San Diego Reader 2017 Fun issue

Eagle Mining, Bike the Bay, USS Midway, Lucha Libre

Not for the heights-phobic —  the California Tower in the Museum of Man offers panoramic (but dizzying) view of Balboa park and beyond.
  • Not for the heights-phobic — the California Tower in the Museum of Man offers panoramic (but dizzying) view of Balboa park and beyond.
  • Image by Alyssa Prestidge

Climb the California Tower in Balboa Park

San Diego Museum of Man

1350 El Prado, Balboa Park

Balboa Park’s California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Man was closed to the public in 1935, but after extensive construction and safety renovations it reopened for tours in January of 2015. From the second floor of the museum, you’ll go up a staircase that was hidden from the public for decades, then climb seven floors before finally ascending a spiral metal stairway and emerging into the sunlight where you will see fantastic, 360-degree views up to 23 miles away to the horizon, including the mountains, downtown, the San Diego Zoo, Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, San Diego Bay, and the rest of Balboa Park. Pro tip: You’ll want to make a reservation ($10-$22.50) before dropping by, and scheduled tour times are strictly enforced. — Mary Beth Abate

Don’t read it all before deciding

Don’t read it all before deciding

Bayside Summer Nights Concert Series

Embarcadero Marina Park South

200 Marina Park Way, Downtown San Diego

Bayside Summer Nights, née Summer Pops, offer concerts from a range of performers backed by the San Diego Symphony — from Sergio Mendes to Herb Alpert, Boz Scaggs to Air Supply, and even a screening of E.T. the movie. Nights dedicated to Broadway and classical music also fill the calendar. Food and adult refreshments are available for purchase, although it’s more delicious and economical to bring your own picnic — but leave the alcohol and glass at home. The series runs from June 30–September 3 and start at 7:30 p.m. with ticket prices ranging from $19 to $81. — E.V. Hepworth

Mount Soledad Cycling Tour

Mount Soledad Park

6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive South, La Jolla

Bike Ride San Diego offers a guided cycling tour of Mount Soledad, designed for the avid cyclist: the distance is 24.3 miles; the duration, 4 ½–5 ½ hours. Start on the shores of Mission Bay, then ride through Pacific Beach, Bird Rock, and La Jolla, all the while winding up and down the mountain. The elevation gain is 2700 feet, providing dramatic views of California coastline and a panoramic view of the region from the top. Bike helmet, two bottles of water, and sunscreen are included. Price is $175, plus $75 for each additional rider. — Deirdre Lickona

Camp, Hike, and Go ’Froading at Laguna Hanson

Parque Nacional Constitución de 1857, Baja

This remote lake in the middle of a national park is accessible from San Felipe or Ensenada and will totally change your concept of Baja California landscape. The 5550-foot hilltop granite basin holds a shallow, seasonal lake surrounded by alpine vegetation and pine trees. Hike to the peak, Cerro Hanson, or jam around the desolate mountain trails on your favorite off-road vehicle. Lakeside camping is dirt cheap ($10 per car, cash only) and often empty, offering a solitary experience with nature. Nearby cabins look like something out of a Wes Anderson movie and go for $110 a night. — Chad Deal

Skateworld & Skate San Diego


6907 Linda Vista Road, Linda Vista

Skate San Diego

165 Denny Way, El Cajon

These two remain as the primary spots for open skate sessions in San Diego. Linda Vista’s Skateworld is popular for its smooth surface and convenient location, but open weekend sessions draw big crowds. For a bigger rink and smaller crowds, head to Skate San Diego in El Cajon, though be prepared for a slightly bumpy surface. Open sessions run about $10 at both locations, but check the website before grabbing your quads or your inlines — both rinks frequently host private derby and hockey sessions. — Dave Rice

Eagle Mining Co.

