Spring is a lovely time of year in sunny San Diego. The temperatures are pleasant and mild, the sea is still cold but looks prettier than ever, and the flowers are in bloom all across Balboa Park.
It’s also the perfect time to visit, before the rush of summer crowds but with enough tourist traffic to generate tons of great local events and activities.
If you’re looking for things to do in San Diego in Spring 2018, check out our list of some of the best activities and attractions, including…
- Special Exhibits at the Fleet Science Center
- Butterfly Jungle at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
- Yaycation at San Diego Zoo
- San Diego Harbor Tour
- SeaWorld® Seven Seas Food Festival
- La Jolla Adventures
- PETCO Park Tour
- and more!
Save on Springtime Activities in San Diego
Regular admission to a number of these attractions are available on the Go San Diego® Card.
Choose as you go from popular attractions and save up to 55% on combined admission vs paying at the gate.
Please note, some of these special spring events may be separately ticketed and not available on the Go San Diego® Card.
Take a Yaycation at the San Diego Zoo
March 24 – April 8, 2018
This spring, the San Diego Zoo will be in full bloom with festivities for the whole family.
Head to the San Diego Zoo for fun under the sun with special animal experiences, activities, live music, and more.
Dr. Zoolittle will be leading entertaining excursions through parts of the Zoo—so shake off the winter blues and plan your Yaycation today!
Getting In: Admission to the San Diego Zoo are included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Special Exhibits at the Fleet Science Center
Science geeks of all ages will find a lot to love at the Fleet Science Center this spring. Visit their exciting and massively popular exhibit “MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition,” which showcases the MythBusters crew doing what they do best. This exhibit is open now until September 3, 2018.
Another delightful exhibit is “Taping Shape 2.0,” the second iteration of one of the Center’s most popular exhibitions. Here you’ll find hundreds of rolls of packing tape manipulated into various spaces, tunnels, and shapes for visitors to explore. It’s perfect for kids who love to be hands-on with their science. This exhibit is also open now until September 3, 2018.
Of course, all of their regular exhibits are exciting, too! Whatever you choose to see at the Fleet Science Center, you can’t go wrong.
Getting In: Admission to the Fleet Science Center with IMAX Movie is included with the Go San Diego® Card. Special exhibits incur a small additional cost, paid directly to the attraction.
Butterfly Jungle at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
March 10 – April 15, 2018
Butterfly Jungle features thousands of colorful butterflies floating and fluttering throughout the Hidden Jungle aviary, where guests can also see many species of birds, lush greenery and flowers.
Between 20 and 30 butterfly species will be highlighted this year, from Central, South and North America—including the zebra longwing, orange-barred tiger, Grecian shoemaker, giant swallowtail and blue morpho.
Guests are encouraged to wear bright colors to attract the butterflies as they walk among exotic beauties of all colors, shapes and sizes, take photos and learn more about these winged wonders.
Getting In: Admission to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Go Whale Watching
Spring is the heart of grey whale-watching season in San Diego and the surrounding coastal cities. It’s the perfect time of year to catch glimpses of these elusive, majestic creatures.
Tens of thousands of grey whales migrate from the Arctic down to Baja California, where they will stay for several months raising newborn whales.
After the young whales are strong enough to make the return journey with their mothers in the spring, together they begin the journey north to Alaska again.
Hop aboard a whale-watching cruise for your best chance of seeing these amazing creatures.
Getting In: San Diego whale watch tickets are included with the Go San Diego® Card.
SeaWorld Seven Seas Food Festival
SeaWorld San Diego
March 17 – April 29, 2018
Back by popular demand and now extended even longer, the Seven Seas Food Festival at SeaWorld San Diego is an immensely successful event.
Roam through tents and booths offering a diversity of international cuisines, craft beer, and wine, and live musical performances.
New for 2018 is the “Daring Flavors” challenge, where guests can try 14 dishes prepared with some of the most unusual ingredients in the world.
Getting In: Admission to SeaWorld San Diego is included with 3-, 5-, and 7-Day Go San Diego® Cards. Seven Seas Food Festival is separately ticketed and is not included on the pass.
Explore the USS Midway
Springtime is the perfect time to stroll across the deck of the majestic USS Midway. Consistently named one of the Top 10 Museums in the country, the Midway stands as a testament to American military ingenuity and San Diego’s significant role in naval history.
This retired aircraft carrier was actually the twentieth century’s longest serving vessel of its type and offers many amazing anecdotes and significant events as part of its history.
As a visitor, you’ll get to see exciting areas of the ship from the Flight Control Deck to crew sleeping quarters. The whole family will love a visit here!
