Your Bucket List of Unique Things to Do in San Diego

If you’re looking for unique things to do in San Diego, keep in mind that this California metropolis is home to the world’s largest urban park, as well as 70 miles of picture-perfect shoreline. And if you add to this more than 90 golf courses and over 6,400 restaurants, it’s safe to say that your days in Sandi will be filled with new and exciting adventures. After all, this is America’s Finest City.

The first thing to know about moving to San Diego is that you’ll be staying in a place with almost perfect weather; add the Pacific Ocean to the mix, and you will see why locals love their water sports and long strolls all year round. No matter what your hobbies and interests are, America’s Finest City surely has something in store for you.

What’s Unique About San Diego? There Is a Museum for Everyone

If you are thirsty for knowledge, you’ll enjoy living in America’s Finest City. The variety of museums will leave you truly speechless. From Native American and cultural exhibitions to technology and auto exhibits, there is a museum for every taste, no matter how specific. Let’s take a look at the most peculiar spots to visit.

Every Museum Has Something That Will Entertain You

Living in San Diego will provide you with a life by the beach, and with that, there will be plenty of activities related to water sports. Stop by the California Surf Museum and learn about the history of surfboards and wave-riding. Who knows, maybe you will get inspired to learn how to surf.

The Museum of Art or SDMA has a goal to inspire, cultivate curiosity, and educate through art. Go online and check what kind of exhibits and events are currently hosted; maybe some will pique your interest.

If you’re into anthropology, check out the Museum of Man and learn about humans’ relationship with other species, beer history, and even cannibalism.

There are more than a few places that can tickle your fancy. While professional San Diego movers are handling your belongings, you can research and map out all the places you want to see when the relocation is done.

Museum of Man was constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

What Do Locals Do in San Diego for Fun? Head to the Beach and See for Yourself

Are you worried about the cost of living in San Diego? Relax, you don’t have to be loaded to have some fun like a local here. If you want to escape busy street life, remember that this California metropolis is located on the Pacific coast, and it has 70 miles of coastline. With geography like that, it is only logical that locals love spending time at the beach.

Stop by Coronado, Ocean, Imperial, Mission, or Moonlight beach and see for yourself why these are favorite locations for most locals. Not only will you get to bask in the sun free of charge, but you’ll also get to enjoy the beautiful scenery. You might even consider learning how to ride waves.

Learn How to Surf

While you are packing, remember that Sandi has the warmest water and some of the best surfing breaks in whole of California. If you have surfboards, don’t leave them in storage; there are more than a few places where you can buy one. Linda Vista Street and Hancock Street might be great spots to check out when if you want to get a board of your own.

You can find professional surfing lessons at many beaches. Go online and find those that work for you the best. Take a look at some other water-related activities; you might stumble upon some unforgettable experiences.

Diving Between Sunken Ships Is One of the Unique Things to Do in San Diego

A few miles off the coast of Mission Beach, you can find Wreck Alley – a site with intentionally sunken ships. It attracts many wreck explorers and scuba divers. If you are an experienced diver, you can check out all of the sites. Dive in and discover the Canadian navy ship Yukon or a research and communication platform called NOSC Tower that collapsed during a storm some time ago.

Wondering What’s San Diego Famous For? The Zoo and Its Pandas

When relocating, you are usually moving away from friends and family. To avoid feeling blue, try to pack your free time with some exciting activities, and one of those should be a visit to the famous SD Zoo.

There are more than 3,500 animals of more than 650 species you can see, and the zoo offers guided tours to all the visitors as well as a gondola lift named Skyfair that provides you with an aerial view of the Zoo. It’s also one of the few places of its kind in the world that managed to breed giant pandas in captivity.

Visitors’ programs are diverse. If you are relocating with kids, and you take them to Zoo, they will get to enjoy Kinderzoo, Summer Camp, or Kids’ Wild Night Out programs. For grownups, there are upgraded experiences where you can see animals in action, learn about cheetahs and other cats. Nevertheless, the Zoo offers age-appropriate programs that you can enjoy with your kids.

The price of tickets will depend on the program you choose, and generally, they go between $48 and $64. Plan a fun day at the Zoo, and see for yourself why, with over four million visitors, this is the most visited zoo in the US.

The most visited zoo in the US features polar bear tundra and Arctic taigas.

Balboa Park Is a Place Where Nature and Art Collide

With 1,200 acres, Balboa is the largest urban park in the US. Its vast spaces make it perfect for strolling or sitting in the shade of old trees. Unique, well-maintained landscapes and gardens make it a great spot if you want to spend the day out but still be in the city. If you are moving with pets, here is your chance to take them out and let them run freely.

Balboa is a place where nature meets art and creates an unforgettable experience for every visitor. Stop by Mineral and Gem Society or Cabrillo Bridge. If you want to catch some live performances, there are Civic Dance Arts, Civic Youth Ballet, and Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater that will keep you entertained.

