7 Places to Visit in San Diego

California, Here I Come! 7 Places to Visit in San Diego

Last Updated on March 1, 2023

If the Southern Californian experience is what you’re after, you should definitely plan a visit to San Diego. The city offers the perfect mixture of great weather, local flair, rich history, and mouth-watering cuisine. Whether you choose to stay at one of the upscale Gaslight Quarter hotels or opt for something a bit more low-key is entirely up to you, but one thing’s for sure: you will certainly have an amazing time in this part of California! Check out these 7 places to visit in San Diego:

1. Balboa Park


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Let’s start with the no.1 place you simply have to visit during your San Diego adventure – the famous Balboa Park. This 1,200-acre park is home to several museums, performing arts venues, restaurants, gardens, and recreational facilities.

You could easily spend at least a couple of days exploring this place, with visits to the San Diego Museum of Art and the Old Globe Theatre being an absolute must. If what you’re after is family fun, you could also pay a visit to the San Diego Zoo, or just stroll around and enjoy the beautiful vegetation. Access and parking are free for everyone, but if you’re going to visit the museums and Zoo, you should purchase the Balboa Park Explorer Pass online.

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2. Mission Beach


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If you’re a fan of laid-back beach fun, pay a visit to Mission beach. It’s the perfect sport for those who don’t mind a busy, upbeat atmosphere and are ready to do some swimming or catch some waves. While you’re there, get on one of the rides at Belmont Park, with the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster being a rite of passage for every native of this Californian city.

3. La Jolla 


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Named San Diego’s jewel by the sea, La Jolla is a definite must on anyone’s itinerary. This small seaside community is one of the most breathtaking coastlines in North America. In addition to being home to the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course and the Museum of Contemporary Art (undergoing major renovations at the moment), it’s a prime spot for fine dining.

But, if you’re more geared towards adventure, you should absolutely head to the La Jolla Cove. Here, you’ll see a variety of animals, including sea lions and sea turtles, and you can even go into the famous caves. Whether you’re after real adventure or Instagram-worthy content, the La Jolla Cove is one of the prime spots for kayaking and paddle boarding in San Diego. 

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4. Little Italy Mercato 


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If you’re looking for a unique experience, the Little Italy Mercato should be on your list of places to visit in San Diego. This farmer’s market takes place every Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm, and allows you to buy the best in terms of produce, meat, dairy, coffee beans, flowers, or even try out some artisan recipes.

The event shuts down several blocks of the neighborhood, and while strolling and shopping you can also enjoy some live music for a completely unique atmosphere. If you decide to visit Little Italy on days other than Saturday, you’ll find that it’s home to some of the best cafes, diners, and eateries, so be sure not to miss it.

5. Cabrillo National Monument


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Marking the spot of the first European landing on the United States West Coast, this monument is perfect for anyone interested in history, or who wants to drink in the best view of the city’s skyline, along with the Coronado resort. A visit to Cabrillo is great if you’re willing to do some walking, or, if you want to witness something unique, go from December to April to see the blue and gray whales migration.

6. Sunset Cliffs Natural Park


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Last but not least, if you’re looking to do some hiking while in San Diego, you should absolutely visit the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. The trail is not too long – just a 3-mile hike – making this a great place for families. It’s also the spot you’ll want to visit if you’re looking to experience one of those famous west coast sunsets over the Pacific Ocean. The local crowd likes to gather here for surfing in the winter, so if you’re visiting between October and April, you might just want to join them in catching the waves.

7. Temecula


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Finally, if you’re in San Diego for more than a couple of days, and have some spare time to take a day trip, make sure you visit Temecula. Only an hour’s drive from the city, Temecula is home to some of Southern’ California’s best wine. There are over 30 wineries where you can taste the nectar of gods, or enjoy a visit to the Old Town Temecula for some antique shopping.

Of course, there’s so much more to see, experience and places to visit in San Diego. History buffs might want to stroll the Embarcadero and the USS Midway Museum, while others will prefer to geek out at Comic-Con. Whichever of these places you visit, you’re sure to be blown away by the city’s rich offer, so don’t be shy and book your trip today. Whenever you choose to go, you can rest assured you’ll have great weather and lots of fun.

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About Sarah Kaminski

Sarah is a life enjoyer, positivity seeker, and a curiosity enthusiast. She is passionate about an eco-friendly lifestyle and adores her cats. She is an avid reader who loves to travel when time allows.

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