35 Things To Do in San Diego

By Janet Benoir – May 17, 2024

With its sparkling beaches and year-round sunshine, San Diego, California, entices travelers with its natural beauty, cultural richness, and adventurous spirit. This vibrant city, known as “America’s Finest City,” promises to enchant, thrill, and inspire.

From the historic Gaslamp Quarter to the majestic Torrey Pines State Reserve, here are 35 reasons why San Diego should be at the top of your travel list.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park is a sprawling oasis with lush gardens and grand Spanish Renaissance architecture. It serves as a sanctuary for art, science, and history enthusiasts. The park’s vibrant atmosphere is further enhanced by amazing perspectives, from the serene Japanese Friendship Garden to the historic Old Globe Theatre.

Balboa Park

Here, the vibrant colors of the botanical gardens blend with historic facades. The park’s expansive grounds encourage leisurely walks under the canopy of towering trees, offering a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Whether it’s marveling at the delicate beauty of the butterfly garden or soaking in the artistic mastery at one of the many museums, Balboa Park captures the essence of San Diego’s rich cultural landscape.

Black’s Beach

Known as one of California’s premier surfing destinations, this secluded beach offers a haven for surfers looking to challenge the Pacific’s swells. The ride to the water’s edge is an adventure in itself, with a rugged trail leading down the cliffs that guard this hidden paradise. The reward is a surfing experience unparalleled on the West Coast, where the thrill of adventure rides on every wave.

Black’s Beach

Black’s Beach provides a stunning backdrop to a day spent in the embrace of the sea, whether you’re paddling out into the azure depths or simply enjoying the tranquility of this coastal gem. The beach’s secluded nature ensures a sense of serenity and escape, making every visit a memorable escape from the ordinary.

Gaslamp Quarter

As you wander through the bustling streets of the Gaslamp Quarter, the harmonious blend of Victorian-era buildings and sleek modern skyscrapers is remarkable. Live music, gourmet restaurants, and chic boutiques make every evening an exploration of the city’s dynamic nightlife. This historic district invites you to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of San Diego.

Gaslamp Quarter

By day, the Gaslamp Quarter is perfect with its art galleries, coffee shops, and the sense of history that fills its avenues. At night, it becomes a lively entertainment hub, offering sophisticated rooftop bars and intimate live theater performances. The district’s architectural beauty serves as a picturesque backdrop to a night out. Whether you’re seeking culinary delights or the thrill of the night, Gaslamp Quarter is a must-visit.

USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway is a monumental vessel that charts the course of American naval history. As the longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century, the Midway offers a rare glimpse into life at sea during times of peace and conflict. Walking its decks, visitors can explore everything from the cramped quarters where sailors slept to the massive flight deck that launched countless aircraft into the sky.

USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway Museum offers interactive exhibits and personal stories that bring the ship’s history to life. Visitors can climb into the cockpit of a fighter jet, experience a flight simulator, and even listen to real-life tales from veterans. The museum not only honors the legacy of the USS Midway and its crew but also educates and inspires future generations about the values of courage, innovation, and freedom.

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove offers a slice of paradise where the sun, sea, and sky meet. This small, picturesque beach is cradled by towering sandstone cliffs, creating a secluded haven for swimmers, snorkelers, and those seeking tranquility. The crystal-clear waters invite exploration, revealing an underwater world teeming with colorful marine life. Above the surface, the playful sea lions provide a delightful spectacle, adding to the cove’s natural charm.

La Jolla Cove

As the sun sets over La Jolla Cove, the changing light provides a moment of serene beauty that captures the essence of California’s coastline. Whether it’s basking in the sun’s warmth, exploring the cove’s hidden underwater treasures, or simply enjoying the peaceful rhythm of the waves, La Jolla Cove is a place where remarkable memories are created.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park unfolds as a vibrant tableau of wildlife and untamed beauty. Here, lions, elephants, and cheetahs wander in the sprawling landscapes that mirror their natural habitats. This immersive experience invites you to witness the animal kingdom in its most authentic form, creating memories that resonate with the call of the wild.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Every corner and curve of the park offers a new discovery. The Safari Park is not just about observing; it’s about connecting with the wild, understanding conservation, and the roles these magnificent creatures play in the tapestry of life. It’s an invitation to lose yourself in the beauty of nature, to stand face-to-face with nature’s marvels, and to leave with a heart full of wonder and eyes wide with awe.

