Planning a day trip to San Diego in the near future? Here’s everything you need to know and more! From when to go, what to bring, how to get there, and all my favorite things to do if all you’ve got is just one day in San Diego.
There’s a reason San Diego’s called ‘America’s Finest City’. It’s got sandy beaches, a slower pace of life than nearby Orange County and Los Angeles, and almost guaranteed sun. There’s sea caves and rugged cliffs to explore, the cutest sea lions known to man, the postcard-perfect resort city of Coronado, and you can even go snorkeling with leopard sharks (true story). And 125+ other things to do in San Diego, but that’s for another time!
The first time I visited the city, I only had enough time to spend a measly one day in San Diego. We were visiting from nearby San Clemente on a much longer Southern California road trip, so figured, why not make the short drive down! And boy did we not plan out our day trip to San Diego correctly. After driving down we honestly didn’t even know where to begin! Whoops!
But since that first failed trip, I’ve been to San Diego a few times and more than made up for it! Once for a girl’s trip full of tons of tacos and San Diego photo spots, and another to watch my husband run the San Diego Half Marathon! So now I’ve got lots more info to share about how I’d spend a perfect day trip to San Diego.
Because sometimes you’ve only got time for one day in San Diego, but don’t worry — you can still eat plenty of tacos and hang at the beach!
→ Have more time in San Diego? Lucky duck! Check out the best way to spend a long weekend (3 days) in San Diego!
Day Trip to San Diego At-A-Glance
- Morning: Coffee, Brunch, La Jolla
- Afternoon: Balboa Park, Old Town or Coronado
- Night: Sunset at Sunset Cliffs, dinner in Little Italy, drinks in Gaslamp
Day Trip to San Diego Logistics
When to Spend One Day in San Diego (Weather)
San Diego’s got near-perfect weather so there’s no horrible time to visit, making the city a year-round destination. The sun shines over 265 days a year, and the average weather is a balmy 70 degrees F. And it hardly ever rains (and when it does, it typically doesn’t last all day).
It’s basically endless summer over here. And I’m all for it. Sounds pretty perfect to me. Why’d we choose to live in foggy San Francisco again…?
BUT here’s the thing — if you’re looking for beach time, stay away from the area in May and June. Like other parts of the California coast (Pescadero, Half Moon Bay, Big Sur, etc), San Diego experiences a few months where it’s mostly gray and gloomy with mostly overcast skies.
Us local Californians call it May-Gray, June-Gloom, and it’s a real thing! And we hate it! Although it’s way easier to capture all the photo spots in San Diego when there’s no sun (because no shadows!).
How to Get to San Diego
San Diego is as far south as you can get in California — It’s only about 20 miles from the Mexican border!
Thankfully, despite it’s super southern location, you can easily take a day trip to San Diego from plenty of other major spots in SoCal.
As I mentioned earlier, we were spending a week in San Clemente and decided to hop down the I-5 for just one (but very lovely) day in San Diego.
Just remember — California is HUGE. Like, San Francisco is almost a 9 hour drive away. I say this to remind you that a day trip to San Diego won’t be possible from everywhere in California.
I wouldn’t recommend planning a day trip to San Diego if you’re further than 3 hours away or so. Plan to visit another time! And plus, there’ll likely be at least a little bit of that horrendous SoCal traffic (no surprise there)!
Here’s a few popular spots in Southern California and their approximate driving times/distance to San Diego:
- San Clemente: ~1 hour, 60 miles
- Huntington Beach: ~1 ½ hours, 95 miles
- Santa Monica/Venice Beach: ~2 hours, 135 miles
- Los Angeles: ~2 hours, 120 miles
- Palm Springs: ~2 ½ hours, 140 miles
- Joshua Tree: ~2 ½ hours, 160 miles
There’s also the Pacific Surfliner Amtrak Train which is a great option for a day trip to San Diego from SoCal if you don’t feel like driving. AND you won’t have to worry about finding parking — double win!
While the train starts up north in San Luis Obispo, it takes about 8-9 hours from SLO, so obviously not suitable for a day trip. The train from Santa Barbara still takes about 6 hours, so again, not possible as a day trip!
Coming from OC or LA? It takes about 2 hours and 3 hours, respectively (phew — easily done in just a day). And just for your reference, there’s stops in Los Angeles, Anaheim, Santa Ana, and San Juan Capistrano. Just make sure to factor in getting to the train station and parking your car.
If you wake up early enough you can get to San Diego before 10!
