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15 Best Things To Do In San Diego, California

by Lokesh
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Things To Do In San Diego

San Diego is one of the oldest towns in California and is famous for its rich history. Known as “America’s finest city”, San Diego has a lot to offer to the wanderer’s soul. You can indulge in a number of activities when in San Diego and they will all be worth your time and money. 

Curated below is a list of places you can visit and the activities that you can engage in, when in the town of San Diego.

1.San Diego Zoo: Spend the day amidst the wildlife

Things to do in San Diego
San Diego Zoo | Photo Credit – Lyndi & Jason

San Diego Zoo is a must visit place if you are taking the outing with young ones. The zoo is famous for being one of the largest in the entire United States of America. Here, you can spend your day in the vicinity of wildlife and observe them at close quarters. 

One of the topmost attractions of the San Diego Zoo is the giant pandas which will take your breath away. You will also get to see other animals like bears, leopards, polar bears, rhinos, sloths among a variety of other animals. 

You will have to do a lot of walking so make sure that you put on your most comfortable footwear.

2.San Diego Museum of Art: Explore the hidden culture of the city

Things to do in San Diego
Big Open Skull At San Diego Museum of Art | Photo Credit – Thad Zajdowicz

San Diego Museum of Art is one of the most popular places in San Diego and is frequented by lovers of fine arts. The museum is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the rich history of Spanish art.

 Here at the museum you shall be able to look at Spanish art in a new light. The museum keeps hosting a series of events so make sure that you follow their website for regular updates. You can also opt for a guided tour in the museum to understand the works in a better way.

3.Spend an evening at Little Italy

Things to do in San Diego
Little Italy | Photo Credit – Jennifer Boyer

Little Italy iis a small neighborhood in San Diego which is famous for its Italian restaurants. One of the best things to do in San Diego is to spend a fancy evening at Little Italy along with loved ones. 

Here you can spend your time by tasting wine from one of the many wineries. We also recommend you to try out the food at Born & Raised or Jupiter & Ivy. 

If you are a lover of pizza then you must treat yourself to a sumptuous dinner at Piazza della Famiglia where your tastebuds will come alive. 

Little Italy is also known for its boutiques where you can shop for clothing, jewelry and trinkets so you will not run out of things to do.

4.Unwind yourself at Belmont Park

Things to do in San Diego
The Giant Dipper Rollercoaster, Belmont Park | Photo Credit – chrisinphilly5448

Belmont Park is one of the major tourist attractions in San Diego. This is one of the best places to visit with children as it has the iconic 2600-foot-long Giant Dipper roller coaster. 

Belmont Park is located on the OceanFront which makes for a great view of the waters from the top of the rollercoaster ride. You can also book the venue if you are looking to host parties for a group. Take a visit to Belmont Park to revisit your childhood and kick in the adrenaline.

 5.Get a chance to watch whales

Things to do in San Diego
Whale | Photo Credit – Jose Antonio Navas

  If you have read Moby Dick, chances are that you are obsessed with whales. But it isn’t easy to catch the sight of one. However, such is not the case in San Diego. Here you have the chance to see Blue Whales and Humpback whales on the coast of San Diego.

 In order to experience this exquisite phenomenon, you need to enroll yourself on a San Diego whale watching cruise. Apart from the whales, you would also be able to spot seals and dolphins.

 Most of the tours offer food and beverages on board so you do not need to worry about the availability of food. 

6.Spend an evening in the lap of nature at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Things to do in San Diego
Sunset, San Diego | Photo Credit – Sergei Gussev

Spread over an area of 68 acres and stretching along the Pacific Oceans, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is one of the most beautiful tourist sites in all of San Diego.

 This place is a perfect visit for anyone who would appreciate the idea of spending some solitary time in the vicinity of nature. People who have been to this place claim to have experienced some of the most beautiful sunsets, so we would recommend you to stay there till the sun goes down. One also has the chance of spotting California gray whales who migrate here from the Bering Sea.

7.Take a walk by Mission Beach

Things to do in San Diego
Surfing at Mission Beach | Photo Credit – moonjazz

If you are looking to spend some time by yourself in San Diego then you ought to visit Mission Beach. Here you can indulge in a bunch of activities all by yourself and spend the time in the most blissful manner. You could jog on the boardwalk while enjoying the fresh air from the beach. 

You can also rent a bicycle and pedal your way in the area. Most people choose to indulge in fishing at Mission Beach and we would recommend you to try your hand at the same. If you are feeling adventurous, you could also surf in the area.

