Top 7 Things to Do in San Diego
Top 7 Things to Do in San Diego
San Diego is one of the largest cities in California with no end of fun things to do. Here are our seven top activities to enjoy around our large city, whether you live here or you’re visiting.
- Broadway Pier
Broadway Pier, built out of reinforced concrete in 1913, has been a busy passenger vessel dock for many years. Since 1962, the Port of San Diego has had jurisdiction over the Pier. It is one of the very first structures of its kind to grace San Diego Bay.
The Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier is a diverse, multifunctional space that overlooks the beautiful San Diego Bay from the Embarcadero. Its captivating design and ecological features honor the waterfront and draw in locals and visitors alike. Whether you're embarking on a voyage out of San Diego's port, holding a special event for your family or colleagues, having an unforgettable wedding with a view, or simply finding a spot to relax and enjoy the sunset as ships come and go, the Port Pavilion offers it all.
- Balboa Park
Sprawling across 1,200 acres of land, Balboa Park is a historic urban park in San Diego, home to plenty of open green spaces, native plants, gardens, and walking trails. It's also the site of several museums and theaters, as well as the beloved San Diego Zoo. Aside from merely admiring the view and ambiance, visitors can also take part in recreational activities, such as shopping for souvenirs and grabbing a bite to eat.
Established as a public recreation area back in 1835, this piece of land is now managed and maintained by the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department. Museums include Center Cultural de la Raza, which celebrates Latin and Indigenous history, and Comic-Con Museum, where you can enjoy displays from Comic-Con year-round.
- Maritime Museum of San Diego
If you find sea voyages fascinating, you’ll love the Maritime Museum of San Diego, just 21 minutes from San Ysidro. This noteworthy museum boasts a unique array of historic ships and displays, like the ever-active Star of India, which is the oldest working ship in the world. This is considered to be one of the top three Maritime Museums in the world and should be on everyone's list of places to visit.
Founded in 1948, The Maritime Museum of San Diego is home to one of the largest collections of historic ships in the United States. Nestled along the San Diego Bay, the most impressive ship in its lineup is the Star of India—an 1863 iron bark. Those more interested in research have access to the MacMullen Library and Research Archives available on board the 1898 ferryboat Berkeley, as well as its quarterly journal Mains Haul: A Journal of Pacific Maritime History. It should be on everyone’s list of places to visit in San Diego.
- The New Children’s Museum
The Children's Museum of San Diego, since renamed the New Children's Museum, first opened its doors in La Jolla in 1983. They focus on showcasing works of contemporary art for children to explore and experience with their families. Visitors can come to the museum to take part in a variety of art projects and activities designed to be both educational and creative. The museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every day except Tuesday.
- San Diego Natural History Museum
The beginnings of the San Diego Natural History Museum go back to the San Diego Society of Natural History, which was established on October 9, 1874. George W. Barnes, Daniel Cleveland, Charles Coleman, E. W. Hendrick, and O. N. Sanford were the five originators of the group, making it the earliest natural history club in Southern California and the second oldest in the western US.
Known as the Nat, the San Diego Natural History Museum is just 21 minutes from us in San Ysidro. The Nat is a natural history museum that portrays the evolution and diversity of southern California and the peninsula of Baja California. Through research, education, and exhibits, it strives to increase the understanding of the region’s environment and to foster a respect for nature among all its visitors.
- Waterfront Park
San Diego's Waterfront Park is the city's prime outdoor space for cool summer fun. Its various sections spread out from the park's historical landscape, County building, and splash fountain. The park also features private yet cozy garden alcoves, each with its own personality, a children's zone with lots of fun activities, and several spots for picnics. It accommodates a range of events like festivals, farmers markets, and family gatherings of any size. Plus, it does not permit smoking or alcohol consumption.
- The Gaslamp Quarter
Sprawling across 16.5 blocks of downtown San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter encompasses the area bordered by Broadway and Harbor Dr, stretching from 4th to 6th Avenue. Its 94 Victorian-era buildings have been repurposed into a myriad of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues, earning the district a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Tourists and locals alike are attracted to the area's many events such as the Mardi Gras celebration, Street Scene Music Festival, Taste of Gaslamp, and ShamROCK St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Whatever your plans— whether it’s for a romantic night out, birthday bash, bachelorette party, bar hopping or family dinner—something fun awaits all who venture here. Locals often refer to this district as simply "the Gaslamp," but signs throughout the district spell out its full name: Gaslamp Quarter.
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