San Diego is quintessential sunshiney Southern California. Downtown, which is where the port is, definitely has more of a city vibe and gets pretty rowdy at night. However, there are great beaches to the north or south, plus golf courses, spas galore, and one of the best zoos in the world.
What We Love
Sand: There are so many beaches that they merit their own special mention. If you want a busy boardwalk scene, head to Pacific Beach. If you’re in search of mellow waves, book an excursion to La Jolla Shores.
Outdoor Activities: From sea lion viewing in the harbor to whale watching tours to surf lessons, San Diego is all about fun in the sun.
Best Known For
San Diego Zoo: This is where the concept of cage-free “habitats” was born, thereby changing the face of zoos forever. Meet rain forest animals in the Monkey Trails, say g’day to koalas in the Outback, and don’t miss the Elephant Odyssey.
San Diego Bay: Basically all water-based attractions start around this vast bay. Rent a Duffy boat, take a sea-and-land tour on the amphibious Hydra Terra, or check out one of the museum ships.
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Who It's Best For
Families: Kid-friendly attractions in San Diego are so top-notch that parents will enjoy them too, and all-ages activities like the Old Town trolleys and Waterfront Park are not going to bore the little ones.
Soft Adventurers: If you’re always up for trying something new, this is the place to get that first surf lesson, stand up on a paddleboard for the first time, or go sea kayaking.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
The County is Huge: Even if you have a few days pre- or post-cruise, don’t just make a list of places to see and assume you can hit them all. Map it out or you’ll spend most of your time on the freeway. If you’re just in for the day, stick with neighborhoods within a couple miles of downtown.
Lena Katz is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Brides.