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12 Cool Things to Do in San Diego

Posted By Staff Writer on September 25, 2017

12 Cool Things to Do in San Diego

Whether you are a local San Diegan looking for entertainment that may just enrich your life, or are simply visiting the area for a time, we've put together an amazing list of places to go in San Diego. We think these local attractions are the perfect way to spend a day, or even just a few hours, with family and friends!

1. Balboa Park

Balboa Park has plenty of open spaces and walking paths, but it is also full of museums, gardens, and other fun attractions and venues including the San Diego Zoo. This 1200-acre urban park will definitely keep your attention, whether you want to stop by the San Diego Museum of Art or check out the Botanical Building—it's a great way to fill your day!

2. Birch Aquarium at Scripps

For a little ocean science education, head straight to Scripps Aquarium. This public aquarium features 3,000+ animals that represent at least 380 species. With several exhibits to explore, and fantastic views of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus as well as the Pacific Ocean, you won't be disappointed.

3. Point Loma and the Cabrillo National Monument

Point Loma, a seaside community within San Diego, is a peninsula that is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. It has several landmarks and attractions including the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which now serves as a museum, and the Cabrillo National Monument that is located at the most southern tip of the peninsula.

4. SeaWorld

While SeaWorld San Diego has amazing sea life and animals, fun shows and presentations, as well as exciting thrill rides the whole family will love, what you might not know is that they also offer educational day camps and field trips, too. This fun theme park and all it has to offer is a definite must!

5. San Diego Zoo

You've certainly heard of the San Diego Zoo, as it's definitely a favorite San Diego tourist attraction. This massive zoo is located in Balboa Park and houses over 3,700 animals that represent more than 650 species and subspecies—all for you to study and explore. The San Diego Zoo is known for its open-air exhibits, guided bus tours, and gondola that gives you an aerial view of the zoo.

6. San Diego Safari Park

Not to be confused with the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Safari Park is actually one of the largest tourist attractions in the area. The park is home to an expansive group of wild and endangered animals from 6 of the 7 continents—Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. This expansive park features over 2,600 animals that represent more than 300 species, as well as some beautiful botanical gardens and 3,500 plant species.

7. USS Midway Museum

This maritime museum is actually located inside the Midway, an aircraft carrier that houses a wide array of aircraft. A regular self-guided tour includes audio and access to more than 60 locations on board. Additionally, the museum is host to more than 700 events every year as well as countless field trips.

8. Hotel del Coronado

While checking out a hotel may sound a little lackluster, the Hotel del Coronado is a “must see.” The historic beachfront hotel is a National Historic Landmark with beautiful views, sparkling white sand, and unique architecture.

9. Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center

This US Olympic and Paralympic training facility offers a variety of tours and experiences you won't want to miss. Guided tours are the perfect way to learn more about the facility itself, as well as the athletes and sports venues. Educational group tours are also available for groups of 10 or more. Keep in mind that public tours can be reserved in advance, so walk-ins are subject to availability each day.

10. Palomar Observatory

The perfect place to take the entire family, the Palomar Observatory is operated by Caltech and is home to the Hale Telescope. You can choose to do a self-guided tour or a public-guided tour, depending on the time of year. Educational group tours are available year-round, as are Visitors Gallery presentations.

11. Seaport Village

A little waterfront “village” with lots of shops and dining, Seaport is also home to a beautiful 100-year-old working carousel and a variety of interesting architectural styles. Its winding paths that go from building to building are fun for the entire family to explore!

12. Old Town

While Old Town itself offers a variety of activities and entertainment every day of the week, it is also a great place to discover more about the history of San Diego. Whether you'd like to do a trolley tour or visit the Maritime Museum, Old Town will keep you entertained for hours!