What’s New and Notable for San Diego’s Summer in 2023 

Discover new attractions, attend exciting events, dine at renowned restaurants and stay at exquisitely reimagined hotels this summer in San Diego.

Major Attractions

SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego’s Arctic Rescue is a family-friendly, multi-launch ride that invites guests to hop on a snowmobile and zip along at up to 40 mph on a chilly adventure, as they race through the unpredictable Arctic climate to help endangered animals. The ride will be the longest and fastest straddle coaster on the West Coast.

LEGOLAND California

LEGOLAND® California Resort’s all-new Miniland San Diego represents the world’s first LEGO version of San Diego, and features famous landmarks, attractions and themes that make up the city’s DNA. LEGOLAND’S master model builders drew inspiration from such signature places as the Gaslamp Quarter, Coronado, Del Mar, Petco Park and San Diego’s incredible coastline. The new section joins New York, Washington D.C., Las Vegas and San Francisco in Miniland USA at the heart of the park.

Belmont Park

Belmont Park has big plans in anticipation of its 100th anniversary in 2025. The park is developing a new ride and interactive climbing tower, Sun Kid Tower, which will offer thrill-seekers beautiful views of the ocean and Mission Beach boardwalk; it’s opening in early summer. Belmont Park also recently replaced its Control Freak ride with a new but similar ride called Flip Out, and expanded its Lazerblast Arcade, adding 14 new games and additional prizes.

Sesame Place

As if all the Fun Fest events at this family-minded attraction weren’t enough, Sesame Place has another special treat in store for you this summer: The grand opening of The Count’s Splash Castle, an interactive water-play zone on Sesame Island that boasts a whopping 111 play elements. Among the features are three tipping buckets that dump more than 1,300 gallons of water, plus four water slides and an array of soakers, flow pipes, hose and spray jets, shooters, curtains, tipping troughs, spinning and sliding buckets and a whole lot more.

Major Events

San Diego Beer Weekend

When: Jun. 9-11, 2023
San Diego is known as The Capital of Craft™, and Brewers Guild member breweries throughout the county will host events and serve their beer in commemorative pint glasses. San Diego Beer Weekend, created in 2022 to celebrate the Brewers Guild’s 25th anniversary, is the preamble to the nationally known San Diego Beer Week, whose 15th annual edition will take place in November.

World Lacrosse Men’s Championship

When: Jun. 21 to Jul. 1, 2023
Some 30 nations converge on San Diego next year for the World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in pursuit of the gold medal and the title of world’s best. Make sure you’re at Snapdragon Stadium to see the U.S. defend its title.

Fourth of July Fireworks

When: Jul. 4, 2023
The Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back this year, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around the bay off Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, the Marina District and Coronado Ferry Landing. The impeccably choreographed display will last approximately 18 minutes, starting at 9 p.m.

2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinal

When: Jul. 12, 2023
Following 2023 Gold Cup Group and Knockout Stage play, the top four finishers will advance to the Semifinals Stage. Snapdragon Stadium will host one of the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinal matches, and the semifinal matchup will be confirmed at the conclusion of the Group Stage.

Comic-Con International: San Diego

When: Jul. 20-23, 2023
Comic-Con International, the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, attracts thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books and pop culture — and it returns to the San Diego Convention Center this summer! Along with panels, seminars and workshops with comic-book professionals, attendees can enjoy exclusive previews of upcoming feature films, portfolio-review sessions with top comic and video game companies, and evening events such as awards ceremonies and the Masquerade, a costume contest. There’s also the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival, which showcases shorts and feature-length movies that do not have distribution deals.

Del Mar Summer Racetrack

When: Jul. 21 to Sep. 10, 2023
The Del Mar Racetrack is back with its 2023 summer racing season. Fans will flock to the iconic track where the “turf meets the surf” to bet on the nation’s top racehorses, trainers and jockeys while having fun in the sun. Aside from exciting, world-class racing, there will also be plenty of trackside events to attend, including the Del Mar Beer Fest on Jul. 22, the Taste of New Orleans on Aug. 5 and Tacos and Tequila on Aug. 26.

Manchester United vs. Wrexham AFC

When: Jul. 25, 2023
Manchester United returns to the United States for the first time in five years to play fan favorites and the third-oldest club in the world, Wrexham AFC, at Snapdragon Stadium. With Wrexham’s recent promotion to League 2, the Manchester United vs. Wrexham AFC match is one soccer fans won’t want to miss.

Bleached Festival

When: Aug. 5-6
Bleached Festival, a collaboration between Tight Knit and FNGRS CRSSD, is coming to San Diego’s Waterfront Park. The two-day event will connect indie-pop and new-wave R&B with a diverse lineup that is topped by Japanese icon and R&B artist Joji and neo-soul singer-songwriter Leon Bridges. Other performers include Omar Apollo, PinkPantheress, Lizzy McAlpine, Stephen Sanchez, Channel Tres, Surf Curse, BADBADNOTGOOD, Dayglow, Inner Wave and more.

Restaurants

The Kitchen

Urban Kitchen Group opened a garden cafe at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in March. The Kitchen offers a full-service daytime menu that highlights the Mediterranean, ranging from Turkish-poached eggs and sweet and savory buckwheat crepes to swordfish kebabs and lamb bulgur burgers. Later this spring, chef/partner Tim Kolanko and executive chef Jeff Armstrong will turn a private event space at the museum into a lunchtime pop-up featuring four-course tasting menus.

