Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could spend an entire family vacation relaxing by the beach? While it sounds ideal, it’s not realistic for those traveling with kids. The beach can only provide so much entertainment. Instead, turn your trip into an exhilarating learning experience by visiting these eight educational things to do in San Diego.

Your kids will love the hands-on activities, historic landmarks, and wild adventures and you’ll love all that they learn. It’s a win-win vacation for everyone!

Let your kids explore their creative side at the New Children’s Museum. Photo via the New Children’s Museum / Facebook.

The New Children’s Museum

For interactive activities and endless learning, bring your family to the New Children’s Museum. This particular museum focuses on art-related activities with the goal of promoting creativity among kids. In addition to the mesmerizing and engaging art installations, the museum also offers art projects, labs, and activities for kids and adults alike to enjoy.

Currently on display is the Sketch Aquarium, where ocean drawings come to life! You do not want to bypass this interactive exhibit that’s making waves (literally) throughout San Diego.

Educational Things to Do in San Diego

Your kids will discover an underwater world at Birch Aquarium at Scripps.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Speaking of aquariums…

Instead of sitting by the ocean, why not learn about the thousands of animals and plants that live in it? Boasting more than 5,000 fish in 60+ habitats, it’s no wonder that Birch Aquarium at Scripps is one of the most popular educational things to do in San Diego. Watch as your kids learn about everything from sea turtles to seahorses in a single day. Don’t forget to catch the shark tank feeding!

From giraffes to cheetahs, your family can experience it all at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

The San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Do your kids love animals? I bet they do. All families should visit the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. After all, what trip would be complete without visiting these iconic San Diego attractions?

At the zoo, your kids can learn about the entire animal kingdom while coming face-to-face with their favorite animals. With more than 650 species onsite, you’ll have a wild time exploring everything the zoo has to offer. But the animal fun doesn’t stop there.

At San Diego Zoo Safari Park, your entire family can embark on a one-of-a-kind safari and learn about endangered animals from around the globe. For an exceptional safari experience, use these quick tips.

Learn about life aboard the USS Midway at this one-of-a-kind museum in San Diego.

USS Midway Museum

Also among the many educational things to do in San Diego is the USS Midway Museum. Guests can climb aboard this historic naval aircraft carrier and experience a day in the life of a sailor. The museum has onsite docents who have served in the Navy and even served on the USS Midway. Your children will love walking around the ship, checking out the flight simulators, talking to the sailors, and listening to the self-guided audio tour.

Check out restored historic vessels at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.

Maritime Museum of San Diego

For even more historic and nautical fun, bring your family to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. This intriguing museum has a global reputation for exceptional vessel restoration and captivating educational exhibits.

Kids can explore historic vessels including a 1914 tall ship, an 1898 steam ferry, and an accurate replica of an 18th century Royal Navy frigate. The museum also hosts revolving special exhibits and festivals all year long for even more fun. What’s even better than touring these vessels? Sailing in one! For an additional charge, the museum offers various sailing experiences including whale watching tours.

Enjoy hands-on science activities at the Fleet Science Center. Photo via Fleet Science Center / Facebook.

Fleet Science Center

Do you have a science-obsessed kid on your hands? If so, head over to the Fleet Science Center for a world of immersive learning opportunities. From IMAX movies to self-guided exhibits, the Fleet Science Center has everything a science-loving kid could possibly want. Your child can learn about the science behind constructing a building, discover the cells of the human body, create their own inventions, and more all in one place.

With so much to do, see, and learn, it’s easy to see why the Fleet Science Center made our list of exciting educational things to do in San Diego.

By Robert Arends (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Cabrillo National Monument

The Cabrillo National Monument is one of the top tourist destinations in San Diego. The statue commemorates the moment Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to step foot on North America’s west coast in 1542.

Your first thought might be, “Sure, it’s an iconic landmark. But what can my kids learn from a statue?” The answer is: a whole lot. There is far more to do at this historic area than stare at a finely constructed statue.

At the southern end of the park, you’ll find the low tide pools. Here, your children can get a glimpse at the aquatic life living below the water. Tide pools are made up of three different zones: splash zone, the middle intertidal zone, and the subtidal zone. With different aquatic species living in each zone, your children will go on an adventure trying to find and identify each species they discover. From crabs to sea urchins, there’s a whole universe to be explored in the Cabrillo National Monument tide pools.

While at the monument, your family can also see the Old Point Loma Lighthouse that has watched over the bay since 1855. Although the lighthouse no longer operates, guests are invited to learn more about the history of the San Diego Bay and the famous lighthouse.

17 museums. Multiple performing arts venues. Tons of gardens and trails. One educational experience.

Balboa Park

Once you step foot in Balboa Park, you’ll see why it is arguably one of the top educational things to do in San Diego. Noted as “where culture, science, and nature collide” the park boasts 17 museums, several performing arts venues, spacious gardens, various trails, and other educational attractions.

Your family can easily spend more than one day exploring all that the park has to offer, from the Japanese Friendship Garden to the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT). For the ultimate experience (and best savings), I recommend purchasing the Go San Diego Card.

Visit San Diego for the Best in Educational Fun

Clearly, there isn’t a shortage of educational things to do in San Diego. From soaring in a flight simulator to coming up close with a giraffe, the learning opportunities are endless. Start planning your educational San Diego adventure by visiting Reserve San Diego today.

 

We can all agree that the most stressful part of a vacation is sticking to a budget. Everything from attraction tickets to hotel rooms can eat through a travel budget in seconds, especially in a top travel destination such as sunny San Diego. To stay within budget, start by determining where to stay in San Diego on a budget.

When to Visit San Diego

For the ultimate savings, it is best to travel during the off-season. However, in San Diego, the off-season comes with a caveat. The winter months draw the lowest number of visitors to the area and for a good reason — lots of rain. If you’re willing to forgo the beach and deal with several rainstorms, you’ll find extraordinary prices on San Diego hotels during the winter.

If you’re like me and can’t pass up an opportunity for a beach vacation, you’ll want to visit either in the spring or fall. While summer is perfect beach weather, it’s also when San Diego is the busiest. Locals and frequent San Diego visitors agree that March through May and September through November are the best times to visit.

