Things to do in Downtown San Diego
There are many more attractions in San Diego than just the sunshine and beaches, although a lot of people consider San Diego weather to be the finest in the country. There is a heavy Spanish influence in the San Diego area, and that is reflected in many of its older, more picturesque buildings. The downtown area is a thriving crossroads of ethnic cultures and modern influences, with a great deal to see and experience, both for residents and visitors. Here are some of the real ‘must-see’ attractions the city has to offer.
The Trolley Tour
The green and orange trolley cars which wend their way through city streets provide an excellent way for visitors to become acquainted with the city, while enjoying the ride in an old-style trolley car. These cars go right down Harbor Drive to the oceanfront, so you’ll also get some great views of the Pacific Ocean, and you can learn all about the city from the narration provided by your driver.
There are a number of museums and gardens which can be toured within Balboa Park, and it is so expansive that it’s one of the country’s largest existing greenspace areas. Many of the attractions within Balboa Park are absolutely free to the public, so this is an activity you can enjoy without having to dig too deep into your pockets. Anyone who sees the Desert Garden or the Zoro Garden cannot help but be impressed.
The Spanish Village
This area of the city sprang into existence in the 1930’s, when it was created as a colony of artists who were preparing for the Pacific International Exposition. To this day, it is still inhabited by more than 200 artists who have eclectic interests and practice a wide variety of art forms. This Village is situated within Balboa Park, and is a true haven for art lovers everywhere, containing at least 37 art galleries and studios, which are open to the public.
San Diego Padres baseball game
From April through September, Major League Baseball games are played at PETCO Park in San Diego, and this recently built stadium is an attraction all by itself. There’s nothing quite like spending an afternoon or evening at the ballpark, and enjoying America’s national pastime. Only about 30 cities in this entire country play host to a major league team, and San Diego is privileged to be one of them.
At one time, this area of the city was an international leader in the tuna industry, and it still retains its original Italian influences. There are Italian art galleries, restaurants, and even an Italian farmer’s market still operating, all of which make the area distinctive and appealing. It is home to the largest art festival on the West Coast and the largest Italian Festival outside the boundaries of New York City.
USS Midway Museum
At the time of its launching in 1945, this was the biggest sea-going vessel in the world, and it remains one of the most visited attractions in all of San Diego. It is an excellent representative of naval life, and tours are available of its flight control tower, the brig, the living quarters, and its ready rooms. Visitors can also explore the aircraft which were used when the Midway was actively sailing the seas of the world in its heyday.