Explore San Diego-Family Fun–Surf, Sail & Beaches

Explore

San Diego

It isn’t difficult to admit, this city trumps most cities in nearly every way. Forget the passé banter about the “best weather in the world,” San Diego delivers so much more than a deep sun tan. From countless hours of whale watching off the Pacific coasts to strolling through shores of endless beaches, San Diego’s tranquility is matched only by the murmurs of a cosmopolitan awakening. And it’s happening: a walking tour through San Diego’s historic Gaslamp District will have you wining, dining and spa-treating your way through a day of refined urban indulgence. Balboa Park is its bustling cultural epicenter—and the second oldest urban park in the United States. What else is San Diego hiding behind its sunscreen? With Hyatt, and pair of sunglasses, you’re about to discover all the best things to do in San Diego.

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Art Gallery-Arts & Culture-San Diego
ARTS/CULTURE
Museum of Contemporary Arts

700 Prospect Street

La Jolla, CA

+1 858 454 3541

Its picturesque locale on the Pacific cliffs is worth the visit alone, while 4,000 traditional and multi-media exhibits add dimension to the view.

Anthenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA

+1 858 454 5872

Live jazz, classical and experimental music pump through the hallowed halls at this century-old litany of cultural wonders. Only members can check out materials, but you can browse to your liking.

La Jolla Playhouse

2910 La Jolla Village Drive

La Jolla, CA

+1 858 550 1010

Broadway-bound blockbusters take center stage at this respected playhouse, which also nabbed a Tony Award for best regional theatre.

Mingei International Museum

1439 El Prado, Balboa Park

San Diego, CA

+1 619 239 0003

Dedicated to showcasing the "art of the people," this folk art and design museum is sometimes mistaken for one of the most unique craft expos in the country.

Movies Before the Mast

Maritime Museum, 1492 North Harbor Drive

San Diego, CA

+1 619 234 9153

Ahoy! This waterfront maritime museum also doubles as a movie palace during July and August, when nautical films are projected on a special "screensail."

Museum of Making Music

5790 Armada Drive

Carlsbad, CA

+1 760 438 5996

Live music performances and boutique guitars deserve a standing ovation at one of the San Diego area's most musically modern museums.

Old Globe Theatre

1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park

San Diego, CA

+1 619 234 5623

There's much ado at this three-stage theatrical institution, which includes a wooden-O theatre modeled after Shakespeare's original.

San Diego Museum of Art

1450 El Prado, Balboa Park

San Diego, CA

+1 619 232 7931

The largest collection of fine art in San Diego looks its finest during "Culture & Cocktails," a sundown party featuring DJs, mingling and exotic beverage sipping.

Sailing-San Diego-Places to Visit
PLACES
Birch Aquarium

2300 Expedition Way

San Diego, CA

+1 858 534 3474

Don't worry about getting tangled up in the aquarium's giant kelp forest; it stretches two stories high, but is displayed safely behind glass. 

Cabrillo National Monument

1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive

San Diego, CA

+1 619 557 5450

Hike to the tip of Point Loma where a sweeping view and glassed-in observatory offer some of the best free whale watching in the area.

Fern Canyon at San Diego Zoo

2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park

San Diego, CA

+1 619 231 1515

The San Diego Zoo may be wild with wonders, but few areas are as tranquil as Fern Canyon. Take the hidden, winding path into a canopy of semi-tropical flora.

Hornblower Cruises

1066 North Harbor Drive

San Diego, CA

+1 619 686 6256

Elegant dinner cruises and whale watching may not seem like the right pairing, but on Hornblower Cruises, they fit perfectly together.

Japanese Friendship Garden

2125 Park Boulevard, Balboa Park

San Diego, CA

Inside the cultural sprawl of Balboa Park is a calming garden carved with sand and stone pathways. Follow them to a Japanese-style house for an afternoon of tea, noodles and serenity. 

