San Diego is a top destination for visitors looking to experience great weather, the casual SoCal lifestyle, outdoor adventures, theme park fun, foodie eats, and more.
Whether you’re traveling with kids-in-tow, planning a romantic getaway, meeting up with friends, or going solo, our travel guides have the information you need to discover it all, right here in one place.
Things to do in San Diego, in between catching gnarly waves:
What are some popular attractions to visit?
- SeaWorld San Diego – Celebrate the natural wonders of the ocean at SeaWorld San Diego, a can’t-miss California destination that’s sure to delight and inspire visitors of all ages!
- San Diego Zoo – The world famous 100-acre Zoo is home to more than 3,500 rare and endangered animals representing more than 650 species and subspecies.
- LEGOLAND® California Resort – You’ll find more than 60 rides, shows and attractions including LEGO® Star Wars™ Miniland Model Display, Pirate Reef, and more.
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park – An expansive wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 3,000 animals. Over half of the Park’s 1,800 acres have been set aside as protected native species habitat.
- USS Midway Museum- The USS Midway Museum aircraft carrier, 972 feet and 74,000 tons of military muscle, has become a mainstay of San Diego.
These are just a few. Want more fun ideas for things to do in San Diego? Head over here for more San Diego attractions to see during your trip.
How long are you visiting?
Whether you’re visiting San Diego for 24-hours or a full week, we’ve put together sample itineraries with the most popular things to do in the city.
From the most popular tours and attractions to iconic landmarks and experiences, these itineraries give you the best San Diego experience based on the time you’ll have to explore.
- One Day in San Diego – sample itinerary
- 2 Days in San Diego – sample itinerary
- 3 Days in San Diego – sample itinerary
- One Week in San Diego – sample itinerary
- San Diego to San Francisco Road Trip – sample itinerary
Who are you visiting with?
No matter who you’re traveling with, there are a ton of fun things to do in San Francisco, particularly for families.
We’ve put together a list of top attractions and activities geared towards young kids, teens, and even adults to help you plan your trip.
- Things to Do in San Diego with Kids
- Things to Do in San Diego with Teens
- Things to Do in San Diego for Adults
- more coming soon!
What type of activities interest you?
Whether you’re envisioning yourself checking off all the top museums or just chilling on the beach, our San Diego insiders have put together a few ‘best of’ lists to help you streamline your itinerary and choose which activities you want to do.
- Top Museums in San Diego
- Top San Diego Area Theme Parks
- Visiting San Diego on a budget
- more coming soon!
What parts of San Diego are you visiting?
Explore San Diego by neighborhood to maximize your time sightseeing. We’ve highlighted a handful of top attractions and places to see by neighborhood in the city so you can make the most of your time and check off everything on your list.
- San Diego Neighborhoods to Visit
- Things to Do in Balboa Park
- Things to Do in Downtown San Diego
- more coming soon!
When are you visiting?
San Diego is a popular destination year-round and offers a different experience with each season and type of weather.
Check out our lists of things to do in the city throughout the year to make the most of your itinerary and experience unique, calendar-based activities.
- Things to Do in San Diego in the Spring
- Things to Do in San Diego in the Summer
- Things to Do in San Diego in the Fall
- Things to Do in San Diego in the Winter
What’s the best way to get around?
San Diego is large and spread out and has lots of easy options for getting around. Depending on how far out of the city you plan to go, you might want to consider renting a car.
Car (recommended): if you plan to get around to attractions by car, be sure to leave time to find parking downtown.
Public transportation: within San Diego, trolleys provide service from popular locations downtown while buses are available for travel beyond downtown. Beyond San Diego, the Amtrack California services points of interest north and south of San Diego.
Tip: get the free moovit app for point-to-point trip planning and real-time updates for both subway and bus routes.
Taxis: taxis are typically available at most hotels and shared ride services such as Uber and Lyft are widely available and easy to use.
Looking for more info? Check out our post on getting around San Diego for tourists.
Where should you stay?
There are plenty of great places to stay in the area. Below are a handful of hotel suggestions located near popular tourist attractions and fun things to do.
- Days Inn San Diego Hotel Circle Near SeaWorld
- The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
- Gaslamp Plaza Suites
- Ramada Gaslamp Convention Center-The Historic St James Hotel
- Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown
Where should you shop?
In between sightseeing, try and find time to pick up some souvenirs. Here are a few popular areas to get some shopping in.
- Westfield UTC
- Fashion Valley
- Westfield Horton Plaza
- La Jolla
Make sure to check out all of the extra discounts and savings available on the Go San Diego Card.
Where to Eat
Go on a tour of San Diego’ foodie scene with our top picks for family-friendly places to eat in San Diego. We’ve included top picks for every appetite and attractions nearby so you can sightsee while you taste your way through San Diego’s culinary destinations. No judgement.
Fun Info from a Local
- The Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla is the largest oceanographic museum in the US.
- May 29 is officially Tony Hawk Day in San Diego to celebrate the native skateboarding pro.
- San Diego sports teams have never won a World Series, Super Bowl, or NBA Championship.
- The area of San Diego known as Old Town was the city’s first civilian settlement where visitors can see early Spanish, Mexican, and American buildings.
- San Diego is a large active port of the US Navy.
- The Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster in Belmont Park holds the status of a National Historic Place.
- San Diego produces the most avocados in the US.
Share your adventure with us!
Tag us when you upload photos from your trip to Instagram: @SmartDestinations or #GoCityCard.