2320 C Street, Julian

Eagle Mining Company

Julian should be a popular day-trip in late summer, thanks to the expected bumper crop of apples and pears, and Eagle Mining Co.'s hour-long tour of one of the town’s gold mines is worth a detour. Visitors walk (stoop may be a better word) 1000 feet into the earth while a guide explains the history of the town. Visitors will walk away with new respect for the rugged life faced by prospectors. Afterward, you can try your hand at panning for gold, or buy some nuggets in the gift shop. — Patrick Henderson

Mission San Luis Rey

Mission San Luis Rey de Francia

4050 Mission Avenue, Oceanside

Don’t want to trek all the way to see swallows up at San Juan Capistrano? How about an afternoon wandering through the grounds of Mission San Luis Rey? It’s the largest of the missions, nicknamed the “King of the Missions,” with its 56 acres. Founded in 1798 and named after King Louis IX of France, the grounds hold the oldest pepper tree in California, growing since 1830. Also a must-see: the lavanderia, the bathing and cleaning system of the indians. The museum holds artifacts of early Mission life and the cemetery is the oldest cemetery in North County still in business. If you really must see swallows you probably will, should you visit during the spring and fall migrations. The San Luis Rey River Valley in which the mission sits hosts tree swallows and cliff swallows. Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for youth age 6–18. — Eve Kelly

No rod needed. One need only pick up grunion as they wriggle up the beach to spawn.

No rod needed. One need only pick up grunion as they wriggle up the beach to spawn.

Grunion Runs

Unfamiliar with this SoCal past time? A grunion is an itsy-bitsy, silvery, fish that spawns on local beaches during full and new moons at high tide in the spring and summer months. When waves recede, hundreds of glistening grunions appear on the shore. Spawning occurs over four nights. For those over the age of 16, you will need a California fishing license if you plan on keeping any grunion. Grunion may be taken by hand only. The run happens at beaches all over the county. Coronado Central Beach is among the best locations in San Diego for a grunion run. For a schedule of expected summer grunion run dates, visit www.wildlife.ca. — Siobhan Braun

Past Event

Bike the Bay

Bike the Bay

Once a year, the Coronado bridge opens to bicycle traffic, offering a chance to complete the loop around San Diego Bay from downtown to Coronado south to Imperial Beach, around the south end of the bay, and back. The 25-mile ride is an untimed journey through five cities that starts and ends at Embarcadero Marina Park South with four rest stops for water and refreshments along the way. The ride is open to cyclists age 10 and over. All participants are invited to post-ride festivities including food trucks, a beer garden, and live entertainment. Prices start at $50 per rider. — Dave Rice

Why watch the dismal Padres when “five tickets in the front row behind the visitors’ dugout costs $32” at a Toros de Tijuana game.

Why watch the dismal Padres when “five tickets in the front row behind the visitors’ dugout costs $32” at a Toros de Tijuana game.

Toros de Tijuana Baseball

Estadio Gasmart (Misión de Santo Tómas), Cerro Colorado, East Tijuana

The last time I went to a Toros game I was featured on the jumbotron and was compared to Cletus Spuckler (the hillbilly from The Simpsons). It was the bottom of the eighth and Toros were losing 8-2 against the Pericos. This didn’t deter the audience, who instead of leaving the stadium, kept cheering and dancing, waiting for the moment they got to appear on the screen. Silly mascots, groups of cheerleaders, constant music blasting, video entertainment, and cheap food and beer. Oh, yeah — and there is also high-level minor league baseball. Five tickets in the front row behind the visitors’ dugout cost us $32. — Matthew Suárez

Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls is considered one of the classic Broadway musicals, thanks to a great score and a plot derived from Damon Runyon stories about high rollers and holy rollers. Song classics from the show include “Luck Be a Lady,” “If I Were a Bell,” and “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat.” The Globe’s revival runs July 2 through August 13, but the performances on July 11, 12, and 18 will include a post-show discussion with cast on how the production was put together. A great family show for tweeners and above. — Patrick Henderson

