San Diego

Top attractions in San Diego

The 10 top sightseeing spots in San Diego

We can see why San Diego calls itself America's Finest City. With more than 100 miles of coastline and world-class attractions, you won't be wondering what to do, but how to fit it all in! Plan your visit with our list of the 10 best things to see.

  • Old Town San Diego Historic Park

    1. Old Town San Diego Historic Park

    Step back in time to the birthplace of California. The beautiful park offers monuments plus a schoolhouse, blacksmith, houses and gardens, adding to the trip down memory lane.

  • theNAT San Diego

    2. theNAT San Diego

    This natural history museum is housed in an impressive building. The dinosaur exhibits are always a favourite with kids. Allow half a day and try to catch a movie for extra value.

  • Maritime Museum San Diego

    3. Maritime Museum San Diego

    A seaside location means fresh seafood, clean air and plenty of maritime history. This place is a family pleaser as ship tours give a fascinating sense of a life on the open seas.

  • Point Loma

    4. Point Loma

    The site of the first European landings in California, Point Loma is a place of historical significance and great beauty. The Old Lighthouse is particularly photogenic at dusk.

  • Birch Aquarium

    5. Birch Aquarium

    Possibly the best place to learn about marine biology in California. You can snorkel with leopard sharks, see an amazing array of coral, or learn about protecting the oceans.

  • USS Midway Museum

    6. USS Midway Museum

    This historic aircraft carrier dominates the downtown coastline. A hit with teenagers and Top Gun fans alike, you can cover the ship with a self-tour narrated by former servicemen.

  • Balboa Park

    7. Balboa Park

    Billed as a landscape of arts and culture, this isn't your average park. A historic carousel, miniature railway, Spanish Village, and museums make it at least a full day out.

  • SeaWorld San Diego

    8. SeaWorld San Diego

    Killer whales, dolphins, sharks, and sea lions compete for your attention at this famous attraction. There's plenty to fill an entire day, and admission is cheaper in the week.

  • San Diego Zoo

    9. San Diego Zoo

    Animal lovers can get up close with the panda, tigers, leopards, lions, gorillas, elephants, and hundreds more species at this vast zoo. Try to time your day around the feedings.

  • Belmont Park

    10. Belmont Park

    For an old-school funfair experience head to Belmont Park. Don't miss the Giant Dipper - a wooden roller coaster that opened in 1925. Wristbands are good value if you stay all day.

Planning Your Visit

  • What about the beaches?

    There are plenty of places to swim, surf or sunbathe in San Diego, and it's warm all year round, just don't expect tropical waters: the North Pacific Ocean is famously cool. La Jolla is popular for watersports such as kayaking and snorkeling, while Ocean Beach is lined with palm trees and has an impressive skatepark.

  • When is ComicCon International?

    Every year, thousands of self-confessed nerds descend on San Diego for the annual ComicCon comic book convention. The event has grown year on year, and now encompasses everything superhero, fantasy and pop culture have to offer, including scores of big-name actors. The event takes place over four days in July.

Good to know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-08:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    Plan your visit from March to May or September to November, when you'll still have warm weather, but will avoid the school holiday crowds.

Other Sightseeing Options in San Diego

Want to discover all there is to do in San Diego? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about San Diego

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,364 reviews

Had a great time with the family. The staff and captain were great. Unfortunately we were not able to spot any whales on the trip, but did come across a school of dolphins. But enjoyed the cruise and the staff were very informative. Also they backed up their promise to issue a free ticket for another whale watching experience because they were unable to come across any whales. Awesome! Will definitely be using them again.

It's a "must do" while visiting San Diego. 1hr is not enough, definitely recommend atleast 2 hours. So much to see, so little time. Excitingly Adventurous and entertainingly educational even for my 12 yrs old. GYG staff was very helpful during chat assistance. Staff at GO CARS are awesome!!!

On our way to San Diego for a 3-day weekend celebration of our anniversary. The Midway was the first stop and it was very enjoyable, and well worth the time.

The USS Midway was a good afternoon spent on a rainy day with my faimly. The displays where fun for my teenager and elementary aged kids.

It was a great time it was awesome talking to the veterans and getting an understanding of the aircraft carrier worked back in the day.