How to Get Around During Your Day Trip to San Diego
The best way to get around during your day trip to San Diego? Well, that kinda depends on how you’re planning to get to San Diego.
Driving: If you’re driving into the city from nearby, you’ve obviously got your car. But with that comes the possibility of difficult parking (although we’re always able to find a spot eventually — just gotta be patient)! And thankfully if you’re just doing a short day trip to San Diego, I assume you won’t be staying overnight. Meaning no exorbitant overnight hotel parking fees! Which usually cost on average at $30-$50 per night — more money for tacos!
Ride Shares: If you’re taking the train, you’ll need to rely on ride shares like Uber and Lyft, and/or public transportation. Unfortunately, since the city is spread out the cost of Ubers do add up. But if you’ve only got one day in San Diego and aren’t sure when you’ll be back, plan ahead and take the Uber if you can.
One way to combat this — carefully plan out your day trip to San Diego! This way you aren’t zigzagging back and forth across the city!
Public Transit: While San Diego doesn’t have extensive public transit like say, New York City does, I was surprised to learn there’s actually a few trolley lines and bus routes. And the city does look rather well-connected.
You’ll undoubtedly need to walk a bunch, but from looking at the maps, you can definitely get around downtown San Diego quite easily. But remember, you’ll wanna leave downtown for sure! Plan to use Uber for those routes!
Scooters: San Diego seems to have a thing for scooters (I mean, the weather’s nearly perfect for them). I don’t trust myself on those things, so can’t give you first-hand experience on scooting around San Diego.
But there’s tons of them and people use them, so they must work pretty well! Just remember the city is pretty spread out, so you may just wanna just use scooters to go the shorter distances (since you can’t of course scoot on the highway).
Hop On Hop Off Bus: Like so many other cities, San Diego’s got a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus. Although it’s not actually a bus, it’s a trolley! How much fun is that?! Sure, it’s super touristy, but if you don’t have a car for your one day in San Diego and want a super easy way to get around, it can definitely come in handy. And considering it gives you unlimited transportation for the entire day, it’s not a bad deal either.
Is One Day in San Diego Enough?
Yes… but not really, haha. It’s enough to give you a small sampling of what this thriving area’s got to offer, but you’ll 100% wanna stay longer and/or come back.
But really though, if all you’ve got time for is a day trip to San Diego, opt for the day. It’s better than no time at all!
Sometimes one day in San Diego’s all you got! Maybe you’re taking a much longer California coast road trip down the PCH and ending in SD, or using it as a stopover en route to elsewhere on the west coast.
Honestly, the city’s got way too much to squeeze into just one day. I really recommend at least 3 days in San Diego, but alas, we don’t always have time for that! There’s too many museums, beaches, unique neighborhoods, historical sites, and foodie and photo spots for a quick 24 hours or less. Trust me — making this one day in San Diego itinerary was difficult! I had to leave off so many of my favorite spots! BUT there’s always next time!
→ Here for longer? Check out this massive bucket list of things to do in San Diego, full of over 125+ things to see and do, and most importantly, eat!
Tips to Maximize Your Day Trip to San Diego
- Start early! If you’re spending the night before your one day in San Diego, wake up and get out exploring at a reasonable hour! If you’re driving down or taking the train, set your alarm so you get to San Diego before 10am!
- Pay for parking if need be. If you’ve only got one day, you don’t wanna spend half your time looking for parking. Yes, paying for parking sucks (I get it — I’d rather save that cash for tacos), but sometimes you just gotta suck it up. Time is money, people!
- Plan out your food stops in advance. It’s hard to have a bad meal in San Diego, but if you’re an indecisive person like me, the choices may overwhelm you. Do your research ahead of time so you don’t waste time deciding where to eat.
- If you are staying overnight, stay in downtown San Diego. You’ll be close to almost everything and centrally located. Plus, the nightlifes great! You can drag your boozy self right to bed!
- The city is spread out — plan for this. Unlike San Francisco, San Diego covers a lot of miles. You’ll wanna give yourself time to get from spot to spot. So cram it all in, but don’t go absolutely overboard.
- Skip the San Diego Zoo on your day trip to San Diego. Save it for next time when you can give it the time it deserves. On that note — always skip SeaWorld no matter how long you’ve got in the city (we don’t agree with a lot of their unethical practices and questionable animal encounter experiences).
Planning Your One Day in San Diego Itinerary
If you’ve only got one day in San Diego, you wanna make sure you plan your time out right! The city is pretty spread out with plenty of different neighborhoods, so I suggest having a well-thought out plan… this is not the time to just wing it!