Map of Hollenbeck Canyon

Map of Hollenbeck Canyon

Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area

Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area

1800 Honey Springs Road, Jamul

Formerly a 6100-acre cattle ranch, the trails of Hollenbeck Canyon Wildlife Area are situated among Jamul Creek and have been open to the public for hikes, runs, bikes, horses, and bird hunting since 2001. Although hot in the summer, this land can be a lush paradise filled with grasslands and marshes, riparian forests and oak woodlands, coastal sage scrub and chaparral, and seasonally studded with wildflowers and creek crossings. To get there, head east on Hwy 94 and turn east on Honey Springs Road where you’ll see a small parking area soon after on the left. — E.V. Hepworth

Salsa Under the Stars

The Headquarters

789 West Harbor Drive, Downtown San Diego

Nothing says summertime like a block party, dancing and swaying in the open air, watching the evening turn to night while you groove. Salsa the night away in the beautiful outdoor courtyard at the Headquarters at Seaport Village on the third Friday of every month from now until September. Local musician Manny Cepeda and his orchestra bring their repertoire of classic salsa, merengue, cumbia, bachata, and Cuban music from 6–9 p.m. No partner or experience necessary for this free event. — Mary Beth Abate

Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, Point Loma

The southern tip of Point Loma is maintained by the National Park Service and plays home to a host of historical and recreational resources. The visitors’ center hosts a small museum tracing the journey of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to navigate California’s coast. The old Point Loma Lighthouse, which operated from 1855 to 1891, is also on display. Surveillance bunkers and artillery batteries dating to World War II — they carried armaments capable of hitting targets 20 miles off the coast — feature period-attired guides. Nature walks discussing native flora and fauna are available, along with other guided tours of the site. There are also miles of hiking trails offering bird’s-eye views of Coronado and downtown, along with coastal tidepools that play host to their own unique ecosystems. A $10 pass admits a carload of children and adults and covers return trips for a week. — Dave Rice

Wear Your Birthday Suit at De Anza Springs

DeAnza Springs Resort

1951 Carrizo Gorge Road, Jacumba

Did you know? The largest clothing-optional resort in North America is located on the deep east edge of San Diego County. The 500 acres of high-desert is home to 311 RV sites, fancy tiny houses, motel rooms, and tent camping by the creekbed. Nestled in the hills of the Anza-Borrego, the clubhouse has its own restaurant along with possibly the only bar you’ll ever go where nudity is encouraged. Liberate yourself from textile slavery and hike the old rail tracks out to Goat Canyon Trestle or kick it in the hot tub with international nudists, who flock in the summer months. — Chad Deal

Balboa Park Carousel

Park Boulevard (at zoo entrance), Balboa Park

Go old-school and enjoy some fun circa the early 1900s with a three-minute spin aboard the Balboa Park carousel. It was built in New York in 1910 and made stops in Los Angeles and Coronado before coming to Balboa Park in the early 1920s. It was moved to its present location in 1968 to make room for the fountain between the Natural History and Science museums. Pick a beast — there are 52 hand-carved animals to choose from — and hop aboard for $2.75 a ride. Enjoy the hand-painted murals around you and the organ music. Do your best to lean out and grab the brass ring for a second spin for free. The ride is open Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., in summer until 5:30 p.m. — Eve Kelly

Rosie Velez’s infectious enthusiasm and easy-to-follow instruction guarantee fun while burning up to 800 calories.

Rosie Velez’s infectious enthusiasm and easy-to-follow instruction guarantee fun while burning up to 800 calories.

