50 Best Things to Do in San Diego, CA

San Diego, CA
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See also: Where to Stay in San Diego

With its pleasant temperature, 70-mile coastline, and rich cultural heritage, you're in for a treat to the best things to do in San Diego, California.

This bustling city paved the way for the establishment of California.

Formerly a Spanish colony, San Diego took its name after a saint.

Adjacent to the Mexican border, the city once became a part of the Mexican Empire in 1821.

The resultant Hispanic culture coexists with American culture and recent waves of immigration, resulting in many historically significant and must-see locations on top of the city's natural surroundings.

The city treats you to a never-ending coastline, sandy surfs, and pervasive vacation vibes.

You'll come for the beaches and laid-back community and leave with a newfound love of its stunning architecture and heritage center.

Bask in glorious weather as you explore the finest America has to offer with the list of the best things to do in San Diego, California.

Pay a Visit to Embarcadero

Embarcadero dazzling during night
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There is nothing more character-embracing than San Diego’s Embarcadero, a laidback harbor front brimming with views, eateries, historical vestiges, and open-air entertainment.

Families, couples, and solo travelers alike will find a hoard of things to do, whether it is splashing about the interactive fountains of the Waterfront Park or watching the sunset from a restaurant's terrace.

Boardwalk at  Embarcadero
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The iconic USS Midway is also moored at the Embarcadero and the San Diego maritime Museum heritage ships.

Time your visit around summer or mid-fall to enjoy Bayside Summer Nights by the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, respectively.

Have Fun in Mission Beach

Mission Beach during sunset
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Mission Beach has two-mile stretch of sand, boardwalk, and nearby entertainments.

Pier at Mission Beach
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From Belmont Park’s rollercoasters and various vintage amusements to simple boardwalk delights, such as playgrounds, surf shops, and palm gardens, Mission Beach, an established recreational space, will certainly astound you!

Let your hair down and go where the fun takes you!

Beachfront properties in Mission Beach
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Delve into Balboa Park

Pond at Balboa Park
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Imagine 1,200 acres bisected by the orange hues of Spanish Revival buildings, offsetting the greens of overflowing gardens and tan walkways.

Fountain at Balboa Park
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Like a city of forest-wrapped landmarks, Balboa Park teems with magnificent cultural collection comprised of 17 museums, San Diego Zoo, themed gardens, and event venues.

Grand architecture of Balboa Park
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It also features astonishing treasures (such as the Spreckels Organ, the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world), a 1915 Botanical Building with over 2,000 plants, and a butterfly haven Zoro Garden.

Additionally, Balboa Park also hosts live shows at outdoor and indoor venues.

Explore the San Diego Old Town

Whell barrows and wooden barrels at San Diego Old Town
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Wooden houses, giant-wheel barrows, and dry plantations characterize the preserved streets of San Diego Old Town.

Drawing on its roots as the first European settlement in California, this neighborhood features historic buildings from between 1820 and 1870.

Colorful hand painted pots kept for sale at San Diego Old Town
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Brimming with specialty shops, artisans, small museums, and authentic Mexican cuisine, you can expect a few hours of cultural immersion.

Annual Cinco de Mayo and Día de Muertos are festivals not to be missed here!

 Old Town Market in San Diego
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Hit up La Jolla for Seaside Vibes

Bird's eye view of La Jolla
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La Jolla is an upscale community that mixes commercial fun with nature hotspots.

Spend some time meandering through the European-styled streets, with boutiques, cafés, and low-tiered houses, and enjoy fine dining that offers coastal views.

Scenic sundet in La Jolla beach
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Or take yourself to the shoreline and dip into the small coves and sea caves that intersperse La Jolla’s multiple sand strips.

If that's not enough, Ellen Browning Scripps Park comes alive on summer nights to bring you open-air concerts in balmy breezes.

Paragliding in La Jolla
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Meander through the Gaslamp Quarter

Buildings at Gaslamp Quarter
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Delve into the heart of San Diego and explore the historical Gaslamp Quarter on foot.

A thrumming network of 94 historical buildings spanning 16 blocks, the plethora of must-capture architectures will keep you snapping away.

Night view of lit up streets in Gaslamp Quarter
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Even the gateway arch that heralds this 1867 concept city center deserves attention; its bold script and teal backing is eye-catching.

