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San Diego Rainy-day activities

Our most recommended San Diego Rainy-day activities

San Diego: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket

1. San Diego: USS Midway Museum Entry Ticket

Take a self-guided audio tour onboard the world’s longest-serving aircraft carrier, the historic USS Midway. See the carrier’s 25 restored aircraft from the days of WWII to Operation Desert Storm. Visit areas throughout the Midway, from the crew's sleeping quarters to the pilots' ready rooms. Docents are available throughout the carrier and are eager to share their stories, anecdotes, and statistics, creating a picture of just how important the USS Midway was to the U.S. Navy. Most guests spend 3 to 4 hours exploring this historic aircraft carrier and learning its history. The included audio guide, available in 6 languages, will help you explore the dozens of highlighted areas across the massive ship.  There are family-oriented activities throughout the Museum. Included are 3 types of flight simulators, music videos, short films, climb-aboard aircraft and cockpits, and more. The Museum is located at the Navy Pier in downtown San Diego.

San Diego: Hop-on Hop-off Narrated Trolley Tour

2. San Diego: Hop-on Hop-off Narrated Trolley Tour

Join the Hop-on Hop-Off Tour of Old Town San Diego at any of the tour's 12 boarding points and visit more than 100 interesting points in Coronado and San Diego at your own pace. You can begin at any time of the day and listen to the entertaining narration of the onboard conductors along the way. San Diego is known as America’s Finest City, and as you explore the sights of Old Town and the scenic coastline you’ll see why. Opt to begin your tour at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, where you’ll see original adobe homes and artifacts from the earliest Mexican settlements. At the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, you’ll learn about the importance of the U.S. Navy's presence in San Diego. Then continue on to nearby Seaport Village, where you can stop for refreshments and enjoy shopping and entertainment. In the historic Gaslamp Quarter, you’ll find loads of shops and other interesting places located in Victorian-themed buildings. One particular house of interest is the William Heath Davis House. Built-in saltbox style, it is similar to the original home of Davis, who founded New Town San Diego. When you’re back on the trolley you’ll be entertained once again by the conductor’s narration. Continue on to the well-known Hotel del Coronado, one of America’s leading resorts. You may choose to take a stroll through nearby Balboa Park, along El Prado, the promenade lined with Spanish-style buildings. With more stops than any other tour, this hop-on hop-off trolley ride is guaranteed to deliver. In addition to sightseeing, enjoy free shuttle service to and from select area hotels, a map and day planner, and $70 in discount coupons to use at restaurants and area attractions. Hop on or hop off at 12 convenient stops: 1) 4002 Wallace St: Old Town State Historic Park 2) 1492 N Harbor Dr: Maritime Museum of San Diego/Star of India 3) 200 Marina Park Way: San Diego Embarcadero 4) 849 W Harbor Dr: Seaport Village 5) 333 W Harbor Dr: Marriott Marquis & Marina6) Gaslamp Quarter 7) 111 W Harbor Dr: Petco Park/San Diego Convention Center 8) Barrio Logan9) 1500 Orange Ave: Hotel Del Coronado10) Coronado/Orange Avenue 11) 1549 El Prado: Balboa Park and El Prado Museums 12) Little Italy

San Diego: Petco Park Stadium Tour - Home of the Padres

3. San Diego: Petco Park Stadium Tour - Home of the Padres

Visit Petco Park and experience a side of the ballpark that is usually reserved for the players and staff. Stops include Field Warning Track, Cutwater Coronado Club, Padres Hall of Fame Presented by Motorola, Press Box, Private Luxury Suite, and the Breitbard Hall of Fame. Meet your guide at Petco Park and get a behind-the-scenes look into the ballpark. See the press box, also known as writers’ row, and peek inside the Home Plate Club. During your visit, you’ll learn about the history of Petco Park and the San Diego Padres. Visit the Padres Hall of Fame presented by Motorola and learn about the history of baseball in San Diego. Afterward, head to the Breitbard Hall of Fame, which honors athletes in San Diego and native San Diegans who achieved athletic fame outside of San Diego.

