Best known for its beautiful beaches and parks and its near-perfect weather, San Diego is a popular destination along the southern Californian coast. With opportunities for wildlife viewing as well as a range of cultural, natural, and historic attractions available, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do.
Following are some of the best things to do on a trip to San Diego. The best part is that you won’t have to travel far each day. Each attraction is located near San Diego’s best hotels.
Visit the Seals at La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is home to the largest seal and sea lion population in California. If you can put up with the stench, it’s quite the experience to witness a beach full of seals and sea lions napping and sunning themselves.
If the water’s not too cold, you can go kayaking or snorkeling to take a lap around the cove. This is a popular spot for swimming and other water sports, and there are many sea caves to explore. Access to the cove is free.
Image via Flickr by Mick Thompson1
Take in the View at Cabrillo National Monument
Located high on the cliffs at the end of the Point Loma Peninsula, the Cabrillo National Monument offers some of the best views in San Diego.
The view from the top stretches over San Diego Bay and includes scenes from the harbor, the stunning coast, and the mountains that loom beyond the skyline.
This is site of historic significance, and a National Parks Service museum here commemorates the first European explorer to land on the West Coast of the United States. Make sure you don’t miss the Old Point Loma Lighthouse or its exhibition depicting 19th-century life in a lighthouse.
Photo CC Bill Gracey
Spend a Day at the Beach
With their 17 miles of coastline, San Diego beaches offer a popular place to spend the day. Whether you’re interested in swimming, surfing, whale watching, playing volleyball, or sunning, the beaches here are consistently ranked among the best in America.
A popular way to end the day is by watching the sunset from the beach and then striking up a bonfire at one of the many public fire pits. Be sure to get there early, as both locals and visitors claim the fire pits quickly.
Photo CC by priyaswtc
As America’s biggest urban cultural park, Balboa Park is a must in San Diego. Spanning 1,200 acres, the park is home to 15 museums, some housed in authentic Spanish Colonial Revival buildings, as well as award-winning performing arts venues and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
There are multiple gardens and botanic areas, along with a constantly rotating calendar of plays, musicals, and outdoor concerts.
Access to the park is free, and each attraction has a separate price. Start at the park’s visitor center, where you can grab a map. Purchase a Balboa Park Passport for entrance to most attractions throughout the park.
Photo CC by Mark W Weston
These are just a few highlights from our time in San Diego. From culture and history to wildlife and the outdoors, you’ll never be bored in San Diego.
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Photo credit: Featured photo by Bill Dickinson.