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50 Things To Do In San Diego 2022

San Diego City has three nicknames: “Birthplace of California,” “City in Motion,” and “America’s Finest City.” All three are fitting nicknames, certainly, but we submit that the third one is the best. Here’s why.

San Diegans have the privilege of being surrounded by miles and miles of mountains and a variety of forests and of being on the Pacific coast.

As a byproduct of this geographic diversity and its idyllic climate, the county, with its wide variety of plants and animals, is an internationally recognized biodiversity hotspot.

On account of its history as part of Spanish America and Mexico, its culture is heavily influenced by, you guessed it, American and Mexican culture.

It is clear why San Diego is one of the most sought after vacation spots in America.

For further clarity, here’s fifty things to do in San Diego.

50 Things to do in San Diego

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Visit La Jolla Cove

What’s special about this place?

Located in La Jolla, a hilly, seaside neighborhood within San Diego, La Jolla Cove is a small coastal inlet. It is surrounded by sandstone lined with plants and frequented by seagulls, sea lions, and cormorants. Visiting this picturesque cove is a must for nature lovers.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Nature and watersports enthusiasts of all ages will definitely love the cove, with its diverse marine life and pristine beaches. Casual tourists who just want to soak in the sights will also find the surrounding neighborhood of La Jolla quite enjoyable.

What to do here?

Check out La Jolla’s best beaches. Tourists and locals alike are spoiled for choice here. Whether it be sunbathing in La Jolla Shores Beach, or snorkeling in the ecological reserve in La Jolla Cove Beach, or surfing at Windansea Beach, there is something for everyone.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit would be any time during the months of July through October, where rains are rare, and one can enjoy the fullness of summer. Do note though that this will also be a time where it’s typically full of people. Another good time to visit would be during the winter months, which is an ideal time for tidepooling.

Learn more about La Jolla Cove here!

Explore Downtown San Diego

What’s special about this place?

Downtown San Diego is considered as the cultural and financial hub of the city. As such, it contains some of the places that will be mentioned separately in this list. Due to its proximity to the San Diego International Airport, Downtown San Diego is generally considered as the best starting point in your San Diego adventure.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Downtown San Diego has everything from museums to upscale restaurants to vibrant neighborhoods to parks to zoos to nightclubs; so tourists of all types should be able to find something for them here! Tourists can even spend their whole trip just within Downtown San Diego and leave the city without regretting anything.

What to do here?

During the day, check out museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and historic buildings that are all in close proximity to each other within Downtown San Diego. At night, go on a club crawl at the Gaslamp Quarter and enjoy the San Diego nightlife.

Best Time to Visit

This is what’s good about being in Downtown San Diego: there’s never a lack of things to do at any time you’re in it. Go crazy and visit any time you like! Expect large crowds, though!

Learn more about Downtown San Diego here!

Explore Balboa Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at the center of San Diego, Balboa Park is an urban cultural park that features Spanish revival buildings, a world class zoo, museums, local acts and live shows. Whether you’re travelling alone, or with family, Balboa Park serves as a great introduction to San Diego’s local culture. Some of the places within Balboa Park will be mentioned separately in this list.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

As the park offers such a wide variety of places and activities, adults and kids alike will enjoy it here. It’s bigger than Central Park, and it is almost impossible to explore everything here within a day!

What to do here?

Check out its numerous museums and gardens. There’s an archery range if you’re itching for something sportier, as well as walking and jogging trails. There are picnic areas for you to enjoy with your family, and there are other, quieter areas for chess and bridge.

Best Time to Visit

To make the most of your Balboa Park experience, it’s best to come early in order to explore more of what the park has to offer. If there are only a handful of places you want to visit within the park, around 2-3 PM is also ideal.

Learn more about Balboa Park here!

Go to the world-famous San Diego Zoo

What’s special about this place?

Located within Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo houses over 12,000 animals on 100 acres of Balboa Park. The conservation of animals worldwide is the zoo’s primary mission, so the animals here are treated ethically. They take their animal care very seriously, even rock stars like The Beach Boys were banned from the zoo after they mistreated the animals.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Zoos are family-friendly places designed to allow for people, especially kids, to have safe interaction with exotic animals. Obviously, these interactions, with the right supervision, lead to a better understanding of the animals housed in the zoo, some of which are critically endangered. As such, animal lovers should enjoy it here.

What to do here?

Take a bus tour through the San Diego Zoo and observe the different animals within a wide range of exhibits from rainforest habitats, to taiga and tundra. There’s also a skyfari gondola lift, for those who want an aerial view of the zoo.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the San Diego Zoo would be in the morning, around 9 AM, as it’s not so busy, so your view of the animals is not too obstructed by other people.

Learn more about San Diego Zoo here!

Take a Point Loma tour

What’s special about this place?

Another seaside community within San Diego, Point Loma is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, the San Diego Bay, and the San Diego River. Point Loma is a historic site as this is where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European explorer to set foot on the West Coast, first landed. As this is a major part of San Diego, some of the places within Point Loma will be mentioned separately in this list.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Anyone with an appreciation for nature and San Diego history should find Point Loma to be one of the best parts of their San Diego trip. The area’s varied wildlife contains small mammals and more than 300 species of birds. Point Loma also houses a national monument, a university, and two military bases, as well as a few neighborhood parks.

What to do here?

Go on a hike or go biking on numerous Point Loma trails. The scenic view makes the strenuous ride so worth it! That said, it is advisable to stop once in a while and take in the sights. For a little bit of culture, visit the arts district within Point Loma.

Best Time to Visit

As there are just about a million things to see and do in Point Loma, it is highly recommended to spend a day within the peninsula, and to start early! Around 9 AM would be the best time to start.

Learn more about Point Loma here!

Visit the Cabrillo National Monument

What’s special about this place?

Located on the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula, the Cabrillo National Monument is a California Historical Landmark that commemorates the arrival of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in the West Coast. The area around the monument contains former military installations and old army buildings.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

History buffs, military and maritime expedition aficionados will see the Cabrillo National Monument as the highlight of Point Loma. The park also offers a great view of San Diego’s harbor and skyline, as well as the Pacific Ocean.

What to do here?

