San Diego is known for its beautiful beaches, amazing weather, and friendly locals. The city has something for everyone, from families to couples who want to enjoy their romantic getaways. Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation or a thrilling adventure, San Diego offers plenty of options.
Date Night in San Diego: Explore La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Cove is one of the most popular attractions on the Pacific Coast. The cove is located just north of downtown San Diego, making it easy to reach no matter where you live in California. This picturesque area features cliffs with tide pools, a number of restaurants and shops, and a boardwalk that winds along the edge of the water. You can easily spend hours exploring this incredible place!
The cove is home to many species of wildlife as well, including sea lions, seals, dolphins, birds, fish, otters, and even whales. There’s also an aquarium right near the shoreline, so if you’re visiting during the day be sure to check out what the Sea Aquarium has to offer. Visitors will be able to see everything from sharks to jellyfish, octopuses, sea horses, and starfish. If you visit at night, there are some great shows featuring marine life too.
If you love spending time outdoors, then you’ll definitely want to make a stop here. It’s not uncommon to find yourself walking around the entire park several times before you leave because you didn’t have enough time to fully explore all of the sights. Don’t worry about getting lost; however, visitors shouldn’t stray far from the main path.
If you really want to experience the natural beauty of the area, consider hiking up to Torrey Pines State Park. Hikers can hike to the top of the cliffs for stunning views of the ocean below, but be prepared for strong wind gusts. Keep your eyes open for different creatures who might be swimming in the water and don’t forget to bring good shoes.
While the beach isn’t very crowded during the week, expect more people on weekends and holidays. However, visitors should still plan ahead since parking gets tight during peak season. Luckily, public transportation is available throughout San Diego County.
Fly a Kite at Seaport Village
Seaport Village is another must-see attraction in San Diego. Located along America’s Finest City Marina, the community includes restaurants, hotels, boutiques, art galleries, museums, and much more. This bustling destination also features the USS Midway Museum, which gives visitors a chance to learn more about naval history.
This unique museum was originally built in 1947 by the United States Navy, and today it serves as a living tribute to World War II. Visitors can tour the ship, learn about its role in the war, and take part in activities like guided tours and flight simulators. From the museum, visitors can walk down to historic Fort Street, where they can shop at local stores and enjoy delicious food.
This waterfront town is perfect for those who love shopping and dining. Many tourists come here to enjoy the numerous shops and restaurants. The nearby National Naval Aviation Museum also attracts a lot of attention, especially when it comes to aviation. People come to this location to learn about the aircraft used both in combat and during training. A trip to Seaport Village is perfect for first dates since it takes less than 30 minutes to drive there.
Picnic at Sunset Cliffs
After enjoying the fun attractions that San Diego has to offer, spend the rest of the evening exploring the picturesque coastline. Take a picnic dinner to one of the most popular spots in the county: Sunset Cliffs. Just across the border from Tijuana, this scenic spot is home to breathtaking scenery and incredible sunsets. When you arrive, be sure to grab a blanket or lawn chair to relax with a friend. You won’t regret it!
San Diego is located near the Mexican border, so it’s no surprise why many believe that the best cuisine is found right outside the country. If you’re craving authentic Mexican dishes, head south of the border to eat some tacos de carnitas (meat tacos). They’re usually served fresh off a griddle, grilled on corn tortillas and topped with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and cilantro.
The famous Baja California Sur region is also worth visiting, especially if you have an interest in fishing. There are several great locations around the state where you can try out your luck. Some of the best spots include Puerto Los Cabos, Rosarito Beach, Puerto Nizuc, and Bahia Tortugas.
Stargazing at Palomar Observatory
One of the best things to do in San Diego is visit the Palomar Observatory. Founded in 1949, this observatory is not only famous for hosting events but also thanks to its incredible views. Each night, guests can attend a free star show while taking in the stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. During the summer months, visitors will find the sky dark enough to let them see thousands of stars without any light pollution.
If you’d rather stay inside the observatory, check out the planetarium or even rent a dome theater. One thing is certain, though — whether you choose to experience nature up close or through a computer screen, Palomar Observatory offers a truly magical view of our universe.
Take the Ferry to Coronado for Amazing City Views
Coronado is a tiny island community just north of Downtown San Diego. It boasts beautiful beaches, lovely parks, and interesting cultural sights. In addition to being a well-known tourist destination, Coronado is also home to two other notable landmarks: Coronado Ferry Terminal and Hotel Del Coronado. The ferry terminal is a convenient way to travel between San Diego and Coronado Island, as well as explore the surrounding area.
To reach Coronado by boat, take a ride to either Harbor Island or Shelter Island. Both places are connected via the San Diego Bay Ferry System. Both terminals have restrooms, concession stands, and parking lots, making them more than suitable for travelers. Visitors can also board tours to get a glimpse of Coronado Island, including the historic lighthouse and the Hotel del Coronado. As soon as you dock on the island, make your way to the hotel’s front door and ask for directions on how to find the main entrance.
