Top 10 BEST Things to Do in San Diego

Top 10 BEST Things to Do in San Diego

When is the best time of the day to visit attractions in San Diego?

Is San Diego safe for women solo travelers?

What to do in San Diego during COVID?

In this blog, I’ll show you my top 10 best fun things to do as a female solo traveler, ranking from top to bottom!

1. Watch the Sunset at La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is my long-time favorite sunset spot in San Diego. The BEST time to visit is the afternoon starting from 4-5 pm. There’s a street next to the cove with many shops and restaurants. Be aware the traffic can get pretty bad, especially during golden hour. It takes a good amount of time around 30 mins to walk on your paste. It’s a very usual to see all the wild sea animals such as Sea Lions and Brown Pelican etc on the beach and rocks next to the ocean, resting and soaking up the sun!

Top 10 BEST Things to Do in San Diego
La Jolla Cove, San Diego
La Jolla Cove, San Diego
La Jolla Cove, San Diego

During summertime, paddle boarding is very fun, especially with La Jolla’s beautiful cove view. I got my rentals here: BIKE & KAYAK TOURS. The rental place is about 10 mins walk to the beach and you’ll have to carry the paddle board yourself. It’s nice to have a little workout and everything is worth it after landing on the ocean!

Top 10 BEST Things to Do in San Diego
La Jolla Cove Paddle Boarding

2. Hike Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve trails

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is another must-sees place in San Diego. This place is a little touristy but at the same time, it’s an amazing experience to hike next to the beach. The view is getting better and better while you hiking up!

Pro Tips: Park on the side of the road next to the beach for free before going into the parking area.

Getting there: South Beach Lot, 12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037

Google Map Torrey Pines Beach Parking

Rules of the Reserve:

  • Stay on trail – Walking off trail causes erosion, tramples plants and frightens wildlife.
  • No pets – Dogs frighten wildlife and their waste causes nesting animals to abandon their young.
  • No food in the reserve – Help keep our animals wild and healthy by picnicking only at the beach.
  • No alcohol
  • No drones – To Prevent possible resource damage from accidents and to avoid frightening animals.
  • No picking/collecting natural features – Pinecones and flowers must be left to produce seeds to grow new plants. It also allows fellow visitors to enjoy the fauna.
  • No smoking/open flames – Torrey Pines has a high fire danger. The plants found here are dry and flammable.
  • No amplified music – Respect your fellow hikers and enjoy the sounds of nature while in the reserve.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, San Diego

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, San Diego

Top 10 BEST Things to Do in San Diego
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, San Diego

3. Rent Rollerblade / SUP at Mission Beach

Mission Beach is a very relaxing and laid-back neighborhood, it has a beautiful sidewalk along the beach.

I rented rollerblades at MISSION BEACH RENTALS, it’s located right next to the beach. Visit their website for rental prices. It takes about 2 hours to rollerblade back and forth along the beach. I also rented a SUP, but I arrived a little too late and the wave was getting too strong to get out.

Mission Beach has a big parking area where you don’t need to pay for parking like other tourist places.

Getting there: Ocean Front Walk, San Diego, CA 92109

4. Hike up Potato Chip Rock

It features a no joke 8 miles hike within about 4 hours total. If you’re not a hiker, be prepared this is not one of those touristy little trails. It’s definitely a tougher climb than I thought it would be. Still, highly recommended for its beautiful views on the top and a nice workout!

Potato Chip Rock, San Diego
Potato Chip Rock, San Diego
Potato Chip Rock, San Diego

Pro Tips: Do the hiking in the morning to avoid the sun getting too hot.

5. Relax at Coronado Beach

There are lots of local shops and restaurants on the street next to the beach. Be aware of the traffics. I would suggest parking on the street a little further from the popular areas. Visit the Hotel Del Coronado at the end of the beach.

Top 10 BEST Things to Do in San Diego
Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego

6. Visit Museums at Balboa Park & Rose Garden

If you’re an artsy traveler just like me enjoying looking at art galleries and museums, Balboa Park is for you! The architectures are beautiful. They have many different museums in the park to look at all at once, check out their website for each museums admission and open hours before you go.

Balboa Park  

Park Map

Explore Museums

Balboa Park boasts 17 museums and cultural institutions with an incredible diversity of collections.

Balboa Park, San Diego
Balboa Park, San Diego

You can also visit the rose garden around the summer. It is located around the end of the park and you’ll have to walk out of the park and across the road to get there. Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden is an award winning All-American Rose Selection Display Garden containing over 2,400 rose bushes in 180 varieties. The garden is in peak bloom during April and May, although many roses are in bloom from March through December.

Getting there: 2125 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Rose Garden, San Diego

7. Watch the Sunset at Sunset Cliffs

As shown in its name, Sunset Cliffs is one of the best spots to wait for the sunset. A very romantic spot for couples! Bring a picnic cloth and some snacks to enjoy the view and hang out with friends while waiting for the sunset at the cliffs!

Getting there: Sunset Cliffs Blvd and Ladera St San Diego, CA 92107

Top 10 BEST Things to Do in San Diego
Sunset Cliff, San Diego

8. Bike / Walk Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trail (My Personal Favorite Hidden Spot)

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve is an urban park in San Diego, California. Stretching approximately 7 miles (11 km), the park encompasses some 4,000 acres (16 km2) of both Peñasquitos and Lopez canyons, and is one of the largest urban parks in the United States.

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, San Diego
Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, San Diego

This place is so amazing with its nature landform and ecosystem!

9. Check out San Diego Zoo

Getting there: 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

The San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park, minutes from downtown San Diego, housing over 12,000 animals of more than 650 species. It feels like one of the parks at Disney World. Arrive early in the morning before 9 AM to avoid crowds and get a parking spot near the entry, it gets busier in the afternoon.

It’s advised to buy San Diego Zoo tickets in advance, that way, you can walk straight to the turnstile and avoid waiting on the line to purchase the tickets.

Top 10 BEST Things to Do in San Diego
San Diego Zoo

Pro Tips: Take the free bus tour first to glance through to have a better idea of each section and background from the tour guide, walk around to check out the animals closer afterward.

10. Wander around Little Italy & Old Town

Little Italy filled with patio cafe’s, restaurants, pubs, art galleries, shops and hotels. Perfect spot for people who are looking for place to eat and shop.

Old Town is also another popular tourist attraction, it is the oldest neighborhood in San Diego. Lovely to walk around. Check out its history, shopping and dining. This area feature many delicious Mexican cuisines.

Top 10 BEST Things to Do in San Diego
Old Town, San Diego

Final Thoughts

I hope this blog post gives you some ideas of things to do for your trip to San Diego. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit on the West Coast. If you have any personal favorite hidden spot would like to share, please feel free to comment down below so we can all learn from each other!

Happy Adventure Soul 🙂

My name is Kaya and I'm the storyteller and content creator behind this blog. The purpose of this blog is to inspire adventurous spirits like me to experience and see the world in a different way. And see what the world has to offer!
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5 thoughts on “Top 10 BEST Things to Do in San Diego

  1. 我的天呀!好想立刻出去玩喔,希望一情可以快點結束,希望可以回到以前,謝謝版主的分享~~~

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