We’ve been wanting to visit San Diego for years, and it did not disappoint! We fell in love with the tacos, breweries, and consistently beautiful weather.

If you’re looking for things to do on your trip to San Diego, then this guide will help you out. Below, we take a look at the best places to stay, eat, drink, and see in this Southern California destination.

Neighborhoods and Where to Stay

  • Encinitas – A cute little beach town in the North County of San Diego. We stayed a couple nights there, and we recommend it if you have time (especially if you’re into surfing).
  • North Park – A very hip neighborhood with lots of great breweries and restaurants.
  • Ocean Beach – A hippie, old-timey beach vibe.
  • Pacific Beach – If you’re looking to party on the beach with a younger crowd, this is the place.

Where to Eat

  • El Pueblo – 99 cent fish tacos, with generous portions.
  • TJ Oyster Bar – Another excellent spot for fish tacos.
  • Tacos La Mezcla – A superb food truck featuring carnitas and Korean BBQ tacos.
  • Tacos El Gordo – A fun taco spot that’s off the beaten path; get the al pastor.
  • City Tacos – More of a gourmet taco spot located in North Park.
  • Oscar’s Mexican Seafood – A spot recommended to us by just about everyone we know in San Diego.
  • DZ Akin’s – One of the only Jewish delis in San Diego; the baked goods are super tasty.
  • The Crack Shack – A fried chicken sandwich restaurant located in Little Italy featuring outdoor seating.
  • Kono’s Cafe – A breakfast/lunch spot on Pacific Beach. Check out the deck across the street for ocean views.
  • Officine Buona Forchetta – A nice pizza restaurant offering an authentic Italian experience, though be prepared to wait.
  • Local Kebab – A food truck serving high-quality, authentic kebabs (our friends are the owners).
  • Urbn Pizza – A solid, coal-fired pizza place in Encinitas.
  • Swami’s Cafe – An old-school cafe in Encinitas, worth checking out just for the history and vibes.

Where to Drink

  • Modern Times – Trav’s favorite brewery in San Diego with locations across the county. Amazing fruit sours, dreamy IPAs, and a great vibe.
  • Stone Brewing – The brewery that put San Diego beer on the map. Even if you don’t drink beer, it’s worth a visit just to take in the gardens, koi ponds, and eat the gourmet food.
  • Culture Brewing Co – Trav’s second favorite San Diego brewery.
  • Pizza Port Brewery – One of the oldest breweries in San Diego, featuring an old-school surfer vibe and decent pizza.
  • Societe Brewing – Another good brewery, plus they have housemade ginger ale if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option.
  • AleSmith – One of the other well-known breweries in San Diego, solid options but not as good as some of the others on the list.
  • Ballast Point – The other big-name brewery in San Diego (along with Stone), with a cool taproom in Little Italy.

San Diego Activities

  • Coronado Beach – Our favorite beach in San Diego, with beautiful sand dunes and seagrass.
  • La Jolla Park – Sit on the cliffs to watch the sunset and relax.
  • Balboa Park – A massive park with museums, botanic gardens, and the San Diego Zoo.
  • Kate O. Sessions Neighborhood Park – A great park for taking in views of San Diego and having a picnic.

Destination Map

Want to see all of our favorite San Diego destinations on a map that you can access from your phone? We’ve pinned each location mentioned in this guide on the Google Map below:

Final Thoughts

San Diego more than lived up to its reputation, and it’s now one of our favorite beach destinations in the U.S.

We encourage you to check out this fabulous city for yourself, and we’re excited to see what you discover!

If you’re traveling to San Diego, we HIGHLY recommend getting travel insurance. We’ve used World Nomads since 2013 and love it. Click here to get World Nomads travel insurance – don’t leave home without it!

Prefer listening to reading? Check out the accompanying podcast episode.

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