Checking out the Visitor Center is a good place to start for those interested in San Diego history. For those who just want to appreciate the view and the park’s fauna, bird watching is a popular activity here, as well as whale watching and looking for marine life in the nearby tidepools (during the winter).

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Cabrillo National Monument is around 11 AM to 12 PM. As it’s an open area, it won’t be too crowded even when it’s busy. Having other people there would also make for a good opportunity to have a dialogue about San Diego history and European colonialism.

Learn more about Cabrillo National Monument here!

Stop by the historic Old Point Loma Lighthouse

What’s special about this place?

Located within the Cabrillo National Monument park, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse that now serves as a museum. It marks the admission of California as a Union State.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Pharologists and pro and amateur historians alike would love it here! The lighthouse hosts historic reenactments of what life was like living in the lighthouse, and visitors can view part of the lighthouse’s living quarters.

What to do here?

Check out the old lighthouse’s architecture and relive the lives of its former keepers by exploring their living quarters. If you get a chance to visit on August 25 and May 15, the National Park Service’s birthday and the Lighthouse’s anniversary, respectively; you can check out the tower of the lighthouse, which is normally closed to the public.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit would be during the day, around 9 AM to 10 AM to avoid huge crowds. Since it is within the Cabrillo National Monument park, expect it to quickly get busy!

Learn more about Old Point Loma Lighthouse here!

Check out Mount Soledad

What’s special about this place?

Located within La Jolla, Mount Soledad is a prominent landmark in the city, and is the site of the Mount Soledad Cross. It is a popular cycling destination, and is the site of the last home lived by Dr. Seuss!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Cyclists should enjoy the quite challenging cycling routes here. Artists and bookworms of all ages are sure to appreciate a view of Dr. Seuss’ last lived home.

What to do here?

Have a nice picnic with your family here and enjoy the ocean view. Pass by Dr. Seuss’ last lived home. If you’re looking for a challenge, try out cycling on the 3.5 mile, steady climb cycling route.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Mount Soledad would be around 9 AM through 12 noon. Night time (around 7 PM to 8 PM) can also be ideal for those who want to enjoy the view of the city lights!

Learn more about Mount Soledad here!

Take a walk in San Diego’s Old Town

What’s special about this place?

Yet another San Diego neighborhood in this list is Old Town. It’s the oldest settled area in San Diego, and the first European settlement in California. It hosts many preserved historical buildings and museums that commemorate the early days of San Diego. It is, at least superficially, a town frozen in time.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Anyone with an appreciation for California history will love Old Town. Its many preserved historical buildings, as well as its authentic, old-school Mexican restaurants provide for a convincing trip back to California’s origins.

What to do here?

Take a walk around the town. Engage all of your senses with everything Old Town has to offer. Walk through Old Town’s bustling mercado. Check out the Old Town State Historic Park. Visit Old Town’s museums like the Whaley House Museum and Junipero Serra Museum.

Best Time to Visit

Like some of the destinations in this list, it’s best to spend a day or half a day here. So, it is highly recommended to start early at around 9 AM. There are also annual events within Old Town, so schedule your trip accordingly!

Learn more about San Diego’s Old Town here!

Go to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

What’s special about this place?

Located in the Old Town neighborhood in San Diego, at 4002 Wallace Street, the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park features five original adobe buildings as part of its complex; and entry to the park is free of charge!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Casual historians, tourists with a love for old architecture, and tourists who love to travel back in time without the risk of getting killed by lawless elements, would all love the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

What to do here?

Check out the wide selection of museums and reconstructed buildings within the park. Visit Casa de Estudillo and the Johnson House. Check out Racine & Laramie Tobacconist, for quality pipes and cigars, and an old world smoking experience!

Best Time to Visit

The park is open 10 AM to 5 PM. We highly recommend getting there on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays, as the park usually gets busier as the weekend approaches. That said, the ideal time for visiting would be around 10 – 11 AM.

Explore Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

What’s special about this place?

Located on Ladera St, San Diego, aptly named Sunset Cliffs Natural Park offers a view of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. It’s a 68-acre park within the community of Point Loma. The park contains sea caves, coastal bluffs and arches. Its cliffside trails are popular for walking and watching the sunset. The area below its cliffs is a famous swimming and surfing spot.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Due to the stunning view it offers, this is a popular spot for marriage proposals. Lovers of all ages love to take pictures and walk through here, as well as families and even solo travelers who just want to enjoy the sunset.

What to do here?

Watch the sunset and appreciate the marine life of the Pacific Ocean. Take pictures to preserve the moment. Carefully walk through the cliffside trails and enjoy the sea breeze. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for a swim below the cliffs or try surfing!

Best Time to Visit

To enjoy the sunset, it’s best to go there at 5:30 PM. If you want to go swimming or surfing, early morning or just after noon is ideal.

Learn more about Sunset Cliffs Natural Park here!

Indulge your inner child at Belmont Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 3146 Mission Blvd within San Diego, Belmont Park is a historic amusement park that features a variety of rides that include the historic local landmark, Giant Dipper roller coaster!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Children, and of course, those who are children at heart will enjoy it here. There’s something about the combination of feeling precariously close to death and the assurance that you’re totally safe, that makes amusement parks oh so addictive. That, and the colorful characters and performances you get to see in the park.

What to do here?

Try out iconic rides such as the Giant Dipper, Tilt-A-Whirl, and the Liberty Carousel. If the rides remind you of a certain movie franchise, or if you’re just looking for something more your speed, try out the park’s other attractions like Laser Tag or the Xanadu 7D Theater!

Best Time to Visit

The best time to stop by Belmont Park would be around 3 PM onwards, as the park is not too busy at this time, but there’s just enough people to share the excitement with.

Learn more about Belmont Park here!

Visit Bernardo Winery

What’s special about this place?

Located in 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, in the town of Rancho Bernardo in San Diego, Bernardo Winery produces wine from locally sourced grapes that suit the San Diego soil and climate. This winery features landscaped gardens, a tasting area, restaurants, and art shows.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Families who love to explore the San Diego countryside, away from all the more mainstream tourist attractions would love it here. The adults can enjoy the locally produced wine, and the children can try out traditional Italian food while enjoying the view of the rolling hills of Rancho Bernardo.

What to do here?

