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Ultimate San Diego Experiences Gift Guide

overlook from Torrey Pines

Looking for the perfect gift for your loved ones? Why not give them an experience they’ll never forget? Here are 45 of the best San Diego experiences to help you make your holiday or event extra special.

San Diego Experiences Gift Guide for Adventurous Souls

If you’ve got family and friends visiting San Diego, but you’re unsure of what activities to take them on, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best things to do in San Diego—and they’re all great gifts, too!

Speed Boat Tour

a man riding on the back of a boat in the water

Take a speedboat tour of San Diego and see the city from a whole new perspective. Your loved ones will enjoy the exhilarating ride as they zip around the harbor and take in all the sights.

GoCar Tour

a bus that is driving down the road

Explore San Diego in a unique way with a GoCar tour. This is the perfect activity for those who want to see the city at their own pace and discover all its hidden gems.


Sunset Harbor Cruise

a close up of a rock next to a body of water

After an exciting day, there’s no better way to end it than with a cruise and dinner on the water. This is a great way to relax and take in the city’s stunning skyline at sunset. 

Rent Bikes and Explore the City

Birthday Ideas eBike Rentals and tours in San Diego

Discover San Diego by bike – this is a great way to see hidden parts of the city at your own pace and get some exercise in at the same time.

Organize a Fun Day out Hiking 

a rocky beach

Is your partner into birdwatching, botany, or mushroom hunting? Explore San Diego’s beautiful hiking trails with a special guided tour. This is a great way to get some fresh air and get out of the city. Head to the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve for some of the best views.

Surfing Lesson

a group of people riding skis on a body of water

Learn to surf with a professional lesson in San Diego.  San Diego has many easy beginner surf spots making it the perfect place to learn.

Get active with Paddle-boarding

Paddle-board around San Diego’s calm waters and take in the stunning scenery. This is a great activity for those who want to get out on the water and explore at their own pace. San Diego is a great place for paddle-boarding with lots of outdoor activities to make up a fun-filled day.

Kayaking adventure at La Jolla Caves

Explore the La Jolla caves by kayak for a great day out. This is one of our top activities for those who want to get active and discover the wilder side of San Diego.

Snorkel with Leopard Sharks at La Jolla Cove

a bird flying over a field of green grass

Snorkel with Leopard Sharks at La Jolla Cove and get up close to these beautiful creatures. This is a great activity for those who want to discover the underwater world of San Diego.

Whale Watching

Get out on the water and see some of San Diego’s majestic whales on a whale-watching tour. This is a great way to learn about these amazing animals and see them in their natural habitat. The best time to see whales in San Diego is from mid-December to April.


Relaxing San Diego Experiences Gift Guide

Whether you are looking for the perfect gift, need to find something to do with a loved one, or just want to relax in San Diego, these top relaxing things in San Diego are sure to leave you and your loved ones in a state of bliss.

Spa Day

a close up of a tattoo on his head

Relax and rejuvenate with a spa day in San Diego. This is the perfect way to pamper your loved ones and help them relax and unwind.

Book a Chocolate tour

Chocolate lovers will adore a tour of San Diego’s top chocolate shops. This is a great way to learn about the different types of chocolate and taste some of the best sweets in town. Chocolate tours are also a great Valentine’s activity in San Diego.

Wine Tasting

a piece of cake and a glass of wine

Sample some of San Diego’s best wines at a local winery. This is a great way to learn about the city’s wine culture and taste some delicious wines.

Wellness Retreat

Surprise your loved ones with a wellness retreat in San Diego. This is the perfect way to help them relax, de-stress and rejuvenate. There are several top-rated retreats in San Diego to choose from.

San Diego Sailing Experiences

Sail around San Diego’s beautiful waters and take in the stunning scenery. This is a great way to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Foodie San Diego Experiences Gift Guide

table view from above

Food enthusiast? Love of fine dining? Crave taco Tuesdays with their friends? San Diego is a foodie’s paradise and this list of top food experiences is sure to give you inspiration and ideas on what memorable present to buy!

Explore the Mexican Food Scene in San Diego

San Diego is home to some of the best Mexican food in the country. Give your loved ones a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine with a cooking class or a tour of the city’s best taquerias.

Go all out at one of the local Farmer’s Markets

San Diego’s farmers’ markets are a great place to find fresh, local produce. Give your loved ones a tour of one of the city’s farmers’ markets and let them sample some of the best food in town.

Did someone say “All you can eat sushi”?!

San Diego is home to some of the best sushi in the country. Give your sushi-loving friends and family a chance to learn from the masters with a sushi-making class or book a table at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Brewery Tour

a cup of coffee sitting on top of a wooden table

Discover San Diego’s vibrant brewery scene on a guided tour. This is a great way to sample some of the city’s best craft beers and learn about the brewing process.

Bonus – If you’re in San Diego for St. Patrick’s or Oktoberfest, you’re in for a treat!

Book a fresh seafood experience

San Diego is known for its fresh seafood. Give your seafood-loving friends and family a tour of the city’s fish markets and learn about where to get the freshest catch.

Family Friendly San Diego Experiences Gift Guide

Family standing next to a body of water

One of the best things about living in San Diego is that there is ALWAYS something to do. There are so many wonderful places to visit here, it’s hard to pick just one place to enjoy. Whether you have a special occasion coming up (birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, or graduation party?) and want to plan ahead, or need a great weekend idea, there’s something for everyone!

Explore the San Diego Zoo

Take the whole family on a San Diego Zoo safari or just head to the zoo to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most exotic animals. This is a great way to learn about animal conservation and see some amazing creatures.

Learn About the Local Naval History

Visit the USS Midway Museum and step back in time to experience what life was like on an aircraft carrier. This is a great way to learn about American history and see some amazing aircraft up close.

