Things to Do in San Diego, CA

If I had to describe San Diego in one word it would be AMAZING! This city is beautiful and packed full of so many things to do. We recently spent 10 days in the city and will have to plan another trip as there are so many activities we were not able to fit in. Here are our top 5 recommendations.

Visiting the San Diego Zoo

I am pretty certain a trip to San Diego would not be complete without a stop at the world famous zoo! You will not be disappointed. Put on your walking shoes and stroll the day away while learning and admiring all the fascinating animals. Lions and tigers and a rescued dog in the cheetah cage?!? Oh my!

The Beaches of San Diego

Coronado Beach – One of my favorite things about visiting Coronado Beach was the drive to the beach. Does it make me old if I love admiring everything along a drive? Every city, town and landscape is so different and I enjoy seeing new sights and taking it all in. The drive to Coronado takes you over a large bridge and the homes in the area are just gorgeous.

However, the actual beach is amazing too. Our boys could have spent all day every day at the beach during our San Diego trip. Even though it was December, it did not stop them from jumping right into the ocean waves. At the Coronado Beach, we headed over to the dog beach and let our huskies run. Its an off-lease dog park and they were worn out by the time we left!

La Jolla Beach – For more fun beach activities, head over to La Jolla Beach. We rented wet suits and boogie boards (see City Pass info below) and jumped right in to the waves. The boys were not happy when we said it was time to head out. They love the water and the waves! Boogie boarding and swimming is not the only option here as we saw many groups kayaking too.

Amusement at Belmont Park

An amusement park on the beach?!? Yes, please!! Belmont Park is on Mission Beach. We wanted to spend a little time checking out Mission Beach but were having so much fun at Belmont Park that it was dark before we realized we missed looking at the beach. Tickets were included in the City Pass we purchased and we spent many hours laughing. Read my fun blog on Belmont Park here or check out our video here to see some of the fun!

USS Midway Museum

I am always up for throwing in a little educational fun while exploring new places. The boys either don’t mind or at least pretend to enjoy it. Our middle son wants to join the military so I like to take advantage of any opportunity to provide him more information. We were all amazed at how much we learned about how being on the ship is truly like a village at sea. There are jobs from the chefs in the kitchen, to the doctors to the laundry attendants to the officers. It was fascinating to wonder through this massive ship and then check out all the planes that are on the top deck.

After we toured the ship, we walked down to Seaport Village to grab a late lunch. If you are in the area, you must make a stop here especially if you are looking for any San Diego souvenirs. There were so many cute shops and it was just a fun area to wonder around.

things to do in San Diego

San Diego Coastline

You may be thinking that I already told you to go to the beach under #2. However, we played in the water at the two beaches above. These next two places are to hike or simply relax and admire the views. I could sit and listen to the waves crash along the shore for hours.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve – We were stunned at the beauty here. Torrey Pines offers hiking trails along a cliff and also walking on the beach. We recommend both!

Sunset Cliffs – Another place that will amaze you with the beauty. It was chillier than we had planned on so we did not stay for the sunset. However, early evening was still gorgeous. There are cute shops and several restaurants in the area too. We enjoyed dinner at one of the sushi places near Sunset Cliffs after admiring the view.

The San Diego City Pass

For our activities, we purchased a City Pass. There are two options and we choose ‘Build Your Own’. While the discount was not as deep with this option, it works out to be cheaper than buying these activities individually. We decided to skip the larger amusement parks in the All-Inclusive option on this trip. For more information, check this link – City Pass

While we did head to L.A. and spent a day at Universal Studios Hollywood, we purchased those tickets separate from the City Pass.

Activities for San Deigo

I mentioned above that there are more activities that we want to do on our next visit. Here are a few on our list.

  • A whale watching tour – wouldn’t it be amazing to see whales!
  • San Diego Safari Park
  • Old Towne
  • Balboa Park (and all the museums in Balboa Park) – The San Diego Zoo is in Balboa Park but unfortunately, we did not even walk through and check out this area. Next time!
  • Corvette Diner

RV Park

During our stay in San Diego, we stayed at Sweetwater Summit Regional Park in Bonita, CA. We highly recommend this park! For a full review, please check out our RV Park Review – Sweetwater Summit Regional Park.

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