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The Ultimate Guide to Summer Boating in San Diego: Top Destinations Insider Tips

a large ship in the water

Are you planning a trip to San Diego but need help figuring out what to do while there? One excellent option is boating in the summer. San Diego not only has pristine beaches, engaging museums, and exciting theme parks, but it also has incredible hiking, incredible parks, and fantastic water activities. Have you considered a boating adventure?

Sunny San Diego Days

San Diego’s weather ranges from the low 60s to the high 70s throughout the summer. June ranges from 62-72 degrees, while July and August have 66-76 degrees and 67-77 degrees, respectively. The temperature of the ocean during the summer is approximately 67 degrees. In addition, you can expect low rainfall, with a 31-day average of roughly 0.1-0.3 inches, but June skies may be overcast. Don’t forget about September and October. Although this is late summer and early fall, the weather can be magnificent, with warm days and gorgeous sunsets. 

Navigating San Diego’s Waters

Due to its location on the Pacific Ocean, you can access numerous San Diego water activities. For example, you can take the ferry to Coronado, jump on a whale-watching cruise, charter a boat for sport fishing or sightseeing, or visit a beach with your kayak, paddleboard, or surfboard.

Summer in San Diego may start with exploring San Diego or Mission Bay, which are somewhat protected waters where you can take a small boat, fishing skiff, pontoon, or deck boat. However, for the Pacific Ocean, you need a larger boat.

Plan a party on a yacht or join a summer yacht tour for an exciting adventure. You can also lease speedboats, catamarans, jet skis, or rigid inflatable boats to pick up the pace. With a kayak, you can tour sea caves. If you want a more private boating or customized experience, charter a boat.

a girl riding a wave on a surfboard in the ocean

What You’ll Discover

You can find several wildlife refuges and parks in the San Diego Bay. You can dock your boat in one of the many areas along the bay and find shopping, dinner, museums, or great hikes.

On the ocean, join a coastal cruise where you observe the city’s skyline. Find the sea lions in La Jolla Cove as you marvel at the clear aquamarine waters that greet the horizon in the distance. On a sportfishing adventure, you can catch tuna, sharks, marlin, and yellowtail amberjack, among other large fish. You may also see several different types of whales and dolphins.  

You will find a variety of landscapes in Mission Bay, where you will find hidden coves, land masses that appear to jut out, and places where you can anchor your boat to find shore activities.

Tips From a Local

Some of your best information about San Diego summer activities, including boating, comes from the locals. These residents can tell you what beaches to visit, what companies offer the best cruises, and what attractions you should visit.

Many locals suggest a kayak and snorkel tour to visit sea caves and see sea life. You should also consider a harbor cruise to explore San Diego landmarks, including Coronado Bridge and the Midway Aircraft Carrier. Enjoy a whale- and dolphin-watching cruise with your family. You may even seek a romantic sunset or night tour where you can look back at the lighted skyline.

a wooden pier next to a body of water

What To Bring

When you plan to go boating in San Diego, you need your ID. Check with your charter or boat leasing company about safety equipment, such as flares, horns, a first aid kit, and life jackets. If you plan to fish, have your fishing license. Don’t forget sun protection, comfortable shoes, and a dry bag for sensitive documents and electronics. Bring a jacket, camera, snacks, and water.

No trip to San Diego is complete without some type of boating activity. Check out all the fun you can have on the water during your visit.