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Cool Things To Do In Downtown San Diego

by Pankaj Upreti
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Things To Do In Downtown San Diego

Downtown San Diego is one of the most welcoming places to its tourists. With its museums, restaurants, theatres, parks and other entertaining sites, the place has a lot to offer.

The following article will help you figure out some of the best tourist destinations in downtown San Diego that you must not miss out on. We hope that you have fun in this city and keep coming back to it for more. 

Explore The Museums In Downtown San Diego

Downtown San Diego is home to a number of museums that will take your breath away. Here is a list of four museums that you must not miss out on.

1. USS Midway Museum

USS Midway Museum | Photo Credit – Clemens Vasters

A museum like no other, the USS Midway Museum makes for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The museum is an aircraft carrier that is docked in the waters of downtown San Diego. If you have always been interested in experiencing a naval life, this is your chance.

The museum allows its visitors to explore its interiors which will enable them to understand the way naval officers live on the sea. To add to the fun, the museum has an aircraft stimulator, that enables the visitors to virtually experience the taking off an aircraft from the deck.

2. The Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum | Photo Credit – Jason Taellious

If you are looking for things to do in downtown San Diego along with your children, there is no better place than The Children’s Museum. The museum is dedicated to nurturing young children by propelling them to learn through interactive activities.

Here, at the museum, your children will learn to hands-on engage in activities that will help build in them the ability to think critically at a very young age. Here your children will be able to interact with other kids of their age and this will result in learning team spirit. The museum frequently organizes learner-centered programs.

3. Museum Of Contemporary Art

The Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the most famous museums in San Diego.
Museum Of Contemporary Art | Photo Credit – Smart Destinations

The Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the most famous museums in San Diego owing to its cultural significance. The museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying art across various mediums from the 1950s.

Here you will have the chance to check out art which has been curated over years of scrutiny and belongs to artists from all over the world. The museum will enable you to see the significance of contemporary art in our lives.

This museum is also known for its various exhibitions from time to time whose details are available on their website. The museum of contemporary art is a space for all art appreciators and we highly recommend it.

4. Maritime Museum

the Maritime Museum makes for an authentic experience for life at the sea in san diego.
Maritime Museum | Photo Credit – Stacy

Just like the USS Midway Museum, the Maritime Museum makes for an authentic experience for life at the sea. Here you will able to see a number of antique artifacts, all of which carry markers of naval life.

The attractions at the museum include the sailing ship ‘Star of India’, which is a sight to behold in itself. Apart from the ‘Star of India’, the museum has a number of vessels as its exhibit, each of which is unique in their own ways. A visit to the Maritime Museum will acquaint you with naval life and we highly recommend it.

Other Attractions In Downtown San Diego That You Must Not Miss Out On

Downtown San Diego is the place where dreams come alive. With a host of entertainment options, this place is bound to touch your heart. So what are you waiting for? Get ready and visit these places to make the most of your visit to downtown San Diego. 

1. William Heath Davis House

William Heath Davis House is the oldest wooden structure in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego.
William Heath Davis House | Photo Credit – Smart Destinations

This House is the oldest wooden structure in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego. This place is a testament to the rich culture and history of downtown San Diego. Built-in a Victorian model, the place boasts of itself as offering a chance to visit the past.

Visitors can explore the place on their own or can enroll for a guided tour of the building. Here you will find numerous attractions that will transport you back in time and acquaint you with the rich past of downtown San Diego.

2. San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo | Photo Credit – coralmoore

If you are looking for things to do with your family in San Diego, we recommend you to visit the San Diego Zoo. Here you will be able to interact with the wildlife in a novel manner, thanks to their many exciting programs. You could walk around and explore the zoo at your own pace or you could opt for a cart tour.

The San Diego zoo also offers customized private tours. For instance, if you desire to focus on the feline family, you can book yourself a ‘Crazy About Cats’ tour. The zoo works with the aim of providing an intimate experience with the wildlife and you shall experience it on your own at the San Diego Zoo. They also organize a number of exhibits, so make sure that you keep an eye out for them.

When you visit the San Diego Zoo, make sure that you do not forget to check out their segment, ‘Pitter-Patter, Flutter-Flap’, where you’d be able to view the newborns of the animals. Most of the tours at the San Diego Zoo need to be pre-booked, so make sure that you book your tickets before visiting them.

3. Seaport Village

Seaport Village | Photo Credit – Prayitno / Thank you for (12

Shop like never before at downtown San Diego’s famous shopping complex- The Seaport Village. Built over an area of 14 acres, this place is more than just a shopping complex.

Here you would find numerous entertainment, dining, and shopping options. At Seaport Village, you will find over 54 unique stores, where you can shop till you drop. Once you get tired, indulge in some sumptuous food at one of their many sumptuous sea-facing restaurants. The Seaport Village is a shopaholic’s paradise and we strongly recommend you to visit them.

4. Balboa Theatre

If you are visiting downtown San Diego with your partner, we have a date-night idea for you. A show at the historic Balboa Theatre! The Balboa Theater at downtown San Diego is where the magic happens and theatre comes to life.