Check out the winery’s selection of wines and try out their traditional Italian food. The winery also houses several art shops you can explore. Clay artists in the vineyard studio offer lessons in wheel throwing and hand-building. The Icarus Studio & Gallery features local artists and oil paintings.

Best Time to Visit

Depending on what kind of reservation you make (as the winery and its restaurants don’t accept walk-ins), the hours may vary, but generally, it’s best to be there at around 11 AM. This leaves you and your family with ample time to explore the shops.

Learn more about Bernardo Winery here!

Try out the 59-mile scenic drive

What’s special about this drive?

San Diego’s 59-mile scenic drive encompasses a good portion of the city’s greatest attractions. It provides you with a better perspective on how the city’s different areas have developed over time. It presents a quintessential American experience.

Who’ll enjoy this?

While perhaps better suited for those who’ve already visited San Diego before, the 59-mile drive is something all types of travelers can enjoy. The drive can be especially enjoyable if you’re doing the driving, just cruising down miles and miles of San Diego road.

What to do here?

To get started, stop by the San Diego Visitor Information Center and get your maps and brochures. Yes, there are apps for that, but there’s beauty in doing things traditionally. Once you’re all set, drive through the different destinations and landmarks indicated in the maps and just enjoy the journey!

Best Time to Start

The 59-mile drive with all the stops, and taken at a leisurely pace, should take a day, so it is definitely best to start early.

Learn more about San Diego’s 59-mile scenic drive here!

Smell the flowers at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad

What’s special about this place?

This one’s not in San Diego city, but it is within San Diego County, around 35 miles north of downtown San Diego. Located in Carlsbad, The Flower Fields is a flower garden that features several attractions, including its highly prized Tecolote Giant ranunculus and a sweet pea maze. The Flower Fields has one downside, though: it’s only open once a year, from March 1 through Mother’s Day.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Flower Fields looks like something straight out of a fairy tale. Its florid display is a sumptuous feast for the eyes, and anyone without a severe pollen allergy should find something to love here.

What to do here?

Take a stroll through The Flower Fields’ greenhouse that houses cymbidium orchids, and take part in the educational tours conducted for kids and families. If you’re thinking of getting a colorful venue for a special event, The Flower Fields also hosts dinner parties, bridal showers and wedding receptions!

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit would be in the spring, from March 1 through Mother’s Day, as this is the only time it’s open every year. The Flower Fields opens at 9 AM, so get there at 9. You’ll want to get there early to fully enjoy what The Flower Fields has to offer.

Learn more about The Flower Fields in Carlsbad here!

Check out Liberty Public Market

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2820 Historic Decatur Rd in San Diego, within Point Loma’s Liberty Station, the Liberty Public Market is San Diego’s first 7-day a week public market. This public market offers a slew of artisanal eateries and craft vendors.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Liberty Public Market, much like the city it’s in, is a melting pot of different cultures, and as such, offers different cuisines. Anyone with an appetite for adventure and a love for trying out new things will enjoy it here!

What to do here?

Check out the different food places within the market. The Latin Chef, which offers Peruvian cuisine, is among the best vendors in the market. There are also different shops that offer craft beer and shops that sell rare vinyl records, so be sure to check those out, too!

Best Time to Visit

The market is open daily from 11 AM – 8 PM, but the best time to visit would be a little after 12 PM, just in time for lunch. Or brunch, if you live on the edge like that.

Learn more about Liberty Public Market here!

Visit Gaslamp Quarter

What’s special about this place?

Located in Downtown San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter is yet another historic neighborhood known for its nightlife. It houses around 94 (!) historic buildings, most of which were constructed in the Victorian era.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Night owls and party animals will surely find this sprawling jungle of a district, with its shimmering watering holes, a most ideal stomping ground–a welcome reprieve from the more subdued nature of daytime San Diego.

What to do here?

Partake in the San Diego Club Crawl – Nightlife Party Tour for a comprehensive education on the San Diego club scene. Check out clubs like Atomic, American Junkie, and Double Deuce and mingle with the locals. There are some historic buildings within the vicinity of the Gaslamp Quarter, such as the Yuma Building. Be sure to check that one out!

Best Time to Visit

As it is known for its nightlife, the best time to visit the Gaslamp Quarter is around 6 PM, to engage the night early. It is advisable to plan ahead, as the district can get confusing with everything that it offers.

Learn more about Gaslamp Quarter here!

Take part in Grunion Runs

What’s special about Grunion Runs?

Grunion are a species of fish that leave the ocean at night to spawn on beaches during the spring and summer months. They are only found off the coast of California, and Baja California. Grunion runs are grunion catching events wherein you’re only allowed to catch the grunion by hand when they leave the water. The main beach in San Diego where one can participate in such an event, is Mission Beach near Belmont Park.

Who’ll enjoy this?

Anyone with an experience in fishing, or just about anyone who loves doing something with their bare hands should find grunion runs particularly enjoyable. Participating in grunion runs is also a great way to connect with locals and/or other tourists.

What to do here?

First of all, you need to have a fishing license, so you need to be over 16 years old. Once you’ve got those conditions covered, you have to look up the area’s grunion run schedule. Once you’re on the beach, remember to take only what you can use, and of course, have fun!

Best Time for a grunion run

It typically varies, depending on what beach you’re at, but the only time for grunion runs would be during spring and summer nights, so plan your trip accordingly.

Learn more about Grunion Runs here!

Try out indoor skydiving in iFly San Diego

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2385 Camino Del Rio N, San Diego, iFly San Diego specializes in indoor skydiving. How this works is they use a vertical wind tunnel within which you can skydive recreationally, with virtually no risk!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

If you ever wanted to try out flying without the risk of falling, then, well, this is the place for you! Skydiving can be quite a cathartic experience for those who are new to it.

What to do here?

As Gandalf the Grey would say, “fly, you fools!” Jokes aside, iFly San Diego offers packages for parties, corporate events, and private events. Book a flight and learn the basics of indoor skydiving through their flight lessons and enjoy your flight! iFly also offers STEM Field Trips for kids where they teach them the physics behind flying. Fascinating stuff.

Best Time to Visit

This all depends on your reservation, as you have to book a flight first, and since it’s all indoors, the weather doesn’t have any bearing on your experience. That said, it’s best to get there around 10-15 minutes early!

