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Top 10 Tourist Attractions of San Diego

  1. Mission San Diego de Alcala
Mission San Diego de Alcala

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala was founded in 1769 making it the first Franciscan mission in California. This National Historic Landmark is a prominent attraction in San Diego for its cultural and historical significance. The mission went through a history of turmoil. In fact, the present building that we see is the 5th to be built on the site. It was declared a minor basilica in 1976 by Pope Paul VI. It is beautifully restored and has a garden around it. There is a small museum in the premises which will give you an insight to the history of the journey of this basilica.


  1. San Diego Museum of Art
The beautiful facade of the San Diego Museum of Art

The San Diego Museum of Arts is a museum and art gallery of fine arts. It is located inside the Balboa Park. The museum was opened as the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego in 1926. It got its present moniker in 1978. Claimed as the oldest and largest art museum in the region, the Museum of Art is a major attraction of the city, attracting a footfall of nearly half a million every year. It has exhibits that date back to 5000 BC. Several modern masters are also featured in this museum like Rubens, Matisse, Renoir, and Van Dyck.


  1. Old Town State Historic Park
Cosmopolitan Hotel in the Old Town State Historic Park

The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is one of the most prominent attractions in the city of San Diego. This state protected park is located in the Old Town neighborhood of the city. It was established to preserve several historic buildings in the neighborhood which were built between 1820 and 1870. It is spread over 29 acres where you can see many colonial structures that have been very well preserved. Look out for the Colorado House, which was built in the mid 19th century and is now home to the Wells Fargo History Museum. The restored Cosmopolitan Hotel from 1870 still welcomes guests as a hotel and a restaurant!


  1. San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is one of the most famous zoos in the world. Spread over 100 acres, it is home to more than 4000 animals. These animals represent more than 800 species. Almost all of the animal exhibits are in the open because of the nice soothing climate of California. The zoo is also actively involved in animal preservation and conservation. Many species are bred by the zoo and are then released into their original habitats. The world’s only albino koala bear was born in this zoo in 1997. Recently in 2014, the zoo acquired a colony of penguins.


  1. Seaport Village
Seaport Village

Seaport Village is an entertainment complex spread over 14 acres. The complex has recreated the harbor side setting of a bygone era. It can be easily described as the hub of entertainment in San Diego. The best thing is that all of it is free! There is always a performance of some kind going on between 12 noon and 4 p.m. It could be a magician showing his tricks or a musician belting out a classic. Take your seat in the audience and enjoy the experience. If you happen to visit on a Saturday night, you may even get to see a celebrity artist. That is not all in Seaport Village. It is also home to 17 restaurants and more than 50 shops.


  1. SeaWorld
SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is a marine mammal park, animal theme park, and an oceanarium rolled into one. It is owned by SeaWorld Entertainment. The theme park was opened in 1964 and presently covers an area of 190 acres. SeaWorld San Diego attracts nearly 4.5 million visitors every year. It is an attraction for the whole family, especially those with kids. It has 15 rides, including 2 roller coasters and 2 water rides. The attractions are divided into several sections in the park like the Dolphin Point, Sea Lion Point, Shark Encounter, Shipwreck Rapids, and Wild Arctic, to name a few. At SeaWorld you can see polar bears, walruses, dolphins, otters, and even killer whales.


  1. USS Midway Museum
USS Midway Museum

This is not the type of museum you get to see in every city. The USS Midway Museum is a maritime museum located at the Navy Pier near San Diego downtown. It is housed in the USS Midway, a retired aircraft carrier from the US Navy. The USS Midway was commissioned in 9145, a week after the end of World War II. At 972 feet and 45,000 tons, it was the largest ship in the world until 1955. USS Midway retired in 1992, as the longest serving aircraft carrier in the US Navy, a record that it still holds. Inside the museum, there are over 2 dozen restored aircraft from the US Air Force.


  1. Mission Beach
Mission Beach

If you are looking for a place to soak in the laid-back ambiance and sunny weather of San Diego, then head straight to Mission Beach. It runs for nearly 2 miles along the oceanfront. The southern end of the boardwalk has a jetty and a walk going right up to the ocean. South Mission Beach is also home to the historic Belmont Park. This historic amusement park was established in 1925 and features a number of fun rides, including its original wooden roller coaster. During the day, popular activities at Mission Beach include sunbathing, cycling, skateboarding, and rollerblading. After sundown, it becomes even more vibrant with its sports bars, restaurants, and cafes.


  1. Gaslamp Quarter
Gaslamp Quarter

The vibrant Gaslamp Quarter is located in downtown San Diego. It is a restored historic neighborhood spreading just over 16 blocks that is filled with restaurants, shops and Victorian-style buildings. Located next to Petco Park, the Gaslamp Quarter is home to as many as 94 buildings of historical importance. All of them boast of beautiful carvings, bright colors and stained glass windows. It is a fun place to visit with several festivals or events taking place throughout the year. This is the only place where you will find modern skyscrapers and Victorian buildings standing side by side.


  1. Balboa Park
Balboa Park

No visit to San Diego is complete without a visit to Balboa Park. It is a massive and gorgeous outdoor park with a number of attractions. There are more than 15 gardens and museums inside the park. There are also playgrounds and swimming pools inside the park. A very popular attraction is the Children’s Ethnobotany Garden which is home to organic vegetables, herbs and fruits. It is especially good for teaching the importance of environment and plants to children. Another popular attraction is the Bird Park at Upas which is meant for toddlers. Then there is the Pepper Grove Playground, which is for kids of all ages. Along with all this, there are tennis courts, a shop selling cupcakes, and a café.

Originally posted 2017-07-18 07:12:24.

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