San Diego is considered a chilled-out sibling of Los Angeles with sandy beaches, beautiful scenery, and icy-cold drinks. But this exhilarating city is not just about these things only.
Instead, you can find San Diego as a popular picnic spot, a place filled with art, museums, amusement parks, and cultural beauty.
Whether you are searching for fun things to do in San Diego family and friends or need something educational yet exciting for kids, it has everything to offer. Keep scrolling to find out more.
Why Visit San Diego?
If you are searching for an exciting destination, then you can try San Diego this time. The reasons are pretty convincing. First and foremost, the climatic conditions of this city are always pleasing.
Whether you want to enjoy your favorite drink under the sun or you need some nightlife scenes, you can have everything available here.
In addition to this, it is specifically popular for its delicious street foods including fish tacos and amazing drinks. You can also plan your trip to the luscious museums and parks to spend some great time with friends and family.
For adventure lovers, the “beachy” city has so many things to offer. For instance, you can go to enjoy whale watching and other top things to in downtown San Diego.
- Why Visit San Diego?
- Best Things to do in San Diego California
- Free things to do in San Diego
- Cool things to do in San Diego
- Fun things to do in Sane Diego
- Unique and Cheap Things to do in San Diego
- Romantic things to do in San Diego for couples and adults
- Things to do in Gaslamp San Diego
- Things to do in little Italy San Diego
- Other Places to Visit in San Diego
Best Things to do in San Diego California
As mentioned above, It is a perfect city to visit and enjoy endlessly. Some popular spots along with activities have been listed below. Take a look:
Free things to do in San Diego
1. Waking to the Balboa Park
When it comes to beautiful park options, this city will not disappoint you at all. Among all Balboa Park is one of the highly visited parks. When you are here, you will surely want to spend more and more time here. Expanded in the area of 1200 acres, this park consists of 18 amazing museums along with the Old Globe Theatre and international houses.
When you are here, you can just sit and admire the beauty and architecture of this garden as the free things to do in San Deigo today. For a better experience, always book a “walking tour” in advance.
2. Torrey Pines Glider port
When you want to get the “bird’s eye view” of this beautiful city as the free things to do in San Diego, no other point is better than Torrey Pines Glider port. Also called the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, it is an ideal place to enjoy activities such as paragliding.
If you want to learn paragliding, then you can also enroll in the same because here you will find the country’s most successful and popular options. Apart from this, you can also enjoy hiking and exploring sandstone cliffs.
3. USS Midway Museum – All You Need to Know
You may or may not know but the USS Midway is one of the longest-serving flights in the history of the US Navy. In 1992, this aircraft was decommissioned. To see this aircraft and learn more about other planes, you can visit the USS Midway Museum.
It is a good place to visit for the free things to do in San Diego with kids so that they can gain knowledge about the maritime.
Cool things to do in San Diego
1. La Jolla – City of San Diego
“Jewel of Southern California” – La Jolla is a village of the Mediterranean style. Situated just a few minutes away from the main downtown, you will have plenty of things to do here.
For instance, you can go to La Jolla to try the finest cuisines of the country along with local delicacies in popular restaurants such as “NINE TEN” considered as the cool things to do in San Diego this weekend. Apart from this, you can go to the Legends Gallery to see the beautiful artwork collection by popular artists. At La Jolla Cove, you can capture sea lions and seals sunbathing.
2. Petco Park – San Diego Padres Baseball Stadium
People searching for some cool things to do in San Diego Cali can go to Petco Park. It is a popular baseball stadium that is home to the local team – San Diego Padres MLB.
This is a family-friendly spot wherein you can come, watch baseball games, and enjoy delicious hot dogs with chilled beer. Since this park is surrounded by some of the top restaurants, you will have multiple options to try. If you are coming here to enjoy baseball games, then it is suggested to book your seats in advance.
3. San Diego Museum of Art
The largest, most-visited, and oldest art museum in the city is the San Diego Museum of Art. With a lot of permanent collections of Italian and Spanish old masters, you can also see sculptures and paintings from the American 19th century.
This museum is also popular for throwing after-hour parties along with Bloom Bash and Culture and Cocktails at night famous as the cool things to do in San Diego. When you are here, do not forget to explore the sculpture garden outside.
Visiting to California? Check our list of Things to do in Temecula, Best Time to Visit San Francisco and Things to Do in South Lake Tahoe.
Fun things to do in Sane Diego
1. San Diego Zoo
If you think that San Diego Zoo is a different place, then you are wrong. We are saying this because the popular Balboa Park is home to this zoo. Just add it to the list of must-visit places in San Diego to meet some amazing animals. It is also the first zoo with the concept of “cage-less”.
It means you can see different animals in the open and natural habitats. When you are here, do not miss out on capturing the mischievous giant pandas. Booking a zoo safari and overnight camping here is the fun things to do in San Diego with kids.