You definitely wanna start your day out early in order to see as much as possible. If you wanna skip a few things in the one day San Diego itinerary below, feel free to sleep in a tad, but not for too long! Make the most of your time here!
Just remember — I’ve planned out a pretty jam-packed day trip to San Diego, so if you want a more leisurely day and don’t feel like rushing around, pick and choose your favorites! I tried to incorporate the main highlights into this one day in San Diego, including some beach time, cultural experiences, and of course some food!
No matter what, you’ll wanna come back — one day in San Diego is never enough, I can promise you that!
So let’s get started with our day trip to San Diego — Full of all the iconic spots in the city. The perfect one day in San Diego itinerary, coming right up!
Day Trip to San Diego Itinerary
One Day in San Diego: Morning
Stop #1: Breakfast/Brunch and Exploring in La Jolla
Start your day off bright and early with a coffee and some breakfast in La Jolla! Remember, this is a busy day in San Diego, so you’ll wanna make sure you’re fueled up for all the fun. Unless you wanna allocate a while for brunch (hey, I get it — you wanna stay time efficient on our day trip to San Diego), I’d pick a spot that won’t take all day.
And if you’re driving, it’ll be easier to find parking in La Jolla earlier in the morning than mid-day.
Here’s a few options for a quick breakfast/brunch in La Jolla:
- Parakeet Cafe: Super trendy but pretty low-key. More of a grab and go and seat yourself kinda place. I wanna try one of their toasts next time I’m in the area — the almond butter and avocado toasts look absolutely delicious. Oh and that cacao waffle. Mmmm….
- Wayfarer Bread & Pastry: Another quick grab and go spot, home to the best sourdough and croissants in town. Expect to find lots of yummy artisan pastries like apple hazelnut croissants and cranberry orange scones in a breezy, beachy cafe!
- Sugar and Scribe: A quintessential La Jolla hangout home of Food Network Champion Chef Maeve (Holiday Baking Championship, anyone?!). Think nutella french toast, fluffy egg whites, and traditional Irish soda bread. And plus, the dog creamer pitchers are so cute!
Need some caffeine?
- Better Buzz Coffee La Jolla: Skip the Starbucks and head to Better Buzz, a trendy coffee spot with blue starburst tiles and a massive neon BUZZ sign. Try a Mint Infused Iced Coffee — so delicious!
- Coffee Cup San Diego: Nice little place with outdoor seating and great coffee. What else do you need?!
- Bird Rock Coffee Roasters: So many fun and creative lattes here! Try the gold digger (with honey and cinnamon) or the trophy wife (macadamia nut) over ice. Or they’ve got single origin pour-overs if you’re not in the mood for so much milk.
After you’re full, plan to explore La Jolla for the rest of the morning, one of my favorite areas in all of San Diego! The area’s absolutely gorgeous and known for its rugged coastline, leopard sharks and harbor seals (yes, really!), and tons of street art. You could really spend your entire one day in San Diego just here in La Jolla, but you’ll just need to come back next time!
Unfortunately, with only a single day in San Diego I honestly don’t think you have time for snorkeling or kayaking — two of La Jolla’s best activities. They both take up a lot of time, especially if there’s other spots you wanna check out on your day trip to San Diego. Plus, you’ll be all gross and wet afterwards, meaning you’ll need to shower and change… yeah, way too much time.
But don’t get too upset, there’s still lots to do in La Jolla on land!
If I only had a few hours, here’s exactly what I’d do:
Watch the seals and sea lions at the Children’s Pool: If there’s one thing you do in La Jolla during your day trip to San Diego, make it this. The Children’s Pool is where you’ll see (and hear!) those famous harbor seals and sea lions you’ve probably been hearing all about! As iconic as it gets here in San Diego!
While you are technically allowed to swim in the water here, it’s highly discouraged. As always, keep a safe distance to any wildlife you see to protect not only yourself, but the animals as well. We want them to feel welcome here in San Diego for years and years to come!
Walk a bit north on Coast Blvd and you’ll pass by Seal Rock, to see, you guessed it — more seals basking on the rocks! We enjoyed watching them flop around so much we accidentally spent over an hour here, whoops!
La Jolla Cove: How does a small, picturesque cove surrounded by cliffs and palm trees sound?! That’s La Jolla Cove for ya! You’ll find plenty of people sunbathing and swimming here on the little beach when it’s warm out, and casually staring out at the beautiful Pacific if it’s too chilly.
