Quick Find Categories of Sports & Recreation

San Diego’s most popular outdoor sports are played at Qual­comm Stadium (619-641-3100) in Mission Valley, off Interstates 8 and 15. It’s where the San Diego State University’s Aztecs play their home football games.

Petco Park (619-795-5000) in downtown San Diego is where the San Diego Padres play their home games. They compete in the West division of the National League in Major League Baseball.

The Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd. (619-224-4171), is home to the San Diego Gulls professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League. You can also see circuses, Disney shows, wrestling, ice skating, special events and concerts. And Kobey’s Swap Meet, which is by far the largest swap meet in town calls the Sports Arena’s parking lot home. See Shopping.


Birch Aquarium at Scripps, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla (858-534-3474) [aquarium.ucsd.edu]. Open daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Birch Aquarium is the public outreach center for world-renowned Scripps Institution of Ocean­ography, where visitors of all ages can explore more than 3,000 colorful fish and invertebrates. Parking is free. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.

The Living Coast
Living Coast Discovery Center,
1000 Gunpowder Point Dr., Chula Vista (619-409-5900) [thelivingcoast.org]. The Discovery Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The San Diego Padres (619-795-5000) [padres.com] of the National League play home games (April–Oct.) at Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., downtown. Prices vary and special discounts are offered for the military. Pre-sold parking (1-877-374-2784) ($15). To avoid traffic jams, take the Metropolitan Transit System’s (MTS) Trolley (619-557-4555) (511).

Bay & Ocean Cruises, Excursions & Charters

Adventure Sail at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, 1492 N. Harbor Dr., downtown San Diego (619-234-9153 ext. 101). Adventure Sail price includes a three-hour sailing adventure and admission to the Maritime Museum and is ($60) for adults; ($57) for seniors 62+, active military with ID and students; ($48) for children 3–12; ($44) for adult members and ($40) for members 3-12. Children 2 and younger are free. Visit [sdmaritime.org] for sailing schedule. Spend a day on beautiful San Diego Bay sailing aboard the Californian, a replica of an 1847 revenue cutter. You’ll join the experienced crew in sailing the ship as it would have been sailed in the 1800s. See Historical Museums chapter and the Embarcadero Chapter. Use their discount coupon in the SAN DIEGAN and receive $2 off admission for up to four people. Credit cards: AE, MC, VISA.

H & M Landing, 2803 Emerson St., Point Loma on San Diego Bay (619-222-1144). See Point Loma chapter. Also see Whale Watching in this chapter.

Hornblower Cruises & Events, 970 N. Harbor Dr., at the Embarcadero, downtown (619-686-8715) [hornblower.com]. Dinner Cruises set sail nightly. See Restaurants. Also see Whale Watching in this chapter. Enjoy their one-hour Harbor Cruise ($25) adults; ($23) seniors 55 and over and active/retired military; ($12.50) children 4–12. Boats depart from the Embarcadero at 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and during the summer at 5:30 p.m. This impressive tour includes views of historic ships, the San Diego skyline, Coronado Island, shipyards and navy ships. The two-hour Harbor Cruise: ($30) adults; ($28) seniors 55 and over and active/retired military; ($15) children 4–12. Boats depart 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m. and 3 p.m. from the Embarcadero and also at 4:15 p.m. in the summer. Be sure to use their discount coupon in this book for $5 off harbor cruises, brunch and dinner cruises, plus Sights & Sips happy hour cruise! For special occasions, business functions and weddings, their private charters for groups up to 1,000 are fabulous! Call (619-686-8700). See Embarcadero. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.

Beach Gear Rentals for Recreation

Cheap Rentals, 3689 Mission Blvd. and 3715 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach (858-488-9070) [cheap-rentals.com]. Open daily in the summer from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Mention ad for 15 percent off rentals. If you have a military I.D. your discount is 15 percent off. Cheap Rentals is where you can rent stand-up paddleboards or SUPs, surfboards, bikes, skateboards, kayaks, bodyboards, skimboards, wetsuits, fins, snorkeling equipment and beach chairs at down-to-earth prices. Plus, they offer a free surfing lesson with every surfboard rental. They were voted “Best surf rental shop in San Diego” by the San Diego Reader. This is the place for renting bikes, boards, SUPs and Fun! Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.

Liquid Foundation Surf, 3731 MissionBlvd, Mission Beach (858-488- 3260) [www.lfsurf.com]. Open daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Make sure to visit the world famous Liquid Foundation Surf. At Liquid Foundation, they believe surfing is a way of life. As a matter of fact, every employee is a surfer. Whether you are new to surfing or have been surfing your whole life, they are here to help you. It is their goal to help everyone have a wonderful experience while surfing. They have designed and manufactured their own homegrown Liquid Foundation brand of clothes, gear and accessories. The store also carries the latest clothing and gear from many top brands like Reef, AlpineStar, Electric Sunglasses, Sector 9, GoPro and many more. They have several professional shapers making almost all of their boards, as well as the ability to take custom shaped surfboard orders. This is the place where they pride themselves in being a truly core surf shop in San Diego.Credit Cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.