Where to Stay in San Diego on a Budget

Once you’ve decided when you’ll travel to San Diego, you can begin to research the hotels that will fit your budget. For an affordable vacation, I recommend staying at these San Diego hotels.

*The hotels listed below show pricing based on the spring season. Prices will vary by season.

Where to stay in San Diego on a budget

Best Western Oceanside Inn

Standard Room, 2 double beds – $84.68 per night

Whether you’re planning a family vacation to LEGOLAND® or visiting on business, the Best Western Oceanside Inn offers a convenient location. With attractions such as SeaWorld® and the San Diego Zoo® nearby, you’re in the middle of it all (and at a great price).

This affordable hotel offers comfortable accommodations and amenities such as a complimentary continental breakfast and an outdoor pool. The Best Western Oceanside Inn is an excellent choice for travelers deciding where to stay in San Diego on a budget.

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Good Nite Inn San Diego Near SeaWorld

Standard Room, 2 Queen Beds (Newly Renovated) – $108.00 per night

The Good Nite Inn is also conveniently located near San Diego’s top attractions such as SeaWorld®. This budget-friendly hotel is perfect for the traveler who only needs a place to sleep and recharge after a long day of exploration and attractions.

In addition to the recently renovated rooms, the hotel also offers complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby each morning. For renowned hospitality and comfortable accommodations at a price you’ll love, the Good Nite Inn San Diego is your top choice.

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Knott’s Berry Hotel

Standard Room, 2 Queen Beds – $119.00 per night

No family vacation to San Diego is complete without visiting Knott’s Berry Farm. For families looking to maximize their vacation time and budget, Knott’s Berry Hotel is the perfect hotel solution. This family-friendly hotel is seconds away from the theme park and water park and offers amenities such as an onsite restaurant and pool. Plus, just for the kids, the hotel features an entire Snoopy themed wing known as Camp Snoopy!

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Western Inn Old Town

2 Queen Beds (Non-Smoking) – $129.00 per night

The Western Inn Old Town is situated right in the heart of San Diego, minutes away from the airport, the San Diego Zoo®, and other top attractions. Determining where to stay in San Diego on a budget isn’t difficult once you look into this hotel.

Get a good night’s sleep with the hotel’s comfortable room accommodations and recharge the next day with a free continental breakfast. Visitors should note that the hotel requires self-parking, in-room safe, and other additional fees.

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Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel Old Town

Deluxe 1 King Bed or 2 Queen Beds – $131.71 per night

For a budget-conscious hotel with superior decor, book your stay at Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel Old Town. The 200-room hotel features decor inspired by the Spanish mission and is surrounded by gorgeous ocean and city views. While at the hotel, guests can dine at the Old Town Tequila Factory Restaurant and Cantina, or go for a swim in the outdoor pool.

While the hotel does offer a free airport shuttle, guests should be aware of the self-parking and pet fees that apply.

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Best Western Mission Bay

Double Queen – $139.00

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in San Diego on a budget and are hoping to procure a hotel room near Mission Beach, you’ve come to the right place. Best Western Mission Bay is pet-friendly, near the beach, and only 4.5 miles away from SeaWorld® and others points of interest.

Amenities provided by the hotel include a free breakfast, outdoor pool and whirlpool spa, a fitness room, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

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Sheraton San Diego Hotel, Mission Valley

Traditional Room, 2 Queen Beds – $139.18 per night

Those searching for upscale accommodations at an affordable price will be pleased with their stay at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel, Mission Valley. With a prime location, guests enjoy easy access to the San Diego Zoo, Mission Valley, SeaWorld®, and more.

The hotel offers a variety of rooms as well as top amenities such as a 24/7 health club, Internet access, and an outdoor pool. This 4-star San Diego hotel also features modern decor and an onsite restaurant. Do note that several fees are in place, including:

  • Breakfast fees
  • Parking fees
  • Pet-friendly fees

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Wyndham Garden San Diego Near SeaWorld

Family Suite, Multiple Beds (1 King Bed and Bunk Bed) – $139.45 per night

The Wyndham Garden San Diego hotel is ideal for families who need spacious and convenient accommodations. Located around the corner from the airport and SeaWorld®, families can reserve suites or rooms that suit their needs.

From complimentary WiFi to an onsite restaurant, this hotel has everything families need for an exciting and budget-conscious vacation in San Diego. Like other San Diego hotels, the Wyndham Garden does have an overnight parking fee.

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Hilton San Diego Mission Valley

Room, 2 Queen Beds – $149.21 per night

Located minutes away from San Diego’s top attractions, the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley hotel rounds out the best budget-friendly hotels in the area. Featuring contemporary decor, various room types, and premium amenities, guests have everything at their fingertips here.

With hotels such as this, multiple fees are in place such as parking fees, pet fees, breakfast fees, and more. If you’re fine with flexing your budget a bit for top-notch accommodations in San Diego, choose this hotel.

Book Your San Diego Hotel Today

Now that you know where to stay in San Diego on a budget, what are you waiting for? Book your room through Reserve San Diego today for the best value.

 

One hundred aces, 3,700 animals, and over 650 species – this is the San Diego Zoo. A true modern marvel, the zoo is one of the finest in America and should be a part of any San Diego vacations nearly impossible to see it all during one day, so it is best to have a plan of action before you enter the park. Come along as I guide you on how to make the most of your day at the zoo.

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Getting Started

The San Diego Zoo offers a guided bus tour that covers 70% of the park. I suggest hopping aboard this tour to get an overview of the park before you take to the pavement. Tours depart starting at 9 am, and last about 35-45 minutes. The open air upper deck of the bus has the best animal sightseeing, so try to sit there if you can. During the tour, you’ll get to see Elephant Odyssey, Africa Rocks, Outback, Urban Jungle and Northern Frontier. I was impressed with the views of polar bears, giraffes, elephants, and lions. Plus, the tour lets you see some areas of the park you might not have time to traverse to during your day. After all, this park is massive.