Ladies Love Outlaws

Heritage Barbecue & Beer Co., the Oceanside counterpart to San Juan Capistrano’s award-winning restaurant, now has a companion cocktail bar fashioned out of the 600-square-foot vault inside a former bank building. Named Ladies Love Outlaws after a hit album by outlaw music superstar Waylon Jennings, the lounge’s honky-tonk vibes and classic country soundtrack, provided by a vintage Wurlitzer jukebox, set the mood for kicking back with a nightcap after dining at the brewpub, which is currently shifting its menu to a more traditional barbecue platter format.

The Secret Garden

North Park’s absinthe bar and restaurant, Wormwood, will open a new bar-within-a-bar concept that lies hidden beyond its regular back patio. The Secret Garden will be a fully outdoor bar serving creative cocktails with absinthe and French spirits, developed by Wormwood beverage director Jacob Mentel (formerly with Consortium Holdings). The Secret Garden’s drink menu embraces the idea of “liquid cuisine” through a strong culinary influence and complexity of flavors.

Chick N’ Hawk

This summer, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk and founding Jeune et Jolie chef Eric Bost will launch their gourmet chicken sandwich shop, Chick N’ Hawk, in Encinitas. The restaurant will serve chicken items, fresh seafood and cocktails.

New Hotels and Renovations

AC Hotel San Diego Downtown Gaslamp Quarter

The 147-room AC Hotel San Diego Downtown Gaslamp Quarter plans to open its rooftop pool and lounge in early summer. In May, the rooftop bar — Techo Beso, meaning “rooftop kiss” — will offer a tapas-style menu with tacos, ceviche and cocktails. The rooftop bar is inspired by the energy and culture of love found in Tulum, Mexico, and features a main bar space for a communal party atmosphere with a DJ elevated to connect the bar to the pool deck.

Palihotel San Diego

This May, Palihotel San Diego will reimagine the historic St. James Hotel, originally built in 1912, as a vibrant and bustling mainstay. Located in the heart of the Gaslamp District and featuring 122 guest rooms and a rooftop space, Palihotel San Diego will bring a youthful design to San Diego’s hotel landscape. Each guest room will blend Palisociety’s signature California quirky sensibility with nautical-inspired charm. The hotel will also feature Saint James French Diner, an all-day dining room that will blend the approachable nature of an American diner with the subtle elegance of a French bistro.

Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club

CH Projects, known for creating some of San Diego’s most interesting restaurants and bars, is expanding its hospitality microcosm by entirely reimagining the historic Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club in North Park, San Diego’s hip neighborhood. The entire property will be reconceived through the CH lens, striving to create an all-encompassing immersive oasis in the heart of North Park. Slated to open in June 2023, the hotel will include 141 redesigned guestrooms, lobby space and pool, three new restaurants, two additional dining and drinking outlets, a vintage bowling alley, cocktail bar, game room and all-new pool bar.

The Guild Hotel

The Guild Hotel, a landmark in San Diego’s downtown, has partnered with Be Saha Hospitality Group to lead the food and beverage operations at the hotel. Be Saha Hospitality will open a new concept in the hotel’s courtyard (formerly Luca) this summer and will also reimagine the Guild Bar, garden and lounge, as well as handle all onsite events and room service. The Hospitality Group has brought on renowned Tijuana chef Ruffo Ibarra and culinary director Janina Garay to spearhead the project. All concepts are slated to be open and in place by early summer, with new details on the bar and lounge concepts that include the theme of far niente or “the art of doing nothing.”

Margaritaville Hotel San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Downtown San Diego’s Hotel Solamar is undergoing a $31 million renovation to transform into California’s first urban location of the Margaritaville Resort, set to open this summer. Located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, the Margaritaville Hotel San Diego Gaslamp Quarter will feature 235 newly upgraded guest rooms and signature Margaritaville food and beverage concepts that will replace the property’s current offerings. The former Jsix restaurant will be transformed into Landshark Bar & Grill, and the poolside Upper East bar will become 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar. Both concepts offer a casual vibe focusing on American beach fare and blended cocktails. The lobby will also house a quaint Margaritaville Coffee Shop, offering an array of coffee, espresso, tea and other drinks.

Shopping

Cardiff Farmers Market

The Cardiff 101 Mainstreet Association now hosts a weekly Farmers Market every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Located at MiraCosta College’s San Elijo Campus, Cardiff Farmers Market is a Certified California Farmers Market featuring locally sourced produce sold by local farmers. The new farmers market also has an array of related food products, prepared food vendors and a curated group of craft vendors and local makers. Confirmed vendors include Mooski Snacks, Wonderland Farm, MP Family Farm, Rodney Kawano Farm, Sea Greens Microgreens, Crescent Meat, Fishbone Fish, Cardiff Tiny Farm and Emmy Lou Jewelry.

One Paseo

One Paseo, the urban village in San Diego’s North County coastal community of Del Mar, has become a destination for dining, shopping and events. In 2023, the coast-meets-country curated mixed-use space will welcome several additions and updates to its already stacked collection, including South of Nick’s, the Mexican-inspired sister concept to Nick’s Del Mar (opening in May); Land & Sea (opening in April), a golf and surf lifestyle shop; and The Great (opening in May), an industry-favorite women’s-wear line.

Tahona Mercado

In addition to Tahona Bar in Old Town, San Diego’s Be Saha Hospitality Group will open a retail-focused expansion of the Tahona brand called Tahona Mercado in National City this June. Tahona Mercado will be an exclusively retail-focused concept where visitors can shop a wide range of agave spirits, local craft spirits, and a curated selection of local and Mexican snacks and artisanal products. The Mercado will offer a tasting area where guests can discover new favorite brands and where educational events will be held frequently.

Transportation

The Beach Bug

Getting around Pacific Beach will be much easier with the Beach Bug, a new neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV) launching this summer.

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