Visiting San Diego for the first time? Make it memorable. San Diego County is an ideal destination for family, friends, adventurers, hikers, surfers, sun seekers and many explorations.
Spend your day at Balboa Park – the city’s jewel with many museums, beautiful gardens, theaters and restaurants. Balboa Park is nearly 1200 acres, which makes it bigger than New York’s Central Park. Soak up in San Diego’s history during your visit to interactive museums. Balboa Park is a great day out for picnics, walking, or bike rides. I highly recommend visiting the pavilion at Balboa Park. The Park houses the world’s largest pipe organ in a fully outdoor venue. Free Sunday Concerts are held at the pavilion. There are 17 museums and some of them are free entry for San Diego residents or military personnel. The lush beautiful gardens from end to end is perfect for relaxing on the benches and smell the flowers, walking, picnic and of course take those gorgeous vacation photos.
San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park, housing over 15,000 animals and over 600 species. The zoo offers many attractions including guided tours, botanical tours, the Skyfari Ariel Tram, various shows and animal encounters. Check out San Diego Zoo for tickets, tours, and show times.
Coronado Island is home to beautiful Coronado Beach, attractive to beachgoers due to it’s peaceful atmosphere and it’s scenic views. It’s best known for it’s grand Victorian hotel, Hotel Del Coronado. Hotel Del Coronado is a historic landmark hotel visited by many including U.S Presidents and movie starts. This red-roof hotel is a must see for it’s scenery, and history.
Mission Beach is a popular beach in San Diego off the I-5 freeway on Mission Boulevard. It offers water sports, attracts surfers, volley ball players and famous Belmont Park. Belmont Park is an amusement park with roller coaster rides, bumper cars, bike rentals, beach volley ball, boogie boarding, and food kiosks. They also offer unlimited ride wristbands for both adults and kids who are looking for a full day of fun on the Giant Dipper, carousel and many other rides. Love fishing? You can also fish off the Mission Bay Jetty.
Mission Boulevard has a wide variety of eateries and shops. Parking is always an issue around the Mission Beach/Belmont Park area. Best to park in public parking spots or if you are staying in close proximity, a bike ride or a walk to Mission Beach is highly recommended. San Diego Transit has busses that frequently run the route to Mission Beach. Check out San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System for fares and schedules, or browse moovitapp.com for more information on public transportation around San Diego.
If you make it to Mission Beach, then why not check out the neighboring Pacific Beach. A similar beach to Mission Beach with attractions catered to a younger demographic and a night life to enjoy.
For a more laid back vibe, drive to Mission Bay located south of Pacific Beach. This human-made 2000 acres salt water bay offers parks, beaches and trails. This area is great for paddle boating, picnics, bike rides, walking, jogging, jet skiing, sailing, camping, skateboarding, sun bathing etc. Mission Bay also offers a private yacht club on the west side of the bay with sailing races all year round.
On the East side of Mission Bay, there is a grass park, boat launching ramps and a playground. Mission Bay is bordered to the east by the I-5 freeway and East Mission Bay Drive.
A popular nearby attraction park is SeaWorld San Diego, an animal theme park with an outside aquarium, oceanarium, animal encounters, rides and roller coasters, many indoor exhibits, and if you stay till the sun goes down, you will experience SeaWorld’s spectacular fireworks. Fireworks normally starts 10/15 mins before the park closes.
One of the best hotels to stay with grounds right on Mission Bay is San Diego Mission Bay Resort.
If you plan on traveling with pets, dogs are allowed in some areas of Mission Bay Park with leashes and Fiesta Island offers lease free dogs and closes at 10pm. There is ample parking in Mission Bay. A great day out for family and friends. A great destination for weddings, large picnics, birthdays, etc. For large events, a permit is required from the permit center located in the Balboa Park Administration Building, 2125 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101.
The permit center is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Recorded information is available at 619-235-1169.
Old Town San Diego
Old Town San Diego is the birth place of California. This historic park is full of history from California’s first European settlers. Today, the park is home to various restaurants, shops and live entertainment, but with historic displays and demonstrations such as blacksmithing, reconstructed buildings, museums, etc. Check out this link on how to plan your day out to Old Town, San Diego.
Seaport Village is located on 849 West Harbor Drive, in San Diego’s downtown, home to a 14 acre waterfront dining and shopping complex. Seaport Village is about 5 minutes drive from San Diego’s International Airport, with a boardwalk that connects with the convention center. It’s also adjacent to The Midway Museum, and Embarcadero Park. You can take a walk to Gas Lamp Quarter or hop on a bus, or a guided tour around the city. Looking for a break from walking, hop on one of the many harbor boat cruises. San Diego’s Best of the Bay Harbor Cruise is a 90 minute cruise while listening to live narration from your captain. The cruise includes close up views of the marina, Point Loma, The U.S. Naval fleet and Submarine Base. Take your snacks on board or purchase form the snack bar onboard. Check out http://www.sandiegobaycruises.com/ for fares and schedules.
Liberty Station, a former navy training center located in Point Loma, San Diego, is now home to large commercial developments, that include stylish bars, shops, restaurants, boutiques, and a public market. Liberty Station offers art galleries, small museums, a waterfront, grass park area for walking, jogging, biking, and picnics.
Collect Memories and enjoy your trip to beautiful San Diego😊