Sand, Surf, and Sunshine: 13 Must-Do Activities in San Diego!

San Diego is one of the most beautiful cities in California, and it's no surprise that it's a popular tourist destination.

With its stunning beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture, there's no shortage of things to do in this city. Whether you're a local or a visitor, San Diego has something for everyone.

If you're a beach lover, San Diego won't disappoint. The city is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in California, with crystal clear waters and soft, white sand.

Take a dip in the ocean, sunbathe, or go for a stroll along the shoreline. There are also plenty of water sports to try, including surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

For history buffs, San Diego has a rich and fascinating past. From the iconic Gaslamp Quarter to the historic Old Town, there are plenty of landmarks to explore.

Learn about the city's Spanish colonial roots, visit historic buildings and museums, and immerse yourself in the city's vibrant culture.

San Diego is also known for its world-class dining scene, with a wide range of restaurants offering everything from seafood to Mexican cuisine.

Whether you're looking for a fancy night out or a casual bite to eat, there's something for every taste and budget.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at some of the best things to do in San Diego. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, we're sure you'll find something new and exciting to try.

So grab your sunscreen, put on your walking shoes, and let's explore this beautiful city together!

1. Balboa Park

Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a massive outdoor destination that covers 1,200 acres. It is home to some of the best museums, gardens, and the renowned San Diego Zoo.

The park is a must-visit for anyone exploring the city. Visitors can spend hours strolling through the park, taking in the beautiful architecture and enjoying the green spaces.

The park offers a wide range of activities for all ages, making it an ideal destination for families.

The free tram is a great way to get around the park, and visitors can easily spend an entire day exploring all that Balboa Park has to offer.

2. USS Midway Museum

Uss Midway Museum
910 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

The USS Midway Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in American naval history. This maritime museum is located on an actual aircraft carrier and offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore life-at-sea exhibits, restored planes, and flight simulators.

The museum is well-maintained and offers detailed annotations and explanations throughout the ship.

Visitors can touch and feel things onboard and learn about the engineering and logistics of a battleship. The museum also offers free listening devices to hear stories shared by soldiers.

The entry fee is reasonable and parking is available for a fee. A visit to the USS Midway Museum is a great way to spend a day and learn about the history of the American Navy.

3. Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106 (Google Maps)

Cabrillo National Monument is a must-visit for anyone in search of breathtaking views of the ocean and San Diego.

The park offers multiple trails for hiking, with some inclines that can be challenging.

Visitors can explore the historic lighthouse and learn about the area's rich history.

The tide pools are also a popular attraction, providing a unique opportunity to observe marine life up close. While parking can be an issue, the park is well worth the visit.

4. Luscomb's Point

Luscomb's Point
Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107 (Google Maps)

Luscomb's Point is a hidden gem for those seeking a peaceful spot to enjoy the beauty of nature. The location offers stunning sunset views and ample space to relax and unwind.

The area is well-kept, and visitors can enjoy a nice jog or take in the sights without worrying about large crowds.

The cliffs and ocean views are breathtaking, making it a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts.

Though parking can be a challenge, the effort is worth it for those seeking a serene and picturesque location.

5. Maritime Museum of San Diego

Maritime Museum Of San Diego
1492 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

The Maritime Museum of San Diego is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in nautical history.

With a variety of restored vintage ships and historical exhibits, this waterfront venue offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

The docents and volunteers are knowledgeable and dedicated, making the museum a great place to learn about life on the sea. The highlight of the museum is the incredible submarine, which is a big standout.

With so much to explore, visitors can easily spend four or five hours at the museum. If you're in the area, be sure to check it out.

6. Tuna Harbor Park

Tuna Harbor Park
3 Tuna Ln, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Tuna Harbor Park is a bayside park that offers a scenic view of the USS Midway and a statue of a sailor kissing a nurse.

The park has shaded grassy areas and a promenade, making it a great spot to take a walk or bike tour.

