14 Amazing Places to Visit In San Diego for an Awesome Trip

Otto I. Eovaldi

San Diego is considered one of the finest cities in America – with numerous world-class attractions and fascinating locations that won’t let you down. Located in the Southern Californian region, the are numerous places to visit in San Diego and the pleasant climatic conditions and enchanting natural beauty make it memorable for visitors.

Out of the many unique things that distinguish San Diego, its world-famous museums and Spanish Colonial-style architecture are some of the captivating attractions. As there are lots of tourist spots from museums to parks, besides exceptionally maintained restaurants serving the best of multi-cuisine recipes. In short, San Diego keeps you engaged throughout your tour.

Top 14 Places To Visit In San Diego

We have narrowed down the list for you and enlisted below the 14 tourist places to visit in San Diego which must remain part of your itinerary:

1. Balboa Park

Famous Park in San Diego

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Balboa Park is an open space, urban cultural park which is also home to more than 16 museums, several theatres and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Whether you want to see old masterpieces or the new Comic-Con Museum, this place has everything in store for you. Balboa Park is equally important as the centre of art & culture in San Diego. Therefore, it remains one of the most historic sites in the city. It was developed as a place meant to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal in the year 1915-16 for the Panama-California exhibition.

You also find two of the most iconic buildings namely Casa del Prado and Casa del Balboa. Architecture of the place is of Spanish style with low rise buildings. There are around 65 miles of trails in and around Balboa Park that keeps you hooked. Today, it is among the top places to visit in San Diego as a tourist.

Places of Interest: Museum of Man; Museum of Natural History; Botanical Garden, Lily Ponds and several beautiful parks.
Fees: Nominal fees apply to events, programmes and even some museums.
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year for various programmes or shows.

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2. San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

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San Diego Zoo is not only one of the largest zoos in the US but also home to more than 3,500 animals of 650 different species. It is a world-famous zoo where visitors get a close view of the exotic species. You will be able to see a wide variety of animals including Fox, Hippos, Antelope, Brown Bear, Rhino and more. The early morning walk with pandas is a unique attraction here. Make sure you see them besides flamingos in the zoo.

Fees: For the whole 1-Day pass, it is INR 4,000 per adult (age 12 and up) and INR 3,295 per child to avail admission in the zoo besides unlimited use of the Guided Bus Tour to Express Bus and Skyfari Aerial tram transportation.
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year

3. Gaslamp Quarter

Gaslamp Quarter

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Gaslamp Quarter was built in the late 19th century and early 20th century. This place is now a hub for shopping centres, restaurants and galleries. Gaslamp Quarter is a notable place today that attracts locals as well as tourists from across the globe due to its locational advantage.

Gaslamp Pet parade is a unique event held in December when pets are dressed up in costumes and are on display for tourists to enjoy. Located in the heart of San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter is one of the best places to visit in San Diego California during a US trip.

Popular Events: Mardi Gras Parade & Gaslamp Pet Parade held in December.
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year but December witnesses a bunch of special events.

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4. Seaport Village

Seaport Village

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Seaport Village in San Diego is a perfect place to stroll around and buy different types of souvenirs. Visit San Diego Pier café to have an amazing view of the sea while sipping hot coffee. The place is filled with shopping hotspots and multi-cuisine restaurants. The time required to explore this place can be from two hours to a maximum of half-day.

Popular Events: Buskerfest (live pet costume show) during March

5. SeaWorld


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One of San Diego’s main tourist attractions, SeaWorld is unique and worth exploring. It is located along the waterfront in Mission Bay. This aquarium allows a closer look of the sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. Make sure SeaWorld remains in your itinerary of tourist places in San Diego for a great exploration experience. Several worth seeing shows are organised at SeaWorld which you can’t miss during your tour. The place is a blast, especially if you are visiting with your family.

Popular Events: Dolphin show
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
Timings: 10 AM – 5 PM
Accessibility & Audience: Family Friendly

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6. USS Midway Museum

USS Midway Museum

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USS Midway Museum includes more than 60 exhibits and 25 restored aircraft. It is the longest-serving American aircraft carrier. You will experience the self-guided audio tour where you can see the engine room, ship’s jail, flight control room and many more things. It is considered one of the best places to visit in San Diego; therefore, advisable to reach early to avoid long ticket queues and crowd.

