San Diego is an awesome city in southern California. With its great vibe, sunny climate, beautiful beaches, cozy atmosphere, and tourist attractions, the city should definitely be on your “must visit” list if you are exploring beautiful California! To help you plan your trip to San Diego, we’ve compiled some of the best things to do for tourists who are visiting the city and want to soak it all up on a great vacation.
Stroll Along the Mission Beach Boardwalk
Mission Beach Boardwalk is a place that combines the best features of San Diego – sunny weather, friendly people, beach walks, active locals and more. You can enjoy the boardwalk either by walking, cycling or rollerblading while having a great view of the beach.
During the visit, you can take advantage of restaurants and cafes to have a bite and relax. Also, you’ll find tons of street performers, nightclubs and whatnot. Visiting the boardwalk is free of charge if you just want to stroll around. The Mission Beach boardwalk also connects with other popular places like Pacific Beach and Belmont Park, making it convenient to visit.
San Diego Zoo & San Diego Safari Park
One of the most popular and respected zoos in the world, the San Diego Zoo receives millions of visitors! The zoo has more than 4,000 animals and 800 different species. Depending on the time of the year, this place becomes one of the most visited tourist stops of the year in San Diego.
The San Diego Zoo is open every day (even on holidays). The opening hours are at 9:00 am and closing at 6:00 pm. Ticket prices in general are: Adults: $48; Children: $38. Also, prices may vary depending on extra activities during the day.
Their Safari Park is a vast place full of hills, savannah & jungles habitats where people can see and even feed the animals. It is located at 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027. General tickets are the same price as those at the San Diego Zoo.
Sea World – San Diego
A huge theme park where you can enjoy aquatic exhibits for over 20,000 animals! The Sea World in San Diego is famous for Shamu, the killer whale (or Orca, as they are officially called). But there are so many other fun shows and exhibits to enjoy. You can learn so much at Sea World, plus there are some other fun attractions for the whole family to enjoy. The variety of marine animals has made this aquarium a pleasant place for many visitors.
General admission prices are around $ 69.99 per person plus parking (as of the date of this post).
Balboa Park is considered one of the main tourist attractions in San Diego. It’s an extensive cultural park of 4.9 square km that is very popular among tourists as well as locals.
Admission to the park is free, and you can enjoy several museums, theaters, gardens, restaurants, sports arenas, and the most important attraction, the San Diego Zoo. It is also the largest urban park in the country which is visited every day by thousands of people due to the wide variety of activities that can be enjoyed here.
Old Town San Diego
Old Town is a place with a rich history that marks the creation of the city of San Diego by the first Spaniards (Gaspar de Portolà and Junípero Serra) who settled in this place. It is located in the west of the San Diego River Valley, specifically, at its mouth.
Today, Old Town is a fun and friendly place that has historic sites, shops, restaurants, theaters, museums, acres of Mexican heritage, and hotels. Don’t miss out on the Old Town Tequila and Tortillas tour. All visitors can enjoy tourist and cultural activities to recall the city’s past.
U.S.S. Midway Museum
It is a renowned museum located on a USS Midway aircraft carrier which has a great history of the United States Army and Navy. It was considered the largest warship in the world in the 1950s. It is located at 910 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101. Visitors can enjoy various exhibits and restored airplanes including fighter jets, helicopters and more. It can be a fun place for children.
The general admission ticket prices range from $10 – $26.
There are also flight simulators inside the museum that have an additional price. The museum is open every day (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 10 am to 5 pm.
La Jolla Cove (Beach Day)
It is a small cove on the beach surrounded by cliffs located in La Jolla. In this cove, people can enjoy a variety of activities such as learning to surf, swimming, diving, etc. Also, the area is known for sea lions and seals which swim around the cove. You may even find yourself swimming with them, just don’t disturb them or touch them!
Many people just bring their beach gear, hang out and enjoy the beach. It’s a great place to visit on a sunny day, even if you just want to hang out and watch all the surfers.
A small and historic amusement park, this is a perfect place for families to have fun at different attractions like the Giant Dipper roller coaster, carousels, trains for young children, climbing walls, laser tag, miniature golf, and many other games.
There are also a number of food stands in the park, and parking is free as well as the entrance to the park. However, each attraction has its own price – so you can just pay to do whichever you want.
A lovely beach located in the city of Coronado. Coronado is not an island as such, but it feels like one. You can reach the city by ferry on a 15-minute trip. Also, you can visit the Hotel del Coronado, which is a symbolic place considered a National Historic Landmark which has served celebrities and politicians. You may recognize the famous building as something you’ve seen on TV or in the movies many times. It’s a lovely area to visit and makes for a fun day out of the busy city.
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is an extensive natural park of approximately 28 hectares located along the Pacific Ocean at the west end of Point Loma. Visitors especially come to this place to admire the sunset over the ocean. Others come to this area for running, yoga, and other outdoor activities. The coastline is formed by coastal cliffs, arches and caves and marine caves. Besides, it has an incredible view of the gray whales and migratory birds that reach the Bering Sea.
What Do You Want to Do in San Diego?
San Diego is full of many wonderful things to do for visitors. It’s no wonder the town is so popular with tourists because of its interesting history, wonderful food, popular wildlife attractions, gorgeous beaches, and lively atmosphere. Spending a weekend in San Diego is a lovely way to enjoy the city, but you could easily spend more time here if you wanted as well since there are so many day trips from San Diego that you would enjoy as well.
*Check out some of these great Day Drive Activities from San Diego.