Fields of flowers, the San Diego Padres and pretty much perfect weather could only mean one thing: it’s springtime in San Diego. Here are some ways to celebrate the season and frolic in America’s Finest City.
Carlsbad Flower Fields
Nothing says spring quite like a visit to the Carlsbad Flower Fields on Paseo Del Norte in San Diego’s North County. Open now through Mother's Day (May 13), guests can enjoy the blooms daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and $8 for kids ages 3 to 10; children under 2 get in free. Besides a walk along the fields and endless photo opportunities, visitors can enjoy snacks from vendors and shopping at the on-site store and nursery. The Flower Fields also hosts a bunch of events each spring, including a special kid’s day, live music and a Mother’s Day celebration.
Balboa Park Botanical Building
Sure, it’s open year-round, but Balboa Park’s Botanical Building in the spring is truly a spectacular sight. At over 100 years old, the historic building is one of the largest lath structures in the world, not to mention one of the most photographed spots in Balboa Park. There are more than 2,100 permanent plants inside including cynads, ferns, orchids, palms and other tropical plants. The iconic Lily Pond is also right in front of the building, which makes this the perfect springtime stop. The Botanical Building is free to enter and open Friday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed Thursdays and holidays). Bonus: on the third Friday of each month, at 11 a.m., the San Diego Floral Association gives a free tour of the Botanical Building. Tours leave from the south end of the Lily Pond and are open to the public.
San Diego Padres at Petco Park
Spring means baseball season! Head over to downtown San Diego's Petco Park and catch a San Diego Padres home game. This year, the Padres Home Opener lands on March 29 when the team takes on the Milwaukee Brewers. Check out the full schedule of games here; tickets to most games start around $15 to $18.
Mission Beach Boardwalk
Take advantage of our gorgeous weather and visit the iconic boardwalk at Mission Beach. Two years ago, a portion of the boardwalk's seawall -- between San Fernando Place and Ventura Place, near Belmont Park -- was reconstructed to restore the seawall back to how it looked when it was first built in the 1920s. The spot is a popular place to take a stroll in the spring and summer -- or on any day when the temps are practically perfect. You'll often see locals and tourists walking, jogging and bicycling along the boardwalk. The exercise is great, but the ocean views are even better.
Picnic at a Local Lake
Get in touch with nature by having yourself a good old-fashioned picnic at one of our many local lakes. East County spots include Santee Lakes, Lake Murray and Lake Jennings. There’s also Dixon Lake in Escondido, Lake Miramar, Lake Morena and Chollas Lake, to name a few more.
Whale Watching (Yes, even in the spring)
Traditionally a winter activity, whale watching in San Diego has now become a year-round activity. Joe Terzi, president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority, has said that San Diego should be considered the world's No. 1 destination for whale watching. Around this time in 2015, Flagship Cruises said gray whale sightings were on the rise in San Diego, with more than 200 spotted off our shores over the first few months of the year.
What kind of springtime activities do you enjoy as a San Diego resident or visitor? Share in the comments section below.