La Jolla Cove

1100 Coast Boulevard

San Diego, CA

Snorkelers, swimmers and sunbathers are as indigenous to La Jolla Cove as its colorful marine life- which includes abalone, octopus and lobster.

La Jolla Wine Tours

7514 Girard Avenue

San Diego, CA

+1 858 551 5115

A three-hour walking tour with a local resident guide shines up your palate for an unparalleled menu tasting. The wine helps too.

Mission Trails Regional Park

1 Father Junipero Serra Trail

San Diego, CA

+1 619 668 3281

At 5,800 acres it's one of the nation's largest urban parks, yet largely undiscovered by tourists. Eight miles outside of downtown gets you biking, hiking and barbequing. 

Pacific Beach

Mission Boulevard and Grand Avenue

San Diego, CA

Choosing a beach in San Diego is like shopping for shoes in Italy-the options are limitless and fabulous.  Check out Pacific Beach for its bustling Ocean Front Walk, reminiscent of Venice Beach.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

15500 San Pasqual Valley Road

Escondido, CA

Formerly called "Wild Animal Park," this zoo of the future has giraffes, rhinos, lions and more roaming freely while you cruise in a safari car of your own. 

Spruce Street Bridge

Spruce Street and First Avenue

San Diego, CA

Exquisite foliage and Victorian homes suspend your fear of heights as you cross this 94-year old suspension bridge over Kate Sessons Canyon.

Sunset Cliffs

1253 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard

San Diego, CA

The largely undiscovered pathway that slinks along the ocean is your best chance for an intimate encounter with this SoCal coastline.

The Gaslamp Quarter

Broadway and Fourth Street

San Diego, CA

There's nothing old about San Diego's most historic district. Dozens of new spas, restaurants and boutiques line the narrow walkways, ensuring an easy-access walking tour, no matter when you decide to go.

Eat-Drink-Play in San Diego
EAT/DRINK/PLAY
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

1999 Citracado Parkway

San Diego, CA

+1 760 471 4999

This landmark brewery's menu has the must-order Mac 'n Beer Cheese, and there’s outdoor movies every Wednesday night during the Summer. 

Café Chloe

721 Ninth Avenue #1

San Diego, CA

+1 619 232 3242

The pistachio bread pudding with espresso caramel is hard to beat at this trendy café.  If you are in the area, stop in for their happy hour.     

Anthology

1337 India Street

San Diego, CA

+1 619 595 0300

The open-air dining room sparkles on the sounds of live jazz, champagne and fine-dining flair. Steaks char on the back grills while the Baby Grand bumps on stage. 

Belly Up Tavern

143 South Cedros Avenue

Solana Beach, CA

+1 858 481 8140

One of the best ways to experience San Diego like a local is to order a draught beer, nudge your way up to the stage and rock out to some of the best live music on the planet.

Craft & Commerce

675 West Beech Street

San Diego, CA

+1 619 269 2202

The craft beer and smart cocktails are as well designed as the food. This gastropub has plenty of earthy charm-and ice cream sandwiches flecked with candied bacon.

Crest Café

425 Robinson Avenue

San Diego, CA

+1 619 295 2510

Wake up to this '40s-inspired café with art deco styling and a much revered breakfast menu.  Crème brulee French toast may be sweet, but so is the omelet menu.

Neighborhood

777 G Street

San Diego, CA

+1 619 446 0002

The burgers and beer selection are just as hot as the jalapeno mac and cheese. Go wild on the Local Animal: A red hot with pork, fried egg, molasses and more.

Noble Experiment

777 G Street

San Diego, CA

+1 619 888 4713

Located inside Neighborhood, this 21st Century speakeasy requires you to text your reservation before arrival. If confirmed (via text, of course), a wall of kegs gives way to a secret bar-and one of the best cocktail experiences of your life.