Club and restaurant in Gaslamp Quarter
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The Gaslamp Quarter also caters to foodies and partygoers, as it brims with craft breweries, rooftop lounges, restaurants, and sidewalk establishments.

Experience the best of San Diego life here!

Take a Wild Ride in Belmont Park

Shops in Belmont Park
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If you’re at Mission Beach, you must stop by the vintage Belmont Park.

Built by a sugar magnate in 1925, it is the linchpin of the boardwalk.

Entrance of Belmont Park
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Composed of 12 rides, a mini golf course, and minuscule entertainment, Belmont Park is a ride back in time.

Take a spin on the Giant Dipper or rattle along the wooden rollercoaster!

Visitors enjoying the rollercoaster ride at Belmont Park
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Adrenaline junkies will certainly shriek glee on the Control Freak ride, Octotron, and Beach Blaster.

If you need to cool down, grab a character ice cream cone at the Sweet Shoppe before going another round.

See the USS Midway Museum

Huge Ship in USS Midway Museum
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We are all awed by mammoth constructs, and the USS Midway moored at San Diego’s Embarcadero is a military giant (albeit retired).

Commissioned in 1945 and permanently stationed since 2004, the world’s longest-serving aircraft carrier once served in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.

People looking at the exhibits kept at USS Midway Museum
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Now, it is a museum that showcases behind-the-scenes of aircraft carriers and naval aviation.

Comprising of 30 restored aircraft such as propeller planes and helicopters, its sights extend below deck in a tour of the galley, brig, engine room, and other quarters.

Aircraft display at USS Midway Museum
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Be ready to run the simulators and watch footage of on-the-spot happenings – the Midway is full of exciting stories.

Visit Little Italy

Entrance to Little Italy
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The neighborhood of Little Italy is a grove of Italian charm and table-to-mouth flavor.

A stark blue and white signboard welcomes you to what were once lucrative tuna tanneries; Italian immigrants operated them until the 1980s.

Colorful buildings in Little Italy
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Today, the neighborhood exudes a homey, artistic ambiance, a mish-mash of galleries, quirky concept brands, pizzerias, breweries, and bodegas.

Street Grill at Little Italy
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Learn the History Behind the Cabrillo National Monument

Majestic white statue at Cabrillo National Monument
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Another icon of Point Loma is the Cabrillo National Monument, which is a cast of the first European person to ever set foot on the West Coast.

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first named the bay San Miguel upon his landing in 1542; it was changed to San Diego fifty years later.

The original statue gifted by the Portuguese government was replaced by a replica in 1988.

Hiking path near Cabrillo National Monument
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To learn more about Cabrillo, scope out the adjacent visitor’s center, which boasts exhibits and movies regarding his Californian adventures.

Regardless of your interest in his person, the view from the monument stretches wide over San Diego’s skyline down to Tijuana!

Fly High with the San Diego Air & Space Museum

Exterior of San Diego Air & Space Museum
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If the rounded Streamline Moderne Ford Building doesn’t tip you off, the futuristic jet models poised outside certainly will.

Take a close look at the Wright Brothers’ gliders or first iteration planes like the Aeronca C-3 Collegian or Ryan STA.

Display of aircrafts at San Diego Air & Space Museum
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Keep going until you hit the sleeker Douglas A-4B Skyhawk or space-bound Boeing GPS-12 Satellite, and learn about how aerial technology has improved.

Space suit at San Diego Air & Space Museum
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Not ambitious enough?

Hop into the flight simulators to test your piloting abilities.

Visit the San Diego Air & Space Museum!

Enjoy a Sightseeing Tour at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Stunning view of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
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Not tired of rough, sand-rock breaks yet?

Drop by Sunset Cliffs Natural Park for more caves, natural arches, and tide pools that will make you satisfied!

Whether you’re drifting down Sunset Cliffs Boulevard by car or perched somewhere within park grounds, you’re guaranteed breathtaking hues as the sun sinks low into the sea.

Be One with the Wild at San Diego Zoo

Giraffes at San Diego Zoo
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Ranked among the best zoos in the world, San Diego Zoo, one of the first cage-less animal habitats, was founded by Harry M. Wegeforth!

Here, the open exhibits are generally sectioned by moats; it’s a considerably innovative design for its early 1900s conception.

A Panda sleeping on the bark of a tree at San Diego Zoo
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Take a guided tour bus around the enclosures and pay close attention to the gorilla-inhabited rainforest!