For all sports lovers, there is a golf course, tennis club, lawn bowling field, gym, and velodrome. Balboa won’t let bad weather stop you from having fun. Within 38,000 square feet of Activity Center, you will find tennis tables and badminton courts, as well as free yoga and wellness classes.

Did you know that Balboa is larger than Central Park?

Spend a Night at an Old Fashioned Drive-In Movie Theater

Are you a movie buff? Nowadays, watching movies in cinema has become quite a unique experience, all because of 3D, 4D, and even 5D formats. Nevertheless, classics never go out of style, and that is why you should give the retro drive-in movie theater a chance.

Locals are big on watching movies and keeping alive the tradition of drive-in theaters. Head out to South Bay Drive-In that opened 1958 or The Santee Drive-In, theaters that show movies seven days a week. If you are looking for romantic things to do in San Diego, this might be one of them. Nothing spells romance better than the star-filled sky and a great movie.

The first drive-in was opened in Camden, New Jersey, in 1933.

La Jolla Has Plenty of Unique Things to Do in San Diego

This hilly, seaside community is one of the best neighborhoods in San Diego. Not only is it surrounded by ocean on three sides, but its warm climate also makes it a perfect spot for all of those looking for the outdoor type of fun.

If you are not afraid of water, you should dive into the West Coast’s first underwater preserve, the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park. Spanning across 6,000 acres of ocean floors and featuring four distinct aquatic habitats, you will encounter sea lions, leopard sharks, seals, Garibaldi fish, and pelicans. While you are at it, check out sea caves such as Sunny Jim Cave.

La Jolla is very popular with tourists and locals alike, but besides the usual sightseeing spots, you can dig a little deeper and find all the hidden gems. There are plenty of them.

Discover La Jolla’s Hidden Gems

Start your exploration with murals. An ongoing art project that began in 2010 has gathered various artists who created murals throughout the area. Snap a few photos of the famous mushroom house built in the 1960s. This fortress-like building overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and you can reach it only when the tide is low.

To be able to explore everything in La Jolla, you might need to drive. Consider hiring San Diego movers and shipping your car to your new location when moving, and you will be able to reach all parts of the metropolis in no time. Sit behind the wheel and go to Mount Soledad, a location with a phenomenal view. There, you will spot the Munchkin House, which is surrounded by many rumors dating back to the Wizard of Oz days. While you are in La Jolla, check out three troll bridges as well.

Did you know that a local millionaire built the Mushroom House?

Explore Sandi’s Natural Beauties

The county climate features warm summers and mild winters. No matter whether you choose to move during the winter or decide to move during the summer, it will always be the right moment to spend time outdoors.

The metropolis is home to a variety of colorful habitats ranging from canyons to deserts. Put on some good walking shoes and head out. It is time to explore the beautiful scenery and snap some photos you can share online.

There Are Wonders That Will Leave You Speechless

If you’re ready to overcome your fear of heights just for the sake of a fantastic view, you’ll love hiking up to the Potato Chip Rock, a narrow strip of stone. It might take a while for you to hike up there, but in the end, it will be worth it.

How do you feel about a moderate to strenuous climb? If you are not afraid of a little physical activity, you will enjoy strolling around Annie’s Canyon Trail. When you manage to climb up, you will be rewarded with the breathtaking panorama of the Pacific Ocean.

Do five hundred miles of dirt roads sound fun to you? Don’t worry, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is not only about the dirt; here you can find twelve wilderness spots, as well as miles and miles of hiking trails. Pay attention to all flora and fauna. Wildflowers, palm groves, kit foxes, and golden eagles are just some of the wildlife you can encounter.

Sometimes, the wilderness is closer than you think.

Visit Legoland and Have a Day Filled With Fun Activities

If you have a loud inner child that likes to play with world-famous Lego bricks, you will be delighted to know there is a Legoland nearby. Legoland in San Diego County was the first one in the US. This themed entertainment spot is located north of Downtown, and you might need a car to reach it, but it will be worth it.

There are so many exhibits, team parks, and fun family activities you can share with your loved ones. Before you buy tickets, make sure that you have a whole day dedicated to Legoland.

Legoland Is Very Popular Among All Age Groups

No matter if you are 5 or 95, in Legoland, you will be able to find age-appropriate activities to partake in.

Stop by Miniland USA, and admire historical figures and pop culture icons all made out of legos. Go on a coast cruise, where you can see the Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower, as well as San Francisco, Washington DC, and Las Vegas.

Don’t skip over Sea Life Aquarium that has over 36,000 square feet of floor area, featuring LEGO models. You will see a mix of modern technology and biological expertise that will guide you through European and tropical waters.

