21+ Things To Do In San Diego In 2023. 7 Different Categories For You
San Diego is the perfect destination for a fun and exciting vacation. With its sunny weather, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder why San Diegans love their city so much.
Whether you’re looking for things to do with kids or things to do as an adult, there are plenty of activities in San Diego that will keep everyone entertained.
From exploring the beautiful Balboa Park to sampling local craft beer at one of many breweries in town, here are 21+ things to do in San Diego this year!
Balboa Park is one of the most popular attractions in San Diego and is a must-visit for any trip to the city.
This enormous park offers something for everyone, from cultural attractions such as museums and galleries, to hiking trails, to gardens and lawns that are perfect for picnics and relaxation.
In addition to these things, Balboa Park also hosts a number of events, like the annual December Nights celebration.
USS Midway Museum
For a unique and thrilling experience, the USS Midway Museum is a must-visit destination in San Diego.
This historic aircraft carrier turned museum offers guided tours of the ship, interactive exhibits, and flight simulators that allow visitors to experience what it was like to be on the USS Midway.
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is a must-visit destination for any trip to the city. A leader in animal care, conservation, and education, the San Diego Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals from 650 different species.
From endangered pandas and koalas to fascinating reptiles and marine life, there are plenty of things to see and do at the San Diego Zoo.
La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is one of the most picturesque spots in San Diego, featuring a stunning beach and rugged cliffs. La Jolla Cove is a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, and the crystal clear water is perfect for spotting marine life.
Torrey Pines State Reserve
The Torrey Pines State Reserve is a great destination for any nature lover. Located atop one of the highest points in San Diego, this sprawling reserve is home to rare plants, wildlife, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
The reserve also offers a number of hiking trails, perfect for exploring the area.
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is a must-stop destination in San Diego. Not only is it the birthplace of California, but it is also home to a number of attractions, such as the Old Town San Diego Museum, numerous shops and restaurants, and historic adobe buildings.
Seaport Village is a great spot for entertainment and shopping. This waterfront destination offers plenty of things to do, from strolling along the boardwalk to shopping in the unique boutiques and eateries, there’s something for everyone at Seaport Village.
Mission Beach is a great spot for soaking up the sun and taking in the views. This famous beach offers plenty of things to do, including surfing, biking, rollerblading, and fishing.
SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego is a must-visit destination for any trip to the city. This world-renowned amusement park offers plenty of things to do, from thrilling rides to seeing creatures of the deep up-close.
SeaWorld San Diego also offers educational opportunities, like the Beluga Interaction Program, which allows visitors to get up-close and personal with these amazing creatures.
Pacific Beach is a great spot for beach-goers and surfers alike. This boardwalk lined beach has plenty of things to do, including surfing, sunbathing, and people-watching.
Legoland California is a great destination for families and kids. This amusement park offers rides, attractions, and interactive experiences that will delight both young and old.
Legoland California also offers plenty of things to do outside the park, such as miniature golf and water slides.
San Diego Air & Space Museum
The San Diego Air and Space Museum is a great destination for all things aviation. This museum offers interactive exhibits, flight simulators, and the opportunity to explore a variety of historical aircraft and artifacts.
San Diego Natural History Museum
The San Diego Natural History Museum is a great destination for those looking to explore the area’s natural wonders. This museum offers interactive exhibits, educational programs, and the opportunity to explore the area’s ancient and modern history.
San Diego Museum of Art
The San Diego Museum of Art is a great destination for art enthusiasts. This museum offers a variety of exhibits featuring artwork from around the world, as well as educational programs and a variety of events.
With so many things to do in San Diego, it’s no wonder why it’s a popular destination for travelers from all over the world. From the stunning beaches of La Jolla Cove to the educational opportunities at the San Diego Natural History Museum, there’s something for everyone here.
So go ahead and explore all that San Diego has to offer.
USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is a great destination for those looking to explore the history of naval aviation.
This historic aircraft carrier offers interactive exhibits, a variety of flight simulators, and the opportunity to explore over 30 aircraft up-close.
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is a must-visit destination for any trip to the city. This world-renowned zoo offers plenty of things to do, from exploring the exhibits and getting up-close with the animals to taking in spectacular views of downtown San Diego.
SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego is one of the most iconic attractions in Southern California.
This marine life-filled theme park sits on Mission Bay and offers guests a chance to get up close and personal with aquatic creatures, take a thrilling roller coaster ride, or just sit back and relax on their beautiful beaches. From swimming with dolphins to exploring the shark tunnel, SeaWorld San Diego is an experience you won’t want to miss.
Plus, if you’re in the mood for some dining and shopping, there’s plenty of that to be found at SeaWorld San Diego.
So if you’re looking for things to do in San Diego, don’t forget to add SeaWorld to your list! It’ll be one heck of a whale of a time!
La Jolla Cove:
La Jolla Cove is one of the most popular beaches in San Diego, and it’s easy to see why. With its stunning views of the ocean, beautiful nature preserve, and amazing wildlife watching opportunities, La Jolla Cove is a great place to spend the day.
Whether you choose to lounge in the sun, take a dip in the cool waters of the cove, or relax on one of its many sandy beaches, there’s something for everyone at La Jolla Cove.
No list of things to do in San Diego would be complete without mentioning Mission Beach. This iconic beach is the perfect place for a day full of sun, sand, and surf.
The beach itself is long and wide with plenty of room for swimming, volleyball games, and more.
There’s also a boardwalk that runs along the entire beach, making it a great spot for strolling and people-watching. Of course, you can always kick things up a notch by grabbing some friends and heading to nearby Belmont Park for some classic carnival rides.
Mission Beach is one of the most beloved beaches in San Diego and for good reason. Whether you want to relax and soak up some sun, take a dip in the cool ocean water, or just people watch on the boardwalk, Mission Beach has something to offer everyone.
This beach stretches along three miles of white sand and offers plenty of things to do, like volleyball, surfing, and even bonfires.
Plus, Mission Beach is also close to plenty of restaurants and bars so you can grab a bite or enjoy some nightlife after your day at the beach.
Coronado Beach is San Diego’s crown jewel. Situated just across the bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado Beach offers some of the most beautiful views in the city and is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.
With its wide expanse of white sand and crystal clear water, it’s no wonder that this beach is often referred to as one of the best beaches in California.
Relax on the sand, take a dip in the ocean, or just stroll along the shore and take in the stunning views. Coronado Beach is definitely one of those things to do in San Diego you won’t want to miss.
Del Mar Beach
Del Mar Beach is a beautiful spot located just north of San Diego. This stunning beach stretches along two miles of white sand, making it the perfect place to spend a day relaxing in the sun.
Whether you choose to take a leisurely walk along the shoreline or simply lounge in the sand, Del Mar Beach is a great place to unwind. Plus, there are plenty of things to do in the area, like shopping and dining, so if you’re looking for things to do in San Diego that offer a little something extra, Del Mar Beach is an excellent choice.
Balboa Park is San Diego’s largest and most beloved park. This stunning 1,200-acre park is home to a variety of things to do, like gardens, trails, museums, and even the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Whether you’re looking for things to do with kids or just want a peaceful place to relax, Balboa Park is the perfect place to spend a day.
Plus, it’s located right in the heart of San Diego, making it easy to access from anywhere in the city.
Torrey Pines State Reserve
Torrey Pines State Reserve is a must-visit destination when it comes to things to do in San Diego. Situated just north of San Diego, the reserve features over 2000 acres of stunning coastal cliffs, sandstone canyons, and lush forests.
It’s also home to the rarest pine tree in the United States – the Torrey Pine.
Whether you’re looking for things to do with kids or just want to explore the area, Torrey Pines State Reserve is a great place to spend the day.
Mission Trails Regional Park
Mission Trails Regional Park is an incredible spot for things to do in San Diego. This massive park is home to over 6,000 acres of stunning hills, rivers, lakes, and natural habitat.
Located just east of San Diego, the park offers plenty of things to do like hiking, biking, camping, and even rock climbing.
Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument is a great spot for things to do in San Diego. This stunning monument is located on the tip of Point Loma and features some amazing views of the bay and city skyline.
Take a stroll along the shoreline, explore historic sites like Old Point Loma Lighthouse, or just take some time to relax and enjoy the incredible views.
