Best Ways to See and Experience San Diego

San Diego is an exciting place to visit with attractions from wide flat beaches to towering skyscrapers. With a variety of transportation options available, here’s a list of the best ways to see and experience San Diego.

  • Explore the city like a local and walk through the areas that most interest you. Take a stroll through the Gaslamp Quarter to enjoy historic venues and the best night life. Meander along the beach boardwalk to enjoy the sandy beaches and rolling surf on one side and the color of the Mission and Pacific Beach areas on the other side. One of the best locations for walking is the Embarcadero. From the USS Midway, a top-rated maritime museum, to Seaport Village, you can enjoy life on San Diego Bay. Catch the Coronado ferry from two locations, and you can visit Coronado Island.
  • Rent a bike and enjoy superb neighborhoods and biking paths. The Mission Bay Bike Path, a 12-mile path, surrounds placid Mission Bay, a man-made aquatic park. Play beach volleyball, take a break at the Barefoot Bar & Grill, or visit SeaWorld. They are all accessible from the bike path. The Coronado Ferry also allows bikes for the quick jaunt from downtown to the island.
  • Take a trolley tour to listen to fun facts as a tour guide lets you on and off at all the best locations in San Diego. The hop-on, hop-off tour runs all day and includes stops at Old Town, Little Italy, the Embaradero, Petco Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Plaza, Coronado Island, and Balboa Park. The tour company also offers a tour that runs along the beaches from Mission Beach to La Jolla.
  • Get a bus pass. The local public transportation system can get you to most destinations in the city. It is an inexpensive way to get around San Diego, and they have a handy website for figuring out what bus you need.
  • Ride on a city trolley. The city trolleys are mainly in the downtown area with one trolley line extending to the Mexican border. They are safe, fast and reliable transportation.
  • Book a San Diego bay cruise. Not to be missed, make a reservation for one of the bay cruises that travel the bay and relax while you snap pictures of the towering city above the blue waves. There are also whale watching cruises available.
  • Rent a car for maximum flexibility. The city has plenty of other options, but the easiest way to get to all of your top attractions, especially if you are short on time, is to rent a car. San Diego covers a lot of acreage and if you want to add Legoland or the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, they are both not in San Diego. Also, if you want to get to the tide pools or the lighthouse at Point Loma, a car is your best option.

Whatever transportation you choose, you will have a memorable day in San Diego. Enjoy the perfect weather, interesting scenery and welcoming people. Need more resources?The City of San Diego’s Visiting Directory can help.