Did you know that San Diego is the oldest city in California and was founded in 1769? With its pleasant climate that offers plenty of sunshine, San Diego offers a number of sightseeing options and things to do. You can explore the ships at the Maritime Museums, check out the famous San Diego Zoo, or just chill on one of the La Jolla Beaches. Without further to do, we present you a list of top things to do in San Diego.
- San Diego Zoo
Home to over 4,000 animals including giant pandas, San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Exhibits include Polar Bear Plunge, Tiger River, and Elephant Odyssey. There is a guided bus tour that offers a ride on the sky tram. Visitors can interact with giraffes and check out the famous Kenai Artic wolf.
- Balboa Park
Created in the beginning of the 20th century for the Panama California Exhibition, Balboa Park occupies a 1,400-acre site and is home to a number of historical buildings, several museums, and gardens. Some of the highlights at Balboa Park include the San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Man, botanical gardens, San Diego Zoo, and the Museum of Natural History. Balboa Park is definitely one of the most popular places to visit in the city and attracts thousands of both tourists and locals daily.
- La Jolla
LA Jolla is a coastal community that features gorgeous beaches that are perfect for surfing, swimming, and kayaking. Visitors who are into snorkeling and scuba diving will be happy to hear that La Jolla Underwater Park and Ecological Reserve offers a glimpse into the marine life. Windansea Beach is a surfer’s paradise, while La Jolla Cove is perfect for families with children. If you are into shopping, head out to the Prospect Street which is lined with antique shops, art galleries, and boutiques.
- Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve features a variety of landscapes including several tidal zones, forests full of pine trees, and a giant community of plants. One of the reasons why many people come here over the weekends is bird watching since there is a large lagoon full of migrating seabirds. There is a visitor center where you can get all the necessary information about the park and book a guided nature walk. Come early in the morning, as Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a highly popular attraction in San Diego.
- USS Midway Museum
Located in San Diego Bay, the USS Midway Museum is a floating museum which offers self-guided tours that last around two hours. Highlights of the tour include access to the flight deck and to the main desk. You will also get a chance to go on flight simulator rides and hear about the history of the museum.
- Seaport Village
With over 50 diverse shops, around 20 eateries, and 4 miles of cobblestone paths, Seaport Village is one of the must-visit places while staying in San Diego. Shopaholics will be happy to hear that there is plenty to choose from in shops, from clothing for women, men, and children to gifts and souvenirs. There are 4 bay-view restaurants that offer spectacular views and delicious meals. You can also visit some of the smaller eateries anв have milkshakes, cocktails, burgers, pizza, and ice cream.
- Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument overlooks the ocean and is home to several tidal pools, lighthouses, and beautiful beaches. Go to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse for spectacular views of the city and watch the sunset from the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. If you are by any chance visiting San Diego during the whale migration season, you will have a chance to spot whales from the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park as they migrate.
One of the most popular attractions in the city, Sea World is an oceanic aquarium and a park that offers plenty of activities such as theme rides and animal shows. There are aquariums, saltwater pools, tanks, and tidal zones inhabited by a number of animals. Some of the best animal shows include the Shamu Story that features killer whales, Dolphin Days, and Sea Lions Live. My favorite show is definitely Madagascar Live which showcases unusual animals and creatures that live on this far away island. Theme rides like the SeaWorld Sky Tower and Adventure of Journey to Atlantis promise are also super fun.
- Petco Park
Located in downtown San Diego and home to the San Diego Padres, Petco Park is a baseball park with a seating capacity of 41,000. What I personally like about Petco Park is that fans can enjoy in spectacular views of the San Diego Bay while watching the game. Everyone says that for a full Petco Park experience, you just need to come here for a game. If you fail to get a ticket, don’t worry as there are guided tours which include a visit to the press box and to the Metal Supply Company building.
- The Maritime Museum of San Diego
Housing one of the best collections of historic ships in the world, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is also famous for its restorations works and maintenance of ships. Here, you will get a chance to see the Star of India, which is the oldest active ship in the words. There are a number of exhibits worth checking out and the museum offers plenty of adventures such as swift boat tours, adventures on a tall ship, and bay cruises. If you are traveling with kids, don’t miss the multi-day adventures at the sea tour.