Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to What’s New In Our Blog

How to Spend One Day in San Diego, CA

a beach with a palm tree in front of a sunset

San Diego, California, is known for its beautiful coastline, friendly neighborhoods, and perfect weather year-round. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there’s always something exciting in San Diego.

Here’s a detailed itinerary for spending one perfect day in this coastal gem:

Morning: Start with a Scenic Sunrise

Start your day early with a visit to the stunning La Jolla Cove. This picturesque spot offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, especially at sunrise. Take a walk along the coastal paths, and if you’re lucky, you might spot sea lions basking on the rocks.

After your morning walk, grab breakfast at one of La Jolla’s cozy cafes. The Cottage La Jolla is a local favorite and offers delicious breakfast options like California French Toast and Crab Cake Benedict.

Mid-Morning: Explore Balboa Park

Next, head to Balboa Park, a cultural hub in San Diego’s heart. Spanning over 1,200 acres, Balboa Park is home to 17 museums, beautiful gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Spend a couple of hours wandering through the lush gardens or visiting a museum. The Botanical Building and the Museum of Photographic Arts are excellent choices for a brief but enriching visit.

Late Morning: Speed Boat Adventures

Now it’s time for some adrenaline-pumping fun with Speed Boat Adventures. Make your way to the San Diego Harbor, where your speedboat awaits. As you zip through the bay, you’ll pass by iconic sights such as the USS Midway Museum, the Star of India, and the Coronado Bridge. The excitement of controlling your speedboat and the stunning views of San Diego’s skyline make this an unforgettable experience.

Lunch: Waterfront Dining

After your speedboat adventure, it’s time to refuel—Head to Seaport Village, a charming waterfront shopping and dining complex. The Edgewater Grill offers fantastic views of the harbor and a diverse menu featuring fresh seafood, salads, and burgers. Enjoy a relaxing lunch while taking in the sights and sounds of the bustling marina.

Afternoon: Discover Coronado Island

Take the short ferry ride from downtown San Diego to Coronado Island. This island is known for its pristine beaches and the historic Hotel del Coronado. Spend the afternoon exploring the island, starting with a visit to the hotel, where you can admire its Victorian architecture and learn about its storied past.

Stroll down Orange Avenue, the main street lined with shops, cafes, and galleries. If you’re a beach lover, head to Coronado Beach for sunbathing or a refreshing dip in the ocean. The beach’s wide, sandy shores and gentle waves make it one of the best in California.

Evening: Sunset at Sunset Cliffs

As the day winds down, go to Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. This park offers some of the best sunset views in San Diego. Find a comfortable spot along the cliffs and watch the sun dip below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the ocean.

Dinner: Gaslamp Quarter

End your day with dinner in the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego’s historic heart. This lively district is packed with restaurants, bars, and entertainment options. Explore the Gaslamp Quarter’s vibrant nightlife or enjoy a walk through its beautifully lit streets.

Experience the Wonders of San Diego

With this itinerary, you’ll experience the best of what San Diego has to offer, from scenic coastal views and historic landmarks to the thrill of Speed Boat Adventures. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, San Diego has it all.