Learn more about iFly San Diego here!

Spend a day in Chicano Park

What’s special about this place?

Located in Barrio Logan, San Diego, Chicano Park is a 7.9 acre park that has the largest concentration of Chicano murals in the world! It showcases all sorts of art from the Mexican-American community of San Diego. It also hosts Chicano cultural events throughout the year, the biggest of which is Chicano Park Day every April.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Anyone who wants to reconnect with their Latino roots and heritage, or simply loves studying and celebrating Latino culture and art, should have Chicano Park as part of their San Diego trip itinerary.

What to do here?

Check out the Chicano murals scattered throughout Chicano Park–testaments to the Mexican-American community’s resilience through years of struggle. Each mural has a story behind it, so be sure to take your time and digest each one. There are also spots for family picnics and playgrounds for kids, perfect places to rest after hours of checking out Chicano art.

Best Time to Visit

The park opens at 6 AM, but around 9 AM or a little after 2 PM would be great for visiting the park. This would give you enough time to take a walk through the park and appreciate each artwork.

Learn more about Chicano Park here!

Pass by Little Italy

What’s special about this place?

Located within Downtown San Diego, Little Italy’s origins can be traced 100 years back, when Italian fishermen and their families started settling in San Diego. Originally the site of San Diego’s flourishing tuna industry, it has since been remodeled into one of San Diego’s prime culinary and art hubs.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The major consensus is that usually anything within a city that starts with ‘Little’ and ends with the name of any foreign country will almost certainly be a tourist trap. San Diego’s Little Italy, thankfully, is anything but. Foodies, artistic types, tourists looking for a taste of Italy and its culture, and dare I say it, influencers will all find something to enjoy here!

What to do here?

Little Italy is extremely tourist friendly as it is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in San Diego. Explore the numerous restaurants and coffee shops within the neighborhood. Make sure to stop by Our Lady of the Rosary Church and check out its Italian-Portuguese architecture. Hang out at the Waterfront Bar. Lastly, make sure to pass by Amici Park and inspect all the little Italian proverbs, recipes, and food trivia scattered all over the park.

Best Time to Visit

While the neighborhood is generally considered to be one of the safest in San Diego, the best time to walk through the neighborhood would be around 9 AM. If you’d like to take a stroll at night, start at 6 PM, as the neighborhood can get a little busy in the evening.

Learn more about Little Italy here!

Check out Ballast Point Brewery

What’s special about this place?

Located at 9045 Carroll Way, San Diego, Ballast Point Brewery started out as a home brewing project in a UCLA apartment. It has since expanded and become one of the most iconic American breweries, winning three gold medals and the “Small Brewery Champion” award at the 2010 World Beer Cup.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

As the history of alcoholic drinks in America is as intertwined with its history as, say, baseball and boxing, historians and beer connoisseurs alike will enjoy every ounce of their Ballast Point visit.

What to do here?

Each Ballast Point tasting room offers locally-sourced dishes on outdoor patios, but what you really want to do is try out a sampling of their craft beers.

Best Time to Visit

The tasting room in their main branch in Miramar, San Diego is open from 11 AM to 10 PM. Going there anywhere within that time frame should be ideal, because there’s never a bad time to drink beer!

Learn more about Ballast Point Brewery here!

Stop by The Casbah

What’s special about this place?

Located at 2501 Kettner Blvd. in San Diego, The Casbah is an iconic nightclub and music venue known for hosting bands like Nirvana, Blink-182, Alanis Morissette and The Smashing Pumpkins. Needless to say, it is an important landmark in America’s music scene.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Musicheads, musicians, and even just casual listeners will surely love the live music and the laid back atmosphere in The Casbah. There’s nothing like seeing big performers in small, intimate settings.

What to do here?

Catch a show and check out live performances from up and coming bands and, if you’re lucky, even larger, more mainstream outfits. There really is nothing too special about the venue, but you’re there for the music and the venue’s cultural significance.

Best Time to Visit

Get there as it opens at 8:30 PM. It’s a small venue, but it doesn’t really get packed unless it’s hosting a big touring band. Bands don’t usually start playing until well after opening hours, though, so expect a bit of a wait. It’s worth it.

Learn more about The Casbah here!

Try out Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1810 Washington Street, Lucha Libre Taco Shop is a lucha libre-themed restaurant that offers their version of street-style Mexican dishes. There’s also a salsa bar and a TV that features lucha libre matches!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Gourmands, lucha libre fans, and casual eaters alike will all enjoy it here. The place is also very child friendly. While the place’s decor and theme may be for niche crowds, the food more than makes up for it.

What to do here?

Try out the restaurant’s Surf and Turf Burrito and Grilled Fish Burrito. Obviously, a visit here won’t be complete without trying out their tacos. The place is known for its big servings, so make sure to come in hungry.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the restaurant would be around 11 AM, when it’s not yet too packed. Also, Mexican food is a great hangover cure, so 11 AM, just a few hours after a long night of drinking in Downtown San Diego, should be perfect.

Learn more about Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop here!

Go on a Taco Tuesday run on Pacific Beach

What’s special about Taco Tuesdays on Pacific Beach?

Pacific Beach, or P.B., as locals call it, is a laid back neighborhood in San Diego that is known for its surfing spots. That said, the neighborhood is littered with a variety of taco shops that Taco Tuesdays along Pacific Beach have become a bit of a weekly ritual for locals.

Who’ll enjoy this?

Barring vegans and people with very specific anti-taco dietary restrictions, there’s no reason that indulging oneself with multiple servings of cheap, authentic tacos by the beach isn’t as enjoyable as it sounds.

What exactly do you do on Taco Tuesdays?

Scour the neighborhood for taco shops that offer a Taco Tuesday special (it varies from shop to shop, but usually this comes in the form of a $1 per taco deal), and try out the different types of tacos offered within Pacific Beach. Popular taco shops are City Tacos, La Playa Taco Shop, and Taco Surf PB. For the best experience, go where the locals go!

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit would be around 3 PM onwards, just after a day of surfing or a lengthy stroll by the beach. The shops typically close by 8 PM, so a last-minute nighttime taco run is also possible.

Learn more about Taco Tuesdays on Pacific Beach here!