8.Experience the nightlife at Gaslamp Quarter

Things to do in San Diego
Gaslamp Quarter | Photo Credit – Daniel Knott

Make the most of your time in San Diego with a visit to Gaslamp Quarter, where you will be able to experience the nightlife of the city. At the Gaslamp Quarter, you will be able to lay your eyes on late 19th and 20th century Victorian buildings which have been transformed into entertainment plazas. 

You can spend the entire night and it won’t be enough to explore in entirety the shops, galleries and restaurants of the place. You can choose to spend your time on the streets or can also choose to catch a play or a live musical. Make sure that you also check out the wonderful eateries at Gaslamp Quarters and eat to your fill.

9.Catch an event at Petco Park

Petco Park | Photo Credit – Smart Destinations

Petco Park is a baseball park and is known for being a stadium with a water-view. The park is not just restricted to games of basketballs but is often used as a  venue for other games, including soccer, golf and rugby sevens. 

Petco Park is also famous for the concerts that are organized here from time to time. Artists like Taylor Swift and bands like Metallica and Eagles have performed at Petco Park. So if you are looking for an eventful evening in San Diego, we suggest you check out the schedule of Petco Park and book yourself an evening of mirth.

10.Set foot on the historic Torrey Pines Golf Course

Torrey Pines Golf Course | Photo Credit – Yuki Shimazu

A 26-hole municipal public golf course, Torrey Pines Golf Course is one of the most famous sites in not just San Diego but all of California. If you are into the sport of golfing, this is a must visit place for you as you can shop all the merchandise related to the sport. 

Torrey Pines Golf Course is also famous for the brilliant games played by Tiger Woods. If you are new to the game then you can also enrol for a private lesson with a golf instructor at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Not just this, the golf course is an extremely quiet and scenic sight to behold and will help you calm your nerves.

11.Discover the world of theatre at The Old Globe Theatre

Old Globe Theatre | Photo Credit – Tim Evanson

Built in 193 and located in Balboa Park, the Old Globe Theatre is a professional theatre company in San Diego. The theater takes after its name and is designed after Shakespeare’s famous Old Globe Theatre in London. It is dedicated to producing around fifteen plays and musicals in a year.

The theatre is not just famous for its architectural aesthetics but also for the quality of shows that it produces. The shows produced by The Old Globe Theatre have gone on to be performed in Broadway and have also won several accolades including Tony award. 

So if you are looking to spend an evening immersing yourself in the world of plays then The Old Globe Theatre is definitely the place for you. Make sure that you visit them online and pre-book your seat for the best experience.

12.Taste the marine life at USS Midway Museum

USS Midway Museum | Photo Credit – Duane Wessels

After having watched Titanic, most of us have felt the urge to experience life at the sea. A visit to USS Midway Museum is a perfect opportunity to put that urge to rest. The USS Midway Museum is a 971 foot long floating museum which would introduce you to life at sea.

Here you will get a chance to experience in person the lifestyle of mariners. In the museum you will experience a self-guided audio tour to around sixty locations, which includes sleeping quarters, engine room etc. We are sure that once you have visited the museum, you will be able to intimately understand life at the sea and also the movie Titanic.

13.Experience the tranquility at San Diego de Alcala

San Diego de Alcalá | Photo Credit – pegatina1

Founded in 1769 and celebrated as the first Franciscan church, the Mission San Diego de Alcala is a sight to behold. The mission is considered an architectural marvel and is a must visit place for any art lover and not just people of faith. 

The glorious archways and the Spanish roof tiles of the church is bound to leave you awestruck. If you are looking to spend some time in silence away from your busy life, then this is certainly the place for you. The church holds mass on a daily basis and is also credited for organising a series of events.

14.Shop at SeaPort Village

SeaPort Village | Photo Credit – Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view

SeaPort Village is a shopping complex in San Diego that is a paradise for shopaholics. It is home to more than seventy shops and several galleries. 

It is located on the waterfront which makes it one of the most scenic places that you can visit in the city of San Diego. Here you can spend an entire day checking out the marvellous souvenirs that you can take back for your family. There are several food courts in the area so make sure that you do not forget to treat your belly amidst the shopping spree.

15.Old Town State Historic Park

Old Town State Historic Park | Photo Credit – Prayitno / Thank you for (12 millions +) view

If you are interested in exploring the history of San Diego then Old Town State Historic Park is just the place for you. This historic park is a museum which has preserved innumerable historic buildings right from the 19th century. 

Apart from the architectural delight, this historic park has a number of shops where you can hunt for authentic handicrafts. The place mostly hosts a number of street performances so you will find yourself thoroughly entertained. 

If you are a history enthusiast, make sure that you do not miss the exhibits at McCoy House Interpretive Center. Here you will be able to learn about the events that occurred even twenty thousand years ago.

Please also read best things to do in Charlotte.


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