San Diego Bay

Take to the waters with a San Diego Bay cruise. As the yacht cuts through the waves, the Coronado Bridge arcs gracefully overhead, proof of human ingenuity against the scenery of the vast Pacific. This maritime journey is a feast for the senses, offering a perspective of San Diego that is both exhilarating and serene.

San Diego Bay

The cruise is not merely a passage across the water; it is a sail into the heart of San Diego’s maritime soul. It offers glimpses of naval history, oceanic beauty, and the vibrant life that thrums along the city’s waterfront. Here, amidst the ebb and flow of the tide, you find a moment of peace, a snapshot of beauty, and a breathtaking experience.

Old Town San Diego

Discover the birthplace of California in Old Town San Diego. Each corner of Old Town invites you into a place where history blends with the present. Savor authentic Mexican cuisine in the very place where California began, amid vibrant markets and folkloric music that fills the air with a festive spirit.

Old Town San Diego

Museums, historic sites, and artisan shops offer experiences that celebrate the rich cultural heritage of this unique area. Old Town San Diego invites you to wander, explore, and imagine the lives of those who walked these streets in times gone by.

Mission Beach

Mission Beach, with its sands and waves, is the embodiment of the California dream. Surfers dot the horizon while the boardwalk buzzes with the energy of skaters, joggers, and families soaking up the sun. This is where the West Coast comes alive, in the salt-sprayed air and the breaking waves.

Mission Beach

Beyond the surf, Mission Beach offers a montage of experiences. The boardwalk is filled with sights and sounds, with lively eateries and quaint shops that show the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego. Whether you’re diving into the waves or simply basking in the coastal ambiance, Mission Beach is a haven of joy, a place where life’s simple pleasures are evident.

Sunset Cliffs

Sunset Cliffs is a special place where the sky and the sea meet, turning the sky bright with breathtaking colors. As the sun sets, its light sparkles on the water. It feels like a magical moment, where everything stops for a bit, and you feel connected to the waves crashing below.

Sunset Cliffs

This rugged coastline, with its vistas and winds, is more than just a place to watch the sunset. Here, you can let your thoughts drift away, finding peace in the impressive display of color and light. Sunset Cliffs is an experience that lingers long after the sun has dipped below the horizon.

San Diego Museum of Art

Step into the San Diego Museum of Art where every gallery exhibits creativity, passion, and human expression. From the delicate brushstrokes of Renaissance masters to the bold forms of contemporary artists, the museum is a sanctuary of art that spans centuries and continents.

San Diego Museum of Art

The museum’s collections present the power of art to inspire, challenge, and transform. Here, you can freely explore beauty and imagination with no bounds. The San Diego Museum of Art is not just a place to see art; it’s a place to experience the joy and profound contemplation that art evokes, leaving you enriched and inspired.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

Torrey Pines State Reserve is a natural oasis where you can see rare and beautiful Torrey pine trees. Hiking through the reserve, the trails wind through unspoiled landscapes, offering breathtaking views that stretch to the horizon. It’s a place of tranquility and beauty with the soothing breeze and the sea.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

With each step, nature unfolds, revealing hidden vistas and secret nooks. Whether you seek the thrill of a challenging hike or the peace of a stroll, Torrey Pines State Reserve offers a haven of natural beauty, inviting you to explore, discover, and marvel at the wonders of the natural world.

Coronado Island

Cross the iconic Coronado Bridge and be mesmerized with nature’s beauty. Coronado Island is perfect with its pristine beaches, elegant gardens, and the historic Hotel del Coronado. The island’s charming beauty is matched only by its tranquil ambiance, offering a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Coronado Island

Coronado is not merely a destination; it’s a place where the simple joys of sun, sand, and sea merge with the elegance of Victorian architecture and lush landscapes. Whether you’re strolling along the soft sands of its renowned beaches or exploring the quaint streets lined with boutique shops and cafés, Coronado Island invites you to partake in its timeless allure.

La Jolla Underwater Park

Submerge yourself in the crystal-clear waters of La Jolla Underwater Park, where an underwater world of wonder awaits. Snorkelers and scuba divers alike delight in the vibrant marine life. This underwater paradise is painted with the colors of countless fish, invertebrates, and marine plants, offering an escape into a world serene and full of life.