Learn About a Variety of Cuisines by Signing Up For a Food Tour

Foodies love eating their way through the town, no matter where they live. Don’t get overwhelmed by the variety of choices and different cuisines available. If you are moving from a small town to a big city like this one, you might want to sign up for a food tour and enjoy some of the best restaurants in San Diego. They can be found all over – from north to south. You just have to know where to look.

Start with Tequila, tacos, and tombstones culinary tour and learn about all the best places for tacos and tequila shots. You will get to eat in restaurants inspired by Mexican cuisine, but also you will hear some spooky ghost tales that the guides like to share.

Brothels, Bites, and Booze: A Culinary Tour of Questionable Past has an interesting name, and it will lead you to some local gems, and at the same time, you will learn about the seedy origins of the area.

Secret Food Tours will give you a glimpse into the culinary diversity of the metropolis. You will pick up some local tips about eateries and their specialties.

Where there is food, there are drinks as well. When you are done getting to know all kinds of restaurants and fine dishes they serve, check out why this is a metropolis with a refined craft beer culture. With more than 140 breweries, you will always find a place to kick back and relax while chugging a cold one. Sign up for a beer tour and try all kinds of local ales.

Don’t worry, wine drinkers, there are places you can visit as well. With more than 100 wineries all around the metropolis, you can easily get wine drunk.

The location is filled with diverse cuisines that will leave every foodie speechless.

Hike Your Way Through Cowles Mountain

Did you know that Cowles Mountain is the highest point of the metropolis? If you want to reconnect with nature, head out to Cowles and hike to the top. You won’t get lost on your way because the entire mountain is filled with well-maintained trails.

The main hiking route is visited by hundreds of people daily because they all want to reach the top and admire the 360-degree panorama of America’s Finest City. You will need to walk 1.5 miles to reach your destination. Don’t worry, even though you have to share the mountain with others, the space is so big you won’t even notice it.

Hike to the top and enjoy amazing views you can later share online.

Overcome the Fear of Heights on a Suspension Bridge

Do one thing every day that scares you, and if heights are one of the things that do, head to the Suspension Bridge and face your fears. This bridge was designed as a pedestrian passage across a deep canyon.

This 375 feet long bridge is 70 feet above Session Canyon, and it was built in 1912. Take a walk across it, and enjoy the view while overcoming your fears.

Just don't look down, and you will be fine.

Spend the Day in Old Town and Experience History

Old Town can be described as a mix of Mexican heritage, colorful shops, plenty of historical sites, and tons of hidden gems that you can explore. This is the place where you can shop and eat, but also have a ton of fun.

Start by checking out a three-day Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy live music, wrestling, and the display of lowriders and other cars. The area hosts Historic Old Town 4th of July as well. This celebration is a mix of a parade and other activities that reenact traditions from a long time ago. If you are a competitive person, you can partake in cherry pit spitting or egg toss.

Dia de Los Muertos is a traditional celebration of the culture, heritage, and history, and for some people, it is the most important of all the holidays.

If celebrations all year long are not enough for you, and you want to go back in time, pay a visit to Historical Park and learn all there is about the history of this area.

Historical Park Can Help You Learn a Lot

The Park is a place where history comes to life. With five original adobes that include museums, shops, and restaurants, it will feel like you just stepped into the 1800s. Within the space, you can also see a school, blacksmith, and the first newspaper office. There are collections of cigars and pipes, as well as carriages. Historical Park includes:

  • Casa de Estydullo, which is a National Landmark on its own
  • Colorado House, a hotel from the 1850s
  • Blackhawk Smithy & Stable, where you can see the real blacksmith demonstrations
  • The first Courthouse
  • Houses like Casa de Machado y Silvas and Casa de Machado y Stewart
  • Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant, which has been restored and is open for guests
  • La Casa de Rodriguez reconstructed tobacconist
  • Seeley Stables where you will see horse-drawn buggies, western memorabilia, and carriages
Dia de Los Muertos is a celebration you shouldn't miss.

Book a Cruise and Explore the City From a Different Perspective

Would you like to experience the metropolis in a whole different way? Book a cruise and enjoy the view from the other side. You will not only admire the architecture of the city, but some tours also offer whale watching.

Hornblower Cruises & Events – Whale & Dolphin Watching Tours are available depending on the time of the year. You will get to see dolphins and whales as well as learn from the guides.

The Three-Hour Sail is a cruise focused on the Bay and Pacific ocean. Here you will get lectures from captains that double as tour guides.

Speed Boat Adventures are for adrenaline junkies. You will receive instructions on how to operate a speed boat and the chance to see downtown skyline, USS Midway, Navy ships, and Coronado Bridge.

Get to know the location from the other side.

Torrey Pines Gliderport Should Be a Mandatory Stop for Every Daredevil

It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It is you – flying!

Stop by The Torrey Pines Gliderport and get some paragliding classes. The Glideports is 350 feet above Black Beach, and it offers courses all year round. If you want to awaken the daredevil in you, enroll and get your wings as soon as possible.

Written By: Blake Shaw