5 things to do with later daylight

Ah, yes! As winter comes to a close in San Diego, as does the treacherous quick-to-dark days that left us craving more hours of sunshine every time we left the office at 5 p.m. With all that extra light floating around, your after work routine could use a little boost of fun.

Here are five ways to spend your extra hour of light:

Hop, skip or surf into the ocean

The one can't be emphasized enough (after all, this is one of the main reasons we pay so much to live in San Diego). The power of jumping in the ocean, be it for a quick swim or a surf session, is enough to cure a bad day and enhance a great one. Luckily for San Diegans, the city's coastlines are lined with some of the best beaches around. From Sunset Cliffs to Windansea and up to Moonlight State Beach, San Diegans have it made. Bring dogs,  kids, friends or go by yourself for some alone time. No matter how you chose to go, the beach never disappoints. 

Enjoy an even happier happy hour

Hitting happy hour is great no matter what time of year it is. But, when the sun hangs around a little longer one can truly enjoy sipping a half-off drink and tasty appetizer without feeling rushed and left in the dark. It's a great time to make a date with an old friend, your beau or take yourself out to one of the many happy hours in town. Take full advantage of later sunshine by grabbing happy hour at any one of San Diego's top rooftop bars

Climb a mountain or two

One of the worst things about the winter is not being able to work out outdoors after a long workday without needing a safety vest, flashlight or some kind of reflective equipment. Now's a great time to squeeze in a quick night-time hike up a local peak. Try one of the shorter climbs in the area, like Cowles Mountain or Torrey Pines, to ensure you make it up and down before the sun sets. If you have extra time to spare, choose from any of these hikes that are among the best San Diego County has to offer.

Pack up a picnic and head to Balboa Park

Sometimes, we forget about good ol' Balboa Park and all of its beauty. The huge outdoor park, including the Botanical Building, is even more gorgeous at golden hour. Hit the park, pack a picnic and maybe even bring a bottle of wine to share. Yep, you can drink outdoors at a few of Balboa Park's grassy lawns. For all of the rules and regulations, including where drinking is allowed within Balboa Park, click here. 

Take a hot air balloon ride 

This one is not for the faint of heart, but the reward is unforgettable views of San Diego. While this may not be an everyday kind of after-hours event, it is quite awesome to watch the sunset over the coast on a clear evening. The Del Mar sunset balloon ride provides views from Coronado all the way to Mexico. To learn more about taking a flight, visit  californiadreamin.com.

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