San Diego is arguably one of the best places to visit in California. With perfect weather year-round, popular attractions, incredible vistas and lots of affordable things to do, San Diego is the perfect place to visit for travelers of all types.
One of the best ways to experience San Diego is to take a boat tour. We recommend a route that takes you to both the north and south sections of the bay. To the south, you’ll cruise under Coronado Bridge, get to see tons of Navy ships, and even catch a view of Mexico! To the north, you’ll see Downtown San Diego, marinas in La Jolla, harbor seals and Point Loma. This is one tour worth paying for!
You may also want to visit some of the most popular tourist attractions in San Diego:
San Diego Zoo
SeaWorld San Diego
Belmont Park Amusement Park
USS Midway Museum or the Maritime Museum
San Diego Air and Space Museum
Nearby Missions like Mission San Diego de Alcala
And much more
Don’t miss on some of the best things to do in San Diego for free! Our list below will help you save while enjoying an incredible city in California.
Balboa Park is one of the most beautiful places in San Diego. Featuring 15 museums, botanical gardens, dog parks, walking paths and more, Balboa Park epitomizes the culture of San Diego. This is also where you’ll find the famous San Diego Zoo!
Old Town is a State Historic Park that is free to explore year-round. This town is where the first settlers to California started the first community in the state. You can tour museums and old buildings; have a picnic in the park; shop in stores and from street vendors; and much more.
There are tons of beautiful beaches in San Diego to choose from, but our top four are: Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, Del Mar and Coronado Beach.
To experience Downtown San Diego, head to the Gaslamp Quarter. You’ll get the feeling of deep history with the excitement of popular shops, restaurants and entertainment.
Of course, made famous by the Hotel Del Coronado, there’s much to see and do for free on Coronado Island. The Coronado Bridge itself is an engineering marvel; you can walk the streets of the island enjoying little shops and upscale restaurants; and don’t miss the hotel itself, which has public areas open to visitors.
Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park offers an ideal Pacific Coast view and experience. There are easy/moderate trails and stairs from the road to the beach, but the view is just as awesome from above. Sunset Cliffs are beautiful any time of day, but obviously a visit at sunset will show you how it got it’s name.
Cabrillo National Monument
The Cabrillo National Monument provides what is possibly the best view of San Diego anywhere. You’ll enjoy panoramic views that include the bay, La Jolla, downtown, Coronado Island and more. This breathtaking vista is a must-see!
Con Pane Rustic Breads & Café (Baked With Love)
Hodad’s (Bring Your Appetite)
Hungry Bear Sub Shop (Overflowing Subs)
In-N-Out Burger (Best Burger Chain in Cali)
Kono's Surf Club Café (Worth the Line)
Las Cuatro Milpas (Traditional San Diego Mexican Food)
Olympic Café (Award-Winning Greek Café)
Point Loma Seafoods (So Fresh & Tasty)
Taco Surf Taco Shop (A Variety of Yummy Tacos)
Tender Greens (Fresh and Local)
San Diego Museum Month (February)
Flower Season (March/April)
San Diego ArtWalk (April & August)
County Fair (June)
Pride Festival (July)
San Diego Film Festival (September)
Beer Week (November)
Fleet Week (November)
San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival (November)
December Nights in Balboa Park (December)
Whale Watching Season (December – March)