San Diego is known for its pleasant climate, 70 miles of pristine beaches, and a myriad of world-class family attractions. Indeed, there’s no shortage of places to visit in this city. With its unique lifestyle to boot, it’s no wonder it’s such a great place to live in, and experience as a tourist! Gear up and read on to discover the best things to do in San Diego!

Must do outdoor activities in San Diego

1. Paraglide over the Coast

Torrey Pines Gliderport

A tandem paragliding trip over the beautiful coastline is an amazing experience that everyone will enjoy. Unless, maybe, you’re terrified of heights. San Diego tourism typically provides more than 300 flyable days per year, boosting your chances of finding the perfect conditions during your stay.

2. Sunset Cliffs

San Diego Travel Blog

If you’re on the lookout for the finest experiences in San Diego, Sunset Cliffs are ideal for hiking and recreation. The magnificent sandstone cliffs and pristine greenery, as well as the breathtaking ocean views, make for an amazing day or night stroll. There are a few quiet beaches nearby, too, and just getting to them can be an adventure in itself!

  • Timings & Fees: Open 24/7 and FREE to the public 365 days a year!

3. Mission Beach and Pacific Beach

US News Travel

This beach is a popular spot when it comes to San Diego tourism, particularly for surfing. It is perfect for beginners as well as seasoned surfers. You’ll find numerous water sports equipment rental shops strewn around the neighborhood, offering everything from jet skis to kayaks.

  • Timings & Fees: Open 24/7 and Free!

Related: How To Make A Travel Budget & Stick To It?

Sports activities in San Diego

1. Kayak the La Jolla Sea Caves

The La Jolla Ecological Reserve is located just offshore from the small seaside community of La Jolla. It is one of California’s most ecologically varied ecosystems and one of the cool things to do in San Diego. San Diego tourism thrives of this location – an awesome place to visit if you’re searching for cool things to do in San Diego.

2. Petco Park

Petco Park is often regarded as one of the best baseball stadiums in the country. It is a must-see for Padres fans or anybody who wants to see a baseball game. This spot checks off the list of cool things to do in San Diego, while taking in the stunning skyline.

  • Timings & Fee: Hours and Games prices vary; tours $20 for adults.

3. Hike Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

If you want to cover all of the best things to do in San Diego, then the hiking paths in this reserve are worth visiting. They are generally short loops with stunning views of the ocean. The Guy Fleming Trail, a 2/3 mile circle with two ocean-view viewpoints and the Parry Grove Trail, a 1/2 circle with a native plant garden, are two of the most popular.

Must visit museums in San Diego

1. USS Midway Museum


The USS Midway Museum has been preserving the historic USS Midway, the twentieth century’s longest-serving aircraft carrier, since June 2004. If you want to explore some of the fun things to do in the city, this museum is a must-visit! You’ll get access to locations that aren’t usually open to the public, such as the crew’s sleeping quarters, the engine room, the primary flight control room, and the ship’s jail!

Admission Prices

AgeTicket Cost
(Ages 6-12)
Adult (Ages 13+)$26
FREEDOM PASS Annual Pass for 2$90
FREEDOM PASS Annual Pass for 4$120

2. San Diego Natural History Museum


This museum, located in Balboa Park, developed out of the San Diego Society of Natural History, which was formed in 1874. This makes it the oldest scientific organization in Southern California and the third oldest west of the Mississippi.

3. San Diego Museum of Man

The Museum of Man, as the region’s only anthropological museum, provides a detailed program that includes cannibalism, beer history, and human-animal relationships. It definitely ranks high on our cool things to do in San Diego list!

  • Timings: Wednesday to Sunday, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Soak in the culture of San Diego

1. Old Town


The Old Town is a renowned tourist destination that falls under the top places to visit in the city. Locals enjoy going there on a daily basis, while tourists like its old-world charm. The historic structures and the architectural combination are undoubtedly intriguing. The Old Town has preserved much of its fascinating past via its architecture and culture.

2. Balboa Park

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Home to the renowned San Diego Zoo, this 1,200-acre park is the city’s cultural hub. Located downtown, Balboa Park is a great place for a stroll, bike ride or picnic. It’s a one-stop wonderland helping the city tourism thrive!

3. Cabrillo National Monument

San Diego Community News Group

Cabrillo National Monument is located on the southernmost tip of Point Loma. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European explorer to cross the Californian coast in 1542, is depicted in the sculpture. The breathtaking panoramas are the major reason people travel to the monument, making it a part of the most popular tourist spots here.

  • Timings: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Explore restaurants, bars & shopping centers in San Diego

1. The Gaslamp Quarter

Los Angeles Times

The Gaslamp Quarter is a city district where you can find anything from restaurants to retail malls to different forms of entertainment.

2. George’s at The Cove

One of the best places to visit in the city with stunning panoramic views of La Jolla Cove from nearly every seat in the house. The upscale cocktail menu features all the summery drinks you’d imagine, from margs and martinis to mojitos and micheladas!

3. Morning Glory

Hospitality Interiors

Morning Glory’s design hits you with a checklist of Instagram hits—rose-gold accents, tiled floors, Millennial-pink booths, wallpaper galore, and an aesthetic interior. Certainly, one of the best places for a fulfilling breakfast (and a quick photoshoot).

4. Seaport Village


Here you can spend the afternoon watching ships float in and out of the harbor while sipping coffee or shopping for souvenirs. Seaport Village is one of the best places to visit in San Diego as the 14-acre village is home to more than 50 shops and 13 dining outlets.

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