Alternatively, the Skyfari tramway is a cool way to tour the premises as well.

Bus Safari at San Diego Zoo
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San Diego Zoo is also one of the four American zoos to have giant pandas, so make it a point to watch these unique animals.

Grab a Seat at Petco Park

Tiered rows of chairs in Petco Park
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Sporting stadiums are nothing new, but Petco Park brings an unusually chill vibe to the venue – entrance hemmed in by palm trees and water walls, it is a relatively modern but casual design of sandstone and steel.

Baseball game at Petco Park
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It is a top-tier Major League Baseball stadium.

There’s also an entertainment zone geared for kids and a Hall of Fame for diehard baseball fans.

Front view of Petco Park
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Admire the Collections in San Diego Museum of Art

Entrance of San Diego Museum of Art
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A fitting resident of Balboa Park, the San Diego Museum of Art takes on a Spanish Renaissance façade to match the rest.

The stunning entrance takes inspiration from the Cathedral of Valladolid, with ivory stonework intricately carved with motifs, statues, and coat of arms.

Fountain infront of the San Diego Museum of Art
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Housed within this 1926 building are paintings of Spanish Renaissance and Baroque style, featuring works of Goya, Veronese, El Greco, van Dyck, and Rubens.

Interior of San Diego Museum of Art
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Recent additions bring attention to symbolist, expressionist, and new objectivity art pieces, presenting a beautiful medley of celebrated works.

Various film screenings and cocktail evenings round off its daytime highlights.

Go Surfing either at La Jolla or Point Loma

A woman with surfboard at Point Loma
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What else can you expect from 70 miles of open coast but intense love for surfing?

Try your hand at riding the waves or test your mettle against the locals if you’re more experienced; there are more than enough surf spots for you to choose the best fit.

Surfers getting ready to get into the water at La Jolla
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While La Jolla and Point Loma are outfitted with rockier outcrops and reef breaks, you can expect much of San Diego’s ocean front to be beach breaks.

Drop by Oceanside or Del Mar for expansive surf grounds, or have a go at popular Swami.

Visit the Old Point Loma Lighthouse

The bright building of Old Point Loma Lighthouse
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Point Loma has more than just a lighthouse.

This rock peninsula has jagged cliffs and random shrubbery that opens up to some stunning views.

It was also the landing point of the first European expedition in 1542.

Spiral stairs at Old Point Loma Lighthouse
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Its handy lookout position, which guards west of the harbor, drew military presence since the 19th century.

It is no wonder, then, that apart from the simple Point Loma Lighthouse, the grounds of the former coastal artillery station houses the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Point Loma Lighthouse emitting bright light during night
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Over 100,000 graves and significant memorials are grounded here, marking it as a solemn but historically important landmark.

Hop on a San Diego Harbor Cruise

Cruise ship at San Diego Harbor Cruise
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Take in San Diego at a distance by joining a San Diego Harbor Cruise.

The hour-long ride around San Diego Bay is an excellent introduction to the city’s various landmarks and heritage ships, some of which have been featured in popular culture.

Luxurious cruise at San Diego
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An experienced guide will layer in lessons on naval history amid some information on marine conservation efforts.

You’ll also come close to the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and the residents of the bay area, including wild pelicans, herons, and sea lions.

Explore Liberty Station

People strolling around with their pets in Liberty Station
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Formerly the Naval Training Center San Diego, the renamed Liberty Station has been redeveloped into a waterfront recreational space.

Play areas and jogging trails lead into converted office, hotel, educational, retail, and residential districts.

Entrance to Liberty Station
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Most notably, visitors flock towards the Arts District, South Point, and the Quarter for a multitude of food choices.

Liberty Station also houses the San Diego Art Gallery, Women’s Museum of California, and various performance art companies.

Visitor buying souvenirs from a local vendor at Liberty Station
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Revisit History at San Diego National History Museum

Front view of San Diego National History Museum
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Behind the smooth, beige Spanish Revival exterior is the oldest scientific institution in Southern California.

Founded in 1874, the San Diego National History Museum can be considered a heritage site.

Interior view of the San Diego National History Museum
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Taking you through California’s rich pre-history through fossils, murals and dioramas, it further fosters interest via interactive stations.

You can also learn about ecosystems and explore how oceans transformed since the Ice Age.

