San Diego charms with something for everyone: Spanish mission-style architecture, entertaining sea life and surfer-perfect beaches.
San Diego has a year-round mild climate with plenty of sunshine. Besides the largest U.S. naval base on the West Coast, the city offers more than 50 top tourist attractions. Much of what makes the area special comes courtesy of Mother Nature. Oceanfront locations like Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are perfect places to enjoy sand, surf and beautiful views.
San Diego boasts a wide variety of activities for families. Visit SeaWorld®, where the kids can enjoy marine-life encounters, entertaining shows and rides. Balboa Park, featuring the San Diego Zoo, is another family favorite. Don’t miss the giant panda exhibit as this is one of the few places outside of China you can see these animals. Delight in a puppet show at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater or get on board the miniature railway, which tours a half-mile (805 meters) of Balboa Park.
San Diego's association with the Pacific Ocean extends to its fascinating naval history. Step aboard the Aircraft Carrier Museum on the USS Midway, a 972-foot (296-meter) aircraft carrier that once transported a naval crew of more than 4,000 men. In addition to housing one of the largest navy fleets in the USA, San Diego also has a rich aviation heritage. Balboa Park is home to the San Diego Air & Space Museum, one of the country's premier flight museums.
Balboa Park is San Diego's pre-eminent attraction. This 1,200-acre (486-hectare) urban park is astonishing in both dimension and diversity. Check out the San Diego Museum of Art or any one of the other 13 museums in the park. There are also performing arts theaters, and even a golf course. If it’s relaxation you’re looking for, stroll through any of Balboa Park's nearly 20 themed gardens, including a reproduction of the Alcazar Gardens from the Royal Palace in Seville.
To visit San Diego’s downtown core, hop on The Trolley, a light rail system that will drop you off at many of the top attractions. Stroll the Victorian-style Gaslamp Quarter, visit Navy Pier, or take a ferry across to Coronado Island and see the famous Hotel del Coronado at Coronado Beach. Just north of downtown, explore the city's Spanish origins with a trip to Old Town San Diego State Park.
To end your perfect San Diego day, head for the Pacific Ocean and catch a Californian sunset. It’s San Diego's best attraction, and there are no lines, and no admission fees.