a diverse line up starting on May 26, 2013 with Juanes – Loud and Unplugged Tour. With a different headliner almost every night, don’t miss out on classic act Air Supply and newcomer favorite Carly Rae Jepsen, in this star-packed season, running through the summer months and into the fall.

Where: Humphreys Concerts by the Bay – 2241 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106
> Browse the 2013 Humphreys Concerts by the Bay Schedule

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops pairs music with the beautiful downtown skyline.

San Diego Symphony Summer Pops pairs music with the beautiful downtown skyline.

The Ashford University Summer Pops starts up again on June 27, 2013 with KC and the Sunshine Band at the 6th annual Tux ‘N Tennies Summer Bash kick-off concert. The season continues through Labor Day and features the San Diego Symphony and some of today and yesterday’s greatest pop acts. This year, performers include En Vogue, Amy Grant, Michael Bolton, Ozomatli, Nathan Pacheco, Debbie Gibson, Burt Bacharach and more.

Where: Embarcadero Marina Park South – 206 Marina Park Way, San Diego, CA 92101
> Browse the 2013 San Diego Symphony Summer Pops Schedule

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Green Flash Concert Series

Green Flash Concert Series

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps holds the Green Flash Summer Concert Series atop the cliffs of La Jolla.

Starting May 15, 2013, pair live music with panoramic ocean views atop the cliffs of La Jolla on Birch Aquarium’s outdoor Tide-Pool Plaza. Enjoy music, drinks and food in one of San Diego’s most beautiful settings knowing you are benefiting a good cause. Proceeds from the concert series benefit exhibits and educational programming at Birch Aquarium at Scripps.

Where: Birch Aquarium at Scripps – 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92093
> Browse the 2013 Green Flash Concert Series Schedule

> Listen to even more live concerts in San Diego

Which concerts will you be seeing this summer?

Robert Arends

Coronado: Essential Summer Guide, Part 2

Summer sun, surf and sand in Coronado! (photo credit: Brett Shoaf)

It’s almost the weekend and sun-kissed Coronado is calling! In between boogie boarding and wiggling your toes in the sand on America’s #1 Beach (thank you, Dr. Beach!) following are a few fun – and free – lesser-known “secret” sights and activities around the island to check out.

Del-ightful!…The Diminutive Del

Coronado Boathouse 1887 – The “diminutive Del”

So we all know about the famous Hotel del Coronado. But did you know that just down the block is a building referred to as the “diminutive Del:” The Coronado Boathouse 1887 restaurant on Glorietta Bay. Pretty as a postcard!

The Baby Del

The “Baby Del” (144 Isabella Ave.)

There’s also the eye-catching “Baby Del,” a beautiful private home at 144 Isabella Ave. that will be the site of the 21st Annual Coronado MainStreet Garden Party on September 8 (buy your tickets now!).

Art & Sol…

“My Bike” trekking across the San Diego-Coronado Bridge!

In Coronado’s Tidelands Park is one of the coolest public art pieces on the island, “My Bike,” which seemingly flies through the air as it catches the bay breezes, shining in the sun. Stand back a bit, though, and view it with the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in the background and you’ll notice it’s actually riding across the bridge – a really cool visual effect! Check out the video.

Afternoon Delight…

Catching some rays in Coronado Island Marriott’s double hammocks.

There’s nothing like a lazy afternoon nap after a long day of play in the sun. Just around the corner from Tidelands Park at Coronado Island Marriott Resort, head out back behind the resort’s pool to find two big double hammocks just waiting for couples to catch 40 winks. The views are spectacular…this is the life!

Have a great weekend – see you in Coronado!

Robert Arends

Coronado: Essential Summer Guide, Part I

As Coronado counts down to its big annual, star-spangled 4th of July bash, I thought I’d give you the lowdown on what’s hot and what’s new on the island, as well as some incredible lesser-known sights that are sure to delight visitors this summer.

I’m calling it the Essential Summer Guide to Coronado. Since there SO many cool things to see and do, I’ll present them a few at a time throughout the summer months.

These first ones just happen to be 3 for Free – as in there’s no cost to check them out!

  1. Flock to The Del… I thought the strangest thing I’d ever see at the Hotel del Coronado was an ice skating rink on the Windsor Lawn (every winter holiday season), out back by the beach (the #1 beach in America, BTW) Boy was I wrong! Now you can see about a half dozen falcons and hawks on perches eyeing the skies for pesky seagulls and doing a fantastic job of scaring them away from the resort! Visitors can enjoy thrilling up-close encounters with these majestic raptors, courtesy of X Falconry, every Thursday through Sunday.
  2. Lark in the park… My latest discovery on Coronado Island is a little slice of paradise that visitors can have all to themselves (shhh! Don’t tell anyone 😉 ) for picnics on the bay, panoramic backdrops to take family photos and even fishing! It’s called Shoreline Park, located on First St. at I Ave. I’d never been there until I bicycled out with a Coronado Biking Adventure Tour last week. In a word, “Wow!” You can see the sparkling bay, San Diego skyline and an aircraft carrier at NAS North Island next door. It’s an incredible pocket park – my new favorite spot!
  3. Tide you over… If I had to pick one place where you can do just about anything under the sun, it’d be Tidelands Park on the bayside of the island. On any given day, you’ll spot joggers, bicyclists, kayakers, sailboats, volleyball, soccer and frisbee games, swimmers, sunbathers, and families picnicking and just taking in the great outdoors. It’s a vast aquatic wonderland hugging San Diego Bay – the perfect setting for a summer outing in Coronado!





