The biggest tourist attraction in San Diego is not Petco Park; it’s not San Diego Harbor, SeaWorld, Balboa Park or the Zoo. Sandy beaches and the ocean? Not if it’s overcast and cool outside. No, the biggest tourist attraction in San Diego is the sun.
With the exception of ‘June Gloom,’ where the marine layer sticks to the coast like a cotton shirt sticks to skin on a humid night, San Diego summers are filled with sunny days. And while tourists flock to the beaches in droves when the temperatures hit 90, what about those San Diego residents who want a new way to fight the heat and humidity that’s been around the last few days?
Not everybody is lucky enough to be the Most Interesting Man in the World, for whom both sides of his pillow are cool. Therefore the Entertainer is here with four ways San Diegans can beat the heat in San Diego County.
Leonardo Da Vinci once called water the “driving force of all nature.” Naturally then, the first step to beat the heat is to ensure your body is properly hydrated. During the summer, soda companies like Pepsi and Coke try to sell consumers a cold, crisp soda on a hot summer afternoon. However, sugary caffeinated beverages can be some of the worst things to drink on a hot day.
As temperatures rise, so do body temperatures. To combat the heat, our bodies turn to coping mechanisms, like sweating, to cool us down. In order to proactively beat the heat, remember to constantly drink water, specifically room temperature water. It may seem like ice-cold water is ideal to cool body temperature but that’s not the case. One of the first symptoms of dehydration, with the exception of a dry mouth, is fatigue. Iced drinks can make our bodies work overtime in the heat.
While water consumption is one way to stay cool, there are other great ways to use water effectively. If you are like many San Diegans and can’t afford air conditioning, try soaking a couple washcloths in ice-cold water and then placing them on the back of the neck, wrists or face. Cooling specific parts of the body can do wonders to bring down overall body temperature.
Just keep swimming
If you did not already know, let me fill you in: the west border of San Diego County is essentially one big beach. If you still aren’t convinced, just visit Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla, Pacific/Mission/Ocean Beaches or down the coast into the City of San Diego and walk toward the ocean. Eventually you will hit sand and then water.
If you came prepared, then lay down the towel, shed the clothes (but not the swimsuit) and run full-speed into the water. It may seem cold at first, but remember, that’s the point.
San Diego residents are blessed with miles of beaches. Not only do the beaches provide an opportunity to wade in the water and frolic in the waves, they also often feature cooler temperatures than other parts of the county. If you decide the beach is the right choice to beat the heat, remember to lather on the sunscreen and stay hydrated under the sun.
Okay, so going to the beach might not be for everyone. So if you want to avoid the sand, then check out one of the local public swimming pools or visit a local water park. Try the popular Wave House in Mission Beach or Knott’s Soak City USA in Chula Vista.
Get in the zone; the cool zone
You are staying hydrated and you’ve already been to the beach, a pool and a water park. Now, back at home without AC, you once again feel your body temperature rise. You’ve already tried the age-old trick of trying to sustain a cross-breeze through your house or apartment by strategically cracking doors or windows. No matter what you try, you are unable to prevent temperatures from rising. It’s time to think outside the home.
Pick up your phone and call 800-510-2020. More than 115 libraries, recreation centers and other air-conditioned sites have been designated as official San Diego County “Cool Zones,” and this number lists them all.
One of the more popular cool zones in the county is the Mission Valley Library. If you tire of the air-conditioned indoors, check out the second floor patio and let the valley breezes cool you off.
Ice, Ice Baby
Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and becomes ice. Okay you probably already knew that. But, did you know San Diego County has four ice-skating rinks? I didn’t think so. If you are willing to open your freezer and stick your head inside, then you should be willing to leave the house and find someplace that allows people to play on the ice.
Ice Town in the University Town Center mall, the Salvation Army Kroc Center’s Ice Arena in Rolando, Iceoplex Escondido and the Ice Arena in Mira Mesa all offer indoor ice skating – the perfect opportunity to work on your balance, have a good time and stay cool in the process.
In fact, you might even want to bring a jacket or two and maybe some mittens. We might not get much wintry weather around here, but inside those ice rinks it’s winter year-round.
Whether you choose to hydrate, go to the beach, visit a cool zone or hit the rink, there are many ways to stay cool throughout the summer. Feel free to share your secrets to staying cool in the comments section below. You might even learn a new trick.
Photos courtesy anosmia, ashleigh290, moonjazz, and Helga’s Lobster Stew via Flickr.