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Balboa Park - Must Visit Tourist Spot in San Diego

8 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in San Diego (2023)

The first settlement of California and also its oldest town, San Diego, is home to enchanting natural beauty, extensive beaches and an abundance of human-made wonders. The city has plenty of sunshine all throughout the year, and this makes it preferable to explore the outdoors and travel the San Diego all around. It is noted as the 8th most populated city in the United States and also one of the most magnetic cities in terms of tourism and vacationing.

8 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in San Diego

The city of San Diego unfailingly entertains its guest all through the place and thus is also one of the top-rated tourism destinations in Southern California. Throughout your tour here, this SoCal city keeps you engaged in some of the other magnificent way giving you back to back opportunities to make experiences and memories. Hence if South California is your next tripping destination, then do consider exploring these Most popular tourist spots in San Diego. Have a look:

1. Balboa Park

Balboa Park is one of the most popular places that will fulfil all your wanderlust by filling your heart with immense amazement. It is 1200 acres of historic park with museums, theatres, world-renowned San Diego Zoo, gardens, walking paths, recreational facilities, restaurants, gift shops, and several open spaces. It is also the oldest dedicated public recreational area in the United States and thus holds high sentimental, historical, and cultural values for the locals. The Balboa park was initially built-in 1915 to 1916 for the Panama California Exhibition and most of the building today originally dates back to the time. The entire park is dominated by Spanish Style architecture in the form of a bucolic paradise. A good 3 to 4 days trip is well enough to cover the prime attractions at Balboa Park. 

2. USS Midway

A huge floating ship and the longest-serving aircraft career, the USS Midway is a top-rated tourist attraction in San Diego. The museum is in the Navy Pier of the city and is home to an extensive collection of more than 60 exhibits and 25 notable aircraft of the time. During its time of operations, the ship was served by more than 225,000 military service personnel’s and thus, it is a place of high sentimental and National value for the citizens of the United States. Taking a self-guided audio tour is the best way to explore the museums where you can stop along with the ship’s jail, flight control room, engine room and closely view the extravagant flying machines. Also, for one little extra fee, you can also consider trying a flight simulator on board.

Must-Visit Tourist Spot in San Diego-USS Midway

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3. Gaslamp Quarter National Historic District

The heart of the city, the Gaslamp Quarter National Historic District, is an epicentre of nightlife, dining and shopping. It is a totally urban upgraded sight with Victorian buildings buzzing all around the 16 blocks from Broadway to the San Diego Bay. You can either explore it on foot or take a mode of local transport. Throughout your way, you will come across several entertainment venues, art galleries, restaurants, trendy shops, live shows, theatre performance and tons of other enjoyment source. The Gaslamp Quarter organizes several events throughout the year, out of which is the famous and unique pet parade where a large number of pet animals are showcased dressed in pretty little costumes. Another is the Mardi Gras Parade, a lively event organized around the month of March attracting a huge local crowd of the city. Even though the district is lively all over the day but the night hours here are specifically magical and all worth a visit.

4. The Sea Port Village

The Seaport Village is a 90,000 square feet waterfront property, situated right at the intersection of Harbour Drive and Kettner of 849 West Harbour Drive, San Diego. It is a vibrant harbourside hub with more than 70 unique shops, art galleries, cafes, restaurants, one hand-carved historic carousel in a beautifully layered set up at the waterfronts. Throughout the Seaport village, you can find several benches, picnic tables and patio sittings, where you can get a magnificent view of the Pacific along with sipping on your hot coffee or munching one lip-smacking snack. The buildings here are architected beautifully in traditional Mexican to Victorian style, and the environment is kept automobile free thus, you might not find many vehicles around. The port is foot accessible from the San Diego Convention Centre, the USS Midway Museum, and the cruise ship terminal. During the afternoon hours, you can become the audience of some Eclectic performances here at the port village outdoors.

5. San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo is counted amongst one of the largest United States zoo and as a top-rated tourist spot in San Diego. Located inside Balboa Park, the zoo is home to 12,000 animals from more than 650 species and subspecies. It is housing almost all kind of exotic animals from all around the world, along with a prominent collection of 700,000 exotic plants. On a trip here, you can view a wide variety of animals, including Hippos, Antelope, grizzly bears, koalas, leopards, bonobos, polar bears, Brown Bear, Rhino, gorillas, sloths and more. The animals here are enclosed systematically within a recreation of their natural setting; thus, unlike the regular zoos, they aren’t caged or exploited here in any way. Amongst some of the famous activities within the San Diego zoo, you can touch and feed several human-friendly animals or even get a walk planned with pandas during the early morning hours.

6. San Diego Beaches

The city of San Diego is flourishing with 70 miles of extensive coastline and the magnificent beaches here holds one high charm. The city is served with beaches all around, and you will have a beach nearby every 2 to 4 miles with easy access and great fun guaranteed. Some of the notable beach locations in San Diego that you must not miss includes La Jolla Cove, Pacific Beach, Cardiff State Beach, Coronado beach, Black’s beach, and Bermuda beach. The beach locations in San Diego are not just limited to sand and sun, but you can get involved in a number of activities, including snorkelling, diving, surfing, swimming, beach sports, cycling on the sand or hiking along the nearby trails. Waves at most of these locations are calmer, making it ideal to safely enjoy around.

7. Sunsets Cliffs Natural Park

One of the romantic spots in San Diego, the Sunsets Cliffs Natural Park, is 68 acres area along coastal bluff from the Ocean Beach pier towards the south of the tip of Point Loma. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean, providing one of the most incomparable viewpoints you can get anywhere in Southern California. True to its name, the area is famous for the most amazing sunset views where you can witness the sun transforming sky from shades of blue to glorious rosy-toned hues making it look graceful than you can ever imagine. It is quite a famous sightseeing spot amongst locals and couples, and thus you can see a good crowd here all throughout the day. The Sunsets Cliffs in San Diego are also famous for pre-wedding photo shoots, wedding shots, and amongst the social media influenced photography enthusiasts.

8. Old town San Diego District

A neighbourhood in San Diego, encompassing 230 acres of land, the old town district is authentically the oldest settlement in the city. Visiting here, you can get back into the rich cultural and historical days of San Diego, flavours of the first European settlement and some flavours of the Mexican and early American periods during the 18th century. It is also one of the most visit tourist destinations in San Diego, with about a million attendees every year. When here during winters, you can be a part of the Día de Los Muertos annual festival during the 1st and 2nd November and Fiesta Navidad Christmas festival during the year-end. The old town neighbourhood is also served with 9 big hotels, 32 restaurants, 12 art galleries, 27 historic buildings and sites, and more than 100 speciality shops. Do consider paying your visit to a working blacksmith shop, enjoy live Mariachi music, shop for authentic Mexican crafts, or dine at the most atmospheric restaurants of the town.

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