Things to do in San Diego

Here’s your key to the city. A definitive guide of the best local spots, as told by local Airbnb hosts

Best of the best

897 local Airbnb hosts recommend

As one traveler put it: "This is the green and leafy heart of the city where a multitude of activities and nearby attractions await. But if you just want to soak up some rays, go for a quiet walk, ... read more

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre urban cultural park in San Diego, California, United States. In addition to open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths, it conta... read more

Museums / Architecture / SD Zoo / Trains: miniature to see & mini to ride / Arts & Crafts / Street Performers / Music/ Carousel / Nature Trails / Cactus & Rose Garden / Fouintains / Disc Golf / Pla... read more

289 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is located within San Diego city limits and yet remains one of the wildest stretches of land on our Southern California coast! Because of the efforts and foresigh... read more

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is 2,000 acres of coastal state park located in the community of La Jolla, off North Torrey Pines Road. Although it is located within San Diego city limits, it re... read more

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is 2,000 acres of coastal state park located in the community of La Jolla, off North Torrey Pines Road. Although it is located within San Diego city limits, it re... read more

734 local Airbnb hosts recommend

The roar of a lion from the Panama-California International Exposition in 1915 inspired Dr. Harry Wegeforth to start a zoo in San Diego. Now the 100-acre, world-class Zoo is home to more than 4,000... read more

The San Diego Zoo is a zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California housing over 3,700 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies. Its parent organization, San Diego Zoo Global, is one of the lar... read more

The San Diego Zoo is world famous for not only its exhibits but also for its contributions to the natural world. The Zoo, located adjacent to downtown San Diego in Balboa Park, is 100 acres in size... read more

319 local Airbnb hosts recommend

La Jolla Cove is an unforgettable beach in San Diego ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and swimming. La Jolla Cove is a part of the La Jolla Underwater Park meaning it is a marine refuge... read more

Walking north on Coast Blvd you will find the seals and beautiful beaches. Once you pass La Jolla Cove Beach, make a left onto Coast Walk Trail where you can have stunning views of La Jolla Shores... read more

La Jolla Cove is a small deep water bay, flanked by sea caves accessible to adventurers in kayaks and on foot, depending on the tides. The beach itself is small, but it’s usually tame waters are po... read more

114 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Best Fish tacos and street tacos around. Hole-in-the-wall order and sit or take out. Homemade hot sauces. Shrimp Ceviche and the Surf & Turf Burrito are my favorites.

“Oscar's is a little hole in the wall taco stand. Their specialty is fish tacos, shrimp tacos, and ceviche. There is often a line out the door to order and a bit of a wait for your food to be ready... read more

Some say this the best fish taco in San Diego. If you like fish tacos, give it a try. Personally, I think South Beach Bar & Grille is a little bit more cool if you want a bar. If you are throwin... read more

109 local Airbnb hosts recommend

A meat lover's paradise - casual place that you order at the window and hang out at cool tables on the back patio. The line gets long so be prepared to wait a bit to order.

Great Triple Threat Pork Sandwich: pork loin schnitzel/ pulled pork/ bacon/ pepperoncini relish/ shack aioli

“Famous, enormous meat sandwiches. Get "The Nate" (off-menu) which is a BLT with pork belly and a fried egg! Small but good beer list. Outdoor seating, dog-friendly. Gets busy late at night.”

113 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Some of the best pizza and homemade pasta you can eat outside of Italy. It's popular, they don't take reservations. Locals only tip: Call ahead and ask to put your name on the list and ask how long... read more

“Wonderful Italian restaurant serving pizza from a traditional wood fired oven. Great outdoor patio. Gets busy, may have to wait, but worth it. Walk around the quaint charming 'hood while waiting. ... read more

Amazing Italian food (IMO) and a nice stroll from the house through the South Park neighborhood. Pasta, pizza, and many specials are great at this spot and the prices are very reasonable for such ... read more

112 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Lively eatery offering ocean views, seafood-focused Mexican fare & a huge selection of microbrews. Watch the sunset on the pier and head over for some fish tacos! Great happy hour deals!

