It’s no secret that San Diego is one of the nation’s most appealing vacation destinations--for so many reasons. Combining year-round, near perfect weather with a spectacular natural setting, the region is home to exciting theme parks, world-class arts and culture, unlimited outdoor recreation, a vibrant downtown, eclectic dining options, top-rated resorts and spas, a rich history dating back to the 18th century, a dazzling variety of shopping opportunities, and 70 miles of glorious beaches, just to name just a few of its attractions!
In fact, San Diego is home to such a plethora of exciting things to see and do for persons of every age and budget, it can be overwhelming for a potential visitor to choose from such a wealth of options. To put some fun and ease into the planning process, check out some sample itineraries in the PHOTO GALLERY below and enjoy my recommendations for a fun-filled day or two (or more!) in beautiful San Diego.
Photos, All Rights Reserved © Joanne DiBona CLICK ON ARROWS BELOW FOR SLIDE SHOW
Take a stroll along any one of San Diego's 70 miles of beaches; rent a kayak and explore La Jolla's shoreline and caves; take a surfing or scuba diving lesson; don a snorkel and marvel at the colorful world beneath the waves; walk along ocean tide pools and discover fascinating sea creatures among the rocks; stay dry and explore the fabulous underwater world at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps.
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Delight your senses with a tour of Balboa Park, located just a mile from downtown San Diego. Photograph the unique architecture and fauna; explore the parks many museums; hear a free organ concert; watch an IMAX film; take a stroll through the Japanese Friendship Garden; meander through miles of hiking trails; attend a performance at the historic Old Globe Theatre; learn about different cultures and countries at the International Cottages
Hike the palm canyon in the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park; discover the badlands of Borrego Springs in a customized jeep tour; play a round of golf surrounded by majestic mountains; horseback ride through the canyons; stroll through the colorful desert flower fields in spring; bike along the desert floors scenic routes and trails
Party the night away in a Gaslamp Quarter club; fine dine at an elegant restaurant; enjoy a theatrical performance or Broadway show; sip an after-dinner drink on a rooftop bar with a view over the sparkling San Diego skyline; listen to jazz in a cozy nightclub; raise a glass in one of San Diego's many micro-breweries; kindle romance in a hip boutique hotel
Hike the ocean view paths of Torrey Pines State Reserve; ride a mountain bike down the face of Mt. Palomar; view a San Diego panorama from the peak of Cowles Mountain; bike endlessly around Mission Bay and Coronado; backpack along the rugged trails of Mission Trails Regional Park, a mere 8 miles from downtown San Diego
Play a round of golf high on a cliff overlooking the Pacific; swing a tennis racket in a court surrounded by palms; hit volleyball barefoot in the sand; play another round of golf at spectacular locations throughout San Diego County
Snack on guacamole and chips; order lime with your beer; devour fish tacos on the beach; savor seared ahi tuna fresh from the sea; snack on a just-picked orange or grapefruit; enjoy a Roman feast in Little Italy; sample international cuisine at farmers markets and food trucks throughout the neighborhoods; dining is always a delight in San Diego
Glide through the air at sunset in a hot air balloon; sail off the cliffs in La Jolla in a hang glider for the ride of your life; sip delicious local wines at several North County wineries, tour the chateaus and vineyards of the neighboring Temecula wine country
Grab the rudder, take a sailing lesson and steer a straight course to aquatic fun on San Diego Bay; be part of the crew on an America's Cup racing yacht; thrill to close encounters with California grey whales on a whale-watching cruise; race across the water in a sailboat, motorboat, or catamaran; go on an exciting sport fishing trip; savor a gourmet dinner on a harbor tour yacht while watching the sun set over the horizon
Rejuvenate at a luxurious spa; indulge in an herbal wrap; refresh your body and spirit with a relaxing facial; unwind with a full body massage; relax on the beach for a dose of vitamin D and a natural tan
Experience one of San Diego's 300+ annual festivals and celebrations; enjoy special events and farmers markets held year-round in San Diego's charming neighborhoods
Relive military history on board the USS Midway Museum; soar above the clouds in a WWII aircraft; view San Diego's active naval fleet from the deck of a harbor cruise boat; view a collection of air and spacecraft at the San Diego Air & Space Museum; marvel at aviator skills at the MCAS Miramar Air Show and Airshow at East County's Gillespie Field
Fuel your mind and soul at one of San Diego's many museums; enjoy classic or contemporary art; study vintage planes, model trains and flashy automobiles from yesteryear; learn about the history of music; admire the work of famous photographers; take the kids to the downtown Children's Museum for an interactive venure
Discover downtown San Diego in the red trolley or on colorful tour bus; cruise through the city in a Go Car; make a splash on a land/sea amphibious tour; zip through the walkways on a Segway; rent a pedicab for a drive along the picturesque Embarcadero
Treat your family to an unforgettable day at the World-Famous San Diego Zoo; marvel at the miniature world on display at LEGOLAND California; get an up-close and personal encounter with marine mammals at SeaWorld San Diego; tour an 1,800-acre sanctuary with over 300 species of animals at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Find colorful treasures in Old Town; stroll through the unique retail shops of downtown's Horton Plaza; discover Italian art in the shops of Little Italy; revel in the high-end designer shops of La Jolla; go bargain hunting in local retail outlet stores; enjoy shopping for souvenirs in Seaport Village; uncover the many shopping venues in San Diego's Mission Valley
Ride the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner to San Diego's North County and beyond for breath-taking views of the coastline; rent bikes to take on the trip and peddle through seaside towns en route; take the red San Diego Trolley to San Ysidro and spend the day in Tijuana Mexico
Visit 18th Century missions; see where San Diego began in colorful Old Town; learn about San Diego's first settlers at the Serra Museum on the Presidio; admire the 19th century architecture of the Gaslamp Quarter; visit the historic gold-rush town of Julian in the Cuyamaca mountains; take in the sweeping view of San Diego city and bay from the Cabrillo National Monument