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10 Best things to do in San Diego

San Diego, “America’s Finest City”, is easily one of California’s best cities. From the laid back and picturesque beach towns to the bustling and vibrant downtown city, San Diego has the perfect combination for any type of vacation. Below is my list of the Top 10 best things to do in San Diego.

plane landing in to San Diego

Sun-Diego and the best California Beaches

San Diego has so many amazing beaches and beach towns that are all worth a visit. The ocean water in San Diego is both the clearest and warmest of all the waters in California making it the best place to visit. There are both wide sandy beaches as well rocky/cliff beaches making for perfect picturesque views. My favorite beaches are Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, and Coronado for some of the best beach days.

Surfing in San Diego

Coronado Island

Coronado is a small beach town just a few minutes drive from downtown San Diego. The island sits between the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean giving you the benefits of the calm bay and the ocean waves.

Coronado is known for its iconic and landmark hotel, Hotel Del Coronado. There is a great little downtown with restaurants and shops just steps away from the beautiful Coronado Beaches.

Hotel del Coronado reflecting off the beach

Downtown SD / Gaslamp Quarter

San Diego is a small but very walkable city. Catch a baseball game downtown at Petco Park or enjoy dinner and drinks at the famous Gaslamp Quarter. The Gaslamp is the ideal spot for enjoying the city nightlife.

Hanging out in the Gaslamp Quarter

La Jolla

Head a few minutes out of the city and visit the neighboring town of La Jolla. The city is known for its beautiful downtown filled with art galleries, restaurants, and shopping. It’s most famous residents are the sea lions and seals that you will surely find laying out on the beach. Be sure to be respectful and stay away from the animals.

La Jolla Shores is a great beach just a few minutes North of the main area where you can rent kayaks to visit some amazing caves. You will enjoy an abundance of marine life on your excusrion. Visit in the Fall to be lucky enough to swim with the hundreds of little leopard sharks that swim near the shore (don’t worry, they are harmless).

Pristine waves rolling in down the San Diego coastline

Torrey Pines

Combine a stop to neighboring Torrey Pines while you visit La Jolla. Best known for its iconic golf course, this area has so much to do and see including some amazing beaches and hikes.

Hike the trail to Torrey Pines State Reserve and enjoy a beautiful and scenic 2 mile hike with breathtaking views of the golf course overlooking the cliffs and coastline.

Just a few minutes South is the famous Torrey Pines Gliderport where you will see hundreds of paragliders and hang gliders. If you are an adrenaline junky, this is the best way to enjoy the views.

hang glider flying over Torrey pines

Sunset Cliff’s

One of the coolest beaches is the secret sea cave at the Susnet Cliff’s neighborhood. The cave itself can only be visited when there is a very low tide. Do not attempt to visit the cave at any other times. Plan ahead and you may be able to time a sunrise or sunset at this magical spot. If you can’t access the cave, you can certainly enjoy the beautiful views from the cliff side.

bikini surfer walking in a sea cave

Balboa Park

One of the best places to enjoy nature is at the Balboa Park just a few minutes from downtown. There are beautiful hiking paths and gardens to enjoy the outdoors. It’s most famous attraction is the world famous San Diego Zoo.

Amusement Parks and Attractions

San Diego has so many amazing attractions. From the world famous San Diego Zoo to SeaWorld, the city has you covered! If you are looking for more adrenaline then you can enjoy the rides at SeaWorld or head down to Belmont Park in Mission Bay. If you are traveling with young kids then you will also want to take a trip north to Carlsbad and stop at Lego Land.

Water Activities

San Diego has so many amazing things to do on the water from renting a jet ski or boat, catch a whale watching excursion, or taking a paddle boat around Mission Bay.

San Diego has some of the mildest and best weather in all of Southern California making it a perfect place to visit all year round. You will quickly see why San Diego is one of the best places to visit in California.

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I hope you get to visit all of my top 10 things to do in San Diego. For more travel, photo inspiration, or questions, be sure to visit me on Instagram.

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