Phil's BBQ

3750 Sports Arena Boulevard

San Diego, CA

+1 619 226 6333

Locals are serious when they say Phil's has the best ribs in town. Fall-off-the-bone cuts have guests so in love, they don't even care about the wait times.

Trattoria Acqua

1298 Prospect Street

La Jolla, CA

+1 858 454 0709

Beyond the romance of Italian lights and warm, cream-colored interiors, seals frolic in the ocean while you dine on lobster ravioli or seasoned calamari.  

The Steakhouse at Azul La Jolla

1250 Prospect Street

La Jolla, CA

+1 858 454 9616

We're not sure what's better-the complimentary truffle, the seasoned crab cakes or the sparkling ocean view. We'll take an order of all three.

Sushi Ota

4529 Mission Bay Drive

San Diego, CA

+1 858 270 5670

Don't let its unassuming location fool you. This higher-end sushi restaurant slices some of the freshest sashimi in California-and it's buzzing with Japanese locals, which is always a good sign

Vin de Syrah Spirit & Wine Parlor

901 Fifth Avenue, Suite E

San Diego, CA

+1 619 234 4166

Delve underground beneath the Gaslamp District and sample sophisticated, funky wine flights. The Saturday night tasting party is a must; reserve early.

Gaslamp District-Great Shopping in San Diego
SHOPPING
Carlsbad Premium Outlets

5620 Paseo del Norte

Carlsbad, CA

+1 760 804 9000

Driving the distance for a beautiful bargain will feel even better when you have the likes of Barneys, Joe's and Michael Kors on your side.

Cedros Design District

100 South Cedros Avenue

Solana Beach, CA

While this shopping strip has its share of boutiques, it's the designer, interior decorative goods that cause patrons to stop and sink into the couch of their dreams.

Dale's Swim Shop

1150 Orange Avenue

Cornado, CA

+1 619 435 7301

Given San Diego's sunny reputation, this tiny boutique is brimming with awesome beach finds supporting the identity -including many exclusive European designs.

Kettner Art & Design District

Kettner Boulevard and Laurel Street

San Diego, CA

+1 619 358 9512

Hit Little Italy North on select Friday nights, when design studios and art shops open their doors to roving crowds in the spirit of a SoHo art crawl.  You can visit in daylight, too.

Little Italy Mercato

West Date and India Street

San Diego, CA

+1 619 233 3769

On Saturday mornings, Little Italy buzzes with more than 100 vendors selling produce, baked goods, pesto and oysters-cracked open for fresh tastings on the fly.

M-Theory Music Mission Hills

915 West Washington Street

San Diego, CA

+1 619 220 0485

In theory, this music mecca carries a rotating list of genres including indie, funk, garage, world and more. They're also a proven platform for live, in-store performances. 

Newport Avenue Antique Center & Coffee House

4864 Newport Avenue

San Diego, CA

+1 619 223 6170

Pin-up prints, vintage post cards and '50s-inspired housewares are just a few items shoppers will find within the 18,000-square-foot space. An espresso bar keeps you fueled for the hunt.

SeaPort Village

879 North Harbor Drive

San Diego, CA

+1 619 235 4014

More than 50 independent shops line the sun-drenched harbor walkways, providing the perfect backdrop for ice cream sampling and souvenir shopping.

Studio 12.20

1220 Cleveland Avenue

San Diego, CA

+1 619 220 7344

Cozy sweaters, chic jackets and ready-to-wear blouses are a fashionista's dream. There are several locations throughout San Diego, but you'll be pressed to find the same styles twice.

Villa Moda Boutique

363 Fifth Avenue, Suite 106

San Diego, CA

+1 619 236 9068

Nestled between the restaurants and bars of the Gaslamp District, you'll find this uniquely chic shop, where cocktail dresses won't break the bank.

Warwick's Books

7812 Girard Avenue

La Jolla, CA

+1 858 454 0347

A ton of literary clout resounds here, with 40,000 titles stacked. The Warwick family has been in the book business since 1896, which is longer than you have.

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