San Diego is nicknamed America’s Finest City for a reason. Every year millions of people flock to San Diego to enjoy the beautiful coastline with the best weather in the world. The mild climate has resulted in a strong outdoor culture that provides a variety of activities for every type of visitor.
Guest post by Kamelia Britton
What’s the best time to visit San Diego?
San Diego’s average year-round temperature is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit so you really can’t go wrong. The temperature does get warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter, but it is never too drastic on either side. September is an ideal time to visit as the crowds have died down with the kids back in school and the beach weather is prime. There are many outdoor festivals and events held in September along with San Diego Restaurant Week. The Del Mar Horse Racing Season is also during this month and hosts free concerts if you enter before the last race.
What’s good to know about San Diego?
San Diego really has something for everyone. Each neighborhood exudes it’s own vibe and lifestyle creating many unique little villages within the city. Check out the hipster scene at a craft brewery in North Park, enjoy pasta and wine in Little Italy, or indulge in fine dining in La Jolla Village.
One Day in San Diego Itinerary
Top things to do in San Diego, California
Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in San Diego.
Start the day with a beachfront brunch & Old World Charm
The Hotel Del Coronado became the first seaside resort on the West Coast in 1888. “The Del” as the locals call it, is an iconic California landmark. A lavish beachfront brunch is the perfect start to your active day in San Diego.
After brunch, explore the grounds then grab a taxi to the Coronado Ferry Landing. Peruse the shops before catching the ferry across the Coronado Bay to downtown San Diego. Grab your camera for souvenir pictures of the Coronado Bridge and San Diego’s beautiful downtown skyline.
Take a stroll and enjoy the scenery
From here take a stroll through the famous Balboa Park and hit a few museums.
The San Diego Zoo is right next to the park and has been rated the best in the world. If you’d rather enjoy the waterfront scenery, walk along the San Diego Harbor and visit one of the many attractions there including the Star of India, USS Midway or Seaport Village.
Pick an outdoor activity for fun in the sun
Join the locals and keep it active with San Diego’s variety of outdoor activities. Pick your favorite and then hit the nearest beach after. For instance you could surf some waves or kayak through the caves at La Jolla Shores Beach.
If you’d like to try paddle boarding, Mission Bay is a great option. Bikes are an easy way to get around the Pacific Beach area. They can be easily rented from the shops or even on the boardwalk from a DecoBike kiosk with a credit card.
Go for a swim in the Pacific Ocean
San Diego has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Your day wouldn’t be complete without seeing one. If you have time go for a swim or at least take a walk on the sand and breathe in some ocean air.
Enjoy a drink while taking in an epic sunset
If you’d like to enjoy the beach a little longer, have a seat at one of the many beachfront restaurants. If you’re ready to start your night then head downtown and check out one of the many rooftop terraces. Mr. A’s is known for one of the best panoramic views in the city and is perfect for a sunset toast. You’ll need to dress the part, as it’s a little fancy, but totally worth it for the view. Top of the Hyatt is also a great place to sip a martini in style as you take in the views from this waterfront hotel bar and lounge.
Head to the Gaslamp District for dinner and nightlife
The Gaslamp District is in downtown San Diego and offers quite a variety of cuisine to choose from. Take a stroll down 5th Avenue to discover the many restaurant options while taking in the downtown energy. Café Sevilla is a great option for tapas with live music and dancing. The Gaslamp has many bars, clubs and lounges to explore after dinner. Note: Alcohol is not served past 2:00 am so many places will start to close around 1:30 am.
WHERE TO STAY IN SAN DIEGO?
EXTRA TIPS FOR VISITING SAN DIEGO
– Public transport is not widely used in San Diego. The best option for getting around is to either rent a car or request a driver through apps such as Uber or Lyft.
– Tipping is customary and is not usually included in the bill when dining out. A 20% tip is appreciated for great service.
– Make your trip to San Diego even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in San Diego or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.
Pin for later!
If you have any other prepositions for this One Day in San Diego Itinerary feel free to share it in the comments below!