Dip your toes in the water and relish in that sweet, sweet San Diego sun. Just don’t get too close to the seals — they tend to hang out here on occasion.
Coastal Walk Trail: Stretch those legs! The Coastal Walk Trail in La Jolla is beautiful and easy, stretching from La Jolla Cove to La Jolla Shores. It’s just about a half mile long so it won’t take too long at all.
You can either start at the Cave Store or at the small cul-de-sac along Prospect St. (with a small parking lot for about 10 cars). You’ll even find a secret swing over here (if you know where to look).
Sunny Jim Cave: Not a fan of kayaking but still wanna see a famous La Jolla cave? I get it — I’m way too clumsy to spend any time on a kayak. Make sure you visit the Sunny Jim Cave instead — it’s the only sea cave in California accessible by land.
You enter by walking through a 100-year-old tunnel inside The Cave Store and heading down a few flights of old stairs. And voila, the cave appears! Just be careful, the stairway is old and can be pretty slippery, so wear proper shoes.
And the best part — the whole experience takes less than 20 minutes! Perfect for when you’re short on time.
Go Mural Hunting: La Jolla is home to a whole slew of murals perfect for your IG feed; check out this map to find your favorites. I loved the piano fingers and abstract art in the parking lot but both were hard to photograph considering they’re pretty high up.
But one you need to see?! Roy McMakin’s Favorite Color mural! It’s easily the most popular one and has been around since 2010. And omg so colorful! A must on your day trip to San Diego if you’re looking for the best photo spots in SD!
Before you leave La Jolla I recommend grabbing some of the best tacos you’ve ever had in your life (yes, I said it) at The Taco Stand. Sure, there might be a line, but well worth the additional time!
Stop #2: It’s Taco Time
You can’t leave San Diego without stuffing a few tacos in your mouth. Well, I mean you could, but what kinda life is that?! Since San Diego is so close to the Mexican border, you can just imagine how authentic that greasy goodness is. I swear, we ate at about 5 or 6 different taco jaunts on our 3 days in San Diego last time.
And yes, they’re that good. Almost as good as the tacos we recently ate in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
Tacos are a staple of San Diego, so thankfully finding some great ones aren’t hard to do. If you wanna stay in the La Jolla area, there’s a bunch of great taco restaurants and stands.
A few options for ya:
- The Taco Stand La Jolla: Super casual and fun. There’ll probably be a (long) line depending on when you come, but the tacos are some of the best I’ve ever had. Worth it?… yes! Definitely grab a few al pastor tacos (obviously), but try the churros and carne asada fries too! If I had to pick my favorite taco spot in La Jolla, this would be it!
- Puesto La Jolla: This one’s eclectic and more upscale, with a unique take on artisanal tacos in a bright and breezy brick space. I just love how it’s owned and operated by a Mexican American family. Don’t miss the mango shrimp ceviche and a mango margarita! A tad on the expensive side with tacos at $7-$9 a pop.
- City Tacos: With locations around the city, this spot is popular for a reason. Try the fried mahi-mahi tacos on homemade corn tortillas, a Mexicali taco (or two), elote (grilled Mexican street corn), and the surf and turf taco. All creative and modern.
If you don’t mind going out of your way (a tiny bit), you gotta check out Las Cuatro Milpas — an authentic, old-school spot in Barrio Logan. The real deal my friends. We got 2 huge plates of no-frills Mexican food and homemade tortillas for just over $10.
Day Trip to San Diego: Afternoon
Stop #3: Balboa Park
No visit to San Diego is complete without at least a little time spent in Balboa Park! While you can easily spend a whole day here checking out all the museums and gardens, I recommend picking and choosing a few main things you wanna check out.
Why?! Because there’s no way you’ll get to everything in Balboa Park with just a day in San Diego — there’s 17 museums here! So you really gotta pick and choose your favorites, especially if you wanna make it to the next stop below (your choice)!
In all honesty, I’d skip the museums and zoo on your day trip to San Diego, and focus on other activities in the park. You’d be rushing through them anyways, so may as well leave them for when you’ve got a bit more time. And by now you already know you wanna come back…
Thankfully, everything is within walking distance so you can tick off a bunch in only a few hours. But whatever you do, walk up and down the Prado, the main pedestrian street running through the park, admiring the ornate baroque architecture. It’s a true cultural oasis and oh so gorgeous. Stop and look up at Casa del Prado — it’s my favorite!
