San Diego, California is a place in the United States where the sun is always up and rising. This is because of its lovely beach areas, warm climate, numerous amusement parks, well-landscaped gardens and parks, and a number of arts centers and museums to visit. There’s so much do to here that you might want to create yourself a San Diego bucket list for all the great things to do, eat and see in San Diego.
There are a lot of things that can be enjoyed in San Diego, whether it would be in appreciation the natural beauty of California, or maybe enjoying the man-made magnificent structures around the area like parks and amusement centers. There are a lot of things to do San Diego and we’ve created a San Diego bucket list for you.
San Diego Bucket List 2018 Edition
Iconic Landmarks, Museum, and Parks
#1 Explore the Cabrillo National Monument
The monument is built in memory of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Spanish conquistador who first discovered San Diego. The national park is surrounded with pool tide, rock cliffs, see creatures roaming around the area, different plant, and trees thriving around.
#2 Climb the Old Point Loma Lighthouse
The iconic lighthouse is one of the major structure in the Cabrillo monument, which tourists can take pictures and take an upper view of the shore across San Diego beach.
#3 Discover San Diego and American history at the USS Midway Museum
This is the location of the US Navy museum, which exhibits old maritime vehicles, warfare instruments, and military aircrafts.
#4 Learn US military Maritime history at the Maritime Museum of San Diego
Built in the year 1948, the US military maritime collected and showcased a number of vessels and maritime equipment.
#5 Visit San Diego Museum of Man
It has a large collection of anthropology, human evolution, and anthropological development.
#6 Appreciate arts at the San Diego Museum of Art
A large collection of various arts and other visual artistic design even before the Spanish era can be seen here.
#7 Learn more about Astronomy and Science at the San Diego Air and Space
Walk through Science, aerospace and astrology exhibit in the San Diego space museum.
#8 Walk around the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
Another visit to a museum is learning about past. Knowing how San Diego’s economy and community started.
#9 Visit the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala
Visit the first Franciscans missionaries spread Catholicism to San Diego marks the Basilica.
#10 Learn from Reuben H Fleet Science Center
Visit the Science center and planetarium located at the Balboa Park.
#11 Visit the Mingei International Museum
A private non-earning public company that aims to collect and exhibit art jobs like painting, sculptures, crafts and a lot more.
#12 Stroll around the theatre and take pictures of the Old Globe Theater
Visit the famous Globe Theater for a photo.
#13 Pose for photo in front of the of Spruce Street Suspension Bridge
Take a photo of you where the famous suspension bridge a background.
#14 Frolic and stroll around the Birch Aquarium
Walk under the huge man-made water habitat at Scripps (La Jolla).
Beach, Gardens and Parks
#15 Try out the Key’s Creek Lavender Farm
Visit and be astonished with the beautiful scenery of hundreds of acres of lavender. The scent in the lavender farm is such as heavenly as you can imagine.
#16 Walk around the beautiful gardens in Carlsbad Flower Fields
Appreciate various floral garden designs in a very wide open flower field farm. You will be overwhelmed with the thousands of blooming flowers opening up in beauty at once!
#17 Stroll at Petco Park
Walk around the park and indulge in picnic and chats with friends and other tourists at the Padres Game.
#18 Spend an afternoon at the Belmont Park
Check out the flowers and gardens surrounding the Belmont.
#19 Spend a day at the Balboa Park
Visit the lovely designed garden park at Balboa.
#20 Enjoy a day at the Park & Rec near University Heights
Visit the recreational park at the University heights where there is a local playground area, shops and nicely architecture-garden that might make your strolling in the park worth-while.
#21 Visit the San Diego Zoo
Stopover to see different zoo animals at San Diego Zoo; which are cared for inside the local city zoo.
#22 Roam around Caravan Safari through San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Check out other animals from other parts of the world which were well-kept and taken care at a Safari Park; which the habitat is mimicked the same from the wild.