Zumba Fitness with Rosie Velez

Queen Bee's Art & Cultural Center

3925 Ohio Street, North Park

Colombian-based Zumba fitness is a dance workout rooted in Latin music and dance moves ranging from salsa to reggaeton plus hip-hop. Rosie’s classes are even better, though, because she incorporates R&B, belly dance, and contemporary styles. Utilizing a decade of experience, her infectious enthusiasm, easy-to-follow instruction, and professional-level choreography guarantee some of the most fun possible while burning up to 800 calories during the hour-long class. Her students are like family (and sometimes are family) and span all ages — from 2 years old to 70. Sweat with her Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m.; 11 a.m. Saturdays. — E.V. Hepworth

Whaley House Museum

Whaley House Museum

2476 San Diego Avenue, Old Town

Designed by Thomas Whaley and built with bricks from his own brickyard, the Whaley House, an 1857 two-story Greek Revival home, housed a prominent 19th-century San Diego family and served as one of the city’s first courthouses, a commercial theater, and a general store. But before the house was built, the site was used for hanging criminals, and a family member took her life in the place. Hence, the $50 ghost-hunting tours from 10:30 p.m.–midnight during the summer. Otherwise, admission is $8 ($6 seniors and children) from 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; $13 ($8 seniors and children) 5–9:30 p.m. — Deirdre Lickona

Coronado Summer Concerts In Spreckels Park

Spreckels Park

601 Orange Avenue, Coronado

Free summer concerts are popular all over the region, but Coronado has the longest season, from May through September. The Sunday-night shows start at 6 p.m. sharp at the gazebo in Spreckels Park. There’s a great small-town vibe, and the shows always attract a large crowd. People get there early and spend the day gorging on homemade gourmet goodies while the kids play on the playground in the back. Highlights on this summer’s schedule include the Beatles tribute band Marmalade Skies (July 16), the Gilbert Castellanos Latin Jazz Review (July 23), and the Surf City All-Stars (August 27). — Patrick Henderson

Heritage of the Americas Museum

Heritage of the Americas Museum

12110 Cuyamaca College Drive West, Rancho San Diego

Go back to your roots, at least the roots of our San Diego area, at the Heritage of the Americas Museum, hosted by Cuyamaca College. The cultural center offers a look at the life of the Kumeyaay Indians, along with artifacts of Hopi and Cheyenne Indians. Fossils, meteorites, rocks, and minerals along with a Mayan collection and Teotihuacan collection make for an enlightening afternoon outing. Make sure to pop into the gift shop — my kids loved the arrowheads. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday. Adult admission is $3; youth under 17 are free with an adult. — Eve Kelly

It’s Mass Creativity Day at the New Children’s Museum.

It’s Mass Creativity Day at the New Children’s Museum.

Mass Creativity Day at the New Children’s Museum

The New Children's Museum

200 W. Island Avenue, East Village

On Saturday, June 24, take the kids out for the fifth annual Mass Creativity event — an outreach series of all-inclusive, hands-on art creation. This year’s installment includes free off-site workshops throughout the month of June with community partners. The two months of workshops (they started in May) culminate with a free, all-day event at the New Children’s Museum, featuring live entertainment, pop-in art projects, and massive amounts of creativity. — Chad Deal

Radar tech in training aboard the USS Midway

Radar tech in training aboard the USS Midway

USS Midway Museum

USS Midway Museum

910 N. Harbor Drive, Downtown San Diego

The Midway served the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1992. Until 1955 it was the largest ship in the world. Since decommissioning, the aircraft carrier has become a permanently docked museum ship. Much of the vessel, including crew quarters, officers’ cabins, dining facilities and work stations, has been preserved in the same state as when the ship was last in active duty. There is a host of military aircraft from various eras on display and several are open for exploration themselves. A self-guided audio tour through the ship is included with entry and museum docents (including many veterans) are on hand and willing to recount their experiences. Ticket prices start at $20 for adults; discounts available for students, children, seniors, and for online prepurchase. — Dave Rice

Lake Murray Fly Fishing Lessons

Lake Murray Reservoir

5540 Kiowa Drive, San Carlos

Fly fishing differs from spin or bait fishing in that the weight of the line, rather than a lure or sinker, carries the hook through the air. Of course, casting a nearly weightless fly requires significantly different technique from other types of casting. The San Diego Fly Fishers is one of the few fishing clubs in the country to offer free fly-casting clinics, held at Lake Murray every Sunday from 9 a.m. until noon, using either your own equipment or borrowed club equipment from one of the certified instructors. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Lake Murray with rainbow trout, but you can also catch largemouth bass, blue catfish, bluegill, channel catfish, red-ear sunfish, and black crappie. A fishing license isn’t necessary for the fly-casting clinic, but if you’re 16 or over, you’ll need one to fish. — Mary Beth Abate