La Jolla Underwater Park

La Jolla Underwater Park is more than just beautiful sea life; it’s an exciting journey into nature’s wonders. Under the water, in the quiet deep, you feel a deep and personal link to the earth. Moving through the water, every breath you take shows how amazing the ocean is. It makes you think about how all life on earth is impressively connected.

Belmont Park

Belmont Park captures the essence of seaside amusement, blending the nostalgia of classic rides with the thrill of modern attractions. Perched on the edge of the ocean, this iconic park offers a day of fun and excitement against the backdrop of the Pacific. From the historic roller coaster to the latest adrenaline-pumping rides, Belmont Park is a playground for all ages.

Belmont Park

Arcade games, beachfront eateries, and eclectic shops create a vibrant atmosphere where you can play, indulge, and enjoy. Here, amidst the buzz of activity and the salt-tinged breeze, you find the heart of California’s beach culture. Belmont Park is a place where fun meets the ocean and memories are made in the sun.

Old Globe Theatre 

Immerse yourself in the magic of live theatre at the Old Globe Theatre, nestled in the lush surroundings of Balboa Park. Here, the air is filled with the words of Shakespeare, and contemporary stories come alive. This place offers an unforgettable evening where drama and history blend seamlessly.

Old Globe Theatre

The Old Globe Theatre, with its enchanting outdoor setting, invites audiences to take part in a timeless tradition of storytelling. Whether it’s a tragic love story or a lively comedy, each performance is proof of the enduring power of the stage, captivating hearts and stirring the imagination.

Coronado Beach 

Coronado Beach, with its golden sands stretching under the California sun, offers an idyllic escape. The gentle waves and the serene horizon set the stage for a day of relaxation and joy. This relaxing beach is a haven for both families seeking fun and couples in search of a romantic backdrop.

Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach is a beautiful spot by the Pacific Ocean, perfect for making special memories. You can build a sandcastle, swim, or just enjoy the sun. It’s more than just a place to go; it’s a wonderful paradise you’ll love and remember.

Unconditional Surrender Statue

Standing tall by the waterfront, the Unconditional Surrender Statue captures the essence of love and victory. This iconic figure, inspired by a photograph from WWII, is more than a photo opportunity. It invites visitors to step into a story of jubilation and peace.

Unconditional Surrender Statue

As you pose beneath the towering figures, the sense of joy and relief from a bygone era envelops you. The Unconditional Surrender Statue offers a unique connection to history. It’s a landmark that celebrates not just a momentous kiss but the universal themes of love overcoming adversity.

Sunny Jim Cave

Sunny Jim Cave offers an adventure like no other, accessed through a secret passage that offers tales of pirates and hidden treasures. Inside, the cave opens up to reveal the ocean’s waves crashing against ancient rocks.

Sunny Jim Cave

This secret spot in La Jolla showcases the beauty and mystery of nature. Exploring the cave feels like a deep dive into the earth itself, where every sound and shadow reveals the mysterious ocean ready to be explored.

Birch Aquarium

The Birch Aquarium reveals the ocean’s secrets, showing the colorful life under the sea. You can see everything from seahorses moving gracefully to sharks swimming quietly. Each display is designed to amaze you with a variety of sea creatures in a lively and colorful setting.

Birch Aquarium

This aquatic haven educates and inspires, fostering a connection between humans and the marine world. Interactive displays and hands-on experiences bring the ocean’s wonders to your fingertips, igniting curiosity and wonder in the hearts of all who visit.

San Diego California Temple

The San Diego California Temple is a peaceful and majestic place, known for its impressive spires and beautiful design. Surrounded by green gardens, it’s a place where visitors can relax and reflect.

San Diego California Temple

The temple’s stunning appearance is like a beautiful song, blending perfectly with its surroundings. It’s a place made with incredible skill. Whether you’re looking for peace or just want to see its beauty, the temple provides a quiet and inspiring break from the busy outside world.

Torrey Pines Gliderport

Feel the thrill of flying at Torrey Pines Gliderport, where you can hang glide or paraglide over cliffs with stunning views of the ocean. It’s an exciting adventure that combines breathtaking scenery with an adrenaline rush.

Torrey Pines Gliderport

This is where adventure lovers find their bliss, gliding on the breeze, hearts racing with excitement. The Gliderport is not just an activity; it’s a transcendental experience, offering a bird’s-eye view of nature’s majesty, reminding us of the boundless beauty of our world.

