Founded in 1769, San Diego is the oldest and second-largest city in California. The comfortable weather throughout the year and the laid-back environment make San Diego a very popular tourist destination.
San Diego's coastal seat along with its proximity to the Mexican border makes it a perfect cultural fusion of Mexico and America. Whether you are looking to go to the beaches, museums, awe at high-rise buildings, or experience the food and local culture, San Diego is filled with exciting and fun things to do. Here is a list of some of the must-visit attractions for your next trip to San Diego.
La Jolla Cove
One of the most photographed places in San Diego, La Jolla Cove is an ecologically protected area with wildlife both in and out of water. You can spot sea lions near the cove's bluffs and if you are lucky they may even come on the beach occasionally. La Jolla Cove is a very popular spot for snorkeling for both beginners and experienced folks and when you are underwater you will see a variety of sea creatures.
Even if you are not into snorkeling, it is still recommended to visit the La Jolla Cove for its beautiful landscapes. The site is also popular for swimming, kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, and biking.
The Gaslamp Quarter is a 16 blocks long stretch from L Street all the way up to Broadway, including Sixth, Fifth, and Fourth avenues. The area is filled with Victorian-style architecture and houses a variety of shops, art galleries, theaters, and restaurants. You can either start your stroll at the Horton Plaza or the Gaslamp Quarter's gate itself. Gaslamp Quarter has a very happening nightlife and the place is buzzing with people even late into the night.
Gaslamp Quarter also hosts a lot of events throughout the year - from Comic-Con to Mardi Gras Parade, this place is part of some of the most popular annual events in San Diego.
USS Midway Museum
San Diego is a big military town and is home to the longest-serving aircraft carrier in the world USS midway. USS Midway started its journey in 1945 and has served in World War 2, Korea War, Vietnam War, and Operation Desert Storm before being converted into a museum in 2004.
The museum offers over 60 exhibits and nearly 30 restored aircraft aboard. During the tour, you can see the crew's sleeping quarters, brig, ship's jail, and the engine room among several other points of interest. You can also enjoy flight simulators, know tying demonstrations, and films showcasing the dramatic history of the wars USS Midway had been a part of.
While the self-guided audio tour is great it is recommended to try and listen to several volunteers some of whom are military veterans who served on the USS Midway. There is just so much history and stuff to learn at this museum so you may want to plan for at least half a day when you visit this historical relic.
Balboa Park is a 1200 acre park filled with trails, museums, theaters, occasional concerts, and several recreational facilities. The park also houses the San Diego Zoo. If you like music there are often open-air concerts, if you like theater you can enjoy theater productions. For people looking to play games there are ballparks, bowling alleys, archeries, and remote-controlled racetracks. History buffs can take museum tours, memorials, and art houses.
Children's Pool Beach
The city built a seawall in 1930s to make the waters calmer for children. There was an unintended pleasant surprise that these calm waters appealed to the seals as well. Located in La Jolla, Children's Pool Beach is a great place to watch seals having fun in the sun, playing in the water, and ocassionally giving birth to their pups. If you are even remotely interested in wildlife you would love witnessing the seals in their near natural habitat. It is recommended to pack binoculars if you plan on watching them from above.