San Diego Summer Sizzles and Swizzles at Altitude Sky Lounge

Altitude Sky Lounge
Altitude Sky Lounge

Altitude Sky Lounge atop the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter

Celebrate summer’s late sunsets (8:00 pm today!) with the spectacular views from Altitude Sky Lounge, open 5:00 pm to 1:00 am daily. Perched on the 22 story of the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, a particularly beautiful sunset can be captured here, setting low over San Diego Bay, framed by Point Loma peninsula and the Coronado bridge with the occasional Dole cargo ship passing though. You’ll also enjoy the mountains in the east and Mexico in the south with a bird’s eye view of all the action at Petco park in the forground.

Want to stay past closing? You can! Comment below for a chance to win a 1 night stay for 2 people at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter. Winner will be chosen on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 10:00 am. Summer has never been so sweet! What would you do if you won?

Brent Bernasconi

Win Stand Up Paddle Board Rentals with OEX La Jolla

Standup Paddleboarding on Mission Bay
Stand Up Paddle Boarding on Mission Bay

Try the Exciting New Water Sport – Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Standup paddle boarding (SUP) originates from the Hawaiian islands and is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing water sports in the world! SUP offers a unique glimpse of the ocean while giving the paddler a great core workout. Unlike surfing, SUP, can be mastered by anyone with a little balance in under an hour!

Head on down to OEX La Jolla and paddle the best spot in San Diego!

Want to get out and Paddle Board? You can! Comment below for a chance to win SUP Rentals for 2 with OEX La Jolla. Winner will be chosen on Friday, June 22, 2012 at 10:00 am. Summer has never been so bodacious!

Brent Bernasconi

The Ultimate First Day of Summer in San Diego!

First Day of Summer in San Diego

First Day of Summer in San Diego

Even though it feels like Summer all year round in San Diego, the 2012 season officially begins on Wednesday, June 20.

To prepare for the coming of days at the beach, twilight golfing, concerts by the water, cold craft beer and sunshine; Maren and I are headed out along the coast of San Diego to experience and share with you the ultimate first day of summer.

Throughout the day, the two of us will be posting pictures, trivia and giveaways on our social media channels. Make sure to follow @visitsandiego and the hashtag #sd1stday on Twitter. Like us on Facebook and check our San Diego page during the day to see what we have been up to!

Celebrate Summer With 60 Extra Minutes of Happy Hour

Altitude Sky Lounge

Altitude Sky Lounge atop the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter

To cap off the ultimate summer day in San Diego, join us from 4:00 – 7:00 pm (the normal Happy Hour starts at 5:00 pm) at Altitude Sky Lounge atop the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter for beautiful views, good friends and great Happy Hour Specials.

Peruse the delicious Happy Hour drink list below:

  • Mojito – Rum, muddled fresh mint & limes, topped with soda water
  • Margarita – Tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice & sweet and sour
  • Razztini – raspberry vodka, chambord, garnish with fresh raspberries
  • Watermelon Martini – citrus vodka, watermelon pucker, triple sec, splash OJ & 7up
  • Orange Splash – citurs vodka, citronage/triple sec, splash lime juice, fill OJ on the rocks
Make sure to join us on Twitter and Facebook and we will see you in San Diego. Happiness is Calling.
Brent Bernasconi

Experience New Excitement at San Diego Attractions this Summer 2012

Pirate Reef - LEGOLAND California

Summer in San Diego means sunshine, beaches and barbecues. During your visit this summer, why not check out some of the awesome new offerings at San Diego attractions, including roller coasters, battling pirate ships, chinese acrobats and more!

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Giraffes along a Africa Tram Safari - San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Get Up Close During a Summer Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Enjoy a Summer Safari at the Park from June 30-August 19 for unique viewing opportunities of exotic wildlife like a cheetah sprinting just seven feet from where visitors stand. This festive summer celebration also includes interactive drumming, puppet performances and acrobats who entertain guests throughout the day.

LEGOLAND California

Pirate Reef - LEGOLAND California

Climb Aboard LEGOLAND's newest ride at Pirate Reef

LEGOLAND’s new adventure ride, Pirate Reef, takes to the high seas where riders board rival pirate ships and battle one another with splashing water cannons.

