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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn C

Cool Things To Do In San Diego California!

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

San Diego was the first site of a permanent Spanish settlement in California. And for good reason! Its almost perfect weather and beautiful scenery make it a very desirable place to live even today.

Out of all of the cities I have been to, San Diego is probably one of my favorites! My sister and I spent a little over a week there in September visiting my Aunt who lives there.

During our time there, she took us around southern California (and parts of Mexico as well!) and we saw and did so many things I had never experienced before!

While making this list, I realized that not everything is located right within the city of San Diego, the title of this post says in San Diego. Most things are, but there are one or two things that are a very very short drive away and they are still worth including in the list!

Pacific Beach

This is one of the best beaches in San Diego, and it was the first beach we went to and was the first place I ever saw (and touched) the Pacific Ocean! We went later in the day, so we were there for sunset, and since we were there in October it was late enough in the day that not many people were there!

We were able to get some amazing pictures, and yes, the water was freezing cold.

But if you are looking for a nice (and mostly clean other than the seaweed) beach to take a walk along, this one is a great option!

Better Buzz

This was the main place we got coffee during our stay!

One of my favorite things to do while I travel is to try out different cafes and coffee shops. They are all so unique and different from one another, and it is a very refreshing break from the typical Dunkin I get.

While we were in San Diego, we decided one morning we wanted to order coffee to the apartment and found a place called Better Buzz.

And Oh.



It is so good.

We ended up ordering coffee from there two times because we liked it so much. I got the hazelnut divinity, which was the perfect level of sweetness, while still tasting like coffee!

They have several locations throughout California, including one in La Jolla, and one in Pacific Beach! So if you decide to check out those two areas one day make sure to stop by Better Buzz to grab a drink!

La Holla Ocean Kayaks Sea Cave Tour

This is one of those experiences where I am not totally sure if I would do it again, but I enjoyed being able to do it the one time!

We went on an Ocean Sea Cave Kayak Tour, the guide told us about the landscape of the area, and about how the area we were at is an ecological reserve that was set aside for kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming.

We rented a double kayak, and it was $69 for both of us, so $34.50 each.

In the last part of the tour, the guide took us into one of the caves, and we saw Sea Lion Pups playing in the clear blue water below us.

The waves on the day that we went were pretty big. Maybe it's because I am used to the waves in the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic, maybe it was because I had never kayaked on the ocean before. But it was just slightly terrifying.

But like I said, I am happy to have had the opportunity to do it, but I am not sure if I will be ocean kayaking again. Paddleboarding I would still consider though!

For information about the company we did our tour with, here is their website!

Balboa Park

The park originally began in 1892 and was known as ‘City Park’ but the name was changed to Balboa Park in 1915!

The park is 1,200 acres and is home to many different museums and theatres as well as a few shops.

The park is massive and is full of so much beautiful architecture. While the museums do cost money to go into, there is still plenty to do there if you do not want to look through the museums!

It is wonderfully maintained, and makes the perfect place to find a quiet corner and sit in the sunshine or the shade and have a coffee as well as take some amazing photos while you are there!

Cabrillo National Monument

This monument is the location where the first European set foot down on the western coast of America. It has a small museum there about the historical significance of the spot, it takes maybe five to ten minutes to see it all.

Admission is $15 per vehicle, or if you are walking there it is $7 a person.

There are three main segments of the area.

The tide pools, the overlook, and the lighthouse.

We did not see the tide pools because of the water levels and our crunch for time, but we did go to the overlook and see the lighthouse!

The monument is near a military base, and so there were planes doing drills overhead, and it was cool to see them practice!

I also saw something there I had never seen in real life before.

While we were walking along the path leading to the lighthouse, we were watching the boats pass by in the bay below us. There were sailboats of all sizes and one other thing…

There was a LITERAL submarine.

Like the military sub, not the sandwich.

We couldn’t tell what it was at first, since it was still half underwater, but then once we realized we were all shocked.

Even from far away, it looked huge!

At the top of the hill was the lighthouse, and it was open to walk through. They had the rooms blocked off with glass, but they were still laid out like the family that lived there would have had it. They even allowed guests to go up into the tower, which gave me some serious vertigo!

Monument Peak Hike

This was probably my favorite part of our whole trip!

I know it probably seems shocking because we did so many cool things while we were in California. But something about the landscape in the west makes hiking so interesting.

The whole time we were surrounded by plants I had never seen before, and views that I had only ever seen in pictures and videos online.

Monument Peak is a part of the PCT or Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, which is a 2,650-mile hike that connects the US Canadian border, to the Southern US border with Mexico.

This specific portion is 2.9 miles long and is not what I would consider a beginner hike due to the sharp incline near the end.

But the end is worth it, the views are amazing and something that is hard to find in the southeast US where I am from. The mountains there look very dramatic in comparison to ours!


These are only a couple of the outstanding things San Diego and the surrounding area have to offer!

Even after spending a whole week there, there were still so many more things that I was not able to see because we ran out of time, and I hope to be able to go back one day in the near future!

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