By Reece Cabanas
Chief Distribution Officer

Let’s face it: even us college students need to unwind occasionally, and what better way to do so than with a nice getaway vacation?

If you’ve never been out to California before or are tired of places like Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Diego should be on your list.

It’s hard to narrow down a list of things to do in my own home city, but this past summer I decided to explore what really makes this area appealing to the average visitor.

Included are things to do not only in downtown but the greater San Diego area as well.

To begin, the beaches. In the summer, the San Diego coast is a huge must. Aside from being packed with locals and visitors, this is where the term “sunny San Diego” really shines through.

You’ll find people swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, bodyboarding, scuba diving, kayaking, jet skiing and more along the shoreline. 

There are numerous spots in particular you can look up, though my personal favorite is La Jolla Shores.

Depending where you go, in-ground bonfire pits are also available for those who want some warmth next to the water.

Next, Mission Bay: perhaps the biggest water recreation area aside from San Diego Bay. 

You can rent jet skis, boats, kayaks, paddle boards, and even take a ferry ride across.

And of course, San Diego Bay: for starters, the USS Midway museum is a must for military enthusiasts as you can walk through the decommissioned aircraft carrier’s interior and on top of the flight deck.

The museum pays homage to the carrier’s history, San Diego’s naval background, and those who have and continue to serve. 

Boat rentals are also available for sightseeing, special day cruises, parties, and off-shore fishing trips. Occasionally, large cruise liners will even pull into port.

Next, Belmont Park. Think of the famous Santa Monica Pier, but less crowded and there’s no pier.

Located next to the ocean and Mission Bay, this small amusement park is perfect for some good vibes and good times with friends or loved ones. 

Not sure what to do? There’s an arcade, mini golf, laser tag, rock climbing, rides, and carnival food.

And if you get tired of all that, you can go for a swim or ride a bike along the boardwalk.

Next, Balboa Park. It is perhaps one of the more exquisite works of architecture in the city, dating back to the year 1915 when the Panama-California Exposition was held here.

There is a giant fountain, an enormous outdoor organ pavilion, botanical garden, reflecting pool, and a replica old globe theater among other notable sites. 

Fun fact: the Embry-Riddle Golden Eagles Flight Team was inducted into the San Diego International Air and Space Museum’s Hall of Fame just last November.

The museum is one of 18 located throughout the park, with free admission on certain days of the month.

Next, the San Diego Zoo! It houses a variety of animals and is located right next to Balboa Park. It is one of the largest in the nation, housing both local and exotic creatures. 

For those old enough to legally consume alcohol, San Diego’s Gaslamp District is filled with local microbreweries and nightclubs.

Conveniently located next to Petco Park (where the Padres play), the Horton Plaza mall, convention center, and a ton of music venues within walking distance, the famous gas lamps represent the heart of the city and its nightlife.

These places are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring San Diego.

Even for someone like me who’s lived there my entire life, I’ll always find something new to do or see.

Being a decent 8-hour drive from Prescott, Arizona, this city is well worth a trip or two.

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