The park also expanded its popular STAR WARS Miniland, which now features seven live-action LEGO displays of memorable scenes from the classic Star Wars movies, along with three life-sized LEGO models of its famous characters.

San Diego Zoo

Chinese Warriors - San Diego Zoo Nighttime

The Wonders of China Await at the San Diego Zoo

During June 23 – September 3, roam through the park until 9:00 pm for Nighttime Zoo: China Celebration and experience special summer offerings. In honor of the Year of the Dragon, witness a 20-foot-long serpent puppet, trampoline acts and performances by breathtaking Chinese acrobats, robotic actors and stilt walkers.


SeaWorld's Manta

Ride the New Manta Coaster at SeaWorld San Diego

From June 16-August 19, visit SeaWorld San Diego for Summer Nights at SeaWorld. The summer showcase features extended park hours, nightly firework shows, live music and special nighttime animal performances.

This summer experience Manta, a new mega-attraction that combines the thrill and excitement of a roller coaster with an incredible marine-life exhibit, featuring a 100,000-gallon aquarium.

> Save With San Diego’s Fabulous Four Attractions – Tickets Package

What are you most looking forward to while in San Diego this Summer?


Free Sundown Summer Concerts Rock San Diego

> Check out the 2013 list of free summer concerts

Pacific Beach Summer Concerts on the Green

Pacific Beach Summer Concerts on the Green. Photo courtesy of Paul Grimes

Free twilight concerts have become summertime traditions in neighborhoods throughout San Diego County. They’re an opportunity for visitors, locals and their families to socialize, picnic, enjoy music together – and maybe even dance as the sun sets on another perfect San Diego summer day.

Here’s a sampling of what’s being staged this summer:

San Diego

  • The Bird Park Concert Series in North Park will open June 16 with Bluesman Nathan James. More concerts are scheduled June 30, July 14, July 28 and Aug. 11. All shows run 5:30 – 7:30 pm. Bird Park is at 28th and Thorn streets.
  • Balboa Park’s Twilight in the Park concert series kicks off at 6:15 pm June 19 and continues on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 30 at the park’s Organ Pavilion. The hour-long shows feature everything from classical music to R&B.
  • Enjoy organ music? Then check out the free Monday evening concerts, beginning at 7:30 pm on June 25 at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Top organists from around the country will perform. The 2012 season concludes on Aug. 27.
  • The Point Loma Summer Concert Series opens July 13 with Atomic Groove and continue on consecutive Fridays through Aug. 10. Shows run 5:30 – 8:30 pm. Bring blankets and lawn chairs, picnics and Frisbees to Point Loma Park, 1049 Catalina Blvd. Too tired to pack a picnic? A different neighborhood eatery, ranging from Barons Marketplace to Gabardine, will sell food at each concert.
  • Mission Hills’ Concerts in the Park series opens July 4 at Pioneer Park, 1425 Washington Place. Eleven more concerts are planned through August.
  • Pacific Beach Concerts on the Green are set for Sundays July 22 through August 12. Shows run from 4:00 – 6:30 pm at Kate Sessions Park (Lamont Street, just north of Beryl). The Palominos open the season and the Navy’s Big Band closes it.


  • Coronado’s Promenade Concert Series opens May 27 at Spreckels Park, 7th and Orange in Coronado. The 90-minute shows start at 6:00 pm Sundays through September 9. Groups on stage range from the Navy Southwest Show Band to Rockola.
  • Coronado Ferry Landing Concert Series features live music with views of the Bay and San Diego Skyline. Performances are on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 – 5:00 pm starting on May 26 and ending on September 30.

North County

  • Del Mar’s Summer Twilight Concerts are set for Powerhouse Park, overlooking the Pacific, at 1600 Coast Blvd. Shows begin at 7:00 pm on the third Tuesday of June, July and August. There’s a 5:00 pm concert on Sunday Sept. 9. The Mar Dels open the season.
  • Carlsbad’s TGIF Jazz in the Park is staged at three community parks. The season opens at Stagecoach Park (3420 Camino de los Coches), with concerts on June 29, July 6 and 13. The party moves to Poinsettia Park (6600 Hidden Valley Road) for concerts on July 20, 27 and August 3. The season closes at Calavera Hills Park (2997 Glasgow Drive) with concerts on Aug. 10, 17 and 24. Showtime is 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

East County

  • El Cajon Concerts on the Promenade was the first to open its 2012 season (on May 4). Concerts will be staged from 6:00 – 8:00 pm on Fridays through September 30, at Prescott Promenade near East Main Street and Rea Avenue in downtown El Cajon. The family oriented venue is smoke-, alcohol- and dog-free.
  • Santee’s Free Summer Concerts are scheduled 6:30 – 8:30 pm on Thursdays, June 14 through Aug. 16 (except July 5), at Town Center Community Park East (550 Park Center Drive) in Santee. Picnics are welcome, but know that food trucks rally nearby.

> Find More Great Concerts on

Did we miss a free concert series in San Diego? Let us know in the comments below.