With extended daylight hours, more people are outside after work. San Diego is an excellent place to be anytime, but in the summer, it is fantastic. The weather is nice, the ocean breeze cools the summer heat and the rush hour traffic disappears. Evening entertainment does not need to be expensive; there are plenty of fun, free things to do in a city like San Diego, California.
Roast hot dogs over a beach fire pit.
One thing that is in short supply in San Diego is beach fire pits. Almost lost completely due to budget cuts, the mayor recently stated beach fire pits will remain in place on popular San Diego City beaches due to several donations from a local businesses and citizens. With an operating cost of over $120,000 per year, the mayor and city council thought removing the fire pits would be a way to cut the budget. Most of the cost of the fire pits comes from the city employees needed to clean the pit regularly and the use of a front-loader to empty the ash and debris from the 2,000 pound cement fire pits.
But the citizens of San Diego disagreed with the city council and felt the fire pits were a tradition in San Diego that needed to stay. Money soon poured in to save the concrete fire pits that are a favorite of beach goers. So before the fire goes out and the city council has it way, get to the beach early and reserve your fire pit. They go fast as families’ stake their claim early in the day. Fire pits are currently available in Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, on Coronado beach, on Mission Bay beaches, and at La Jolla Shores.
Catch fish while standing on a pier.
San Diego and fishing go hand in hand. No need to buy a boat or even rent one; pier fishing is available on six different piers in San Diego. No fishing license is required to fish on a pier but all other Fish and Game restriction apply, such as size, bag limits and endangered species restrictions. Take the kids along and let them catch the first fish of the summer.
Starting with the most southern pier, fishing can be done at Imperial Beach Pier, Shelter Island, Ocean Beach pier, Crystal Pier, at the Coronado Ferry Landing and in the north county, on the Oceanside Pier. Fish caught from these piers are yours to keep as long as they are within legal size limits and are not on the endangered list. Grab your fishing pole and a lawn chair and fish to your satisfaction.
Enjoy the free fireworks displays.
Watching fireworks on the 4th of July is an American tradition. Though the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation, located in Encinitas, California has submitted claims that fireworks over the water must obtain a permit, the tradition of fireworks will continue in San Diego County.
Sea World, who shut down their fireworks display in 2006 due to concerns over environmental pollution, has resumed their weekend fireworks displays after obtaining a permit following years of testing which have consistently demonstrated no adverse impact from fireworks over Mission Bay. Fireworks from Sea World can be seen from miles around and are best seen from across the bay in the Mission Bay area. If tradition continues, regardless of the environmentalists, fireworks over the water can be expected over the Big Bay, near the Midway Air Craft Carrier Museum, at the Mission Bay Yacht Club, over Glorietta Bay in Coronado, over the pier in Imperial Beach and in the skies above Oceanside near the Grandstand and pier.
Fireworks are also displayed inland, away from the water. The San Diego County Fair has a fireworks display every Independence Day, as does Lego Land in Carlsbad, Kimball Park in National City, Brengle Terrace Park in Vista, Bradley Park in San Marcos, Webb Park in Rancho Bernardo and Grape Day Park in Escondido. Where ever you like your fireworks, over water or over land, check your local listings for times an locations.
On a personal note, my favorite fire pits are at La Jolla shores as the parking is very convenient, the restrooms are clean and the life guards are friendly. My favorite pier is the Oceanside Pier as it is very long, 1,942 feet, has a restaurant at the end as well as on the shore and there are wash stations on the pier to rinse off your hands. Being as I live on a hill in south San Diego, I can watch fireworks from Imperial Beach, Kimball Park and Glorietta Bay without leaving my yard. San Diego is filled with free things to do this summer; venture out and have some fun.