From San Diego to Mammoth, attractions trumpet summer openings despite pandemic

At the San Diego Zoo's Australian Outback exhibit, koala keeper Lindsay King fills water containers and provides eucalyptus.
Koala keeper Lindsay King fills water containers and provides fresh eucalyptus at the San Diego Zoo’s Australian Outback exhibit just after daybreak.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

San Diego and Mammoth Lakes are among the latest California cities to reopen hotels and other attractions as summer begins and the state enters its fourth month of ever-evolving pandemic restrictions.

Although county and state health officials continue to caution against nonessential travel, state officials have permitted the reopening of hundreds of hotels from the Pacific to the Sierra. Many lodgings opened their doors on June 12.

To reassure prospective visitors, destinations are boosting their cleaning and distancing efforts and cautioning that new measures often mean changes to traditional routines.

Among San Diego’s recent and upcoming openings:

•The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park reopen June 20, with the parks’ larger attractions following later in the summer.

Balboa Park’s San Diego Air & Space Museum (opened June 12)

San Diego Automotive Museum (to open June 19)


USS Midway Museum (to open July 1)

For more information: San Diego Tourism Authority.

Meanwhile, 400 miles north in the Mammoth area, these reopenings are set:

•Beginning June 19, all Mammoth Lakes hotels and most campgrounds will be permitted to open and host nonessential travelers (though some may wait days or weeks before opening their doors).

Mammoth Lakes are the surrounded area is a population destination for angles like these fisherman in a boat.
In summer months, the area around Mammoth Lakes comes alive with fishing and mountain-biking.
(Chad McDermott / Los Angeles Times)

•Juniper Springs Resort, the Village Lodge, the Westin Monache Resort, Tamarack Lodge, Campo Restaurant and Camp High Sierra (opening June 19).

Mammoth Mountain Bike Park, Scenic Gondola, Tamarack Lodge’s Lakefront Restaurant, and resort restaurants Yodler, Sierra Grind, Whitebark, 11053 Summit and Eleven53 (to reopen June 26).

•Mammoth Mountain Inn (to open July 3).

Many lodgings and some campgrounds are open. Alcatraz? Not yet.

June 16, 2020

This month has brought reopenings in many other regions of California as well, including the San Francisco Bay Area wine country, Santa Barbara and the Palm Springs area. (Also, Las Vegas casinos began reopening June 4.)

For more information on openings, check Visit California. For more information on state officials’ urgings that Californians avoid “travelling long distances for vacations or pleasure as much as possible,” check these state government pages on COVID-19, health measures and travel.