Visit the California Surf Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located within San Diego County in Oceanside, California, the California Surf Museum is a museum that showcases archives of surf history, surfing equipment, surf art and generally everything related to California’s surfing history. While technically not located in San Diego City, a stop here is a good way to end your San Diego trip.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Surfers and surfing enthusiasts will definitely feel at home here. This museum provides visitors with a profound understanding of surfing history not only in California, but in the whole country as well.

What to do here?

Check out the surfing memorabilia displayed in the museum, most notable of which is the Bethany Hamilton display that features the surfboard and bathing suit she was using when she lost her arm in a shark attack.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the museum would be at 11 AM, when it opens, as it usually gets busy fast, especially after lunch time.  The museum closes at 3 PM, so make sure you get there within that four-hour window!

Learn more about the California Surf Museum here!

Go on a Whale Watching Cruise

What’s special about a whale watching cruise?

There are several tour providers that offer a whale watching cruise in San Diego. Sail San Diego specializes in small group tours, while San Diego Whale Watch offers highly educational tours with a certified marine biologist as a guide. Depending on your budget and preference, one package may suit you better than the other. That said, whale watching allows you to see whales in their natural habitat, which is infinitely better than watching them in a giant tank!

Who’ll enjoy this?

Whale watching tours are best suited for families or couples, but any lover of marine life should find this tour both highly enjoyable, and educational.

What to do here?

Spend 2-3 hours out on a yacht or an inflatable boat (depending on your tour provider) and observe different types of migrating whales! Sometimes you can even spot dolphins and have a limited and safe interaction with them!

Best time to go on a whale watching cruise

The best time to go on a whale watching cruise would be from mid-December to mid-April, which is the peak season for observing whales. The tours start at varying times, but generally start in the morning and end just before lunchtime!

Learn more about whale watching in San Diego here!

Take a dive in Swami’s Beach

What’s special about this place?

Just around 30 minutes away from San Diego, Swami’s Beach in Encinitas is considered as California’s surfing mecca. It is the place to be for surfing or for just watching people surfing. While the parking in the park right above the beach can be tight, there are plenty of benches and picnic tables from which to view people surfing. Swami’s is also a marine protected area, so it’s thriving with marine life.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

As this is a major surfing destination, it appeals to surfers and tourists who love a great ocean view and appreciate the sport of surfing. As the place is typically crowded on most days, this may be better suited for small tourist groups or couples.

What to do here?

Hang out at Swami park just above the beach and watch local surfers catch huge waves! If you’re keen to try out surfing, ask the locals where to start and learn with them! Don’t forget to check out the beach’s diverse marine life and intricate rock formations.

Best Time to Visit

Beach access is available from 4 AM to 2 AM, but lifeguards will only be available from 10 AM to 6 PM. The best time to visit Swami’s Beach would be dependent on what kind of activity you’re planning; if you want to go surfing, go there during high tides, if you’re planning a more laid back visit, wait until the tide recedes.

Learn more about Swami’s Beach here!

Take a tour in the USS Midway Museum

What’s special about this place?

Located at 910 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, the USS Midway Museum is a naval aircraft carrier museum. It is named after one of its main attractions, the aircraft carrier Midway. While it offers the conventional museum tour through its extensive collection of aircraft, the museum also offers activities like Flight Simulators for a more interactive experience!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

This place is a must-see for all aviation fans. The museum not only gives visitors a unique visual experience, but also insights on the engineering and history behind certain aircraft.

What to do here?

Check out their exhibits that include more than 30 restored aircraft, and nearly 10 acres of exhibits and displays! Inspect WWII era restored aircraft and the Below Decks Exhibit, where they feature the spaces where the crew lived aboard ship. Lastly, try out their Flight Simulators–the Air Combat 360 and the Virtual Reality Flight Experience!

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit would be around 1-2 PM, when the museum’s not too busy. The museum opens at 10 AM, though, so going earlier is always an option.

Learn more about the USS Midway Museum here!

Take a look inside the Fleet Science Center

What’s special about this place?

Located within Balboa Park on the east end of the El Prado Drive walkway, the Fleet Science Center is a science museum and planetarium that houses more than 100 interactive exhibits! While the Fleet Science Center is primarily for children, the museum offers events for adults; such as Fleet Night of Science, and community events like Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Don’t let the branding fool you, science enthusiasts of all ages should feel very welcome in the Fleet Science Center, with its interactive exhibits and events that include talks from local scientists!

What to do here?

Explore and investigate the exhibits and try to analyze the concepts behind each one! At the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater, immerse yourself in an IMAX film adventure!

Best Time to Visit

The museum is open 10 AM to 5 PM, so a little after lunch would be a good time to visit. It is always better to engage with scientific concepts when you’ve got a full stomach.

Learn more about Fleet Science Center here!

Take a hike in Torrey Pines State Reserve

What’s special about this place?

Located at 12600 N Torrey Pines Rd in La Jolla, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a 1,750-acre coastal state park dedicated to preserving the Torrey Pine and other indigenous wildlife within the reserve. While it is still very much a part of San Diego, it is a virtually untouched wilderness of pine trees. The park offers hiking trails of varying difficulty, and its cliffs offer great views of the Pacific Ocean.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Those looking for a mild and more accessible outdoor adventure within the city will love the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Whether it be a brisk morning walk through a coastal landscape filled with the smell of pines, or a peaceful afternoon spent just birdwatching and observing the coast, the park offers something for all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts.

What to do here?

Explore the park and check out all its indigenous wildlife. Try out the family-friendly park trails if you and your family are casual hikers, or the more challenging trails if you’re looking to sweat out yesterday’s tacos.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to go hiking within the reserve would be when it opens at 7:15 AM, however, the park won’t get relatively busier until around 12 PM.

Learn more about Torrey Pines State Reserve here!

Take a trip to Mission Trails Regional Park

What’s special about this place?

Located within San Diego City, Mission Trails Regional Park encompasses more than 8,000 acres of both natural and developed recreational areas. It is the largest municipally owned park in California, and the sixth largest in the United States. Its rugged hills, valleys and open areas represent a pre-Cabrillo San Diego.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Nature lovers and city dwellers longing for an escape from their usual routine would love it here. The park’s open spaces are well suited for families who want to enjoy a peaceful day away from the city’s craziness. The park also offers different types of field trips and walks for families and small groups.