Display of the skeleton of a dinosaur at San Diego Natural History Museum
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Special exhibitions gather excavation artifacts from San Diego sites.

Check the museum's official website for the newest findings!

Shop at Seaport Village

Marvellous view of the Seaport Village during twilight
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Seaport Village is a great place to pick up some souvenirs.

Within walking distance of downtown, it is a quaint network of architectural potluck, from adobes to Victorian design.

Tourists shopping in Seaport Village
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Help yourself to handicraft shops and bay-view restaurants with a happy dose of live music during summer.

Seaport Village is a prime alternative to mainstream shopping malls.

Restobar at Seaport Village
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See the San Diego-Coronado Bridge up Close

View of the Coronado Bridge during vibrant sunset
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We may have mentioned the San Diego-Coronado Bridge a few times; it’s a vital courier path and an integral piece of San Diego’s skyline.

Built in 1969, Robert Mosher designed its curvature and specifications to fit the passage of aircraft carriers.

Top view of San Diego-Coronado Bridge
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While a harbor cruise will take you around the bridge area, sign up for a guided kayak tour to go under the bridge.

Stroll along Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach on a foggy morning
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With the youth clustering around Mission Beach, Pacific Beach has settled into tranquility.

Foamy curls roll up the depth of the beach, its depth demonstrated by the Crystal Pier.

Shoreline of Pacific Beach
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Stroll to the end of the elevated platform to catch the wind in your hair or edge along the water towards North Pacific Beach instead.

Gentrified, the area is mostly encased with condos, holiday cottages, and upmarket restaurants.

Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach
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Have a Fun Tour at the Mission San Diego de Alcala

Beautiful white architecture of Mission San Diego de Alcala
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Witnessing many firsts, including the first Franciscan mission and Christian burial, Mission San Diego de Alcala is a site weighted with religious history.

In fact, the first Christian martyr Father Luis Jayme is laid to rest beneath the chancel.

Bell tower at Mission San Diego de Alcala
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Join a daily tour of the compound to see the 15th-century choir stalls, the remnant convent, and the bells of the campanile.

The Mission Museum is also of interest, showcasing pottery, weapons, tools, and other archaeological finds that belonged to the Native American Kumeyaay tribe.

Minimal interior of Mission San Diego de Alcala
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See the Aquatic Animals at Birch Aquarium

Huge whale sculptures kept at the entrance of Birch Aquarium
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Featuring marine life from the North West to the Indo-Pacific, Birch Aquarium is perhaps best known for its 260,000-liter kelp forest tank.

Different varirty of fishes at Birch Aquarium
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Birch Aquarium is great for keeping kids occupied, as they’ll have a blast trying to spot the fishes darting about coral reefs.

The Tide-Pool Plaza is also a contender for top attractions, as visitors get close up to starfish, hermit crabs, and more shell creatures.

Lion fish at Birch Aquarium
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Pay a Visit to Fleet Science Center

Fleet Science Center with colorful flowers in the foreground
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Another beautiful building that houses an interesting attraction is the Fleet Science Center, which deserves mention on your San Diego checklist.

Science museum and planetarium combined, the permanent exhibitions take you from San Diego’s water system to outer space, only to land on the minute universe of nanotechnology.

Children playing with huge bubble at Fleet Science Center
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Its interactive displays are largely geared towards children, including a Little Learners’ Lab for shape and texture play.

If you’re in Balboa Park, drop in for a brief visit.

Fountain outside the Fleet Science Center
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Shop at

People enjoying the outdoor dining at Liberty Public Market
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Liberty Public Market is open all days of the week!

Grab some fresh produce, have quick bites, and see the arts and crafts that pop up in this eclectic venue.

Lobster rolls, fresh salads, juices, international street food all await you here!

Interior shopping area at Liberty Public Market
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Watch the Whales at Embarcadero

Kick off your whale-watching trip after some time at the Embarcadero!

Lasting up to four hours, these cruises are led by certified naturalists from the San Diego Natural History Museum, where you can learn about whales.

Whale watching season is between December and April when the California Gray Whale migrates to the warmer waters of Baja California from Northern Alaska.

You might spot dolphins, too, as well as harbor seals and sea lions.

Explore Maritime History at Maritime Museum of San Diego

Entrance to Maritime Museum of San Diego
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At Maritime Museum of San Diego, visitors get a hands-on look at San Diego's booming waterfront era in the 1800s.

