How to Spend a Weekend in San Diego

Written by Odette Viola, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine


If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, or just a local wanting to explore more of your city, spending an ideal weekend in San Diego is quite easy to put together.

Whether you’re traveling with your family, as a couple, with your friends, or you’re going solo, there is surely a lot of fun things to do in San Diegofor everyone.

In this post, we’ll give you helpful tips on how you can get the most out of your trip, with all the tips and the insights that you need for an ideal weekend you’ll surely never forget.

The Ideal Time to Go to San Diego

San Diego is great at almost any time of the year, but the weather isn’t perfect. It does rain here, especially during the winter months.

Months between May to June can bring in several patches of fog and can linger all day long. They’re sometimes known as the May Gray and the June Gloom.

It’s during late March and early April where the temperatures and perfect, and the wildflowers bloom. Although the waters might not be warm enough for swimming.

Another ideal time to visit is from September until mid-November.

Tips when Visiting San Diego

San Diego has an extensive metropolitan area sprawling for more than 300 square miles. Some of the tourist spots are spread out in several places and public transportation is quite spotty.

That’s why, your best bet is to have a car, but another alternative is a ridesharing service to go to the places that are quite hard to reach.

If you’re planning to drop by Tijuana, then you have no issues getting to Mexico. If you’re a US citizen, take their passport with you because just presenting a driver’s license wouldn’t suffice.

If you’re not a U.S. Citizen, take your green card or passport.

Also, note that several restaurants in San Diego do have a dress code. So, unless you have a fancy dinner planned, then leave your fancy clothes at home and just relax.

Bring a snug jacket or sweater for chilly weather instead. The evenings, particular near the ocean, can be cooler than you initially thought, so it’s best to dress in layers.

Best Things to Do in San Diego

Hit the Beach

Your weekend trip to San Diego wouldn’t be complete if you don’t visit its pristine beaches.

Make sure that you don’t miss the tidal pools found on the base of Cabrillo National Monument.

Also, soak in the marvelous view of the Pacific Ocean from the Mission Bay Park in the northwestern part of the state.

If you’re looking for a more peaceful atmosphere, and calmer waves, set in an idyllic location, visit the popular shorelines of the Coronado Beach.

You’d also get to witness the glorious mansions at the backdrop of the beach at Ocean Boulevard. While you’re there, don’t miss out on the 120-year old national landmark, the historic Hotel del Coronado.

Go Hiking in the Trails of Balboa Park

Balboa Park is San Diego’s own version of Central Park, featuring museums, zoos, a concert hall, and a lot of lush, greenery.

However, less known to some, it has hiking trails, which goes through the park, and is even part of the cactus garden, making the urban explorer in you feel that you’re actually in a mountain rather than caught in the middle of the city.

Or you can visit the museums there instead

San Diego is a state that houses world-class museums, and most of them are found in Balboa Park.

Must visit are the San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Get to swim with the sharks at La Jolla

On warmer weather, there is a lot of leopard sharks that swim through the waters of La Jolla, which draws in a lot of people from all over the world just to swim with them.

These groups of sharks can range from few to hundreds.

Although an average leopard shark can grow an average of five feet you shouldn’t be terrified with them, as they don’t attack humans.

If you didn’t bring your own snorkeling gear, there are several shops nearby where you can rent them.

Catch a flick on the roof deck

To have the ultimate outdoor experience, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego’s rooftop theatre on the fourth floor. The Rooftop Cinema Club gives you a lavish movie experience with panoramic views of the downtown.

Enjoy movie-themed cocktails, plush deck chairs, craft brews, and delectable eats.

Head over to the velodrome

Plan a picnic and visit the San Diego Velodrome on Tuesday and Friday evenings between the months of mid-April to September.

Here, you could witness the best cyclists in the city as they grace the 333-meter track. If you want to join, they also hold track classes to help you learn the ropes.

Explore San Diego’s historic downtown

San Diego’s downtown has a couple of historic neighborhoods. The Gaslamp Quarter exudes a vibrant atmosphere, with several clubs, bars, and cocktail lounges. The Quarter got its name from gas lamps that are used to light its streets in that particular part of town.

While in the area, you’ll see breathtaking Victorian architecture along with more modern high-rises in this particular area in the city. Stroll by lovely galleries and boutique shops, and people-watch during the day.

At night, marvel at the breathtaking lights, have dinner at a quaint restaurant or catch a show at the Spreckels Theatre.

A couple of miles away, there’s also Little Italy, another popular San Diego neighborhood with a unique character. Stroll by its vibrant neighborhood where you’d come across several wineries, cafes, art galleries, and boutique shops.

Over to You

No matter what kind of traveler you are, you’d never run out of choices for your San Diego weekend getaway. With beautiful beaches and a mix of breathtaking locations, it offers a fun and memorable getaway at any time of the year.