Getting In: Admission to the USS Midway Museum is included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Ride a Bike in La Jolla
What better time to be out and about than springtime?
While San Diego remains temperate in the summer (and doesn’t ever get super hot), there’s nothing quite like that first rush of spring temperatures to get you energized and ready to be outdoors.
Why not rent a bike and relish the beautiful weather?
Getting In: La Jolla bike rentals are included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Take a Harbor Tour
If you love being out on the water but don’t want to make the time commitment that a whale watch often demands, then a tour of the San Diego Harbor could be a smart choice for you.
It’s a relaxing, informative cruise that escorts you throughout the surrounding waters in just an hour, highlighting major landmarks and sights.
You can choose either a north harbor tour (featuring many naval sites, Point Loma, and the Cabrillo National Monument) or a south harbor tour (featuring USS Midway, the Coronado Bay Bridge, and the Hotel Del Coronado).
Getting In: San Diego Harbor Tour tickets are included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Art Alive 2018
San Diego Museum of Art
April 26 – 29, 2018
In its 37th year, the local tradition of “Art Alive” features more than 100 floral interpretations of the museum’s most iconic pieces.
It’s a fundraising event as well as an awesome special flower show, and it’s the perfect combination of nature and culture for the discerning art lover.
It’s also a nice window into the San Diego Museum of Art’s permanent and special collections, so it’s an ideal event for first-time visitors to the museum.
Getting In: Regular admission to the San Diego Museum of Art is included with the Go San Diego® Card; Art Alive events are separate tickets and are not included with the pass.
Enjoy a Padres Game
What says spring better than the beginning of baseball season?
Beginning on March 29, 2018, with their home opener, the San Diego Padres are launching into the new season with a bang. Head to PETCO Park to get in on the action at one of the nation’s most beautiful stadiums.
Looking for the real fan experience? A tour of the park will please any baseball lover.
Getting In: PETCO Park tours are included with the Go San Diego® Card; game tickets are not included with the pass.
March 1 – May 13, 2018
This awe-inspiring natural attraction gathers more than 100,000 visitors each year, and it’s a definite must-see for nature lovers.
The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is a 50-acre ranunculus extravaganza, a massive rainbow of color and blossom set on a hillside overlooking the ocean.
Sound amazing? It totally is. Don’t miss the themed gardens or the charming sweet pea maze.
If you’re interested in and enjoy the Flower Fields, you may also want to check out the 600,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, a similar floral masterpiece, in bloom from February to April.
Getting In: Admission to these attractions is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go San Diego® Card.
San Diego Crew Classic
March 24 – 25, 2018
The first major regatta of the year in the area, the San Diego Crew Classic attracts more than 100 different groups from across the U.S., all of who participate in over 100 exhilarating races.
You’ll also be able to enjoy live music from local groups, an engaging trade show, and several rewarding alumni events.
For those of you traveling with children, there is even a family festival area featuring a special kids zone and craft activities to keep them busy. This event also offers free parking!
Getting In: Admission to the San Diego Crew Classic is separately ticketed and is not included with the Go San Diego® Card. For more information, please visit the event website.
Balboa Park’s Offshoot Tours
Enjoy these fun, free tours of the park’s botanical offerings on Saturdays all throughout the spring.
Led by park volunteers, these easy, one-hour excursions cover a different themed topic on a rotating schedule; themes include Balboa Park history, palm trees, other trees in the Park, desert vegetation, and a tour del dia.
Don’t miss out on the Alcazar Garden, with its beautiful designs modeled on Spanish gardens in Seville (pictured above).
We always suggest heading to Balboa Park, no matter what time of year. It’s packed full of amazing activities, museums, and more family fun.
Getting In: These tours of Balboa Park are free. A good complement to the park’s larger nature walks is the Japanese Friendship Garden, which is also included with the Go San Diego Card.
Sample Some of the Nation’s Best Craft Beer
Did you know that San Diego is the unofficial craft beer capital of the country? With more than 100 different breweries throughout the San Diego area, locals take their beer seriously.
From heavy hitters Stone Brewing and Green Flash Brewing to the tasty Coronado Brewing Company, tons of your favorites are brewed right here! Take a brewery tour, or sample some at many restaurants throughout the city.
Getting In: Many brewery tours are free, but a few charge a modest fee. Brewery tours are not included with the Go San Diego® Card.
Remember to Save on Admission
Did we miss anything? A few things to do in San Diego in the spring, including some special events, other seasonal activities in April, May, and June.
Please note, the spring events taking place at some of these attractions may be separately ticketed and not available with the Go San Diego® Card.
We hope you consider adding some of these fun ideas to your spring vacation itinerary.