The first time I visited San Diego, I got the worst sunburn of my life. My brother and I begged my mom to take us to the beach even though it was cloudy, windy, and cold. We didn't think to use sunscreen and boy did we pay the price. My next trip was much better as I spent some time on beautiful Coronado Island.
When we think of California, it’s not uncommon to fill our heads with images of the Hollywood sign, celebrities, and the infamous traffic jams of Los Angeles; however, the city of angels isn’t the only prime travel destination within the state.
San Diego has a rich history and a laidback style to match.
Not only is it the birthplace of California, but it’s also one of the first spots where Europeans stepped ashore on the entire west coast.
Beyond its history, San Diego has a mass appeal that will allow everyone to find something within the city that they enjoy.
So to help jumpstart your next trip to San Diego, here are ten must-see places you can quickly cross off your bucket list!
1. San Diego Beaches - You can’t make a trip to California and not visit the beaches, and San Diego is no exception.
The water is perfect for swimming, surfing, and lounging around reading a good book. If you’re looking for relaxation, San Diego has the beaches for you. (but use that sunscreen!)
Pacific Beach, La Jolla Shores Beach, and Sunset Cliffs, to name a few.
2. LEGOLAND California - Let your creativity and imagination run wild with the whole family. Take in the movies, interactive rides, and Lego designs that overtake this popular destination. You can even try your hands at your own LEGO creations at any number of building activities.
3. Balboa Park - The nation’s largest urban cultural park has plenty of trails, play areas for kids, as well as museums. Street performers line the streets to help give you a real sense of modern renaissance and entertainment.
4. San Diego Zoo - Who doesn’t love a zoo, and with more than 3,500 animals on-site, it’s easy to get lost in the jungle and enjoy a day with the animals.
Learn more about conservation efforts, and the rare and endangered plants and species that occupy the 100-acre zoo.
5. SeaWorld San Diego - Families flock far and wide to take in the wonders of SeaWorld.
With its mixture of outdoor aquarium and theme park, there are plenty of rides, sights, and attractions for the entire family.
6. San Diego Bay Tours - San Diego Bay is the hub for major water-related adventures, so why not take in the harbor and book a tour by boat.
This is a relaxing way to end your day or kickstart a day of exploring. Tours can be completed on Jet boats, Hornblower cruises, speed boats, and many others.
7. San Diego Breweries - Brewery tours are always a hit for those 21+, and San Diego has its fair share of breweries to wet your whistle.
With nearly 200 breweries in the area, there’s always a fresh beer that you’ve probably never tried before.
8. San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park - This nearly 6,000-acre underwater park contains various habitats such as kelp beds, sand flats, and rocky reefs.
The waves are calm and gentle enough to snorkel below the water’s surface for a day of swimming with sea creatures and exploring the surrounding sea caves.
9. Mission Bay - Mission Bay is another great locale for water sports. Not only are there boat rentals, paddle boarding, and other leisure activities, but there are also trails for walking and hiking, and a camping area to set up camp over a long weekend.
10. Annual San Diego Events - Like most major cities, San Diego hosts a variety of one-day and weekend-long events that occur annually.
These include things such as the San Diego County Fair, Comic-Con, as well as the Padres Major League Baseball Season.
Even if you’re not attending these events, you may want to plan accordingly because traffic increases and travel accommodations are few and far between.
Which of these bucket list items are you looking to cross off on your next trip to San Diego? Contact me so I can help you get started.