With a limited amount of time, here’s what I’d do (expect this to all take approximately 2-3 hours if you don’t linger too long in one spot):
Spreckels Organ Pavilion: The largest outdoor pipe organ in the world is housed here in Balboa Park! The 5,000 pipes range in length from the size of a pencil to a whopping 32 feet. And if you happen to get lucky, you may even see a free organ concert (occuring every Sunday at 2pm). We watched an organ rehearsal and every note was absolutely mesmerizing! I especially loved the ornate architecture — so fun to photograph!
Alcazar Garden: Boxwood hedges in a walled courtyard. Flowers blooming year round. Colorful tiled fountains and stunning architecture. I totally felt like I was wandering through a romantic garden of the Alcazar Castle in Seville, Spain! A quick little stop but definitely worthy of a few minutes.
Spanish Village Art Center: This was my all-time favorite spot in all of Balboa Park, and one of my favorite photo spots in San Diego! Strolling along the quaint artist studios and colorful courtyard is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon — and plus, you’re guaranteed to get some great photos for the ‘gram! Even the Spanish-style buildings and floor tiles are painted in bright colors, depicting a charming old village in Spain — so fun!
Palm Canyon Trail: Kinda a hidden spot in Balboa Park, but definitely not to be missed if you’re a sucker for palm trees like I am! There’s over 450 palms in nearly 2 acres — a true tropical oasis right in the middle of the park! It’s 2 miles but you can always walk a portion of it and turn back around like we typically do if you’re tight on time. Make sure to check out the huge fig tree at the entrance of the trail — it’s absolutely wild!
Lily Pond and Botanical Garden: Two icons of Balboa Park and a must on any day trip to San Diego. Definitely spend a few minutes inside the botanical garden — not only are there an impressive amount of ferns and orchids and palm trees (more than 2,000!) under the domed ceiling, but it’s completely free to enter!
It’s a dramatic building with a jungle-y interior — I kinda felt like I was walking through the rainforests of Olympic National Park or in Fern Canyon for a hot second! Then take some photos outside near the Lily Pond — it’s absolutely gorgeous on a warm, sunny day.
Stop #4: Old Town or Coronado Island
Depending on how long you wandered around Balboa Park, and depending what time sunset is, you may have time to check out another spot in San Diego. My two choices: Old Town -or- Coronado Island.
Choose Old Town if you wanna experience the cultural birthplace of California, and choose Coronado Island if you want some true beach time!
Old Town is a historic neighborhood in San Diego (created back in 1769) that was considered to be the birthplace of California! Head over to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park to explore what life was like back then — there’s preserved and replicated buildings, museum exhibits, and all around historical entertainment. The last time we were there it was almost Day of the Dead — and what gorgeous altars of remembrance and exhibits there were!
Dip some candles at Toby’s Candle Shop, make a beeline for the barrels of taffy at Cousin’s Candy Shop, watch the daily mariachi band and Folklorico dancing, and check out the Whaley House Museum (one of the most famous haunted houses in the United States).
And whatever you do, don’t miss all the homemade artisan goods and pottery in the shops! They pay homage to Mexican culture and heritage in the early 1800s. I loved browsing all the fun arts and crafts the vendors had to offer, especially the Mexican ceramics.
OH! And don’t leave without trying a piping hot homemade tortilla from the free tortilla stand (just please be kind and leave a tip). They are absolutely delicious and perfect if you’re a tad hungry.
The second you get to Coronado Island you’ll see just how charming and cute it is! Such a quaint coastal village and such a different feel than other parts of the city and a must on any day trip to San Diego.
Coronado’s got a gentle surf, sparkling beaches, and a charming main street. There’s a reason it’s known as the crown jewel of San Diego.
Whatever you do, don’t miss Hotel Del. With its distinctive red Victorian roof, picture perfect views of the beach and Pacific, and delicious cocktails (who am I kidding, you knew that was coming), Hotel Del shouldn’t be missed.
You can wander around, but if you’re here for some beach time, you’re in luck. Although it certainly looks like a resort town, the beach is public and it’s GORGEOUS. To no surprise, it’s commonly said to be one of the best beaches in America (once you see the seemingly-endless white sand complete with gold sparkles you’ll easily see why).
Rent an iconic red and white striped chaise lounge and spend an hour or two just relaxing at Coronado Beach. You earned it!
