10 Cool places to visit in San Diego

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Planning a trip to San Diego and want to know some of the best places to visit?

If so, you’ll find the must-visit attractions from the most beautiful beaches to the best places for views and photographs in this guide. So, it’s time to start searching for one of the best San Diego luxury homes to suit your interests and start planning your trip now.

1# La Jolla

San Diego has a few beaches, but few are better than La Jolla, or ‘the jewel’ in English. The cliffs are behind the beach with the warm waters lapping against the sand making one of the prettiest spots in the city. Lots of upscale restaurants are near the beach with a selection of fresh seafood and cold beer or wine. Popular activities include surfing, cycling and kayaking.

2# Balboa Park

Looking for a scenic spot to relax for a few hours or to try out your new camera? Head down to Balboa Park. Trees and gardens surround the buildings along with a few fountains. A total of eight gardens make up the park and a further 15 museums are inside along with cycle paths, a carousel and the San Diego Zoo. Most people will spend at least an hour or two at Balboa Park, which makes an ideal day out for families.

3# San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo first opened more than 100 years ago. Thousands of animals live in enclosures that closely mimic their natural habitats. Visitors can see giant pandas, koala bears and the rare albino constrictors. The adjoining botanical garden is also worth exploring for the collection of more than 700,000 endemic and exotic plants.

4# Cabrillo National Monument

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo goes down in history as the first European explorer to sail along the coast of California. The monument itself is located 16 kilometres (10 miles) from San Diego at Point Loma. But, making the long journey is worthwhile for the spectacular views. On a clear day, there are good views of San Diego in the distance and Coronado. You can also hike along the trails such as Bayside Trail to get down to the sea. If you’re in the city, visiting the monument is a must. Most tourists rate this as the best view in San Diego. Expect to pay $10 if you drive and $5 admission for people on foot.

5# Sunset Cliffs

The Sunset Cliffs, as the name suggests, is San Diego’s best location to watch the sunset. Located near the Cabrillo Monument, the cliffs extended for almost 3 kilometres with a trail nearby to stroll along. Most visitors come and see the monument in the early evening just for the sunset. Others come earlier in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day at one of the secluded beaches nearby. If you do want to visit for the sunset, a top tip is to try to come during the weekdays. Locals always come on weekends making it feel very crowded.

6# La Jolla Cove

Near La Jolla Beach is the picturesque Jolla Cove. The beach may not be the best, but that’s not the reason people come. La Jolla Cove’s main attraction are the clear waters, an abundance of marine life and the endless opportunities for snorkelling. The area is ecologically protected, and it’s not uncommon for sea lions to swim near the rocks. Admission is free, and the area is open 24 hours every day. Parking and changing facilities are available. Just beware that because the cove is small, it can get busy very quickly.

7# Potato Chip Rock

Looking for a workout or a challenge on your trip to San Diego? If you answered yes, check out Potato Chip Rock. A tough uphill trail leads you through the hills as you walk towards the rock at the top. Make the effort and you’ll have fantastic views of San Diego. A favourite activity with tourists is to have their photograph taken next to the rock. As you can imagine, this can cause congestion near the top during peak hours.

8# SeaWorld San Diego

As with most destinations in the United States, San Diego has its own theme park, SeaWorld. Inside the giant complex, you’ll find a total of 26 different habitats with turtles, sharks and dolphins among others. There are 15 roller-coasters too providing fun for you and the family. Depending on what time of the day you visit, you may be able to catch one of the 20 different shows.

9# Blacks Beach

Blacks Beach may not be for everyone. For a start, it’s quite secluded, and you need to make a lot of effort to get there. But the biggest reason you may or may not want to visit is that Blacks Beach is San Diego’s famous nudist beach. If you’re up for a bit of sunbathing in a clothing-optional environment to get rid of those tan lines, this will be the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

10# Coronado Island

Coronado Island is a small strip of land that stretches between the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. The island, that’s not an island but rather a peninsula, has a little downtown area with a few hotels and a relaxed atmosphere. Some of the bars have the best views of the Pacific, and you’ll see a fraction of the tourists compared to other beaches in the area.

The Hottest Spots in San Diego

Regardless of if you’re here to spend a few days on the beach, hike along the trails or visit the zoo and SeaWorld, San Diego is sure to make an excellent destination for any holiday you’re looking for.

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