7 Outdoor Things to Do in San Diego
With marvelous weather year-round, there’s no need to take a rain check on any of the famed San Diego activities that make this town so special. To take advantage of the sunny days, we’ve compiled a list of unique things to do in San Diego that involve all things outdoors – from San Diego beaches to things to do in San Diego at night. Whether you’re traveling with kids or coworkers, San Diego has a lot to offer for any interest.
Explore the waterfront
One of the essential things to do in Downtown San Diego is a stroll along the waterfront Embarcadero. The waterside path runs along the perimeter of the downtown neighborhood, so it’s easy to step out for a quick walk even if you’re in a meeting at the San Diego Convention Center. The Embarcadero also holds several top San Diego attractions, like the shopping and dining center of Seaport Village and the Maritime Museum of San Diego, which has a collection of antique ships. Don’t miss the USS Midway Museum, a restored battleship that’s a highlight for kids and adults!
The waterfront is also one of the most beautiful places to walk at night in San Diego, both solo or with a special someone! Breathe in that fresh sea air before retreating to bed for a good night’s sleep.
Visit the highlights at Balboa Park
When you want to see a whole slew of highlights in one outing, where do you go? Balboa Park, of course! This San Diego landmark is essentially a one-stop-shop for things to do; you’ll find the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Air & Space Museum, the Fleet Science Center, and more – in fact, there are 17 museums within the park! But for sun seekers, Balboa Park is one of the best things to do in San Diego alone or with a group of friends, thanks to its sprawling grassy areas and picturesque views. It’s the perfect place for a picnic or to curl up with a good book. It’s even a great place to get some exercise with running trails, a golf course, and a disc golf course!
Raise a glass at a rooftop bar
Looking for things to do in San Diego at night? Enjoy the fabulous SoCal breezes with a cold drink in your hand on a rooftop in San Diego’s hip Gaslamp Quarter. Some recommended rooftops include Rustic Root (also known for tasty farm-to-table fare), The Nolen (famous for cocktails), and The Rooftop by STK (dress to the nines!). For some of the best craft cocktails in town, head the Kettner Exchange for a memorable night out. What could be better than city views and a vibrant ambiance? That’s right, you’ll also be within walking distance of our San Diego vacation rentals, so taking an Uber isn’t necessary!
Step back in time in Old Town
Officially established in 1769, San Diego has a long and storied past. While the Downtown area is quite modern today, there’s one neighborhood that maintains a historic vibe to this day: Old Town. High on the list of things to do in San Diego with kids, Old Town offers a glimpse into life in the Wild West, complete with a general store and a saloon, plus several museums and mouth-watering Mexican food. The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down; Old Town San Diego at night is always exciting, with live music and dancing in the old-school watering holes.
Admire the views at Cabrillo National Monument
Searching for non-touristy things to do in San Diego that are still exciting for visitors? Get off the beaten path and head south to the Cabrillo National Monument, which is set within a spectacular national park of the same name. On a clear day (let’s face it, that’s nearly every day in San Diego), you can admire views for miles, so it’s an excellent spot for bird watching, sunbathing, or running. Maybe you’ll even want to grab some picnic fare and for an afternoon meal al fresco!
Catch some rays at Coronado Beach
Half the fun of a day trip to Coronado Beach is getting there; the best method of transportation is a scenic ferry that takes beachgoers directly across the San Diego Bay to Coronado Island. Once on the island, you’ll only be a short walk from one of the sandiest and sunniest San Diego beaches. It’s the ideal place to sunbathe in the soft sand or take a dip in the Pacific. For thrill-seekers, watersports rentals are readily available, and for sun-seekers, lounge chairs and umbrellas are also available for rent.
Discover charming La Jolla
San Diego’s darling neighbor to the north, La Jolla, is a favorite weekend haunt for both locals and visitors. This seaside town is home to eclectic boutiques, sophisticated restaurants, and a gorgeous, rugged coastline that’s also home to frolicking seals and sea lions. On a sunny day, you just can’t beat walking along the water at La Jolla Cove before grabbing a drink or brunch at George’s, Herringbone, or Karl Strauss Brewing Company.
Thanks to the perfect weather conditions and these fun San Diego activities, you won’t want to leave!