Must Do Activities in San Diego: A Weekend Itinerary

aerial photo of beach and road in San Diego

With beautiful beaches, a wide variety of entertainment options, and spirited nightlife, San Diego, California, is a great place to get away for the weekend. You’ll find it in this charming city whether you love sports, the beach, wildlife, or delicious food!

If you plan to visit sunny San Diego sometime soon or move to this splendid metropolis, the information below will be right up your alley! It’s a list of the must-do weekend activities in San Diego with a fantastic itinerary you can follow! Read on to see what America’s Finest City has to offer!

A Quick Note about the Weather in San Diego

You’ll be glad to know that the weather and climate in San Diego are practically perfect. The sun shines year-round, and the climate is similar to the Mediterranean, with mild winters and very little rainfall.

Saturday Morning: Start at La Jolla Cove

family walking on beach in San Diego

Begin your Saturday right with a trip to La Jolla Cove. Get there as the sun’s coming up and take a refreshing walk. It’s a great spot to enjoy the sunrise and chill out before the city starts buzzing. Only a few places are open that early, so it’s a top pick to start your day. The waves, the early morning light, and the quiet make it just right to set the mood for your San Diego day ahead.

Saturday Lunch:

San Diego has a first-rate culinary scene, which also goes for La Jolla. If you’re looking for exquisite ocean views and delicious seafood, The Marine Room is a great choice. George’s at the Cove is also outstanding, and both will fill your belly (and your soul) before your afternoon adventures.

Saturday Afternoon:

Now that you’ve been to the beach, a change of pace might be nice. For that, a visit to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve will suffice, as it offers beautiful hiking trails and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Since you’re trying to fit in as much as possible during your weekend in San Diego, the Guy Fleming Trail, a shorter hike, would be a good choice.

If you and your party want to see more sea-based wildlife, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is a better bet. It’s only a short drive from La Jolla and features an incredible array of fascinating marine exhibits. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you need to make a reservation in advance. (You can also become a member and go whenever you like without reservations.)

Saturday Morning to Evening Alternative: The World Famous San Diego Zoo

giraffes being fed at San Diego zoo

After soaking up the sun at La Jolla Cove, consider heading inland to the heart of San Diego to experience the San Diego Zoo. Tucked within the lush expanse of Balboa Park, this world-famous zoo offers more than just a look at exotic animals. Wander through meticulously designed habitats, from African rainforests to Arctic tundras, each imitating the natural homes of over 3,700 animals from more than 650 species.

Grab a bite at one of the on-site cafes and refuel for more exploration. Whether you’re entranced by the roar of lions or charmed by the antics of pandas, there’s a corner in this vast zoo just waiting to amaze you. Remember to hop on the Skyfari Aerial Tram for a bird’s-eye view of the entire park.

Saturday Evening:

By now, there’s a good chance you and your group have worked up quite an appetite. If so, consider heading over to the Gaslamp Quarter. This historic district is filled with excellent restaurants and trend-setting bars. You’ll also find many cuisine choices, from Japanese to Mexican, Italian, and more. Below are three excellent choices.

  • Lou & Mickey’s- If a classic steak joint with an extensive wine list is what you seek, don’t miss Lou & Mickey’s!
  • Nobu San Diego- Nobu is renowned for its fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine, including its Yellowtail JalapeƱo and Black Cod Miso.
  • The Oceanaire Seafood Room- You’ll find an extensive menu of fresh seafood and a sophisticated dining experience at this elegant restaurant.

Sunday Morning:

If you want to start your Sunday morning with some culture, head to Balboa Park. There, you can stroll through their lush gardens and have easy access to several world-class museums, including the Fleet Science Center, San Diego Museum of Art, and the Museum of Photographic Arts. A good suggestion is to look at the park’s event calendar before leaving, as they have special exhibitions, events, and performances throughout the year.

Sunday Lunch:

boat in ocean with skyscrapers in background

Diving into San Diego’s culture can make you hungry! Luckily, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in Balboa Park. We’ve got three of the best of them for you below.

  • The Cottages at The Lodge at Torrey Pines- Upscale dining with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean? Yes, please!
  • Panama 66- The laid-back atmosphere and delicious craft beers make this eatery an excellent choice for a casual lunch.
  • The Prado at Balboa Park- Located inside Balboa Park, this delightful restaurant offers a diverse menu in a historic and lovely setting.

Sunday Afternoon:

You can’t visit San Diego without a visit to Petco Park to watch the San Diego Padres play some baseball! They might not be the best in the league, but the park is one of the best, and the atmosphere is electric and exciting!

Alternatively, you could visit SeaWorld and enjoy one of their amazing shows featuring sea lions, dolphins, and other fascinating sea animals. SeaWorld also offers thrilling rides and live entertainment.

Sunday Evening:

The Gaslamp Quarter after dark is an excellent choice if you’re not visiting San Diego with young children. There are various awesome bars with live music, and the street scene is vibrant and exciting. Below are 3 of the best bars to choose from.

  • The Tipsy Crow- Three unique levels with their own atmosphere make this one of the most popular bars in the Gaslamp Quarter.
  • Altitude Sky Lounge- Sitting high atop the Marriott Hotel, Altitude Sky Lounge is both sophisticated and breathtaking.
  • Prohibition Lounge- This hidden bar gem will transport you back in time to the roaring 20s! (The entrance is discreetly hidden in a sandwich shop, so you might need to do a little searching to find it!)

Let StorAmerica Self Storage Help You Store Your Valuables Safely

beach and bridge in evening

If you’ve decided to stay and need to find storage units in San Diego, StorAmerica is a great choice! StorAmerica offers the top features in the storage industry, including month-to-month leases, 24/7 video security cameras, and boat storage.

If you need help determining what size storage units you need, check out our storage unit size guide. When you’re ready, you can quickly and easily reserve a San Diego storage unit with no deposit or credit card needed. Until then, we hope our itinerary will empower you to enjoy a fantastic weekend in one of California’s excellent cities, San Diego!