Here are my top picks for the best things in San Diego: From whale watching to stunning beaches to the best local spots.
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San Diego has near-perfect weather all year, an ideal balance of city life with nature escapes, numerous entertainment options, and an amazing history. It’s also home to the most sought-after laid-back SoCal vibe.
San Diego is my hometown and I love it dearly. Here are my top picks for the best fifteen ways to spend your San Diego vacation.
Balboa Park, located just minutes from downtown San Diego, is the largest urban cultural reserve in North America. It is home to 17 unique museums, San Diego Zoo, art installations and many other events throughout the year.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park covers 1800 acres in the San Pasqual Valley. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the county. This park offers a unique educational experience with its Africa-themed exhibits and free-range enclosures. It also features over 2600 animals, including more than 300 species, and 3500 species of plants.
The Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego is a popular entertainment area known for its Victorian architecture, eclectic history and live theatre, music productions, world class food, and a wide range of nightlife options. There are many museums in the quarter, including the Gaslamp Museum at Davis-Horton House and the U.S.S. Midway Museum.
Old Town, San Diego’s oldest settlement and the first Spanish settlement on California’s West Coast, is a great place to absorb San Diego’s history. The Old Town has many historic sites and museums that tell the story of San Diego. There are also boutique shops and other historical attractions.
La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove, a small, patrolled beach in La Jolla is a must-see on any San Diego trip. This cove is renowned for its stunning sunsets and great conditions for swimming.
Point Loma is a rugged peninsula with many trails, beaches, bluffs and lighthouses. It also has tide pools and cool exhibits about California history. Apart from the above, Point Loma is also known for the Cabrillo National Monument, as well as the Women’s Museum. The former honors Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s landing at San Diego Bay. The latter, however, is a must-see museum that focuses on women’s history, art, and culture.
Little Italy in San Diego is a lively neighborhood full of craft breweries and art galleries, boutique hotels and cafes, as well as wineries. Little Italy is also home to many amazing cultural festivals each year.
Sunset Cliffs National Park runs along the west shores of Point Loma. It is an ideal spot for those who want to enjoy the stunning cliffs and caves as well as breathtaking sunset views.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
This natural preserve, which is located on the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Beach is dedicated to the preservation of the Torrey Pine.
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It is home to beautiful pine forests as well as sandstone canyons. There are many hiking trails for all levels of difficulty. The preserve is not open during the day, and offers very limited amenities.