Best fish tacos in Ocean Beach. A must do is to sit on the second floor outdoor patio with a view of the ocean or the main commercial district of Newport Avenue.

Best Taco Tuesday in town. Great view. I recommend eating upstairs. Beer battered fish taco or the grilled shrimp or grilled mahi mahi tacos are winners

96 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Best ocean view in OB! Belly up to the window seat along the perimeter of restaurant and order a cocktail. How many times have I sat here for hours watching the waves, surfers, beach goers....?... read more

This spot has great food and the best water front view in San Diego. I love the watching the sunset with a yummy drink here. It's also one of my favorite places for Sunday Brunch. Favorite Dishe... read more

Best ocean view in OB! Belly up to the window seat along the perimeter of restaurant and order a cocktail. How many times have I sat here for hours watching the waves, surfers, beach goers....? I'v... read more

95 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Never have I ever had a bad meal here. It's French inspired and wow it's fantastic. The parking in this area sucks, however you pay a couple of bucks and the parking structure across the street i... read more

“Upscale American comfort food, with such offerings as a lamb and fig meatloaf and a duck confit mac 'n cheese! Sundays they have a bluegrass brunch, and the hangar steak benedict is to die for! Do... read more

Amazing upscale southern comfort food, great cocktails, and a bluegrass brunch on Sundays. Don't skip the cheddar biscuits! Check out the local celebrity portrait above the bar.

95 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Cocktails, cocktails, cocktails! Great vibe, does get busy, especially on weekends. Food available from the next door place, Soda and Swine (meatballs but do have a veggie option). Outdoor seating ... read more

Best Craft Cocktails in San Diego - Hand made to order, Bottled, and on Draft. Partners with Soda & Swine next door with fantastic burgers/sliders and incredible side dishes and desserts -- S&S wi... read more

James Beard award winning cocktail bar. Definitely worth a visit! Next to Soda and Swine where you are welcome to order food and have it brought through whilst you enjoy cocktails.

188 local Airbnb hosts recommend

This floating retired aircraft carrier in San Diego Bay is a must see while visiting San Diego. There are docents and audio guided tours to give you a feel for what it was like to live aboard the ... read more

This is by far the best aircraft carrier museum in the nation! The ship hosts all sorts of events and is a highlight of any visit to San Diego. In my career, I flew two of the aircraft on the fli... read more

Rated one of Top Ten Museums in the nation. This is a really unique museum: a WWII era aircraft carrier, literally a "city at sea". Thousands of men and women lived for weeks or months at a time on... read more



Food SceneRestaurants
$· 5010 Newport Ave·Map·Hours·Website·

101 local Airbnb hosts recommend

One of Ocean Beach’s most iconic restaurants, Hodads’, established in 1969, has the world’s best hamburger because it’s all about fresh toppings, great portions and good times! This is a “must see... read more

“Iconic San Diego Burger Joint which was featured on Diners Drive ins and Dives TV show. Always a line during the Summer but worth the wait. Wednesday is the best time to beat the line.”

One of the best burgers in town. There's always a line, but it's worth the wait. Overview: Ocean beach has a hippie vibe more so than other neighborhoods in San Diego. It has a smaller beach, but g... read more

96 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Best beer bar in the city. Try a IIPA if you want an assault on your senses. The Palate Wrecker IIIPA was brewed by Green Flash Brewing just for this place. Free food and cheap beer every 2nd sat.

One of San Diego's best and most quaint neighborhood beer bars, offering an impressive array of craft brews along with an indulgent bar food snack menu (tater tots included).

This is a bar but I am calling it a brewery because they probably have one of the craft best beer selections in San Diego. Their tap is always rotating and they have a non-pretentious, often loud... read more

469 local Airbnb hosts recommend

SeaWorld San Diego is an animal theme park, oceanarium, outside aquarium, and marine mammal park, located in San Diego, California, United States. The park is owned by SeaWorld Entertainment.