San Diego: Unlimited Ride Pass at Belmont Park

4. San Diego: Unlimited Ride Pass at Belmont Park

Explore Belmont Park in San Diego with unlimited access to a variety of rides right by the beach. Experience the carefree summer spirit all year round as you try a variety of historic and modern rides. Benefit from access to 13 rides at the park. Feel a rush of adrenaline as you take on rides like The Giant Dipper, a classic wooden rollercoaster that dates back to 1925. Ride on modern attractions such as Beach Blaster, Control Freak, and Zero Gravity. Enjoy group-based activities like Tiki Town mini-golf and laser tag as you challenge your friends. Test your balance on the sky ropes or on the rock wall. Kids can have fun on the Krazy Kars, Tilt-a-Whirl, the Belmont Express, the classic Liberty Carousel, or with a variety of other family-friendly activities.

San Diego: San Diego Natural History Museum Ticket

5. San Diego: San Diego Natural History Museum Ticket

The San Diego Natural History Museum is a flagship institution in Balboa Park, showcasing the regional natural history and unique biodiversity of Southern California and Baja California. The museum has four floors of exhibitions, a 3D theater, and San Diego’s only Foucault pendulum. Through its permanent collection, special exhibitions, numerous educational programs, and the opportunity to see scientists at work, the Museum fosters a lifelong love of learning about nature and the environment for visitors of all ages. Current exhibits include: Art of Science (running until Jan 15, 2023) Data is beautiful and science has style - see the beauty that can emerge from scientific research. In collaboration with the UC San Diego library, see the winners of the Art of Science competition, showcasing the work of UC San Diego students and researchers. Expedition Baja The Baja California Peninsula: our neighbor in nature. Explore towing mountains, desert flats, and isolated islands, and follow along with researchers working to conserve the peninsula's wild beauty. Living Lab Meet more than 20 of your not-so-cuddly neighbors, from stinging scorpions to elusive nocturnal lizards. Caught on Camera (coming Nov 18, 2022) Wildlife is all around, even when we don't see it. So, what exactly are animals up to when we're not looking? Find out in this new photography exhibition featuring animal candids taken with the help of camera trap technology. Hidden Gems Get to know The Nat's sparkly side with more than 100 of the best, brightest, and most spectacular selections from our gems and mineral collection. These hidden gems will be on every floor of the Museum. The Backyard Learn and explore the natural world through play. This new space invites our youngest visitors (ages 0-5) to play under a shade tree, search for hidden secrets along a wooden fence, or read their favorite book in a cozy potting shed. Unshelved: Cool Stuff from Storage This new exhibition gives visitors a rare "backstage" glimpse of the museum's storage areas. Specimens arranged on shelves and in cases offer the opportunity to revel in the natural world in all its beauty and peculiarity. Extraordinary Ideas from Ordinary People: A History of Citizen Science This new, permanent exhibition explores the past, present and future of citizen science through rare books, art, photographs, and historical documents. Coast to Cactus in Southern California This innovative, permanent exhibition tells the story of this amazing place called home. Take an immersive walk through the major regions of southern California's coast, inland valleys, mountains, and deserts and celebrate the abundant variety of life found here. Fossil Mysteries From dinosaurs to mastodons, travel through 75 million years and dig into the rich fossil history of southern California and Baja California. Allosaurus Meet Al, a member of our skeleton crew. Allosaurus fragilis, a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived in North America during the late Jurassic Period, is a relative of T. rex, which lived later. Al's bones are casts made from original fossil bones collected in Utah. Megalodon This replica of an extinct megalodon shark was modeled from and inspired by teeth collected from Miocene sandstones in Oceanside, California and near Ensenada, Baja California by Museum paleontology staff. It hangs in the Atrium as part of Fossil Mysteries and is one of the best selfie spots in the museum. SkullsTake a look at 200 of the weirdest, wildest, and most fascinating animal skulls from our research collection. Demonstration Lab See scientists at work and learn some of the ways they prepare, preserve, and study specimens. Science Spotlight: Baleen Whale Evolution Baleen whales are the largest living animals on the planet, and their ability to filter feed on small organisms in the ocean is an astounding adaptation. Scientists have new evidence for how and when the evolution from teeth to baleen occurred in the ancestors of today's filter-feeding whales. Giant-Screen Theater The Subaru Giant Screen Experience is one-of-a-kind. Settle into the 300-seat, stadium-style theater and enjoy films on the massive screen.