Harper’s Topiary Garden

3549 Union Street, Mission Hills

A quick roadside attraction, Harper’s Topiary Garden is a must-see for every San Diegan. Artist Edna Harper created this whimsical topiary menagerie on her suburban property. Over 15 years ago she began transforming her average front-yard landscaping into sculptures. You’ll see everything from elephants, buddha, surfers, and serpents. Check #HarpersTopiaryGarden on Instagram to find hundreds of locals posing in front of this whimsical road stop. The most beautiful time to visit is just before sundown. The Harpers welcome visitors to their outdoor museum, but keep in mind this is a private residence. Behave accordingly. — Siobhan Braun

Dropping dollars for the Lucha Libre museum in downtown Tijuana is a good move.

Dropping dollars for the Lucha Libre museum in downtown Tijuana is a good move.

Lucha Libre Friday Nights

Auditorio Municipal (Boulevard Gustavo Díaz Ordaz), Hipodromo, Tijuana

“El Cholo de Tijuana se ha vuelto loco!” Ghetto vans with crudely painted luchadores drive around the city daily, blasting their ads and selling tickets for 100 pesos for the Friday-night wrestling match at the city’s auditorium. “You won’t believe it!” The loudspeaker announces matches between wrestlers El Hijo del Santo, Psycho Clown, Rey Escorpión, Máscara Dorada, Electroshock, and many more, including a Ninja Turtle (or other superheroes) show. Exuberant oversized masked men wearing tight bright outfits do flips, throw kicks and punches, and pretend to hurt each other in and outside the ring with chairs, tables, and other objects. — Matthew Suárez

Free Yoga at the WorldBeat Center

WorldBeat Cultural Center

2100 Park Boulevard, Balboa Park

Drop by Balboa Park’s best-dressed circular structure every Wednesday from 5 to 6:15 p.m. and join Brazilian yoga instructor Vania Oliveira in an all-levels-welcome practice based on multiple styles of yoga. Vania’s credentials include 16 years on the mat and a 200-hour training certificate in vinyasa: the flowing, breath-based yoga style that most Westerners call to mind when they think of yoga. Bring your own mat, blanket, and comfy clothes to join the group for an hour of calming poses and stretching. Vania brings essential oils to bless third eyes at the close of practice. — Chad Deal

You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown

Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center

6845 University Avenue, Rolando

This junior theater version of the classic Broadway musical is a good first theatrical experience for children, as it’s basically a comic strip come to life. People familiar with the Peanuts characters are sure to appreciate the songs and skits that are true to the comic. Although the performers are high-school-age kids, don’t let their ages fool you. C. Hook Theater has a great reputation for polished productions. The show runs June 28–July 1 at the Joan Kroc Theater in Rolando. Evening performances begin at 7 p.m. while the Saturday matinee starts at 1 p.m. — Patrick Henderson

Torrey Pines Gliderport

Torrey Pines Gliderport

2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, La Jolla

Hang gliders and paragliders drifting about overhead has a similar effect on the blood pressure as a water fountain trickling or goldfish swimming about a fish tank. When you need to get to a place of peace, head over to the Torrey Pines Gliderport. We like to grab some subs from Mona Lisa or a pie from Pizzeria Luigi and make a sunset picnic of it. The gliders do their thing year round, launching off the bluffs 350 feet above Black’s Beach and silently riding the upwelling of air caused by the ocean breeze hitting the bluff. You might even be inspired to try it yourself. The gliderport offers beginner certification lessons, 40 hours of training plus 5–8 flights for $1200. Or, for $165 cash, take a one-time tandem paraglider ride with an expert pilot. — Eve Kelly

