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Top Ocean Activities to Do in San Diego


By Gina Tarnacki
San Diego Expert, about.com

San Diego is the land of surf and sun during the summer. When the rays are hot and the Pacific can be enjoyed without a wetsuit, it's prime time to enjoy one of San Diego's many ocean activities. Here are five summer ocean experiences every San Diegan (or visitor!) should do at least once.

Kayaking in San Diego

Kayaking is a wonderful way to experience the ocean coastline of San Diego or to explore the bay. Kayaks can be for one or two people and provide the opportunity for seeing San Diego wilderness.
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Where to Do It
La Jolla Shores: Head here to see seals and explore caves in the cliffs. La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaks offers fun and small-group tours through the caves.


Mission Bay: For calmer waters, paddle around Mission Bay. Rent a kayak from Aqua Adventures, located right on the bay.

San Diego Ocean Surfing

There is no sport more synonymous with San Diego than surfing. Those who live here and don't surf are usually envious of those who do. If you fit into that category, take comfort in the fact that surfing is a sport that it is never too late to learn.

San Diego makes it even easier to learn to surf with its large variety of waves for every skill level and access to top surf schools.


Where to Do It

Pacific Beach: San Diego Surf School offers fun classes for all ages.


Encinitas: For those who live in North County San Diego, the Leucadia Surf School offers classes and camps in Encinitas.


With a Buddy: Ask a surfing friend with an extra board to take you out for the day. La Jolla Shores north of the pier is a good spot for surf novices who want to try it on their own.

Boogie Boarding the Waves

Those who aren't accomplished surfers can still ride the waves effortlessly with boogie boarding, also referred to as body boarding. A boogie board is much smaller than a surf board -- usually only a few feet long (different sizes are made for different heights).

[post_ads]To ride a boogie board, simply wade out into the ocean where the waves break, push off into a wave, and lay your torso over the top of the board. Leaning to the right or left will enable you to turn as you make your way through the ocean toward shore.

Where to Do It

Pacific Beach: PB has some of the best waves for boogie boarding. The waves are strong and the depth of the water stays fairly shallow for a long ways in, meaning it’s easier to push off into a wave using your feet as force instead of having to paddle into it.

Standup Paddleboarding in the Ocean 

This new fitness trend isn't just a good workout, it's also fun. Body board out over the waves to where the ocean gets calm and then stand up to begin paddling. Balance is key for standup paddleboarding, which is why it is such a great workout -- it uses all your muscles, especially your core, to stay upright on the long, flat board. Most surf or kayak shops in San Diego now offer paddleboard rentals.

Where to Do It

Del Mar: The area of ocean off of Del Mar is a great option as the surf tends to stay lower. However, any part of the ocean that isn't too rocky or wavy works well for paddle boarding.

Snorkeling in San Diego's Calmer Waters

Learn what's under the water where you live by snorkeling. You'll get the chance to see all sorts of fish and other sea creatures.

Where to Do It
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La Jolla Cove: With gentle lapping waves and good visibility, the La Jolla Cove is an ideal place to snorkel. The La Jolla Cove is home to fish, lobster, crabs, seals and reef sharks, resulting in an exciting snorkeling adventure. Everyday California is an adventure equipment shop located close to the cove that rents out snorkel equipment and also offers snorkel tours.

For a fun summer activity, check out one of these San Diego ocean activities. You may find yourself soon investing in your own piece of equipment so you can kayak, surf or do another San Diego ocean activity more often.

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