If you read my most recent blog post, you know I just got back from my college graduation trip to Los Angeles. But along with my trip to Los Angeles, my boyfriend and I also took a trip to San Diego too! So, if you are planning a trip to San Diego and want to know all of San Diego’s top attractions and things to do, this blog post is for you!
In this blog post, I’ll be sharing some of San Diego’s top attractions and things to do, recommendations of how to get around the city, where to stay, restaurant recommendations, Instagram-worthy photo locations, and a list of some of the places I missed that I am saving for next time.
Things To Do:
1. Sunset Cliffs
I highly recommend visiting Sunset Cliffs on your trip, it is 1000% worth the visit and is such a beautiful place! I’d say it’s super pretty any time of the day, but sunset is obviously the best time to go (and on a sunny day!) Sunset Cliffs is about a 15 minute drive from downtown San Diego right on the water and is the perfect relaxing way to spend an evening. We got to the cliffs about 2 hours before sunset and had fun exploring all the cliffs and then finally watching the sunset on the water.
2. San Diego Zoo/Balboa Park
The San Diego Zoo is definitely a must-see as well as it is rated one of the most famous zoos in the world! There are so many different animals to see and the entire park is huge! Each time I have visited this zoo the animals are always SO entertaining. My boyfriend and I always love looking at the meercats and the monkeys, they are so entertaining we could watch them for hours, haha, and it’s crazy how much like people they are!
Because the zoo is so large, they actually have gondola-type sky transportation for easy transportation across the park as well. (We actually didn’t ride this though because of my fear of heights!) We walked all across the park and still worked out just as well. The zoo is located in Balboa Park which is also a super great Instagram-worthy photo location!
3. Go To a Padres Game
If you’re visiting during the baseball time of year, check out a Padres game! I was so excited about this part of the trip because my boyfriend and I have been talking about how cool it would be to visit every ballpark in America. While we are unsure if that’s something we’re actually going to do yet, this was a start and was so much fun! We love going to sporting events, so if you’re into that too, definitely check it out. Petco Park is in the perfect location downtown and really is a nice ballpark with a lot of local food options.
4. Gaslamp Quarter/Waterfront/Downtown San Diego
One thing I love about downtown San Diego is that is a totally walkable city. It’s not too small yet also not too big and is so easy to get around without a car. You could easily spend a day walking around downtown and visiting Gaslamp. Gaslamp is a stretch of a lot of good restaurants, bars, and shops and is so much fun. The waterfront (Seaport Village) is also extremely close to downtown as well and also has a lot of great gift shops and restaurants worth checking out as well. It’s honestly my favorite part of town because it’s always so peaceful and just a nice relaxing place to be.
5. Little Italy
Little Italy is definitely a must-see in San Diego. Italian food is one of my favorites so I always love visiting this part of town each time I visit San Diego. I don’t necessarily have a favorite restaurant in Little Italy because, basically, they’re all the same, to be honest. They all serve Italian food!
6. Fashion Valley Mall
If you want to do a little bit of shopping on your trip, the Fashion Valley Mall is the place to be! Fashion Valley is a gorgeous outdoor mall with a lot of great shops and restaurant options and is just a 10-15 minute drive from downtown!
How to Get Around the City and Where To Stay
My boyfriend and I stayed at an Airbnb right in downtown San Diego and I’d honestly recommend the same thing, especially if you don’t have a rental car. We hardly had to take an Uber anywhere being downtown since it’s all so walkable. Basically, the only time we needed an Uber was to get to Sunset Cliffs and the zoo, and of course to the airport.
Although, I wanted to mention one of my favorite parts of the trip, the Bird scooters! If you’re totally dreading walking everywhere around the city, yet also want to save money by not taking an Uber, use Bird! When we first arrived in San Diego, everywhere we went downtown we always saw Bird scooters and people riding them, they were seriously all over town. It looked like SO much fun and such an easy way to get around. We actually didn’t end up trying it until our last day, but I’d recommend using it more than just part of the day. We spent over an hour just goofing off and riding the Bird scooter all along the waterfront and around town and it was seriously SO much fun. All you have to do is download the app on your phone, unlock the scooter through your phone, and you pay just a small amount per hour. And finding one is literally no problem at all, there is seriously always one around, no matter where you are downtown!
Another super cool thing about this trip was that because we were coming straight from LA, we actually took the Amtrak train to San Diego from LA and it was such a cool experience! The train ride is absolutely gorgeous and literally takes you right along the water almost the whole way down from LA. It takes you through Orange County, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, and into San Diego and is SO gorgeous on a nice day. So much more affordable than a plane ticket too!
There is an endless amount of restaurants to choose from in San Diego and there are still SO much more I need to try. But some of my favorite places to eat for a meal or a quick snack around the city were:
- Nekter Juice Bar
- Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
- Bub’s at the Ballpark
- Gaslamp Tavern
- Old Spaghetti Factory
- Stacked (at Fashion Valley)
- Edgewater Grill
Instagram-Worthy Photo Locations:
- Sunset Cliffs
- Balboa Park
- Little Italy
- The beaches/waterfront
Places in San Diego I Missed and Want to Visit Next Time:
Some places that I actually missed this trip due to poor weather and/or lack of time were:
- Ocean Beach
- Pacific Beach
- La Jolla
- Torrey Pines State Park
If you made it all the way to the end, thank you so much for reading! I know that was quite a long post, but hope that it was super helpful and gives you all the information you need for your trip to San Diego!