travel guide

Top Places to Visit in San Diego

Heading to California soon and need to know the Top Places to Visit in San Diego? Your girl has you covered!

San Diego’s nickname is “America’s Finest City” and I could not agree more with that sentiment. San Diego has an easy-going culture and miles of beach breaks. The towns of Coronado and La Jolla have two of the best family beaches in the entire country. It’s a great place for everyone to visit with so much to offer. Not to mention the climate is warm for the majority of the year. In my personal opinion, September-November is the best time to visit.

I’ve had the honor of calling this place home for over ten years now and I couldn’t imagine another place to live. With that being said, I’ve spent countless hours visiting these places in San Diego and wanted to share my personal best of the best with you…

BALBOA PARK

balboa park botanical garden

One of the oldest places in the United States dedicated to public recreational use. This 1,200 acre park is filled with museums, gardens, botanical gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. The architecture is so beautiful you can spend countless hours here soaking up the culture.

Locals Tip: During the summer they have “Food Truck Friday’s” in the park with tons of delicious food, music, and other cool vendors!

Also, the first weekend of December is the nation’s premier holiday festival called “December Nights”. Vendors, live music, and beautiful light display light up Balboa Park during this time. Also, the museums in the park are free of charge during those nights.

CORONADO

downtown san diego skyline

Coronado is the cutest little town you will ever lay eyes on – I MEAN IT. It was literally the inspiration for the “Emerald City” in The Wizard of Oz because the author, L. Frank Baum, had a summer home in Coronado where he wrote his famous novel around the corner from the historic Hotel Del Coronado. That’s not the only celebrity attachment to Coronado; it’s also well known as the filming location for the iconic Marilyn Monroe movie “Some Like it Hot”. Coronado also has one of the best beaches in San Diego, with a dog beach at the north end.

Locals tip: The Coronado Ferry Landing is a great place to see the entire downtown San Diego skyline. They also have one of the best pizzeria’s in town — Village Pizzeria. They ship their water from New York so you know the dough is TOP NOTCH!

LA JOLLA

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Picturesque coastlines, gorgeous ocean layers, and a beach filled with sea-lions and seals. These cuties call the La Jolla Cove home and it’s very important when you’re visiting that you stay at least 10 feet away from them or else you can be fined $10,000. A selfie is not worth that price tag, amiright?!

Along with the La Jolla Cove, there are tons of cliffside views and cute restaurants in La Jolla. It’s one of the most expensive zip codes in the United States and if you visit, you’ll see why. Multi-million dollar mansions and exotic cars everywhere you look. You can easily spend an entire week exploring La Jolla. From the recently renovated University Town Center Mall, to shopping on Girard, or hanging out at Scripp’s Pier – it’s a great place to spend a summer day. Oh! almost forgot to mention the Salk Institute and the Torrey Pines Glider Port!

SUNSET CLIFFS

sunset cliffs san diego

sunset cliffs san diegoThe name speaks for itself. This place is THE jump-off for watching sunsets and is, in my opinion, the BEST place to watch sunsets in town. Known to be extremely busy during sunsets but there is plenty of street parking available. There is also an open-air cave that is very hard to get to but I’ve made it my mission this year to get into that cave and show you guys how to find it, so stay tuned for that! This is easily the top place to visit in San Diego.

MISSION/PACIFIC BEACH

pacific beach pier

California surfer PRIME, this place exudes Southern California. Walk the boardwalk, ride the historic Belmont Park Roller Coaster, or just chill out on the beach – you will never get bored hanging out here. It is very reminiscent of Venice Beach with everything that goes on here. Make sure to visit Kono’s when you do visit, it’s the best breakfast spot in town where you can have a view of the ocean and a full breakfast meal for $10! I love a good DEAL!

OLD TOWN

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A historical park commemorating the early days of San Diego with historic buildings and sites. Not only that, but there are tons of authentic Mexican food places in Old Town. Friday nights are always popping with live music and a myriad of great bars to have a margarita and people making fresh tortillas for you to watch!

LIBERTY STATION — POINT LOMA

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Open seven days a week this bustling market is full of chic eateries, craft vendors, and specialty restaurants. It’s a great place for lunch or dinner and when you’re here make sure to check out the gem of Liberty Station — Pigment (pictured above). Also, a notable mention to the cool Corvette Diner, a 50’s themed diner that has delicious comfort food and the best shakes in town!

Thank you for reading the Top Places to visit in San Diego! I hope you enjoy your visit to America’s Finest City! Comment below which place is your favorite and for more of my travel guides head here.

XO,

Courtney

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12 Comments

  • Reply Afitandfabulousmichele

    I need to go here! it looks amazing!

    September 6, 2019 at 9:49 am
    • Reply Courtney Delfino

      its such a great city! thanks for reading love XO

      September 11, 2019 at 7:21 pm
  • Reply Josefine

    Thank you for sharing this! Before reading your post I was excited about visiting San Diego but now I’m really excited! Do you think 5 days would be enough to see all of this if I’m working full time while being there? Thanks!

    September 6, 2019 at 9:52 am
    • Reply Courtney Delfino

      Hey Josefine! Thank you so much for reading I definitely think that 5 days is enough to see everything however, a week would be ideal! Especially if you are working full-time! Let me know if you have any other questions!

      September 11, 2019 at 4:58 pm
  • Reply Taylor Deer

    I love San Diego so much! It’s my second favorite city in America! I love La Jolla and Point Loma so much. Next time, I have to see the old town.

    September 7, 2019 at 9:24 am
    • Reply Courtney Delfino

      It’s such a great city! And yes! Old Town is so much fun you’ll have to let me know if you make it out here soon!

      September 11, 2019 at 4:59 pm
  • Reply Brittany | Bucketlist Bri

    Definitely have to save these great spots for later! So excited to visit one day! xx Loved your photos, girl. xx Bri

    September 9, 2019 at 5:59 am
    • Reply Courtney Delfino

      aw thank you so much Bri!

      September 11, 2019 at 7:19 pm
  • Reply World of Lin

    I visited San Diego in February when I was in Cali for a week. I saw Balboa Park & Old Town but not the other places unfortunately. I really wanted to visit La Jolla but we didn’t have enough time 🙈

    September 9, 2019 at 2:29 pm
    • Reply Courtney Delfino

      well hopefully you’ll be back one day to catch the other spots! XO

      September 11, 2019 at 7:19 pm
  • Reply broadwithoutborders

    Lovely pics especially of the sunset cliffs

    September 24, 2019 at 5:52 pm
    • Reply Courtney Delfino

      thank you it’s one of my favorite places in san diego <3

      October 27, 2019 at 10:18 am

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