The Best Ways to Stay Cool In San Diego

San Diego has a well-deserved reputation for its nearly perfect weather, but there are a few weeks out of the year where residents and tourists alike endure scorching temperatures -- so it's a necessity to find ways to keep your cool. Here, ways to enjoy this gorgeous SoCal town when the thermometer starts to rise.

  • 01 of 07

    Stay Cool at the Beaches

    Lifeguard flag, Pacific Beach, San Diego
    ••• Lifeguard flag on Pacific Beach in San Diego. Getty Images/Richard Cummins

    No surprise here -- The beach is what San Diego is known for. And when the temperature gets hot, the hot head to the beach. Pacific, Mission, Del Mar, Coronado -- they're all fabulous locales for a beach day. Just head west, fight for a parking space, bake on the sand and then cool off in the Pacific Ocean.

  • 02 of 07

    Stay Cool at the Swimming Pool

    Father and Son Swimming in Pool
    ••• Getty Images/Rick Doyle

    Another water staple in San Diego, without the sand and salt. Local community pools are great ways to cool off and keep an eye on the children easily. San Diego has a number of municipal pools, with the ​Bud Kearns Pool in Balboa Park's Morley Field Sports Complex being one of the better-known ones. Other options are the Plunge in Belmont Park, which is a huge indoor pool, and the swimming facilities at the Salvation Army Joan Kroc Community Center in Rolando.

  • 03 of 07

    Stay Cool at the Drive-In

    OK, so you have to wait for the sun to go down before you cool off with this option, but watching a movie outdoors under the stars is worth the wait. Besides, drive-in movie theaters are just plain cool. But don't wait too long, San Diego County only has two left: the Santee Drive-In and the South Bay Drive-in.

  • 04 of 07

    Stay Cool at the Ice Rink

    Skating by the Sea; Hotel del Coronado; San Diego
    ••• Getty Images/Samuel Antonio

    It might seem strange at first to think of ice skating in the summer, but what more obvious way to stay chilled than on a big ol' slab of ice? San Diego has a few ice rinks around town to try out skating, including the rink at the Westfield Univerity Town Center mall, the San Diego Ice Arena in Mira Mesa, and the ice rink at the Salvation Army Joan Kroc Center.

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  • 05 of 07

    Stay Cool at the Movie Theaters

    Then again, you don't have to wait for the sun to go down before you can watch a movie and cool off. Most people choose to hit the local movie theater, and why not? It's dark, cool (some say freezing), it smells like popcorn and with any luck, the movie might even be worth the admission cost. As for choices? Any multiplex with stadium seating. AMC Fashion Valley 18 and Edwards San Marcos 18 are good choices. 

  • 06 of 07

    Stay Cool at the Water Parks

    Lazy River water theme park at Harrah's Rincon Hotel & Casino
    ••• w Lazy River water theme park at Harrah's Rincon Hotel & Casino. Getty Images/George Rose

    San Diego has a couple of water parks to keep the family soaking wet. The biggest is the Seaward Aquatica Park in Chula Vista, with four giant slides, several rafting rides and a wave pool. The La Jolla Indian Reservation has a small water park in their campground, and the City of Vista has the Wave Waterpark as well.

  • 07 of 07

    Stay Cool at the Shopping Mall

    Though many of San Diego's shopping malls have outdoor walkways, you can escape into the air-conditioned stores for a breather from the heat. Or opt for one of San Diego's indoor malls, such as Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego or Westfield North County in Escondido. 

    Updated by Gina Tarnacki