Originally created in 1868, the park truly came to life in 1915, when it played host to the Panama-California Exposition. Now Balboa Park serves as a center for art and culture, playing host to 17 museums, as well as being home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. You can choose to explore a few of the museums, or take a quick trip through the Zoo – don’t miss the giant pandas if you go.
Old Town State Historic Park is the most visited state park in California, and it’s free to visit. The park is on the spot of San Diego’s original downtown, and restored original historic buildings highlight what life was like in the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872. There’s lots of shopping and dining options, great Mexican food.
San Diego Waterfront
Located along San Diego’s waterfront, you’ll find great fascinating floating museums like the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the USS Midway Museum. Then, hit the shops and dining at Seaport Village. If you are looking for a more romantic evening, try a harbor dinner cruise, offering delicious cuisine and spectacular views aboard world-class yachts.
Mission Bay Park and Mission Beach
At Mission Bay Park and Mission Beach, you can rent a bike, in-line skates, or even kayaks or a catamaran. If you need a little more downtime, you can just people watch while you relax. Then, head into Mission Beach to grab dinner at one of the many delicious (and not that pricey) restaurants.
Legoland California Resort
Located just up the coast from San Diego in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND offers fun for everyone in your family, with eight themed areas, including Pirate Shores, Fun Town, Dino Island, and Castle Hill. In the center of the park is Miniland USA, with reproductions of seven areas of the United States, made in 1:20 scale and constructed with 20 million LEGO bricks.