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Top Activities in San Diego

See all 278 things to do in San Diego

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What to Do in San Diego: Must See Attractions

San Diego 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.

Things to Do in San Diego with Kids

There's fun for all the family no matter where you go in San Diego. Here are some family friendly experiences to enjoy together that are certain to make your trip a blast:

Free Things to Do in San Diego

Sightseeing on a tight budget in San Diego? Spend time instead of cash on great experiences.

Kellogs Beach - Play catch with the youngsters or just sit back and enjoy the sun at this pretty coastal spot.

Explore The Neighborhoods of San Diego

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.

PortsZooWalking

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 ViewSurfingZoo

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.

WalkingShoppingSeafood

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is known for its stunning beaches, and with sights like Ocean Beach Pier and Ocean Beach Park, you won't get bored spending a day wandering around this part of San Diego.

Beach ViewSurfingShopping

Mission Valley

Known for its stunning beaches and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in Mission Valley. Check out top attractions like Hotel Circle and SDCCU Stadium, and jump on the metro at Mission Valley Center Station or Hazard Center Station to see more of the city.

SportsShoppingZoo

Little Italy

Little Italy is popular for its captivating waterfront views. Explore top sights like Waterfront Park and Maritime Museum of San Diego, and you can get around town on the metro at County Center - Little Italy Station.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in San Diego on a sunny day?

Make the most of the great weather (and get some exercise while you're at it) with some of these top outdoor activities:

What to do in San Diego on a rainy day?

Have a go at some of these indoor activities and turn a miserable, rainy day into something fun:

Are there cheap things to do in San Diego?

There are tons of fun experiences here that are just the ticket if you're watching your budget:

What can you do in San Diego for free?

Explore more of San Diego without constantly reaching for your cash with these wonderful free attractions:

  • Mission and Pacific Beaches
  • North Cove Beach
  • Kellogs Beach