2. Visit Belmont Park
This is a masterpiece in the city. Belmont Park is a popular amusement park that is more like a historic and national landmark. This Park has a wooden-made roller coaster that dates back to the 1920s. It is called the Golden Age when wooden coasters were quite popular.
In addition to amazing settings, this park is quite easy on pockets as rides are quite affordable. The cherry on the cake of visiting this amusement park is that when you are here enjoying rides, you can witness the mesmerizing views of the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay. But yes, to see the same, you will need to open your eyes while on the rides for the fun things to do in San Diego with kids.
3. Barrio Logan Neighborhood
People willing to try authentic and lip-smacking Mexican food can go to the Barrio Logan Neighborhood.
It is the epicenter of this city that is popular for dinner and lunch options. Whether it is freshly handmade tortillas, hot chocolate, homemade Mexican-style pastries, or beverages, you will be provided with everything and enjoy the meal are the fun things to do in San Diego.
Unique and Cheap Things to do in San Diego
1. The Belly-Up Tavern
Going to the Belly-Up Tavern is one of the most unique things to do in San Diego. It is an ideal spot for music lovers. This place is known for discovering so many popular local brands such as Blink 182, Iron Butterfly, Jason Mraz, etc.
The Belly-Up Tavern is also known for Solana Beach. By visiting this beach, you indulge in reggae, jazz, and hip-hop acts. There is also a bistro to taste delicious bites such as butternut squash tacos, key lime pie, herb-crusted salmon fish, and short ribs truffle fries.
2. Whaley House Museum
Located in the Old Town of San Diego, the Whaley House Museum has officially declared a haunted house. Yes, it is a haunted house that is designated by the government. As per the record, it was established in 1857 and the wealthy Whaley family used to live here.
Different ghosts including the members of the Whaley family are still here to show their presence through different methods. If you are interested in something like this, you can go there which is the cheap things to do in old town San Diego for thrill.
Romantic things to do in San Diego for couples and adults
1. Hotel del Coronado
Well! You must be wondering what is so special about visiting a hotel when you have seen a lot of hotels before. Well! This hotel was once featured in a popular movie/series “Some Like it Hot”.
The Hotel del Coronado is an iconic landmark, a travelers-filled, and buzzing destination. Along with Hollywood history, you can come here to enjoy the movies and series which is the romantic things to do in San Diego for couples.
2. Del Mar Racetrack
Opened by popular singer Bing Crosby in 1937, it was used as a playground. To enter this place, you will need to spend USD6 (the amount may vary). If you are visiting between July and September, then you will be able to attend the joy summer racing.
In case your trip is scheduled in November during the fall season, you can still attend the racing to enjoy the great things to do in San Diego for adults.
3. Cabrillo National Monument – San Diego
This monument proudly sits on Point Loma’s gorgeous cliffs. By visiting the Cabrillo National Monument, you can get detailed information about Juan Rodriguez, a Portuguese explorer who sailed in 1542 under the flag of Spain.
When you go to the right point of this monument, you will be provided with a magnificent 360-degree view of San Diego Bay, one of the things to do in San Diego for adults. If the day is clear enough, you can even see the Tijuana Hills.
Things to do in Gaslamp San Diego
1. Gaslamp Quarter
When you need detailed information about the activities and things to do in Gaslamp, you will have so many options. First and foremost, you should understand that it is the heart of this downtown.
Here, you will see 16 and a half blocks that are blended in the Victorian charm. With more than 100 retail stores, you will have numerous options for shopping, entertainment, and nightlife scenes.
Things to do in little Italy San Diego
1. Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market
Another great thing to do in little Italy is to visit and explore the Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market.
You can come here with your own bag to shop for some fresh, beautiful, and local produce along with direct-from-the-ocean fish and other seafood options. In addition to this, you can also enjoy “made-to-order food items” with some soothing live music.
Other Places to Visit in San Diego
Along with the options mentioned above, you can make a list based on your search or simply explore the ones listed below:
- San Diego Whale Watch
- Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala
- Surf Diva
- Oscars Mexican Seafood
Consider travelling to San Diego in November if you’re searching for a relaxing getaway. Explore the sun-kissed beaches, take a tour of the historic Gaslamp Quarter, and enjoy the mild weather.
San Diego is a wide city that is blessed with natural as well as man-made attractions. Be it beaches, parks, museums, national reserves, or historical buildings, you will get every flavor here. But yes, research well about places and make a list of activities and things to do in San Diego at night.
This will help you manage everything and keep things on the right track. And yes, make the required arrangements such as flight booking, hotel room booking, cab services, tickets for the matches, and so on in advance. It will not only help you avoid last-minute increased charges but long queues too.