Hipmunk City Love: Top Things to See and Do in San Diego

The waterfront city of San Diego is just a few miles from the Mexican/U.S border. With unparalleled history and an enchanting natural beauty, San Diego is home to plenty of beaches and monuments that are worth breaking the bank. Here’s a list of attractions to get you started.

Balboa Park

San_Diego Photo by Abi Rosario via Trover

At Balboa Park, visitors can enjoy the intricate architecture adorned in Spanish-Renaissance style. The Admission to the park is free but a few attractions charge a certain fee. The highlights are the botanical gardens, Museum of Man, and San Diego Zoo.

SeaWorld San Diego

Shamu_Stadium Photo by Tonette Pineda via Trover

Visit SeaWorld to meet the famous Shamu in the One Ocean Show. At the Dolphin Point, kids can meet and pet bottlenose dolphins while the trainers teach how to communicate with dolphins through hand signals. There is also the recently opened Manta roller coaster for adventure lovers. Visitors who just want to explore the property can stroll through the underwater tunnel or head to the Penguin Habitat featuring almost 300 penguins.

Gaslamp Quarter

Petco_Park Photo by Meghan hernandez via Trover

Located in downtown San Diego, Gaslamp Quarter is a historic neighbourhood brimming with restored Victorian style buildings from the 19th and 20th century. The area glows in the limelight of a vibrant nightlife. From shopping at Horton Plaza to catching a baseball game in Petco Park, there’s something for everyone at Gaslamp Quarter. With plenty of ornately designed restaurants and bustling pubs in the area, it is advisable to stay in for the night at hotels near downtown.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

Torrey_Pines Photo by Olivier Pasco via Trover

For a great outdoor experience, visit Torrey Pines State Reserve — home to some rare pine trees. Although there are eight trails, each of the three popular ones offer different scenery: Guy Fleming Trail provides a scenic view from Peñasquitos Marsh to La Jolla, the beach trail leads one to the Torrey Pines State Beach, and the Razor Point trail offers ocean views.

Coronado Beach

Coronado_Beach Photo by Braden Jarvis via Trover

Popular among beachcombers and surfers, Coronado Beach has sand that is as fine as gold because of the presence of mineral mica. Locals walk their canine companions in the northern section of the Coronado Municipal Beach section, since it’s the only dog friendly beach in the area. As the central Coronado beach extends along the Ocean Boulevard, visitors will love the scenic landscape. Plan on staying at the Hotel Del Coronado and understand the history by signing up for the Coronado Walking Tour.

Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument

Named after the 16th century explorer, Cabrillo National Monument boasts a number of activities: hiking the bayside trail, and the coastal tidepool trail, visiting the Old Point Lama Lighthouse restored from the 1800s, Pacific Gray Whale watching between December and February, and exploring California’s unique ecosystem in the Rocky Intertidal Zone.

Seaport Village

Visitors will not want to miss the harbor side setting of shops and dining eateries. This waterfront complex also highlights free-standing buildings known for their architecture — from Victorian to Mexican. Another noteworthy feature at the Seaport Village is the carousel adorned with hand-carved animals and horse-drawn chariots.

As a vacationer’s paradise, San Diego is ideal for all those who are in search of art, culture, and shopping as well as other outdoor activities.

Featured Image by Kala Carter.

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