Japanese Friendship Garden

The Japanese Friendship Garden is a peaceful and beautiful place, created to promote peace and cultural understanding. Walking through its carefully designed paths, filled with beautiful plants and calm water features, encourages visitors to reflect and admire the skill of garden design.

Japanese Friendship Garden

The Japanese Friendship Garden is not just a location; it’s a beautiful experience that changes with the seasons. Each flower and rock represents the friendship between San Diego and Yokohama. It shows how nature and thoughtful design can connect different cultures, creating a peaceful retreat right in the city center.

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park offers a unique concert experience where music and nature come together beautifully. The sounds from the San Diego Symphony mix with the breeze from the bay, creating a delightful experience with the city skyline as a stunning background.

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

This stunning place is more than just a spot for events; it’s a special destination where every show is a magical mix of music, sky, and sea. No matter if you love classical music or live concerts, spending an evening here is magical, with every note capturing the essence of San Diego.

Chicano Park Murals

Chicano Park, located under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, showcases vibrant murals that share the history and goals of the Chicano movement. The colorful art represents stories of challenge, perseverance, and unity, giving a deep understanding of this cultural revolution.

Chicano Park Murals

Chicano Park is more than just a beautiful spot. The colorful murals throughout the park encourage visitors to think deeply and connect with Chicano culture, making it a key destination for anyone wanting to truly experience what San Diego is about.

San Diego Botanic Garden

Explore the beautiful paths of the San Diego Botanic Garden, discovering plants worldwide. This peaceful garden covers many acres and features everything from tall trees to bright flowers, creating a natural retreat that delights everyone who visits.

San Diego Botanic Garden

Explore the garden to find unique plant collections showcasing Earth’s plant diversity. Bright South African proteas and delicate Japanese cherry blossoms highlight the world’s plant variety. Fun educational activities and themed areas, such as a playful children’s garden, make each visit exciting and inspiring.

Fleet Science Center

Visit the Fleet Science Center to explore where science meets imagination. With interactive displays and a modern planetarium, you can get a close-up look at the universe. See stars and galaxies in a new way, inspiring curiosity and amazement beyond everyday life.

Fleet Science Center

The planetarium offers an amazing experience, using modern technology to make stars and galaxies appear clear and close. Each show takes you on a journey through space, making you feel connected to the universe. It’s more than just a visit—it’s an exciting adventure that makes the wonders of space feel close and personal.

Whaley House

Visit the Whaley House for a trip back to the 19th century. Located in Old Town, this historic house gives you a peek into the lives of the people who once lived there. But, there’s a twist – it’s rumored to be haunted, making every sound and shadow extra mysterious.

Whaley House

Whaley House tours show the old building’s design and historical items, along with stories of romance, sadness, and ghosts intertwined with its history. As visitors explore the house, every corner and shadow might hide surprises. It offers an exciting adventure for those curious about its historical and spooky aspects.

59-Mile Scenic Drive

The 59-mile Scenic Drive offers an unparalleled journey through San Diego’s most breathtaking landscapes, from the Pacific Ocean to the rolling hills that frame the city. This carefully curated route weaves through neighborhoods, historic sites, and natural wonders, showcasing the diverse beauty that defines San Diego. It’s an invitation to explore at your own pace, with surprises and delights at every turn.

59-Mile Scenic Drive

As you navigate this scenic path, each mile comes with panoramic views and iconic landmarks as the backdrop. Whether it’s the cliffs of the coastline or the downtown, the drive encapsulates the essence of San Diego. The 59-Mile Scenic Drive is a must-do experience for visitors and locals alike, seeking to capture the heart of this sun-soaked city.

Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

Find the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge, a secret spot that mixes excitement with peace. Hanging over a green canyon, this walkway bridge moves slightly in the wind, making it both fun and calming to cross. The bridge offers beautiful views of the canyon and the city around it.

Visit the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

This bridge is more than just a pathway; it’s a moment of quiet reflection amidst the hustle and bustle of urban life. The gentle sway adds a touch of excitement to the experience, making it a favorite among those seeking a different perspective on the city. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a nature lover, the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge is a charming escape into San Diego’s scenic wonders.

Harper’s Topiary Garden

Harper’s Topiary Garden is a magical place where creativity turns plants into artwork. A creative couple has shaped their bushes and trees into fun figures like elephants and pyramids. Each plant sculpture shows their artistic skill and hard work.