The San Diego Zoo

All the Animals

Once you have a good overview of the park, it’s time to get an up-close look. Grab a San Diego Zoo map, then head to Panda Canyon.  It is an absolute must visit as the San Diego Zoo is one of the only four U.S. zoos home to these amazing mammals. Visit this attraction first thing as it is extremely popular. A baby panda born July 29, 2012, currently calls the zoo home too. If that doesn’t make you hightail it here I don’t know what will. Fill your camera with multiple “aww-inducing” shots. Then head to other areas not seen on the tour such as Lost Forest.

There are a lot of winding, hilly trails within this area but it’s worth the trek. I’m absolutely crazy about apes, so the stoic gorillas and acrobatic orangutan’s were amazing to see. At the time, the orangutan had a baby leading to infinite cute sights. In the Lost Forest, you’ll also want to hit the Tiger Trail. The open viewing areas here provide excellent observation and photographing points. Head to the hippos next. They might be hiding, but look for them. When you find them, you’ll wonder how you missed them as they are some of the largest hippos I’ve ever seen!

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What’s Included with San Diego Zoo Tickets

At the Zoo a SkyFari ride is included in your one day San Diego Zoo tickets. I used it to traverse have the park in 4-minutes, and save myself some walking. Take it to the Northern Frontier to see the polar bears swim and play in their large water enclosure.   There’s still a lot to see at the Zoo, but you’re probably feeling a bit tired from all the walking. Luckily, the Kangaroo Express Bus is available in this section of the park. The Express Bus lets you hop on and off at five different stops throughout the Zoo. Just wait at one of the stops for a bus with a green Express banner to arrive, about every 15 minutes. Use the bus to see lions, elephants, giraffes and more. Don’t forget about the koala bears either!

 

The San Diego Zoo

Discover More

This exceptional Zoo provides an in-depth look at a diverse array of animals. With exhibits designed in a natural form and a lush botanical garden surrounding much of the park, a true habitat-inspired atmosphere thrives. Explore the San Diego Zoo for a closer look at the wild side.

Keep in mind, the earlier in the day you visit the better. The sun won’t be as warm, which many of the animals seek refuge from making them less lively. Plus, the lines and crowds aren’t as bad early in the day so you can get even better views of the animals at the zoo.

When you think of San Diego, what comes to mind? The sunny beaches? The culture? The price tag? People often believe that a vacation in San Diego will cost an unimaginable amount. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

You and your family can enjoy a memorable San Diego vacation without going over budget by using these tips.

Vacation in San Diego on a Budget

A vacation in San Diego doesn’t have to break the bank.

Where to Stay in San Diego on a Budget

First and foremost, you need to figure out where you’ll stay during your time in San Diego. Depending on a number of different factors, room rates can range from affordable to astronomical. To save money on lodging in San Diego, consider the following:

Location
Most travelers prefer to stay in hotels with a convenient location, which means finding a hotel in downtown San Diego. However, these hotels can charge premium rates due to their prime real estate downtown. If you don’t have a location preference, consider staying at a hotel just outside of downtown San Diego for lower rates.

Amenities
Do you need a hotel room to sleep in after a long day of exploring, or do you prefer a suite decked out to the nines? As you know, hotels with premium amenities have a larger price tag. If you don’t need luxury amenities, look for value hotels that offer cozy accommodations for a price within your budget.

Make your reservation at one of these low cost, comfortable hotels around San Diego:

Look for Hotel Deals
Remember to check resources such as Reserve San Diego for exclusive hotel and attraction packages as well as other savings. You never know what discounts you’ll find when planning your vacation in San Diego!

Travel Off Season
Hotel rates spike during peak tourist seasons and lower during off-peak seasons. To avoid crowds and surge pricing, visit San Diego from March through May or September through November.

Save money and see the sights by taking the Old Town Trolley.

Save money and see the sights by taking the Old Town Trolley.

Getting Around San Diego For Cheap

Even if you plan to drive to your vacation in San Diego, getting around San Diego can be expensive. Save money by using one of these transportation options in San Diego:

The San Diego Trolley
Instead of spending money on gas and a rental car, rely on the San Diego Trolley to get you around the greater San Diego area. The San Diego Trolley covers approximately 50+ miles of the city and stops nearby large attractions and destinations, from Gaslamp Quarter to Little Italy.

For even more savings, combine your sightseeing adventures with trolley transportation on the Old Town Trolley Tours. You’ll learn about San Diego’s history, landmarks, and more while heading to your next attraction or destination. Purchase a 1 or 2-day hop-on, hop-off pass to make the most of your vacation in San Diego.

Consider the Cost of Parking
Parking in San Diego can be tricky to find and expensive, especially downtown. To keep a few more dollars in your wallet, consider taking public transportation or an Uber/Lyft around San Diego instead of a rental car. Should you require your own car, be prepared for high parking prices and limited space.

A trip to the San Diego Air and Space Museum is affordable with a Go San Diego Card.

A trip to the San Diego Air and Space Museum is affordable with a Go San Diego Card.

Affordable (and Free) Attractions in San Diego

With several notable attractions located nearby, it is easy to understand why people think a vacation in San Diego costs a fortune. Actually, there are plenty of affordable (and even free) activities throughout the greater San Diego area.

Take advantage of these low-cost activities and attractions while in San Diego.

Purchase a Go San Diego Card

Did you know there’s a way to experience San Diego’s most popular sites such as SeaWorld San Diego, the San Diego Zoo, and LEGOLAND® California and save money?

The Go San Diego Card is a must for every vacation in San Diego. With this exclusive pass, you receive admission to all 44 San Diego area attractions for one discounted price. The Go San Diego Card includes admission to attractions and activities such as:

With 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7-day passes, the Go San Diego Card is the best way to experience San Diego’s greatest attractions at a price you can afford. Simply present your card at any of the 44 attractions during operating hours and enjoy!

The Balboa Park Explorer Pass

Balboa Park is a beautiful park in San Diego that houses 17 captivating museums. Of course, visiting 17 museums with multiple people can deplete a vacation budget in a matter of seconds. To help guests save money and experience all the park has to offer, Balboa Park offers an Explorer Pass.

By purchasing an Explorer Pass, you gain access to all of the museums for one low price. When on a vacation in San Diego with multiple people, this pass is the perfect way to save money and see it all.

