9 Things to Do in San Diego This Summer

Smile, You're in San Diego

Summer is officially here! We've got some ideas of how you can spend your summer days. Here are some entertaining things to do in San Diego this summer. Remember to use the  MTS Trip Planner for the best transit directions.

San Diego County Fair
Photo by David deLeon on Unsplash

1. San Diego County Fair + Fair Tripper Discounts

There's nothing better than the county fair - trying out the fair food, playing carnival games, browsing through the stalls inside Bing Crosby Hall, and watching the Swifty Swine pig races. But trying to get to the fair can be a bummer - especially when the parking is so expensive! MTS has a Fair Tripper ticket which nets you the ultimate 2-for-1 deal. Buy a ticket to the fair and get free transit via the Trolley and transfer to the COASTER at Santa Fe Depot or the Old Town Transit Center. Just a quick ride up the coast to Solana Beach with a free shuttle that will drop you off at the front game so you can enjoy all the fair has to offer. Get more information on how to get discounted Fair Tripper tickets.

Padres at Petco Park

2. Padres Games

There's no better way to spend a warm summer night than at the ballpark. The Padres play all summer at Petco Park with unique food options, giveaways, and more. Check out our blog post on How to Trolley to Padres Games for the best information on getting to Petco Park (hint: it’s the Trolley).

Fresh summer tomatoes

3. Visit a Local Farmers Market

Farmers Markets are around all year, but with the bounty of summer produce on our hands, they're even more fun to enjoy in the summer. There are multiple markets to visit during the week. Here are a few you can access via transit.


  • Pacific Beach Farmers Market
    Tuesdays from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at 4500 Bayard Street from Garnet to Hornblend St.  Take Route 27 to Garnet Ave & Bayard St for access to the market.






Biking at Mission Bay
Photo by Tower Electric Bikes on Unsplash

4. Bike Mission Bay

A great way to enjoy the scenery and the summer sun is to bike ride around Mission Bay. The 12-mile scenic bike path will take you around the entire bay. The flat, paved bike path is easy for families to navigate and nets you idyllic views of the bay. Route 8 goes right to Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. There are several bike rental shops along Mission Boulevard.

Ice Cream

5. We All Scream for Ice Cream

San Diego is awash in ice cream shops. We have a guide if you and your crew want to do an ice cream crawl this summer. Even if you don't want to risk a brain freeze by visiting multiple shops, check out our Ice Cream Guide for some local shops that are sure to have something unique to try.

Old Town, San Diego, CA
Having Fun at Casa de Reyes - Old Town, San Diego by Kirk K is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

6. Visit the Birthplace of California

Old Town is quite appropriately named as the oldest settled area of San Diego and the birthplace of California. There's much to explore, like the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Want to see Victorian architecture? Wander over to Heritage County Park. Want to learn some history? Visit one of the historic buildings or museums, like the Mason St. Schoolhouse (San Diego's first public school), the Whaley House (said to be haunted), La Casa de Estudillo (an adobe hacienda), and more. There are food options, too, such as Casa Guadalajara, Cafe Coyote, Tuetano Taqueria, and more. Old Town is easily accessible via the Green Line or the UC San Diego Blue Line. Take the Trolley so you can spend your time exploring instead of trying to park in one of the few parking spaces available in Old Town.

Fireworks over San Diego
Big Bay Boooooom! By Wenjie Qiao is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

7. Big Bay Boom

The Big Bay Boom is San Diego's biggest fireworks show, and MTS is here to take you to the prime viewing spots all along San Diego Bay. Many spots are just a quick walk from the Trolley via the UC San Diego Blue Line or the Green Line. We'll post service information in June on our Big Bay Boom event page.

San Diego Pride
Courtesy of San Diego Pride

8. San Diego Pride Parade and Festival

The annual San Diego Pride Parade takes place on July 15, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. and is the largest single-day civic event in the region and is among the largest Pride parades in the United States, attracting over 300,000 people. Come cheer on colorful floats & parade participants as we celebrate and honor the LGBTQ+ community at the San Diego Pride Parade in Hillcrest. The San Diego Pride Festival is a 2-day event from July 15 to 16, highlighting the best in LGBTQ+ entertainment, interactive exhibits, cultural presentations, and community events. For more information and tickets, visit sdpride.org.

Rapid 215 will get you to the Pride festivities with 15-minute or better service throughout most of the day. Connect to the free Pride shuttle service at Park Blvd. and Presidents Way. (Northbound stop: Park Blvd. and Naval Hospital. Southbound Stop: Park Blvd. and Inspiration Point Way)


9. Comic-Con

Comic-Con is one of San Diego’s biggest events and every year hordes of fans make a pilgrimage to San Diego to take in all that pop culture has to offer. Even if you didn’t manage to snag a ticket, there’s so much to do outside of the convention center as downtown San Diego morphs into a pop culture mecca. Be sure to look out for our Comic-Con Guide later this summer for information on how to get downtown for this special event.
One last tip - if you’re here on vacation this summer and don’t want to rent a car (or even a staycation and want to avoid parking), be sure to check out our Car Free San Diego Travel Guide with tips on places to travel to in San Diego with no worries about parking, traffic, or gas prices.

These are just some things you can do in San Diego this summer. With its beautiful weather, stunning scenery, and endless activities, San Diego is the perfect place to be for the summer. Be sure to get out and enjoy it all with MTS.

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