With neighboring Los Angeles in close proximity, beachy and laid-back San Deigo can often times be overlooked. Having lived in San Diego for over two years, I love this city, and know you will to!
1. OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
When it comes to outdoor activities, San Diego has it all. With sunny skies and temperate climates almost all year round, you’ll be itching to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Some of the most popular “can’t miss to do’s” are surfing, paddleboarding, harbor cruises, and biking along the PB boardwalk.
For more info check out my post San Diego’s Best Outdoor Activities!
2. THE FOOD
San Diego is a foodie city, with so many goodies you simply won’t have time to try them all. Many hot spots have been in the news and media such as the famous “world’s best burgers” from Hodad’s, drool worthy donuts from Donut Bar, and the top secret sauce recipe from Phil’s BBQ.
If you’re an Asian food fanatic, head on over to Convoy Street for Asian food heaven! Here you can find everything your heart desires from ramen, to sushi, to Korean BBQ and bubble tea.
3. THE PARKS
There are so many beautiful parks in San Diego where you can relax and enjoy a lazy afternoon in the sun.
Mission Bay Park is one of the most popular spots to just be outside and enjoy the gorgeous San Diego sun. The options are endless here, you can have a picnic or bonfire, bike or run along the pathway, go paddle boarding, play volleyball, or even sail…it has it all!
Balboa Park is another gorgeous area to explore with a plethora of museums, parks, beautiful Spanish architecture, and gardens everywhere.
The park at La Jolla Cove also can’t go without mentioning, as it’s another super popular spot. There’s a large park for picnicking and its where you can get up close and personal to the many seals and sea lions that sunbath on the rocky shores.
4. THE VINEYARDS
If you thought Sonoma and Napa Valley was all California had to offer in terms of wineries and vineyards, I’m pleased to inform you, they’re not. Southern California has its own wine country beautifully located in the Temecula Valley (almost right in between San Diego and Los Angeles).
But that’s not all! I would highly recommend a day trip or weekender south of the border exploring the Baja California’s booming wine scene in the Valle de Guadalupe.
For a guide on the Guadalupe Valley, check out my post on Baja California’s Wine Country.
5. THE FARMERS MARKETS
I just love a good farmer’s market! One of my favorite things about San Diego is the healthy and organic atmosphere. Although there are many farmers markets to choose from, Little Italy Market is my absolute faaaavorite! With over 200 tents and live music on the streets, the vendor options are endless and the atmosphere is vibrant.
For more options check out my post on San Diego Farmers Markets for Every Day of the Week!
6. THE CRAFT BREW SCENE
San Diego’s bustling craft brew scene is making headlines around the country. Here it’s not just a beverage; it’s an art form. Before arriving in San Diego I had no idea it was a craft brew capital of America, but it didn’t take me long to find out. Scattered around San Diego County you’ll find over 140 breweries, not to mention brewpubs and tasting rooms. San Diegans clearly love their beer!
7. THE BEACHES
You simply can’t write a post on reasons to visit San Diego without mentioning the endless coastlines of sandy beaches! You really can’t go wrong with which one you choose, but Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla are great for tourists, but you can never overlook the legendary beaches on Coronado Island.
For more info read my post San Diego’s Best Beaches!
8. THE MUSEUMS
To spend the day marveling at art, history, and architecture…head on over to the Balboa Park museums. Here you’ll find museum heaven. With more than 17 museums, performing art festivals and events, parks, gardens, beautiful Spanish architecture you will surely easily be able to fill a few days exploring this area.
9. THE COFFEE SCENE
I am very excited to say that San Diego’s coffee scene is on point. As the San Diego Caffeine Crawl of 2017 summed up, “it isn’t sunshine alone that makes San Diego’s coffee and tea culture so fantastic”. You’ll find that many coffee shops take great pride in the coffee they serve, and even roast their own beans in-house.
For a person who always keeps an eye out for new coffee shops to explore, San Diego has a pretty amazing selection!
For tips on where to go, you can check out my meticulously put together Top 10 Best Coffee Shops in San Diego.
10. The SAN DIEGO ZOO & SAFARI PARK
Located in beautiful Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is famous and is recognized as being one of the best zoos in the world. Here you can expect to see over 3,700 animals and 650 animal species. With roughly 100 acres to house all of the animals and flora and fauna, visiting the zoo is an all day affair. Not to mention the shows, 4-D theatres and play areas, it might be a bit overwhelming to try to see everything in one day. Most notably the San Diego zoo has been able to successfully breed the Giant Panda, and you can receive daily updates via the panda cam from the convenience of your own home.
North of the San Diego Zoo in Escondido is the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. This not-for-profit organization is a species conservation and breeding facility for the San Diego Zoo and offers free-range enclosures housing animals from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. Here you can go on safari and get up close to rhinos, giraffes, elephants, buffalo and more!
For more info, check out my post on a day trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park!
Over to you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!