However, if strolling through a museum isn’t your style, you can visit the park itself completely free of charge. Balboa Park includes various gardens, 65 miles of hiking trails, and more for guests to discover.

Whether you decide to purchase an Explorer Pass or roam the park, visiting Balboa Park is an affordable way to spend your vacation in San Diego.

Visit San Diego with Kids in October

Will you be traveling to San Diego with your children? If so, visit during the month of October when San Diego offers more than 100 free activities and attractions exclusively for kids. From free theme park admission to free events, your family can save money without skipping out on the best attractions and experiences.

Go on a Sightseeing Tour

When you travel to San Diego, sightseeing needs to be on your list of things to do. From the monuments to the iconic neighborhoods, there is so much to see. Traveling to and from all of these destinations over the course of a vacation can quickly become expensive. Instead, reserve your spot on the San Diego tour of your choice.

From drool worthy food tours (my favorite, naturally) to landmark sightseeing tours, San Diego is bursting with fantastic tours that cater to every type of traveler. You’ll experience all of the top sites, maximize your time in San Diego, and keep a few dollars in your wallet all at the same time.

A trip to one of San Diego's many beaches is nearly free!

A trip to one of San Diego’s many beaches is nearly free!

Lounge on the Beach

You know a day at the beach is practically free, right? Plus, a vacation in San Diego isn’t complete without at least one day by the ocean. Visit these sunny San Diego beaches (for free) during your trip:

  • Bonita Cove
  • Pacific Beach
  • Ocean Beach
  • Mission Beach
  • La Jolla Cove

Explore a State Park

Travelers who prefer to explore the great outdoors will have a fantastic vacation in San Diego. From Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, you can enjoy the San Diego landscape and nature for the low cost of free.

Walk Around Gaslamp Quarter

No matter when you visit, a stroll through Gaslamp Quarter is magical and doesn’t cost a thing. From the architecture to the shops, there’s always something to see and experience in Gaslamp Quarter. Don’t forget to bring your camera and capture your memories of the Victorian buildings and vibrant decor for years to come.

See the Sea Lions at Scripps Park

Those who know me know I can’t pass up an opportunity to see sea lions! One of the best places to spot these lovable marine mammals is at Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove. Why pay for aquarium admission when you’ve got one sitting right in front of you?

See? A vacation in San Diego can be inexpensive and fun!

See? A vacation in San Diego can be inexpensive and fun!

Start Planning Your Vacation in San Diego

Now that you know how to vacation in San Diego on a budget, it’s time to start planning. Don’t forget to visit Reserve San Diego to take advantage of savings that will help you stay within your vacation budget!

Need to escape the everyday? Break away from the norm by treating your family to a San Diego Spring Break. The temperatures are warm, the ocean is nearby, and there are a variety of things to do that will keep kids young and old entertained. What should you do on your San Diego Spring Break vacation? Read on.

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San Diego Zoo

Go Wild at the San Diego Zoo

If there’s one thing the whole family can agree on, it’s the San Diego Zoo. Famous the world over for its renowned animal care and exhibits. The urban paradise can easily take a whole day to see, as this place is a lot more than your typical zoo. Start your day off with a guided bus tour of the park. Gaining perspective on this nearly 100-acre park is key to making the most of your day. Decide which exhibits you want to visit again during your San Diego Spring Break vacation, then trek through the botanical canopy of the zoo for a closer look. Highlights for me always lie in the Lost Forest, home to gorillas, tigers, and hippos; Panda Canyon, home to Giant Pandas; and Elephant Odyssey, home to elephants, lions, and jaguars. Your San Diego Zoo ticket includes the Kangaroo Express Bus and Skyfari Aerial Tram. Use them! They make traversing the park much easier and save you tons of time.

Highlights for me always lie in the Lost Forest, home to gorillas, tigers, and hippos; Panda Canyon, home to Giant Pandas; and Elephant Odyssey, home to elephants, lions, and jaguars. Your San Diego Zoo ticket includes the Kangaroo Express Bus and Skyfari Aerial Tram. Use them! They make traversing the park much easier and save you tons of time.

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LEGOLAND

Build Memories at LEGOLAND

If you have children under the age of 12, LEGOLAND California is just for them. If you’re a parent, you already know the love for LEGOS. At this theme park, that love explodes with larger-than-life LEGO sculptures, Imagination Centers, LEGO-based rides with mild thrills, silly shows featuring LEGO people, and so much more. This spring visitors have exclusive access to LEGO Movie 4D: The Next Adventure, too.  Right outside LEGOLAND is SEA Life Aquarium and it’s included in your ticket purchase. Total bonus! The aquarium incorporates LEGO statues and designs into the underwater scene, a perfect complement to your day at LEGOLAND.

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Torrey Pines Natural Reserve

Take to the Outdoors

Be sure to spend at least one of your San Diego Spring Break vacation days sightseeing.  Spectacular sea cliffs, rugged desert terrain, and endless ocean combine to create a natural beauty that can be appreciated at any age. The first time I visited San Diego, I discovered Torrey Pines and have been singing its praises ever since. As a natural reserve its home to not only threatened plants and unique geological formations but stunning overlooks of the coastline and surrounding La Jolla.  The Cabrillo National Monument at Point Loma, with its tide pools, tall cliffs, and lighthouse, is another favorite as is Seaside Cliffs, a stretch of coastline known for its epic sunsets.

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Sun, sand, and surf are sure to bring the smiles!

Hit the Sand & Surf

San Diego has some pretty great beaches so it would be a shame to not spend any time at one. And there are so many to choose from! Coronado Beach, with the iconic Hotel Del Coronado framing its shores, is a classic beach consistently voted one of America’s best by the Travel Channel. Mission Beach is ideal for families as the meandering coastline has calm waters, there is lifeguard service during peak season, beachside eateries make it easy to snack and Belmont Park is nearby. Family-friendly La Jolla Shores has sandy beaches and mild waves so young kids can play in shallow waters and bigger kids can body board and even try to surf. Other family favorites include Del Mar, Moonlight Beach, and Tide Beach Park.