The Star of India, the world's oldest operational ship, is one of several historic boats visitors may see.

People walking towards the Maritime Museum of San Diego
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According to several recent guests, these boat trips provided an eye-opening perspective on the level of craftsmanship and expertise needed by sailors.

The small, low hallways within the ships are notoriously tricky to navigate, so prepare to wear slacks and sturdy shoes.

Submarines at the Maritime Museum of San Diego
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Art and artifacts tell the story of San Diego's maritime history in various permanent and temporary displays.

The exhibitions are enjoyable for all ages, even those under 16.

San Diego's Maritime Museum is located approximately 2 miles south of the airport on North Harbor Drive.

Take Pictures of Seals at Children's Pool La Jolla

Tourists enjoying the sunset at Children's Pool La Jolla
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San Diego's philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps funded the construction of a concrete barrier in 1931 to keep youngsters out of harm's way when they went to play on the beach and swim in the ocean.

For the smaller ones, the Children's Pool offers a small beach.

Seals at Children's Pool in La Jolla
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The shore is popular with families and seals like spending time there.

The Children's Pool is an excellent place to cool down, although it's better to avoid the seals if they're there.

People looking at the seals in Children's Pool
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Take as many shots as you want of seals when they give birth to their pups between December and May.

However, keep a safe distance since they may display territorial behavior.

Meet and Greet Marine Creatures at SeaWorld San Diego

Top view of SeaWorld San Diego
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In the 1960s, four University of California alums had the vision to open an underwater restaurant.

They chose to develop a park instead since this proposal was judged impracticable.

Over 400,000 people visited SeaWorld's first year, despite having only a few dolphins and sea lions.

The remainder of the narrative is well-known.

Whale show at SeaWorld in San Diego
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Check out the peaceful creatures at SeaWorld before you depart San Diego!

SeaWorld will show you exactly how vital marine life is with its spectacular performances, aquariums, and exhibitions.

It's possible to get up close and personal with walruses, beluga, humpback whales, and other marine animals in the aquarium at SeaWorld.

Water ride at SeaWorld
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In addition, there are touch pools where you can see bat rays, shovelnose guitarfish, and sturgeons, among others.

Aside from sea lions, dolphins, orcas, you'll also catch thrilling entertainment.

Look Back on Heroism at Mormon Battalion Historic Site

Exterior of Mormon Battalion Historic Site
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It was created in 1847 to commemorate the Mormons who engaged in military service in the Mexican-American War.

An interactive video tour in each chamber features real-life Mormon missionaries who will lead you around the historic landmark.

Learn more about the Mormons' migration and unit and their hardships during the Great War.

Cannon at Mormon Battalion Historic Site
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The Mormon Battalion Historic Site includes demonstrations that everyone may participate in, in addition to the video snippets that make up one complete film.

Activities like gold prospecting, building bricks, and posing for photos in the old-fashioned style are just a few unique offerings.

Antique interior of a room at Mormon Battalion Historic Site
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The best part is that they're all completely free!

If you're looking for affordable, family-friendly vacation spots without sacrificing quality, "pay a visit" to our page!

Have a Date at South Bay Drive-In Theatre

If you're wondering what to do in San Diego tonight, go no further than this list.

It's time for an old-fashioned drive-in movie.

This drive-in theater isn't only a throwback to simpler times.

It was a backyard favorite for neighborhood youngsters and adolescents in the 1950s when the South Bay Drive-in Theatre started.

Your parents probably had a romantic notion of what a drive-in movie theater was like, and South Bay Drive-in Theater recreates that experience for you.

To put your fears to rest, the drive-stereo in's transmitters and Technalight projectors will show you that you're incorrect.

The drive-in offers a snack bar with candy, popcorn, and nachos if you can't bear to go without them!

A movie and a view of San Diego Bay are the best way to spend the remainder of the night.

Catch a Stellar Performance at The Old Globe

Facade of the Old Globe
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Old Globe Theatre took inspiration from its London counterpart.

It lies in Balboa Park in the heart of the city.

On its own, the stunning theater is a draw, but it is the performances held inside that shine.

Outdoor dining area near The Old Globe
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As a result, several performances at the theatre have gone on to win Tony Awards on Broadway.

The Old Globe and San Diego's vibrant cultural scene benefit from these awards' international exposure.