The theatre is famous not just for its diverse range of shows but also for its breathtaking architecture. With a sitting capacity of over one thousand three hundred spectators, it makes for an ideal place for lovers of theatre.

5. Petco Park

Petco Park | Photo Credit – Ryan Quick

Do you love baseball? If yes, then you must check out San Diego’s famous Petco Park. With a capacity of over forty thousand spectators, the park is celebrated for being the home ground of San Diego’s local baseball team.

One of the best things to do in San Diego is to catch a game of baseball at Petco Park. If you are lucky, you will get a seat from which you shall be able to enjoy, not just the game, but also San Diego bay.

6. Trolley Tour

One of the best ways to experience downtown San Diego is to explore the city through its famous trolley tour.
Trolley Tour | Photo Credit – Randy Robertson

One of the best ways to experience downtown San Diego is to explore the city through its famous trolley tour. The trolley tour has been in operation since 1989 and has earned the status of one of the top things to do in downtown San Diego. The trolley tour will enable you to enjoy the magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean and the Seaport Village.

The tours are guided in nature, so you will learn a lot of factual information while being on-board. Another important aspect of the tour is that you can hop on and off the bus as per your convenience, which will give you the freedom of exploring the area on your own terms. The trolley tour will give you the opportunity to explore the area with a group of like-minded people and will surely make for a memorable experience.

7. Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park | Photo Credit – Port of San Diego

Situated on the Pacific Highway of San Diego, Waterfront Park is one place that you must check out in downtown San Diego. If you are looking for a place where you can relax and soak in the sun, this is just the place for you. The park faces San Diego bay and makes for an ideal spot to spend an evening.

You can spread a mat on the grass and read your favorite book or you could take a stroll in the park. This is also an ideal place to visit along with your children as the park has gardens that are built specifically for children. If you like spending time in parks, the Waterfront park will please your heart with its aesthetic appeal.

8. Omnia Nightclub

If you are looking for fun things to do in San Diego along with your friends, head straight to Omnia Nightclub. This is one of the best clubs in the Gaslamp District and a favorite amongst the tourists and the localities alike.

One of the best features of the club is its rooftop terrace, where you can spend some time drinking and dining under the night sky. Omnia Nightclub is one of the most fun places that you will visit and we strongly recommend it.

9. Balboa Park

This is one of the best places to visit in downtown San Diego.
Balboa Park | Photo Credit – Tim Evanson

If there is one thing that you absolutely cannot miss out on in downtown San Diego, it is Balboa Park. An urban culture park, the Balboa Park is home to museums, gardens, theatres, restaurants, and the San Diego Zoo.

This is one of the best places to visit in downtown San Diego, as Balboa Park has something for everyone. As they like to say, it is the unique space where ‘culture, science, and nature collides.’

10. Gaslamp Quarter

Gaslamp Quarter | Photo Credit – Ken Lund

The Gaslamp Quarter is one of the most happening neighborhoods in San Diego and an ideal place to visit for tourists. Here you will find umpteen entertainment options. The best way to explore the Gaslamp Quarter is to take a stroll in the neighborhood and check out the places that catch one’s eyes.

This is also an ideal place to spend time at night as it is home to a number of pubs. You could spend the night drinking and dancing at the Omnia Nightclub. The place is also famous for its outdoor restaurants, that come alive after the sun goes down, so make sure that you prepare yourself to dine under the light of the stars.

11. Mission Brewery

San Diego is famous for its craft beer and to experience this delight there is no place like Mission Brewery.
Mission Brewery | Photo Credit – Randy

San Diego is famous for its craft beer and to experience this delight there is no place like Mission Brewery. Located in East Village, Mission Brewery is dedicated to providing an authentic beer drinking experience to its visitors. They provide tours to their visitors, through which they acquaint them through the entire beer brewing procedure. The place has little restrictions.

For instance, you can take your kids and furry friends along. You can also carry you take-away food to relish it with their beer. If you intend to visit them with a large group of people, you can also opt for a private tour.

Restaurant To Dine At In Downtown San Diego

In order to capture the essence of downtown San Diego, we urge you taste its food. Following is a list of two restaurants that you must check out when in downtown San Diego. 

1.Fogo De Chao

Fogo De Chao | Photo Credit – Alan Light

Give yourself the pleasure of indulging in Brazilian barbecue at the famous Fogo de Chao. Located in the glittering Gaslamp Quarter, this restaurant makes for a fine experience. Here you will taste it all, from carefully curated Brazilian wines to Brazilian starters.

This place is any food lover’s paradise and we strongly recommend it. The place is usually packed so make sure that you make your reservation before visiting them.

2.Water Grill

If you are looking for a fine dining option in San Diego, look no further than Water Grill. As its name suggests, the restaurant is all about sea-food which is prepared by some of the most talented chefs of San Diego.

The restaurant is open every day of the week, so you can visit them at your convenience. The restaurant receives a huge footfall so do not forget to check the availability of seats before you decide to visit them.

Please also read about things to do in Sparks.


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