#23 Stroll inside Legoland California
Visit Legoland in in san Diego where it covers a very huge area for amusement and rides adventure. There are also other adventure parks in San Diego such as Disney and Universal Studios.
#24 Swim at the Torrey Pines State Beach
Have a refreshing day at the Torrey Pines Beach.
#25 Chill out at Mission Bay Beach
Get yourself tanned and rest on the beach sand area of Mission Bay.
#26 Kayak at the La Jolla Caves
Try to maneuver a boat or kayak your way to the amazing cave which salt water pass through during high tide.
#27 Sunbathe at the Scripp’s Beach
Achieve those tourists-like tan lines as you read a book under the sun in Scripp’s Beach. There are also shops and diners there that might interest your to visit.
#28 Spend an afternoon at the Pacific Beach
You may either check out souvenir shops, or restaurants along the Pacific beach. Or you can just dip in the water and swim.
#29 Aim that tan lines at the Solana Beach
There is nothing satisfying but to really achieve that perfect beach color as you hop onto another beach for a walk or sunbathing.
#30 Swim at the Windansea Beach
The cool water and fine sands also attracts this place for most beach goers.
#31 Hang around the Moonlight Beach
Stroll or perhaps enjoy a day in Moonlight beach.
#32 Visit the Carlsbad Beaches
You cannot have too many options of beaches to visit in San Diego. It is truly a city where the sun is always shining!
Adventure and Events
#33 Hang glide at the Torrey Pines Gliderport
Try to enroll and take the adventure to a paragliding activity in city-owned and private-operated glider airport in San Diego.
#34 Attend the yearly Comic-Con International
Check out schedule for the most popular gathering of cartoons, comics, and animation lovers at the annual international comic conference in California. Artists and enthusiasts enjoy their time from all over the world dressing up their favorite animation characters and exhibiting their artistic creations.
#35 Ride the Coronado Ferry
Explore San Diego from another perspective by riding a ferry.
#36 Try out Jet Ski San Diego at Shelter Island
Ride a jet ski to add to your bucket list.
#37 Surf at San Diego Surf School
You must love the beach and learn how to surf.
#38 Interest yourself into Whale watching activity
There is nothing dreamlike yet fulfilling feeling is to watch nature do its work. It is worth it to take a chance to go sail and wait whales to pass by San Diego shore as they migrate to another part of the world.
#39 Interact with Beluga Whale at SeaWorld
If you are lucky enough you can also meet and touch (and even swim with) Beluga sea creatures.
#40 Explore Sunny Jim Cave
Make sure to check out the cave along the beachfront where shops are located in La Jolla’s. It is one of nature’s creative showcase.
#41 Parasail at the Silver Strand Beach
Try an adventure activity by parasailing your way into Silver Strand Beach’s sea side.
#42 Climb the Split Mountain Hike area
Enjoy a hike or camp out if you have extra time into a lovely nature yet challenging mountain trail.
#43 Hike the highest peak in San Diego at the Cowles Mountain
San Diego has a lot of mountain and hiking areas where tourists can enjoy a long walk.
#44 Climb and camp at the Mount Laguna
Explore more of San Diego by strolling at Mount Laguna.
#45 Jump off the cliffs of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park n
Take a challenge to bungee jump over a cliff.
#46 Take the challenge of jumping off the Devil’s Punchbowl
More dare devil activity in San Diego is to try to jump off to a huge mountain rock, which a tall slim waterfall glides through; making it alive!
#47 Try out Indoor Rock Climbing at the Grotto
Dare to cling onto huge mountain of rocks to add more adventure to your bucket list.
#48 Sea Skate at Hotel Del Coronado
Skim board and surf at a local hotel in San Diego, the Hotel Coronado.
#49 Hike the Pacific Crest Trail Hike at Cleveland National Forest
Stroll and appreciate the lovely nature beauty at the Cleveland National forest, where a number of rare flora and fauna can be seen.
#50 Hike the Stonewall Peak
Walk through and appreciate the beauty of Stonewall Peak. The sight on top of it is grand and magnificent.