Seaport Village is a sensational destination for entertainment and adventure in San Diego! This charming waterfront village features over 70 unique shops and restaurants, making it the perfect place to find something special or just enjoy some time browsing.
Westfield UTC is a shopper’s paradise! Located in the heart of San Diego, this massive shopping center offers something for everyone.
With over 150 stores, there’s something for all tastes and budgets. From upscale designer boutiques to big box retailers, Westfield UTC has it all. Plus, you can also find plenty of restaurants, entertainment, and things to do in the area.
Fashion Valley Mall
Fashion Valley Mall is San Diego’s premier shopping destination. Located in the heart of Mission Valley, this massive mall features over 200 stores, making it the perfect spot for things to do in San Diego.
Whether you’re looking for designer duds or just want to browse some of the mall’s amazing stores, you’re sure to find something that suits your interests.
Plus, there’s plenty of things to do in the area, like dining and entertainment, so you can make a day of it.
Las Americas Premium Outlets
Las Americas Premium Outlets is a world-class shopping destination located in San Diego’s south bay area. With over 100 stores offering savings of up to 65%, it’s the perfect place to find things to do in San Diego that won’t break the bank.
From designer apparel to jewelry and accessories, Las Americas is the perfect spot to find something special.
Bazaar del Mundo Shops
Bazaar del Mundo Shops is a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in San Diego. Located in Old Town, Bazaar del Mundo Shops features unique shops, galleries, and restaurants that offer something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking to browse some local art or taste some traditional Mexican cuisine, Bazaar del Mundo Shops is the perfect spot for things to do in San Diego.
George’s at the Cove
George’s at the Cove is an iconic San Diego dining destination that has been serving up delicious, locally-sourced cuisine for over 30 years.
Located overlooking the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, this award-winning restaurant offers an amazing selection of seafood and other dishes that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
C Level Lounge
C Level Lounge is a modern restaurant and lounge located overlooking San Diego Bay in the heart of downtown.
The lounge offers stunning views of the city and harbor, and tantalizing dishes inspired by flavors from around the world.
Enjoy craft cocktails, small plates, and even live music while taking in the incredible views.
The Prado at Balboa Park
The Prado at Balboa Park is a world-renowned restaurant located within the iconic Balboa Park in San Diego.
Featuring locally-sourced ingredients and a rotating menu of traditional and modern dishes, The Prado is the perfect spot for things to do in San Diego.
Plus, you can also take advantage of the stunning views of Balboa Park while you dine.
The Smoking Gun
The Smoking Gun is a unique restaurant and bar located in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter.
Featuring Southern-style BBQ, classic cocktails, and an eclectic atmosphere, The Smoking Gun is the perfect spot for things to do in San Diego.
Whether you’re looking for a casual dinner or a night out with friends, The Smoking Gun has something for everyone.
Nightlife in San Diego is one of the most exciting things to do in the city. From lively bars to live music venues, San Diego has something for everyone when it comes to things to do at night.
For those looking for some lively bars and clubs, head to the Gaslamp Quarter. This historic district is home to some of the best nightlife in San Diego, with popular spots like Barleymash, Fluxx, and Altitude Sky Lounge.
These spots offer a variety of drinks, great food and entertainment that will keep you going all night long. Plus, there are plenty of things to do nearby such as shopping, dining and more.
The North Park neighborhood is also an excellent spot for things to do at night in San Diego. With numerous bars and pubs such as The Office Bar & Grill, Small Bar and The Rose Wine Bar & Bottle Shop, you’re sure to find something that suits your tastes.
Plus, there’s also plenty of live music venues in North Park such as The Casbah and The Belly Up Tavern that offer a variety of music genres including rock, indie-folk and more.
If you’re looking for a bit more upscale nightlife scene then head over to La Jolla’s Prospect Street Corridor where you’ll find fashionable lounges such as Catania La Jolla lounge or La Jolla Brewing Company which offers craft beer tastings alongside an extensive menu featuring gourmet dishes from around the world.
San Diego is also home to numerous rooftop bars where you can take in amazing views of the city while sipping on hand crafted cocktails or local beers.
Popular spots include Raised By Wolves located atop ROW DTLA or Miguel’s Cocina located atop Coronado Island offering Latin-inspired cuisine with stunning views of the harbor area.