Be amazed by Harper's Topiary Garden

The garden impresses visitors with its mix of creative design and plant life. It turns everyday sights into magical scenes, offering a fun getaway where nature and creativity come together. Harper’s Topiary Garden leaves everyone feeling amazed and happy.

Fallen Star Installation at UCSD

The Fallen Star installation at UCSD is a surprising artwork featuring a small house perched on the edge of an engineering building, making people rethink space and gravity. It’s both a visual trick and a thought-provoking piece that makes viewers wonder about its deeper meanings and stories. It symbolizes feeling out of place and searching for where one fits in, all within the university setting.

Admire the Fallen Star Installation at UCSD

Seeing the Fallen Star makes people curious and think deeply. It mixes up what’s real and what’s art, leading people to wonder about what can and can’t be done. More than just art, it gets people talking and questioning, making it a key attraction for anyone looking for something amazing in everyday life.

1895 Looff Carousel

Ride the historic 1895 Looff Carousel, an old-fashioned merry-go-round with hand-carved horses and chariots. It’s a classic American ride that brings joy to people of all ages. The carousel’s music adds to a nostalgic atmosphere, making it feel like stepping back into a simpler past.

Ride the historic 1895 Looff Carousel

Riding the Looff Carousel is not just going around in circles; it’s like traveling back in time and celebrating skilled work and happiness. Every move brings back fun childhood memories, making it a favorite for families and those who love romance. It’s a magical ride that brings people of all ages together, reminding us of the timeless joys in life.

Cocktails Event at the San Diego Museum of Art

Experience the lively Culture & Cocktails event at the San Diego Museum of Art. This fun evening mixes art, music, and drinks, making the museum an exciting place. Guests can enjoy different experiences in each gallery, including live music and unique cocktails inspired by the art.

Experience the Culture & Cocktails Event at the San Diego Museum of Art

The event transforms the museum into a lively spot for meeting people and discovering culture. It lets you connect with art enthusiasts, interact with art, and enjoy San Diego’s creativity. If you want a fun night that mixes culture and enjoyment, Culture & Cocktails is a great choice.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

Visit the San Diego Air & Space Museum to explore the history of flying and space travel. The museum honors those who aimed high, with displays from the first flights to modern space technology. Every piece, like old planes and space capsules, shares a tale of creativity and excitement.

Get inspired at the San Diego Air & Space Museum

The museum is more than just objects; it inspires and shows the endless human quest for learning and discovery. With hands-on displays and learning activities, it makes the excitement of flying and space exploration real for everyone. Whether you dream of being an astronaut or love aviation, the San Diego Air & Space Museum encourages you to explore the sky and space.

San Diego is a city of endless possibilities, where every visit reveals new treasures and unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on a sandy beach, exploring the depths of the ocean, or immersing yourself in the arts and culture, San Diego promises a world of adventure that awaits your discovery.


San Diego, a city where the sun kisses the sea and history dances with modern vibrancy, beckons travelers with its enchanting allure. Here are the 10 best tours in San Diego that promise to whisk you away on unforgettable adventures, from the sparkling waters of the Pacific to the heart-pounding excitement of its lively districts.

San Diego Harbor Cruise

Board on the San Diego Harbor Cruise for a memorable journey along the beautiful Pacific Ocean and San Diego’s skyline. Sail smoothly under the tall Coronado Bridge and discover the bay’s highlights, including the famous USS Midway Museum and other landmarks.

San Diego Harbor Cruise

This boat trip becomes magical as the sunset colors the sky and the city shines in golden light. Perfect for those looking to enjoy peaceful waters or capture stunning views of San Diego, this harbor cruise offers gorgeous and unforgettable moments, making it a must-do for all visitors.

  • Tour Fee: Starting at $30
  • Schedule: Daily departures
  • Inclusions: Indoor viewing, snacks available for purchase

San Diego Seal City Tour

The San Diego Seal City Tour offers an adventure like no other, blending urban exploration with nautical wonder. Begin your journey aboard an amphibious craft, diving into the heart of San Diego’s bustling streets before making a splash into the cool waters of the bay. The tour unveils the city’s storied naval heritage and introduces you to the playful sea lions and seals.

San Diego Seal City Tour

As the vessel transitions from land to sea, passengers are treated to a rare glimpse of Shelter Island’s natural allure and the marine life within San Diego Bay. This distinctive tour captures the essence of the city’s rich history and vibrant coastal culture. It provides an experience brimming with discovery and enchantment, perfect for adventurers of all ages seeking to uncover San Diego.

