We’re all about advocating for our Southern California cities and we’ve done a little research to provide our customers with the ultimate experience in San Diego. Here’s a list of the top sites in the city, so take your pick and get moving, there’s lots to see here.
The weather in San Diego is renowned for sunshine and its year-round mild climate, so outdoor activities are no-brainers. A great first stop is Balboa Park. The park was declared a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as being named one of the Great Places in America. If that’s not enough to get you there, then consider the lush grounds that feature everything from gardens to forests, or the grand Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. But that’s not all – There are more than 17 museums filled with everything from dinosaurs to space travel, and entertainment including plays, musicals, orchestras, ballet, and heritage dancing. And we can’t forget the World Famous San Diego Zoo and Safari Park! There’s something for everyone at Balboa Park.
If you’re a history buff, make your way to Old Town. Considered the “historic heart of San Diego,” Old Town dates back to 1769 as the first Spanish settlement in California, which featured only a mission and a fort. Nowadays, it’s morphed into a snapshot of 19th century Mexican-American life. There’s lots to do here; you can wander through gardens, browse at one of the many specialty shops, indulge in authentic Mexican food, or dance to some mariachi music in the streets.
For even more history in Old Town, tour the Whaley House, a California Historical Landmark. It’s a Greek Revival-style home from 1857 that’s arguably seen “the most history” in all of San Diego. There’s also Heritage County Park, Presidio Park, Mt. Soledad’s Veteran Memorial, or the Mormon Battalion all situated right in Old Town. Visitors can easily spend an entire day exploring all that Old Town offers, and if you’re brave enough you may even stick around after sundown to go on a Haunted History Tour.
As you venture towards Downtown, explore the Gaslamp Quarter. The Gaslamp District is a lively downtown area known for its nightlife. Clubs, dive bars, and cocktail lounges cater to a younger clientele, while the Spreckels Theater and Balboa Theatre offer music, comedy, and drama programming that appeals to all ages. There are both chain and independent restaurants in the neighborhood, with numerous international choices available. In Horton Plaza Park there are grassy lawns and ice cream carts, perfect for taking a break while you’re exploring the city.
If you want to enjoy San Diego’s waterfront, visit Waterfront Park, a 3 minute walk from the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and a short trip to Seaport Village, a waterfront shopping and dining complex at the intersection of Harbor Drive and Kettner. The waterfront lies along Downtown San Diego, making it the perfect spot to explore some of the city’s top eateries and neighborhoods like Little Italy. Even if it’s a particularly hot day, you’ll be able to enjoy the cool breeze off the Pacific Ocean.
If an ocean breeze is what you’re after, consider visiting one of the area’s many beaches. Some of the most iconic are Ocean Beach (OB) and Pacific Beach (PB) famous for surfers and that true California beach vibe. There’s also Mission Beach – a great spot to set up a bonfire and enjoy the West Coast sunset, Imperial Beach, Coronado Beach, and Solana Beach. They all offer cliffside views and sandy beaches for basking in the sunshine or catching a wave.
There are countless options for nature lovers in San Diego. Head to Torrey Pines, a state nature preserve that houses over 1500 acres of pristine land, miles of beaches, and a lagoon. Since this is a “preserve” and not a park, Torrey Pines brings visitors back to the early, pre-settlement days of California. Whether you’d prefer to hike the cliffs and watch the waves rolling ashore, or stroll along the stretch of untouched beaches, immersing yourself in the natural habitat is easy here.
No matter what you decide to do while you’re in San Diego, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed. This seaside city offers visitors everything from delicious eateries to sweeping vistas, epic hiking trails, a plethora of history, and some of the most iconic beaches in California.