San Diego, CA

6 Must-Visit Place When in San Diego

Traveling with Alice

Image by Binh Du from Pixabay

San Diego, universally known as “America’s Finest City,” famous for its miles and miles of white-sand beaches, fantastic weather, craft beers, and zoo, offers tourists all sorts of entertainment.

No matter if you are traveling with your young children or with your friends, you will always find something exciting to do at all times.

Old Town San Diego

Old Town can be reached using the San Diego Trolley marked red or take 10 short minutes from the Gaslamp Quarter. It is perfect if you want to stroll or do some relaxed shopping.

The buildings in the area take to the architecture of California's beginnings and house shops and museums. What's better than taking a day to lay back and enjoy the view while some mariachi groups perform around town?

Don't forget to check the Old Town State Historic Park with its collection of 19th-century homes and businesses that provide a look into colonial life in San Diego between 1821 and 1872.

Image by Peter Thomas from Pixabay

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo started its collection of animals and plants from the Panama-American Exposition back in the early 1900s.

Today, it's a world-renowned research facility and home to several endangered species in a dedicated area, taking half of its size, located in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido.

With such extensive acreage, 1,800 acres, going through the entire zoo will take more than just a day trip. Zoo mascots will be around the park all day to take a memory picture with children and adults.

Don't forget to pay a visit to Mei Sheng, the panda. Mei Sheng seems to be the tourists' favorite animal, and an hour-long queue can form during peak season.

You can get to the San Diego Zoo by car, bus, or bike. Parking is free. You can enter via Zoo Place just off Park Boulevard, situated in Balboa Park, close to downtown San Diego.

Image by HansMeex from Pixabay

Balboa Park

Balboa Park is located northeast of downtown San Diego.

Hiking and biking trails and play and picnic grounds can be found in the park and used by tourists and locals to relax or have fun.

The Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street entrance has a bridge that, once crossed, will lead you to what is left of the Panama-American Exposition held between 1915 and 1916. The park isn't just a relaxing green area.

It hosts several museums, such as the Mingei International Museum, the San Diego Air & Space Museum, and The San Diego Museum of Art. Balboa Park is an extraordinary place where history, art, and nature come together. Of course, the park also houses shops, restaurants, and seasonal art performances.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

La Jolla

La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya), located 30 minutes from downtown San Diego is a hilly, seaside neighborhood extending on 7 miles of curving coastline along the Pacific Ocean.

It is a must-visit place for hikers and trekkers who will appreciate the path that takes up cliffs and down the beaches. The Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve will offer you an hour of breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. At the same time, families with small children will enjoy the many parks available in the village, such as the La Jolla Cove or the Ellen Browning Scripps Park.

A hike up Mt. Soledad will provide you with the chance to enjoy a panoramic view of San Diego City down below.

La Jolla offers fine art museums and galleries as well as fine dining and shopping.

Image by Marcus Hammarberg from Pixabay


Sea World is another super-popular tourist spot in San Diego. It was built in the 1960s, and it is now a very successful theme park. Shamu, the killer whale, is essentially the city's unofficial emblem.

The best characteristic about Sea World is probably the high level of interaction between the animals and visitors.

The Dolphin Interaction Program allows people to have direct contact with the dolphins, including having the chance to touching and holding them under the supervision of their caretakers. This extraordinary experience takes place after being informed about their life, habitat, and habits.

The program's price is around $169 per person.

Of course, the Dolphin Interaction Program isn't the only activity available at SeaWorld. Encounter tours with sloths and sea otters are available too, as many shows also involving the famous orcas.

Image by Naomi Yu Wei from Pixabay

Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter hasn't always be considered a place where people wanted to hang out at night. Luckily, things have changed, and it's now a safe and fun place to spend both the day and night.

The Gaslamp Quarter is the result of San Diego City taking charge and rescuing a community from running down. A symbol of this neighborhood rebirth is the San Diego Repertory Theater's presence, where live shows and festivals take place.

The Gaslamp Quarter now famous for its vibrant and colorful life. Restaurants, markets, and events make this district one of the best to have some fun. You must try taking a horse-drawn carriage or ride the San Diego Trolley while in the area.

Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As you might know by now, San Diego has everything for everyone. Young or old, nature-lover or shopaholic, everyone who finds themself in this city will discover a place they can truly appreciate.

Comments / 2

Published by

Solo traveler discovering United States' top touristic attractions and hidden gems.


More from Traveling with Alice

Comments / 0