Planning a vacation to San Diego? Our local experts put together a helpful San Diego neighborhoods guide so you can make the most of your time in San Diego.
We highlighted a handful of the top attractions, places to see, and which neighborhoods in San Diego to visit during your vacation.
Balboa Park, a 1,400 acre urban park located between Downtown and Mission Valley, is home to an abundance of attractions, museums, and recreational facilities.
The park itself features beautifully landscaped gardens and stunning Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.
There are a LOT of amazing museums in this area – check out our list of more things to do in Balboa Park (many of which are included on the Go San Diego® Card).
Things to Do in Balboa Park
- Be sure to check out the Giant Pandas and over 800 species of other animals from all over the globe at the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
- Find a new appreciation for nature and the environment at the Natural History Museum.
- Learn about aviation history at the Air and Space Museum.
- Explore your scientific side with a trip to the Fleet Science Center, which offers plenty of fascinating permanent exhibits plus delightful special exhibitions and events.
- The Japanese Friendship Garden is another popular option, offering the promise of true serenity in the midst of your busy vacation.
- Go on a family adventure at the popular LEGOLAND® California and SEA LIFE® Aquarium.
- Explore animal wildlife of the Savannah on a mini-safari excursion at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
- Explore the coastline La Jolla on a kayaking adventure or put on some snorkeling gear and get up close to the sea life.
- If you’re a fan of fine art, be sure to visit the region’s foremost forum devoted to exploring contemporary art at the Museum of Contemporary Art (La Jolla).
- Check out a variety of marine habitats at Birch Aquarium at Scripps where you’ll get an unforgettable view overlooking La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean.
The contagious California laid-back lifestyle in Mission Bay and the Beaches makes it a top destination for locals and visitors alike. Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, and Pacific Beach feature expansive sandy beaches, good surf, active nightlife, a fun theme park, and casual dining.
使命湾是由4 ， 200英亩的海洋的景观，使之成为水上运动，如冲浪，滑水，帆船，帆板，皮划艇，多一个好去处的。其27自行车道英里穿行海滩社区，并提供自行车和行人用有趣的方式去探索海岸线。
Things to do in Mission Bay & Mission Beach
- Head to Sea World San Diego for an unforgettable family experience. You can enjoy classic rides, innovative attractions, and plenty of animal encounters.
- You may also enjoy a visit to Belmont Park in Mission Beach, which offers plenty of classic amusement park fun including mini golf, bumper cars, roller coasters, a carousel, and much more.
The Old Town Historic Park is where California began. Old Town is home to several museums that document the city’s unique history and lots of shops and casual restaurants. Be sure to visit the most haunted house in America for a spooky take on San Diego’s history.
You can also opt to take a trolley ride of San Diego’s Old Town, which will offer an excellent overview of the neighborhood and the city’s impressive history.
Hillcrest is San Diego’s first self-contained suburb and is known for being the central hub of San Diego’s gay and lesbian community.
Visitors will notice the towering pride flag where the famous annual LGBT Pride Parade begins. The area features walkable streets complete with eclectic shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.
San Diego’s Downtown is a thriving neighborhood for business, dining, shopping, and entertainment.
The Downtown area encompasses Little Italy, Cortez Hill, Columbia, Core-Columbia, Gaslamp Quarter, East Village, Marina, and includes the Embarcadero (waterfront boardwalk).
We’ve got some fun recommendations for things to do in Downtown San Diego – if you want to spend some time in that area during your trip.
Things to Do in Little Italy
- Check out over 150 booths featuring fresh produce, artisan foods, and specialty items at the popular Farmer’s Market every Saturday between 8 am and 2 pm at W. Cedar and India streets.
- Leave your guidebook behind and hop into a GoCar for a GPS guided tour of the city. As you drive, the GoCar narrates the tour based on your surroundings.
- Learn all about the maritime history of the western world at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
- Take a tour of the USS Midway aircraft carrier, a floating museum of American military history at the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum.
- Museum of Contemporary Art is known for showcasing works by upcoming and under-recognized artists in addition to major figures in international contemporary art.
- Explore the sea life of San Diego’s coastal waters on a whale watching tour.
- Go on an informative and exciting harbor cruise and catch the best highlights of San Diego’s coast.
- Visit the oldest surviving structure located in Downtown San Diego — The Gaslamp Museum at the David-Horton House (formerly known as the William Heath Davis House), which was actually built in 1850.
Located on the eastern side of Downtown San Diego, Eastern Village is home to the San Diego Padres and PETCO Park. Catch a game at the park or check out the fantastic view from home plate on a tour of the stadium.
- The New Children’s Museum features hands-on creative activities and innovative artwork that kids can touch, move, or climb.
- 前往海港村，一个14 -acre海滨购物，餐饮和娱乐目的地。
Coronado peninsula, often referred to as an island, features pristine beaches, gentle surf, and a welcoming community feel. Coronado is connected to the mainland by a long, sandy strip called Silver Strand. Hop on a ferry from Downtown for a fun way to get to Coronado and experience the bay.
- Check out the famous Hotel del Coronado and learn more about Coronado’s history on a Coronado Heritage Walking Tour.
- You could also opt to enjoy a lunch at the historic Hotel, if you’re looking for a special experience.
- Explore the coastline of the peninsula on bike or take a kayak out on the water for a fun adventure.
Save on Attraction Admission in San Diego Neighborhoods
If you’re exploring this many different parts of San Diego, you’re bound to want to visit a few of these exciting attractions.
Consider picking up a San Diego attractions pass to suit your traveling needs. Whether you’re in town for only a day or two, or even a whole week, you’ll find the perfect pass for you.