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Balboa Park

Sneak in Some Edutainment

There’s no reason kids can’t learn something new while on a San Diego Spring Break vacation. At the New Children’s Museum families will find a dynamic atmosphere filled with inventive and engaging art experiences. Get hands-on with activities and performances at this one-of-a-kind attraction. Tour the USS Midway for a unique glimpse at U.S. history. There are 60 exhibits, 25 restored aircrafts, aviator simulators and so much more to learn aboard this historic aircraft carrier. Balboa Park, with 15 educational yet entertaining museums, is known as the “Smithsonian of the West” due to its vast cultural offerings. Kids especially enjoy the San Diego Air & Space Museum and San Diego Model Railroad Museum.

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Village Pizzeria Bayside/Facebook

Play with Your Food

Okay, I’m not really advocating playing with your food. However, eating in San Diego can certainly be categorized as fun which equals playtime in my book. Kids are notorious for being picky eaters, but kid-friendly San Diego restaurants cater to not only their taste buds but their creative side. The Village Pizzeria offers a Build-Your-Own-Pizza night every Wednesday, where kids receive their own pre-rolled dough, marina, cheese and 3 toppings of their choice to create their own specialty, custom pie. Bonus: There are 11 craft beers on tap for adults, seriously scenic views and nearby grassy area for the kids to roam. Waypoint Public has a designated kid’s area with books, games and astro turf for kids who thinking sitting still is for the birds. Plus, they have an affordable just-for-kids menu with hots dogs, mac ‘n cheese and burgers, while adults can enjoy a selection of over 30 craft beers and inventive food menu. Another notable mention is the throwback Corvette Diner, which has a massive arcade room, magicians, and live entertainment.

San Diego Spring Break Fun Awaits

Put these San Diego Spring Break vacation ideas for families to use on your escape from the ordinary. Your kids will thank you!

Be sure to book all your attraction tickets and hotel rooms with Reserve San Diego for the best money-saving deals and insider tips.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting San Diego to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

San Diego offers visitors a tremendous amount of things to see and do. Home to stunning scenery, miles of sandy beaches, and an abundance of attractions for all ages, like SeaWorld and San Diego Zoo, this Southern California destination is teeming with activities for visitors. Plus, there are plenty of free things to do in San Diego that are fun for those of all ages. In San Diego, visitors can have fun without spending a fortune to do so.

The Best Free Things to Do in San Diego

 

IMG_6367_RSZ free things to do in San Diego

Coronado Beach

1) The Beach

There are over 30 beaches open to the public in San Diego—all of which are free to visit. So, suit up, grab your beach bag and towel, and make a day of it by sunning, surfing, searching for seashells and building sandcastles. A few recommendations include Coronado Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla Shores.

 

 

La Jolla Cove free things to do in San Diego

La Jolla Cove

2) La Jolla Cove

For an up-close look at local sea life, La Jolla Cove is ideal. Sea lions frolic along the shoreline and nap in nearby rock and sand embankments, putting some serious cuteness on display. Watching these sea lions in their natural habitat is a first-hand look at the natural side of San Diego.

 

 

Gaslamp Quarter free things to do in San Diego

Gaslamp Quarter

3) Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter, 16-block historic district in downtown, has a distinct turn-of-the-century Victorian vibe and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally built in the 1860s, the name of the area comes from the gas lamps used to light the streets. These still adorn the walkways and streets of the area, now home to over 100 shops, restaurants and bars.

 

 

Oceanside Municipal Pier CC 6758823059_12f710b128_z free things to do in San Diego

Oceanside Municipal Pier: Flickr/Ted

4) Oceanside Municipal Pier

When you walk along the 1,942-feet of the Oceanside Municipal Pier, you’re walking on a landmark. This pier is the oldest wooden pier on the West Coast, and is great of fishing and wave watching.

 

 

Stone Brewing Co.: Flickr/Bernt Rostad free things to do in San Diego

Stone Brewing Co.: Flickr/Bernt Rostad

5) Brewery Tours

San Diego is the home of America’s craft beer scene, so where better to go on a brewery tour? The Green Flash Brewing Co., Karl Strauss Brewery, Stone Brewing Company and Lo Jolla Brewing Company all have free tours. Sample free beers while getting a behind-the-scenes look at suds making.

 

 

IMG_5675_RSZ free things to do in San Diego

Cowles Mountain

6) Cowles Mountain

Hike to the top of Cowles Mountain for prime panoramic views of San Diego County. At 1,593-feet the summit is the highest peak in all of San Diego. The hike is a rather strenuous switchback-style uphill hike, but the views are worth the effort. Arrive early for the best views.

 

 

Point Loma free things to do in San Diego

Point Loma

7) Point Loma & Cabrillo National Monument

The Cabrillo National Monument, located on Point Loma, commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542. Along with the monument, there is a historic lighthouse, with views all the way to Mexico, a veterans memorial, sea cliffs and tide pools to explore.

 

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve free things to do in San Diego

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

8) Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Hiking at Torrey Pines is one of the best ways to see the natural beauty of San Diego. Trails curve around sandy mountains, with views of the bright blue coast, jagged sea cliffs and rare Torrey pine trees dotting the way. Plus, you can swim at the base of the Torrey Pines cliffs.

 

 

old_town_sodiego_1 free things to do in San Diego

Old Town

9) Old Town State Historic Park

Trek through the history of California’s birthplace at Old Town, San Diego’s first downtown. There is a distinct feeling of Old Mexico within this 6-block, 12-acre park, with historical sites covering shops, restaurants, museums, preserved adobe buildings and more. It’s easily one of the most authentic free things to do in San Diego.

 

 

Balboa Park's Casa de Balboa Building in San Diego, California free things to do in San Diego

Balboa Park

10) Balboa Park

Balboa Park is teeming with free things to do in San Diego. There are over 65 miles of walking trails at Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in America. In addition, there are gorgeous gardens, botanical gardens and spectacular Spanish Colonial Revival architecture to see. Don’t miss the Spreckles Organ Pavilion which hosts free outdoor organ concerts on Sundays at 2pm.

 

California Surf Museum FB free things to do in San Diego

California Surf Museum/Facebook

11) California Surf Museum

Surf’s up at this museum, home to a permanent collection of historic boards, photographs and videos. Located in Oceanside on Highway 101, tour through the displays on Tuesdays for free admission.

