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San Diego's Top Summer Attractions

New rides and exhibits, extended hours and more!

Along with 70 miles of beach and plenty of sunshine, summer in San Diego also comes with plenty of family fun and excitement at world-class attractions. 

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SeaWorld San Diego

Emperor Dive Coaster

Now Open!
Climb aboard SeaWorld San Diego's newest and biggest roller coaster yet for an adrenaline-spiking adventure that reaches 60 mph! The Emperor — a floorless coaster that’s the tallest and fastest of its kind in California — dangles riders more than 150 feet above the park before sending them on a 90-degree dive and then through a series of exhilarating loops. Take the plunge and get a firsthand feel for the resident Emperor penguins' epic journey from frosted Antarctic cliffs into the depths of the ocean.

Electric Ocean

When: May 28 - August 14, 2022
Get ready to be dazzled as the sea comes alive at night with Electric Ocean, SeaWorld's spectacular nighttime celebration! Make plans to celebrate summer with nine amazing experiences, including two incredible live shows and an end-of-night laser light spectacular. Voyage into exotic underwater worlds that come alive with pulsing energy, electrifying dance music and mesmerizing light effects as the sun sets. Join live performers inspired by playful sea creatures at this party along the shore, where world-class DJ’s transform the night into an all-ages club beneath the waves.

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San Diego Zoo

Wildlife Explorers Basecamp

Now open!
This spectacular, brand-new addition to the world-famous San Diego Zoo is a 3.2-acre adventure zone that combines inventive play areas with up-close wildlife encounters. Get ready to spend time in the company of crocodiles, foxes, squirrel monkeys and more as you make your way across rope bridges and past shimmering lagoons. (And bring a swimsuit for the splash zones.) Built on the site of the former Children's Zoo, the Basecamp — which takes in habitats from desert dunes to marsh meadows — is a family-minded wonderland of hands-on opportunities for both learning and fun.

Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo

When: Mid-June through Labor Day
Stay after dark and celebrate summer during Nighttime Zoo. Come "rock and roar" after the sun goes down, with live music and other amazing entertainment experiences. There's so much to do, see and hear at Nighttime Zoo — it's a good thing summer hours are longer!

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San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Summer Safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

When: May through mid-August
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park invites you to join in family-friendly summer adventures around this expansive and beautiful oasis of animal and plant life in Escondido. Experience the majesty of African wildlife, and take in plenty of great live music and fun entertainment throughout the park.

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Sesame Place San Diego

A Brand-New Theme Park to Explore!

Now open!
This splashy new attraction — the only "Sesame Street"-themed park on the West Coast — combines all the family-friendly fun of the beloved TV show with an impressive collection of zippy rides and water slides. Kids of all ages will enjoy the 18 "Sesame Street"-themed rides and water attractions, which include a roller coaster and a 500,000-gallon wave pool as well as a musical play area, an interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood and much more. Sesame Place also is a Certified Autism Center, offering a wide range of accommodations for those on the autism spectrum and their families.

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LEGOLAND California Resort


When: Opens May 12, 2022
How about a quick spin in a build-your-own hot rod? Budding gearheads and aspiring race-car drivers will want to check out LEGO Ferrari Build and Race — a three-zone fantasyland of full-throttle fun that opens May 12 at LEGOLAND California. Not only can participants design a model car and test it on the track, but they can even sit in a life-size LEGO Ferrari F40 for a keepsake photo.

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Balboa Park

San Diego's Cultural Heart

Summer brings fresh excitement to beautiful Balboa Park, as this signature San Diego destination celebrates the opening of one museum, the major renovation of another and the anticipated reopening of a third. Take in a fascinating array of pop-culture history at the brand-new Comic-Con Museum, which offers fresh perspectives on all the fun behind San Diego’s world-famous Comic-Con International. Explore the gorgeously renovated Mingei International Museum, which showcases folk art from around the world and also offers two exciting new dining options: the casual, grab-n-go Craft Café and the chef-inspired Artifact at Mingei. And get ready to reacquaint yourself with the Timken Museum of Art, the eclectic Balboa Park institution that’s expected to reopen in the coming months. With the Balboa Park Explorer Pass — which offers savings up to 58% off general admission — you’ll have access to 16 of the park’s great museums. And while you’re there, make sure to set aside some summer moments for relaxation and contemplation amid the serene outdoor settings of the park, San Diego’s 1,200-acre cultural gem.

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Belmont Park

Beachfront Fun is Back

Perched on the surf and sand of Mission Beach, Belmont Park is San Diego's only beachfront amusement center! This classic Southern California boardwalk experience bursts with summer fun. From the historic Giant Dipper roller coaster to a dozen other classic rides along with adventures such as ziplining and laser tag, plus four dynamic oceanfront restaurants, Belmont Park is the place to spend memorable summer days with the whole family!

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Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Little Penguins, Big Wows

When: Summer 2022
The Birch Aquarium at Scripps, poised atop a seaside bluff with sweeping views of the Pacific, is set to open its biggest exhibit yet this summer: the Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins habitat. This exciting addition will make the Birch the only aquarium in the Western United States to host the species, the smallest penguins on Earth. The 2,900-square-foot exhibit includes both rocky and sandy shore habitat and an 18,000-gallon pool, where you’ll get a rare chance to watch the penguins socialize, interact, and build nests. There’s also a small amphitheater and a “discovery cave” for more unique viewing experiences. Come check out these fascinating animals in an incredible setting!

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USS Midway Museum and Maritime Museum of San Diego

Water Wonders on San Diego’s Bayfront

When: Throughout Summer 2022
A historic aircraft carrier and a fascinating fleet of vintage vessels make for see-worthy summer adventures on San Diego's sparkling Embarcadero. Climb aboard the USS Midway Museum for an unforgettable experience, featuring picture-perfect views of the city and harbor from the carrier's flight deck. Take in a self-guided audio tour and check out the Midway’s flight simulators, climb-in aircraft, ejection seats and cockpit and more. Then, muster yourself over to the Maritime Museum of San Diego for a whole flotilla of fun. Take a tour of the Star of India — the world's oldest active sailing ship, and a proud San Diego landmark — plus the stately Victorian Era steam ferry Berkeley, the USS Dolphin submarine, a replica of the 16th-century galleon replica San Salvador and much more.

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Cabrillo National Monument

A Commanding View of History

When: Throughout Summer 2022
A visit to this dramatic San Diego landmark is a summer must for its sweeping views of Point Loma, Downtown San Diego, Coronado, Mexico and the blue Pacific beyond. The Cabrillo National Monument also offers fascinating opportunities to explore the natural, historical and cultural history of the San Diego region, with a museum, tidepools, an 1855 lighthouse (once known as the highest in the United States) and much more.

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Discount Passes

When: Throughout Summer 2022
For more great discounts on activities and attractions around San Diego, check out such excellent deals as the passes from Go City / Go San Diego, which offer all-inclusive access to more than 55 great attractions — including SeaWorld San Diego, the San Diego Zoo and Legoland California. Or the San Diego CityPASS, with savings of up to 42% on all the top area theme parks and attractions.

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