Whether you’re a San Diego native closing out the summer in style or a visitor taking advantage of the Labor Day Weekend holiday to get out of town for that last vacation, if you’re spending the weekend in “America’s Finest City,” you can’t miss out on the 2013 Festival of Sail. Held every year on and around the San Diego Bay, this year’s Festival of Sail will run from Friday, August 30 – Monday, September 2, 2013. It’s the perfect San Diego attraction for families, friends, and travelers of all types looking to experience something that truly epitomizes the spirit and heritage of maritime San Diego.
Hosted by the Maritime Museum of San Diego (in the North Embarcadero area, which also includes the popular USS Midway Museum), the Festival of Sail celebrates all things on sea: from leisure-class vessels like schooners to naval warriors like submarines and aircraft carriers, the FOS captures the full range of maritime activity and history. It’s also a great low-cost activity for the whole family – admission is just $5/person and can be purchased on site.
Since this San Diego attraction is all about the detailed attention to the beautiful sailing ships that have defined and continue to play an important role in global maritime history, here’s the rundown on the participants. Special ships that you’ll get an up-close look at during the Festival: a three-masted schooner, “American Pride,” a B-39 Submarine from Russia, a historical Berkeley Ferryboat from the late nineteenth century, a featured Tall Ship named “Californian,” an American naval vessel type PCF-86, and many more! For a complete list of vessels, their stats and other additional details, visit the participating ships website.
You can also be a part of the fun and excitement by joining the crew of a vessel participating in the Tall Ship Parade! A large group of ships will sail into the San Diego Bay on Thursday, August 29th, as the kickoff event before the Festival of Sail Officially Begins. Tickets to participate are sold separately and do not include admission to the Festival itself. For specific ticketing information, consult the Tall Ship Parade website. While tickets to sail aboard the ships are limited, everyone can watch and wave from ashore as the parade sails majestically into the Bay to dock at the Maritime Museum.
While the excitement of being amongst so many fantastic ships is a highlight of the San Diego Festival of Sail, there is plenty more to do! For the younger ones, face painting, a special petting zoo, and fun inflatable toys will be great additions to a full day of fun. There will also be demonstrations of cannon firing, the operation and maintenance of a Tall Ship, as well as authentic naval re-enactors that will make the historical ships come to life! Plus, plenty of food and drink stands to keep you happy, a special Beer Garden for adults only, and live, on-stage entertainment throughout the Festival. Don’t forget to also visit some of the many art, craft, and gift vendors located throughout the Festival grounds – you’ll want to get that perfect souvenir from your day at this iconic San Diego attraction.