For first time visitors, the challenge of San Diego is that it has it all: gorgeous climate, a big, beautiful bay and scenic bayfront, interesting neighborhoods, a spectacular coastline, beaches, boardwalks, parks, museums, and nightlife.
The following categories with options in each focuses on the highlights.
A lot can be packed into two full days in San Diego. Experience San Diego’s Bayfront, neighborhoods, popular sights, museums and splash down in Big Bay. Head up the spectacular coastline to quaint La Jolla, the “Jewel of the Sea,” perched high over the mighty Pacific. Shop, have lunch, see the dramatic coves. Walk along a beach, on an oceanfront boardwalk or play in the area’s oldest beachfront amusement park. Sip a tequila al fresco in Old Town, taste craft beer along the waterfront; enjoy fabulous food in Little Italy, experience nightlife in Gaslamp Quarter. Here’s a detailed itinerary to help you:
Spring weather in family-friendly San Diego may not be as warm as the Caribbean or coastal Mexico, but it’s gorgeous and filled with places to go and things to see! Perfect for Spring Break fun! Sunny days, average highs of 66 degrees and average lows of 53 degrees with little humidity- could not be better for visiting theme parks, amusement parks, the zoo; biking, hiking, kayaking; ballooning, boating; land tours, water tours; and beaching.
San Diego is a great place to visit for many reasons, and its history is one of them. It all began with the Kumeyaay, the indigenous people who hunted and harvested around the protected bay and surrounding hills. Then came Spanish explorers who, venturing up the coast in 1542, came upon the protected bay to become the first Europeans to step foot on the West Coast. Pressed by the colonization attempts by other countries, Spain claimed the entire region in 1769. This led to the establishment of the first mission and first presidio (fort) on the west coast in what is now Old Town San Diego. This first mission was established by none other than Junipero Serra, the Franciscan friar who was canonized by Pope Francis during his recent visit to Washington DC.
Southern California, or SoCal, stretches from north of Los Angeles to San Diego and points south. It’s a popular vacation destination for its wonderful climate, miles of dramatic coastline, endless stretches of great beaches, mountains ranges, giant redwood forests, deliciously trendy food, glitzy shopping, laid-back California attitude and family-friendly attitude. Oh, and don’t forget the long list of amazing theme parks with thrill rides galore and water fun.
Classic seaside amusement parks, then called Boardwalks, have existed along SoCal’s coast since late 1800s and early 1900s, the heydays of the gilded age. After years of decline, they emerged in modern, high tech form both along the SoCal coast and a bit inland. While there were others before it, Disneyland placed SoCal on the map as a global vacation destination. Since SoCal encompasses a large geographical area, this comprehensive list begins just north of Los Angeles and works down through the Anaheim area, through Orange County, and south to San Diego.