When is the last time you went down a huge waterslide slightly buzzed on beers rimmed with chamoy and Tajin? The answer might be years, yesterday or never. In any case, you need to rectify that this summer and get on the Turista Libre Tijuana Waterpark Tour. You have never experienced fun in the sun on this level. The Turista Libre bus, with its en-route drinks and ordnance of water guns, will take you to and from El Vergel water park in TJ. Tickets ($30) for the June 4, July 3, August 6 or September 4 tours are on sale.
BUBBLES ON THE BAY
I love a Jacuzzi. I also love drinking wine and relaxing on a calm body of water. It seemed like an impossible dream to combine all three elements, until I discovered Hot Tub Cruisin', the ultimate water-based, chillness turducken, hot tub wine machine. With Hot Tub Cruisin' you rent a barge with a Jacuzzi on board. There's also a grill so you can cook an actual turducken while coasting on Mission Bay. This slice of heaven isn't cheap ($215/hour or $750 four hours), but split it among the 10 people you can bring on board and it's worth it.
R. Kelly believed he could fly. It seemed like nonsense at the time, and really, that pervert is the last person I want airborne. Still, we believed we could fly too, and now Jetpack America has gone and made it all possible. Strap on one of its jetpacks and whoosh through the sky powered by the rush of air-propelled water. It's a rush that's mildly terrifying at first; then soon you're making air donuts in the sky. Jetpack rides range from $152-$229 depending on rental time.
On a sweltering night, Mission Bay's moonlit waters can look like a sanctuary, but the water's excessive bacteria levels should garner some hesitation. Trade that in for a stand-up paddleboard equipped with waterproof LED lights from Mission Bay Sports Center. From the sanitary safety of the SUP, the bay's natural inhabitants, such as stingrays and jellyfish, are viewable at night within a 40-foot circumference of each illuminated board. The guided tours start up after Memorial Day, last two hours and cost $25 per person.
UP FOR SAIL
No offense to our alt audience; the people looking for, say, the best caviar, plastic surgery and—yes—sailing are more likely to read other publications. That said, we live in a gorgeous place, and if you don't surf, there are only so many opportunities to enjoy San Diego from the water. Given a choice, sailing is much less douche-y than zooming around Fiesta Island on a jet ski. There are dozens of sailing tour companies around town, but Sail San Diego (2051 Shelter Island Drive) has the best word-of-mouth.
THAR SHE BLOWS
The naturalist in you will look forward to the chance to sail out of the San Diego Bay for a Hornblower Cruises & Events Summer Whale Watching Adventure (Navy Float 970 N. Harbor Drive). Four-hour tours run $65 per person on comfy yachts that take you out to encounter dolphins, sea lions and whales. For a smidge of added adventure/intrigue, last spring The Adventure Hornblower returned to dock and made national news by smashing into the Embarcadero North promenade. There were no serious injuries, and if you adhere to a World According To Garp philosophy, the chance that'll happen again is now so much smaller.
Waterslides are old news. In the stickiness of a summer evening, grab an inner tube and slide through glow-in-the-dark goo instead. Blacklight Slide is coming to Sleep Train Amphitheatre on Saturday, June 11, with thrills to fill every bodily crevice with neon liquids. DJs Crisco Kidd and Tino Cochino will spin a soundtrack that flows with the glow and leads into an afterparty. Early bird tickets start at $20 with an option to buy extra neon paint, glow sticks, inner tubes and more. Part of the admission price is donated to a local childhood cancer cause.
Some people would love to brag that they swam—or kayaked and/or snorkled—with sharks, but the mere thought of it makes them shiver like a bucket of chum. For those people there's Everyday California (2246 Avenida de la Playa). This La Jolla tour company's guides take novices and intermediates out on the waters of La Jolla Ecological Reserve. This Marine Protected Area is home to sea lions, turtles, Garibaldi and a large aggregation of leopard sharks. Fear not, these leopards are bottom feeders—but your future claim to have shared the waters with sharks will be nothing but the truth, so help you selfies.
- Ron Donoho
San Diego's jazz scene is small but close-knit, and the number of venues around town hosting live jazz reduced by one with the closing of Croce's Park West. Local jazz lives on, however, and one unique way to catch some local players in a jam session is to find a table next to the pool at the Westgate Hotel (1055 Second Ave.) on a Thursday night. Once a week, the Sunset Poolside Jazz series showcases a different local artist, including Gilbert Castellanos, Besos de Coco and Robert Dove, right next to the hotel pool. You can grab a craft cocktail or some tapas while the band serenades you. Or if you're feeling like something more refreshing, there is all that water right in front of you.