There is a reason that San Diego continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. With a perfect climate, gorgeous coastal scenery and an abundance of activities, there is never a shortage of visitors to this fair city. Any stay here should include a visit to the following attractions:
San Diego Zoo – Located in historic Balboa Park, this is one of the leading zoos in the world. With exotic animals and a dedication to conservation and education, this zoo provides a day of fun and learning.
Sea World – The leading tourist destination in San Diego since 1964, this water park provides marine animal shows, interactive exhibits and aquariums filled with exotic sea creatures.
San Diego Wild Animal Park :The Wild Animal Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 3,500 animals representing more than 400 species. Its renowned botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.5 million specimens. Over half of the Park’s 1,800 acres (730 hectares) have been set aside as protected native species habitat. It is located 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of downtown San Diego in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido, California.
USS Midway Museum:The USS Midway Museum is San Diego’s newest visitor attraction. This real naval aircraft carrier museum guarantees a once in a lifetime opportunity for almost everyone. Experience what it was like to be part of a “city at sea”, explore galleys, officer’s country, sleeping quarters, and the engineering of a 69,000 ton ship!
LEGOLAND: Heroes wanted! Have you ever dreamed of becoming an intrepid adventurer? An imaginative builder? A firefighter, knight or swashbuckling pirate? At LEGOLAND® California, you can.
Natural History Museum and Air and Space Museum – For visitors with enquiring minds, there are many cultural and educational opportunities in San Diego. Both of these museums have permanent collections that draw visitors from around the world.
Coronado Island – This island across the fabulous Causeway Bridge is a romantic day destination. With the beautiful Coronado Hotel, charming shops and gorgeous beaches, a day here is a relaxing treat.
Hornblower Cruises & Events: Whale watchers are treated to the awe-inspiring sight of the approximately 28,000 gray whales passing by the San Diego coast while aboard a comfortable Hornblower whale watching yacht. We offer guaranteed sightings of these majestic giants. If we don’t see a whale we will offer you a “Whale Check” to come back for free. Besides whales, you’ll witness many varieties of marine life: four types of dolphin, sea lions and marine birds such as Brown Pelicans and Blue Herons along the way.
These are just a taste of the incredible attractions that await visitors to San Diego!
3100 block of Mission Boulevard
Located directly on the Mission Bay Boardwalk, this park features a beautifully restored wooden roller coaster guaranteed to delight enthusiasts of classic amusement park rides.
San Diego Harbor Excursion Whale Watching
1050 N. Harbor Dr
Seemingly placid by comparison to the more widely known killer whale, the California gray whale is by no means less beautiful. Those wishing to observe the California grays during their southerly migration can do so by means of daily tours departing both morning and afternoon from the foot of Broadway (downtown).
Stephen Birch Aquarium Museum
2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla
The Stephen Birch Aquarium Museum, associated with the world-renowned Scripps Institute of Oceanography, is the largest oceanographic exhibit in the U.S. With over 3,000 fish from waters cold to tropical, the museum features enough species to keep even Jacques Cousteau busy. The museum’s bookshop sells a variety of works focusing on marine science and oceanography and includes teaching materials.
With perhaps the most to offer of any area of San Diego, the beautifully landscaped acres of Balboa Park include museums featuring world class collections, the San Diego Zoo, the Starlight Bowl outdoor theater, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, the Old Globe Theatre complex, rose and cactus gardens, and the Japanese Friendship Garden, where the occasional traditional tea ceremony can be observed. If you are in the mood for a walk or a picnic, this is the area for you. Even the open areas feature entertainment with both artists and street performers being common sights during the weekend.
San Diego Museum of Art
1450 El Prado, Balboa Park
The largest museum in San Diego, the Museum of Art features works by Old Masters from several continents.
San Diego Natural History Museum
In Balboa Park
For those who enjoy the collected works of nature more than the collected works of man, the San Diego Natural History Museum presents to its visitors a variety of environmental habitats. These include desert, ocean and shore habitats, as well as displays of a variety of gems and minerals.
Old Town State Historic Park
The six blocks of San Diego’s first settlement is a pedestrian-only zone that preserves the original site and Mexican influence of California’s oldest city in its reconstructed and restored 1800s structures.
Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center
1875 El Prado, Balboa Park
With activities both entertaining and educational, the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center has something for every member of the family. With the latest technology, giant OMNIMAX films treat visitors to a variety of entertaining, educational topics. From the comfort of their seats, visitors can go on exciting adventures or view planetarium shows. The Science Center portion of the facility is definitely a hands-on experience, where visitors are both invited and encouraged to experience the variety of exhibits firsthand.
San Diego Aerospace Museum
2001 Pan American Plaza
Located in Balboa Park, the San Diego Aerospace Museum is the place to be for aviation enthusiasts both young and old. Whether it is an interest in historical flight or merely a child’s fascination with the wonders of flying that brings one here, there is plenty here to view, entertain, and educate.
Cabrillo National Monument
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr., Point Loma
With over 1.2 million visitors each year, the Cabrillo National Monument is one of the country’s most visited national monuments. Dedicated to Juan Rodruiguez Cabrillo, who arrived in the San Diego area in 1542, the monument consists of a statue that sits at the tip of Point Loma. Visitors can also view the restored lighthouse (circa 1855), or visit the nearby Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Visitors are invited to partake in guided tours of the Cemetery or view one of the hourly films on Cabrillo, the history of San Diego, and the California gray whales, whose yearly migration can be seen from Point Loma from December through March.
Firehouse Museum 1572 Columbia St
Complete with shiny fire engines, hand and horse-drawn engines, a turn of the century steam pumper, and historical memorabilia such as antique alarms and fire hats, the Firehouse Museum is a complete collection of firefighting artifacts. In fact, the only thing missing is the Dalmatian.
Maritime Museum 1306 N. Harbor Dr.
Consisting of three uniquely historical vessels, the Maritime Museum exhibits the variety of naval architecture and function of the 19th and early 20th century. Visitors can board each vessel and explore for themselves or view movies on-deck (April – October). The vessels that comprise the Museum are the full-rigged merchant vessel Star of India (1863), whose impressive masts are an integral part of the San Diego cityscape, the gleaming white San Francisco-Oakland steam-powered ferry Berkeley (1898), which worked round-the-clock to carry people to safety following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the sleek Medea (1904), one of the world’s few remaining large steam yachts.
San Diego Museum of Man
1350 El Prado, Balboa Park
Those interested in the early history of American Indian, Mayan, and Egyptian art and culture can view exhibits here. The exhibits vary from American Indian art to early Egyptian mummies. The museum also features a Children’s’ Discovery Center for younger museum patrons.
Mission San Luis Rey
4050 Mission Avenue
View a piece of the early history of California, as well as look through a window into the lives and culture of the early Californians. Beautifully maintained and restored, Mission San Luis Rey is the largest of California’s missions. The main sanctuary is of particular interest, while the well cared-for grounds offer the opportunity for a picnic.
1047 B Avenue
Coronado, CA 92118
If an interest in getting away from it all has led you to San Diego, let upscale shopping and beautiful white sand beaches bring you to Coronado. Spend a few hours strolling or shopping, explore the yacht harbor or visit the Imperial Beach, then relax and enjoy one of the many excellent restaurants located on this beautiful island.