What to Do in San Diego

The city of San Diego offers an exciting array of activities, from the #1 destination (the USS Midway) to the world-famous San Diego Zoo (in Balboa Park) to the Gaslamp Quarter (with its restaurants and historic architecture), to Coronado Island (just across the bridge).


If you want to strike out on your own, we suggest visiting SanDiego.org, the city’s official travel resource. Click the photo collage to the right, with the San Diego logo. We’ve also provided a link to one writer’s suggestions for a three-day visit. Just click the photo of Balboa Park at the far right/


Old Town Trolleys runs hop-on, hop-off trolleys all around town. Seal Tours offers narrated land/water tours of the San Diego area. Click on the pictures at the right to learn more about their offerings.
Additionally, SanDiego.org has suggestions for other types of tours: Segway, bicycle, whale watch, sailing, and more. Whatever your pleasure, San Diego has something to match your needs.


The Aircraft Carrier USS Midway is San Diego’s #1 tourist attraction. The World Wings evening event will give you a taste of this magnificent ship, but you should consider taking a full tour. Avoid the lines by buying your tickets online in advance and go early in the morning to beat the crowds. At 1000 feet long, 258 feet wide, and with 18 decks (the equivalent of a 20-story building), there is a lot of area to cover. Allow at least 3-4 hours.

The Gaslamp Quarter is a walkable urban playground located in downtown San Diego. Immerse yourself in its rich Victorian architecture and history and dine with world-renowned chefs, or spend the evening at its well-known nightlife venues.

Situated just across the bay from downtown San Diego, Coronado is renowned for its sparkling wide-sand beaches, charming main street, and the famous Hotel del Coronado. It is also highly walkable, so take the ferry from the Convention Center (or taxi from the hotel) and enjoy a few hours strolling around this lovely island.

The world-famous San Diego Zoo was a pioneer in the concept of open-air, cageless exhibits that re-create natural animal habitats. It is one of the few zoos in the world that houses and successfully breeds the giant panda. With 100 acres to explore, and nearly 4000 rare and endangered animals, you could spend an entire day. Allow a minimum of 3-4 hours.



USS Midway: 1.5 miles, approx 15 min by car, 25 minutes walking

Gaslamp Quarter: 0.5 miles, 7 minutes walking

Coronado: 0.6 miles, 12 minutes walking, to the 5th Ave. ferry (by the convention center) and 30 minutes on the ferry

San Diego Zoo/Balboa Park Museums: 3 miles, approx 15 minutes by car

San Diego International Airport: 4.7 miles, approx 15 minutes by car