Owning a boat in San Diego is like having a key to endless adventures. Southern California is a haven for boaters seeking sunshine and being on the water year-round. Whether you’re a seasoned captain or a first-time boat owner, San Diego’s coastline offers a wide range of opportunities to make the most of your nautical investment. Lots of people ask us what they can do on their boat beyon cruising, fishing, and relaxing on the water or at the dock. That’s why we compiled a list of things to do on your boat in San Diego throughout the year. The possibilities for fun on the water in this Southern Californian paradise are endless. In this blog post, we’ll explore a variety of activities to make the most of your time on the water in San Diego.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Decorate your boat and join in on the holiday fun at the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights, on December 10th and 17th, 2023. The parade starts at Shelter Island and ends at Ferry Landing in Coronado. This year’s theme is Christmas traditions around the world. Check out everything you need to know about the San Diego holiday boat parade here: https://sdparadeoflights.org/

Spiny Lobster Season

Grab your boat and a hoop net! Spiny lobster season runs from October to March in San Diego. Here are some great sources where you can get more information on spiny lobster season. https://www.50northyachts.com/blog/spiny-lobster-season/

Harbor/ Sunset Cruise

San Diego’s sunsets are legendary, and there’s no better way to witness the sky ablaze with hues of orange and pink than from your boat. Plan an evening cruise along the coast, with a loved one or a group of friends, and bask in the magical glow as the sun dips below the Pacific horizon, the city lights up, offering a picturesque panorama that’s perfect for a romantic evening or a memorable family outing.

Whale Watching

Set sail for an unforgettable wildlife encounter by heading out to the open ocean for dolphin and whale watching. San Diego’s waters are frequented by playful dolphins and majestic whales, providing a mesmerizing spectacle that will leave you in awe of nature’s wonders. Migration season runs (typically December to April for gray whales and June to September for blue whales) to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. For more info on whale watching in San Diego, visit:  https://www.50northyachts.com/blog/its-whale-watching-season-in-san-diego/ 

Fishing Excursions

Equip your boat for a fishing expedition and venture into the deep sea to catch yellowtail, dorado, and tuna. The thrill of reeling in a big catch against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean is an experience that every boat owner should experience. 

Check out BD Outdoors at: https://www.bdoutdoors.com/ for all things fishing in SoCal!

Island Hoping 

Take your boat to Catalina Island, just a short cruise away, and indulge in a day of hiking, snorkeling, or simply basking in the island’s natural beauty. Alternatively, venture to the scenic Coronado Island, known for its pristine beaches and upscale amenities.
Catalina Island and Coronado Island are just a stone’s throw away, each offering its own unique charm. Pack a picnic, drop anchor in a secluded cove, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of these island paradises.

Dockside Dining
San Diego offers an array of waterfront restaurants and bars with dockside access. Tie up your boat and enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the waterfront view. From fresh seafood to international cuisine, the city’s dockside dining options cater to all tastes. Enjoy a delightful meal, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of San Diego’s maritime community.

We prepared a list of places to dock and dine in two of our favorite Southern California boating locations, San Diego and Newport Beach, here: https://www.50northyachts.com/blog/dock-and-dine-san-deigo-newport-beach/ 

A Day or Weekend at Anchorage
Explore some great local anchorage options in San Diego,perfect for when you are looking to get away from the dock on weekends (or weekdays) but don’t want to go quite so far to Catalina. Obtain a simple permit to stay overnight and enjoy the serene experience. Check out our guide on where to anchor in San Diego here:https://www.50northyachts.com/blog/where-to-anchor-in-san-diego/  

Water Sports Extravaganza
For the adventurous souls, equip your boat with water sports gear. From wakeboarding and waterskiing to tubing and jet skiing, San Diego’s bays and inlets provide the perfect playground for adrenaline-pumping aquatic activities. Gather friends and family for a day of fun in the sun.

With its sunny warm climate and vast coastline, San Diego offers an abundance of activities for boat enthusiasts. From harbor cruises and whale watching to fishing excursions and island exploration, there’s something for everyone. Set sail and discover the unparalleled beauty and excitement that San Diego has to offer on your very own boat. The sea is calling, and adventure awaits.