Find tips on where you can learn what to do in San Diego.
San Diego has developed into a major tourist destination. According to the San Diego Conventions & Visitors Bureau, a private tourism nonprofit organization, San Diego boasts more than 31 million visitors annually, making it a West Coast hot spot for cultural, historical and family-focused attractions. California's second largest city is bordered by 70 miles of beaches, and is home to world-renowned zoos and museums. Tourism is big business here; visitors pumped $7.9 billion into the local economy in 2007, according to the visitors' bureau.
San Diego boasts a vibrant nightlife, fine dining and endless shopping, providing countless forms of entertainment for people of all ages. Whether visitors would like to come face-to-face with a whale, or experience some of the world's greatest naval battles on an aircraft carrier, they'll have no trouble finding something interesting to do.
Balboa Park spans 1,200 acres and encompasses 15 museums, including the San Diego Museum of Art, and an expansive array of scenic gardens. Amongst these attractions lies the San Diego Zoo, one of America's most popular zoological institutions. In addition to the animal and plant exhibits, the park features multiple performance art venues for visitors to catch concerts, musicals and plays.
Another popular destination is the U.S.S. Midway, now permanently stationed in San Diego Bay. The perfect destination for history and military buffs, the aircraft carrier that began its 47-year service in Word War II now operates as a hands-on museum and learning center.
Featuring 125 dining and drinking establishments, Gaslamp Quarter is located downtown and offers nearly as many retail outlets.
Visitors with an interest in aquatic life may enjoy Seaworld Adventure Park, which features fish and marine animal exhibits, rides and shows.
The Internet is the fastest and easiest place to start learning about what San Diego has to offer. Many sites provide detailed features about particular events and activities, travel information and extensive lists of entertainment options like bars, restaurants and concert halls.
The San Diego Conventions & Visitors Bureau Web site is a good source of San Diego travel information, allowing visitors to book a flight, reserve a hotel and even find a rental car. Other features include an extensive events calendar, as well as complete listings of restaurants, shops, golf courses, beaches and more. Plus, there are links to coupons for attractions in the area.
The San Diego Union-Tribune offers a visitor's guide that appeals to both tourists and locals on the Web site SignOnSanDiego.com. The online guide is kept up to date and offers more than the usual tourist information, including dog-friendly beaches, farmers markets, sporting events and current surf conditions.
The government Web site of the City of San Diego provides a wealth of information about popular attractions and important transit options, in addition to listings of recreational activities at San Diego's public beaches, parks and facilities.