Top Things You Should Not Miss in San Diego
It’s no secret that San Diego is high on the list for tourists from everywhere. The weather is always perfect, there are tons of free things to do, and the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Because there IS so much to do in San Diego, it can be easy to miss some of the top attractions. Have no fear, however, we have your go-to list for top things you should not miss while in San Diego!
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve features over 1,700 acres of unspoiled oceanfront, filled with an incredible landscape that gives visitors a peek into the history of San Diego. Home to America’s rarest pine tree, the Torrey Pine, the reserve also offers views of sandstone ravines, salt marshes, and waterfowl. Guests can easily spend a half-day taking in the sights and hiking for even better views from different vantage points.
Coronado Beach offers guests calm waves along the shoreline that stretches for miles, giving visitors plenty of space to roam and relax. The historic Hotel del Coronado sits just behind the beach, as it has for over 130 years. Whether playing in the water or in the sand, beachgoers love this “crowned city” for amazing views of the bay and San Diego’s skyline. Just a short walk offers even more excitement with sand volleyball courts and fire pits, or a bit further is Coronado Ferry Landing. There, visitors can shop, dine, and play for hours.
Balboa Park is 1,200 acres of parks and gardens, museums and theaters, and beautiful Spanish-Renaissance architecture. The park houses tropical plants, orchids, cacti, roses, a palm tree canyon, and a Japanese-style garden. The Old Globe Theatre and Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater both offer shows. Additionally, Balboa Park offers eateries, shopping, art galleries, and more. Located within Balboa Park is the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park is considered one of the most popular zoos in the United States. Did you know it has the largest number of koalas outside of their native country of Australia? Not only that, but the zoo is really TWO zoos with the addition of Safari Park, which is dedicated to Africa’s amazing creatures.
Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, both free excursions, sit along the same shoreline but are different as night and day. Pacific Beach is classically SoCal, making this a very popular beach for locals and tourists alike. Whether it’s surfing, sunbathing, or water sports, there’s plenty to do here. Mission Beach, on the other hand, is much calmer and more relaxing. Although there are fewer amenities, many people prefer Mission Beach because of the relaxed atmosphere. Between the two beaches sits Belmont Park, a beachfront amusement park. Roller coaster enthusiasts will want to ride the Giant Dipper coaster. Also between the two beaches is Mission Boulevard, where visitors can find plenty of eateries, shops, hotels, and bars.
The Gaslamp Quarter is full of Victorian architecture, lit up with a lively atmosphere with shots, theaters, restaurants, and more. Sign up for a tour through the area, take in the nightlife, or enjoy a drink from one of many rooftop bars.
Old Town San Diego is a must-visit for its historical significance as the “birthplace of California.” Situated on a hill in Presidio Park, Old Town San Diego takes visitors back to the important times in California’s history. In addition to restored buildings that house shops and eateries are several restored buildings dating back to when Spanish explorers arrived in the area.
USS Midway Museum is one of the best-known reasons to visit San Diego for anyone that has an interest in military history. Visitors can easily spend several hours visiting the museum, which includes seeing areas of an American aircraft carrier that normally would be off-limits to the public.
San Diego has no shortage of must-see attractions and hopefully, this list helps you choose what is a must-see for you!