What are the best activities to do in San Diego?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

DeMarco Williams

My wife and I don’t have any children yet, so we can’t add much to the “San Diego’s Spring Break Options For Families” conversation. But one thing I can say about the wonderful city is that its Major League Baseball stadium, Petco Park, is magnificent. Anyone looking for a break from work this Spring and Summer should make their way to the venue —Exciting series on the schedule include the home-opening tilt vs. the L.A. Dodgers (April 9-11), an interleague affair with Toronto (May 31-June 2) and a meeting with World Series champion San Francisco (July 11-14)— for a good game and Baja Bistro’s outstanding fish tacos.

Julia Weiler

While San Diego has enough activities to keep residents and visitors occupied year-round, summertime evokes even more possibilities.  One of the best ways to get in on the action is to stay at one of the county’s many fine resorts where outdoor recreation and special events are tailored to take advantage of long sunny days and warm balmy nights.

Guests of The Grand Del Mar will delight in the triple Five-Star resort’s summer activities lineup.  Sip espresso and nibble biscotti under the stars as you view Italian movies in an al fresco setting with “Cinema Sotta Le Stelle”, or compete in a glow-in-the-dark golf-driving contest at The Grand’s Tom Fazio-designed course.   Guests and non-guests alike can enjoy outdoor performances by world-class musicians during the Summer Concerts at The Grand series.

If boat-based adventures are more your thing, consider staying at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina where you can enjoy discounted rates on sailing and motor-yacht cruises.  Sail with Jada Charters and explore the bay aboard a 1938, 65-foot Philip Rhodes Yawl, or enjoy cocktails and canapés from the luxurious decks of The Inspiration, a fully restored 63-foot mahogany motor yacht. 

For family-friendly activities that make a real splash plan a vacation at Paradise Point Resort & Spa.  Located on a private island in Mission Bay, the resort has a tropical island feel and unparalleled access to the water.  Kids can get in on the resort’s abundance of aquatic adventures by enrolling in Watersports Camp.  The fun-filled program offers five days of wake boarding, surfing and jet skiing excitement on the water.

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San Diego’s mild climate and plentiful sunshine make it a perfect place to grow agricultural crops and raise livestock.  As a result, the area’s Farmer’s Markets offer a bounty of unique local products ranging from farmstead-fresh fruits and veggies to artisan cheeses, gourmet honeys, fragrant herbs and bouquets of blooming flowers.

These homegrown marketplaces are a treat to explore for locals and visitors alike, and at least one takes place somewhere in the county every day of the week.  Growers from more than 6,600 San Diego farms flock to these Farmer’s Markets to mingle with shoppers, lend insight into their agricultural practices and vend the cream of their crops directly to the customer. 

Along with fresh ingredients such as produce, meat and dairy, a wide array of prepared foods is also available for purchase.  Street treats such as grilled artichokes or salads of field greens dressed with heirloom tomato vinaigrette are among the offerings.  Other items such as fresh salsas, hummus and olive tapenades are available to enjoy on site or to take home for later.  Best of all, most booths offer samples.

Many of the markets feature live music, handmade crafts, clothing and artwork and community workshops such as cooking demonstrations, home gardening techniques and more.  For a complete list of San Diego’s markets as well as location, days and times, please visit Farm Bureau of San Diego.

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Wandering through San Diego’s vastly diverse neighborhoods is a great way to explore the city.  From the rollicking energy of the Gaslamp Quarter to the quaint charms of Little Italy here are three must-visit vicinities:

• The Gaslamp Quarter

Known for it’s lively vibe, stylish shopping, trendy restaurants and hipster-studded nightlife, this slick cosmopolitan neighborhood is an exciting place to spend the day.  Best explored by foot, the historic neighborhood encompasses 16-square blocks of Victorian-era buildings that house a wide array of art galleries, boutiques, pubs, theatres, nightclubs and museums.  The name “Gaslamp Quarter” stems from the gas lamps that once dotted San Diego’s streets.  Be sure to scout out their replicas as you stroll this cool community. 


• Little Italy

This sweet and scenic hillside neighborhood was once a sleepy Italian fishing village.  While much of the vintage charm and architecture still exists today it has become a bustling downtown neighborhood comprised of 46 pleasantly walk-able blocks with plenty to do and see.  India Street, the town’s main thoroughfare features tree-lined plazas, public art installations, groovy galleries and intriguing shops filled with antique treasures.  Be sure to stop in at one of the sidewalk cafés to dine on authentic Italian cuisine al fresco.  If you’re lucky enough to be in Little Italy on a Saturday don’t miss out on the fresh fish, fruit and veggies for sale at the famous Farmer’s Mercato. 


• Old Town

This captivating Mission-style neighborhood is rich with charm and history.  It’s the eldest developed area of San Diego and is considered to be the birthplace of California.  The town pays homage to its significant antiquity with a collection of original and reconstructed buildings from the 1800’s including historic adobe casas, restored Victorian houses and San Diego’s very first public schoolhouse.  Museums and parks round out the historic attractions while lively shopping centers and festive Mexican eateries add modern-day flair to the Old Town experience.

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