Mission Beach Rentals at Belmont Park, located on the south side of Belmont Park’s huge parking lot. (858-488-4457). Open daily 10 a.m.–8 p.m. This is yet another location of Cheap Rentals in Mission Beach. This is where you can rent a cool beach cruiser for ($7) an hour and cruise the boardwalk. All you need is an I.D. and a bank credit card as a deposit. Plus, they have changing rooms and a great staff to help you find the right gear be it a bike, inline skates, beach chairs, boogie board, surfboard or a cool skateboard. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.

Deep-Sea Fishing

H&M Landing, 2803 Emerson St., Point Loma on San Diego Bay near Shelter Island (619-222-1144) [hmlanding.com]. H&M Landing is the oldest and most established firm with the most boats and the widest range of sportfishing trips available. This sportfishing leader offers deep-sea fishing trips from half day to 18 days in length and can provide you with all the tackle you need. They also operate exciting whale watching cruises in the winter and spring. Rental tackle, licenses are available in the tackle shop. Present their ad for $5 off on 1/2 and 3/4 day fishing or whale watching trips for up to six people. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.

Game Parlor & Pizza Joint

La Bella Cafe & Games, 373 Third Ave., Chula Vista (619-426-8820) [labellapizza.com], is open Mon.–Thurs. 3 p.m.–11 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.–1 a.m. and Sun. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. For fun and games this is the place. It’s a game parlor and restaurant all rolled into one. Not only can you play games but you can also get great food and drinks. They’ve got 20,000-sq. ft. filled with 50 games, eight pool tables and more. Games cost ($.50) to ($1) and you don’t even need quarters. Just fill your Eat, Drink and Play Game Card and play until it’s time to cash in the points at the prize counter. Come one, come all for the best fun in town! See Restaurants. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.

Executive Golf Courses

Savvy golfers make their budget stretch by making full use of the dozens of executive courses to perfect their game on. Here are a couple of good ones:

Mission Bay Golf Course and Practice Center, 2702 N. Mission Bay Dr., Pacific Beach (858-581-7880). Open daily from 6:45 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. This fun yet challenging course is the only lighted course in the city but its a fun and challenging course, day or night. This kid friendly course is 2,719 yards in length. Tiger Woods won a Junior World Title on this course. Credit cards: AE, MC, VISA.

Tecolote Canyon Golf Course, 2755 Snead Ave., Clairemont (858-279-1600) [tecolotecanyon.com]. Driving Range. Clubhouse Lessons. Tecolote Canyon Golf Courses unique claim to fame is that it is the only Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Sam Snead-designed golf course in San Diego County. See the Bay Park chapter for directions to this perfectly located in-the-city executive course. This 3,161-yard golf course is both challenging and fun. Southland Golf magazine includes it on their “Hot List” of best executive courses in California. Credit cards: AE, MC. VISA.

Hang Gliding & Paragliding

Torrey Pines Gliderport, 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr., off N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla (858-452-9858). See La Jolla map. Open daily 9 a.m.–sunset. An added touch that they offer is live music every Saturday during the summer from 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Come see the hang gliders and paragliders gracefully soar off the ocean cliffs at Torrey Pines. It’s a fabulous attraction! Plus, it’s free!

Horse Racing

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar Fairgrounds (858-755-1141) [delmarracing.com]. Located just off Interstate 5 at Via de la Valle in Del Mar, it is 20 miles north of downtown San Diego. The Summer Meet runs from Wednesday, July 19 through Monday, September 4. Closed Mondays (except Labor Day) and Tuesdays. The Bing Crosby Meet runs from Wednesday, November 1 through Sunday, November 26. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (except November 1). Gates open two hours before post time except Opening Day and Pacific Classic Day (August 19), when they open 2-1/2 hours before. General admission on opening day is ($30); all other days ($10); reserved seating is ($5–$25) additional; clubhouse seating at Terrace Restaurant is ($50-$350). Prices subject to change. Post time is 2 p.m.; Fridays 4 p.m. Parking for general admission and early bird is ($10); valet ($25). Offtrack betting at Surfside Race Place at Del Mar (858-755-1167). It’s open from Wed.–Sun. during the day and Fri.–Sun. nights. Doors open at 9 a.m. Surfside is open Sept.–July.