  • Tour Fee: Starting at $42
  • Schedule: Multiple departures daily
  • Inclusions: Land and sea tour, live narration

Hop-on Hop-Off Narrated Tour of Old Town

Take a journey back in time with the Hop-on Hop-Off Narrated Tour of Old Town San Diego. This tour takes you through the city’s rich history, from stories at the Mormon Battalion Historic Site to the stunning buildings in the Gaslamp Quarter. Each stop is a chance to explore San Diego’s historical sites and learn about the events and people that shaped the city.

Hop-on Hop-Off Narrated Tour of Old Town

Opt for a one-day ticket for a quick tour or a two-day pass for a more relaxed exploration of over 100 historical and cultural sites. This guided tour provides a detailed overview of San Diego’s history and architectural highlights, making it a must-do for history enthusiasts and explorers.

  • Tour Fee: Starting at $40
  • Schedule: Daily departures
  • Inclusions: Unlimited hop-on hop-off access, live narration

Sightseeing Dinner Cruise

The Sightseeing Dinner Cruise combines delicious gourmet food with stunning views of San Diego’s lit-up skyline at night. As the evening starts and the city lights shine, guests enjoy a luxurious three-course meal. The cruise’s gentle movement and the live DJ’s music add to the sophisticated and lively atmosphere.

Sightseeing Dinner Cruise

This dinner cruise is more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of San Diego’s night-time charm, perfect for creating special memories. From toasting to music or enjoying the magical evening, the cruise offers a night of delicious food, beautiful sights, and unforgettable entertainment under the stars.

  • Tour Fee: Starting at $115
  • Schedule: Evening departures
  • Inclusions: Three-course meal, DJ entertainment

La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaking

Embark on an exciting La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaking tour and discover the secrets under La Jolla Cove’s cliffs. Glide over clear waters, see sea lions, and paddle through kelp forests filled with marine life like the bright garibaldi fish and shy leopard sharks. Explore ancient sea caves, each with its own story to tell.

La Jolla Sea Cave Kayaking

This kayaking adventure in La Jolla is thrilling and gives a special view of San Diego’s natural beauty. From exploring caves to enjoying the peaceful ocean, it’s a perfect activity for those who love nature and want to discover San Diego’s wonders.

  • Tour Fee: Starting at $45
  • Schedule: Multiple departures daily
  • Inclusions: Kayak rental, guide, safety equipment

Carlsbad Village Food Tour

Take a pleasant walk through Carlsbad Village, enjoying a variety of delicious foods that showcase San Diego’s diverse cuisine. Try everything from spicy Mexican tacos to elegant crab cakes, with each stop introducing you to new and exciting flavors.

Carlsbad Village Food Tour

As you wander through the picturesque streets, the Carlsbad Village Food Tour combines delicious food with beautiful street art. Colorful murals decorate every corner, enhancing the lively food scene. The tour picks the best places to eat, showing off the top local dishes and award-winning wines that make this area famous. It’s a full sensory experience, creating lasting memories.

  • Tour Fee: Starting at $69
  • Schedule: Select days
  • Inclusions: Food tastings at 8 eateries, wine sampling

Gaslamp Quarter Brewery Tour

Explore San Diego’s vibrant nightlife on a brewery tour through the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Discover how this area changed from a red-light district to a top spot for food and beer. Enjoy tastings of the city’s best craft beers at each brewery stop, learning about the local beer scene along the way.

Gaslamp Quarter Brewery Tour

As the sun goes down, the Gaslamp Quarter lights up, turning your tour into a vibrant journey of taste and history. The lively scene of today’s bars and restaurants comes with its unique vibe. Enjoy the craft beers and tasty snacks at each stop, adding to your San Diego experience. This tour is more than just beer tasting; it celebrates the city’s lively culture.

  • Tour Fee: Starting at $50
  • Schedule: Evening departures
  • Inclusions: Brewery visits, food tastings

Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour

Join the Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour for a spooky journey through San Diego’s haunted history. As darkness falls, hop on the trolley and visit places like the eerie Whaley House. Feel the chill of old tales and ghost stories that still hang in the air, just like the evening fog.

Ghosts and Gravestones Trolley Tour

Explore the spooky El Campo Cemetery and uncover the stories of San Diego’s past residents by moonlight. Every stop on this tour is full of mystery, giving you a peek into the ghostly happenings at the city’s ancient sites. It’s the perfect mix of history and chills for those intrigued by the secrets history books don’t cover.