 

 

 

Summer concerts in San Diego free things to do in San Diego

Summer concerts in San Diego

12) Summer Concerts

During the summer season, a variety of venues host free concerts. From the Coronado Summer Concerts in the Park to the La Jolla Concert by the Sea, there is an event planned for every week of the summer. Click here for a comprehensive list of free summer entertainment.

 

 

Seaport Village free things to do in San Diego

Seaport Village

13) Seaport Village

Stop by lively Seaport Village for a leisurely stroll along the bayfront, where window shopping, free entertainment and affordable cafes await. Seaport Village hosts the annual Busker Festival each spring, and offers over 75 stores and restaurants. Pop-up concerts and strolling entertainment featured on the weekends.

 

 

Sunset Cliffs free things to do in San Diego

Sunset Cliffs

14) Sunset Cliffs

The rugged Sunset Cliffs are juxtaposed with modern highways and homes. Truly lovely during the day, the cliffs are made even better in the evening. Watch the sun sink into the ocean horizon and witness an array of pinks and oranges painting the sky.

 

 

Mt. Soledad free things to do in San Diego

Mt. Soledad: Flickr/Oleg

15) Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial

Located in La Jolla, Mt. Soledad is an easy-to-access peak with 360-degree views on San Diego. While you enjoy the views, be sure to pay your respects to the brave men and women of America’s armed forces at the Veterans Memorial. Black granite stones tell the stories of those lost, encircling a massive cross honor those who served faithfully.

 

 

As you can see, it’s easy to find free things to do in San Diego. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, history buff or entertainment junkie, you can’t go wrong with these absolutely free options. Visitors can experience a fun and unforgettable vacation experience without breaking the budget.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting San Diego to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

There’s no doubt that San Diego has something for everyone. From a baseball game for the sports fans to a day at the beach for the outdoorsy folk, San Diego is a great place to vacation. With so much to do and see, it can be difficult to fit everything into one vacation. Instead of trying to pack in every site, make sure these 7 San Diego landmarks are on your itinerary for an unforgettable vacation.

San Diego Landmarks - San Diego Zoo

See all of your favorite animals at the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

When you visit San Diego, you have to go to the San Diego Zoo. As one of the top zoos in the world, it’s a rite of passage to visit this legendary attraction. From monkeys swinging from branch to branch, to towering giraffes and trumpeting elephants, the San Diego Zoo is home to more than 3,700 rare and endangered animals and counting. Plus, did you know the zoo is also a botanical garden with over 700,000 types of plants?

For the best San Diego Zoo experience, follow our expert tips:

Arrive as early as possible to get a phenomenal parking spot and see the animals being active. During the afternoon hours, most of the animals tend to rest.

Take advantage of the Bus Tour. The tour departments every half hour and provides one of the most thorough tours of the zoo. It’s a great way to see as many animals as possible during your day.

Check out this quick video guide to a day at the San Diego Zoo for more advice.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park is another treasure you don’t want to miss. The 1,800-acre park allows visitors to go on a safari adventure unlike any other. Between the behind-the-scenes experiences and seeing animals in their natural habitats, you’re sure to have a wild time at San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

To make your time at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park a breeze, reserve your tickets ahead of time using Reserve San Diego.

Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego

Image by Emilee Rader / Flickr

Cabrillo National Monument

The San Diego landmarks on our list have their own story and the Cabrillo National Monument is no exception. The historic monument commemorates the story of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who arrived at San Diego Bay in September 1542. Upon discovery, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo actually called the area, “San Miguel”. It wasn’t until 60 years later that the area was named “San Diego” by explorer Sebastian Vizcaino.

While at the monument, you can explore the statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, learn about his voyage, and gaze out into the ocean from the Old Point Loma lighthouse.

USS Midway Museum - San Diego Landmarks

Climb aboard the USS Midway Museum for an unparalleled San Diego experience.

USS Midway Museum

Climb aboard the USS Midway, an authentic U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, for an educational experience you’ll never forget. With 60+ exhibits, self-guided tours, 29 restored aircrafts, and outstanding ocean views, there’s something for everyone at the museum.

Among the most historical of San Diego landmarks, the USS Midway allows visitors to hear stories from Desert Storm pilots and experience life aboard the famous vessel. Plus, daredevils can hop into a flight simulator and “jet off” into the sky!

Book your trip to the USS Midway Museum using Reserve San Diego to skip the ticket lines and spend more time inside the aircraft carrier.

Balboa Park - San Diego Landmarks

Image by richmbythesea / Flickr

Balboa Park

Did you know Balboa Park is known as one of the best parks in the world? The park houses 15 museums, performing arts venues, botanical gardens, cultural and recreational attractions, and the San Diego Zoo.

With over 1,200 acres to explore, you can spend the majority of your San Diego vacation in Balboa Park and never get bored! As the nation’s largest urban cultural park, it’s easy to see why Balboa Park made our list of San Diego landmarks you can’t miss.

Torrey Pines cliffs

Visit the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for unbeatable views and outdoor adventure.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

California is home to hundreds of beautiful national and state parks. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is one of the 16 parks with reserve status. This means that everything in the reserve is exactly as it was before the entire city of San Diego was built. From the calming trails to the incredible beaches, this natural reserve is one of San Diego’s true treasures.

When you visit Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, follow all of the rules put in place by the California State Park System. The point of the reserve is to keep it safe from waste and harm while tourists visit the park.

Gaslamp Quarter - San Diego Landmarks

Visit Gaslamp Quarter to combine history and fun in one neighborhood.

Gaslamp Quarter

Located in the heart of the historic city, Gaslamp Quarter is known as San Diego’s entertainment district. With 16.5 blocks of Victorian architecture and stories of San Diego’s past, everything for a phenomenal vacation is at your fingertips.

As a result, you’ll find the following throughout the famous neighborhood:

  • Art Galleries
  • Theaters
  • Award-Winning Restaurants
  • Live Music and Bars
  • Museums and Attractions
  • Premier Shopping
  • Luxury Hotels and Lodging

 

We guarantee you’ll love Gaslamp Quarter, especially since it’s one of the top San Diego landmarks!

Old Town San Diego - San Diego Landmarks

Don’t forget to stop by Old Town San Diego too.