San Diego: Haunted Historic Whaley House - Self-Guided Tour

6. San Diego: Haunted Historic Whaley House - Self-Guided Tour

Travel back to 1800s San Diego as you explore the family home of Thomas Whaley on a self-guided tour. After a 5-minute introduction, walk through the Whaley House Museum at your own pace and ask the docent in each room any questions you may have. For those who have an affinity for the paranormal, San Diego’s famed Whaley House is widely regarded as the most haunted house in America. With its rich and dark past, spine-tingling cases of spiritual encounters, and inexplicable events, its haunted pedigree is second to none. Get a glimpse into the past at a house that’s been viewed as an integral part of Old Town San Diego since 1857. With more than a century in the making, the Whaley House Museum holds an impressive amount of San Diego heritage. Recognized as the oldest two-story brick-structure south of Monterey California, the Whaley House features magnificent Greek Revival architecture along with an unrivaled historical timeline encompassing San Diego’s second county courthouse, a lively theater, a charming general store, and a prominent family home.

San Diego: Sesame Place Ticket With Optional SeaWorld Ticket

7. San Diego: Sesame Place Ticket With Optional SeaWorld Ticket

Visit the first west coast Sesame Street theme park during your San Diego vacation. Explore the interactive Sesame Street Neighborhood, cheer your favorite characters at a parade, and get wet in the wave pool. Explore this fun theme park with kids of all ages. Try out all the 18 Sesame Street-themed rides. Ride the Super Grover's Box Car Derby or see the park from above on the Sesame Street Soar & Spin. Cool off with a dip in one of the largest wave pools in Southern California or splash down Big Bird's Rambling River tube ride. Visit the Sesame Street Neighborhood and get a photo with Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Grover. Listen to Big Bird tell a story and enjoy the many interactive games. Stop in the Sesame Street Theater to see the all-new show, Welcome to Our Street! Watch as each character welcomes you and your family in their own way. Dance along with the characters as they parade down Sesame Street. Choose the 1-day ticket to Sesame Place or extend your theme park visit with the 2 park ticket. Visit Sesame Place one day and SeaWorld San Diego anytime in the next 6 months.

San Diego: Maritime Museum of San Diego Admission

8. San Diego: Maritime Museum of San Diego Admission

Start your visit to the Maritime Museum of San Diego with a tour of the 1898 Victorian-era steam ferry boat, Berkeley. See a range of exhibits on the naval and commercial fishing industry history. Learn about navigational exploration and see vintage photography and artwork, military artifacts, and impressive yacht models. After the Berkeley, head down the gangway underwater to the USS Dolphin. Explore the USS Dolphin and see what the world’s deepest dive submarine looks like on the inside. Make your way to the Vietnam-era PCF 816 Swift boat, the 1904 royal steam yacht Medea, and a 1914 Pilot boat. See the replica of the 1452 Spanish galleon Explorer Cabrillo, which sailed into the West Coast. See both the replica galleon and the Californian topsail schooner. The last vessel is the Star, with three decks of treasured exhibits and gallery space. Learn about the history of the great Age of Sail onboard.