It also features war memorials, including a tribute to Bob Hope. Visitors can enjoy waterfront restaurants and bars along the boardwalk.

Tuna Harbor Park is a must-visit for those interested in military history and a perfect spot to capture memorable photos.

7. The San Diego Veterans Museum

The San Diego Veterans Museum
2115 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

The San Diego Veterans Museum is a small, but powerful museum dedicated to showcasing the stories and artifacts of individual veterans.

Exhibits focus on the contributions made by U.S. veterans from World War 1 to the present day, with a special emphasis on the experiences of women in the military.

The museum is run by veterans and all its artifacts have been donated, making it a unique and inspiring place to visit. While it may not be for everyone, those with a strong interest in military history will find The San Diego Veterans Museum to be a fascinating and worthwhile experience.

Admission is only $5, making it an affordable way to learn more about the sacrifices made by those who have served our country.

8. California Tower

California Tower
California Tower, 1350 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

The California Tower is a must-visit attraction for anyone in San Diego. This ornamental landmark is steeped in history and offers guided tours to learn more about its past.

The tower itself is a stunning piece of architecture, with intricate carvings and colorful tiles adorning its walls.

Visitors can climb to the top for breathtaking views of the city. It's also a popular wedding venue for those looking for a unique and memorable location.

Whether you're a history buff or just looking for a beautiful view, the California Tower is definitely worth a visit.

9. North Park Sign

North Park Sign
2920-2928 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104 (Google Maps)

The North Park Sign is a must-see for anyone visiting San Diego. It is a beautiful neighborhood sign that represents the vibrant and diverse community of North Park.

The sign is a popular spot for taking photos and admiring the local art scene.

Visitors can enjoy a stroll around the area, grab a bite to eat at one of the many nearby restaurants, or simply take in the lively atmosphere of this charming neighborhood.

Whether you're a local or a tourist, the North Park Sign is a great way to experience the unique culture and character of San Diego's North Park.

10. Balboa Park Explorer

Balboa Park Explorer
1549 El Prado # 2, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Looking for a fun and educational experience for the whole family to enjoy together, look no further than Balboa Park Explorer.

This non-profit cultural center offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages.

Take a peaceful and scenic walk through the park, or explore the many museums and exhibits on offer.

With so much to see and do, the Balboa Park Explorer is the perfect backdrop for photos and time well spent with family. Come and discover all that this must-see tourist attraction has to offer!

11. Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park
1600 Pacific Hwy, San Diego, CA 92101 (Google Maps)

Waterfront Park is a picturesque public park that offers stunning views of the waterfront.

The park boasts a large playground with unique structures for children to play on, as well as spray fountains to cool off on hot days.

Visitors can also enjoy a picnic on the grassy lawn or stroll around the park and admire the beautiful sculptures.

Parking is available for a fee, but the entrance to the park is free. It's a great place to spend a few hours with the family or to simply relax and take in the scenic surroundings.

12. San Diego Ghosts

San Diego Ghosts
2467 Juan St, San Diego, CA 92110 (Google Maps)

San Diego Ghosts is a popular tourist attraction that offers ghost tours of the city. The tour guides are knowledgeable and personable, making the experience enjoyable for all.

Visitors can learn about San Diego's haunted history while having a great time with their family and friends.

Whether you're a skeptic or a believer, this tour is a must-try for anyone looking for a unique and entertaining experience.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy a good scare or want to learn more about the city's history.

13. Manta

500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA 92109 (Google Maps)

Manta is a thrilling roller coaster ride that is perfect for families looking for a fun experience. The ride has no loops but boasts almost 90-degree banks that provide a quick rush of adrenaline.

The launch is the most intense part of the ride, and the dark portion and sharp turns make it a great coaster experience.

The seats are comfortable, and the ride is smooth, making it possible to ride over and over again.

The Manta is a ray-themed coaster that reaches speeds of over 40 mph, and it twists and plunges from 50 feet. This ride is a must-try for anyone looking for a fun and exhilarating experience.