What to do here?

Join experienced trackers in Wildlife Tracking Walks and learn more about the art of discovering tracks and other signs left behind by the park’s wildlife. There are also designated campgrounds which are currently closed until further notice, but keep an eye out for when they reopen these camp sites! Camping in Mission Trails is one of the best parts of a Mission Trails adventure!

Best Time to Visit

The park is open 24 hours, 7 days a week. The best time to visit the park would be dependent on what your planned park activities are.

Learn more about Mission Trails Regional Park here!

Stop by Lake Murray

What’s special about this place?

Located within the boundary within Mission Trails Regional Park in San Diego, Lake Murray is a reservoir that is operated by the City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department. The reservoir allows for activities like bird watching, kayaking, and fishing. The San Diego Fly Fishers, the oldest fly fishing club in San Diego, sometimes offers free fly fishing lessons here.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

A trip to Lake Murray is best suited for families or small groups, as the reservoir offers a nice area for picnics and activities such as bird watching and kayaking. That said, anyone who loves taking quiet walks and fishing should enjoy it here.

What to do here?

Rent out a small boat or kayak and explore the reservoir. If you have a permit, try fishing for some of the freshwater fish that can be found in Lake Murray. Make sure to adhere to their fishing rules, though. If you’re not up for anything too strenuous, family picnics and bird watching ‘til sunset are popular activities as well. However, there’s no camping allowed on the premises.

Best Time to Visit

Lake Murray is open 7 days a week, and is open for shore fishing and kayaking from 5:30 to sunset. The best time to visit Lake Murray is around 9 AM.

Learn more about Lake Murray here!

Visit the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala

What’s special about this place?

Located at 10818 San Diego Mission Rd, Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala is an active Roman Catholic church that is considered a National Historic Landmark. The original church was the first of the California Missions to ever be built, and marks the birthplace of Christianity in the American west. The church grounds feature special attractions like the Mission Museum, which showcases the church’s history.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

As this is an important religious and architectural landmark, anyone with an interest in the history of Christianity and Spanish architecture will enjoy it here.

What to do here?

Check out the beautiful artworks inside the church. Take a tour of the church grounds, and stop by the Casa de los Padres, a recreation of the first mission friars’ living quarters.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the church is around 9 AM, when the church grounds open, as this will leave you with enough time to explore the church, meditate in the meditation garden, and, for practicing Christians, hear mass.

Learn more about Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala here!

Check out the Old Globe Theatre

What’s special about this place?

Located in 1363 Old Globe Way within Balboa Park, the Old Globe Theatre is a fully enclosed, 600-seat flagship theatre that features shows that range from classic plays and musicals to first-run plays.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Anyone who loves plays and musicals would love what the Old Globe Theatre has to offer. It also offers a temporary reprieve from the busyness of Balboa Park.

What to do here?

Catch a show or two and relax. The Old Globe Theatre, while being the biggest, is actually only one of the three theatres within the complex, so you’ll never run out of things to watch.

Best Time to Visit

As scheduling may differ from show to show, it’s best to check the schedule of the show you want to watch on The Old Globe website, and come 10 to 15 minutes early!

Learn more about the Old Globe Theatre here!

Go hiking through the Lawson Peak Trail

What’s special about this place?

Situated just over 19 miles from San Diego City, the Lawson Peak Trail near Jamul is a 6.9 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail. It offers a chance to explore a part of the San Diego wilderness, and is rated as difficult.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

While the trail is quite challenging, avid explorers of California’s wilderness and outdoor enthusiasts up to the task will love every second of the long, steep hike.

What to do here?

Only try out this trek if you’re fully prepared, and it’s important to have an experienced guide. While the first 2 miles are a bit boring due to the 2020 fires, they offer a great view of backcountry mountain ranges to the south. Keep your eyes peeled for snakes and spiders along the trail. The trail will eventually lead to a series of caves, traverse them carefully. Once you reach the summit, the view is breathtaking!

Best Time to go hiking through Lawson Peak Trail

The best time for such a trip through the Lawson Peak Trail would be anytime within November through May. It’s best to start the trek around 6 AM, as it takes about 3 hours to complete the 6.9 kilometer trek.

Learn more about Lawson Peak Trail here!

Check out the San Diego Museum of Art

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park, the San Diego Museum of Art is an art museum that houses an almost encyclopedic collection with pieces that date back to 5000 BC. The museum also hosts an annual flower exhibition, where works of art are reinterpreted through flowers.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

As the museum’s collection is quite extensive, featuring pieces from different countries, periods and movements, anyone with even the slightest appreciation for art and culture will love the trip here.

What to do here?

Take a tour within the museum and inspect the different exhibits. Check out their collection of Spanish art, and don’t forget to check out the museum’s sculpture garden that features 19th and 20th century sculptures!

Best Time to Visit

It’s best to visit the museum at 10 AM, when it opens, as it gets quite packed fairly quickly. People generally spend one and a half hours here, that’s enough time to check out all of the museum’s exhibits before having lunch. If you do plan on going in the afternoon, though, 3 PM would be an ideal time to visit.

Learn more about the San Diego Museum of Art here!

Check out the San Diego Museum of Us

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1350 El Prado within Balboa Park, the San Diego Museum of Us is an anthropology museum. Its exhibits primarily focus on pre-Columbian history of the western Americas. More than its exhibits, what makes this museum unique is its Decolonizing Initiatives, a part of the museum’s mission that is centered around truthfulness, accountability, and reconciliation. Colonial history, after all, is one written in blood.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Those who seek to explore and further understand Native American society and its decline under colonial rule would find the San Diego Museum of Us a sobering, but important trip. However, the museum also holds other exhibits that are suited for children, such as their Monsters! exhibit.

What to do here?

Take a tour through the museum’s different floors. Check out the Kumeyaay: Native Californians/Iipai-Tipai exhibit, the Maya: Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth exhibit, and the Cannibals: Myth & Reality exhibit. Be sure to pass by the museum’s PostSecret exhibit, a community art project where visitors can anonymously share their secrets!

Best Time to Visit

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM. The museum never really gets too busy, but going there early, at around 10 or 11 is probably the best time to visit.

