Without knowing any of your specific interests here is a list of general ideas:

Of historical interest:

1. Old Town San Diego and the adjacent Presidio Park. Where the Spanish first founded San Diego in 1769.

2. Mission San Diego de Álcala. The first of California's chain of missions founded by Fray Junipero Serra.

3. Cabrillo National Monument. This park celebrates the arrival of the first Europeans led by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542. Additionally offers one of the best views of downtown San Diego, a great vantage point for viewing the annual migration of the California Gray Whale (late Dec. through March), and tidepools for examining local coastal sea life.

4. San Pasqual Battlefield. Site of the only battle fought on California soil between American and Mexican troops during the Mexican-American War.

Natural interest:

1. Stephen Birch Aquarium. Wonderful aquarium exhibiting local sea life, specimens from the Sea of Cortez, and South Pacific Atoll exhibit. Affiliated with Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

2. Mission Trails Regional Park. Located near the Mission San Diego de Álcala this urban park preserves and explains through exhibits the geology and biological ecosystems that make up our coastal canyon environment.

3. La Jolla Cove Underwater Park. A marine sanctuary open for snorkeling and scuba diving. Divers may encounter California Sea Lions, spiny lobsters, and bright orange garibaldis, the state fish of California.

4. Anza-Borrego State Park. This desert park is wonderful to visit in late winter and early spring when the flowers are blooming and the temperatures have moderated.

5. Torrey Pines State Park. A coastal park situated on several hundred foot high bluffs. Home to the unique Torrey Pine. Great views and nice hiking.


1. Balboa Park (where the San Diego Zoo is located) also is home to a number of museums. They include the San Diego Museum of Art and the Timken Gallery, the Mingei Museum of Folk Art, Museum of Man, San Diego Natural History Museum, Reuben H. Fleet Space Center, Aerospce Museum, Automotive Museum, Hall of Champions Sports Museum, and Museum of Photographic Arts.

2. Museum of Contemporary Art. Located in La Jolla overlooking the Pacific.

3. Stuart Collection. A collection of outside art commisioned for and created specifically for the various campuses at the University of California at San Diego.


1. La Jolla. Affluent neighborhood situated around the La Jolla Cove and on the slopes of Mt. Soledad. Shopping, dining, lovely coastal views and walks.

2. Coronado. A wonderful community across San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego. Great small-town atmosphere and also home to the venerable Hotel del Coronado.


1. The end of Point Loma. Best views of downtown San Diego, San Diego Bay, and west to the Pacific Ocean. This view can be had from Cabrillo National Monument. If you don't want to pay the entry fee stop short of the Monument and take a stroll through Fort Rosecrans National Cemetary. Same views, less cost, less people (living, that is).

2. Mt. Soledad. Wonderful views of Mission Bay Park and downtown San Diego to the south, as well as, La Jolla and the Torrey Pines cliffs to the north.

3. Torrey Pines Glider Port. Views of the Pacific with hang gliders floating on the thermals rising up the cliffs fronting Blacks and Torrey Pines beaches. It is common to see dolphins frolicking in the surf several hundred feet below. Also a great view south to La Jolla.

4. Hyatt Regency on the harbor next to the convention center. City's tallest building has great views from its top floor lounge.

5. Peohe's restaurant on Coronado. Wonderful night time views across the bay to downtown San Diego.

6. Bertrand at Mr. A's. This restaurant at the top of the Fifth Avenue Financial Center adjacent to Balboa Park has wonderful views of downtown San Diego, Balboa Park, and the airport. Unique opportunity to look down on arriving airliners as they approach Lindbergh Field (San Diego's airport).


1. Legoland. Located in Carlsbad.

2. San Diego Wild Animal Park. In San Pasqual Valley.

3. Temecula Valley. Center of wineries in Southern California.

4. Mexico. That's a whole other story.

Hope this helps.

John Rule San Diego, CA