San Diego
  Del Mar

 Imperial Beach

  La Jolla

  Mission Beach
  Ocean Beach
 Pacific Beach
  Point Loma

 Solana Beach






San Diego Beach Vacation Amusements and Things to Do

San Diego County offers over 20 great beaches and 50+ amusements, theme parks, museums and sports. San Diego Beaches include Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, Coronado's Silver Strand, Imperial Beach, Encinitas, Leucadia, Carlsbad, Del Mar, Solana Beach, La Jolla, Tourmaline, Wind'nsea Beach, Oceanside and additional community beaches situated along the San Diego coast. There are clothing optional locations in Encinitas, great surfing and wind surfing locations, sailing, swimming, scuba diving, whale and dolphin watching on the local piers where you can fish without a license, plus many restaurants for oceanside dining. Be sure to check out the coastline in San Diego County. It is spectacular!

In San Diego, there are two world famous zoos, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park. San Diego Zoo features the famous Giant Panda Bears and Polar Bear Plunge (pictured above). These exhibits are awesome. Wild Animal Park features vast expanses of land where animals roam free in surroundings that mimic their native habitats.

Nearby Balboa Park features several free museums, rose gardens and museums charging a small fee. The incredible list of museums includes Centro Cultural de la Raza, House of Pacific Relations, Japanese Friendship Garden, Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theatre, Marston House, Mingei International Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, Museum of San Diego History, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego Hall of Champions, San Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Model Railroad Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Natural History Museum, Spanish Village Art Center, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Starlight Theatre at Starlight Bowl, Timken Museum of Art, The Old Globe, United Nations Building, Veterans Museum and Memorial Center and WorldBeat Center. Try El Prado restaurant for fresh sandwiches and meals you won't forget. It overlooks a lovely Spanish courtyard.

Not far from this collection of museums is another set of museums, an historic location designated as a California State Park, Old Town San Diego. It includes a carriage museum, an actual village of historic buildings atop a hill overlooking the San Diego bay, shops, restaurants and lots of entertainment with mariachis, senioritas dancing to Spanish music and bands and shows mostly on weekends.

For the roots of San Diego, you have to drive to the top of Point Loma. It is there that Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo stood and scouted the land that makes up this Mecca of tourism. Point Loma includes a museum with a Fresnel lens, Cabrillo Monument and two lighthouses, one atop the hill that serves as a museum now and one at the bottom of the hill, overlooking the San Diego bay.

San Diego loves its plants, flora and fauna. It is a garden paradise that includes a love of animals and sea creatures, cared for at SeaWorld. Besides animal shows and thrill rides, this park includes educational displays and information about the care of world resources and the fish and animals that inhabit them. Birch Aquarium in La Jolla is a smaller educational facility with tanks filled with fish and displays to look at and touch.

Legoland is a fun place built around the Lego blocks construction toys. Located in Carlsbad, where there are also seasonal flower fields you can tour, the theme park includes kiddie rides and plenty of changing stations for care of your youngsters and babies.

Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas is known to maintain one of the best collections of bamboo plants in North America.  Nearby Del Mar offers seasonal crowd pleasers such as Del Mar Race Track, overlooking the Pacific Ocean where "the surf meets the turf."

Surfing is growing in popularity and requires only a board and the ocean.  Great San Diego surfing spots include Encinitas, Blackie's, Ocean Beach, Wind'n'sea Beach and Tourmaline Beach to name a few.

Do you love piers? San Diego County piers include Imperial Beach, Pacific Beach's Crystal Pier, Ocean Beach, La Jolla and Oceanside.

Boats galore include dozens of cruise ships, ferries, tour boats, fishing boats, military monster vessels for touring, Star of India and the Maritime Museum.

Do you love to shop? There are many shopping malls that include Horton Plaza, Seaport Village, Fashion Valley and even Tijuana, Mexico for pottery, clothes and jewelry, to name a few items. La Jolla Village enjoys a reputation for its upscale shops that sell clothing, jewelry, lots of art, shoes and more.

San Diego enjoys a fair share of world class golf courses that include Torrey Pines Public Course (the only public golf course on the PGA tour), Coronado Public Course, La Costa Resort and dozens more. Near the Torrey Pines Golf Course is Glider Port for hang gliding.

There are 21 historic missions stretching the California coast from San Diego to Sonoma. San Diego is home to the first mission built by Spanish monks beginning in the late 1700's. Be sure to visit beautifully-restored Mission San Diego and Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside. Both offer inspiration.

If you want to see all the attractions San Diego offers, you are going to need a month of heavy duty touring.  But for a day or week, you can get started and enjoy the public transportation system that will speed you along to your destinations. San Diego Airport has national and international flights to get you there fast. Taxis to the hotels and airports are affordable and there are also car rentals at the airport. Santa Fe Depot is nearby and includes Amtrak trains and a local Coaster train system between Oceanside and San Diego. Red Trolley trains go up and down the length of the City of San Diego to the Mexico border and commercial Orange Trolley travels between six main attractions from Coronado's famous Hotel del Coronado Resort to Old Town. Just a few blocks walking distance from the train station is the Coronado Ferry to the island of Coronado. Next to the ferry boat in the bay are cruise and tour boats, as well. There's a fantastic public bus system and a free Balboa Park tram. In San Diego Zoo, you can ride a sky tram or take the safari bus tour of the zoo, as you can also do at Wild Animal Park.

While visiting, you can also drive to Orange County and Los Angeles to enjoy more attractions such as Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Magic Mountain, Studio Tours and Television Audience Participation.