Offering both new attractions and classic destinations, San Diego is a getaway option for those looking to escape the Arizona summer heat or to enjoy a range of unique cultural experiences from art, museums and festivals, to dining, drinks and entertainment. Enjoy the things to do in San Diego safely this year by checking ahead for visiting restrictions and safety protocols.

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Explore the attractions at Balboa Park

An outdoor and cultural destination, Balboa Park’s 1,200 acres house over 16 museums, performing arts venues, gardens, trails and other creative and recreational attractions. Take a tour at the Air and Space Museum, ride the historic Balboa Park Carousel, stroll through the California Native Plant Garden or visit the nearly 200-foot-tall California Tower.

Bring home art from the Spanish Village Art Center

Stroll through 36 unique and historic art studios that feature over 200 local artists. Explore art from painters, sculptors, metalsmiths, jewelers and artists working with many other mediums.

Climb the bell tower at Mingei International Museum

An art and culture museum located within Balboa Park, Mingei International Museum will be reopening in summer 2021 with new galleries, an education center and multipurpose theater. The museum’s historic bell tower will be open to the public for the first time in decades.

Visit SeaWorld San Diego

The home of world-class animal shows offers hundreds of fascinating marine animals to explore. Look forward to the new attraction, Emperor, a floorless dive coaster that will soar more than 60 mph and drop riders down a 90 degree plunge.

Bring the family to San Diego Zoo

With more than 4,000 animals that represent over 800 species, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California. Look forward to the new Denny Sanford Children’s Zoo, planning to open in late 2021. The redesigned Children’s Zoo will include four ecosystems: Desert Dunes, Wild Woods, Marsh Meadows and Rainforest.

Stroll through Gaslamp Quarter

The historic district known as the Heart of San Diego features shopping, dining, events and entertainment. Its website is updated with a list of open shops and dining

Have an adventure at LEGOLAND

With a Theme Park, Water Park and a SEA LIFE Aquarium, LEGOLAND offers more than 60 rides, shows and attractions for visitors of any age to enjoy. Wander through The Big Shop, home to the largest selection of LEGO products on the West Coast.

Take a tour at Petco Park

Explore America’s No. 1 Ballpark with a guided tour that includes a behind-the-scenes historical experience. Learn about the Cutwater Coronado Club, see the Press Box and admire the Breitbard Hall of Fame.

Discover the beaches

With 70 miles of coastline, the beaches are San Diego’s signature attraction. Find the perfect beach, whether it be for surfing, letting the dog off the leash or building a bonfire, there are many ways to enjoy the ocean breeze.

Explore the outdoors through San Diego’s Parks

With over 20,000 acres of open space park land, San Diego is a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. You can also discover regional and developed parks, such as Presidio Park, that offers a hilltop view of Mission Bay, San Diego Bay, Mission Valley and the Pacific Ocean.

Find the perfect golf course

With more than 90 golf courses in a variety of scenic settings, San Diego is a golfer’s paradise. Look forward to the 2021 U.S. Open, which will be held at Torrey Pines Golf Course on June 17-20, 2021.

Admire murals in Chicano Park

Declared a national landmark in 2017, the park is located in Logan Heights, the oldest Mexican-American neighborhood in San Diego. The area’s draw is not only the huge concentration of Chicano murals, but also the gardens, sculptures and festivals, all housed within an emerging arts district.

Wander through diverse neighborhoods

San Diego offers over 100 unique and dynamic neighborhoods, each with distinctive dining, shopping, outdoor activities and culture. Find yourself oceanside, in the mountains or strolling through city streets.

Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Exhibiting works across all media since 1950, the MCASD offers a range of contemporary art in a historic setting. Visit their downtown location or look forward to the La Jolla location reopening after a major expansion in the fall of 2021.

Explore San Diego on two wheels

San Diego offers trails from smooth, easy paths to rugged mountain bike routes. The Bayshore Bikeway is a 24-mile bicycle circuit consisting of both car-free bike paths, as well as designated on-street bicycle lanes. Or step it up a gear with mountain bike trails at Mission Trails Regional Park, which offers 5,800 acres of varied terrain and trails.

Journey through Wine Country

Home to more than 115 dynamic wineries, San Diego is an ideal destination for wine lovers. Due to unique microclimates existing within San Diego County, a selection of more than 60 distinct vinifera varieties are available throughout the region.

Visit craft breweries

Craft beer enthusiasts will find a large and diverse collection of over 150 breweries throughout San Diego. Look forward to San Diego Beer Week (2021 dates TBD), a celebration and promotion of the area’s craft breweries.   

Attend Comic-Con International

Much anticipated, Comic-Con International will return to the San Diego Convention Center from July 22-25, 2021. Also, look forward to the new Comic-Con Museum, opening in summer 2021, that will provide the magic of Comic-Con year round.

Savor San Diego’s culinary scene

With cuisine from around the world, San Diego offers a destination for any palate. With the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival (Nov. 7-14, 2021), there is a lot to look forward to in 2021.

Attend the Breeders’ Cup World Championships

The two-day international horse racing event will attract the best horses, jockeys and trainers from around the world to Del Mar, one of the world’s most iconic racing venues. Scheduled for Nov. 5-6, 2021, the Breeders’ Cup will end the season with 14 thrilling races.