6 things to do this spring in San Diego 🌸

Zoro Garden Balboa Park

This lil’ visitor exploring the Zoro Garden at Balboa Park gives us butterflies. | Photo via @dreasroom

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This Sunday is the first day of spring and we’ve got a little pep in our step thinking of the seasonal traditions we get to enjoy in San Diego.

From flower fields + gardens to whale watching and watching the Padres at Petco Park, plant yourself here for a sec, take inventory, and then get out there and blossom as you soak in spring in our city.

🦋 The gardens at Balboa Park

In its infinite beauty, San Diegans enjoy Balboa Park year-round but this time of year, the landmark’s 19 gardens have a way of truly springing to life. Flutter through a butterfly garden at the sunken grotto known as Zoro Garden (Fun fact: This site used to be a nudist colony during 1935 California-Pacific Exposition, so there’s that), take a peaceful stroll along Alcazar Garden (and look up, because the view of the California Tower from this spot is breathtaking), or check out 36 species of drought-tolerant plants at the California Native Plant Garden.

Carlsbad flower fields

It’s as if the blooms in Carlsbad know it’s their time to shine. | Photo via @hyuniss

🌼 The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

A North County springtime staple, The Flower Fields in Carlsbad are open through Mother’s Day. Nearly 55 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers are the stars of the colorful show, and a day trip to this attraction could include bloom-filled selfies, a tractor wagon ride, a sweet pea maze, artist gardens + aviaries, a playground for the littles, and much more.

Art Alive San Diego Museum of Art 2021

An artistic floral interpretation at Art Alive in 2021. | Photo via Bauman Photographers

🌸 Art Alive

For 40+ years, the San Diego Museum of Art has hosted this unique springtime fundraiser showcasing ~100 floral interpretations of works of art from its permanent collection. This year, the 4-day event runs from Fri., April 29-Sun., May 2 — and the weekend kicks off with the return of the outdoor Bloom Bash featuring food, cocktails, art + live entertainment.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park 2019

SDtoday City Editor Monica Garske’s daughter, Elle, at the Desert Bloom in March 2019. | Photo via SDtoday

🌷 Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Around this time of year, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park typically becomes the stage for Mother Nature’s big show known as the “Desert Bloom.” Against the arid backdrop, wildflowers blossom to create an epic sight. Of course, the phenomenon depends on how much rain the region gets, so before trekking to the desert, we like to keep tabs on conditions via the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association, the Anza-Borrego Foundation, or by calling the park’s Wildflower Hotline at (760) 767-4684.

Legacy Whale Watch san diego

A sighting in the sea. | Photo via @legacywhalewatch

🐋 Whale watching (yes, even in the spring)

Whale watching has become a year-round activity locally but through April, you can catch the tail-end of the migration period for gray whales — who are known to pass through San Diego’s coastline en route to the warm waters of Baja California.

Many local companies offer tours in search of these gentle giants, including:

Petco Park san diego

Petco Park in all its gorgeous glory. | Photo via @sddiscover

⚾ Padres baseball

Spring in “Slam Diego” means the return of the Padres to downtown’s Petco Park. MLB Opening Day is now Thurs., April 7, when the Padres play the Diamondbacks in Arizona. The Padres’ Home Opener is on Thurs., April 14, against the Atlanta Braves.

Home game series in April + May:

  • Padres vs. Reds: Mon., April 18-Wed., April 20
  • Padres vs. Dodgers: Fri., April 22-Sun., April 24
  • Padres vs. Marlins: Thurs., May 5-Sun., May 8
  • Padres vs. Cubs: Mon., May 9-Wed., May 11
  • Padres vs. Brewers: Mon., May 23-Wed., May 25
  • Padres vs. Pirates: Fri., May 27-Sun., May 29

Check out the team’s full 2022 schedule here.

Psst...this list isn’t meant to be comprehensive, so if we missed a springtime tradition that you love in San Diego, please share it with us. Email us at: hello@thesdtoday.com.

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