See the city in the most exciting ways

Point Loma GoCar Tour in San Diego

Take a ride on the San Diego Trolley or book the exciting GoCars and see the city in a whole new way. This is a great way to get around town!

Spend the day at Balboa Park

a large stone statue in front of a church

Explore Balboa Park and its many museums, gardens, and attractions. This is a great place to spend a day with the family and learn about San Diego’s rich history and culture.

Have fun at SeaWorld

Spend a day at SeaWorld San Diego and see all the amazing marine life up close. This is a great way to learn about ocean conservation and have some fun at the same time.

San Diego Experiences Gift Guide For Her

Wondering what to buy for the special woman in your life? Whether it’s a gift for mom, friend, or daughter, we’ve got you covered with this list of all the top gift experiences for her.

Temecula Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

a group of colorful hot air balloon in the sky

Take your special someone on a hot air balloon ride and watch the sun rise over the beautiful Temecula Valley. This is a great way to start the day and create some unforgettable memories.

GasLamp Ghost Tour

Want her clinging to your arm? Then take her on the Gaslamp Ghost Tour, where she’ll learn about the spooky history of San Diego’s most historic neighborhood. This tour is perfect for anyone who loves a good ghost story.

Romantic Rollerblade Rentals

Get her heart pumping with a fun session of rollerblading. Rentals are available by the hour, so you can skate around at your leisure. This is a great way to explore San Diego’s beautiful waterfront.

Charter a private yacht

For a truly unique experience, charter a private yacht for the day and enjoy the stunning views of San Diego from the water. This is sure to be a day she’ll never forget.


Capture memories that will last a lifetime with a photo shoot in San Diego. This makes for a great couples’ activity or family outing and it’s the ultimate gift that will bring joy for many years.

Looking for the best scenic photoshoot spots? Check out our list of top photoshoot locations in San Diego.

San Diego Experiences Gift Guide for Him

If you’re looking for the best gift ideas for men in San Diego, consider buying a San Diego experience as a gift. Whether he’s a daredevil who wants to conquer his fears, an adrenaline-junkie adventurer, or a romantic looking for a unique gift experience, San Diego is the perfect destination for the man in your life.

Whiskey and Cigars

Treat him to a classic gentleman’s experience with whiskey and cigars. This is the perfect way to unwind after a long day or celebrate a special occasion.

Enjoy the rides at Belmont Park

Courtesy of BusinessWire.

Take him on a thrill ride at Belmont Park, where he can enjoy the world-famous Giant Dipper roller coaster and other adrenaline-pumping attractions. This is sure to be a day he’ll never forget.

Book tickets for the game at Pechanga Arena

Is he a sports fan? Then book tickets for the game at Pechanga Arena, where he can catch his favorite team in action. This is the perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening with the guys.

Set up a golf day

Golf is a great way to relax and have some fun. Set up a tee time at one of San Diego’s many championship golf courses and enjoy a day out on the green.

Go to an event

Check out what’s happening in San Diego and book tickets to an event that he’ll love. Whether it’s a concert, comedy show, or sporting event, there’s sure to be something that will pique his interest.

Did you know: Panchanga Arena hosts many popular shows and events. Check out their events list for all the latest news.

San Diego Experiences For Couples Gift Guide

If you find yourself in San Diego, there are a ton of experiences for couples to do together. These experiences are a great way to spend time with the ones you love!

Murder Mystery Date Night in the Gaslamp Quarter

If you are looking for a unique and fun date night idea, look no further than the Gaslamp Quarter Murder Mystery Dinner Theater. This interactive theater experience will have you and your date laughing and guessing who did it until the very end.

GoCar Ride Along the Embarcadero to Seaport Village

Electric GoCar Cruise and Tour to Coronado Island

There is no better way to see the sights of San Diego than from the seat of a GoCar. These unique little cars give you a guided tour of the city as you wind your way down the Embarcadero to Seaport Village.

Book a romantic Gondola Ride

For a truly romantic experience, book a gondola ride through the enchanting canals of the Coronado Cays. This is a great way to relax and take in the beauty of San Diego.

Book a Beach Roast at Hotel del Coronado

a small clock tower in front of a house


Spend an evening roasting marshmallows and making s’mores on the beach at Hotel del Coronado. This is a fun activity for the whole family and a great way to enjoy the beautiful San Diego sunset.

Do a Drive-In Movie Night

Take a trip back in time with a drive-in movie night at the South Bay Drive-In Theatre. You can even bring your own snacks and drinks to enjoy during the movie or get them there. 

Plan a night of Stargazing at the Palomar Observatory

Spend an evening marveling at the stars at the Palomar Observatory. This is one of the best places in San Diego to get an up-close look at the night sky.

Spend the night laughing at one of the comedy clubs

San Diego is home to some of the best comedy clubs in the country. Spend an evening laughing your head off at one of these hilarious venues.

Be brave with Cliff-Gliding in La Jolla

a sunset over a beach next to the ocean

If you are looking for an adrenaline-pumping experience, try cliff-gliding in La Jolla. This is not for the faint of heart but it is sure to be a thrill ride you will never forget.

Go Horseback Riding in San Diego

Explore the beautiful trails of San Diego on horseback. This is a great way to see the sights and get some exercise at the same time.

Go apple picking in Julian

a person picking an apple

Head to Julian for a day of apple picking at one of the many local farms. This is a great Fall activity for the whole family and a chance to get out of the city for a day.

Looking for more couples activities in San Diego, then check out our list of the top 46 Date Night Ideas in San Diego.

We hope this gift guide was able to help you navigate all of the holiday gift options available to you. Of course, there are thousands of other options around town, but we like to think that these experiences capture the spirit of San Diego!