The Old Globe Theatre offers 15 mainstage shows each year, ranging from Shakespeare to modern works, including the yearly family musical Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Cruise San Francisco Bay on Coronado Ferry

Coronado Ferry Landing
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Since its inception in 1915, the Coronado Ferry has transported passengers between Coronado and downtown San Diego.

At the Embarcadero, where there's already a lot to see and do, Broadway Pier is an ideal location.

A young couple enjoying the view of the city from Coronado Ferry
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The boat to Coronado departs and arrives at Broadway Pier, offering it a doorway to even more of San Diego's top attractions.

Take the Coronado Ferry for 15 minutes to see the whole of San Diego Bay.

Coronado Ferry ride
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San Diego's skyline and access to a resort city inside San Diego County come with affordable admission.

Beaches, cafés, and stores will greet you.

Take in Some Sun at Presidio Park

Presidio Mission in Presidio Park
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Once called El Presidio Real de San Diego, the park opened to the public in 1769.

It was once home to a European colony and mission.

Until the mission abandoned Presidio Hill, the fort served as a base for the Spanish invasion of California.

Statue at Presidio Park
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In 1925, a private owner invested in the park's restoration and built the Junipero Serra Museum and other structures in the Spanish Revival design.

The park is now great to meander around and enjoy a sunny day in San Diego!

Explore San Diego with Old Town Trolley Tours

Colorful trolley bus in San Diego
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On a two-hour, fully narrated trolley tour of San Diego and Coronado, experience "America's Finest City" and the history of "America's Finest City" itself.

It's a two-hour trip that spans 25 miles and more than 100 areas of interest.

Guests can jump on and off at a few points during the day and take their time.

Tourists seated inside the Old Town Trolley
4kclips / Shutterstock.com

San Diego's Old Town, Marriott/Convention Center, Seaport Village, Gaslamp Quarter, Hotel Del Coronado, Little Italy, and Balboa Park are all included in the tour's stop locations.

History, comedy, and colorful tales are part of the Old Town Trolley's city tour experience.

The Old Town Trolley Tour is a must-do when visiting San Diego.

Have Fun with Mission Bay Stand Up Paddle

People enjoying Stand Up Paddle boarding at Mission Bay
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San Diego's stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is one of the few year-round water sports in San Diego that does not involve getting submerged in water.

You may find plenty of spots to paddle and a few sandy beaches in and around the bay area.

Regarding paddle boarding in Mission Bay, San Diego, Mission Bay Stand Up Paddle is one of the top outfitters in town!

From SUP rentals, SUP Yoga Sessions, and guided SUP tours to SUP instruction, our certified will be sure to point you on the correct route.

Ventura Cove, Crown Point Shores, and Santa Clara Point are just a few locations from which you may launch in Mission Bay.

Play Bowling at Mira Mesa Lanes

Mira Mesa Lanes aims to provide a fun, family-friendly environment while introducing new fans to bowling.

Mira Mesa Lanes has been serving the greater San Diego region for decades, focusing on providing an enjoyable and memorable bowling experience for bowlers of all skill levels, including those in leagues and individuals.

You may pick from various leagues at our facility, varying in age and ability level.

It also hosts several bowling events since we take great satisfaction in promoting the sport of bowling.

Every year, it also grants tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to deserving high school and college students around the country.

In addition, the facility helps better prepare young athletes for national competitions and the possibility of being recruited by colleges for their bowling teams.

New proprietors have just taken over the Mira Mesa Lanes bowling center, so that you can expect a brand new, better service.

Grab New OOTDs at Fashion Valley

People shopping in Fashion Valley
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Fashion Valley, with its Spanish-style building, palm palms, and recognizable fountains, first opened its doors to the public in 1969.

Head to Fashion Valley, San Diego's biggest mall, if you've had your eye on shopping there for a while.

Shops at Fashion Valley
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This luxury outdoor shopping and dining destination has over 200 shops and 30 restaurants, attracting upwards of 18 million annual visitors.

There's something for everyone at Fashion Valley, whether you're seeking something elegant, informal, edgy, athletic, or avant-garde in your wardrobe.

There are several eateries in the area to satisfy your hunger after all that shopping.

Christmas decoration in Fashion Valley
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Shop at Kobey's Swap Meet

Visit the Kobey Swap Meet if you like thrifting, garage sales, or looking for the best price possible.

