San Diego is known far and wide as “America’s Finest City.”And for good reason!
Famous for its miles and miles of beaches, amazing weather, theme parks, and more, the city offers an abundance of fun attractions for visitors of all ages. Our Vacation & Staycation Guide helps both families visiting San Diego and families who live here to plan the perfect trip. All the information is in one place with easy links to book, visit the right website, or make a call for more information!
An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see. Spend the day monkeying around in our tropical oasis as you visit amazing habitats for animals such as gorillas, Komodo dragons, tigers, flamingos, mandrills, polar bears, birds of paradise, giant tortoises, elephants, and more. Visit the Australian Outback to see our colony of more than 25 koalas. A stroll through Africa Rocks reveals the animal and plant inhabitants of six iconic African habitats. Enjoy a guided tour on a double-decker bus or an aerial view from Skyfari, and dine in the peaceful surroundings of Albert’s Restaurant.
San Diego Zoo Global is an international, nonprofit conservation organization that supports worldwide conservation projects to save species, including the Australian wildlife relief project. San Diego Zoo Global-supported researchers are already on the ground in Australia, working to help save Australia’s magnificent wildlife. We continue to collect donations to address the immediate needs of wildlife affected by the fires and to do the conservation work that will be necessary for long-term recovery. Guests can visit endextinction.org/help for more details or to DONATE TODAY. Every dollar helps! Address: 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
This guide has been broken down by category to help you plan your Vacation or Staycation to San Diego!
Are you looking for a fun, family-friendly hotel centrally located with everything you need on site? Well look no further! Kings Inn San Diego is your dream destination for a vacation to San Diego or a fun staycation for the whole family. Our hotel features 2 restaurants, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center. Free WiFi in public areas and free self-parking is also provided. Additionally, a bar/lounge, a coffee shop/café, and a spa tub are on site. All 140 rooms provide conveniences like refrigerators and coffee makers, plus free WiFi and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. Guests will also find room service, free local calls, and hair dryers. Enjoy a delicious cold drink while the kids play, and soak up the beautiful San Diego sunshine. Address: 1333 Hotel Cir S, San Diego, CA 92108
Bahia Resort Hotel
Discover the picturesque natural beauty of the Bahia Resort Hotel located in Mission Bay. Lush tropical gardens, miles of sandy beaches, and family-friendly accommodations set the Bahia apart for your next Southern California adventure. Address: 998 W Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
San Diego Hilton Bayfront
San Diego Hilton Bayfront – San Diego’s most exciting attractions are within walking distance of the hotel, including the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter, home to fabulous shopping, dining and nightlife. Address: 1 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Paradise Point Resort & Spa
Paradise Point Resort & Spa features comfortable bungalow-style guestrooms you’ll find plenty of room to roam and relax. Located in Mission Bay this resort has five swimming pools, beach bonfire pits, a marina, five dining venues, an award-winning spa and endless recreation options. Address: 1404 Vacation Rd, San Diego, CA 92109
San Diego Mission Bay Resort
Discover our Mission Bay resort, where the best of the Southern California lifestyle is at your fingertips – sun, sand, and so much more. We invite you to indulge in the heart of San Diego, where you’ll enjoy waterfront dining, luxurious spa treatments, poolside relaxation, and – best of all – proximity to everything you could want to do in our vibrant city. Address: 1775 E Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
The Dana on Mission Bay
The most relaxing San Diego Hotel on the Bay. Relax in style at the Bayside Pool and spa or at the lush Tropical Pool and spa, with its lively seasonal bar. Savor contemporary cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at our waterfront restaurant. Rent paddle boats, kayaks, and bicycles right at the resort and rejuvenate body and soul with a tantalizing massage. Address: 1710 W Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
Hotel del Coronado
Seaside charm. Iconic architecture. Modern touches. Casual elegance. Make America’s most beloved beach the backdrop to your #DelMemories. Whether you’re looking for romance, adventure or a little slice of paradise this legendary resort has three distinct buildings along the beachfront and incredible in-room and resort amenities for an unforgettable visit. Address: 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Looking for fun with a side of science? Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the place for you. As the public outreach center for the renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Birch Aquarium brings guests into the exciting world of cutting-edge research and discovery. Explore interactive exhibits and come face to face exciting creatures including a rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Leopard Sharks, and exotic seadragons. Don’t miss the Dive Show in the two-story Giant Kelp Forest or the outdoor touch pools that feature some of the best ocean views in Southern California.
And if you are looking for a more active excursion, Birch Aquarium offers a number of family friendly seasonal programs including whale watching trips, shark snorkels, and tidepooling adventures, all led by expert naturalists. Address: 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037.
San Diego Air & Space Museum
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is California’s official air and space museum and science center. Centrally located in Balboa Park in the historic Ford Building, the Museum is home to examples of some of the most iconic aircraft and spacecraft in the world.
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is dedicated to engaging the community with the past, present, and future of aerospace innovation. Our hands-on, inquiry-driven programming inspires learners of all ages, highlighting the creativity and imagination in science, technology, and engineering. They are open to the public, encourage school trips, have a variety of workshops, summer camps, and other programs, monthly events and special exhibits. Address: 2001 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA.
