Weekend Getaways: 9 Things to Do in San Diego

San Diego Surfing

Are you looking for a weekend getaway that is sunny and filled with adventure? San Diego is the perfect coastal destination for a quick trip. There’s great weather, amazing food, and plenty of activities for everyone. To make planning your trip a little easier, we’ve created the perfect list of the top nine things you should do on your next trip to San Diego. 

1. Spend time at the beach

San Diego is best known for its beautiful beaches, so there’s no question that you must make beach time a priority during your trip. You can pack up some snacks and spend a few hours lying out in the sun or simply go for a sunset walk on the beach. There are many beaches throughout the city, so you’re always just a short detour away from getting some sand underneath your feet. 

A beach in San Diego, California

2. Visit the San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is a staple of the city. This massive zoo covers over 100 acres of land, making it one of the largest zoos in the world. It’s home to more than 12,000 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies. You can see a wide range of rare and endangered animals here, including koalas, polar bears, penguins, and gorillas. 

While the zoo is mostly popular with families, it’s an excellent adventure for anyone visiting San Diego. You can explore the exhibits and see some fascinating wildlife up close! 

San Diego Zoo has snow leopards.
Via @sandiegozoo on Instagram

3. Go on a hike

If you’re up for some physical activity during your weekend getaway, consider going on a hike. There are dozens of hikes throughout the city, ranging from quick one-hour workouts to half-day and full-day hikes. If you’re looking for a hike that will take you to a high peak, giving you spectacular city views, consider tackling Mount Woodson or Palomar Mountain. 

Seeing the sunrise from the top of a mountain on a morning hike

4. Get on the water 

We already mentioned that visiting the beach is a must-do, but so is actually getting on the water. San Diego is probably best known for its surfing. That’s because the beaches here have strong waves that are fun to ride for hours. Even if you’ve never surfed before, now is the time to try by booking some lessons and getting out here! 

If surfing isn’t your speed, there are tons of other water activities you can try out. You can kayak the sea caves of La Jolla, jet ski in Mission Bay, or even go sportfishing off Point Loma. Or, just rent a boat and spend a day cruising around the water for a day. 

Two surfers in San Diego about to get into the water

5. Go for a bottomless mimosa brunch

San Diego has a great brunch scene, including countless options for bottomless mimosa brunch. A bottomless mimosa brunch is a perfect start to a relaxing day where you don’t plan to do too much. Or, book this boozy brunch in as a reward after completing an early morning hike. 

One of our favorite bottomless mimosa brunch spots is Baja Betty’s, where you can get endless mimosas for $14.95 plus some delicious Mexican brunch. Or, check out Bootlegger, where you can drink all the mimosas you want until 1:00 pm for just $25 while enjoying their delicious chicken and waffles. 

A fair warning – you’re probably not going to be the only one on the lookout for bottomless mimosas, so make sure you make a reservation in advance. 

Bottomless mimosas at Bootlegger
Via @bootleggersd on Instagram

6. Visit Torrey Pines State National Reserve

Located just a 30-minute drive outside of downtown San Diego is the Torrey Pines State National Reserve. You can explore more than 1,500 acres of land that are left virtually untouched. The reserve is named after the Torrey Pine tree, a critically endangered tree species growing only in this reserve. 

Come here and spend a few hours in nature, taking in the miles of unspoiled beaches, a lagoon, and the maritime chapel. The reserve is open daily from 7:00 am to sunset every day. You can also take advantage of free guided walks on weekends and holidays that start at 10:00 am. 

Torrey Pines State National Reserve
Via @mytorreypines on Instagram

7. Belmont Park

For those looking for some action and excitement, Belmont Park in San Diego is the place to go. This historic amusement park is located on the beach and has incredible rides and attractions for people of all ages. You’ll get access to the famous roller coaster, bumper cars, laser tag, a rock wall, go-karts, an arcade, and more. And, there are plenty of restaurants and food stands onsite, so you can recharge and go back out to have fun in the park.


Belmont Park
Via @belmontparksd on Instagram

8. Explore the food scene

In general, California has a great food scene. But, San Diego, in particular, is a foodie’s paradise. You’ll find everything you want here, from trendy new food items to fantastic street food and Michelin star restaurants. 

We recommend having a nice dinner at Campfire and having an authentic Mexican lunch at Salud Tacos. And, don’t forget to grab a slice of pizza from Bronx Pizza.

Salud Tacos
Via @saludtacos on Instagram

9. Visit Coronado

Coronado Island (technically a peninsula) is just a short 15-minute drive from San Diego over the Coronado Bridge. If you aren’t driving, you can also take a short ferry to the island. 

Coronado is an upscale beach resort known for its beautiful beaches, fantastic restaurants, and shops. Although it’s incredibly close to San Diego, visiting here feels like you’ve escaped to a luxury beach town. Talk to any local, and they’ll tell you that an afternoon visit to Coronado is absolutely worth it! 

This may seem like a lot of activities for a weekend getaway, but that’s what San Diego is all about. It’s a city with so much to offer – you just have to decide what to do! 

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