San Diego, CA

7 Must Do Things When You Visit San Diego

With miles of beaches, a natural harbor, and near-perfect climate, San Diego is one of America’s favorite cities to spend time in. Whether you live here or are just paying a visit, there’s so much to see and do here. The city has one of the world’s most fascinating zoos, and Legoland is one of the country’s favorite theme parks. Beyond that, deciding what else to do in San Diego can be daunting. We’ve narrowed the task down to these seven must-do things when visiting San Diego.

1. Take a Cruise From Embarcadero
San Diego’s harbor waterfront is walk-friendly with an eclectic collection of shops and eateries along the way. Looking across the bay to Coronado Island, you’ll notice the city’s maritime connections as ships like the USS Midway and the heritage ships from the San Diego Maritime Museum literally float on the water. It’s the perfect place to book a one or two-hour cruise with San Diego boat cruises.

2. Experience History in Old Town
Don’t miss out on learning the San Deigo’s fascinating history. The city’s Old Town is the site of California’s first European settlement. You’ll notice how friendly the neighborhood is as well as the adobe buildings built between 1820 and 1870. Start your tour of this historic neighborhood at the Old Town San Deigo Historic Park with its perfectly preserved streets and display of artifacts from early Mexican settlers. Be sure to go for authentic Mexican food and visit the galleries and specialty shop.

3. Party in the Gaslamp Quarter
The Gaslamp Quarter is another historic district and one that also caters to the party and nightlife scene. Visit the saltbox style William Heath Davis House built to be similar to the town’s founder’s original home. The neighborhood has over 100 sidewalk cafes, concept cocktail bars, craft breweries, and rooftop bars. Try the ALTITUDE Sky Lounge where you can take in the view from the balcony, enjoy great music, dance, or engage in great conversations around the firepit.

4. See the San Deigo Skyline From Point Loma
It’s hard to imagine while standing at the southern tip of Point Loma, but you’ll be standing on the very spot a European first set foot on the west coast. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo arrived here on Sept. 28, 1542. There’s a statue there to commemorate the historic landing along with a national monument and visitor’s center with a movie and exhibits retracing Cabrillo’s journey. But the view of the San Deigo skyline is likely what you will remember most about Point Loma.

5. Dine in La Jolla
La Jolla is an upscale community located on a rocky headland reaching out into the Pacific. There’s water on three sides, sea caves, and little coves with seals and sea lions resting on the sand. It’s also a great neighborhood for fine dining at a place like Galaxy Taco. They have an expansive Mexican fare menu, and they make their own masa for tortillas of heirloom blue corn from Oaxacan farms.

6. Take a Walking Tour in Balboa Park
Balboa Park is a 1,200 urban park surrounded by a tapestry of gardens featuring over 350 plant species selected by botanist Kate Sessions at the turn of the 20th century. The park is home to a host of museums in Spanish revival buildings, the Model Railroad Museum, and the world-famous San Deigo Zoo. It’s the perfect place for a San Diego walking tour with a local guide, and you can make the mandated stop at the zoo.

7. Spend a Day on the Beach
With so much to see and do, it’s easy to forget that San Diego is an easy-going beach town. Pack a picnic and head to Mission Beach with its two miles of Pacific Beach. Take a stroll on the boardwalk surrounded by vintage roller coasters and other amusements. If you’re looking for a little more solace, try South Mission Beach for its tranquility. Prime beach weather is June to September in San Diego, but beach season extends into the fall and spring seasons, too. You may even be able to bask on the beach in December if the sun is out.

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