  • Tour Fee: Starting at $42
  • Schedule: Nightly departures
  • Inclusions: Visit haunted sites, live narration

Drive Your Own Speed Boat Tour

Feel the thrill of piloting your own speed boat with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. The Drive Your Own Speed Boat Tour is an action-packed escapade across the glistening waters of San Diego Bay. Follow your guide and navigate past iconic sights, feeling the rush of freedom and excitement as you go.

Drive Your Own Speed Boat Tour

This tour combines thrilling high-speed boat rides with the chance to see San Diego’s beautiful skyline, including Point Loma, the Maritime Museum, and the Hotel del Coronado. It’s a unique and exciting way to explore the city, ideal for adventure lovers.

  • Tour Fee: Starting at $70 per person
  • Schedule: Multiple departures daily
  • Inclusions: Speed boat rental, guide, safety briefing

Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

Set out on the Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise to meet the ocean’s incredible wildlife up close. This peaceful trip into the Pacific reveals the stunning world of whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. Watch in awe as these majestic animals play and leap, creating unforgettable moments of beauty.

Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruise

On this peaceful cruise, you’ll escape from the busy land to the calm sea, surrounded only by the sound of waves and sea life. Watch as whales gracefully move through the water and dolphins play around the boat. This isn’t just a simple trip; it’s a journey into the ocean’s beauty and wonders, perfect for anyone who loves nature and adventure.

  • Tour Fee: Starting at $85
  • Schedule: Seasonal departures
  • Inclusions: Guided cruise, potential marine sightings

San Diego, with its endless sunshine and captivating tours, promises an array of experiences for every traveler. Whether you’re seeking thrills, culinary delights, or historical insights, these top 10 tours in San Diego offer a gateway to the city’s heart and soul. Dive in and discover the magic for yourself.

The 10 Best Tours in San Diego


San Diego is a dream destination for food enthusiasts, where every meal is an adventure and every restaurant has its own unique story. This city offers a rich mix of culture, creativity, and delicious food.

Here are 10 essential restaurants in San Diego, each providing memorable experiences that invite visitors to dive into the city’s varied culinary world.

Callie

In the lively East Village, Callie combines Mediterranean delights with Southern California’s fresh produce. Led by the skilled Travis Swikard, this popular spot impresses with flavors from Southwest Asia and North Africa. The spacious and stylish interior reflects the sophistication of the food, making Callie a standout restaurant in San Diego.

The fresh salads and local sea urchin on tomato toast with Iberico ham show Swikard’s dedication to using high-quality ingredients. With fruit-based cocktails and a friendly atmosphere, Callie offers more than just food—it provides a memorable experience that stands out in any San Diego trip.

Hayes Burger

Located in Barrio Logan, Hayes Burger serves up a simple but delicious version of the Southern California smashburger. The menu is easy to choose from, and the double cheeseburger, with its tasty, crispy edges, delivers true comfort food joy. The Jimi fries, their take on “animal style” fries, are the perfect mix of crispy and cheesy, making a great side dish.

Just a stone’s throw from the iconic murals of Chicano Park, Hayes Burger is a testament to the beauty of simplicity. The ambiance of the neighborhood enriches the dining experience, making every bite a deeper dive into the local culture and vibe of San Diego.

Juniper and Ivy

Juniper and Ivy is a top spot for New American cuisine in San Diego, mixing creative cooking and top-notch ingredients to make dishes that look great and taste even better. Their unique salads and flavorful ravioli are just some examples of their outstanding menu.

The cozy setting with its wooden beams and white tiles enhances the dining experience at Juniper and Ivy. It’s not just a restaurant, but a standout destination offering a memorable evening, making it essential for anyone wanting to experience the best of San Diego’s food scene.

Kingfisher

Kingfisher in Golden Hill is where Vietnamese cuisine meets Californian creativity. The dramatic decor sets the stage for a culinary drama that unfolds with each dish. From the refreshing green papaya salad to the smoked dry-aged duck, the menu is a unison of flavors that are bold, innovative, and utterly irresistible.

