San Diego County

Beat the Heat: Where to Cool Off in San Diego County This Summer

Cool Zones are established in the hottest parts of San Diego County to give residents a place to escape the heat and cool off with some air conditioning

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While San Diego may boast 78 degrees and sunny most of the year, the summer can bring sweltering heat that sends temperatures into the 100s in some parts of the county.

In order to keep San Diegans cool during these hot summer months, the San Diego County Department of Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) opens up sites called "cool zones" -- air-conditioned sites where people can gather to beat the heat together.

Where to Escape the Heat in San Diego County

Cool Zones will open for the 2021 summer season to humans and service animals starting June 15, and thoughout the summer.

Here is where you can go to escape the heat:

  • Alpine Branch Library (1752 Alpine Boulevard, 91901)
    Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Borrego Springs Branch Library (2580 Country Club Road, 92004)
    Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Fallbrook Community Centers (341 Herald Lane, 92028)
    Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Lakeside Community Center (9841 Vine Street, 92040)
    Monday through Friday, 12 to 5 p.m.
  • Potrero Branch Library (24883 Potrero Valley Road, 91963)
    Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Ramona Branch Library (1275 Main Street, 92065)
    Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sanya Ysabel Nature Center (22135 CA-79, 92070)
    Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Spring Valley Community Center (8735 Jamacha Boulevard, 91977)
    Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
    Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Valley Center Branch Library (29200 Cole Grade Road, 92082)
    Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • More locations may be added

How to Stay Cool on Hot Days

If you can't make it to a cool zone, HHSA has other tops for people, particularly older adults, to stay cool on hot days. The agency recommends:

  • avoiding physical activity during the day and pacing yourself. Instead, plan your exercise between 4 to 7 a.m., typically the coolest part of the day.
  • staying indoors as much as possible. The coolest floors are the lowest floors. Keep your shades and blinds closed as much as possible with your windows slightly open.
  • taking a cold shower.
  • wearing light-weight, light-colored and loose clothes.
  • never leaving children or pets inside vehicles, even with the windows cracked.
  • drinking more fluids than usual. Water is best and alcohol or caffeine can make the heat's effects worse.
  • find many more tips here.

Am I Experiencing Heat Illness?

Signs of a heat stroke or heat exhaustion include: extremely high body temperatures (103 degrees or higher), dizziness, nausea, confusion, and headache.

If you know someone exhibiting these symptoms, call 911 and try to cool down the person by moving them to the shade, spraying them with cool water or fanning them. You should not give the person any fluids to drink.

Be sure to check on those over 65, infants and children, and those with disabilities or chronic medical conditions at times of high heat; these groups are more vulnerable to heat stress, the county says.

Get a Free Fan in San Diego County

San Diego County HHSA is partnering with San Diego Gas & Electric to provide free fans to people living on limited incomes. To be eligible, a resident must not have access to an air-conditioned space at their home or apartment building. To learn more about the fan program or to request a fan, call Aging & Independence Services at (800) 339-4661. 

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