When people think San Diego, they think beaches and theme parks. And they’re right—those are two big draws to the area. But there’s so much more to experience once you’re here. Here’s 5 fantastic places to go sightseeing in San Diego.
We have a world-class zoo in San Diego, but did you know we have a world-class safari park, too? You might not expect to see lions and giraffes while sightseeing in San Diego, but choose one of these safaris and you definitely will.
Caravan Safari & Caravan Safari Deluxe: Travel in the back of a covered, open-air safari truck to visit at least two field enclosures. Get an up-close view of Asian and African birds and mammals, with an opportunity to feed giraffes!
Cheetah Safari: Meet and greet the star of Cheetah Run!
Cart Safari: Tour around African Plains or Asian Savanna from the comfort of a safari cart.
Jungle Ropes Safari: Climb like a monkey on a challenging rope-course adventure!
Trike Safari: Explore the Asian Plains from the comfort of a custom-made electric trike.
Behind-the-Scenes Safari: From the comfort of a safari cart, travel to keeper-only areas with a guide to see and learn how they care for animals.
Ultimate Safari: Enjoy the customized safari experience of a lifetime!
910 N. Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego
There’s more to oceanside sightseeing in San Diego than itsy bitsy bikinis. The USS Midway, the longest-serving aircraft carrier in the 20th century, opened at the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum in June 2004.
Things to do aboard:
• Self-guided audio tour narrated by Midway sailors
• Docent presentations throughout the ship
• Flight simulators
• A variety of activities for kids
• Gift shop and café
• Battle of Midway Theater
• More than 400 active-duty military events are held during museum hours. They include re-enlistments, retirements, changes of command and memorials. The public is welcome to observe them.
San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park presents the opportunity to go sightseeing in San Diego as it was long ago. At this park you’ll learn about life in the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872.
Visitors are offered a glimpse into yesteryear, as converging cultures transformed San Diego from a Mexican pueblo to an American settlement. Visitors can also experience a working blacksmith shop, enjoy music, see or touch the park’s burros, and engage in activities that represent early San Diego.
How about sightseeing in San Diego as the first European to ever set foot on the West Coast? In 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stepped into history as the first European to do so. In addition to telling the story of 16th century exploration, the park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources.
Hiking: The two-mile Bayside Trail affords spectacular views of San Diego Bay and the city beyond, and takes you through one of the last remaining remnants of coastal sage scrub habitat in the world. The Coastal Tidepool Trail provides views along the ocean leading to the tide pools.
Tidepooling: The rocky intertidal area at Cabrillo National Monument is one of the best protected examples of these unique ecosystems in Southern California.
The Old Point Loma Lighthouse: One of the original eight lighthouses on the West Coast, restored and refurnished to reflect what life was like in the 1800s.
Whale Watching: Experience the annual migration of the Pacific Gray Whale as these majestic mammals pass by the park from December through February.
La Jolla Cove
Among San Diego’s beaches, La Jolla Cove is a gem. It’s very small beach, tucked between sandstone cliffs. Because of its extraordinary beauty, La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in Southern California.
La Jolla Cove lies within the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, which helps to ensure that marine life remains plentiful.
Take advantage of our guide to America’s Finest City and plan your visit here.