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Things to do in San Diego

San Diego is bursting with things to do, so whether you want great nightlife, thrilling theme parks or culture, you’ll find it in this beautiful city. Fantastic beaches, exciting animal encounters and superb shopping bring people from all over the world to San Diego.

Soak up the year-round sunshine in the city’s outdoor spaces, with Balboa Park being a highlight. Or head to the beach and try surfing in some of the best waves in the USA. Shop ‘til you drop at high-end boutiques and premium outlet malls, like Las Americas, close to the Mexican border. Take the family to world-famous attractions like SeaWorld® and San Diego Zoo, or go to LEGOLAND®. In the evening, head to Gaslamp Quarter for cocktails on a rooftop bar, and have freshly-caught seafood cooked for you by a top chef.

San Diego beaches

San Diego beaches

The stunning Coronado beaches offer plenty of opportunity to stretch out and worship the sun. Take a dip in the gentle surf at La Jolla, the ‘jewel’ of San Diego, or head to Mission Bay for picnics and barbecues. If visiting in July, make sure to head to Imperial Beach, where the US Open Sandcastle competition brings the world’s best sand sculptors to town.

Dining and nightlife

Dining and nightlife

The Tipsy Crow in the Gaslamp Quarter is famed locally for its great selection of craft beer. Just around the corner, grab a cocktail at the Siren rooftop bar before heading over to Lou & Mickey’s for some delectable surf and turf. A great place to go dancing is Moonshine Flats: The Deck – where every night is a hoe down.

San Diego attractions

San Diego attractions

There are lots of great attractions in San Diego, including world-class theme parks, zoos and even a safari park. The stunning Balboa Park offers visitors galleries, museums and theatres, set within its vast gardens. Head over to the San Diego Zoo, where giraffes, lions, rhinos and more vie for your attention. Meet the playful dolphins and orca whales at SeaWorld® and be wowed by the creations at LEGOLAND®.

Shopping in San Diego.

Shopping in San Diego

The Westfield Horton Plaza is a shopper’s delight, with striking architecture and an enormous array of shops and stores. The unique boutiques of the quayside Seaport Village are a fun place to visit, before dining at the waterfront. For those looking for luxury retail therapy, head over to Fashion Valley, or the premium outlet at Carlsbad for some serious big-brand discounts.

Golf in San Diego.

Golf in San Diego

Stay at the five star Fairmont Grand Del Mar hotel on golf holidays in San Diego, and perfect your swing on its championship-level course. Take in stunning views as you play on the renowned Torrey Pines greens. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the luxurious Park Hyatt Aviara Resort offers world-class golf facilities and gourmet dining, so take full advantage.

San Diego experiences

See the best of San Diego with these exciting experiences

SeaWorld San Diego.

Dive into the amazing world of marine life at SeaWorld® San Diego. Enjoy thrilling encounters with playful dolphins, friendly penguins and awesome killer whales. See magnificent turtles, mighty polar bears and fearsome sharks up close. Experience exhilarating rides like Journey to Atlantis, Shipwreck Rapids and Wild Arctic. Meet Shamu, SeaWorld’s famous orca whale, and watch the hilarious antics of sea lions and otters at the ‘Clyde and Seamore’ show.

Learn more about trips to SeaWorld®

San Diego Whale Watching Expedition Cruise.

Join a whale watching cruise from San Diego for the unforgettable experience of seeing magnificent California gray whales in the wild. Catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures on their annual journey from the Arctic to the warmer waters of the Baja coast. Here they give birth, and on their return trip young calves can frequently be seen swimming at their mother’s side. If whales are not sighted, you will receive a ‘Whale Check’, entitling you to another cruise or harbour tour.

Discover more about this cruise

Taumata Racer.

Enjoy an amazing day out at SeaWorld’s waterpark Aquatica. Aquatica San Diego offers thrill rides, water slides, and wave pools galore. Experience the HooRoo Run's vertical drop. Dive through the darkness on the infamous Kiwi Curl or go down a six-storey funnel on Tassie's Twister. Float along the Loggerhead Lane River and watch flamingos, freshwater turtles and many more animals as you go. The all-new Taumata Racer is sure to satisfy your need for speed. This is a great day for all the family.

Find out more about Aquatica

San Diego Tour: Hop-on Hop-off Trolley.

Explore San Diego at your leisure with a one-day ticket for this excellent tour. Take in the essential San Diego attractions at your own pace. Journey into the past and relive San Diego’s early days as the Birthplace of California. Experience early Americana, with its distinctive Spanish-influenced ‘West Coast Style’, in historic Old Town. The hop-on hop-off trolley tour is a fun, easy way to get around the city, with stops conveniently close to all popular sights and locations.

Learn more about the trolley tour

Go card.

The Go San Diego Card gives you access to nearly 50 attractions, tours and activities in the San Diego area. Visit the San Diego Zoo, the Safari Park, go to LEGOLAND®, try kayaking in La Jolla or cruise along San Diego's Harbour. You can even take a day trip to Hollywood, perfect for celeb-spotting. You have the flexibility to see things at your own pace, so take your time and enjoy San Diego. Plus, you can save up to 30% at selected dining and shopping locations over the city.

Find out more about the Go Card

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