Old Town San Diego

Known as the birthplace of California, you need to visit Historic Old Town San Diego. In 1968, the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation announced the establishment of Old Town, therefore preserving the area’s rich history. Throughout the neighborhood, you can learn about San Diego’s past, visit local shops, or attend a festival.

With so much history and fun packed into one neighborhood, it’s no wonder why it made the list of top San Diego landmarks!

Reserve Your Vacation to See All 7 San Diego Landmarks Today

With so many San Diego landmarks to visit, it’s best to plan your trip ahead of time. Eliminate the hassle of booking a hotel room or purchasing tickets on several different websites by using Reserve San Diego. From hotel reservations to travel tips, Reserve San Diego has everything you need for the San Diego vacation of a lifetime in one place.

 

If you’re searching for a place to vacation with the kids, stop! You’ve found it in San Diego, California. With weather that’s wonderful year-round, engaging entertainment options and a family-friendly vibe, this vacation destination does not disappoint. Accordingly, it’s a favorite city for parents and kids to play. Use this list to hop, skip and jump your way around SoCal experiencing the best things to do in San Diego for families.

Plan your vacation around these things to do in San Diego for families.

Family Beach ThinkstockPhotos-478212466

Beach days are the best!

1) The Beach

This one’s kind of a given, right? San Diego has miles of sunny and sandy coastline just begging to be visited. Parents like the fact several San Diego beaches are super family-friendly, too. With that in mind, here are a few kid-approved beaches:

  • Silver Strand State Park
  • La Jolla Shores
  • Oceanside

 

Pando Zoo-77816_1280 Pixabay

San Diego Zoo is one of the only zoos in the world with pandas

2) San Diego Zoo

One of America’s best zoos is located here. And it’s can’t miss! With world-class animal exhibits, including rare pandas, parents will enjoy this outing just as much as the kids. Be sure to go on the guided bus tour, great for getting an overview of this 100-acre zoo. To learn even more expert tips for visiting San Diego Zoo, watch our insider video.

Balboa Park 463680953

Balboa Park is one of the prettiest in America

3) Balboa Park

San Diego Zoo is technically located within Balboa Park, but there’s a whole lot more to see here. Home to 14 museums and gorgeous gardens, you can easily spend a whole day exploring with your family. Highlights for families include:

  • San Diego Natural History Museum: animatronic dinosaurs
  • Reuben H. Fleet Science Center: hands on science exhibits
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum: Dress up like an astronaut

 

La Jolla Beach_Seals_CC

View seals in their natural environment at La Jolla Cove

4) La Jolla Cove

Upscale home and shops surround La Jolla Cove, but the real gem of the area is its cove. The picturesque cove, and its surrounding sea cliffs, have a large population of sea lions. Get out and mingle with them. Your kids will flip! And you’ll probably take about 100 photos. I know I did!

1024px-Cabrillo_Monument_04

Cabrillo National Monumnet: By Ctorbann, via Wikimedia Commons

5) Cabrillo National Monument

The Cabrillo National Monument is a fun way to give your kids a hands-on history lesson. Tour the museum highlighting the first expedition to San Diego as well as Point Loma Lighthouse. In addition, the Point Loma Tide Pools are nearby. Kids love checking out the scenery and the sea life there.

legoland-california-land-of-adventure-cargo-ace RSZ

Hand up for fun!

6) LEGOLAND California

If you’re kids are young, and love LEGOs, you’ve got to go to this theme park. It was created with them in mind, with everything from hands-on exhibits to kid-sized rides. Moreover, there’s an on-site water park perfect for those hot San Diego days.

SeaWorld_San_Diego_(40126)

Up close experiences are a signature of SeaWorld

7) SeaWorld San Diego

You’re near the ocean, so why not learn about it at SeaWorld San Diego? This marine park has immersive exhibits dedicated to sea life. Thus, you can explore penguins, sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles and more. Combine this with exciting shows and rides and you’ve got one of the top things to do in San Diego for families.

Birch Aquarium FB2

Kids can’t get enough of the Birch Aquarium: Birch Aquarium/Facebook

8) Birch Aquarium at Scripps

This La Jolla aquarium is another way to get an ocean education in San Diego. There are touch pools and tanks with up-close views of moon jellies, sharks, lion fish and more. All of this means families with babies and toddlers will especially enjoy Birch Aquarium.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

The beach and sea cliffs of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

9) Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines is stunningly beautiful and one of the best showcases of the natural beauty of San Diego. For this reason, it’s one of the best places to get outdoors in SoCal. There are eight trails to trek, with the Beach Trail and Razor Point trail two favorites. You can easily make a beach day of it here, too, as the Beach Trail has beach access.

USS_Midway_Museum_(69540)

The USS Midway is educational yet fun for kids

10) USS Midway

Located along Navy Pier in downtown San Diego, USS Midway Museum features the longest-serving U.S. Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Kids will get a kick being aboard this real life carrier, where they can engage in activities like listening to real pilot conversations during Desert Storm, climbing in bunks, and more.

IMG_6453 RSZ

Bonus: Catch a Game

If your family are baseball fans, why not catch a game in San Diego? Petco Stadium, home to the San Diego Padres, does a top notch job of creating a unique atmosphere for ball games. Not only is weather pretty much always optimal, the stadium serves food key to the San Diego culinary scene. Think burritos, barbeque and pizza. Couple that with a better-than-most craft beer selection and you’ve got an activity sure to please every member of the family.

Which Things to Do in San Diego for Families Are For You?

With this list of the top 10 things to do in San Diego for families you’ve surely found a few perfect for your vacation. Did we miss a favorite San Diego activity? Let us know what your family loves to do here and we’ll be sure to include it in our list.


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting San Diego to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Kids love San Diego! If it’s not for the world famous attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld or LEGOLAND, it’s for the beaches, parks and activities throughout the county. San Diego has a lot to offer tiny travelers. Here is my guide on how to keep your beautiful children happy and smiling. Add these things to do with kids in San Diego to experience family fun at its finest.