The Fleet Science Center
At The Fleet Science Center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet—and beyond. The Fleet is a member of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, a collaboration of 26 arts, science and culture institutions in Balboa Park. By working together they produce major outcomes that no single organization could achieve alone. Address: 1875 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
The New Children’s Museum
The New Children’s Museum is a dynamic new model of a museum that celebrates children and the arts. As a San Diego non-profit, our Museum empowers children to think, play and create through engaging exhibitions, art-making activities, artistic performances, and educational opportunities. Serving all ages, from toddler to preteen, The New Children’s Museum inspires new ways to see the world through the language of art. Address: 200 W. Island Ave, San Diego, CA, 92101
USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is a historical naval aircraft carrier museum located in downtown San Diego, California at Navy Pier. The museum consists of the aircraft carrier Midway and over 60 exhibits throughout the historic aircraft carrier as well as 29 restored aircraft and take part in Family-oriented activities for all ages!. The ship houses an extensive collection of aircraft, many of which were built in Southern California. Address: 910 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
With so much to see and do, planning your visit to Balboa, which boasts 17 museums and cultural institutions with an incredible diversity of collections. From local San Diego history, to the history of flight, trains, or automobiles, to the workmanship of the old masters, and the arts, crafts, and culture of people near and far, recent and historical. There is no shortage of things to see and do.
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum believes interactive experiences are a crucial element of learning. Our Museum features four focused program areas: Experimentation (science, math, engineering), Exploration (world cultures, history), Imagination (theater arts, visual arts, music), and Discovery (outdoor space featuring gardens, environmental science, world cultures, arts). Address: 320 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025
Maritime Museum of San Diego
The Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels. The museum has one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the world’s oldest active ship Star of India. Our collection of ships and exhibits are available for daily public tours. One of the best things to do in San Diego! Address: 1492 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101-3309.
Go Car Tours
Leave your guidebook behind and see the San Diego most visitors & locals never see! Hop into a GoCar and let this little yellow car take you on a guided tour of this fantastic city! Guided tours also available on Electric Fat Tire Scooters and E-bikes for 12 years and up. Address: 2555 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Speed Boat Adventures
Set out on the water as your own captain on a high-adrenaline boat ride in San Diego! Zip along the coastline and take in the stunning views of area attractions like the Maritime Museum, Seaport Village, and of course, the iconic downtown skyline. Address: 1450 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
San Diego Seal Tours
Ready to see the best of San Diego on sea and land? Your 90-minute, fully narrated SEAL Tour departs from Seaport Village or the Embarcadero. Wind your way through picturesque San Diego streets before splashing down for a cruise through the waters of the San Diego Bay. Address: Seaport Village – 500 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Mission Bay Sportcenter
Mission Bay Sportcenter is a locally owned and operated boat rental facility in Mission Bay. They offer a full fleet of watersports rentals from powerboats to sailboats, pontoon boats, and jet skis, along with other human powered watercraft such as kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and pedal boats. Address: 844 W Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109.
Adventure Water Sports
Adventure Water Sports is located right on Mission Bay. Don’t waste your valuable time driving around and towing someone else’s equipment or driving 5mph. Rent from us and just hop on and go! With two locations right on Mission Bay that are the closest rental locations to the full speed zone. Wave Runners (Jet Skis), Ski Boats, Pontoon Boat, Stand Up Paddle Boards, Kayaks and Bicycles. Address: 1710 W Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109.
Everyday California, a La Jolla, California-based lifestyle company, offering ocean adventures and premium California-sourced apparel. The company specializes in kayak and snorkel tours in the La Jolla Ecological Reserve and paddleboard, surfboard, kayak and other equipment rentals. In addition you can rent a kayak, stand up paddleboard, surfboard, snorkel equipment or bodyboard. Address: 2261 Avenida de la Playa La Jolla, CA 92037.
Pedego Electric Bikes
Exploring on a Pedego electric bike rental is possibly the very best way to experience San Diego and beyond! Conveniently located along Harbor drive, across from the World Pier there are numerous nearby bike trails that are safe and breathtakingly beautiful. This will be an outing that the entire family will enjoy and never forget! Address: 900 Bayfront Ct, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92101.
Action Sports Rentals
Action Sports Rentals is passionate about living and exploring water sports and nature. They want to share this passion with others, offering unique experiences at a fraction of the cost to own a boat, wave runner, segway etc. Check out one of their seven locations: Paradise Point Resort, Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa, San Diego Mission Bay Resort, Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Kona Kai Resort Hotel & Spa, Bahia Resort Hotel and Dana Landing Marina. Address: Multiple locations throughout San Diego
Ray’s Rentals provides the highest quality bike and surfboard rentals paired with great customer service. At Ray’s Rentals you will find the best rentals and rates in Southern California on Jet skis, bikes($12 ALL DAY), surreys, bike accessories, surfboards, body boards, stand-up paddle-boards, wet suits, kayaks, in-line skates, skateboards, beach chairs, umbrellas, snorkeling equipment, souvenirs, all your beach needs and much, much more! Address: Multiple locations throughout San Diego
The 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park is home to more than 3,000 animals representing over 300 species. More than 1 million guests each year see animals in herds of mixed species, in expansive field habitats. The Safari Park also maintains a renowned botanical collection with more than 1.7 million plants, including three accredited garden collections. Guests are invited to take part in a thrilling Safari experience and create lasting memories, while supporting San Diego Zoo Global’s conservation efforts to save species worldwide.
