San Diego: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, some attractions and venues in San Diego are temporarily closed. Check out our travel update page for the latest information. Learn more.
Top attractions in San Diego
We can see why San Diego calls itself America's Finest City. With more than 100 miles of coastline and world-class attractions, you won't be wondering what to do, but how to fit it all in! Plan your visit with our list of the 10 best things to see.
Step back in time to the birthplace of California. The beautiful park offers monuments plus a schoolhouse, blacksmith, houses and gardens, adding to the trip down memory lane.
This natural history museum is housed in an impressive building. The dinosaur exhibits are always a favourite with kids. Allow half a day and try to catch a movie for extra value.
A seaside location means fresh seafood, clean air and plenty of maritime history. This place is a family pleaser as ship tours give a fascinating sense of a life on the open seas.
The site of the first European landings in California, Point Loma is a place of historical significance and great beauty. The Old Lighthouse is particularly photogenic at dusk.
Possibly the best place to learn about marine biology in California. You can snorkel with leopard sharks, see an amazing array of coral, or learn about protecting the oceans.
This historic aircraft carrier dominates the downtown coastline. A hit with teenagers and Top Gun fans alike, you can cover the ship with a self-tour narrated by former servicemen.
Billed as a landscape of arts and culture, this isn't your average park. A historic carousel, miniature railway, Spanish Village, and museums make it at least a full day out.
Killer whales, dolphins, sharks, and sea lions compete for your attention at this famous attraction. There's plenty to fill an entire day, and admission is cheaper in the week.
Animal lovers can get up close with the panda, tigers, leopards, lions, gorillas, elephants, and hundreds more species at this vast zoo. Try to time your day around the feedings.
For an old-school funfair experience head to Belmont Park. Don't miss the Giant Dipper - a wooden roller coaster that opened in 1925. Wristbands are good value if you stay all day.
There are plenty of places to swim, surf or sunbathe in San Diego, and it's warm all year round, just don't expect tropical waters: the North Pacific Ocean is famously cool. La Jolla is popular for watersports such as kayaking and snorkeling, while Ocean Beach is lined with palm trees and has an impressive skatepark.
Every year, thousands of self-confessed nerds descend on San Diego for the annual ComicCon comic book convention. The event has grown year on year, and now encompasses everything superhero, fantasy and pop culture have to offer, including scores of big-name actors. The event takes place over four days in July.
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- Best time to visit
- Plan your visit from March to May or September to November, when you'll still have warm weather, but will avoid the school holiday crowds.
Things to Do in San Diego
Top Attractions in San Diego
Cities in United States
Other Sightseeing Options in San Diego
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What people are saying about San Diego
Seriously, these people were AWESOME! Took my wife and two kids kayaking and our instructor was super helpful as he recognized my youngest was pretty scared getting out into water over the initial waves. They guided us at an easy pace and kept it casual, informative and entertaining. Thanks for a great experience!
I could have stayed on that trip all day. Jack was full of Info and went out of his way to make our trip fun and exciting. We sang, had ice cream at his fav place when we got done "Mootime", and went back to see things and places he pointed out. You gave a winner on your hands.
This was a great way to see a lot of San Diego in one day! At some places the buses/trollies were very crowded, and you were given a number to board the next bus. Wish they ran a little later in the summer to spend more time at various places, like Balboa Park.
These Go Passes were super easy to use and allowed us to see so many different tourist attractions during the 5 day period that we definitely got our money's worth when you look at individual gate admission prices. Well worth the money!
Juan was great. There were some people on our trip that weren't happy from before we even left... you couldn't have made them happy if you parted the sea.... but trip was fun and time in each place was good.