The relaxed southern California atmosphere, combined with pristine weather, and awe-inspiring Pacific beaches create a truly majestic background for one of America’s finest cities: San Diego. San Diego, however, has much more to offer visitors than just nice weather.
Located about two hours south of LA and a mere 30-minute drive from Tijuana, Mexico, San Diego is the eighth-most populated city in the continental United States, and one of the finest vacation destinations this side of the world.
In San Diego, you can go watch wales, explore coastline caves, surf the perfect wave, eat authentic Mexican food, drink world-class craft beers, hike along gorgeous nature trails, learn history, and more.
A trip to San Diego is chock full of possibilities, and in this article, we will help you discover them. Here are our top 6 cannot-miss attractions in San Diego.
Visit Coronado Island
A visit to San Diego without visiting Coronado Island is incomplete.
Coronado Island can be considered a city within a city, and it is one of the most exclusive areas of San Diego. One of the biggest tourists draws is the fantastic view of San Diego Bay and the beautiful skyline of the city. The kinds of pictures you can get here are alone worth the trip.
Coronado Island is also home to the sunkissed, waterfront Hotel Del Coronado, a world-renowned resort. The hotel boasts some truly breathtaking architecture and was at one point the largest such establishment in the world.
Coronado Beach, located a short walk from the hotel is more than 1.5 miles long and boasts wide, white sandy banks, perfect for sunbathing, surfing, and romantic walks.
Visit the San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is another must-see attraction in San Diego.
The San Diego Zoo is considered by many the main tourist attraction of the city and a truly powerful economic engine for San Diego with millions of visitors coming every year.
Located inside Balboa Park, the zoo expands across an area of over 100 acres and houses more than 4,000 animals belonging to 800 different species. This makes it one of the most dynamic and exciting zoos in the USA and the world. This is one of the few zoos in the world that is home to a Giant Panda, outside of mainland China.
A trip to the San Diego zoo is perfect for a day of strolling in the beautiful Southern California weather, but for those who don’t feel like walking, the zoo offers a variety of guided tours via bus and cable cars.
Visit Balboa Park
Speaking of Balboa Park, this oasis within the busy city is a must for anyone coming to San Diego. Named after the famed Spanish Conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the park covers an area of more than 1,200 acres of historic land and is larger than New York’s Central Park.
Balboa Park houses a multitude of cultural and leisure opportunities ranging from various museums, theaters, gardens, walking paths, areas on which to practice sports and other athletic activities, as well as several restaurants, and gift shops.
Balboa Park is one of the most important and influential urban parks in the United States, and any visit to San Diego will not be complete without enjoying the many recreational opportunities.
La Jolla Cove
If you are even remotely interested in snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming, San Diego has one of the best spots in the world for you.
La Jolla Cove, located in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, offers fans of the beach a plethora of recreational activities. Even though the cove itself is on the small side, it is a richly populated ecological reserve, and there is a large population of protected sea lions that call the cove home.
The surrounding country possesses a unique beauty and various spots offer some fantastic opportunities to catch a glimpse of a truly majestic sunset. The beach itself is surrounded by various caves and cliffs. The 7 Caves of La Jolla are a mere walk away from the beach and offer the more adventurous types ample opportunity for exploring.
Visit Old Town San Diego
San Diego is a town with a long and richly complex history, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Old Town district. Here you will find the vestiges of the original San Diego architecture, and get a glimpse of a deep heritage that permeates every fiber of the city.
San Diego was founded in 1769 by Gaspar de Portolà and Junípero Serra, making it one of the firsts and oldest cities of Spanish heritage in California.
Located in the west end of the San Diego River Valley, San Diego’s Old Town district is a bustling neighborhood full of shops and restaurants, and other touristy attractions.
If you want to visit modern San Diego but also commemorate its past, make sure to give the Old Town district a visit.
USS Midway Museum
We cannot talk about San Diego’s rich history without talking about its deep connection to the United States Army and Navy, and this history is best experienced by visiting the one and only USS Midway Aircraft Carrier.
Once a beacon of the United States military superiority, the USS Midway is now a museum that offers a fascinating look into the power of our great nation. The USS Midway was, until 1955, the world’s largest warship. The ship was retired in 1992 after 47 years of service during which it participated in both the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.
If you visit San Diego, make sure to take some time to visit the USS Midway Museum for a taste of history and a close-up view of one of the only ships of its kind.
San Diego Tattoo
Make your vacation memory permanent with a tattoo. A popular spot for locals and tourists alike is the San Diego Tattoo Company of Pacific Beach. This cozy tattoo parlor is surrounded by the San Diego beach ambiance with the Pacific Beach boardwalk 3 short blocks a away. Getting a Tattoo at this Trendy Tattoo shop will be an experience to remember.. Voted best tattoo shop in San Diego with 8 Tattooers you’ll be sure to find the design and Tattooer that you love.
Finished getting the at tattoo how about a stroll to the pier or the Boardwalk to Mission Beach.
1026 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109