Picture yourself relaxing on a sandy beach while your kids run and jump in the waves. Maybe you’ll decide to scoot over to Mexico for lunch, visit with the Panda bears, or spend the afternoon riding a scenic trolley. Can’t decide which of these vacation activities sounds most appealing? Experience it all with a San Diego vacation.
There are so many San Diego attractions to enjoy and explore, it seems like many vacation destinations rolled into one. Plan ahead and your family will have an unforgettable holiday. Here are eight “must experience” places to visit and activities to try on your trip to beautiful San Diego:
1. Hit the Beach
San Diego beaches are spectacular year-round. Whether you visit in summer or over the winter holidays, the local beaches personify the complete San Diego lifestyle. Visit gorgeous Mission Beach. Ride the Belmont Park roller coaster. From body surfing to soaking up the rays, San Diego beaches are definitely where the action is.
2. Shuffle off to Mexico
The city of Tijuana is just across the Mexican border from San Diego. Taking a side trip to Tijuana or Baja is easy and quite safe; just bring your passport and be mindful of the Mexican laws. There is an international paradise ready to be explored, so say “Si” to a day in Mexico.
3. Catch a Fish Taco
Not exactly a famous San Diego attraction, rather a must-try taste of the city, fish tacos are pieces of battered and deep-fried fish encased in a corn tortilla. Try one, and you’ll want to come back to San Diego just for another taste of this local treat. Visitors to San Diego say that fish tacos are among the city’s best foods.
4. Take a Trolley Ride
San Francisco isn’t the only California city with a famous trolley. The San Diego trolley serves as the city’s public transit system. You can buy an all-day pass and see more San Diego attractions than you ever could by car. The San Diego highways can be quite intimidating, making the trolley your best bet for stress-free sightseeing.
5. Visit the Pandas
The famous San Diego Zoo at Balboa Park is a popular tourist destination, but the pandas are the real attractions. Baby Su Lin and the other pandas are most active in the morning, so plan to see them first on your trip to San Diego zoo. Sea World and Legoland are also great choices for entertaining your “little animals”.
6. Balboa Park
The undisputed shining jewel of San Diego is Balboa Park. It’s the nation’s largest urban cultural park, housing fifteen museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens, and the San Diego Zoo. The atmosphere is breathtaking no matter when you stop by, but if you visit on Tuesdays you’ll find that most museums offer free admission. After you work up an appetite exploring Balboa, stop at Prado or any of the fine restaurants within the park for a fantastic meal in a beautiful setting.
The historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego is the place to be for eating, dancing and people watching. Shop, snack, and take in the stunning architecture during the day. At night, there are more than 90 restaurants plus live theater and countless nightclubs to choose from. Gaslamp is the place to let loose in San Diego.
8. Old Town
History buffs can find bits of Old San Diego incorporated with new developments throughout the city. Visit Old Town State Historic Park for a blast of San Diego’s past. Make sure you visit the Old Town Mexican Café, as it serves the best Mexican food San Diego has to offer.
If your family is torn between exciting excursions, historic America, an exotic adventure, or a tropical paradise, visit San Diego. The variety of San Diego attractions offers the best of all worlds in one vacation destination.