It’s hard to be bored when you live in San Diego. This city of over 1 million people (not counting the four million other residents who live in the metropolitan area) offers dozens of different activities. There’s a little something for everyone, regardless of whether you prefer to spend your time out admiring nature, enjoying a sport or two (like surfing), or prefer to learn a little while at one of the many historical locations in and around the city. Here are ten of the very best things to do here.
Here's a quick rundown of our list:
- Fun Thing #1 - Go Whale Watching or Take a Cruise of the Harbor
- Fun Thing #2 - Attend a Game at Petco Park
- Fun Thing #3 - Spend a Day at Belmont Park
- Fun Thing #4 - Visit Mission San Diego de Alcalá
- Fun Thing #5 - Walk The Gaslamp Quarter
- Fun Thing #6 - Hike in One of the Many Nature Preserves
- Fun Thing #7 - Visit the Hotel Del Coronado
- Fun Thing #8 - Go to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
- Fun Thing #9 - Scuba Dive at Jolla Shores Park
- Fun Thing #10 - Surf
Fun Thing #1 - Go Whale Watching or Take a Cruise of the Harbor
Whale watching is usually associated with more northern parts of the Pacific Ocean, but there are plenty of them to be found in the waters right outside of San Diego. Whales are migratory creatures who travel from the warmer waters near Mexico to the south all of the way to the north. Depending on the time of year, you might be able to see Gray Whales, Blue Whales, and even Fin Whales. And of course, if you prefer not to look for whales, you can always enjoy the views of downtown San Diego and the harbor area from one of the many tour boats.
Fun Thing #2 - Attend a Game at Petco Park
There’s nothing quite like attending a Major League Baseball game. Petco Park is the home of the San Diego Padres, a member of the National League. You’re practically guaranteed to have fun while there. Ticket prices are reasonable, there’s nothing quite like ballpark food, and the atmosphere tends to be electric. On top of this, baseball games are very kid friendly.
Fun Thing #3 - Spend a Day at Belmont Park
How many chances will you have to ride a roller coaster that’s located right on the beach? Well, if you live in San Diego, then you can be a frequent visitor at Belmont Park. This amusement park has some classic wooden coasters and other thrill rides, as well as a boardwalk area filled with restaurants and midway games. Even better, there’s no admission fee for the park – you just pay as you go along. Not many amusement parks can say the same!
Fun Thing #4 - Visit Mission San Diego de Alcalá
Sometimes learning can be fun – and quite interesting. This is the case when you visit Mission San Diego de Alcalá. This mission was founded by Spanish settlers back in 1769. It was the very first Franciscan Mission on this part of the West Coast, and it’s now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Mission still functions as a Catholic institution, but you don’t need to follow the religion to enjoy a tour of the structure, which focuses more on the history of the region than the faith that the Mission represents. The classic adobe-style architecture makes you feel as though you’re stepping back in time. Don’t forget to get a good look at the bells when you visit.
Fun Thing #5 - Walk The Gaslamp Quarter
Speaking of making history fun, there’s nothing that compares to the Gaslamp Quarter region of the city. It’s dubbed as the “the historic heart of San Diego” for a reason – the development of the area first started in 1850. Now it’s an ideal place to spend an afternoon, as it’s filled with restaurants, shops, and galleries. There are plenty of things to do here.
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Fun Thing #6 - Hike in One of the Many Nature Preserves
It seems as though San Diego is surrounded by nature preserves, canyon preserves, and parks for a very good reason. People in the area have been very good about setting aside open land in order to prevent it from being developed. These preserves, including the San Elijo Lagoon, Trestles Natural Wetlands, the Torrey Pines Nature Reserve, and others, are dedicated to ensuring that the natural wildlife and flora and fauna of the area have plenty of spaces to thrive. Plus, many of them have hiking paths so you can see all of this for yourself.
Fun Thing #7 - Visit the Hotel Del Coronado
Some say that the Hotel del Coronado is haunted. That, as well as its odd history (it was reportedly the inspiration for the Wizard of Oz since author L. Frank Baum spend quite a bit of time there while he was writing the books), make it worth a visit. Even if you aren’t staying there overnight, you’re welcome to spend some time getting spa treatments or eating in one of the hotel’s many restaurants. It’s a very unique structure with a picturesque location.
Fun Thing #8 - Go to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
There’s a lot of different things to do while visiting the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Some, such as the many different safari tours, bring you practically face to face (safely of course) with many of the wild animals living there. It’s a part of the San Diego Zoo, meaning that you have a choice of seeing other animals once you’re done with the safari part of the visit. Dining and shopping are also on the list. You spend an entire day here and never get bored.
Fun Thing #9 - Scuba Dive at Jolla Shores Park
If you’re going to live near the ocean, you might as well spend some time in it. Even those new to scuba diving will be able to enjoy the gentle waves and unique sea creatures off of the beach at La Jolla Shores Park. Plus, if you’re spending some time with your family, there’s nothing better than the playground, picnic tables, and clean beaches in the park. Thanks to the nearby restaurants and stores, La Jolla Shores Park is definitely a place to be.
Fun Thing #10 - Surf
The city of San Diego may not be completely organized around its surf culture, but parts of it certainly are. Many of the beach towns and villages exemplify the laid back atmosphere that comes along with surfing. Some great surf spots include Ocean Beach, Grandview, Oceanside Pier, and Tourmaline Surfing Park.
How’s this list?
Did I miss anything YOU like doing in San Diego?
Leave a comment below and let me know – or, text/call me at (760) 297-4539
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