Welcome to San Diego Blog | June 16, 2011

Must do Activies Near Downtown San Diego

Over the past 10 years, downtown San Diego has completely redefined itself and is now one of the premier zip codes in San Diego.  I grew up in San Diego and remember back in the 80’s when there wasn’t really much of a  reason to come downtown. 

As a child I remember the only part I looked forward to about going into downtown was going to the Old Spaghetti Factory to eat dinner with  my family in the trolly inside the restaurant.   Downtown was such a non-destination that the Old Spaghetti Factory actually closed at one point and the  Gaslamp Quarter was mainly dive bars, tatoo parlors and pawn shops.

There was even a time when they couldn’t even sell condos at the Harbor Club.  There are old stories of a popular San Diego attorney that once owned a residence at Harbor Club and he would walk out of his condo naked to empty his trash down the shoot because there was no chance of running into anybody in the hall; the building was vacant!

Today is completely different and Downtown San Diego’s 92101 zipcode has a whole new story line.  Downtown today is an adult candyland featuring great restaurants, swanky hotels, a new Padres Stadium, great parks and recreation areas, fabulous luxury view condos, amazing entertainment venues  and rumos of a new Chargers stadium.  Yes, downtown San Diego has experienced a rebirth and it is THE happening place to be! 

I have been in  San Diego for over 30 years and these are my favorite things to do within 15 minutes of downtown San Diego.  In no particular order of importance, they include family activities, couple activities and activities that are great for groups of friends:


  • Visit a Padres home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants.
  • Visit the San Diego Zoo- Nightime Zoo in the summer is awesome.
  • Go for a sail or boat Cruise on the San Diego Bay and maybe you will even see a whale.
  • Visit the Cabrillo National monument and hike around the tide pools on the west side of Pt. Loma.
  • Visit Sea World and partake in the great shows – my favorite is the Sealion show.
  • Visit the Hall of Fame Sports Museum in Balboa Park to pay hommage to our amazing local athletes.
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Seaport Village – specialty shops and restaurants
  • Childrens Museum
  • Organ Pavilion Concerts at Balboa Park
  • Hiking at Torrey Pines State Park
  • Cave Tours at La Jolla Cove
  • Kayak tours at La Jolla Cove – see the nurse sharks
  • Snorkeling at La Jolla Cove and visiting the seals at The Children’s Cove
  • Old Town San Diego – specialty shops, mueseums and dining
  • Maritime Museum at North Embarcadero
  • Belmont Park
  • Ultrazone Lazertag
  • Balboa Park Miniature train and Carousel
  • The Q – San Diego Super Charger’s football Game…the tailgate is amazing!


  • Take the Ferry or water taxi to the Coronado Landing to have  a dinner under the fireworks at Peohes or Il Fornaio.
  • Sunset Dining at Sea Level
  • Picnic at the top of Soledad Mountain
  • Spend a night at the Hotel Del Coronado…you can even get a haunted room!
  • Hornblower Dinner Cruise
  • Segway Tours
  • Whaley House In Old Town San Diego
  • Gondola Ride in Coronado
  • Bahia Bell on Mission Bay
  • Hiking at Balboa Park – there are miles of trails most people don’t know about.
  • Take dinner or Happy Hour at sunset at Bertrand at Mister A’s – The views are amazing
  • Visit the Saturday morning Little Itlay Farmer’s Market
  • Dinner and live jazz at Anthology
  • A full on rock’n roll concert at The House of Blues

With Friends

  • Golf Torrey Pines Golf Course
  • Beach Volleyball at South Mission Beach
  • Ride a beach cruiser from Mission Beach south to South Mission Jetty and then east to the bay and all the way back North to Crown Point. 
  • Tuna fishing off the San Diego Coastline
  • A trip down to Rosarito or Ensenada…cerveza por favor…
  • Ride the mechanical bull at Double Deuce

There are so many activities I’m not mentioning here, but the moral of the story is:  Life is REALLY GOOD in San Diego!

Written by: chad

Categories: Culture, Downtown San Diego, San Diego Attractions

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