Fees: INR 1,500 per Adult; INR 575 per child & INR 1,290 per Senior Citizen.
Timings: 10 AM – 5 PM
Accessibility & Audience: Family Friendly

7. Mission Beach

Mission Beach

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Mission Beach spans nearly two miles of the ocean front. This beach is a perfect spot for surfing where people usually come for sunbathing, leisurely walks and indulge in cycling and skateboarding. The famous Belmont Park is situated in this place. It remains one of the top places to visit in San Diego, California. Also, taste great food in any of the nearby restaurants as well as street food at any food joint here.

Fees: No fees applicable
Timings: 10 AM – 5 PM
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
Accessibility & Audience: Family Friendly

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8. Coronado Beach

Coronado Beach

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Compared to Mission Beach, Coronado Beach has calmer waves. You will also find the historic “Hotel del Coronado” and some magnificent mansions located nearby. If you love ice skating, then visit this hotel as it provides the facility. You can also enjoy sand volleyball at this beach. It is considered one of the best sightseeing places in San Diego.

Fees: No fees applicable
Timings: Morning to late evenings
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
Accessibility & Audience: Family Friendly

9. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

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Old Town San Diego State Historic Park has a touch of Mexican history. This place offers lots of opportunity for tourists to enjoy shopping and dining. Old Town remains the most visited parks in California thus one of the top places to visit in San Diego. This town has preserved Mexican culture and traditions, especially in the food which inculcate authentic Mexican food aroma. Several shops sell handcrafted items from Mexico.

Some of the famous places to visit here are Junipero Serra Museum and Casa de Estudillo – known for traditional furniture and depict the tradition and culture of ancient times. This place preserves the rich history and culture of the region.

Fees: Individual nominal entrance fees in museums but rest areas can be explored for free.
Timings: Throughout the day
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
Accessibility & Audience: Family Friendly

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10. Cabrillo National Monument

Cabrillo National Monument

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Point Loma provides an incredible view over San Diego and the Pacific Ocean. It is a place where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo had landed and the history of his journey is depicted in the Cabrillo National Monument here. He was the first European traveller who navigated to California. You can tour to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse Building here.

Timings: 10 AM – 5 PM
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
Accessibility & Audience: Family Friendly

11. Sunset Cliff

Sunset Cliff

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If you are keen to have an awestruck sunset moment, then Sunset Cliff is the place for you. To avoid crowd at dusk, it is best advised to plan a weekday trip rather than a weekend trip to Sunset Cliff. It is considered as one of the best sightseeing places in San Diego.

Fees: No fees applicable.Timings: Round the clock
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
Accessibility & Audience: Family Friendly

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12. Petco Park

Petco Park

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One of the best baseball stadiums in the United States, the famous Petco Park is situated beside the historic Gaslamp Quarter. This stadium offers tours for anyone and everyone. If you are a baseball lover, then you must visit here.

Fees: INR 1,075 – INR 2,113, depending on demand and quality of Padre’s opponent.
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
Accessibility & Audience: Family Friendly

13. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

If you are an adventurer holidaying in the region then Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is undoubtedly one of the best places for you in San Diea. The oceanfront reserve comprises of 1,750 acres of impeccable terrains where you can glance at the America’s rarest pine trees.

Fees: INR 1,500 – INR 2,000
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year
Accessibility & Audience: Family Friendly

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14. Children’s Pool Beach

The Children’s Pool Beach is a must-visit place for animal lovers. The beach is in La Jolla and sometimes form a the waters calm for kids due to its seawall that was constructed in the 1930s. However, the setup do attracts the seals and you can click some rare pictures of these creatures here. This is one of the best San Diego tourist places.

Fees: No entry fee
Best Time to Visit: March to November
Accessibility & Audience: Family Friendly

As a traveller to San Diego for a holiday trip, plan a trip that will let you explore all the sought after locations. Add the above-mentioned places into your itinerary for unlimited fun and excitement as they are the top places to visit in San Diego to remember during your lifetime. San Diego has the most ideal climate with temperatures averaging in the 20s all year long.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In San Diego

What is the best time to visit San Diego?

San Diego can be visited at any time of the year as temperature doesn’t cross 30 degree celsius. Ideally, the best month is September when there is less rain and the place is less crowded.

What is the most famous destination to visit in San Diego?

San Diego has lots of famous tourist destinations that attract many tourists to explore this place like the Balboa Park, Gaslamp Quarter and the world-famous San Diego Zoo amongst others. Don’t forget to visit the famous Sunset Cliff here.

What is the climate like in San Diego?

The climate in San Diego is classified as a Mediterranean climate. San Diego has a perfect climate around the year with no extreme summers or harsh winters.

Is San Diego safe place to visit?

Absolutely yes! San Diego is one of the safest places in California with a crime rate as low as 15 per cent.

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