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BEST SAN DIEGO ATTRACTIONS

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When you think about San Diego, what comes to your mind? Is it beautiful weather, Coronado Island, The Gaslamp District, amazing parks and recreation facilities, or the United States Naval Base and USS Midway? If you said yes to one or all of the above, then boy do we have a treat for you! Old Town Trolley offers the most efficient and practical way to visit all of the Top Attractions in San Diego. Many visitors come to the city for a long weekend and donít have the opportunity to see a majority of the Best San Diego Attractions. By choosing an Old Town Trolley Sightseeing Tour, you can see all the sites and hop off at all the places you want to visit. No worries about parking, directions, and getting lost! This is stress-free transportainment! Check out our list of the top-rated San Diego Tourist Attractions.
 
Balboa Park
Balboa Park   Northeast Edge of the Business District • 619-239-0512

Balboa Park is the nation’s largest urban and cultural park. Home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo.
 
     
 
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Belmont Park
belmont park   3146 Mission Road • 619-656-1500

A wooden roller coaster, a carousel and a 175-foot long indoor swimming pool are part of this Oceanside amusement park’s allure. The Big Dipper, built in 1925 and now a California Historic Monument is known for turbulent twists and g-forces.
 
     
 
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Birch Aquarium at Scripps
birch aquarium   2300 Expedition Way • 619-534-3474

Birch Aquarium at Scripps brings to life the exciting discoveries of world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Enter the world of sharks, seahorses, living coral reefs and more, and discover a stunning variety of Pacific marine life in more than 60 habitats. Interact with exhibits that showcase the cutting-edge discoveries of Scripps Oceanography explorers through hands-on displays and multimedia.
 
     
 
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Cabrillo National Monument / Old Point Loma Lighthouse
cabrillo national monument  

619-557-5450

It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542; first time that a European expedition had set foot on what later became the west coast of the United States. The lighthouse, which is often used to depict San Diego, dates from 1855 and was decommissioned in 1891. Both are part of the National Park Service.

 
     
 
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Centro Cultural de la Raza – Balboa Park
cultural arts center  

619-235-6135

A multidisciplinary cultural arts center dedicated to creating, promoting, preserving and educating about Chicano, Mexican, Indigenous and Latino art and culture.

 
     
 
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Children’s Museum
children's museum  

200 West Island Avenue • 619-233-8792

The Children’s Museum provides a dynamic, playful public space and community center for children and families—a place to experience exciting art exhibitions, hands-on studio projects, performances, birthday parties, in-depth classes, camps and educational programs. Across the street from the new building is a beautiful park, extending the museum visit outdoors with space for running, climbing, family picnics and a view of the trains and trolley going by.

 
     
 
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Coronado Ferry Landing
coronado ferry landing  

1201 1st Street • 800-442-7847

Located on the beautiful island of Coronado, you'll discover a charming collection of shops, art galleries, fine restaurants and fun eateries surrounded by tree lined walkways, swaying palms and sparkling ponds. Across the bay is one of the best views of downtown San Diego.

 
     
 
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Gaslamp Quarter
Gaslamp Quarter  

Fourth and Fifth avenues from Broadway to Market Street.

This 16-block National Historic District contains most of San Diego’s Victorian-style commercial buildings from the late 1800’s and is now home to tree-shaded brick sidewalks with shops and restaurants considered the night life area of San Diego.

 
     
 
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Hotel del Coronado
Hotel del Coronado  

1500 Orange Avenue • 619-522-8490

Built in 1888, this classic beachfront respite has long been heralded as one of America’s most beautiful beach resorts. A pronouncement underscored by its designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1977. Today, The Del offers guests a unique combination of modern luxury touched with the charm and grace of this fairytale castle. Include its stunning beachfront locale and it’s easy to see why The Del has been called “one of the top ten resorts in the world” by USA Today.

 
     
 
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Japanese Friendship Garden - Balboa Park
japanese friendship garden  

619-232-2721

The Garden originated as a teahouse during the 1915–16 Panama-California Exposition and now lies on two acres near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

 
     
 
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La Jolla Cove
la jolla cove  

1100 Coast Boulevard.

Not far from downtown La Jolla - an upscale hamlet of hotels, boutiques, and galleries - lies La Jolla Cove, a swimming and diving paradise. This tiny beach nook, part of the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, is sheltered by picturesque cliffs and offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean in an intimate setting. La Jolla Cove has some of the clearest water of all San Diego beaches, making it ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling. The gentle lapping waves of La Jolla Cove also make for an enjoyable day of sunbathing, picnicking, or reading a book.

 
     
 
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LEGOLAND California
legoland californai  

One LEGOLAND Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008
760-918-LEGO

A 128-acre family theme park located just 30 miles outside of San Diego. The park features more than 15,000 models created from more than 35 million Lego bricks.

 
     
 
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Maritime Museum of San Diego
Star of India  

1492 North Harbor Drive • 619-234-9153

Maritime Museum of San Diego features assorted exhibits along with three historic vessels: the 1863 tall ship Star of India, the 1898 ferry Berkeley, and the 1904 steam yacht Medea. Also included are sail ships HMS Surprise, The California, and two submarines: the USS Dolphin and a Soviet B-39 sub.

