When visiting San Diego, the hardest thing to do is deciding what to do – you will have so many wonderful options! San Diego is home to many top attractions and has an abundance of natural beauty. There are plenty of choices for all ages. San Diego is located on the beautiful coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California and is known to have the best year round weather of any city in the country!
This is a beautiful place to start when visiting San Diego. It is an urban cultural park in the heart of the city. In addition to open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths, it contains museums, several theaters, and is home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park is 1,200 acres, and is the largest urban cultural park in North America. It’s a must see on any visit to San Diego. Located just blocks from downtown, the park has a rich history reflected through its stunning architecture, art installations, and cultural events throughout the year. In 1868 the city leaders had a vision and desire to create this iconic park. In fact, San Diego was the second city to dedicate a large urban park behind only New York City’s Central Park. In 1870, the state legislature passed a law stating that the lands would be held in trust for a park forever. Take a step back in time with Architectural Heritage Tours that are offered on the first Friday of each month at 10:00am.
Take the 2 mile long beautiful bridge from San Diego to the island of Coronado. This impressive structure will take you to gorgeous beaches that go on as far as the eye can see. Coronado is consistently voted the best beach in the U.S! With gentle surf, sparkling white sand beaches and great hotels, including the world famous Hotel del Coronado, this island paradise is perfect for a family vacation or a romantic getaway. Now you can experience the legend of this iconic hotel through The Del’s Legendary Tours. It brings life to the resort’s rich heritage, famous guests and local legends. We loved it!
This area is our favorite! With a dramatic coastline boasting incredible views, it’s no surprise that La Jolla is one of the most popular destinations in California. Surrounded on three sides by the sea and backed by the steep slopes, La Jolla has so much natural beauty, an abundance of activities and upscale village lifestyle. It’s known as “the jewel” of San Diego. There are so many great restaurants with magnificent views. Our favorite is George’s At the Cove. Give yourself plenty of time to walk around because this is where you will see hundreds of sea lions as they play, sleep and hang out around the water front. We recommend the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa. It’s set on 10 acres of landscaped gardens. It’s a gorgeous, very polished, hacienda-style hotel with an awesome spa.
MISSION VALLEY and OLD TOWN
Located in the center of San Diego County this area has major attractions plus affordable accommodations. Years ago my niece was married at a church in Old Town that was built in the mid-1800s. It’s the oldest, most historic area of San Diego with lots of fun shopping.
Just north of the Mexican border lies the area known as San Diego’s South Bay, the gateway to Baja California. This area is home to a number of exciting attractions and some of the best Mexican food and margaritas this side of the border.
SAN DIEGO ZOO
This is a world-famous zoo. You’ll discover more than 3,500 animals of more than 650 rare and exotic species in a beautiful 100-acre tropical garden. The San Diego Zoo is also proud to have the largest population of giant pandas in the U.S. Beyond viewing the vast range of animals, you can take a three-mile guided bus tour, ride the sky tram, or interact with the adorable creatures at the children’s petting zoo and baby animal nursery. You can honestly spend several days here.
USS MIDWAY MUSEUM
What a huge military presence there is in San Diego. Docked along the Embarcadero area, the USS Midway Museum is San Diego’s maritime treasure. It is the longest-serving U.S. Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Relive years of world history as you explore the massive engine room, sleep quarters, galley, brig and more with a guided audio tour. The impressive four-acre flight deck has more than 20 aircrafts—Ron was in heaven as he explored the cockpits and flight simulators. Also nearby is the Unconditional Surrender Statue. This 25 foot tall statue is very iconic and fun to snap a photo with the USS Midway in the background. And if you get hungry, this area is full of fabulous restaurants and a great place to catch a harbor cruise.
It’s easy to see why San Diego is widely known as “America’s Finest City!”
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