Kingfisher stands as a brilliant testament to San Diego’s dynamic and diverse culinary landscape. Kingfisher’s unique blend of tradition and innovation, coupled with its atmospheric setting, offers more than a simple dining experience. Here, food lovers can immerse themselves in a journey that celebrates the spirited and lively essence of San Diego’s food scene, making each visit a cherished and unforgettable gastronomic adventure.

Mitch’s Seafood

Located at the scenic Point Loma Marina, Mitch’s Seafood offers a casual dining experience that highlights San Diego’s deep connection to the ocean. Despite its simple counter-service style, the menu is full of surprises, featuring everything from freshly grilled fish sandwiches to luxurious Dungeness crab poutine, each dish showcasing the flavors of the sea.

Dining at Mitch’s is an immersive experience, offering not just a taste of the ocean’s bounty but a panoramic view of San Diego’s stunning skyline. It’s a place where locals and visitors come together, united by their love for fresh seafood and the beauty of the coast.

Sushi Tadokoro

Hidden in a simple strip mall, Sushi Tadokoro is known for its exceptional sushi. It’s famous for its omakase experience, prepared with skill and respect for Japanese traditions. Every ingredient is treated with care, ensuring each bite is fresh and full of flavor. Here, the art of sushi is a big deal, providing a unique and deep dining experience in a calm and elegant space.

Sushi Tadokoro is a quiet rebellion against the hustle and bustle of the city, offering a moment of Zen and a deep dive into the art of sushi. It’s a culinary pilgrimage that promises to be a highlight of any San Diego visit.

Addison Restaurant

At Addison, dining reaches new heights of elegance and innovation thanks to Chef William Bradley’s skillful creations. It presents a nine-course tasting menu that showcases seasonal flavors, turning each meal into an extraordinary culinary adventure. Addison highlights the best of California’s produce through a rich blend of tastes, textures, and scents.

Here, dining is a special experience that goes beyond just eating. Visitors are treated to a unique journey that highlights the best of cooking skills. It’s a place where every meal becomes a memorable event, supported by excellent service and beautiful settings.

A.R. Valentien

A.R. Valentien, located in the Lodge at Torrey Pines, is a top spot for farm-to-table dining. Executive Chef Kelli Crosson creates menus that highlight San Diego’s fresh farm produce. The dishes celebrate local ingredients, turning them into delicious meals that are both delightful and inspiring. With its elegant Craftsman-style design, the restaurant provides a special dining experience that honors natural beauty and the richness of local flavors.

The cozy and welcoming atmosphere at A.R. Valentien enhances its delicious meals, making it a perfect spot for anyone who loves the blend of upscale dining and natural flavors. A.R. Valentien is more than just a restaurant; it’s a place where each meal is crafted into a masterpiece, celebrating San Diego’s lively culinary culture.

George’s At The Cove

George’s At The Cove, located in La Jolla, has been a top dining spot for 40 years. Known for its stunning ocean views from atop a cliff, this iconic place is not just any restaurant. Here, Chef Trey Foshee and his team create extraordinary dishes that blend local produce with worldwide tastes.

Renowned for its innovative approach to seafood and its commitment to sustainability, George’s At The Cove has become a must-visit for food lovers and ocean enthusiasts alike. The ambiance, the meticulous attention to detail, and the breathtaking views make it a quintessential San Diego dining experience. George’s is not just a meal; it’s an experience that captures the heart and soul of San Diego.

Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar

Located in La Jolla’s Grande Colonial Hotel, Nine-Ten offers a unique dining experience led by Chef Jason Knibb. The restaurant focuses on farm-to-table dishes, using fresh local ingredients to make innovative yet comforting meals. Highlights include the Jamaican jerk pork belly and a variety of seasonal dishes. Here, classic tastes are combined with modern cooking methods, providing a dining experience that’s both comforting and exciting.

At Nine-Ten, every meal is built on elegance and innovation. The stylish and cozy interior invites you on a delicious culinary journey. It’s a place where food lovers enjoy dishes that showcase San Diego’s fresh farm produce and the chef’s creativity. Eating at Nine-Ten is an exploration of California’s unique cuisine, complemented by excellent service and subtle luxury.

San Diego’s dining scene is as diverse and vibrant as the city itself. Each of these 10 unmissable restaurants offers not just a meal, but an experience, a journey into the heart of what makes San Diego truly special. From the freshest seafood to the most innovative tacos, these culinary destinations promise to enrich your visit, leaving you with memories that are as flavorful as the dishes they serve. Bon appétit!


The 10 Best Restaurants in San Diego