If you prefer traveling by car, drive along the highway leading to Coronado. The island is accessible via Interstate 5, I-15, US-101, and Highway 75. Travelers should plan their trip accordingly, because traffic can be heavy during peak hours. For those seeking comfort, the 24-hour shuttle service will bring you to and from the airport. To learn about more ways to get here, log onto TripAdvisor’s website.
Dance till you drop at a music festival
It would be fair to call San Diego one of the most active communities when it comes to live music because there are plenty of opportunities to hear some fantastic tunes. From indie rock concerts to dance parties, music festivals are popping up all over town. And if you like what you hear, you’ll probably want to catch a set somewhere in the city.
For example, the annual South Park Music Festival celebrates the work of local musicians each year with a variety of shows. The 2016 edition of the event featured performances by Aimee Mann, David Byrne, Neko Case, Jason Isbell, Cat Power, and others. The festival takes place every June in various venues across the city. You can follow the festivities on Twitter for updates.
Feast on the best local foods
San Diegans love everything about their hometown. That means that they usually keep an eye out for great food wherever they go. If you decide to spend a date night among the locals, make sure to try some of the delicious dishes you may have missed before.
If you’re craving Mexican food, head to Tijuana. The border city offers delicious burritos, quesadillas, tacos, and tamales. Other popular foods include sushi, Korean BBQ, Italian, Thai, Chinese, French, Indian, German, Japanese, Vietnamese, Latin American, Middle Eastern, and much more! There are many restaurants serving authentic regional cuisine throughout the city; however, if you’d rather eat at home, consider ordering delivery through Seamless, GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEats, or Postmates.
Adventure through Balboa Park
Balboa Park was founded in 1884 as a municipal park and cultural center for the residents of San Diego. Today, this stunning urban oasis remains a favorite spot for visitors and locals alike. In addition to being a playground for San Diegans, it serves as a gorgeous setting for art exhibitions, musical events, and other special events.
When you visit, don’t miss the following attractions:
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, which presents innovative artwork from around the world.
The Natural History Museum, which features dinosaur fossils from India, Africa, and elsewhere.
The California Science Center, where you can see hands-on exhibits and educational programs.
The Zoo, where animals roam freely and display diverse habitats and behaviors.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which offers visitors the chance to experience African wildlife first hand.
Take in a play at the Old Globe Theatre, which hosts productions of Shakespearean plays and other dramas.
Savor your dinner at La Jolla’s award-winning Restaurant Guy Savoy, whose exquisite menu includes classic French cuisine and seasonal ingredients.
Take a sunset hike
San Diego’s climate makes it the perfect location for outdoor adventures year round. When the sun shines, there’s no better way to beat the heat than hiking along the coastline. Hike the trails surrounding the famous Mission Bay Beach, explore the hills above Coronado island, or take to the waves at Pacific Beach.
You can also take part in activities such as surfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, paddle boarding, snorkeling, or scuba diving. For those interested in learning new skills, check out Scuba San Diego, which offers group lessons and certification courses.
Take a romantic ride in hot air balloon
For an unforgettable date night, take a hot air balloon and take in the landscape. Hot air balloons offer a unique perspective on the landscape below, giving you a glimpse into the beauty of nature while you float away with friends and loved ones. It feels like flying over the mountains and past the ocean, but without having to worry about traffic, smog, or pesky bugs.
One of the best times to book a flight is after dark. That way, the sunrise will be spectacular, and so will your memories together. Hot Air Balloon Rides San Diego provides services in the greater Southern California area, including San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside.
Explore Liberty Station at night
Liberty Station is an historic landmark located just off downtown San Diego. This former military base became a residential community in the 1980s, making it one of the most desirable places to live in all of San Diego. During the day, you’ll find parks, restaurants, shops, and even a marina. But when the sun goes down, Liberty Station becomes the ideal place for fun parties and late-night dining. With more than 20 eateries, each offering its own distinctive atmosphere, you’re sure to find something that suits your mood perfectly.
Go Kayaking at La Jolla Cove
Enjoy the scenic view from atop sea cliffs, before jumping into the crystal clear waters of La Jolla Cove. Take a guided kayak tour around the cove, stopping at various points along the coast to admire the stunning scenery and spot seals, whales, dolphins, fish, and birds. You can choose between morning, afternoon, or evening tours, depending on what time you would like to set sail. Tours last approximately 1 hour, and they depart every 15 minutes throughout the summer season. Kayaking excursions cost $20 per person.
Taco Tour in Tijuana
If you’ve never been to Tijuana, Mexico, it may seem like a foreign country. However, this border town is home to authentic Mexican street food, and many people travel here specifically to eat delicious tacos. There are hundreds of different kinds of tacos available, ranging from seafood to vegetarian.
Start by finding a taco truck selling tacos al pastor (pork). Order a plate of tacos al pastor, then have them warm it in front of you. You may add salsa roja or pico de gallo to taste, if desired. After eating, cross the street and try some tacos made of carne asada (beef) or carnitas (pig). If the vendors aren’t serving pork, these two meats should do well. If you prefer cheese instead of meat, order a quesadilla.