9 Must-See Things in San Diego

9 Must-See Things in San Diego from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Located on the coast in southern California, San Diego is a popular vacation destination for all types of travelers. The sophisticated city offers visitors gorgeous beaches and year-round good weather. San Diego also has a world-class culinary scene and is home to many cultural and historical attractions. Whether you decide to stay in one of San Diego’s luxury hotels, choose to rent a vacation home, or opt to set up your tent or RV in a San Diego campground, when you visit this charming city there are a few things you want to make sure you don’t miss. Read on to discover nine things you must see on your next trip to San Diego, California.

 Little Italy

This historic neighborhood was home to immigrants from Italy in the early 20th century, many of them fishermen. Today the neighborhood is home to several festivals and to lively cultural and culinary scenes that include the Mercato Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, popular restaurants and bars, and museums.

Balboa Park

One of southern California’s most visited cultural destinations, Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in the United States. The park is home to botanical gardens and 15 museums including the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Air and Space Museum, and the San Diego History Center. The Museum of Man includes the California Tower, a 200-foot-tall structure that offers a view over the Mexican border from its deck. 

La Jolla

San Diego’s beach district is home to one of the most picturesque stretches of coastline in the United States. La Jolla is home to several beautiful beaches, waterfront resorts, enchanting historic streets, and many popular restaurants.  You can also watch pelicans and seals from La Jolla Cove’s cliffs or kayak or snorkel in the area’s interesting sea caves.

Ocean Beach Pier

The longest concrete pier on the West Coast of the United States, you can walk almost a half-mile out into the ocean on Ocean Beach Pier. The T-shaped pier is open 24 hours a day, making it a great place to watch the sunset or go for an early morning jog. It’s also a great place to watch the local fishermen, pelicans, sea lions, and, if you are lucky, dolphins. At low tide, you can explore the tide pools beneath the boardwalk.

 Gaslight District

This historic 16-block neighborhood is the center of San Diego’s dining and nightlife scene. It’s also home to several Victorian buildings dating back to the 1800s that stand right alongside modern skyscrapers. Visitors to the neighborhood can enjoy cocktails in the area’s rooftop bars and eat in several of the city’s most popular restaurants.

Liberty Station

This lively public market area first opened in 1923 as a United States Navy training center. Most of its original Spanish Revival architecture is still standing, giving the place a historic feel. In 2013, the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens moved into the Navy training center’s former mess hall. Today, Liberty Station is also home to Liberty Public Market, which offers a huge collection of local food and drinks vendors, including cheesemakers, coffee roasters, bakeries, and fishmongers. 

San Diego Zoo 

Considered one of the best zoos in the country, the San Diego Zoo has been around for more than 100 years. Visitors to the zoo can enjoy a double-decker bus tour, an aerial tram, and more than 3,000 animals. The zoo also operates nearby Safari Park, where cheetahs, giraffes, lions, and more than 300 other species of animals roam freely. 

The USS Midway Museum

Military history buffs will not want to miss the self-guided tour aboard this aircraft carrier turned museum located at Navy Pier. The USS Midway Museum has a large collection of military airplanes and offers several interpretive exhibits that help visitors understand what life at sea can be like like for members of the United States Navy. Many of the museum’s tour guides are retired Navy veterans with extensive knowledge of military and naval history.

Craft Breweries

In recent years, San Diego has become to craft beer production what Napa Valley is to winemaking. The city is home to more than 100 breweries, and many local companies offer tours of the best ones. Some of the more famous names include Karl Strauss, Lost Abbey, Ballast Point, and Stone Brewing Co. Because several of San Diego’s breweries are located off of Highway 78, the area has become known to locals as “hops highway.” The area is also home to several restaurants and brewpubs.

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