 
     
 
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Marston House
marston house  

3525 7th Avenue • 619-297-7511

This classic 1905 Arts and Crafts style museum home was built for noted civic leader and merchant George W. Marston and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 
     
 
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Mingei International Museum -Balboa Park
mingei museum  

619-239-0003

Dedicated to art of the people (mingei) from all eras and cultures of the world, Mingei International Museum features dynamic, changing exhibitions of historical and contemporary folk art, craft and design.

 
     
 
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Mission San Diego de Alcala
mission san diego de alcala  

10818 San Diego Mission Road, 92108

First of the 21 missions and known as the Mother of the Missions, Mission San Diego de Alcala was founded on July 16, 1769 by Blessed Junipero Serra. It was designated as a Minor Basilica in 1976 by Pope Paul VI. The Mission today is an active Catholic Parish in the Diocese of San Diego.

 
     
 
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Museum of Photographic Arts - Balboa Park
museum of photographic arts  

619-238-7559

MOPA, one of the few museums devoted solely to photography, features works by both the famous and not so famous.

 
     
 
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Old Town San Diego
couple shopping outdoors  

4008 Twiggs Street • 619-291-4903

Step back in time into a colorful world of fun and entertainment in beautiful Historic Old Town San Diego, the Birthplace of California where the first Europeans settled. The finest in professional theatre, artisans, galleries and shops are all within easy walking distance with free live entertainment, mariachis, dancers, period attire docents providing tours and more. Old Town San Diego is nestled in heart of San Diego, with more than 150 shops, award-winning restaurants, 17 museums, and historical sites.

 
     
 
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Old Town San Diego Historic State Park
trolley in front of Old Town San Diego Market  

4002 Wallace Street • 619-220-5422

San Diego State Historic Park marks the founding of the first European settlement in California and encompasses many of San Diego’s original buildings. Museums, shops, theater and restaurants can be found in this six-block area.

 
     
 
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Presidio Park
presidio park  

2811 Jackson St. • 619-692-4918

A historical fort established on May 14, 1769, the Presidio was the first permanent European settlement on the Pacific Coast.

 
     
 
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Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Balboa Park
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center  

619-238-1233

The Fleet is home to Southern California’s only IMAX® Dome Theater and 100+ hands-on science exhibits for all ages. Watch immersive giant-screen films and amazing planetarium shows in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Dome Theatre and experience seven galleries of fun, interactive exhibits.

 
     
 
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San Diego Air & Space Museum - Balboa Park
san diego air and space museum  

619-234-8291

Science, space and aviation history all unfold at the San Diego Air & Space Museum - California’s Official Air and Space Museum. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum houses a collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft from all over the world, including a working flying replica of Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the actual Apollo 9 Command Module spacecraft and the only real GPS satellite on display in the world.

 
     
 
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San Diego Art Institute (SDAI): Museum of the Living Artist
san diego art institute  

619-236-0011

A new exhibition of works by San Diego artists opens every four to six weeks in this 10,000-square-foot gallery, dedicated to the advancement of the visual arts through outreach, education, and exhibition.

 
     
 
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San Diego Automotive Museum - Balboa Park
san diego automotive museum  

619-231-2886

A nostalgic look at the icon of the 20th-century features more than 80 historic autos and motorcycles. Special exhibitions every two or three months display other fine vehicles and famous autos.

 
     
 
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San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum - Balboa Park
San Diego Sports Museum  

619-234-2544

The nation's largest multi-sport museum boasts memorabilia reflecting San Diego's sporting legacy. Visitors can call play-by-play for Tony Gwynn and Ted Williams in the state-of-the-art media center, follow the evolution of the surfboard, or soar with skateboard legend Tony Hawk.

 
     
 
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San Diego History Center – Balboa Park
san diego history center  

619-232-6203

The museum showcases the region's unique, colorful, and diverse history exhibiting artifacts, costumes, textiles, art, and photographs detailing life and development of the local area.

 
     
 
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San Diego Model Railroad Museum – Balboa Park
model railroads  

619-696-0199

At 28,000 square feet, the museum is the world's largest operating model railroad museum and contains four enormous scale and model layouts which depict railroads of the Southwest. The San Diego Model Railroad Museum features a Toy Train Gallery with an interactive Lionel layout for children and state-of-the-art theater lighting.

 
     
 
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San Diego Zoo – Balboa Park
panda bear  

Zoo Drive in Balboa Park • 619-234-3153

The San Diego Zoo, the most famous zoo in the world, was founded in 1916 by Dr. Harry Wegeforth, an enterprising San Diego physician who started with a handful of animals left over from the Panama-California Exposition. Now home to more than 4,000 animals representing 800 species.

 
     
 
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San Diego Padre’s baseball
petco stadium   Baseball fans can catch the Padres downtown at PETCO Park, with its garden terraces, spacious concourses and state-of-the-art amenities for the fans.
 