#51 Hike the Santa Margarita Trail
Explore the Santa Margarita trek, and feel the cool wind embracing your way at top peak area.
#52 Climb or hike the peak of Mt Woodson
Reach the top of the Mt. Woodson as you will be amazed of the natural beauty which can be viewed on top.
#53 Try to Hike the Palomar Observatory Trek
Trek to a cold, mossy, grassy and pine tree covered mountain area. Feel the cool breeze around the coniferous trees as you take a hike on the peak of Mount Palomar.
#54 Climb the Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail
Reach the top of a canyon hill, expecting a nice view on top of it.
#55 Hike out the Ho Chi Minh Trail Route
Try to explore the trail at Ho Chi Minh path.
#56 Be refresh at the Cedar Creek Falls
Cool down in the refreshing water passage of Cedar Creek Falls.
#57 Hike the Mission Trails
San Diego is truly gifted with such beauty and a vast area of hills, mountains, waterfalls, Laguna and forests around.
#58 Reach the top of Cuyamaca Peak
#59 Try the Inter-tubing at La Jolla Indian Reservation
The La Jolla has a lot of activities; like hiking, camping, and even water tubing. The place is quite wide enough covering mountains, trail paths, mountain rock walls, falls, and; even river for boating and inner tube activities.
#60 Ride a Gondola at Loew’s
Feel the Venetian vibe in San Diego by riding a gondola inspired boat.
#61 Watch tournaments and competitions of the San Diego Derby Dolls
Make sure to visit the local San Diego Roller Derby where women skaters compete with in a skating rink to win for more jammers to finish most.
#62 Shop at the Horton Plaza
Spend a day of shopping and dining at one of many shopping malls at San Diego. Check-out other malls near the area to enjoy more options to shop.
#63 Eat out at the San Diego Harbor
Experience eating in a port and vessel inspired restaurants and diners.
#64 Check out shops and Dine at restaurants at Imperial Beach Pier
A long line of souvenir stalls, shops and restaurants is situated in the Imperial Beach, where tourists can enjoy a shopping spree; eat out if hungry form looking around.
#65 Dine and hang around the Oceanside Beach & Pier
There is nothing surreal yet fun is to hang-out near the beach area while eating good food.
#66 Walk around the Del Mar Fair Grounds
Explore the almost 400 acre land in San Diego which is owned and operated by tate of California, but holds private activities like race track, county fairs, events in arena, shops inside the area, and a lot more! There are hundreds of thing you can try to do inside.
#67 Shop for a fair price at the Little Italy Farmer’s Market
Enjoy a shopping spree in a flea market in an Diego where the theme is more like an Italian market setting.
#68 Look around and purchase fresh goods and other products at the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market
Purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and other local products at Hillcrest Market.
#69 Spend time shopping at the La Jolla Open Air Farmer’s Market
Check out products, food stalls, and other souvenir shops at a public flea market at La Jolla. La Jolla is quite huge that it has event centers, parks, activity area, and even open air market!
#70 Shop and dine at the Seaport Village
There are souvenir shops, and also restaurants in the Seaport Village area where you can do both: shop and eat
Cafés and Restaurants
#71 Experience a day with cats with a cup of coffee or tea at The Cat Café
Try something new and enjoy a coffee with cute feline creatures as ou sip a tasty aromatic coffee.
#72 Try out spicy Oscar’s Mexican Seafood
If you love something hot and spicy food, eat at the Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, where they serve authentic Mexican seafood delicacy.
#73 Check out WhisknLadle Bistro and Bar
Dine and drink wine at the WhisknLadle located at the La Jolla.
#74 Eat at the Doner Kebab at the Kebab Shop
The Doner Kebab is quite popular that it can be found in 6 locations around San Diego City. Grilled meat, fruits and vegetable on sticks are the best dishes to order from the restaurant.
#75 Taste the savory pork dishes at The Pork Belly App
Try to eat pork meat dishes The Prok Belly, where the best seller is their tasty cripy fired pork. The restaurant is located at the Carnitas Snack Shack (North Park)
#76 Dine at Phil’s BBQ
Eat a delicious well-marinated Barbeque at Phil’s.
