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Top Activities in San Diego County

See all 286 things to do in San Diego County

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What to Do in San Diego County: Must See Attractions

San Diego County Attractions

This city by the sea is a coveted vacation destination for anyone with wanderlust. San Diego has it all: natural beauty, a buzzing nightlife, plenty of food, and more adventure sports than you can tackle in one trip. Whether you’re hoping to soak in some sun on the beaches or eat your way through the Gaslamp District, travelers of all types can find fun things to do in San Diego, CA. From the mountains to the sea, San Diego activities appeal to the heart of anyone eager to experience Southern California.

Areas & Neighborhoods

San Diego neighborhoods cover the gamut of city attractions and vibes. From historic sites in Old Town to trendy wine bars in South Park, all visitors will feel right at home in America’s Finest City.

North Park — This central neighborhood is teeming with new restaurants and trendy craft breweries. It’s also quite walkable, so you can park near 30th Street and University Avenue and trek until you find a place that looks appetizing.

Balboa Park — Balboa Park has more than a dozen museums and plenty of public gardens. It’s also home to restaurants, event venues, and the San Diego Zoo.

La Jolla — Whether you want to hit up some of the more hidden-away patches of sand along the San Diego coastline or check out trendy boutiques, La Jolla is a good pit stop for your itinerary. Of course, you can also jump off a cliff during a hang-gliding session here.

Hillcrest — This gay-friendly neighborhood is full of local coffee shops, lots of nightlife, and unique eateries. You’ll be sharing the sidewalks with plenty of San Diegans, but the vibrancy of the area makes the crowded conditions well worth it.

East Village — Sitting east of the famous Gaslamp District , East Village is the place to go if you want to catch a San Diego Padres™ game or attend a free community event for bloggers. It’s also within walking distance to many downtown clubs and restaurants.

What to See in San Diego

Before you get busy with water sports and other active pursuits, check out some of the fun things to see in San Diego. Go to the Cabrillo National Monument to view the best panoramic scene of the city and then head down the mountain to look at sea life in the tide pools. Watch the sunset from the shores of Coronado in front of the famed Hotel Del Coronado, or spend time on just about any other local beach. Attending the Old Globe Theater is a relaxing way to end your day, or you can watch the nightly fireworks going off over SeaWorld® in the summer months.

Things to Do & Attractions in San Diego

While a day at the beach is practically obligatory here, fun things to do in San Diego also include visiting the world-famous zoo , hiking Torrey Pines State Reserve, and meandering through sensory pleasing farmers markets in nearly every neighborhood. San Diego amusement parks also abound, ranging from the oceanfront rides at Belmont Park in Mission Beach to LEGOLAND® in North County. Cap off any day with dinner in the Gaslamp District or a sunset cocktail at La Jolla Shores. You’ll find that San Diego has activities up its sleeve for all types of visitors.

Free Things to Do in San Diego County

A trip to San Diego County need not break the bank. You can leave your wallet behind if you go to:

Mingei International Museum - Whatever your age, this place will spark your imagination and grip your attention.

Valley View Casino Center - This is the place to get your culture hit and gain an insight into the vibrant local arts scene.

San Diego Coronado Bridge - Architecture expert or not, prepare to be awed by this landmark's modern-day design.

A National Salute to Bob Hope & the Military - Soak up some of the unique history of the region through this attraction.

Seaport Village - Stay a while in this bustling spot and experience life as a local.

US Grant Hotel - Make room in your itinerary to explore this site of local significance.

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church - Incorporate some spirituality into your escape with a stop at this religious sanctuary.

Coronado Beach - Inhale the sea air and watch the waves splashing against the shore at this beautiful coastal spot.

Sculpture Garden - Rejuvenate your body, mind and soul by spending some time in nature.

Explore The Neighborhoods of San Diego County

San Diego

On the sun-drenched Pacific coast, this Southern California city provides great beaches, a famous zoo, historic sites and exciting nightlife.

ZooSeaPorts

La Jolla

This Californian beach town attracts luxury travelers, newlyweds and surfers with gorgeous palm tree parklands, secluded nudist beaches and spectacular waves.

SeaBeach ViewSunsets

Coronado

Sunny beaches, leafy streets and a relaxed small-town vibe are all good reasons to visit this charming peninsula that curves into beautiful San Diego Bay.

Beach ViewScenerySea

Downtown San Diego

From historic streets, waterfront parks and baseball, to performing arts venues, nightlife zones and art and maritime museums, this is the cultural hub of San Diego.

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Pacific Beach

Relax in beachside cafés in the morning, surf clean breaks in the afternoon and dance with a youthful club crowd at night at this coastal San Diego strip.

Beach ViewSeaSurfing

Gaslamp Quarter

San Diego’s historic heart has shed its seedy past to emerge as one of the city’s premier dining, shopping and entertainment hubs.

WalkingShoppingPoolside Bars

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in San Diego County on a sunny day?

Make the most of the fine weather (and stretch your legs at the same time) with some of these top outdoor activities:

What to do in San Diego County on a rainy day?

Have a go at one or two of these appealing indoor activities and you'll soon forget about the rain:

What is San Diego County famous for?

Bring some comfortable shoes because there are plenty of remarkable attractions you really shouldn't miss:

  • SeaWorld
  • Legoland California
  • San Diego Zoo
  • San Diego Convention Center

What should I not miss in San Diego County?

Don't go home without ticking off the following wonderful attractions:

  • Mission Beach
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Coronado Beach
  • Old Town San Diego State Park

Are there cheap things to do in San Diego County?

What can you do in San Diego County for free?

You could leave your money in the hotel safe for the day, because these attractions won't cost you a dime:

  • La Jolla Cove
  • Mission Beach
  • Coronado Beach
  • San Diego Coronado Bridge