     
 
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Seaport Village
family walking Seaport Village in San Diego  

849 West Harbor Drive • 619-235-6569

Seaport Village, connecting hotels and the convention center with the harbor is a 14-acre outdoor mall with 75 shops, arts and crafts, dining and recreation with opportunity for sunset watching.

 
     
 
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SeaWorld Adventure Park
killer whale  

500 SeaWorld Drive • 800-25-SHAMU

Since opening in 1964, SeaWorld Adventure Park in San Diego has hosted more than 100 million adventure-seekers with amazing animals and wondrous shows. Journey to Atlantis, Wild Arctic, and Shamu's show Believe are just a few of the many attractions and activities that await.

 
     
 
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Spreckels Organ Pavilion – Balboa Park
spreckels organ pavilion  

619-702-8138

John D. and Adolph Spreckels donated the Spreckels Organ, one of the world's largest outdoor pipe organs, to the city of San Diego in 1914 for the Panama-California Exposition. This unique organ contains 4,530 pipes ranging in length from the size of a pencil to 32 feet and is housed in an ornate vaulted structure with highly embellished gables. Since 1917, San Diego has had a civic organist, who performs free weekly Sunday concerts.

 
     
 
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Starlight Theatre and Starlight Bowl – Balboa Park
starlight theatre  

619-232-7827

Constructed for the 1935-1936 California-Pacific Exposition, Starlight Bowl is the home of the Starlight Theatre (San Diego Civic Light Opera Association), which performs during the months of July, August, and September. One of the oldest continuously producing musical theater companies in the United States, Starlight presented its first season in 1946 and has featured more than 1,000 productions of 120 musicals.

 
     
 
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The Big Bay
san diego bay  

1050 North Harbor Drive • 800-44-CRUISE

San Diego Bay, also known as The Big Bay, invites water exploration with narrated harbor tours for North Bay, South Bay, Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument, North Island Naval Air Station, the Submarine Base, Coronado Bridge and more. A ferry shuttles between B-Street Pier (downtown) and The Ferry Landing Marketplace (Coronado).

 
     
 
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Timken Museum of Art – Balboa Park
timken museum  

619-239-5548

Considered one of the great small museums in the world, the Timken houses a wonderful collection of European old master paintings, American paintings, and Russian icons. Artists represented include Rembrandt, Rubens, Fragonard, Bierstadt, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, John Singleton Copley, and Eastman Johnson. Admission is always free.

 
     
 
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Twilight in the Park
spreckels organ pavilion   Free concerts Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings in Balboa Park, June 15th through August 26th. Twilight’s live music under the stars features a mix of musical performances, including military bands, Dixieland jazz, big band swing and Latin salsa. Concerts take place 6:15-7:15. Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park.
 
     
 
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USS Midway Museum
midway aircraft carrier  

910 North Harbor Drive • 619-544-9600

The USS Midway Museum features over 60 exhibits with a collection of 25 restored aircraft. The self-guided audio tour, narrated by Midway sailors, brings the carrier's history to life. Those who dare can "take to the sky" aboard one of three flight simulators.

 
     
 
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Veterans Museum & Memorial Center – Balboa Park
veterans museum  

619-239-2300

Located in the historic Old Navy Chapel, the museum preserves and honors the memory of men and women of the Armed Forces, Coast Guard, and Wartime Merchant Marine. The collection contains artifacts, documents, photographs, memorabilia, and artwork from the Civil War to the present.

 
     
 
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Whaley House
Whaley House  

2476 San Diego Avenue • 619-297-7511

The Whaley House stands today as a classic example of mid-nineteenth century Greek Revival architecture. Formally dedicated as a historic house museum on May 25, 1960 and open to the public ever since, it is one of southern California's most popular visitor destinations. Over 100,000 people visit the Whaley House annually, with guests traveling from across the globe to experience this world-renowned museum.

 
     
 
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San Diego Zoo Safari Park
wild animal park  

15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, California 92027-7017.

Just 30 miles outside of San Diego, this 1800 acre park is home to more than 3000 animals, many wild and endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. Animals are in free-range enclosures.

 
     
 
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William Heath Davis House
William Heath Davis House  

410 Island Avenue • 619-233-4692

The William Heath Davis Historic House Museum is the Gaslamp district's oldest surviving structure, a saltbox style home shipped around Cape Horn and assembled in San Diego in 1850. The museum has been home to many fascinating people, including pre-civil war soldiers, a German Spy and Alonzo Horton, founder of San Diego. Each room represents a historic period of the home and is filled with fascinating and amusing stories about the former inhabitants.

 
     
 
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World Beat Center – Balboa Park
world beat center  

619-230-1190

The Center is dedicated to promoting and preserving African, African-American, and other indigenous cultures of the world through art, music, dance, education, and technology. Classes in international dance and drumming are offered year round, along with concerts and lectures.

 
     
 
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San Diego’s Best Tour to See Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, the San Diego Zoo, Maritime Museum,
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego Convention Center, Old Town San Diego, Balboa Park, Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum,
Star of India, The Whaley House, Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village, Little Italy and Much More!
 
 
 

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