San Diego is the southernmost city in California, sitting just north of Tijuana, Mexico. It has a rich history, dating back as far as the 1500s when Spanish settlers first claimed the land. While there are lots of beautiful beaches to explore, you should spend time finding out the history of a city and understand what the city go through to make it great. San Diego is a great city to explore. We have made it easy for you by shortlisting some of the top tourist attractions to visit, you just need to source for hotels in San Diego and have a wonderful holiday in the second-most populated city in California.
1. USS Midway Museum
If you want to see a piece of history, take a quick trip from Days Hotel San Diego Hotel Circle / Near SeaWorld to the most visited floating maritime museum in the world – The USS Midway Museum. The museum is an actual ship, the USS Midway, that served for almost 50 years. It is one of the longest aircraft carriers during its time. The carrier was converted into a museum in 2002, and now commanded over a million visitors every year. It has also been screened on television shows such as American Idol and The Bachelor. The highlight of the visit for many is the self-guided tour of how a Navy sailor ate, slept, and worked on the famous aircraft carrier.
2. San Diego Zoo
One of Trip Advisor’s top 30 things to do in San Diego, the Sa Diego Zoo boost of rare and exotic animals from all around the world. The zoo is part of the San Diego Zoo Global which was started in 1916 to save species from around the world. Dr. Henry M. Wegeforth decided to create the zoo after the Panama-California exhibition in 1915 left many exotic animals abandoned. These animals live in re-created cage-less natural habitats for up-close interactions with visitors. The San Diego Zoo also has a Panda Cam, where millions of people can watch the pandas if they can’t come to the zoo.
3. La Jolla Cove
This calm and clean beach is the perfect spot to go snorkeling and kayaking. The beach is environmentally protected, so you can’t bring any alcohol or anything made of glass, and they prohibit surfboards, boogie boards, and flotation devices. But you get to experience exotic fishes such as yellow tail fish, sharks and take in some of the best views of the Pacific Ocean.
4. Cabrillo National Monument
Named for the Spanish explorer who discovered San Diego, the monument is the best place to get all-around views of the city. Rodriguez was an European traveler who came to the land in 1542, the first to come out to the western part of the United States. This statue is at a hilltop on San Diego Bay, and on a clear winter’s day, you can look out and see the entire city, view Mexico and out to the sea. There’s more to enjoy at the monument, including the Old Point Loma Lighthouse restored to what it looked like in the 1880s, whale watching in January and February, and a hiking trail. This is a spot that nature enthusiasts and history buffs will love.
5. Balboa Park
In addition to visiting the San Diego Zoo, get a chance to look back almost 100 years ago at the site of the Panama-California Exposition. From 1915-1917, Balboa Park was an area used to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal and San Diego as the first port of call for ships coming through. Balboa Park housed over 1400 acres of gardens, museums and buildings that keep up the Mexican-American architecture. Celebrations of its 100-year anniversary will happen in 2015, so stay at the Westgate Hotel and be close to this occasion.
6. San Diego Model Railroad Museum
Even though it’s a museum just for miniature railroads and trains, you still want to take a look inside. One of many museums in Balboa Park, the model railroad museum is the largest one accredited in North America and dedicated to keeping the history of the railroad alive. The museum started in 1935, when during the California Pacific International Exposition the AT&SF Railraod Company asked Minton Cronkite to make a miniature model of their railroad system. The museum had various exhibits showing routes all over California that trains took.
7. San Diego Mormon Battalion Historic Site
This is more than a look into Mormon history. The battalion helped the United States Army established many territories throughout the Southwest. Mormons served in the Mexican-American war of 1846-1848 and traveled from Iowa to San Diego, with commanders leading them along the way. The Mormons enlisted because they wanted to travel to Salt Lake City, but got denied access by the government, and when the war started, the two sides compromised that they would be able to go west if they joined the Army. Visitors can tour the grounds and learn what they went through during travel and what happened when they arrived in Salt Lake City.
These are a few places to explore when you get to San Diego. There are beaches, restaurants, and other events, but sometimes it’s great to visit less-traveled locations in a city and learn about their history. The great part about these places is how well they’re kept in the same condition they were many years ago. If you know of any great historic places or locations that show the best of San Diego, leave a comment below.
About The Guest Blogger
Renayle Fink is a writer and blogger who enjoys traveling to different cities. She takes her husband as her travel buddy but they have to leave their cat behind. You can ask her about her travels on Google+.