South Bay Triple Drive-In

South Bay Drive In

2170 Coronado Avenue, Nestor

First opening in 1958 with a 100-foot single-screen, the South Bay Drive-In has thrice remodeled in order to be the three-screen, digital-projection awesomeness that it is today. Operating rain or shine 365 days a year, each screen shows a double feature with some of the newest mainstream movies — the first starting at dark (currently 8:30 p.m.). Check the website for snack-bar coupons. And although you can BYO outside refreshments, keep in mind that alcohol and marijuana are not allowed. Admission is $9 for adults, $1 for kids 5–9 years old. — E.V. Herpworth

The Children’s Nature Retreat is a quiet alternative to the bustling San Diego Zoo. Guests are limited to 100 per day.

The Children’s Nature Retreat is a quiet alternative to the bustling San Diego Zoo. Guests are limited to 100 per day.

Children’s Nature Retreat

Children's Nature Retreat

5178 Japatul Spur, Alpine

In the heart of Alpine’s backcountry sits the 20-acre Children’s Nature Retreat. Home to 95 animals, including zebra, ostrich, Arabian camels, mini cows, and alpacas, among others. Its aim is to foster a love of animals in children. The ranch-style sanctuary is a treat for both the young and old. Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for kids. An Up Close and Personal Pass is $35 and affords a more behind-the-scenes experience. The retreat is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. –7 p.m. The Children’s Nature Retreat is a quiet alternative to the San Diego Zoo. Guests are limited to 100 per day. — Siobhan Braun

Salk Institute Architectural Tour

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

10010 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla

In 1960, Jonas Salk, developer of the first safe and effective polio vaccine, established the Salk Institute. He selected world-renowned architect Louis I. Kahn to design the research facility. Kahn created spacious, unobstructed laboratory spaces that are adaptable to the changing needs of science. Two mirror-image buildings flank a grand travertine courtyard, using strong, durable, low-maintenance building materials. Though local zoning codes restrict the height of the buildings so that the first two stories had to be underground, Kahn designed a series of light wells 40 feet long and 25 feet wide on both sides of each building to bring daylight into the lowest level. Widely regarded as one of the most significant architectural sites in San Diego, the institute offers docent-guided tours Monday through Friday at noon. Advance online reservations ($15) are required. — Mary Beth Abate

Museo del Coleccionista de Tijuana (MUCOTI) and Museo de la Lucha Libre Mexicana (MULLME)

8186 Calle Séptima, Downtown Tijuana

Two new for-profit museums ($3 admission) were installed late April of this year in a new three-story building on the corner of Avenida Revolución and Seventh Street. After a reception that appears like the lobby of an antique hotel, the first floor is filled with over 7000 Mexican figurines, toys, comic books, pogs, and collectibles from brands like Coca-Cola, Sonrics, Sabritas, Bimbo, etc. The second floor hosts everything related to lucha libre, including a replica of a lucha ring and locker room. It also has the largest collection of wrestler figurines, masks, uniforms, boots, championship belts and trophies, autographed memorabilia, and (oddly) hair clippings of over 100 luchadores. — Matthew Suárez

Screen on the Green

San Diego Museum of Art

1450 El Prado, Balboa Park

San Diego Museum of Art’s outdoor film celebration, Screen on the Green, is back for its 17th year with five titles whose release dates span from 1945 to 2011. Held on the lawn to the east of SDMA, the hope is “to complement and enhance the enjoyment and understanding of visual art through film”. Bring a picnic, blankets, lawn chairs, your pets, alcohol (allowed before 8 p.m.) and friends/family who don’t talk during movies. Films screen every Thursday in August, starting at sundown (around 8 p.m.) but it can get crowded so it’s best to go early. Free. — E.V. Hepworth

Estudillo House

Estudillo House

4000 Mason Street, Old Town

Helen Hunt Jackson’s hugely popular 1844 novel Ramona created the American public’s image of Mexican colonial life in Southern California and made its real-life locations into major tourist attractions. This 1820s adobe-block townhouse includes a Catholic chapel among its dozen rooms and billed itself as “Ramona’s marriage place” — where the mixed-race heroine wed her Native American beloved. Besides its literary fame, the house (supposedly haunted) also served as a refuge for women and children during the Mexican-American War. Admission is free. Hours: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.— Deirdre Lickona

The Friday Night Liberty multimedia art show happens every first Friday from 5–8 p.m. at Liberty Station.