Birch Aquarium FB

Birch Aquarium/Facebook

1. Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Learn about the curious land under the sea as your kids explore exhibits and activities led by professional oceanographers. The Birch Aquarium sits on the La Jolla coast, and offers kids various experiences such as think tank interactive projects, animal feeding times, and animal interactions. In October, kids 12 and under enter free at many San Diego Museum Council destinations.

2. Waterfront Park
This new park sits at the Embarcadero in Downtown, San Diego and offers kids many swings, jungle gyms, and fountains. Parents can hang out of the benches as the kids monkey around on the gym, or hang out on the lawn as the kids splash in the fountain that is specially designed for the amphibious type.

Belmont Park

Belmont Park

3. Belmont Park
This historic amusement park was meticulously built on the beachfront, and offers kids rides, games, an artificial wave for surfing, and lots and lots of pizza, ice cream and burgers. Get your kids an unlimited fun wristband as you lay out by the beach, or enjoy drinks and food at The Wavehouse, home to the only artificial wave machine in San Diego.

4. Balboa Park
San Diego’s main urban park is sprinkled with museums, gardens, and theaters. There are many kid-friendly activities offered throughout the year. The Ruben H. Fleet Science Center is home to America’s first IMAX Theater that shows educational programs every day. Buy a ticket to the theater, and you and the kids can play in the interactive exhibits within the museum. On Sundays at 2pm, the World Beat Center offers kids a free African Dance class, and the San Diego Junior Theater has relatable shows for kids at the Casa del Prado Theater.

Corvette Diner

Corvette Diner

5. Corvette Diner
For an unforgettable dining experience, make sure to take the kids to the Corvette Diner, a restaurant suitable for all ages. Guests are transported to a time of poodle skirts, Elvis, and HUGE beehive hair. Several times throughout dinner, the staff will stop what they are doing, and dance in synch to the 50’s jams played by a live DJ.

As I reminisce back to when we went on family vacations, I couldn’t thank my parents enough for all of the fun activities and learning experiences they offered to me. Traveling has since been such a huge part of my life, and I know how important it is to explore the world, its people, and new and interesting experiences. Have fun at these things to do with kids in San Diego, and cherish the enthusiasm and thirst for exploration of a child.


Bianca is a San Diego native, and prides herself on her knowledge of her city. As a professional tour guide, she offers food and drink tasting tours through her company: So Diego Tours. With 8 years in the tourism industry, she brings you updates on how to make the most out of your time, money and energy in her city.

Traveling with your significant other is definitely fun, exciting, and romantic, but it can also be frustrating when plans are not made, and there is no agreement on how to spend your limited time together in a new city. When you come to San Diego, you’ll have a bucket list of things to do such as the San Diego Zoo, beaches, and beer tasting scene, I’m sure, but I’d like to help you plan your stay with other unique activities that are sure to lend some collaborative and romantic moments. Try these things to do in San Diego for couples.  You and your sweetheart are sure to have a blast!

Potato Chip Rock

Potato Chip Rock

Hiking

Nothing gets your endorphins flowing like physical activity, and nothing is easier and more enjoyable than going for a hike up a mountain with a beautiful view. San Diego hiking is a popular activity, and can be explored any time of the year. My favorite easy hikes are the trails at Sunset Cliffs, and Torrey Pines. They are both situated on the coastline, and offer miles of picturesque views of the horizon. (Insider note: Sunset Cliffs has free parking around the entrance to the park, but Torrey Pines has one main entrance that charges $10-$15/ car entrance, depending on the season and day.) My favorite difficult hike is Mount Woodson aka Potato Chip Rock. This hike is for the active couple because it’s steep, and will take you at least 3 hours to go up and down, but people go for the iconic photo taken at the end. (Insider note: GO EARLY…especially in the summertime. Last time I went in the afternoon during spring, the line to take the photo resembled a Disneyland ride line in the height of summer.)

Cooking class at Sur la Table

Cooking class at Sur la Table

Cooking Class

Who doesn’t love a great meal? Better yet, who doesn’t like a great meal you know you can make on your own with techniques taught to you by a professional chef? San Diego’s culinary scene is booming in the great restaurants popping up every month, but there is another way food fanatics are sharing their love. In a San Diego cooking class, students have hands on instruction by a chef. All cooking materials are provided in addition to the ingredients, and at some, you can bring your own wine to enjoy during the learning process. The easiest, most accessible class is at Sur la Table in the popular San Diego mall: Fashion Valley. Classes are inexpensive, and are always scheduled. Other great options are Café Merlot in Rancho Bernardo (North County), and Bice (Gaslamp Quarter). Just be sure to check their schedule for offered cooking classes.

SUP nighttime paddleboarding

SUP nighttime paddleboarding

Nighttime (SUP) Stand Up Paddleboard

Searching for something truly unique to do while in San Diego? Paddleboarding is quickly becoming a favorite water sport for many.  Up the ante, though, by taking your sweetheart on a night tour of the San Diego Bay on a stand up paddleboard equipped with LED lights that illuminate the water and the bay floor. Your guide will lead the group around the bay, and tell you interesting stories and facts about the area. On clear nights, you may even see small fish and/or stingrays in the water! This is a fun, active and unique activity that will have you ranting and raving when it’s over!

Go for a spin on the dance floor

Go for a spin on the dance floor

Salsa Dancing/Classes

In the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, you’ll find one of my favorite restaurants that serves amazing Spanish-style tapas such as paella, empanadas, and my favorite – the bacon-wrapped, cheese-stuffed dates. You can have appetizers and/or dinner before heading downstairs to their mini dance club for salsa dance classes led by professional dancers. Classes start at 8:30pm, and then the dance floor opens up to Latin dance lovers so you can practice your new moves. Check out the Café Sevilla events calendar, and call for class times.

Now that you‘ve got some great ideas on things to do with your partner in crime, make sure you muster up enough energy to do as much as you can while in San Diego. One last suggestion from me to you is to get a $35 hour-long Asian massage at Happy Head to get some recharging in between activities. It’s casual and easy. You can walk up to any of the locations. Have fun exploring!


Bianca is a San Diego native, and prides herself on her knowledge of her city. As a professional tour guide, she offers food and drink tasting tours through her company: So Diego Tours. With 8 years in the tourism industry, she brings you updates on how to make the most out of your time, money and energy in her city.