Learn more about the San Diego Museum of Us here!

Shop at Cedros Avenue Design District

What’s special about this place?

Located in Solana Beach, just around 22 miles from San Diego City, the Cedros Avenue Design District is a laid back, two-and-a-half-block shopping district that consists of more than 85 shops! It has art galleries, outdoor cafes, fashion boutiques, pet supplies, maternity clothes, and more. Renowned architects and interior designers also have offices here.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Anyone with a severe case of shopping itch, or those looking to buy some contemporary art pieces, or even those with just a list of things they forgot to buy from the mall, should find something to enjoy in the district.

What to do here?

Take a walk through the thin, palm tree-lined, two-and-a-half-block strip of land and treat yourself with some shopping at the unique specialty shops. For those a bit strapped for cash, or just saving up for something, a little window shopping never hurt anyone.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Cedros Avenue Design District would be around 10 AM; the district won’t be too busy, and you can probably explore all the shops and get everything you need before it gets too packed!

Learn more about Cedros Avenue Design District here!

Visit the Spanish Village Art Center

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1770 Village Place in San Diego’s Balboa Park, the Spanish Village Art Center is considered San Diego’s premiere artist collective. As such, this center is home to many art galleries and working artist studios!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Aspiring artists, art collectors and art lovers should each find something for themselves in the center. As its current tenants include the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society and the Southern California Association of Camera Clubs, amateur geologists and lapidarists, as well as filmmakers and photographers, should enjoy a trip here.

What to do here?

Check out the eclectic art pieces from the art galleries all over the Spanish Village Art Center. Mingle with the artists currently working at the numerous art studios and immerse yourself in the San Diego art scene.

Best Time to Visit

The art center is open from 11 AM – 4 PM. It doesn’t really get too busy, but going there at 11 AM, when it’s the least busy, would be ideal.

Learn more about the Spanish Village Art Center here!

Go on a hiking trip at the Garnet Peak Trail

What’s special about this place?

Located within the Laguna Mountains, just over 60 miles from San Diego City, Garnet Peak offers stunning viewpoints at over 5900 ft of elevation! The Garnet Peak Trail is a 3.7 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail primarily used for hiking, walking and horses. It is rated as a moderate trail and is accessible year-round.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Hikers of all ages and families who are up for a more outdoorsy San Diego experience will all enjoy taking a hiking trip here. Dogs are allowed on this trail, so families can also bring their dog/s with them as long as they keep them on a leash!

What to do here?

Put on your hiking gear and follow a connector trail northeast for 0.6 mile to a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail. Once at the PCT, go straight and continue on a moderate incline along the western shoulder of Garnet Peak. Watch out for Poodle Dog Bush, as it induces nasty allergic reactions! Once you get to the summit, just relax and take in the view!

Best Time to Visit

The trail is generally considered to be fairly short and manageable, but there’s no shade from the sun, so it’s highly recommended to start your hike around 8 AM.

Learn more about the Garnet Peak Trail here!

Go on the Three Sisters Falls Trail

What’s special about this place?

Located near Julian, just over 55 miles away from San Diego City, the Three Sisters Falls Trail is a 6.6 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail. While it is rated as a difficult trail, it features the beautiful Three Sisters Falls and is accessible year-round.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The trail features steep sections and particularly tricky rock scrambles, so those experienced hikers looking for something extreme to put in their San Diego trip itinerary should enjoy the trail.

What to do here?

For those going for the first time, it is extremely important to be physically fit, and to have an experienced guide to go with you, as the trail can be dangerous to those who aren’t familiar with it. The trail starts on an incline, and then descends (rather steeply) on the way to the Three Sisters Falls; so be sure to go slowly along the trail to avoid accidents. Once you get to the waterfalls, explore its three tiers for the full experience!

Best Time to Visit

It is highly recommended to start early, around 7 or 8 AM, to be able to take the trail at a leisurely pace, and to have full visibility of the trail. The best time of the year to go on the trail is around February to April.

Learn more about the Three Sisters Falls Trail here!

Visit the Birch Aquarium at Scripps

What’s special about this place?

Known as the public exploration center at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, Birch Aquarium features more than 60 habitats of fishes and invertebrates from different parts of the world. It also serves as an oceanographic museum that showcases research discoveries by Scripps scientists on climate, earth and ocean science!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Aspiring marine biologists and anyone with an appreciation for marine conservation should find a Birch Aquarium visit both educational and thoroughly engaging.

What to do here?

Check out Scripps’ Hall of Fishes. Explore the Oddities exhibit and learn about the unique and almost alien-like adaptations of ocean species. Get intimate with small sharks and rays at the Tide Pool Plaza!

Best Time to Visit

Advanced reservation is required, so make sure to reserve a ticket before you visit! That said, Birch Aquarium is open from 9 AM to 5 PM. It usually gets moderately busy throughout the day, so go there when it opens at 9!

Learn more about the Birch Aquarium at Scripps here!

Chill out and unwind at Coronado Beach

What’s special about this place?

Just a short drive from Downtown San Diego and easily accessible by car, water taxi or ferry, Coronado Beach is a popular resort that offers tourists a range of activities, from fishing to body-surfing and jet-skiing!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

As this is a popular spot for native Californians and tourists alike, anyone who wants to get away from the busy San Diego urban jungle and mingle with locals should enjoy this laid back stretch of sand.

What to do here?

Take a walking tour of Coronado Island. Check out the Hotel del Coronado and the surrounding Mediterranean-style villas. A more active approach to this trip would include learning how to surf or stand up paddleboard. Coronado’s gentle waves are known to be beginner-friendly!

Best Time to Visit

If you’re travelling by car, make sure you get there early, around 8 AM, so you get a space for parking. The beach is open for passive use from 6 AM to sunset.

Learn more about Coronado Beach here!

Indulge your sweet tooth at MooTime Creamery

What’s special about this place?

Located at 1025, Orange Ave, Coronado, the iconic MooTime Creamery is an ice cream shop that serves handcrafted ice cream and freshly made, hand-rolled cones. The shop serves an assortment of classic and modern flavors–it even has non-dairy and vegan options!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

As the shop offers non-dairy and vegan options, Coronado vacationers of all kinds should find something for them here. The ice cream is particularly good after a long day of sunbathing or surfing at Coronado Beach!

