San Diego is located in Southern California, on the west coast of the United States. The sunny city has more than 1 million inhabitants. There is a lot to do in the city. It is surrounded by beautiful nature and there are many beautiful beaches. But there are also plenty of places to visit in San Diego, such as the world-famous zoo or Balboa Park. Therefore, you should definitely not skip San Diego when visiting California. Here are my tips for visiting San Diego.
This special beach town is a 30-minute drive from San Diego. You will find beautiful villas, smart shops but above all a beautiful landscape. There are sea caves, lots of rocks and you can often see seals and sea lions here. You can kayak, swim, snorkel or dive here.
Here are some of the best activities in La Jolla:
This is San Diego’s oldest neighborhood with beautiful Victorian architecture from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is now a hip neighborhood with many unique shops and galleries. A lovely place to walk through.
Experience the Gaslamp Quarter with these fun rides:
These beautiful cliffs right by the sea are the perfect place to enjoy the setting sun. If you are lucky you can even see dolphins or whales here! The beaches here are also quieter than, for example, the popular Mission beach.
Potato Chip Rock
Join the many other hikers who climb to the top of the so-called “Potato Chip Rock”. Once at the top, you have a great view of San Diego. And yes, the rock at the top really looks like a chip.
You can visit this island by ferry or now over a bridge. Coranodo island is a nice place to go or a day at the beach. The icon for Coronado Island is the Hotel del Coronado. This iconic hotel was built in 1888 in a Victorian style. It is a large white building with many towers and a red roof. You can take a look inside the hotel or have a drink in the restaurant.
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is world famous. It is also called the best zoo in the United States. You can see 3,700 animals! For many, the highlight is the adorable giant pandas. The nature in the zoo itself is worth a visit. It is hilly and filled with tropical flowers and plants. It is so big that even tour buses run around in it. The zoo is part of Balboa Park.
Midway aircraft carrier museum
This giant aircraft carrier is permanently moored at the San Diego pier. The ship dates from 1945 and was used during the Vietnam War and the First Gulf War. Inside, it’s a maze of corridors. You can visit all the ship’s spaces and there is also an impressive collection of fighter jets and helicopters.
This is the beach you might recognize from movies or TV shows. The beach has a long boulevard where many people run, bike, roller skate or parade. It’s the perfect place to see people. There is even a small amusement park on the boulevard.
This is the surf city in the United States. So be sure to try it for yourself. It’s not as easy as it looks, but even if you can not get past your surfboard float, you can say you’ve been surfing in San Diego.
This park is on 490 acres and is full of hiking trails, fountains, various gardens and even museums. Built in 1915 for the Panama California Exhibition, the park has mostly Spanish-influenced architecture. The highlights of the park are the Botanical Garden, the Museum of Man, the Natural History Museum and of course the zoo. You can have fun for days in this park.
Experience Balboa Park with these top activities:
Go on a whale watching trip
Between mid-December and late March is the time when the gray whales are in the waters around San Diego. And between June and September, you can see the blue whales here. Sometimes you can spot the whales from the shore, but to see them up close you can book a whale watching trip.
Trip to Tijuana
San Diego is very close to the Mexican border and the party town Tijuana can be found only 30 kilometers away. You can reach the limit in 45 minutes with the San Diego Trolley. Once you have crossed the border, it is a short walk to the center of town. There you can enjoy honest Mexican food, cheap tequila and Mexican souvenirs. Of course, Tijuana does not give a good picture of Mexico, the city is very focused on tourism.