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Places to Visit in San Diego

Updated on September 1, 2009

 If I had to make up a list of places to see before you die, San Diego, CA would be a must!  Between the perfect year round temperatures, city and beach life, and touristy attractions, I think there is something for everyone.  Here is a list of places I visited in the city during my trip in May 2008.  (By the way, I liked it so much, I am planning on moving out there soon!)

Bondi's little cove
Bondi's little cove

Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter is where you will find tons of restaurant options and shops. It also is a good spot if you like to go out at night. There was so many choices it was hard to choose where to eat. My friends and I came across two places we just couldn't turn down. There was an Australian restaurant called Bondi which had a cool, laid back, chic, artistic vibe to it. Definitely gave good dinner conversation about the little basket coves for people meeting for a drink, or the giant tree shaped structure in the middle. The other place and my favorite was called Nicky Rottens. It is a Mafia themed bar and burger joint that serves the sandwiches on over-sized baskets of fries in addition to delicious salads and appetizers.  It's a sure to please!

Nicky Rottens Menu
Nicky Rottens Menu

Seaport Village

Seaport Village is a little shopping center found in the downtown marina area (near the Convention Center). It's a good place to spend an afternoon picking up souvenirs, getting ice cream, watching boats, etc.

San Diego Zoo

I know this zoo is one of the top zoos in the country, but for some reason the day I visited, several of the other exhibits were bare. Maybe it was the temperature or just my luck, but I love elephants and there was only one out!  I am positive this is not every one's experience so please do not be discouraged. My friends and I loved the Skyfari ride that took you above the tree tops from one end of the park to the other. Also, the bus tour was a nice way to see some animals after walking around for awhile. Just make sure you buy the ticket that includes unlimited admission to these perks and you'll be sure to not be disappointed.

Side note: If you have never gone to a panda exhibit before, just be prepared to be quiet and wait for awhile. The San Diego Zoo sets up a line to see their amazing pandas, but you have to be quiet so that the animals do not get frightened. The line is slow moving because people take time (or stop moving for a little too long) while walking past each of the three sections.

The Botanical Garden House looks like a giant beautiful bird cage!
The Botanical Garden House looks like a giant beautiful bird cage!

Balboa Park

There is so much to see and do in Balboa Park that unfortunately I did not have time to experience it all. I did however get to visit the Botanical Garden which had some amazing flowers. If you like to take pictures, this is the place to be! There is water fountains and some amazing architecture that houses the park's museums.

Cabrillo Point

Located in Point Loma, Cabrillo Point is a look out of all of San Diego; the Naval Base, the city, and the Pacific Ocean. Fantastic views can be found at this National Monument celebrating Juan Cabrillo, the first European to step on what is now the west coast of the United States.

Little Italy

Little Italy in San Diego has some great places to eat!  There are a few shops but it more so is a good place to have lunch or dinner then to spend a whole afternoon at.  My friends and I came here for lunch after spending the morning going to Cabrillo Point.

Mission Bay

All your watersport needs can be found in Mission Bay. My friends went para-sailing as I watched from down below on the boat, but I had fun just the same with the music going and being out on the water (not to mention the cute crew members!)

Pacific Beach

Typical beach boardwalk area, with a nice relaxed feel. Little tee-shirt shops along the walkway with restaurants lining the street parallel to the beach. My favorite part though was watching the surfers and the sunset. When the sun went down, everyone stops and watches until it sinks into the ocean. Such a calm moment, it's a must for any visitor to experience!

Places I Wish I Had Gone

Sea World - located in Mission Bay

Horton Plaza - mall in Gaslamp Quarter with more shopping!

Took another day to explore Balboa Park's museums and attractions

Coronado Island - Just to see the famous hotel is reason enough for me!


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    • profile image

      Guppal4 7 years ago

      This was very helpful Thank you I plan on going to pacific beach for my last day to watch the sunset.

      Thank You

    • Gretchel85 profile image

      Gretchel85 8 years ago

      Thank you prasetio30! It is an amazing place with such great weather!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I think San Diego is a Beautiful city. With various beautiful place. Nice picture also.I'll go there someday.