San Diego means business when it comes to having fun and celebrating life. It has everything required for a fun getaway – beaches, bays, hills, museums, carnivals, and parks. This coastal county in Southern California is situated on the US-Mexico border. It is known for ethnic diversity, friendly people and buzzing nightlife.
In San Diego, each season brings in new attractions, activities, and events. Thanks to the near-perfect climate all year round, almost every month witnesses a fair, cook-off, parade, race, or concert somewhere in the county. Comic Con, San Diego Beer Week, Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, and the Street Scene Music Festival are some of the annual events held in the county.
San Diego’s warm summers and mild winters make it a popular vacation destination for both local and foreign tourists throughout the year. Summers are wonderfully charming with the option of a refreshing swim in any of the 33 beaches, including Windansea, Horseshoe, and the Marine Street Beaches. With the advent of winter comes the opportunity to witness migrating whales. San Diego also hosts parades, conventions, and festivals like the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival in November, Balboa Park December Nights, and the San Diego ConDor – the popular science and fantasy convention in February.
Without further ado, let’s list the fun things to do in San Diego.
Go Scuba Diving in La Jolla Coves
Snorkeling in the La Jolla Coves means wading through clear waters and catching a glimpse of brightly colored fishes. The sea and its hidden caves bring a certain mystery to the diving adventure. The fact that surfboards and rafts are prohibited in the area, safety is never a concern. To make the trip to La Jolla complete, you can combine snorkeling with picnic at the beach and bonfire at night.
Go to Balboa Park
Balboa Park has everything for visitors of all ages and budgets. If you are low on budget you can simply walk around this gigantic urban cultural park photographing the captivating buildings and gardens, and enjoying live entertainment and cultural activities. If budget is not a constraint, your options multiply. The 15 (major) museums situated in the park complex are open 365 days a year and house some fine collections of art, history, science, automotives, rails, etc. The carousel, miniature railroad, Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, and the United Nations building are the other attractions. The most famous attraction of all, though, is the San Diego Zoo, which has 100 acres dedicated to over 800 species of animals in their recreated natural habitats.
Walk Down the Gaslamp Quarter
The Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego is very much in sync with the rest of the county for its unmistakable vibrancy. This district of San Diego comprises fascinating skyscrapers standing beside restored buildings dating back to the Victorian era. There is no dearth of food joints and places to drink, dance, and shop. Sip a cool drink at an outdoor café; shop at the Horton Plaza mall; explore art galleries and museums on the way (if you have kids don’t forget to check out the New Children’s Museum), and get the taste of nightlife with cocktails and live music.
Say Hello to Shamu in the SeaWorld
SeaWorld, the one attraction that brings thousands of tourists from across the country, is a marine adventure park admired by both kids and adults. Out of many ocean-themed attractions, watching sea creatures in their naturalized habitats is certainly one of the favorites among the visitors. You can talk to whales, turtles, and dolphins, and even feed them. Shamu, one of the key attractions in the SeaWorld, is a killer whale that interacts with the audience through sounds and actions. You can also dive into the sea and get closer to fishes.
Catch Outdoor Movies
The pleasant summer nights call for some relaxation. What could be a better way than to lie on the grass and watch a movie under the open sky? Several locations in San Diego such as Balboa Park, Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, and Amici Park in the Little Italy neighborhood organize movie nights.
Spend Family Time in LegoLand
If you have kids and you are looking for fun things to do with them, the LegoLand is the place to visit. This fantastical place with over 22,000 creations out of LEGO bricks is considered among the most popular attractions in San Diego. LegoLand amazes every visitor with the innovative way the famous buildings and animals are recreated. There are rides and play areas like Fun Town, Castle Hill, Miniland USA, and Imagination Zone for children in the age group of two to 12. The Water Park allows the entire family to come together and enjoy. The SeaLife Aquarium is a nice place to enjoy the marine life up close. The complex also has a hotel, restaurant, and shops.
Groove to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Tunes
The summer brings together music bands from across West Coast to San Diego for a marathon-cum-concert. During this annual event, held in June, runners cover 26.2 miles while the streets blare with pulsating tunes. At the finish line, you can join in and shake a leg while the bands playing in this huge public concert.
Go Hiking in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Imagine walking among rare and tall pine trees. If this sounds fun, you must head to the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, the next time you plan a holiday in San Diego. Both easy and difficult trails such as 0.7-mile Guy Fleming Trail and 1.3-mile Broken Hill Trail are worth trying.
Get Hooked on to Whale Watching
Every year, between December and April, gray whales pass through San Diego waters on their journey from Alaska to Baja California. This migration offers a mesmerizing experience for all whale watchers. Some of the whale-watching sites are the Torrey Pines State Reserve, Birch Aquarium and Cabrillo National Monument. Another way of watching these gentle giants of the sea is cruising. Several cruise companies offer seasonal tours, specially for this purpose.
Visit the USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is a must-visit when you are in San Diego. The main attraction, the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, is renowned for having served the US Navy for the longest period of time. At present, the 972-foot-long original military aircraft carrier is itself decommissioned. The visitors to this museum get first-hand experience of how a real naval craft looks from inside. The stories shared by the military retirees who served on the aircraft carrier are yet another reason for the visitors to come here.