San Diego is known for its nearly perfect weather year-round as well as for its breathtaking coastline. The white sand beaches and world-class surf spots offer a stunning backdrop to many of the restaurants and attractions that San Diego has to offer. With so much to do both day and night it can be hard to narrow down what to do first. Let us offer some local knowledge and help you decide what to do!
If you are visiting San Diego, chances are you will want to check out some of our breathtaking beaches as well as some of the must-see attractions in the area.
Here are some popular beaches and attractions in San Diego:
La Jolla Children’s Pool
This historic beach is home to a colony of harbor seals that bask themselves on the rocks and along the shoreline of this famous beach. The seals are visible from a walkway that extends into the ocean on the southwest side of the beach, protecting the beach from the surf. The wall was built in 1931 to provide shelter from the surf and allow children a safe area to enter the water. It’s this breakwall that creates a tranquil home to the colony of harbor seals in the area, drawing many visitors here to view the spectacular marine life. The beach became so populated by harbor seals that in February 2000 the Marine Fisheries Service deemed it a Seal sanctuary and natural rookery. Check it out for some great views of the local marine life.
La Jolla Shores
The most family-friendly beach around is located on the 2-mile strip of silver sand known as La Jolla Shores. This is a beach known for its gentle waves, beautiful sunsets, and the underwater ecological park of La Jolla, which is a marine reserve for hundreds of species. This makes La Jolla Shores not only a great beach for relaxation but also an amazing place to view some of the local marine life. What better way to do that than on a kayak!
Pacific Beach & Mission Beach
For long stretching sandy shores and a boardwalk great for exploring and people watching, check out Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to check out from the boardwalk. The best way to explore is to rent a beach cruiser and bike the length of the boardwalk, stopping by the Wave House for a drink and, if you’re up for it, a ride on their world famous wave pool! The area is home to many students from the local universities so the nightlife in the area is fast-paced and bustling almost every night of the week.
This monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542, the first European explorer to set foot on the west coast of what would later become the United States. There are few places in San Diego that offer amazing panoramic views of the coastline, great for whale watching and tide pooling. It’s also worth exploring the old lighthouse that existed to guide ships to the San Diego Bay until 1891 when a new lighthouse was built elsewhere.
Another amazing spot to view the coastline is located in La Jolla along North Torrey Pines Road that was once part of the old U.S Route 101. The Reserve is well known for its user-friendly trails, some of which lead down to Torrey Pines State Beach. For breathtaking views and an amazing hike, explore Torrey Pines, which spans over 200 acres and over 8 miles of trails.
The World Famous San Diego Zoo is located in the historic and beautiful Balboa Park just east of downtown San Diego. The zoo houses almost 4,000 animals from 650 different species. The San Diego Zoo was a pioneer of open-air, cage-free environments that mimic natural habitats. The zoo is a must-see while you are visiting San Diego.
For some up-close encounters with marine species in a protected environment, SeaWorld is a good option. They offer several shows and attractions sure to please the whole family.
If you enjoy shopping and eating while exploring the San Diego Bay front, this is an excellent place to visit. There are dozens of unique shops, restaurants, and galleries that embrace the San Diego culture and lifestyle.
She was the biggest ship in the world up until 1955 and saw action from Vietnam all the way up until through the 1st Gulf War. Now you can explore the flight deck and imagine you were a combat pilot aboard this amazing floating museum.
For a look into San Diego’s earliest settlement, come to this culturally vibrant corner of San Diego where authentic Mexican cuisine is sure to please anyone’s appetite. After dining be sure to check out the collection of shops and museums that are enriched with cultural heritage leading back to the days of old.
Nestled in the center of the Gaslamp District is the home of the San Diego Padres, Petco Park! This is a truly amazing ballpark. From local craft brews on tap to amazing food and views of the waterfront, Petco Park is a great place to go watch a game and enjoy an authentic San Diegan experience.