Los Angeles Sightseeing Flex Pass

9. Los Angeles Sightseeing Flex Pass

The Los Angeles Sightseeing Flex Pass has over 25 destinations, museums, and tours to choose from, including some of the most popular attractions all over Hollywood. With the option to select 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 redemptions, you can enjoy the attractions that interest you most, with no fixed start date. With the Sightseeing Pass, take advantage of full admission to attractions, saving you up to 50% of total visitation costs all over La La Land. Really see the city where the silver screen comes to life with over 20 themed bus, boat, and walking tours: Take a hop-on/hop-off bus tour for 24 hours all over LA; enjoy a 2-hour nighttime Hollywood bus tour; snap a pic outside the houses of the rich and the famous on a celebrity homes tour; or hike up to the iconic Hollywood sign from Griffith Park. Sail down a glass-bottom slide over the expansive city on a OUE Skyscape and Skyslide; compare celebrity handprints at the legendary TCL Chinese Theatre; or saunter down Rodeo Drive and Sunset Boulevard for some shopping and cinema history tours. With the LA Sightseeing Pass, you can take in all the best of Hollywood, and even day trips to breezy San Diego. Attractions: 24-Hour Hop-On/Hop-Off StarLine Bus Tour Madame Tussauds Hollywood Two Bit Circus Virtual Reality Experiences Virtual Room Los Angeles Bus Tours: 2-Hour Hollywood Bus Tour by Day — Star Track Tours 2-Hour Hollywood Bus Tour by Night — Star Track Tours Celebrity Home and Rodeo Drive Shopping Bus Tour — StarLine Tours Disneyland Transportation Knott's Berry Farm Transportation Malibu Stars' Homes Van Tour — StarLine Tours Movie Stars' Homes Van Tour — StarLine Tours San Diego Sightseeing City Tour — Five Star Tours Universal Studios Transportation Cruises: Winter Whale and Dolphin Watching Adventure — Hornblower Cruises   One-Hour Harbor Cruise — Hornblower Cruises Rock the Yacht (21+) — Hornblower Cruises Summer Cocktail Cruise (21+) — Marina del Rey — Hornblower Cruises Summer Cocktail Cruise (21+) — Newport Beach — Hornblower Cruises Summer Whale Watching Adventure — Hornblower Cruises Walking and Bike Tours: Downtown LA — Arts & Culture Tour — LA Tour1 Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes Walking Tour — Red Line Tours Hollywood Highlights Walking Tour - Urban Adventures Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park Walking Tour — LA Tour1 Melrose Street Art, Selfies, Coffee, and Couture Walking Tour — LA Stories Paparazzi Safari Scavenger Hunts — Los Angeles Sunset Boulevard Walking Tour — LA Stories The Fantastic Race The TCL Chinese Theatre — Lobbyists and Handprints Tour

San Diego: Waterfront Smartphone Audio Walking Tour

10. San Diego: Waterfront Smartphone Audio Walking Tour

Embark on a self-guided tour of San Diego's picturesque waterfront. Stroll past historical landmarks while listening to the audio guide installed on your own portable device. After beginning your tour across from the San Diego County Administration Building, your audio guide will lead you along the city’s well-loved waterfront in discovery of historical buildings, maritime attractions, statues, monuments, and superyachts. See one of the country's largest collections of historic sea vessels at the Maritime Museum followed by military vessels at the USS Midway Museum. Hear the heartwarming stories behind the Homecoming Statue, the Flame of Friendship, the USS San Diego Memorial, and the National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military war memorial. Pose for a selfie at the Embracing Peace statue. Learn about the historic Port Pavillion on Broadway Pier and the Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial. At Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, you'll find out about local fishing methods. Hear about San Diego’s goal to protect its ecosystems and the San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge. Take in the views of the bay and the city skyline along the waterfront at Ruocco Park. Walk around Seaport Village, a picturesque 14-acre shopping and dining complex. At the end of the tour, enjoy answering fun trivia questions based on the audio commentary.

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What people are saying about San Diego

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 109 reviews

The Midway is a facinating history of what the navy went through and goes through when describing carrier life. Seeing how the thousands of sailors lived and worked on a functioning ship makes one appreciate the hard work and personal sacrifices they make for our security. Take your time to explore all the areas. It’s a complicated machine to understand but well worth taking the time.

There was free parking across from the trolley prick up point and that was pretty great! My mom and I enjoyed the tour very much. Our driver, Sherry, was extremely knowledgeable! The weather was perfect for December and I highly recommend that you take this tour, regardless of whether you’re a stranger to San Diego or a local.

We thoroughly enjoyed the time spent on the air craft carrier and highly recommend the experience.

Walking in history. We felt the energy of the ship as we walked the decks, awesome

Great tour! Worth the money and time. Plan 3 hours.