San Diego is a famous city for tourism, especially with its beautiful landscapes, warm weather, attractive beaches, many attractions, and excellent restaurants.
The city is known for its sunshine and warm weather year-round to visitors, but locals would warn to avoid May and June because it is not as sunny and warm during those months when the marine layer stretches a cloud of gray over the skies most of the day.
Getting around San Diego is quite comfortable with the many transportation options such as the coaster, the trolley, taxis, buses, or driving yourself.
So, if your thinking of visiting San Diego for a day and want to pack in as much as you can, here is a guide of five locations you need to visit while here.
A famous landmark for San Diego is the Coronado Bay Bridge. Over the bridge is the city of Coronado where you can enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches. A notable place to visit is the Hotel Del Coronado, which was known to cater to Hollywood royalty over the years, and even is the star is some ghost stories. Visitors are welcome in the grand lobby, bars, and restaurants in the hotel. You can sit on a patio and enjoy the view of the white sand beaches.
Tip: Start your day in Coronado early in the morning to avoid crowds and enjoy the best views of the magnificent beaches and the hotel public areas. Grab yourself a coffee or mimosa, and enjoy the views in the morning. In order to get in all your locations, allot for only 90 minutes in Coronado.
2. Old Town
After your early morning at the beach, enjoy the history of San Diego in Old Town. In Old Town, you will find many Mexican restaurants and souvenir shops, but further in, there are many tourist-oriented shops, fascinating artifacts and historical buildings to tour, such as Casa de Estudillo, Mason Street School, McCoy House, Old Adobe Chapel, Whaley House, and Heritage Park. Most can be visited for free.
Grab lunch in a San Diego restaurant in Old Town. In Old Town, you will find some of the best Mexican food, enjoy lunch as Café Coyote or Old Town Mexican Café Restaurant.
3. Mission Beach/Belmont Park
Belmont Park and Mission Beach are fun for the whole family. Belmont is an amusement park, with an old-school wooden roller coaster and many other rides and games. Head to the Wave House, a restaurant and bar that features sand floors and wave simulators where you can watch novice and expert surfboarders do tricks. Or rent a surfboard and try catching waves on the Pacific Ocean directly behind Belmont Park.
Tip: Since your trying to pack a lot into one day, only spend a maximum of two hours at the beach.
4. La Jolla Cove
In the northern neighborhood of San Diego along the coast, you will find La Jolla Cove, one of the most exquisite pieces of coastline in all Southern California, and it curves around a bay which is home to leopard sharks, seals, spiny lobsters and a variety of species of fish. If you were hoping to snorkel or scuba dive during your visit to San Diego, this is the spot to do it.
5. San Diego Breweries
San Diego is a popular spot for premier microbreweries, and consistently winning awards for its diverse and tasty craft beer. After a day of sun, adventures, and beach, unwind from your busy day or enjoy a brewery tour at one of these top breweries, Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, AleSmith Brewing Company, Green Flash, Pizza Port, or Stone Brewing Company.
Here are a few items you should make sure to pack for your one day in San Diego. You probably already have a swimsuit, sunscreen, and good walking shoes, but here are other items to consider:
- Sweater -nights can be cold, and the coastal breezes could catch you off guard when the temperature drops suddenly after the sun goes down. Keep warm with a sweater.
- Flip flops – you’ll want to walk the beaches in flip flops
- Wetsuit – if it is not July or August, the ocean can be cold, so if you’re swimming for an extended period, a wetsuit will help keep you warm.
- Umbrella – there’s not much shade on the beaches of San Diego, so bring an umbrella to shade yourself.