20 Unique Things to Do in San Diego

unique things to do in san diego
(Last Updated On: April 7, 2021)

Whether or not it is Comedian Con that brings you to San Diego or not, take the time to take pleasure in among the unique things to do in San Diego when you’re right in this great city, from among the greatest beaches in California to the world’s greatest zoo.

Unique things to do in San Diego

In case you’re toting alongside the youngsters, you will be glad to know that San Diego doubles as one in all America’s prime family-friendly locations, with historic districts, galleries and museums aplenty, and dozens of scrumptious, family-friendly restaurants in San Diego.

Plus, there’s iconic amusement parks, pandas and tons of parks and picnic spots, too. For the older crowd, it’s additionally a craft brewery and nightlife mecca—San Diego has one thing for everybody. See below the unique things to do in San Diego:

1. Belmont Park

What’s it? The thrilling centerpiece of this classic amusement park in style Mission Seashore is known as the “Big Dipper” – and it is a nationwide, historic landmark in its personal proper, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Why? As a result of the development of this unimaginable picket curler coaster dates again to 1925, the so-called ‘Golden Age’ of picket coasters, however, it may well nonetheless be ridden at this time due to a $2 million restoration.

Why go? Put your arms up for the Big Dipper, as a result of for simply $6 per individual you may trip its well-known dips and turns.

With speeds of as much as 48 mph and delightful views of each neighboring Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean to take pleasure in as you do (should you preserve your eyes open, that’s).

2. Balboa Park

What’s it? No, go to San Diego is full without taking in Balboa Park. The sprawling 1,200-acre public park is house to the Previous Globe theater, a gargantuan outside pipe organ and a minimum of 15 main museums.

Why go? You possibly can simply spend a complete day strolling by the plush gardens and peeping historic structure, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Since you have got a terrible lot of floor to cowl, it is value signing up for a segway or strolling tour to see all of it.

3. San Diego Zoo

What’s it? Tucked away inside the huge, verdant Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is house to an astonishing quantity of untamed animals, from large cats to komodo dragons, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

You too can partake in one of many animal experiences and fulfill your dream of changing into a keeper for the day or take pleasure in a dawn stroll, the place you will see all the pieces that occur earlier than the park formally opens to the general public.

Why go? There is a fairly strong cause as to why it is described as the most effective zoos on the earth.

The San Diego Zoo pioneered the idea of open-air, cageless displays to recreate extra pure animal habitats, and stays one of many few zoos outdoors of China to accommodate Big Pandas.

Make the journey to its sister property, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, to get even nearer to the larger African and Asian animals.

4. Whaley House Museum

What’s it? The Whaley Home in San Diego’s Previous City is one in all solely two formally designated haunted homes in California, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Why go? In-built 1857 in town’s former gallows’ website, the home was as soon as house to the rich however troubled Whaley household—and rumor has it that varied members of the clan by no means left. Different ghosts stated to hang-out the home embrace a grand larcenist who fought ferociously to maintain himself alive on the gallows.

5. Hotel del Coronado

What’s it? Well-known for its peaked crimson roof, basic Victorian structure, and serene ocean vistas, this resort is an iconic San Diego landmark that places on an iconic Sunday brunch.

Why go? Benefit from the famed egg soufflé when you absorb a bit of the resort’s glamorous historical past, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

This was as soon as the playground of Hollywood’s largest stars, on-screen and off: The resort was the backdrop for the gender-swapping hijinks of Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Sizzling.

6. La Jolla

What’s it? Dubbed the “jewel of Southern California,” La Jolla is a curiously quaint Mediterranean-style village only a few minutes drive from downtown, (however, feels such as you’ve by accident taken the exit for Greece or Italy).

Why go? There’s a lot to maintain you entertained right here, together with among the metropolis’s most interesting eating places like Nine-Ten within the Grande Colonial Lodge, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Do not miss the close by Legends Gallery, which boasts a pleasant assortment of paintings by former La Jolla resident Dr. Seuss, or the Instagram-friendly La Jolla Cove, the place you’ll virtually all the time discover teams of seals and sea lions.

7. Oscars

What’s it? Just about every native has an opinion on the very best fish taco on the town, , which is among the unique things to do in San Diego, but when there was one stand-out winner it might be Oscars, standard Mexican seafood joint with 5 places across the metropolis.

Why go? You might need to face in line however belief us, the ‘taco especial’ (shrimp or smoked fish with cabbage, onion, tomato, cilantro, and cheese) is properly well worth the wait. Simply fascinated about it has our mouths watering.

8. Gaslamp Quarter

What’s it? Because of the alluringly charismatic and historic coronary heart of San Diego, the 16-and-a-half-block Gaslamp Quarter blends Victorian appeal with a 21st-century leisure and buying scene. Impressively, the Gaslamp Quarter simply celebrated it is 150th anniversary too.

Why go? The positioning of town’s crimson mild district within the 19th century, the world has been revitalized over the past 20 years and is now house to greater than 100 retail shops, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Mud off your bank card and take a look at among the highlights, comparable to Blue Denims & Bikinis and Dolcetti Boutique.

9. USS Midway Museum

What’s it? The monumental USS Halfway was the longest-serving plane service in US Navy historical past when it was decommissioned in 1992. Now the feted ship—the dimensions of a floating metropolis—is a maritime museum, berthed alongside San Diego Bay in downtown.

Why go? Climb aboard for an enchanting perception into what naval life is actually like, courtesy of a self-guided audio tour narrated by some (refreshingly sincere) former Halfway sailors, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Plus, should you’ve received little ones who love being onboard, you may also guide the Little Skippers In a single day Journey.

