If you are looking to spend some time outside the resort, there are dozens of San Diego attractions and exciting things to do in the area.
Bazaar del Mundo
Located in Old Town, Bazaar del Mundo began 35 years ago and is quintessentially San Diego. Kick back with a tasty margarita and fish tacos at an outdoor café. Window shop first before purchasing that special item. Weave in and out of the stands at an art festival. Pick up a charming Mexican vase.
Belmont Park is one San Diego attraction that’s sure to please. Scream your way through a ride on the famous Giant Dipper roller coaster. Make the rounds at the Arcade. Take a ride on classics like Tilt-A-Whirl or the bumper cars. Pretend you are on a deserted island and climb a 25-foot coconut tree.
Affiliated with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Birch Aquarium promotes marine life conservation through education and research. Feel the hypnotic quality of The Hall of Fishes. Explore three tide pool displays containing marine animals as sea cucumbers and hermit crabs. Try to spot the camouflaged animals in The Art of Deception exhibit at this landmark attraction in San Diego.
Cabrillo National Monument
Named for explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the Cabrillo National Monument was established in 1913 to commemorate his sail into San Diego Bay in 1542. A visit to Cabrillo National Monument offers tremendous views of the San Diego region and excellent opportunities to explore the natural and cultural history of the area. Walk or bike the 2 ½ mile Bayside Trail, spotting flora and fauna along the way. Enjoy the nearly 360-degree view of San Diego, the Pacific, Mexico and the surrounding mountains.
Fashion Valley Shopping Center
Offers more than 200 stores – including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch, and Coach – and restaurants in a lively outdoor district, as well as an 18-screen movie theater. Restaurants include: The Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's China Bistro, California Pizza Kitchen, Stacked Well Built, Love Boat Sushi and twelve bistro cafes.
This waterfront area, now a buzzing attraction in San Diego, was developed by Alonzo Horton in the late 19th century. It is a vibrant center of shopping, dining and entertainment. Add to your fine art collection with a watercolor from a gallery. Stay on the cutting edge of fashion, with styles from a couture shop. When shopping is done, plan a night out at one of the area’s urban chic lounges, or partake in some of the delicacies offered at Taste of Gaslamp.
A classic toy has become a top attraction in San Diego. This Lego-filled park delights all ages. The park offers visitors more than 50 rides and attractions. Cool off at Pirate Shores. Spin around in Bionicle Blaster. Become part of the action during a 4-D racing movie. Hit The Big Shop to purchase all of your favorite Legos. Be mesmerized by a ventriloquist conversing with his friends, Clyde and Matilda. Travel back in time on Coastersaurus.
Mingei International Museum
Mingei is Japanese for “Arts for the People” and that’s what you’ll get at this interesting San Diego attraction. Founded more than three decades ago, the museum contains over 17,000 objects from 141 countries. Peruse folk art items and toys from Romania and the United States, to name a few. Add to your collection with a Russian doll, available for purchase in the museum store. Witness the cultural differences in jewelry that spans five continents.
Known as The Strand, this two-mile stretch of sand extends from the mouth of the Mission Bay channel to the north end of Pacific Beach. Pick up chairs or umbrellas at nearby rental facilities. Jog along the cement boardwalk. Peruse the shops that line the beachfront. Catch some waves on your boogie board. Cool off with lunch in a nearby restaurant.
Shake up your usual golf game with a round of disc golf at Morley Field. Instead of hitting the ball with a club, players throw a disc into holes around the course. Quench your thirst with refreshments and a snack. Pick up pointers by watching a league game.
Museum of Making Music
A constant throughout civilization, this Carlsbad museum pays homage to all forms of music. With over 500 instruments in five galleries, it celebrates more than 100 years of music.
Old Town Trolley
Hop on and off this popular San Diego tourist vehicle as it winds its way through San Diego. Well-informed guides add a healthy dose of humor to their narratives. Go ten minutes outside of San Diego to the charming island of Coronado. Set foot inside the famed Hotel del Coronado where the movie “Some Like It Hot” was filmed. Stop in the Gaslamp Quarter for a bite to eat.
Petco Park - San Diego Padres
Hold that glove high as you try to catch a fly ball from one of the San Diego Padres. This open-air stadium, built in 2004 at a cost of $450 million, is home to San Diego’s major league baseball team. Get there early and take a guided tour of the facilities. You can also develop your interest in rugby here, as this venue hosts games for seven different rugby unions
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
Choose from more than 100 interactive science exhibits designed to please visitors of all ages. Brave the 23-seat motion simulator. Have fun and learn at the same time in the Try Science! virtual zone. View The Alps from a comfy seat in the IMAX Theater. Identify the constellations in the Palomar Observatory. Foster the budding scientist in your child at Kid City for interactive San Diego fun.
Sailing on San Diego Bay
Dennis Corner’s America’s Cup gives guests the unique opportunity to race on current generation America’s Cup yachts on the San Diego bay. The sailing fleet includes two 80-foot International America’s Cup Class (IACC) racing yachts. Pitch in as a crew member or simply observe in awe as you participate in a 2.5 hour sail or match race as the yachts charge back and forth in their race for supremacy.
San Diego Museum of Art
Located in Balboa Park, the museum exhibits collections ranging from impressionist paintings to pop art. Be sure to visit the May S. Marcy Sculpture Court and Garden – a remarkable San Diego attraction. Sit in on a poetry reading. Gather the family and attend the Sights & Sounds festival.
With its location on the water, it’s not surprising that San Diego would have a seaport village. Pick up the latest styles or accessories at some of the 50 shops, just steps from the hotel. Take advantage of the Pacific’s bounty at a seafood restaurant. Stop along your travels to enjoy a magician or musical group performing throughout the village. Grab the brass ring on the village carousel for nostalgic San Diego fun.
SeaWorld San Diego
Get up close and personal with whales, dolphins and other marine species. Look on as Shamu darts, dives and shoots through the air and water. Be prepared to get wet too, since he loves splashing visitors. Brace yourself for a thrilling plunge on “Journey to Atlantis”. Become a trainer for a day.
Tijuana River Valley Regional Park
This beautiful 1,638-acre park along the Tijuana River is a favorite San Diego attraction for nature lovers. Pack a picnic as a reward for hiking the forest trails. Gallop your horse along equestrian trails leading straight to the Pacific. Extend your arm and see what will land at the new Bird and Butterfly Garden and practice identifying one of over 340 birds by its call.
USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is a historic naval aircraft carrier that served in the United States Navy for 47 years. Large and very impressive, it has real jets and airplanes – which visitors can walk through and explore – up on the flight deck. Offered for free with admission is an audio tour that takes visitors through 60 exhibits, including the crew's sleeping quarters, engine room, the ship's jail, officer's country, post office, and more.
Voted #1 best attraction in San Diego by Trip Advisor!
Hit the surf at Wave House San Diego at the historic Belmont Park. With four unique restaurants, multiple bars, FlowRider ® wave machines and a jam-packed event schedule, you won’t find a better beach party around! Prefer a tamer environment? Head over to the pool for a leisurely swim, an aquatic workout or lessons. Try something new like Brazilian Boot Camp or Pilates at the fitness center.