By now we're sure you're thoroughly enamored with San Diego; so what if we tell you that the city is also home to several of the state's top tourist attractions? Not surprised? Good. Now sit back, take mental notes, and let's jump into a few of our top picks of what to see and do in San Diego. Oh, and don't forget about the 'must-sees' we've already mentioned, of course.

San Diego Attractions - Top Picks

USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway was the U.S.'s longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Today, it serves as a museum and allows visitors to live a part of our country's history. The museum is perfect for the entire family; lie in the bunks, climb aboard aircraft, tour the helicopters, and test your wings in the flight simulators. Make sure to allow ample time, though; the sights are seemingly endless in this amazing attraction.

Balboa Park

This urban park encompasses a whopping 1,200 acres and is more than just a 'park'; rather, it is a spectacular cultural hub with umpteen attractions in one. Home of the famous San Diego Zoo, it is often called "The Smithsonian of the West", as it plays host to museums, theaters, stunning gardens and landscapes, gift shops and much, much more. Balboa Park has also rightly earned its place as a National Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The list of attractions is mind-boggling, so allow more than a day or two if you want to take in several of them, (and you should)!

San Diego Zoo

Located inside the boundaries of Balboa Park, this world-famous zoo is accredited by the Association for Zoos and Aquariums and is home to more than 3,700 animals, representing more than 650 species and subspecies. It was also one of the pioneers in providing cageless open-air exhibits that mimic the animals' natural habitats. The zoo also administers the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, just 30 miles from downtown San Diego, near Escondido. Its botanical collection represents 3,500 species and about 1.5 million specimens. Many of the animals who make their home here are endangered and hail from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

This reserve is one of the wildest stretches of land in SoCal, yet is still within San Diego city limits. Here you can experience what California was like well before San Diego even existed; as its 2,000 acres have been preserved and the chaparral, elegant Torrey Pines, unspoiled beaches, and lagoon draw visitors from far and wide. Hike on the 8+ miles of trails, view migrating birds, exercise, or simply relax.

La Jolla Cove

Snuggly tucked between high sandstone cliffs, this beach is touted as one of the most photographed beaches along the SoCal coastline and  is protected by the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve. Sea lions are a common sight as they bask on the rocks and enjoy the sunshine. Thanks to great underwater visibility, La Jolla Cove is also popular with scuba-divers and snorkelers.

Wow! We don't know about you, but we're blown away just thinking about all of these amazing attractions San Diego has to offer. So, the only thing left to do is grab your friends and family and get your happiness happenin' in San Diego. 

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Edited/Contributed by: John C. Derrick
Published/Updated on: 12-20-2018

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