5 Things to Do and See in San Diego

Located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border, San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city became part of newly independent Mexico in 1821 and in 1850, became part of the United States following the Mexican-American War and the admission of California to the union.

For hundreds of years, it was home to the native Kumeyaay people who were the first inhabitants in the states of California in the US and Baja California in Mexico.

What is now the West Coast of the United States, was the first site that the European settlers first landed.

The birthplace of California, San Diego’s main economic engines are military, tourism, defense-related activities, international trade, and manufacturing. It is also the center of research in biotechnology, with the presence of the University of California (UCSD) and the affiliated UCSD Medical Center.

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo at Diego in California

San Diego Zoo at Diego in California

Opened in 1916, the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park is one of the most progressive zoo’s in the world, home to over 4,000 animals of more than 800 species. It is operated by the nonprofit Zoological Society of San Diego and also has the distinction of being the few zoo’s in the world that houses the rare giant panda.
Conceptualized by Harry M. Wegeforth, after hearing a lion roar at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the San Diego Zoo is a pioneer in building “cageless” exhibits. The first lion area at the San Diego Zoo without enclosing wires opened in 1922 as Dr. Wegeforth was determined to create moated exhibits.
This world famous zoo has made its way into pop culture too, appearing in many movies and documentaries.

  • Taxi :
    The quickest way to the Zoo from the San Diego International Airport is by taxi, an 11-minute, 5-mile ride.
  • Train :
    Amtrak railway service (800-872-7245) travels up and down the coast between Los Angeles and downtown San Diego, stopping in Oceanside. Once your train arrives in San Diego, the quickest way to the Zoo from the Santa Fe Depot is by taxi, a 9-minute, 31/2-mile ride.A light rail service called the Sprinter travels between Oceanside and Escondido, approximately 22 miles. Once you arrive at the downtown Escondido Transit Center via the Sprinter, the quickest way to the Safari Park is by taxi, an 11-minute, 7-mile ride. You can find more information about the Sprinter on the web at http://www.gonctd.com/sprinter or by calling 760-967-2001.
    Information about public bus transportation can be found on the web at www.sdcommute.com or by calling 619-233-3004.
  • Bus :
    The #7 bus stops at the Zoo. There is one public bus that stops at the Safari Park; however, depending upon your departure point, connecting schedules may mean a travel time of approximately 25 minutes from the Escondido Transit Center and up to 3 hours each way from San Diego. Bus service is very limited on weekends and holidays.

Chula Vista Olympic Training Center

Chula Vista Olympic Training Center

Chula Vista Olympic Training Center

With the Olympics just around the corner, why not visit the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center just around downtown San Diego. Get a sneak peek of where and how the Olympic athletes train and get prepared for the biggest sporting event of their lives. Spanning across 150-acres, this complex trains almost 4,000 athletes annually. Among the many different types of sports events practiced here are archery, rowing, canoeing, kayaking, soccer, softball, field hockey, tennis, track and field, and cycling.
You can take the option of the free guided tours or take the time to explore it on your own.

  • You could take the Trolley on the Blue Line to Chula Vista, then find a cab.
    The closest station would be Palomar Street, but there probably aren’t cabs sitting around there.
    The Bayfront/E Street station might be better as there is supposed to be a visitor center and it might be easier to find a cab.
    I think you’d be best just taking a cab from the Embarcadero.

Beaches of San Diego

Things to do at San Diego

San Diego Beach

San Diego is famous for its sandy-white beaches, so take a pick from the Torrey Pines State Beach, Black’s Beach, La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Cove, Windansea Beach, Marine Street Beach, North Pacific Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Bay Beaches, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs and Dylan’s Beach to enjoy the sun, sand, water, refreshment stalls and restaurants along the beaches.
This is a great way to unwind during your vacation.

Balboa Park

Things to do at San Diego

Balboa Park at San Diego

This 1,200-acre urban cultural park in San Diego is called Balboa Park and got its name after the Spanish maritime explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa. Built in 1868, the park was temporarily used as the site for the Panama-California Exposition during 1915.
Among its attractions are the eight gardens, 15 museums and a Tony Award-winning theatre.
Consider about buying the Balboa Park Passport which is available at any of the 13 attractions on the park, giving you unlimited access and eliminating the need to purchase tickets at individual attractions.

  • Public Transportation :
    Visit Balboa Park using the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), with easy access from the downtown and Mission Valley areas. You can check schedule and line at MTS officiali website
  • Car :
    Southbound from I-5
    Take the 10th Avenue Exit off I-5. Turn left on “A” Street and left again on Park Blvd. Follow the signs to Balboa Park.
    Northbound from I-5
    Take the Pershing Drive/B Street exit off I-5 to Pershing Drive. Take Pershing and then turn left on Florida Drive. Turn left on Zoo Place to Park Blvd. Left on Park Blvd.
    Southbound from Hwy 163
    Take the Park Blvd. exit off Hwy 163. Turn left on Park Blvd. Follow the signs to Balboa Park.

Old Town San Diego

Things to do at San Diego

Old Town San Diego

This 1,200-acre urban cultural park in San Diego is called Balboa Park and got its name after the Spanish maritime explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa. Built in 1868, the park was temporarily used as the site for the Panama-California Exposition during 1915.
Among its attractions are the eight gardens, 15 museums and a Tony Award-winning theatre.
Consider about buying the Balboa Park Passport which is available at any of the 13 attractions on the park, giving you unlimited access and eliminating the need to purchase tickets at individual attractions.

  • Car :
    Old Town San Diego, where Interstate 5 and Interstate 8 meet, is nestled in the heart of San Diego. Old Town is just across the street from the San Diego Trolley Old Town Transit Center, across the freeway from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) and a short drive from most San Diego destinations.
    Take the Old Town Avenue exit on Interstate 5.
  • Metro :
    For general mass transit guidance, visit the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System where you can also use their Trip Planner to find your precise route.

The Birthplace of California, where the first Europeans settled