Top 5 Things to Do in San Diego
Named by some as the ‘birthplace of California’, San Diego is a must-see destination on any Californian itinerary. Located a couple of hours drive south of Los Angeles, the city encompasses coastal, mountainous and desert beauty. Most are familiar with the world-famous San Diego Zoo, but there is much more to explore with amazing shopping, beaches, and other experiences that will entertain couples, friends and families. The temperature is reliably warm, with August and September the hottest months for sun lovers. Here is a guide to the top 5 things to do in San Diego.
Home to leopards, elephants, lions, giraffes, grizzly bears and the rare red panda, the San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park, on the doorstep of the city centre. The zoo was voted #1 Zoo in the World at the 2018 Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards and here guests can enjoy the Botanical Tours, Kangaroo Bus, the Skyfari Aerial Tram and various wildlife shows. The zoo, which works with more than 380 global partners and 200 scientists, breeds and cares for endangered species through conservation and research. Adult tickets are $56, whilst a child’s ticket (aged 3-11 years old) costs $46. The San Diego Zoo is open from 9am-9pm and further information can be found on the website.
Aquatica San Diego
Aquatica is the perfect day for family fun with a range of rides, slides, pools and rivers. The park is an easy car journey from the centre of San Diego, so there’s no danger of little ones getting too tiredbefore they arrive. Opening hours vary, but the park is typically open 10am-5pm. Single tickets start at $47.99 but there are weekday offers, and multi-buy tickets available on their website.
Beaches of San Diego
As a coastal hotspot, San Diego boasts stunning beaches including Black Beach, Cardiff By Sea, La Joma Reefs, Mission Bay and Torrey Pines. Benefitting from white sands, rugged clifftops, and impressive waves, there are activities for everyone such as snorkelling, scuba diving and biking along boardwalks.
Of course shopping must also be on the itinerary! San Diego is conveniently located near to some wonderful shopping destinations, including Las Americas Premium Outlets ®, Fashion Valley and Carlsbad Premium Outlets®.
Las Americas Premium Outlets® is 20 minutes south of downtown San Diego, an easy journey from the city. Here guests will find an Armani Outlet, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, kate spade new york and Sunglass Hut to explore and enjoy up to 65% off every day. Grab a Starbucks or a Wetzel’s Pretzel to fuel a day of shopping.
Fashion Valley meanwhile, is Southern California’s most luxurious destination. Decorated by living succulent walls, gorgeous palm trees and iconic fountains, this is a premier shopping experience not to be missed. There are more than 200 stores here, including internationally loved fashion houses like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Rolex, Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo. Finish the day with a wonderful fine-dining experience at Zodiac Restaurant at Neiman Marcus, which offers an innovative menu selection. To entertain the little ones, a new version of Pokemon Go called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite™ (based on film series), has launched at the property.
Located right on the coast, just moments from North Ponto Beach is Carlsbad Premium Outlets®. This destination is 30 minutes north of San Diego’s centre, so perfect for a combined shopping and beach day. With the flower-filled courtyards, fountains and elegant Tuscan-style architecture, it’s a wonderful place to spend a day exploring. From beauty essentials at bareMinerals, to classic denim at Levi’s, to sportswear at Under Armour, the property has stores that will delight every shopper. Parents will revel in the great prices at the Disney outlet, whilst fashion fans should head straight to Coach, the True Religion outlet, and Tommy Hilfiger to get amazing deals on the latest trends.
If you’re visiting San Diego in the summer months, make the most of the sunshine with an alfresco dinner and drinks. The luxury lifestyle TOWER23 Hotel has a wonderful restaurant, JRDN, with clean, light interiors and colourful cocktails overlooking Pacific Beach. Alternatively, right at the heart of the city is The Pool House at Pendry San Diego, a rooftop lounge with dramatic city views located above Gaslamp’s famed 5th Avenue. Here you’ll find light bites and decadent cocktails in a relaxed venue where guests can relax from day to night. Being relatively close to the Mexican border, San Diego is also famed for its authentic Mexican cuisine. The bustling restaurants tend to be informal with flavoursome menus, and Puesto (La Jolla) and Tocaya Organica have wonderfully colourful dishes that will leave the taste buds tingling.