With a location right on the bay, San Diego offers plenty to do year-round and is the perfect spot to visit with friends and family. Its seemingly perfect weather makes getting outdoors and taking in one of its many sites an easy thing to do. Once you visit San Diego, you will never want to leave and will be planning your next trip there very soon.
From history and culture to family fun, San Diego offers something for everyone at every age to partake in. Here’s a list of the top places to visit during your stay in San Diego.
- Visit The San Diego Zoo
This number one on the list for a reason. As the premier zoo in the country, San Diego zoo is a must see when you travel to the city. With animals that you will never be able to see anywhere, like pandas, it’s an extraordinary place to visit.
Set up like a park with its lush vegetation, and open animal areas, you will forget you are at a zoo and think you are more or less on a safari adventure. Plan as much time as you can to visit the zoo as it is quite large and will take you a long time to get around and see everything. When you get tired, hop on the double-decker bus for a quick tour of the animals.
- Spend A Day At Sea World
Source: Undercover Tourist
Another animal adventure is Sea World, where you will get to interact and view some glorious sea life. With exhibits such as the Shark Encounter and Dolphin Point, you will get to get up close and personal and even have the opportunity to feed them in some instances. The park also offers amusement rides including; Shipwreck Rapids that is designed to keep you cool and you get splashed from every angle.
When you’re there be sure to take in a few shows. They are amusing and amazing to see sea lion or dolphin engage with the audience. This is definitely an all-day adventure so plan accordingly.
- Experience The Mack Attack
Source: San Diego Blog
Try your hand at some fishing at one of the many piers scattered around the coast of San Diego. If you hit it right, you’ll be able to have some very intense fishing with the region’s well known Mack Attack. You will literally be catching fish every time you throw your line in the water, filling a bucket in less than an hour.
Many of the piers in the area offer rental fishing gear and you can buy bait so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own. Plus, the other people fishing is friendly enough that they will let you borrow something if you need it. This is an experience you will never forget!
- Go To Balboa Park
Source: Michael Seljos via Flickr
Balboa Park is perfect for a day of relaxation and taking it easy. This picturesque park has multiple gardens that you can walk through and admire the flowers and plantings. Take some time to visit the park’s vast number of museums. There is bound to be one that will peak your interest whether you are into photography, history or art.
It has several dog park areas for your furry friend and be sure to take a ride on the carousel before you leave. There are also several vendors selling souvenirs and trinkets, which is a perfect way to memorialize your trip.
- Take The Kids To Legoland
Source: Smart Destinations
This one is for the kids, but adults will get a bit nostalgic about their childhood as they enter Legoland. This amusement park has a little bit for everyone with an aquarium, water park, and Lego-inspired rides.
The kids will be able to stay cool in the many water rides and slides featured at the park and you can take a break from the water activities and view the aquarium that provides an underwater world for the little ones.
If you really want to get into the Lego madness, check into the nearby Lego hotel and resort and stay in one of their logo-themed rooms. Your kids will love it.
- Learn A Little Bit At The Maritime Museum
Source: Times of San Diego
You won’t be able to miss this spectacle parked right in the heart of San Diego. This mammoth collection of vessels is actually a museum for visitors to San Diego. Hop aboard and being exploring.
You could get lost and will definitely lose track of time, but it will be a good experiencing the life and history of these ships and submarines. The museum keeps growing so this is a sightseeing site that you can see over and over again.
- Shop At Seaport Village
Source: California Food & Travel
This quaint little area on the bay has a little bit of everything from handcrafted items to some trendy pieces that you can’t find anywhere else. Take some time and peruse the shops, you never know what you will find. This is also a good spot to get a bite to eat as the views are great and the restaurants varied with quick stands and sit down places available.
- Visit Where Top Gun Was Filmed
Source: jcas via SmugMug
Did you know the scene in Top Gun where Goose is playing the piano was filmed at Kansas City Barbeque in San Diego? This little dive bar/restaurant pays homage to the movie with the piano still in the bar area, allowing you to get a photo reenacting the scene.
Situated right on the train tracks, when the train comes through a round of Midnight Train shots are served to bar patrons, making for a fun and interesting evening.
While you’re there, try the barbeque – it is a barbeque restaurant after all.
- Eat Pasta In Little Italy
Source: Jamie Partners
Little Italy is a 48-block neighborhood in San Diego that is home to dozens of restaurants, making it a great spot to sit down and have a good meal. While there are several Italian spots to choose from, you will be able to find an option for everyone.
The community also offers some unique shopping from clothing and shoes to furniture and specialty items. The area even has a psychic reader if the mood strikes you.
- Have A Drink In The Gaslamp Quarter
Source: Wallpapers Wide
Head down to the Gaslight Quarter next time you are in San Diego. This trendy area within the downtown of San Diego is where the nightlife is. With streets of full of bars and restaurants, you will surely find a spot to suit your mood.
Several of the area bars and restaurants are open air so you can enjoy the evening weather while you have an aperitif, which can be followed up with a meal by one of the renowned chefs in the Quarter.
- Hit The Beach On Coronado Island
Source: Hotel del Coronado
You can’t visit San Diego without taking advantage of the weather and its beaches. Coronado Island is one of the best in the area and often isn’t very busy. There is plenty to do while in Coronado from renting a bike to tool around in or heading over to the hotel Del Coronado. This prestigious hotel is a National Historic Landmark and was the backdrop in the movie Some Like It Hot.
- Take The Trolley To Old Town
Source: Kait and Tristan
This festive part of San Diego can easily be accessed by trolley, offering much to see. There are landmarks to explore, shopping to do and a series of restaurants that keep in them with the area’s Mexican heritage. Rich in culture, you can take a tour of Old Town’s historical sites, visit the Tequila factory or take part in many of the fiestas occurring in the area.
- Take A Boat Tour
Source: San Diego Sailing Tours
With the advantage of being right on the coast, San Diego offers several boat tours that will give you a good sense of the bay and its neighboring communities. You can take part in an evening cruise to experience the sunset or party cruise to get you night started. Day cruises are also available and are the perfect photo ops of the city.
- Ride In A Pedicab
Source: Yellow Bike Cab
When you tire of walking, jump in one of the peddle rickshaws to get you to your next destination. Pedicab vendors are trolling the area and offer a quick ride to your hotel or next sightseeing stop.
It’s perfect for couples that need a break or hire a few to carry your entire family around. You can even ask them to give you a tour of the seaside. They are relatively affordable and offer a nice way to see San Diego.
- Catch A Game At Petco Park
Source: Justin Brown via Flickr
Spending an evening or afternoon watching the San Diego Padres play a game at Petco Park. This magnificent park is smack dab in the middle of downtown, providing easy access for a game from your hotel.
While cheering on the team, you will have a nice view of the skyline of San Diego and get to experience one of the world’s best stadiums.
As you can see, San Diego offers plenty to do for you and your family. The sites and weather make it the ultimate destination anytime of the year. It's guaranteed you will have the time of your life and want to go back and see everything you missed. Start packing now!