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Hidden Gems In San Diego To Visit On Vacation

Children's Pool Beach in La Jolla

Most Unique Hidden Gems in San Diego

San Diego is filled with activities in the sand, sea and surf. Often referred to as America’s Finest City, this coastal town is saturated with year round sunshine, its residents are characterized as having outdoor lifestyles and adventure can be discovered at every turn. For those planning a visit, there are a few must-sees on everyone’s travel itinerary; and then there are the off the beaten path hidden gems that are rarely included.

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After exhausting the guidebooks and blogs, websites and travel tips, there are the bits behind the scene, under the radar, not found on many travelers’ lists that are considered the treasures found by few. Whatever you fancy, be sure to check out a few of these San Diego hidden gems on your next vacation.

Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage & Meditation Gardens, Encinitas

These world-renowned gardens overlooking the Pacific Ocean offer a place for peaceful meditation, inspiration, yogic charm and views as far as the eye can see.

Spruce Street Suspension Bridge, Bankers Hill

Crossing 70 feet above Kate Sessions Canyon soars a special treasure of the county. Wiggle along the footbridge while you float high above the treetops of this park-side San Diego neighborhood.

Salk Institute, La Jolla

Head to La Jolla Beach to check out the beautiful architecture high above the Pacific Ocean. The entire property is dedicated to discovery, science, architecture, health, introspection and development. The facility welcomes visitors, provides tours and regularly hosts events.

Sea Cave Kayaking, La Jolla

Marine life, picturesque scenery, ecological reserves and kelp beds are part of the viewing and discovery amidst everyday life in this well-known beach-side community. Take in the sights, sounds and aromas of nature while enjoying a relaxing afternoon on the water.

The Pearl Hotel, Point Loma

Free “dive-in movies” at the poolside lounge and outdoor theater are offered weekly at this San Diego staple. Socialize, relax, people watch, eat, drink and enjoy a night under the stars.

Museum Month, Balboa Park

Each February is Macy’s Museum Month in San Diego. Stop into any Macy’s store to pick up your coupon and list of participating museums. Half-price entrance to many of the city’s top rated museums will keep you enlightened, learned and entertained all month long.

Roar and Snore at the Safari Park, Escondido

With tents, campfires, wildlife, guided walks and more, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park offers a night to remember. Come as a couple, with friends or bring the entire family and experience a special evening featuring animal friends, outdoor nightlife and the sounds of nature.

Elfin Forest, Escondido

Providing over 700 acres of natural magic – including trails and views of San Diego’s island, ocean and mountain regions – Elfin Forest leaves hikers and travelers wanting more after each visit.

A Morning at the Racetrack, Del Mar

Enjoy a morning of food and fun while admiring the speed and grace of Del Mar’s horses. Dine al fresco, learn about all things equine and take in the sights of dynamic thoroughbreds as they warm up for their next encounter on the track.

Model Railroad Depot, Old Town

Check out the history, meticulous detail and hours of love and labor at this specialty depot located in Old Town San Diego. Joining the work of many, this museum showcases the wall-to-wall intricacies of model railroads and the time and detailed work by model railroads enthusiasts.

Holiday Cheer, City-Wide

If you happen to be in San Diego in December celebrating the holidays in your flip flops, be sure to check out the treasure trove of holiday lights around the city’s neighborhoods. Among the most popular are Christmas Card Lane in Rancho Penasquitos, Garrison Street Lights in Point Loma and Fairway Village in Carmel Mountain Ranch to name a few. For the true light enthusiasts, hop aboard the Holly Jolly Old Town Trolley, complete with guided tour and themed treats.

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