Parks and Rec

10 Things To Do in San Diego County (Instead of Watching the Super Bowl)


While the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks duke it out on the (freezing cold) field in New Jersey this Sunday during Super Bowl XLVIII, San Diego County residents can soak up the sunny weather and take advantage of County activities that totally trump TV touchdowns.

Whether you love hiking, biking or just exploring San Diego, there’s plenty to do across the County this weekend instead of watching the Super Bowl. Of course, if you do end up watching the game, we suggest whipping up this big-game dip from Sam the Cooking Guy.

All events take place on Sunday and are free, unless otherwise noted. Click on the links for more information.

1. Ready, Set… Hike!

While the centers of the Broncos and Seahawks are hiking balls, you can be hiking a trail! There are plenty of County trails to choose from, but might we suggest taking a day trip to Anza Borrego’s Agua Caliente Regional Park? You can take a guided 1.5-mile marsh trail hike that begins at 10 a.m. Plus, soak in the geothermally-heated pool afterward to soothe those muscles. Note: There is a $3 day use fee for the park.

2. Tackle  

Round up the family and head to Lake Morena County Park for some fishing. Located at 2550 Lake Morena Drive in Campo, the park offers weekend fishing opportunities, with fees ranging from free (children 9 and under) to $7 (adults 16 and older.) Note: Due to current water conditions, no personal watercrafts may be launched, but float tubes, canoes and kayaks are allowed and motorized boats may be rented for a fee.

3. Fowl

Forget watching men in helmets throw around a ball, grab your binoculars and head to the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas for some bird-watching. You can download a bird watching check list and make a day of it. The garden is located at 230 Quail Gardens Drive and is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Parking is $2 and entrance is $12 for adults; $8 for seniors, students and military; and $6 for children (ages 3-12).

4. Extra Point

There’s no scientific evidence to back this up, but early testing shows that adopting a new, furry family member earns you extra points in life. Look through adoptable animals online, visit one of the County sheltersor check out past Pets of the Week and give one of the loving animals its forever home.

5. Scrimmage Game

Why watch football when you can play? Set up a scrimmage game at the County park nearest to you. Find a full list of the parks online and get playing!

6. Kickoff

Fred Beneditti and George Svoboda — also known as “The Two Guitars” — are kicking off the Sunday Concert Series at the Vista Library (700 Eucalyptus Avenue) on Sunday from 1:30-2:30 p.m. The Encinitas Library (540 Cornish Dr.) will also be celebrating the day with Cajun/New Orleans-style jazz from 2-3 p.m. and Jeff Berkley will be marking the 250th Acoustic Showcase at the Fallbrook Library (124 S. Mission Road) from 2-3 p.m.

7. Cheap Shot

The football players may be getting their cheap shots in on Sunday, but you can get your own cheap shots at Flinn Springs in El Cajon (14787 Old Highway 80) at the free Knowing Your Camera Photo Class from 3-4:30 p.m. Bring your camera and wear your hiking gear and learn how to capture waterfalls with a slow shutter speed and get great macro shots of insects galore. Note: There is a $3 day use fee for park.

8. Roll Out

Wheel your way along the coast. Break out the bike and ride it along the Bayshore Bikeway — it’s OK to feel smug about our weather while the football players are utilizing hand warmers.

9. Game Plan

While everyone is sitting at home, the stores out there are crowd-free, so take advantage. Make a disaster plan with your family, purchase emergency supplies (bonus: no waiting in lines) and download the SD Emergency app for good measure.

10. Wild Card

Get a free history lesson in on Sunday instead of sitting in front of the tube with a docent-led tour at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve and Ranch House (12122 Canyonside Park Dr.) at 1 p.m. You’ll get to visit the historic Johnson-Taylor Adobe and learn what cultures, people and architecture shaped San Diego. Bonus: Bring your running gear and jog around the trail before or after the tour.

Melissa Phy is a multimedia designer with the County of San Diego Communications Office.