Elegant and sunny San Diego is truly a city with something for everyone – it’s one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. Parents and children alike love the wide range of fun and family-oriented activities – many of them free – most of them outdoors in the warm sunshine. From the theater to wild animals, there is something for everyone. Here are six things that every visitor should not miss when visiting our wonderful city. For more details click outdoor festivals in San Diego.
1. Stroll through the historic Gaslamp Quarter and view the renovated turn-of-the-century Victorian architecture, home to boutiques, art galleries and specialty shops. Historic buildings have been relocated to Gaslamp from other parts of the city, their nineteenth century architecture restored to its former glory. Restaurants, shops and clubs occupy former brothels and saloons. The nightlife is throbbing and vibrant 365 days a year. The Quarter is home to many events and festivals, including San Diego’s Mardi Gras, Taste of Gaslamp and the city’s St. Patrick’s Day events ensuring that the Gaslamp Quarter will remain one of San Diego’s favorite travel destinations.
2. Enjoy a free organ concert at 2 p.m. on Sundays at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in lovely Balboa Park. The Spreckels brothers donated this – one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs – to the City of San Diego for the Panama-California Exposition way back in 1914. The organ has more than 4000 pipes in length from the size of your finger to 32 feet. At the concerts you will hear world-famous organists play traditional favorites, waltzes and show tunes on enormous 32-foot pipes.
3. At dusk on the first Wednesday of each month, following the monthly “Sky Tonight” planetarium show in the Space Theater of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, members of the San Diego Astronomy Association set up big telescopes by the large fountain in Balboa Park for free public sky viewing. See Saturn’s rings through a big telescope as well as the moon, planets, nebulae and globular clusters – up close and personal.
4. See things you never saw before at The Museum of Contemporary Art in LaJolla featuring an enormous collection of 4,000 works created after 1950. Here you’ll find exhibits of all media and genres: painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video and film. Designed in 1916 by world-famous Irving Gill and originally the home of distinguished philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, the 60,000 square-foot Museum will thrill you with its breathtaking coastal views.
5. Explore the tide pools just north of Swami’s Beach in Encinitas when the tide is low and see things most people never see: Hairy hermit crabs, willowy sea anemones, yawning barnacles, and perhaps even a two-spot octopus are a few of the many species that might be discovered in the nooks and crannies of tide pools. Low tides during convenient daylight hours are most common in the winter during full and new moons. San Diego travel tip: check the newspaper tide tables.
6. How can we not mention the beach? With over 65 miles of coastline, this best part of San Diego is absolutely free – and all the beaches are just perfect for trying your hand at surfing or boogie-boarding.