One of many Midways many out-there experiences, not solely will you and the youngsters get to sleep like a sailor, however, you will take pleasure in dinner and breakfast, discover the boat and participate in character constructing actions, too.

10. Torrey Pines Gliderport

What’s it? Take pleasure in a bird-eye view of San Diego’s distinctive Torrey Pines State Pure Reserve, by swooping serenely overhead in a paraglider, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Torrey Pines Gliderport is house to probably the most profitable paragliding faculties in North America, and flight experiences begin from $165.

Why go? You’ll be strapped to a professional pilot so there’s nothing to fret about besides having fun with the views of the two,000-acre reserve, its quite a few mountain climbing trails and sandstone cliffs beneath you.

11. Toronado

What’s it? Yeah, we all know, California could also be well-known for wine, however, this metropolis is manner higher recognized for its scrumptious craft beer.

It will be inconceivable to select from the practically 100 breweries and microbreweries working throughout San Diego, so drink with the locals at Toronado, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Why go? Sip native suds like Ballast Level and Inexperienced Flash from a continually altering bottle record.

However, should you really feel like leaving the considering (and extra importantly, the driving) to any individual else, go for a brew tour by bus, just like the San Diego Brewery Tour.

12. San Diego Whale Watch

What’s it? Whale-watching journeys from town are each plentiful and fruitful, with the blue whales on the focus between June and September and their grey cousins taking up from December by April. San Diego Whale Watch supply year-round excursions for $48 per individual.

Why go? At 100 ft lengthy and weighing as much as 200 tons, blue whales are the biggest animals to have lived on earth—and pods of the swish giants have been sighted off the San Diego coast lately, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

13. Swami’s Reef

What’s it? With a formidable 70 miles of shoreline, San Diego is a surfer’s dream. Probably the most well-known spot is Swami’s Reef in Encinitas, which achieved legendary standing courtesy of the Seashore Boys’ basic 1963 hit “Surfin’ USA.”

Why go? Flip-up the amount and drive down to observe the motion—however, don’t try Swami’s your self except you’re a skilled surfer. In case you’re a novice however eager to attempt the game, go surfing Diva in La Jolla, the world’s first all-woman surf faculty, for a personal lesson.

14. Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala

What’s it? The primary and grandest of the California missions is Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, based by the Spanish in 1769.

Why go? The Basilica—nestled down in beautiful Mission Valley close to the San Diego River—is a good looking and serene place to go to, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Historical past buffs could make reservations for a tour, attend mass within the unique chapel, go to the mission’s museum and stroll the oldest recognized cemetery in California.

15. San Diego Museum of Art

What’s it? The area’s oldest, largest and most visited artwork museum, the San Diego Museum of Artwork has a nationally famed everlasting assortment that features Spanish and Italian outdated masters, in addition to 19th-century American work and sculptures.

Why go? San Diego pulls its weight, after which some, on the cultural entrance. Catch notable exhibitions from world wide, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

16. Cabrillo National Monument

What’s it? Sitting proudly amongst the astonishing cliffs of Level Loma, Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the historic second when Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay beneath the Spanish flag in 1542.

Why go? To begin with, the monument boasts spectacular views of San Diego Bay, downtown and the encompassing area, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

On a transparent day, you may even see the hills of Tijuana, Mexico.

As soon as you have taken within the unimaginable vista, take a while to take a look at the quaint exhibit corridor subsequent to the monument, which is devoted to the Cabrillo’s life.

17. Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market

What’s it? Seize your mesh bag and head for the Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market, the place you will uncover an array of gorgeous, contemporary, native produce and straight-outta-the-ocean seafood, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Why go? To get a really feel for the actual San Diego, do because the locals do: Farmers’ markets happen day-after-day of the week, with greater than 20 held throughout town each weekend. For a whole schedule, go to the San Diego Farm Bureau.

18. Barrio Logan neighborhood

What’s it? You’re tantalizingly near the border, however, you don’t have to cross it for some critically genuine Mexican meals, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Beeline for the Barrio Logan neighborhood, the epicenter of San Diego’s Hispanic neighborhood, for dinner.

Why go? The town’s freshest handmade tortillas might be sourced at Las Cuatro Milpas, an unassuming eatery with strains usually extending across the block.

For dessert, stroll to close by Panchitas Bakery, which holds legendary standing amongst San Diegans for its home made Mexican pastries and steaming Abuelita sizzling chocolate.

19. The Belly Up Tavern

What’s it? The Stomach Up Tavern at Solana Seashore is famed for breaking the most recent hip-hop, jazz, and reggae acts, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

There’s additionally an on-site bistro, Wild Notice Cafe, the place you may refuel on an enormous vary of scrumptious edibles, from truffle fries and blackened salmon to avenue tacos and key lime pie.

Why go? Music followers have flocked to San Diego’s reside venues for years to find native bands like Jason Mraz, Iron Butterfly and Blink 182 earlier than they broke onto the mainstream.

In the present day, the town’s various music scene is alive and kicking at quite a few notable venues, together with The Stomach Up Tavern and The Casbah.

20. Boomerang

What’s it? Spend your time eyeing up the very best in aesthetics? You’ll probably strike gold among the many quirky shops in North Little Italy’s design district, which is among the unique things to do in San Diego.

Why go? Among the finest is Boomerang for Trendy, a splendidly eclectic retailer promoting a treasure trove of recent and classic furnishings and equipment throughout three floorings.

When you’ve got time, enterprise a couple of doorways down Kettner Boulevard to Architectural Salvage of San Diego, which shares all the pieces from classic doorknobs to stained glass home windows.

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20 Unique Things to Do in San Diego

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