This special things to do in San Diego interview aims to help first-time and return visitors make the most of their trip to a city that never ceases to impress. There are thousands of incredible things to do in San Diego, from surfing the Pacific and shopping world-class boutiques to biking boardwalks and bonding with wild animals. So how do you cram in as much as possible during a single trip? LovetoKnow Travel recently asked San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau's Public Relations Representative, Stephenie Medina, how to have a blast in the popular Southern California city.
Things to Do in San Diego Interview
LovetoKnow (LTK): San Diego is known as "America's Finest City." It hosts millions of visitors each year and consistently ranks as one of the most family-friendly travel destinations in the world. What are some of the most popular things to do in San Diego?
Stephenie Medina (SM): If you are traveling to San Diego with children, then you don't want to miss visiting the world-famous San Diego Zoo, where over 4000 animals of 800 rare and exotic species are cared for. Another tourist hot spot is the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where wild animals roam free among acres of land that mimic their native habitats in Africa and Asia. LEGOLAND California is another must-visit attraction. It is the first park of its kind in the United States, with more than 50 interactive attractions and rides geared towards kids ages 2-12.
SeaWorld San Diego, Balboa Park and the Gaslamp Quarter are all worth visiting as well. SeaWorld is where you can get up close and personal with marine life from around the globe. Meanwhile, Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in the United States. It is often referred to as the "Smithsonian of the West" for its impressive collection of cultural institutions. Finally, the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego is like a playground for adults. It features more than 100 restaurants, 40 bars and nightclubs and 100 retail shops. There are also theaters and art galleries, all housed in historic Victorian-era buildings.
LTK: How about the beach?
SM: You can't travel to San Diego without stopping at the beach. The city spans 70 miles of coastline and offers a variety of unique beaches and beach settings. Everything from the white, sandy shores of Coronado Beach to the sandstone cliff-enclosed Blacks Beach in Torrey Pines; the gentle waves at La Jolla Shores to the world famous surf at Swami Beach in Encinitas.
In my opinion, La Jolla is one of the most beautiful areas in San Diego. Nicknamed "The Jewel" of San Diego, there's a lot to see and do in the area. The gentle waves in La Jolla Shores provide the perfect location for swimming, kayaking or learning how to surf. In addition, Prospect Street, with its upscale boutiques and art galleries provide a plethora of shopping opportunities; and the restaurants, with their spanning ocean views, provide the perfect place for lunch, happy hour or dinner.
Helpful Tips for Tourists
LTK: What advice do you have for first-time visitors?
SM: My advice to first time visitors is to allow enough time to really explore, experience and take-in the friendly vibe of the city. San Diego offers a lot of things for visitors to see and do, aside from skiing and snowboarding, you can to do just about anything here. Take a sightseeing tour to help get an overview of the city. The Old Town Trolley Tour is educational, entertaining and will highlight a lot of points of interest; a San Diego Bay tour would be another option for sightseeing on the water and learning about the many things to do along the bay front. Also, remember to bring a light jacket, it can get a little cool in the evenings, and don't forget to pack flip-flops and sunscreen. Lastly, take note of the things you didn't get to on your visit. Chances are you'll want to come back.
LTK: What advice do you have for repeat visitors?
SM: For repeat visitors, I recommend visiting San Diego at different times of the year. You'll get a totally different experience each season. Standouts for summer include 4th of July events, outdoor theatre and music, street fairs and festivals. Spring is great for outdoor recreation of all types, seeing the wildflowers bloom in the desert and at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad. In winter there are hundreds of amazing holiday events, California Gray Whale watching and college football bowl games. Lastly, in fall there are a number of apple harvests, film festivals and Halloween-related events.
Ways to Save in San Diego
LTK: Finally, Stephenie, the last question in this things to do in San Diego interview is: What are the best ways to save on a San Diego vacation?
SM: The best ways to save money on a San Diego vacation would be to check our website for discounts and coupons to hotels, restaurants, museums, attractions and more. There's also a calendar of events sections that features a number of free events. Consider the time of year that you vacation in the area. The best time to visit San Diego is September and October. The weather is gorgeous in the fall. The sun is out, the ocean is still warm and the huge summer crowds dwindle, as many people return to school and work. In the fall you will also have a better chance of finding great hotel deals and discounted ticket prices to various events and attractions.
Special thanks to Stephenie for providing us with a host of incredible things to do in San Diego. She has proven that her vibrant city is well worth visiting any time of year.