San Diego

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When it comes down to planning your day-to-day list of things to do, ShermansTravel experts have you covered. To make sure you get the most out of your vacation, we recommend the can't-miss museums and attractions, as well as the off-the-path activities and unique local experiences that will make your trip truly memorable.

Things to do in San Diego

Balboa Park

This 1,200-acre park is also the cultural center of San Diego, with The Old Globe Theatre, scenic tours, and fifteen museums; Tuesdays feature rotating free admission at museums.

1549 El Prado, CA, 619-239-0512,
Tags: family | editor pick | art | things to do | culture

Belmont Park

Family-friendly beachside amusement park centered around the 1925-built Giant Dipper Roller Coaster.

3146 Mission Blvd., CA, 858-228-9283,
Tags: family | things to do | amusement park


A Gaslamp mainstay, this tribute to singer-songwriter Jim Croce (by his wife, Ingrid) offers the best jazz in town. Make dinner reservation for the best seats.

802 Fifth Ave., CA, 619-233-4355,
Tags: nightlife | editor pick | things to do | bar | jazz

Downtown La Jolla

A whole day can be spent strolling through this neighborhood’s art galleries, high-end clothiers, and hotel shops.

along Prospect St., CA,
Tags: shopping | editor pick | art | boutique | things to do

Kobey’s Swap Meet

Bargain hunters rejoice! Tons of brand-name items (shirts, shoes, jewelry, etc.) are sold at huge discounts here. Every Fri-Sun at the San Diego Sports Arena

3500 Sports Arena Blvd., CA, 619-226-0650,
Tags: budget | shopping | great value | things to do | flea market

Old Town San Diego

Considered the “birthplace” of California, with shops, restaurants, live performances, astounding architecture, a haunted house, and more.

Look for Old Town Ave. exit on I-5, CA, 619-291-4903,
Tags: historic | things to do | culinary

San Diego Harbor Excursions

One of the most beautiful (and inexpensive) ways to see the city is by water; SD Harbor Excursions has been offering tours since 1915.

1050 North Harbor Dr., CA, 619-234-4111,
Tags: cruise | great value | things to do | tour | whale watching

Sea World

New rides, more restaurants, and spruced up shows make this classic attraction better than ever. Few know about the Dolphin Interactive Program, where, for an extra fee ($150, plus park admission), guests can suit up and join these amazing mammals in the tank.

CA, 800-257-4268,
Tags: family | smart splurge | things to do | amusement park

The Beaches

Coronado Island is a quiet military town with wealthy tourist beaches and resorts; Ocean Beach caters to surfers and Dead Heads; Pacific Beach is a great (albeit crowded) family beach; Mission Beach features barbecue and grassy areas; Black’s Beach combines good surfing, a gay area, and a clothing optional section.

Tags: beach | family | editor pick | things to do

The San Diego Zoo

Home to over 4,000 rare and endangered animals and more than 700,000 exotic plants, the 100-acre zoo features guided tours, shows, special events for the kiddies, and more.

2920 Zoo Dr., CA, 619-231-1515,
Tags: family | editor pick | things to do | wildlife | zoo

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