Located only two miles from the cottage, Sea World is a world class theme park offering first class shows and thrill rides. The park is educational allowing you to understand ocean life and its in... read more

Iconic amusement park featuring countless animal exhibits and interactions as well as roller coasters, indoor rides and hugely entertaining animal shows. This is a "must do" if you're visiting wit... read more

84 local Airbnb hosts recommend

This is a fun beer house, pizza parlor. Also the area is nice for walking and exploring other bars, restaurants, coffee shops, etc.

Modern-tavern space with communal tables has a renowned craft beer list, plus wood-fired pizza.

The best craft beer choices and they have amazing pizza. Community style tables, the more the merrier. Casual environment.

229 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Fashion valley mall is located walking distance from the property and houses San Diego's most high end brands and stores. Everything from Hermes, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Bloomingdale's, and... read more

Fashion Valley Mall is an upscale, open-air shopping mall in Mission Valley in San Diego, California. The shopping center has over 1.7 million square feet, making it the largest mall in San Diego a... read more

Fashion Valley has it all. Only 8 minutes away by Uber....Shop til you Drop......Everything you could want in an afternoon. Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and many of the largest Nordstro... read more

90 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Wanna drink, good food, and a kiddie play area? This excellent neighborhood restaurant is usually packed on the weekend, kids swarming on the train themed play area.

Bar-restaurant that's semi-outdoor, cute string lights and picnic tables, dogs and kids welcome. Good beer and great burgers, and a great architectural modern/casual ambiance. One of our favourites!

Kid/ Dog Friendly Restaurant and Bar. Craft Beer, burgers, salads, sweet potato fries and tater tots are favorites! Indoor and outdoor seating. Won the Orchid for architectural design. Walk.

89 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Good Vietnamese-fusion. Good vibes. Good beer selection. Filming completed on 4/21/13 for Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-In and Dives. $1.00 pint beer special daily between 11am and 5pm.

Good Vietnamese-fusion. Good vibes. Good beer selection.Famous Pho Noodle Restaurant seen on Food Network's Diners.


World Famous

Food SceneRestaurants
$$· 711 Pacific Beach Dr·Map·Hours·Website·

73 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Seafood & Steaks. They offer brunch, lunch, and dinner. Tuesday nights the bar area has $1 shrimp tacos and Wednesday nights $1.50 lobster tacos. Reservations recommended. Valet parking or free val... read more

Go here if you want a nice meal out with a lovely ocean view! Serving brunch, lunch, and dinner. Super cheap bar menu on weekdays. (15 min walk/5 min bike) Valet parking and free underground parking.

“Nice for weekend brunch or breakfasts. Locals spot during the week in the bar area for the happy hour specials. Monday's 1/2 off all apps, Tuesdays shrimp tacos, Wednesdays lobster tacos, Thursday... read more

332 local Airbnb hosts recommend

The Heart of San Diego's Nightlife Rising from the 16 square-blocks are Victorian-era buildings and modern skyscrapers that stand side by side, housing more than 100 of the city's finest restauran... read more

“Its iconic and a must do for the nightlife enthusiast. For those looking for a more upscale high end good time try Fluxx Nightclub or the new Parq or classic Sky Lounge for dancing. Hit up Donovan... read more

In downtown San Diego is the Gaslamp Quarter National Historic District, an area of restored late 19th and early 20th Century Victorian buildings. Today the Gaslamp Quarter is a trendy area with sh... read more

70 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Kono's is somewhat of a local institution, mainly a breakfast spot, but also some good lunch. Simple good food, but bang for your buck on quantity. Get there early because the line gets long. If... read more

One of the biggest and best breakfasts at the beach. Cash only (ATM outside if you forget). Line out the door is a normal thing waiting to order. There is a small indoor seating area, outdoor seati... read more

“Kono's is a very popular breakfast/lunch spot across from the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach. Decently priced amazing home-style breakfast! HUGE portions. Usually there is a line out the door, but ... read more

258 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Petco Park is an open-air ballpark in downtown San Diego, California, USA. It opened in 2004, replacing Qualcomm Stadium as the home park of Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres.