And don’t forget to check out the parks most popular exhibit, the Butterfly Jungle! Opens March 21 and runs through May 10, 2020. Don’t miss it! Address: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027
Belmont Park is San Diego’s only beachfront amusement and entertainment complex. Visitors can enjoy traditional and contemporary amusement park rides including the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, play laser tag, visit the arcade, climb the Sky Climb Rock Wall, Dine at Draft or Cannonball, enjoy a round of golf at Tiki Town Mini Golf, glide on the Zip Line or play midway style games – to name a few. The Park also features a wide array of cuisine including oceanfront restaurants. Address: 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109.
SeaWorld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego is an animal theme park, oceanarium, outside aquarium and marine mammal park, in San Diego, California, United States, inside Mission Bay Park. SeaWorld San Diego is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ inspires millions, through the power of entertainment, to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. Address: 500 Sea World Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
Aquatica features a combination of high-speed thrills, a relaxing beachside resort atmosphere, lush landscape and up-close animal encounters. Among more than a dozen attractions are Taumata Racer, a thrilling mat-racer water slide; Big Surf Shores, a large wave pool, lined by an expansive sandy beach; several children’s play areas including Walkabout Waters and Slippity Dippity; and Loggerhead Lane, which offers a leisurely float down a winding lazy river, with a view of Caribbean flamingos along the way. Address: 2052 Entertainment Cir, Chula Vista, CA 91911.
Green Flash Brewing
You don’t want to miss Green Flash Brewing’s 4,000 square foot tasting room and beer garden. Enjoy up to 30 beers on our state of the art taps featuring Green Flash favorite front line beers as well as seasonal, rare and special releases. Step out to the bustling beer garden and enjoy a bite from our own in-house Green Flash food truck. Browse their gift shop, snag some beer to go, get a growler fill, or just hang out and enjoy! Address: 6550 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92121
Blue Door Winery
The Blue Door Winery philosophy and techniques they employ at Blue Door follow a straightforward approach – keep it as simple and as natural as possible, then always fill it with passion and commitment. With two locations to visit one in San Diego their urban winery is located on Morena Blvd in San Diego. And just an hour’s drive from San Diego, the Blue Door Julian Tasting Room though some 4500 feet higher, is the backcountry town of Julian. Nestled in the local mountains, this wonderful little town boasts fresh water fishing, waterfalls, apple pie, and a Blue Door tasting room. Addresses: Blue Door Urban Winery, 4060 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117 and Blue Door Julian Tasting Room, 2608 B Street, Julian, CA 92036.
Located 25 miles north of downtown San Diego, nestled inside the quiet town of Rancho Bernardo, lies one of the best-kept secrets in the county, and a slice of San Diego history. Winery and Village tucked away in the hills of North County, San Diego. We offer wine tasting, a village of unique shops, restaurant, coffee house, beautiful gardens and a little slice of the old country. Address: 13330 Paseo Del Verano Norte, San Diego, CA 92128
Ballast Point Miramar is must-see in San Diego. Our largest west coast brewery & restaurant is an impressive sight to behold with beautiful German copper kettles, a sprawling indoor/outdoor restaurant, patio with fire pit and bag toss games, brewery tours and merchandise shop. Ballast Point Little Italy offers bayside breezes, award-winning and experimental brews, and a casual dining ambiance indoors and out. Sip pints on the patio or in a private cabana while watching overhead planes, or watch our brewers brew an R&D beer.
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido is a site to see. Join them for a meal or a pint in our Bistro’s dynamic and expansive interior, or venture out to our beautiful open-air patio and one-acre beer garden. As strong advocates for environmental responsibility and high-quality food, we are one of the largest restaurant purchasers of local, small-farm organic produce in San Diego County. Address: 1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, CA 92029. CLICK HERE for more info on their Liberty Station World Bistro & Gardens location.
La Jolla Shores
La Jolla Shores is a sandy beach approximately 1 mile long located in the community of La Jolla. In summer, waves at this beach are usually the most gentle of all San Diego beaches. There is also a beautiful playground that is adjacent to the beach that gives kids a break from the sand if needed. Address: 8200 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla CA
This popular beach is beautiful, easy to reach and perfect for kids because of the slow drop into the ocean. The beach starts right in front of the famous Hotel del Coronado and continues north to Sunset Park. There are plenty of public restrooms, rock mounds for tide pooling with your kids, and plenty of perfect spots to build the perfect sandcastle. Address: 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118 (Hotel del Coronado address)
This wide, sandy beach offers swimming, surfing and fishing. Facilities include volleyball and tennis courts, recreational equipment rentals and a snack bar. The “moonlight” in the name of this beach comes from the fact that local residents used to come to the area for midnight picnics early in the early 1900s. Address: 400 B Street, Encintas CA 92024.
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