The flea market takes up the whole San Diego Sports stadium.

Avoid getting lost in the labyrinth of antique furniture, one-of-a-kind artwork, secondhand clothing, and jewelry stalls.

The Kobey Swap Meet is open every Friday through Sunday, unlike many flea markets that only operate for one day.

Arrive early to avoid missing out on the most extraordinary things because of a stampede of eager buyers!

Go Antique-Hunting at San Diego's Largest Vintage and Antique Mall

San Diego's Largest Vintage and Antique Mall features nearly 110 vendors.

The market is San Diego's most extensive and eclectic collection of vintage and antique items.

Its warehouse has 40,000 square feet of shopping pleasure.

It provides an ever-changing range of high-quality goods.

For the most current trends, we provide weekly updates on our merchandise, which allows us to give you the most accurate information possible.

Repurposed and salvaged relics, furnishings, Mid-century modern records, jewelry and watches, ephemera, and vintage clothing are some of the items available for sale.

Grab Fresh Produce at Ocean Beach Farmers Market

In contrast to other farmers' markets I've gone to, the Ocean Beach (OB) farmers market celebrates the hippy atmosphere of the area.

Most farmers' markets are a few blocks full of vendors offering food, vegetables, and handicrafts.

Although the festival closes at 8:00 p.m., the celebration typically continues down on the boardwalk.

Until dawn, catch entertainers dance, sing, fire-toss, and create art.

When it comes to Wednesdays, this is a great spot to eat and see a show.


Other Things to Do Nearby

Enjoy the Nature at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Landscape of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Manuela Durson / Shutterstock.com

With 2,000 acres of coast and plateau that redefine ‘pitted cliffs,’ Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve unreservedly presents sweeping views of the Pacific coast.

Wear your most comfortable shoes and set off through its eight miles of trails, some of which lead you to empty beaches!

Mesmerizing hiking trail in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
DunkelbuntStudios / Shutterstock.com

Named after the endangered Torrey Pine that grows in the area, there’s probably less greenery than you would expect.

Nonetheless, it is a charming natural reserve!

Beach at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Debbie Ann Powell / Shutterstock.com

Sunbathe on Coronado Beach

Surfer getting into the Coronado Beach
Gloria V Moeller / Shutterstock.com

Why not take up two-in-one by traversing the great San Diego-Coronado Bridge for a day at Coronado Beach?

Protected against Pacific swells by Point Loma, Coronado Beach is perfect for those hoping to swim the heat away or looking towards calm paddling.

Beach chairs at Coronado Beach
Benny Marty / Shutterstock.com

The long, glistening stretch has long been attributed to its shimmering quality!

With the unique red, cone-shaped Hotel del Coronado in the background, the beach entices both visually and via simple comforts.

Rent a pedal cart and cruise down Ocean Boulevard to take in its entirety.

Sunrise in Coronado Beach
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Relax at Mission Trails Regional Park

Lake at Mission Trails Regional Park
Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock.com

Just pushing city limits, Mission Trails Regional Park is 5,800 acres of lush woodlands, canyons, and wilderness.

If your adventurer’s spirit is calling for some sweat and grime, take to the 60 miles of hiking trails.

Breath-taking view of nature at Mission Trails Regional Park
Jim Shelton / Shutterstock.com

Even better, explore the natural preserve by bicycle or a horse!

For spectacular views over San Diego County, challenge the summit of Cowles Mountain at 486 meters high.

Small waterfall in Mission Trails Regional Park
Hayden haynes / Shutterstock.com

Peruse the Various Shops on Coronado Island

Sea Lions resting on a rock at Coronado Island
Russ Heinl / Shutterstock.com

Coronado Island is one of the city's most popular tourist destinations just off the coast of San Diego.

These sandy beaches are popular with surfers and beachgoers all summer long, especially on the island's west side.

Beach at Coronado Island
Rigucci / Shutterstock.com

Numerous boutique stores and restaurants line the streets of the town.

The historic Victorian Hotel Del Coronado stands on the island.

The hotel was built in 1888, and it is now one of the most popular places to stay and eat in San Diego.

Beachfront resort at Coronado Island
Alex Konti / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

San Diego is a great place to explore your interests, whether you're there with your family or on your own.

This city features plenty of activities for all ages, sizes, and shapes.

Try new things while you're here and come out of your comfort zone.

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