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7 Things to Do this August

Bask in San Diego's summer glow

Take in outdoor concerts, street art, stage happenings, paddling adventures and more.

 

Humphreys Concerts by the Bay

Number 1

Give Your Ears a Gift

San Diego brims with musical riches in August, and the bounty begins with the grand opening of The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, the new outdoor home of the San Diego Symphony. The Shell hosts two gala concerts with the full symphony on opening weekend, Aug 6-7. Later in the month, such stars as the rapper Nas (Aug 10), the R&B legend Smokey Robinson (Aug 21) and the Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson (Aug 31) land at the elegant bayside venue. Over on Shelter Island, take in some tunes at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, which is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its waterfront concert series with such acts as Cheap Trick (Aug 13) and the Common Kings (Aug 20-21). Or trade baseball for a triple play of alt-rock darlings, as Green Day, Fall Out Boy and Weezer take the field at the San Diego Padres' Petco Park for an open-air concert Aug 29.

Two women looking at a scultpure at the outdoor Artwalk at Liberty Station

Number 2

Check out all the best fests

Culture and the great outdoors make for a pair without peer in San Diego. In Point Loma, Artwalk@Liberty Station will showcase the work of more than 150 artists from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, as the fest unfolds Aug 7-8 for its 16th year. In North County, the Carlsbad Music Festival promises "adventurous music by the beach" as it brings together some two dozen eclectic acts Aug 27-29 in the heart of Carlsbad Village. And at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park, the Toro Nagashi Festival (Aug 7) commemorates the summer Obon tradition of honoring ancestors, with food, performances and more.

Outdoor theater at the The Old Globe in Balboa Park

Take in a Play

Live theater makes its long-awaited return to the stages of San Diego — a nationally renowned theater town — in a big way this month. And it's hard to think of a more fitting celebration than the exuberant, '60s-vintage lovefest "Hair," a play powered by flowers. The Old Globe presents the "American Tribal Love-Rock Musical" (its official subtitle) starting Aug 10 on the outdoor Davies Festival Theatre stage. Up in Vista, Moonlight Stage Productions likewise embraces a musical classic with its revival of "A Chorus Line," the latest production in the company's beloved summer series under the stars at the beautiful Moonlight Amphitheatre. The show opens Aug 18.

Electric Ocean at SeaWorld San Diego

Linger at Marquee Attractions

Get ready to extend the fun way past sunset at a trio of top San Diego attractions, with extended hours and special nighttime happenings. Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo welcomes visitors to roam after dark and take in the sounds of Rock and Roar (the in-house pop band), or the acrobats and laser effects of the atmospheric presentation "Call of the Night," through Sep 6. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park stays open until 7:00 PM through Aug 15 and offers special musical performances, acrobats and more during Summer Safari. And at SeaWorld San Diego, the spectacular, high-tech family dance party Electric Ocean continues, with sea creatures brought to life in pulsing light. The experience includes such sensory treats as Anemone Avenue, the Laser Reef Light Show and the 21-and-up Club Glow. And it's topped off by the Ignite fireworks display, which will conjure oohs and ahhs Fridays-Sundays through Sep 6.

Group of kayakers in La Jolla

Paddle Your Way Through Paradise

Kayaking is an ideal way to get out on the water in August, when the water is warm and the waves are typically mellow. The top spot is the Seven Caves area near La Jolla Cove, where you can catch glimpses of the vibrant orange garibaldi — California's state marine fish — or brave the spray inside a sea cave. Numerous outfitters at nearby La Jolla Shores rent kayaks by the hour or day, as well as paddleboards and snorkeling gear. Don't forget the sunscreen!

Toasting tasters of local craft beer

Number 6

Raise a Toast to Craft Beer

Stone Brewing, San Diego's craft-beer behemoth (or is that "beerhemoth"?), marks its 25th anniversary this year. And that's as good a reason as any to celebrate the foamy fabulousness of this hops-happy town. Visit Stone's expansive bistros at Liberty Station or in Escondido to sample the brewer's 25th Anniversary Triple IPA (set for release in August). Mike Hess Brewing hosts its 11th annual HessFest at the Imperial Beach Pier on Aug 28, with live music, a cornhole tourney and plenty of brews; net proceeds benefit the Navy SEAL Foundation, the San Diego Music Foundation and Next Step Service Dogs. Or check out San Diego's scads of other excellent beer purveyors, including Ballast Point, Thorn Brewing Co, Pure Project and Coronado Brewing Co, all with tasting rooms conveniently located throughout the county.

People around a bonfire pit in San Diego

Light Up the Night With a Beach Bonfire

After a day of swimming, surfing and sunbathing, there is no better way to enjoy a San Diego evening than relaxing next to a crackling bonfire on the beach. Many of San Diego's popular beaches come equipped with fire pits that are available for use during summer months. You can bring your hot dogs and marshmallows to roast and enjoy a fun night with family and friends under the stars. Fire pits dot the sand along Pacific Beach and are popular for sunset bonfires that continue into the night. Mission Bay Park has many beaches that provide fire pits like Playa Pacifica which wraps around a cove known as Leisure Lagoon. The sandy beach along Shelter Island Shoreline Park is small, but the breathtaking nighttime views of the downtown skyline, San Diego Bay and picturesque Point Loma can't be beat.

> 7 Beaches for Nighttime Bonfires
Surfing in Pacific Beach 25 Free things to Do in San Diego

Bonus: 25 Fun & Free Things to Do

Having fun in San Diego doesn't require a lot of money; in fact, many things to see and do are absolutely free. This August, visit San Diego for a fun and inexpensive getaway with these 25 free things to do.

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