The Padres may not be the best baseball team, but they have one of the best stadiums. Head down and catch a game. The stadium is in the gaslamp district which offers plenty of restaurants and bars... read more

Go to any game! You don't have to love baseball to LOVE your time in this park. Greatest date EVER! Great food and tons of excellent beer options. No bad seats in the entire place but I prefer ... read more

68 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Not sure if this place has ever been featured on "Man vs. Food" but it should be. Great food in gigantic proportions. Expect at least a little wait at all times; expect a long one for weekend brunch.

This is a 100% breakfast place. The line here is long, also worth the wait. You might consider sharing a plate or plan on taking home a doggy bag (a big one) the food is tasty and the presentatio... read more

Have breakfast before heading to the Zoo or Balboa Park. Huge portions and great food. Get there early or make a reservation to avoid long lines on weekends.

76 local Airbnb hosts recommend

One of the best rooftop bar views of La Jolla Cove. Modern Fusion and Hipp! Also casual and fine dining restaurants on the lower levels! Highly Recommended!

Our favorite restaurant for the quality of the food and the ocean view! Executive chef Trey Foshee and his highly skilled team source locally grown or harvested products whenever possible, using t... read more

Renowned chef Trey Foshee’s seafood-centric cuisine served in an elegant setting with three-stories of ocean views. Open for lunch and dinner. Zagat rated San Diego’s Best Californian Restaurant (3... read more

85 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Seinfeld fan? Does the phrase "No Soup For You" ring a bell? This would be SD's "No Burger For You" take on the joke. Supposed best burger in San Diego for those without attitudes only!

Best Burger in town. Only serves burgers/ cheese burgers and fries. M-F lunch special of burger, fries and beer, wine or soda for $11.50 Gluten allergists can have the fries!

“Arguably one of the best hamburgers in San Diego can be found at this local bar. Can be a wait for a table. Menu has two items (hamburger 1/3 or 1/2 lb with or without cheese and French fries) Lun... read more

66 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Very trendy and tasty. Long wait times so early bird gets the worm :-) The best breakfast in town if you ask me. Not open beyond brunch time. A must for those who eat "Green"

Truly San Diego's FAVORITE breakfast - and for good reason. The wait can be long after about 9am so go early or put your name in and shop around Hillcrest - they will text you when ready!

Are you a breakfast connoisseur? Then this is the spot for you. Snooze is everything you could want in breakfast. Beware though - due to its popularity lines can be very long (especially on the wee... read more

70 local Airbnb hosts recommend

The best affordable steakhouse in San Diego... strong drinks, cook your own steaks (completely worth it and fun), don't forget the grasshopper martini... ridiculous... open friday's for lunch..

Hipster Local restaurant. Cook your own steak on the grill. Known for good strong drinks and "rockabilly type alt crowd artist types..."

This dinner spot harkens back to the 50s. Dimly lit, small place. Order the huge and strong Mai Tais, while you choose your meat which is delivered raw. Meet new friends as you grill your meat o... read more

68 local Airbnb hosts recommend

This is THE social spot to see and be seen. Hip, elegant and cozy. Quite a difficult balance to achieve but they excel at it. Also a whole sale wine shop!

This is one of the best in the area. For a more casual dining experience and happy hour sit at the bar. They have amazing wine and delicious flatbreads. For a more formal dining experience I high... read more

This is hands down the best Italian food in San Diego! We have been coming here since 2011 and have never been disappointed. If you end up going ask to be served by Kevin, best waiter in San Diego!... read more

70 local Airbnb hosts recommend

Nice coffee shop with guitar on Sundays. It's a really nice coffee shop on par with Panikan's. I love both these places. My friend Jeremiah leads the open mic on sundays for guitar. Look him up.

One of 5 featured CA coffee roasters by AAA Westways Mag, its a warm, inviting place. Friday mornings there are public "cuppings" (tastings) where you can learn about roasting and brewing coffee.

Definitely some of the best coffee in town! I got the Trophy Wife which is a Macadamia Nut flavored coffee and it was amazing. Decent line so be prepared but, they grind that coffee fresh and this ... read more