No matter what your taste in things to do at night might be, San Diego offers a wide range of options when it comes to things to do after dark that will keep anyone entertained all night long!
Some of the recommended places to visit are:
- Altitude Sky Lounge
- The Tipsy Crow
- Noble Experiment
- The Hopping Pig
- Fluxx Nightclub
Cruise and Boat Tours:
Cruise and boat tours are a great way to explore the beauty of San Diego from the comfort of your own personal vessel.
There are numerous companies offering boat tours throughout the city, ranging from relaxing harbor cruises to thrilling whale watching tours.
For those looking for things to do in San Diego that offer a more laid back atmosphere, try one of the many harbor cruises available.
Enjoy stunning views of the downtown skyline along with an array of historical landmarks such as Seaport Village, Coronado Island, Naval Base San Diego and Shelter Island.
Most boats offer a few different tour packages so you can customize your experience according to what you want to see and how long you want your tour to be.
If you’re in search of things to do in San Diego that are more exciting, then take a whale watching tour.
These tours depart from Mission Bay and offer up-close encounters with dolphins and other marine life such as sea lions, whales, seals and seabirds – often times all within the same trip!
You’ll also get a chance to learn about San Diego’s local marine life and its history while enjoying spectacular views of our city skyline along with some fresh ocean air.
No matter what type of cruise or boat tour you choose, there’s sure enough things to do in San Diego that will make it an unforgettable experience.
Whether it’s discovering new things about our beloved bay or gazing at majestic wildlife in their natural habitat, any activity on the water is sure to leave you with lasting memories that will stay with you long after your journey has ended.
Some recommended boat and cruise tours are:
- Hornblower Cruises & Events
- Flagship Cruises & Events
- San Diego Harbor Excursion
- H&M Landing
- Seaforth Sportfishing
San Diego’s Outdoor Activities:
San Diego is home to numerous outdoor activities for anyone looking to explore the city’s natural beauty. With plenty of sunshine, beautiful beaches, lush parks and nature trails, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Whether it’s a relaxing day at the beach or an exciting adventure on the trails, San Diego has it all!
One of the most popular things to do in San Diego is soak up the rays at one of the many stunning beaches located throughout the city.
From Mission Beach and Coronado Beach in San Diego Bay to Pacific Beach and La Jolla Shores in North County, you’ll find plenty of white sand beaches that are perfect for swimming, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding or simply lounging around soaking up some Vitamin D.
Not only will you get a chance to cool off during hot summer days but you can also witness amazing sunsets year round.
If you’re looking for things to do in San Diego that offer a bit more adventure then take a hike along one of the many trails located throughout the county. From Torrey Pines State Reserve in La Jolla with its dramatic cliffs & views of scuba divers below or Iron Mountain Trail in Poway with its rolling hills & spectacular views of Lake Hodges – these are just a couple examples of great hikes for both novice & experienced hikers alike.
You can even check out Cowles Mountain which offers 1,593 feet of elevation gain over 3 miles offering stunning 360-degree views from its peak – making it one of the most popular things to do outdoors in San Diego.
No matter your interests or skill level, there are plenty things to do outdoors in San Diego that will keep you entertained all day long!
Whether your looking for an adrenaline filled activity like rock climbing and kayaking or something more relaxed like bird watching or biking there’s something suitable for everyone – so grab your sunscreen and come explore all that San Diego has to offer!
Some recommended places include:
- Torrey Pines State Reserve
- Iron Mountain Trail
- Cowles Mountain
- Mission Trails Regional Park
- Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
- San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve
- Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
- San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival
- La Jolla Kayak at San Diego bay
- San Diego Surf School
- San Diego Sailing Tours
- San Diego Bike and Kayak Tours
San Diego is the perfect city for anyone looking to explore and experience things from a variety of different perspectives.
Whether you’re interested in discovering new things about our beloved bay or taking part in an exciting outdoor adventure, San Diego has something for everyone!
From boat tours that offer up-close encounters with marine life to breathtaking hikes through lush parks and nature trails – there’s no shortage of things to do in San Diego.
So grab your sunscreen, pick out one (or more!) activities, and come explore all that this beautiful city of San Diego has to offer! You won’t regret it!