What to do here?

Obviously, try out their bestsellers! If you’re feeling a little adventurous, go ahead and try out the shop’s novelties: mootacos, moopies, and bon bons!

Best Time to Visit

MooTime Creamery opens at 11 AM. It doesn’t usually get busy until about 4 PM, so try to get your ice cream within that five-hour window.

Learn more about MooTime Creamery here!

Pass by Mt. Helix Park

What’s special about this place?

Located at 4905 Mt. Helix Dr, La Mesa, just over 10 miles away from San Diego City, Mt. Helix Park is a quaint hilltop park that offers spectacular views of San Diego County from 1,300 ft above sea level.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Tourists who want to see all of San Diego County, but are pressed for time should thoroughly enjoy the view here. The park offers a panoramic view of the San Diego metro area, the Mexican border, the eastern mountains, and more.

What to do here?

Check out the amphitheater and cross memorial, or watch the sunrise and sunset on top of Mt. Helix. If you’re thinking of getting a unique venue for your wedding, Mt. Helix is actually one of San Diego’s premier wedding venues!

Best Time to Visit

The park is open from 5:30 AM to 7 PM. It’s usually busier over the weekend, so try to plan your trip to Mt. Helix during weekdays. While during weekdays, it doesn’t really get too busy, we highly recommend you get there just a little after 5:30 AM! It’s not too hot, and you get to watch a gorgeous sunrise!

Learn more about Mount Helix Park here!

Take a trip to Cowles Mountain

What’s special about this place?

Cowles Mountain is a prominent mountain protected within Mission Trails Regional Park. It offers popular marked hiking trails with panoramic city views at its summit!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Locals and tourists of all ages take regular trips here, as it is conveniently within San Diego City. The hikes to the summit present a moderate challenge that appeals to novices and experienced hikers alike!

What to do here?

Take a hike along the scenic pathway up Cowles Mountain. The trail features beautiful wild flowers and a great view of the city. This trail is also a good opportunity to connect with locals and other tourist groups.

Best Time to Visit

This area is one of the most popular destinations in San Diego. It’s best to get there early (around 7 AM), and on the weekdays; the trail can get seriously packed over the weekend. Starting your hike early in San Diego is a must, as it can get hot pretty fast!

Learn more about Cowles Mountain here!

Take a walk on the Oceanside Municipal Pier

What’s special about this place?

Located in the City of Oceanside, just over 38 miles outside of San Diego, the Oceanside Municipal Pier is a 1,942 feet long wooden pier. It’s considered a historic landmark known for its fishing spots and gorgeous view of the sunset.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Tourists who are looking for a more, stripped down, laid back beach experience should love it here. While the pier does get a little busy once in a while, it’s usually a peaceful fishing spot where people from all walks of life gather and enjoy just passing the time and watching the California waves.

What to do here?

Take a walk on the pier and take in the sights, sounds and smells of the ocean. As it is one of the longest piers in California, it’s great for watching the waves break and watching surfers ride the waves. If you’re keen on fishing, in the middle of the pier there’s a bait shop where you can rent fishing equipment!

Best Time to Visit

While the pier is usually never busy on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, we highly recommend going there around 6 AM to 9 AM to avoid large crowds. If you want to take an early morning walk, the pier opens at 4 AM.

Learn more about the Oceanside Municipal Pier here!

Explore Batiquitos Lagoon

What’s special about this place?

Located on the coast of Carlsbad, just 30 miles north of San Diego, the Batiquitos Lagoon is a protected coastal wetland with a 2-mile hiking trail. As an Ecological Reserve, the lagoon is considered an important habitat for plants, birds, insects, and a wide array of coastal fish.

Who’ll enjoy it here?

Batiquitos Lagoon serves both as a breeding ground and nursery for a wide variety of coastal fishes, and as a nesting site for birds (some of which are endangered species). As such, birders, aspiring conservation and marine biologists, and visitors who love to observe wildlife would find the Batiquitos Lagoon a very special place.

What to do here?

Walk through the Lagoon trail by group or individually. Observe the lagoon’s diverse plant life. Check out the wading birds in the lagoon’s shallows, and the breeding coastal fishes along the tidal creeks. Observe the nesting sites frequented by the endangered California least tern and Western Snowy Plover. Some days, you can even see otters in the lagoon! Investigate the lagoon’s geology, see how different species are distributed throughout the lagoon!

Best Time to Visit

The Batiquitos Lagoon is open from 9 AM to 3 PM. As this is popular among locals and tourists alike, it’s best to visit around 9 to avoid large crowds. If you fancy an afternoon stroll, it is generally recommended to go there a little after 12 noon!

Learn more about Batiquitos Lagoon here!

Catch a movie at the Rooftop Cinema Club

What’s special about this place?

Located on the rooftop of the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, this airy, outdoor rooftop cinema offers a great selection of movies, from classics to modern classics! With the great view of downtown San Diego, the Rooftop Cinema Club gives its visitors the American drive in experience, on steroids!

Who’ll enjoy it here?

The Rooftop Cinema Club is a great place for date nights, as well as family nights on Family-Friendly Sundays. That said, it’s the 21st century, and there’s nothing wrong with watching a movie by yourself! Movie fans from all walks of life would love the Rooftop Cinema Club experience!

What to do here?

Catch your favorite movie at the Rooftop Cinema Club. While waiting, there are also recreational areas on the rooftop such as a basketball court and some pingpong tables–both great ways to pass the time and keep your blood flowing for movie night!

Best Time to Visit

Movies usually start around 8:30 PM, but if you want to hang out at the rooftop and enjoy the view of the sunset, you can always come there earlier!

Learn more about the Rooftop Cinema Club here!

FAQ

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about San Diego:

Is San Diego expensive to visit?

Yes and no. This depends on your budget. While not as expensive as LA or San Francisco, the average cost of a one day trip to San Diego is just under $270.

Is San Diego safe?

San Diego is generally safe to visit. While it has a reputation for being more dangerous than other cities in California, most of the criminal activities only occur in parts that aren’t touristy.

Is San Diego family friendly?

Yes. San Diego is a very family friendly city and has quite a lot of family friendly attractions. Here are some of our favorites:

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