#77 Treat yourself for a feast at the Coop’s West Texas BBQ
If you want your barbecue served the Texan way: generously huge portions and liberally tasty; visit the Coop’s West Texas’ restaurant.
#78 Check in and eat out at the T-Deli
Located near the Hillcrest area, food at T-Deli is superb and scrumptious.
#79 Eat at the South Beach Bar and Grille
Eating beside the beach are adds a tourist –like ambiance while you eat.
#80 Dine at the Noble Experiment
For a high-end and fine dining experience you should visit Noble experiment.
#81 Try out fine dining at the Juniper and Ivy
Another swanky dining experience is to eat at a chic themed restaurant at Juniper and Ivy.
#82 Visit the Great Maple
For those like an authentic American fine dining, you can visit this place.
#83 Dine at the Prep Kitchen
For another American dining experience, good cocktail drinks and homey comfort food choice, you must try Prep Kitchen.
#84 Eat at the Brunch
Now you can eat as much as breakfast and lunch at the same time. The restaurant is located at Catania in La Jolla
#85 Eat at the Cucina Urbana
For those who prefer a swanky fancy Italian dining experience, you can visit the Cucina Urbana.
#86 Treat yourself to delicious Carne Asada Fries at Lolitas
Lolita’s does not just serve the best Carne Asada but also tasty burritos, Tacos, and other Mexican food!
#87 Dine at the Lucha Libre
Eat and feel the Mexican ambiance at the Lucha Libre.
#88 Quick visit to the Puesto
This is a Mexican restaurant where the restaurant architectural structure also amazes diners. Food serve are also all good and delicious.
#89 Try out Tacos el Gordo
If you cannot get enough of Mexican food, you can try an appetizing Tacos at el Gordo located at Chula Vista.
#90 Try out the Rolando Restaurants
If you are into Lebanese dishes, you can check out the Rolando Restaurant.
#91 Taste ice cream at the Hammond’s Gourmet Ice
Taste an exquisite creamy ice cream from 32 Flavor Ice Cream Flight.
#92 Indulge yourself with tasty and sweet treat at the Extraordinary Desserts
Try some of the sweet desserts at Extraordinary Desserts shop. The shop serves a lot of varied chocolate, cakes, and sweet delicacies to choose from.
#93 Treat the sweet tooth person in you at the Donut Bar
Maximize your energy by eating delicious sweet donuts from the famous Donut Bar. They have varied donut flavors, colors, shapes and designs.
Breweries and Other Drinks
#94 Drink a uniquely flavored carbonated drink and wines at the Soda and Swine
Try out a unique flavored soda drink. There are also tasty wine selections offered by the Soda and Swine Company.
#95 Try different kinds of beer at the Stone Brewing
Visit one of the local brewing companies at San Diego, one is the Stone Brewing that creates a well-fermented beer.
#96 Drink perfected beer at the Societe Brewing Company
Beer improved over time, tourists must visit the Societe Beer factory.
#97 Savor Beer varieties at the Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
Hop to another beer tasting tour at the Ballast to feel the spirit of special formulated yeast-wheat-beer.
#98 Visit the Green Flash Brewing Company to taste their beer.
There is also a factory-fermented-made-beer that also has distinguishable taste at Green Flash.
#99 Tastes a gluten-free beer at the Duckfoot Brewing Co.
For protein gluten intolerant persons, you can enjoy beer too! Taste is a bit different but still tasty like the usual beer.
#100 Take a tour and taste different beers at the St. Archer Brewery
Drink various kinds of beers brewed in perfection from St. Archer Brewery.
#101 Sample on various beers at the White Labs Brewery
There are hundreds of more things to do in San Diego, these are just suggestions which we are able to list down and tried first for you. You can try yourself and visit other places in San Diego and enjoy every moment of it.
Remember, just always put on sunscreen lotion because the sun in California is always smiling down!