The Friday Night Liberty multimedia art show happens every first Friday from 5–8 p.m. at Liberty Station.

Friday Night Liberty at the Arts District

Arts District Liberty Station

2640 Historic Decatur Road, Liberty Station

Stroll through the trendy Liberty Station Arts District on the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. and meet working artists, enjoy dance, theater, and music performances and visit museums and galleries. Stop first at the Dick Laub NTC Command Center’s information desk to pick up a monthly program and map, then wander through the latest exhibits at the Women’s Museum of California, Visions Art Museum, or the San Diego Comic Art Gallery. Chat with artists over a glass of wine at dozens of painting, textile, jewelry, photography, woodworking, and graphic arts studios and galleries before heading to the San Diego Watercolor Society’s reception to introduce its new monthly exhibition. Cap the evening off with a visit to Comickaze Comics for their diverse selection of mainstream and independent comics, graphic novels, manga, statues, and action figures. Free. — Mary Beth Abate

Cat ladies in training at The Cat Café downtown

Cat ladies in training at The Cat Café downtown

Cat Café

The Cat Cafe

472 Third Avenue, Downtown San Diego

The Cat Café is the only of its kind in San Diego. The coffee shop allows visitors to sip on a cup of joe while interreacting with free-roaming, adoptable, cats. The Cat Café is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. A purchase of food or drink will act as an admission ticket to the cat playpen. During peak hours, visitors will have to wait to interact with cats. Reservations can be made in advance to avoid any wait time. On the first and third Sunday of every month the Cat Café hosts a unique catcentric yoga session called Cats on Mats. — Siobhan Braun

Mission Bay Bike Path

Ray's Rentals

3221 Mission Boulevard, Mission Beach

An uplifting outing, good for body and soul, is renting a bike and cycling around Mission Bay. The 12-mile path takes you by ever-changing, ever-gorgeous views of the bay. Bird lovers keep your eyes out for brant, black skimmers, and clapper rails. Ray’s Rentals at Mission Bay and Mission Boulevards, kitty-corner from the roller coaster, is a good place to rent your ride. There’s plenty of parking nearby and plenty of options to grab a cold drink when the ride’s over. (The rooftop beachfront bar at Cannonball Sushi a block away is a favorite with the Kellys. Happy hour 4–6 weeknights). With online coupon — which you can display on your phone at Ray’s — $12 gets you an all-day beach cruiser rental. And a one-speed, cushy-seated beach cruiser is all you need on this flat path. — Eve Kelly

Urban Jungle Fun Park

Urban Jungle Fun Park

8711 N. Magnolia #300, Santee

A self-described “urban indoor playground,” Urban Jungle Fun Park wasn’t voted San Diego’s Best Indoor Play Place and Best Place for Kids to Break a Sweat in Family Magazine for nothing. Their 24´ rock-climbing wall, inflatable obstacle course, 16´ super slide, trampoline park, and 25´tall 14-level “mega play structure” jungle gym all ensure the happiest of endorphin rushes by kids, teens, and adults alike. Choose between 60, 90, or 120 minutes with prices ranging from $10 to $18. Parents or guardians wanting to join in receive a $4 discount on admission, or watch your kid have fun for free. — E.V. Hepworth

A Ship in the Woods artist incubator put on the virtual reality light show WAKE.

A Ship in the Woods artist incubator put on the virtual reality light show WAKE.