One Day in San Diego: Night
Stop #5: Sunset Cliffs
After a busy afternoon, it’s time to watch a famous San Diego sunset. And the best spot for that — Sunset Cliffs Natural Park of course. Dramatic sandstone cliffs. Untouched vegetation. Stunning ocean vistas. Sounds like the perfect night to me.
Psst — it can get quite windy so bring along a sweater. It gets pretty crowded but the area’s large enough to accommodate everyone. You’ll definitely wanna keep your camera handy — I couldn’t stop taking pictures! Be especially careful as there’s zero guardrails along the sandstone cliffs and some of them are unstable.
Make sure to check times for sunset and aim to get there at least 30 minutes before sun down in order to find a parking spot and get comfy. Lots of people bring a blanket and some snacks and really get into it! I’ve even watched a proposal here!
Stop #6: Little Italy for Dinner and Dessert
Once you’re done exploring for the day, make your way over to Little Italy for dinner, dessert, and drinks.
There’s a whole bunch of authentic Italian restaurants in this area, but I always find myself going back to Monello for fresh cheese wheel pasta. Did you hear that — pasta made right in a wheel of cheese, and yes, it’s that good.
Here’s some other popular spots that I’m itching to try out:
- Mona Lisa Italian Foods: Lasagna. Need I say more? There’s also pizza and old-world Italian cooking, plus a deli with imported prosciutto and cheese if you want something more low-key.
- Davanti Enoteca: A large patio with shareable Italian cuisine. Everyone raves about the cacio e pepe, cheese focaccia, and the bloody mary towers.
- Ironside Fish & Oyster: Expect super fresh oysters and a seafood focused menu in a quirky renovated warehouse. If you get here before happy hour ends, you’ll find $1 oysters available Monday through Friday from 3-5pm. Definitely taking my husband here next time.
- Camino Riviera: Not in the mood for Italian food? No worries — this buzzy spot has seasonal Mexican food and a fun outdoor patio.
But no matter what you end up having for dinner, leave some room for Extraordinary Desserts! I’ve been here every single time I visited, even when we were only in San Diego for a day!
We recently tried some of their fall favorites, including the apple crostini, and OMG. The chocolate cake is super delectable too. Always opt for a chocolate chip cookie as well (they’re the perfect after dinner treat; although no judgement if you save it for the next morning — what I always seem to do).
Stop #7: Little Italy and/or Gaslamp Quarter for Drinks!
Still have some energy? Stay in Little Italy or head on over to the Gaslamp Quarter to check out the craft cocktail scene! There’s really something for everyone over here — eclectic wine bars, nightclubs with rooftop views, hidden speakeasies, and grungy sports bars.
Here’s some spots to check out:
- Craft and Commerce: One of our favorite cocktail bars meets gastropubs in Little Italy! Just note some of their decor includes taxidermy, so stay away if that’s not your jam. (Little Italy)
- Wolfie’s Carousel Bar: New and unique — it’s fun to go once for the novelty of the spinning carousel bar but the drink menu is kinda small so I wouldn’t stay here all night. I recommend making a reservation in advance to bypass the potentially long line out front. (Little Italy)
- Trailer Park After Dark: A dive bar serving American comfort food and beers in a funky trailer park-themed atmosphere. Such a fun vibe. (Gaslamp Quarter)
- The Nolen: Expect skyline views and a communal fire pit in this swanky rooftop bar in the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego. They even have old fashioneds on tap which are surprisingly good. (Gaslamp Quarter)
- Noble Experiment: Hidden speakeasy anyone?! It’s swanky and secret, tucked behind a secret door in The Neighborhood. You tell them what spirits you like and the bartender whips you something right up! (Gaslamp Quarter)
Other options for your night in San Diego
Not feeling the San Diego nighttime drinking scene? Take a San Diego City Lights Night Tour instead! The city transforms at night, with beautiful lighting effects in Balboa Park, bright lights and Victorian architecture in the Gaslamp Quarter, and the illuminated San Diego city skyline from Coronado. Read reviews and book your city lights tour here!
And since it’s basically my job to give you a ton of options, if you want something a bit off-beat and different, be sure to check out the historic Gaslamp Quarter walking tour. You’ll learn about the scandals, debauchery, brothels, and more in what used to be San Diego’s red light district. Check out the aptly named Brothels, Bites, and Booze Tour, and make sure to come hungry (maybe have a light dinner), because the food stops are quite filling! Read reviews and book your Gaslamp walking tour here.
Hope this helps you plan out your perfect day trip to San Diego! Are you visiting the city anytime soon?!