If you’re new and visiting the area or a local looking for something new to explore, San Diego offers many attractions and events for people of all ages. You can see the surprising number of museums and art galleries throughout the city, or for more family-oriented fun, consider a day at the beach or choose from any local amusement park.
Many attractions offer discounts and other incentives throughout the year, from free admission for children to extended holiday hours with holiday shows and decorations included in admission. Some of the top local family attractions that you should visit include Legoland, San Diego Children’s Museum, SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park.
You’ll also want to check out the Belmont Park Roller Coaster, Scripps Aquarium, Coronado Ferry, La Jolla Cove, Mission Trails, and many other numerous outdoor parks and beaches. All of these can make for a great day in San Diego.
Live Entertainment, Theater, And Comedy
In addition to daytime destinations and attractions, San Diego offers various attractions for live entertainment, theater, and comedy. Some of the theater and live performance options include the:
- Old Globe Theater: Located in Balboa Park, the Old Globe Theater provides top-billing shows and plays in an intimate setting. The Old Globe was designed to replicate the theater made famous by William Shakespeare
- Lamb’s Players Theater: Located in quant Coronado, Lamb’s Players Theater offers nightly shows of first-run plays as well as timeless classic
- Comedy Store: The Comedy Store in La Jolla is home to local comedians and world-famous celebrities trying out new material. Headline acts and up-and-comers alike take the stage for a hilariously good time
For a fun night out for sports fans, choose between attending a San Diego Padres baseball game or other live events at Petco Park in the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Or, you can head out to the San Diego Sports Arena to catch the Gulls hockey. For college fans, head out to the brand new Snapdragon Stadium, home to the SDSU Aztecs and also home to the San Diego Wave Football Club of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Concert And Live Music Venues
If music is more your style, San Diego boasts several indoor and outdoor venues for live music. For San Diego nightlife and music, you can find a number of venues. But, to highlight, some include:
- The Belly Up Tavern - The Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach provides the perfect intimate setting to catch solo acts and small tours
- House of Blues - An indoor venue in downtown San Diego, the House of Blues provides well-known and new acts with a perfect venue to perform
- Humphrey's by the Bay - The premier outdoor venue, Humphrey’s By The Bay, hosts all types of musical acts. The forum has open-air seating, and for major acts, you can see many locals out on their boats catching the sights and sounds of the concerts
- Petco Park - For most stadium tours, Petco Park is the venue to host the show. All major acts that come through San Diego have performed at Petco over the years
- Sycuan Arena - Located on the campus of San Diego State University, Sycuan Arena provides an intimate venue with great views for most major touring acts
Restaurants And Bars
If you’re more into a night out dining and having a drink with friends, San Diego boasts various award-winning restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. The Historic Gaslamp Quarter has a selection of great bars and restaurants. Head north toward La Jolla and Del Mar to dine in some exquisite, state-of-the-art, and possibly Michelin-rated restaurants along the coast.
For other adult-themed personal entertainment, San Diego has a variety of dispensaries you can visit or have items delivered discreetly to your home. These include March and Ash, Cannabist San Diego, Urbn Leaf, Klover, and Golden State Greens. Or, if you’re looking for specific locations, top-rated outlets, and more, check out the San Diego dispensary list for a complete listing of all the available dispensaries in the area.
Every season has a different opportunity to catch and participate in a special event unique to San Diego. In the fall, there are harvest carnivals, Wine and Art Festivals, local Oktoberfests, and more. In the winter, there are a ton of holiday-centric themed events from Snowball at Petco Park, multiple “breakfasts with Santa,” and the Old Globe hosting holiday plays like their annual presentation of The Grinch.
Springtime begins the tourist season in San Diego. Many outdoor events like the Carlsbad flower gardens, Coronado’s flower show, Old Town’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, and the San Diego Zoo’s Butterfly Garden. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, there is always something to do in San Diego. So get outside, explore all the area has to offer, and make memories that can last a lifetime.