A Ship in the Woods

A Ship in the Woods

3007 Felicita Road, Escondido

Enter Ship 2.0, the second and permanent home for the nonprofit arts incubator. The artist community founded in 2010 in Del Mar moved next to Felicita Park in 2015 to a house built in 1954 surrounded by two acres of luscious gardens, oak-tree grove, pool, a year-round stream, hiking trails, birds, and wildlife. A community of innovative thinkers and supporters host diverse curated events, residency programs, and interdisciplinary collaborations of art, science, music, new media, and culture. For a $7 suggested donation, I caught the closing exhibit of WAKE interactive futuristic light and 3D art show at night. — Matthew Suárez

A new five-mile loop trail connects five City Heights canyons, including Olivia Canyon.

A new five-mile loop trail connects five City Heights canyons, including Olivia Canyon.

Go for an Urban Hike

46th Street and Myrtle Avenue, City Heights

A new five-mile loop of trails debuted in April, connecting four canyons (Swan, Manzanita, Hollywood, and 47th St./Olivia canyons) in City Heights with so-called “butterfly corridors” — urban passages linking one canyon to the next with parks, murals, and native plant gardens. The project has been in the works for the past 12 years via community workshops centering around neighborhood enhancement and habitat restoration. Several donations, grants, and permits later, construction began this past February, adding one mile of trail to four existing miles of utility access paths. The million-dollar renovation is now open for hikes, bikes, jogs, and bird-watching. — Chad Deal

Encinitas Classic Car Nights

The beloved Encinitas Classic Car Nights rolls into town for a 17th season this summer on the third Thursday of every summer month through September, from 5:30 till 7:30 p.m. Eyeball the best in hot rods, foreign automobiles, classic cars, and woodies lining South Coast Highway 101 from D Street to K Street in downtown Encinitas as well as side streets, adjacent parking lots, or cruising up and down the main drag. Enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere with live music at several venues and an awards ceremony beginning at 7:15 p.m. Every car in attendance is eligible for awards. Free. — Mary Beth Abate

The Salvation Army Kroc Center

Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center

6845 University Avenue, Rolando

Developed in 2002 with a donation of $87 million by the late Joan Kroc, the Salvation Army 12.4-acre facility has it all. The monthly membership (from $19 for seniors to $56 for family packages) includes access to the aquatics center (multiple pools), state-of-the-art gym, climbing tower, play care, multiple-purpose recreation field, game room, basketball courts, library, computer lab, theater, weekly worship, and discounts for the ice rink, hundreds of classes for all ages, private lessons, and trainers. — Matthew Suárez

The Bayside Trail Hike at Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, Point Loma

Look for the Bayside Trail sign near the Point Loma lighthouse. That’s the start of this 2.5 round-trip trail that offers stellar views of Ballast Point (where Cabrillo landed), downtown, Coronado, and Tijuana. You’ll pass the Cabrillo monument, the Point Loma Lighthouse, and an observation point popular with whale watchers. Duration is about 90 minutes, with a 400-foot elevation gain. Spot rare coastal sage scrub and birds such as the California quail and American kestrel. Weather permitting, take the trail to the tidepools. Day-use fee for park: $10. Trail closes at 4 p.m. — Deirdre Lickona

Ramona’s Grazin’ Pig Acres is home to over 90 rescued pot belly pigs.

Ramona’s Grazin’ Pig Acres is home to over 90 rescued pot belly pigs.

Grazin’ Pig Acres

Grazin’ Pig Acres

2005 Mandez Drive, Ramona

Off a dusty dirt road in Ramona you’ll find Grazin’ Pig Acres, home to over 90 rescued pot belly pigs. This charming sanctuary is run by a married couple who saw a need to house abandoned pigs and filled it. Pens are filled with handcrafted, decorated mini barns and houses offering shade and security to these formerly abandoned and abused animals. Grazin’ Pig Acres is a nonprofit sanctuary. Visitors are welcome by appointment only. The sanctuary also houses dogs, cats, rabbits, goats, sheep, horses, and donkeys. Donations of feed, blankets, and cash are warmly welcomed. Call ahead to schedule your visit. — Siobhan Braun

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