Kayak  Rentals & Beach Equipment

La Jolla Kayak, 2199 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla (858-459-1114) [lajollakayak.com]. Open daily 8 a.m.–sunset. La Jolla Kayak is ideally located just a block and a half from the beach at La Jolla Shores. Established in 1995, they are the original ocean adventure outfitter in San Diego. Today, this full-service kayak, snorkel and bike rental company offers fascinating guided tours of the spectacular sea cliffs at the La Jolla Ecological Reserve, the La Jolla Underwater Park and the Seven Caves of La Jolla. You can also rent a single or double kayak to explore on your own. La Jolla Kayak also rents surfboards, boogie boards, wet suits, snorkeling gear, beach chairs and umbrellas. You’ll find free on-site lockers and changing rooms a benefit too. If you like to bike, then definitely sign up for their exhilarating Soledad Slide Bike Tour that takes you from the top of La Jolla’s scenic landmark, Mt. Soledad, on a downhill plunge of 823 feet, winding two miles downhill, finishing at beautiful La Jolla Shores. Use their discount coupon in this book for $5 off single kayak tour Don’t miss these unique and fascinating excursions on land and sea with the most experienced firm at the beach. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA


Fleet Science Center, at 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park (619-238-1233) [rhfleet.org]. Admission is ($19.95) for adults; ($17.95) for seniors; and ($16.95) for juniors 3-12. They open daily at 10 a.m.­­ and close at these times on these days: Mon.–Thurs. 5 p.m., and Fri., Sat. and Sun. at 6 p.m. This “must see” 93,505 sq. ft. science center showcases more than 100 fascinating interactive exhibits that will both fascinate and entertain people of all ages. Plus, they offer monthly blockbuster IMAX films and mind-boggling films on Southern California’s only Heikoff Giant Dome Theater with its wraparound screen that surrounds the audience, creating a “you-are-there” experience. This awe-inspiring Balboa Park attraction, with it’s dome theatre, offers thrilling onscreen adventures such as floating through outer space or a dive to the ocean depths without leaving the comfort of your seat! Don’t miss seeing this incredible attraction. Their extensive gift shop is filled with fascinating treasures. Credit Cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.

Surfing Lessons

Cheap Rentals, 3689 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach (858-488-9070) [cheap-rentals.com]. Open daily. They offer a free surfing lesson with every surfboard rental. And a 15 percent discount with a military I.D. Also See Beach Gear Rentals in this chapter.

Bike & Segway Rentals

Wheel Fun Rentals and San Diego Segway Tours have cornered the market with a unique way to have fun seeing the city. Seeing a Segway rolling down the street giving its passengers an effortless excursion of the many attractions San Diego is know for has become a big hit. If this is your mode of transportation, then you’ll find them at 1355 North Harbor Dr. (619-342-7244). This location is just across the street from the cruise ship terminal and it’s open daily from 9 a.m.–sunset. Its parent transportation service is Wheel Fun Rentals (619-342-7244) with locations to serve you in: Wyndham San Diego Bayside, Balboa Park, Marriott Marquis & Marina, Sheraton Hotel & Marina, PeDels at Hotel Del Coronado and the Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve. What’s so fun about Wheel Fun Rentals is that as many as 4 people, depending on your size, can all ride the same bike. Seeing is believing! Credit cards: DISC, MC, VISA

Whale Watching

H&M Landing, 2803 Emerson St., Point Loma on San Diego Bay (619-222-1144) [hmlanding.com]. The pioneers in offshore whale watching since 1953. Trips are available Dec.–March. Call for rates and reservations. In the winter months Dec–March, they offer three-hour coastal cruises and six-hour island cruises to view the California Gray Whale migration. Trips include naturalist narration and commentary on the sights of San Diego Bay. Dolphins, sea lions and sea birds are also seen on every cruise. To watch whales from San Diego, trust the sea savvy pioneers at H&M Landing. Present their ad for $5 off on 1/2 and 3/4 day fishing or whale ­watching trips. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.

Hornblower Cruises &  Events in partnership with San Diego Natural History Museum, 970 N. Harbor Dr., at the Embarcadero, downtown San Diego (619-686-8715) [hornblower.com]. Grey whale and dolphin watching year round with departures at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily. Tours are three-and-a-half hours long and include a video and whale exhibits featuring fossils. Cost is ($41) weekdays and ($46) weekends for adults; seniors and military receive ($2) off; and ($20.50) weekdays and ($23) weekends for children 4–17. Children under 3 are admitted free. Blue whale watching is everyday June to September from 8:45 a.m.–1 p.m ($65) per adult. Whale sightings are guaranteed or receive a “whale check” for a free trip. Be sure to use their coupon in the SAN DIEGAN for $5 off cocktail cruises, brunch and dinner cruises or harbor cruises! After taking a whale watching cruise aboard a Hornblower yacht, you’ll undoubtedly want to take your sweetheart on a dinner cruise aboard a luxurious Hornblower yacht. This romantic cruise leaves from the Embarcadero at sunset and includes a photograph, which is an optional purchase. With awesome city and bay views, delicious cuisine, and dancing, you can’t go wrong. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA