Must Visit Attractions (my Top 5)

  1. The San Diego Zoo is family-friendly and one of the country’s top-rated places to see rare animals.
  2. See fighter jets and more while you’re on board a real aircraft carrier at the USS Midway Museum.
  3. Relax and enjoy the scenery at Balboa Park, surrounded by more than a dozen museums and other educational attractions.
  4. Take in the ocean view at picturesque La Jolla Cove.
  5. Enjoy miles of trails and breathtaking views at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, one of the only places on earth with naturally occurring torrey pine trees.

***If you’re planning on visiting a bunch of attractions during your visit, I HIGHLY recommend a Go San Diego Card. This is a pass that includes admission to dozens of the most popular San Diego and nearby area attractions all for a discounted price.

Museums

  1. See fighter jets and more while you’re on board a real aircraft carrier at the USS Midway Museum.
  2. Relax and enjoy the scenery at Balboa Park, surrounded by more than a dozen museums and other educational attractions.
  3. Travel through history with the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s collection of old sea vessels.
  4. Immerse yourself in the region’s rich scientific history and stroll through aviation history at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
  5. Visitors of all ages can enjoy the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, in close proximity to other museums and attractions.
  6. Immerse yourself in prehistoric times at the San Diego Natural History Museum, home to real fossils and numerous educational exhibits.
  7. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego boasts a huge collection of some of today’s most peculiar artwork from around the world.
  8. Connect with your earliest ancestors and take a walk through centuries of human history at the San Diego Museum of Man.
  9. San Diego Museum of Art has offerings for art connoisseurs and casual observers like.
  10. See rare, original works by famous historical artists at the Timken Museum of Art.

The Zoo, Aquarium & Amusement Parks

  1. The San Diego Zoo is family-friendly and one of the country’s top-rated places to see rare animals.
  2. Get up close and personal with SeaWorld San Diego’s family of sea creatures.
  3. Ride all the classic carnival rides and enjoy traditional carnival food throughout the year at Belmont Park.
  4. Spend hours exploring the Birch Aquarium at Scripps.
  5. Petco Park is home to Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres.

Parks & Outdoor Activities

  1. For the ultimate view of the ocean, take to the skies on a glider at the Torrey Pines Gliderport.
  2. Relax and enjoy the scenery at Balboa Park, surrounded by more than a dozen museums and other educational attractions.
  3. Take in the ocean view at picturesque La Jolla Cove.
  4. Enjoy miles of trails and breathtaking views at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, one of the only places on earth with naturally occurring torrey pine trees.
  5. Learn the history of San Deigo’s earliest inhabitants at the Cabrillo National Monument.
  6. Take a selfie with Sunset Cliffs Natural Park’s epic backdrop.
  7. Visit the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial, a tribute to those who have fought for our country
  8. Honor our veterans and learn our national history at Fort Rosecrans Cemetery.
  9. For another epic view of the bay, visit Point Loma and check out the historic lighthouse.
  10. Witness one of California’s greatest engineering marvels, Coronado Bridge.
  11. Get a taste of yesterday at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
  12. Get active in the huge Mission Bay Park, which is set aside specifically for recreation.
  13. A favorite picnic spot for locals and travelers, Ellen Browning Scripps Park boasts beautiful landscaping and a view of the ocean.
  14. Put your walking shoes to good use at the Mission Trails Regional Park, where you’ll find informational placards along the route, detailing some of the natural landmarks.

Popular Beaches

  1. Catch some sun and gentle waves at La Jolla Shores’ mile-long beach.
  2. Set aside time to enjoy the sunset at Windansea Beach.
  3. Pacific Beach is in close proximity to a variety of shops for travelers on a budget.
  4. Enjoy the ocean breeze and take a long walk on Mission Beach.
  5. Run, rollerblade or just sunbathe at the Mission Beach Boardwalk.
  6. Another great spot to take in the ocean views, Torrey Pines State Beach.
  7. Observe the Ocean Beach neighborhood’s unique and diverse architecture and landscaping.
  8. Whether you’re a dog-owner or just a dog-lover, check out Ocean Beach Dog Beach to spend an hour or two in the sand with a four-legged friend.
  9. A great place to see local surfers in action is Black’s Beach.
  10. Shell Beach Tide Pools is one of the best beach walks in the area, if you catch it during the right tide.

Other Fun Stuff!

  1. Connect with the area’s religious history during a tour of the Mormon Battalion Historic Site.
  2. Dip your feet in the tide pools scattered around the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.
  3. Check out some of the area’s most unique landscaping and public art installations along the San Diego Bay Walk.
  4. See the Botanical Building and Lily Pond’s more than 12,000 varieties of flowers and plants.
  5. Take a ride on the Coronado Ferry.
  6. San Diego Convention Center is home to major events throughout the year and some of the area’s most impressive architecture.
  7. Enjoy dining and shopping with an ocean backdrop Seaport Village.
  8. A short walk from the coast, Little Italy is known for authentic cuisine.
  9. Catch funky shops and street displays around Old Town San Diego.
  10. Take a hike at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
  11. Get an underground look at California’s natural heritage throughout La Jolla Caves.
  12. Get a glimpse of seagulls and seals at the Children’s Pool.
  13. Las Americas Premium Outlets has a variety of popular stores all within walking distance.
  14. Patronize one of the most expansive shopping and dining hubs in the San Diego area at Fashion Valley Shopping Center.
  15. Modeled after William Shakespeare’s historic venue, the Old Globe Theatre produces shows throughout the year as one of the country’s leading theaters.
  16. Catch the hustle and bustle of the nearby shipyards on Harbor and Shelter Islands, accessible by car.
  17. Learn more history at the Mission San Diego de Alcala, one of the best-preserved religious sites in the area.
  18. The Unconditional Surrender is an eye-catching statue, a short distance from many other attractions.
  19. Have a beer alongside the locals at Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, one of the area’s most successful brewing operations.
  20. Admire the diverse architecture and vibrant student life surrounding the University of California San Diego campus.
  21. For an upscale shopping experience, visit the stores and restaurants on Girard Avenue and Prospect Street.
  22. Taste dozens of local offerings in close proximity at the Liberty Public Market, specializing in trendy snacks and meals.
  23. Honor the area’s rich military history with a visit to the National Salute to Bob Hope & the Military.
  24. Only members of the church have full access, but the San Diego Mormon Temple welcomes visitors to take in the awe-inspiring exterior, especially beautiful when it’s illuminated at night.
  25. Get an up-close look at the brewing process when you take a tour of the Green Flash Brewing Company.
  26. Enjoy one of the free weekly concerts hosted by the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
  27. Witness some of the area’s most unique natural features at the Cabrillo Tide Pools.
  28. Getting around the city is made easier with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, which is an impressive engineering marvel in itself.
  29. La Jolla Playhouse hosts plays and other theatrical productions throughout the year, hosted on the University of California San Diego campus.
  30. You can literally get a taste of history at Bernardo Winery, a historic vineyard operating to this day, along with a restaurant and museum.
  31. Find unique, hand-crafted gifts from local artisans at the Spanish Village Art Center.
  32. Visit the site of some of the world’s most cutting-edge medical and biological research, the Salk Institute, known around the world as a major hub for scientific projects.
  33. Wander along the harbor and visit a local eatery along the Embarcadero waterfront walkway.
  34. Reconnect with an old childhood hobby when you stroll through the Old Town Model Railroad Depot, home to one of the country’s most impressive model locomotive tracks.
  35. Enjoy the architecture and learn a little history at Liberty Station.
  36. Get a drink recommendation from the knowledgeable staff at AleSmith Brewing Company.
  37. Get lost in a book or enjoy the huge multimedia offerings available at the San Diego Central Library.

I am constantly looking to add to this list, so please contact me if you think you should be included on my Top Fun Stuff to do in San Diego.