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10 Best Things To Do Alone In San Diego, California

10 Best Things To Do Alone In San Diego, California
Hannah
Hannah
Published

With its breathtaking coastline and laid back pace of life, San Diego is a city that never fails to delight. This captivating seaside city has an incredible amount to do, see, and explore for solo adventurers. From the beautiful beaches to the vibrant neighborhoods, San Diego is filled with plenty of brilliant attractions, stunning parks, chic eateries, and outdoor adventures. Hike along lush trails like Point Loma for breathtaking panoramas or paraglide off the sandstone ravines in Torrey Pines State Reserve. Soak up the sunshine on gorgeous Coronado Beach and surf the frothy waves at Mission Beach. Head to Sunset Cliffs Nature Park to watch the sun slip over the Pacific Ocean before eating mouthwatering Mexican food in the vivacious Gaslamp Quarter. Of course, no tour of the city would be complete without visiting the remarkable San Diego Zoo in fantastic Balboa Park. No matter your passion, San Diego has so much to offer. Here’s a list of the ten solo adventures to try out while you’re in town.

1. San Diego city tour (from USD 47)

This incredible four-hour tour lets you explore San Diego’s wonderful attractions and exciting neighborhoods. Ramble among the mansions in La Jolla, check out the renowned PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and admire the panoramas from Mount Soledad. Learn about the history of the city by visiting the amazing museums in Balboa Park and touring the historic landmarks. The tour also runs through the Gaslamp Quarter and Old Town, and can be upgraded to include visits to the USS Midway or Seaport Village.

San Diego City Tour

Duration 4 hours

164 reviews

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2. Open cockpit biplane sightseeing ride (from USD 107)

The vistas of San Diego are incredibly impressive; elevate your viewpoint on a Biplane Sightseeing tour! Each tour takes you to the sky in a classic 1920’s-era open cockpit biplane and lets you enjoy unprecedented panoramas of the coastline. Get a bird’s eye view of the San Diego downtown and watch the sands of the pristine beaches twinkle in the sun. Any of the five itineraries offered are a memorable way to see the sights and enjoy southern California’s spectacular natural beauty.

Open Cockpit Biplane Sightseeing Ride in San Diego

Duration Varies

61 reviews

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3. Private Balboa Park Segway tour (from USD 58)

Travel by Segway to some of the most popular spots in Balboa Park. A popular site for both tourists and locals alike, Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in the country, and is filled with amazing views and fascinating history. Admire the gorgeous Spanish-Colonial architecture as you learn about the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, and watch local artists as you explore the Spanish Art Village. As you zoom past the desert gardens and remarkable museums, your local guide will tell you more about the history of this remarkable park.

Private Balboa Park Segway Tour

Duration 2 hours

42 reviews

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4. San Diego Harbor cruise (from USD 24)

The best place to enjoy the balmy weather of San Diego is out on the water. This one to two-hour cruise takes you along the picturesque harbor where you can soak up the sun’s rays while you listen to the crew narrate the history of the city. Enjoy the beauty of the San Diego skyline as you skim the soft waves and glide past landmarks like the Coronado Bridge. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for glimpses of sea lions lounging along the piers! This laid-back cruise is perfect for taking in the sunshine, the surf, and the relaxing atmosphere of the seashore.

San Diego Harbor Cruise

Duration Varies

104 reviews

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5. Whale-watching cruise and Maritime Museum entry (from USD 77)

Embark on a marine safari in this four-hour whale watching cruise. This exploration highlights the brilliant aquatic life of the Pacific, including gray whales and dolphins. Skim the waves upon a classic sailing vessel as your crew describes the lives of the animals who make the ocean around San Diego their home. Stunning vistas surround you as the boat makes its way to the San Diego Maritime Museum which has an impressive collections of historic ships. Your tour will provide refreshments, and the luxury schooner has a “no seasickness” guarantee.

San Diego Whale Watching Cruise and Maritime Museum Entry

Duration 4 hours 30 minutes

39 reviews

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6. A Culinary tour of San Diego's questionable past (from USD 59)

The vibrant Gaslamp Quarter has a reputation as a trendy district crafting unique food and drinks, but this popular area has a fascinating, colorful history. Sample delicious cuisine as your local guide gives you the history of the notorious neighborhood. From its days of illicit alcohol-smuggling during Prohibition, the Gaslamp Quarter is now home to many bars, and the area brims with historic buildings. Bustling with new eateries, there is so much to explore in Gaslamp Quarter even when this walking tour ends.

Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past

Duration 2 hours 30 minutes

81 reviews

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7. La Jolla sea caves kayak tour (from USD 43)

La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour

Cool off from rushing around the city with a trip to the magnificent sea caves of La Jolla. Located in an ecological park, these sea caves are the perfect place for a kayaking adventure. Over the course of two hours, an experienced guide will lead you through spectacular kelp beds and past remarkable rock formations. Paddle along breathtaking coastline and enjoy the wondrous panoramas as you watch for sea lions and marine birds. No matter your level of expertise, this tour is a wonderful expedition.

La Jolla Sea Caves Kayak Tour

Duration 2 hours

76 reviews

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8. San Diego Zoo (from USD 52)

The San Diego Zoo is one of the city’s most renowned attractions, and is always a delight to visit. More than 3,700 species of animals call the zoo home, and there are plenty of zoo education activities and experiences offered for a one-of-a-kind encounter. Explore the lush exhibits as you wander past rare species like pandas, Amur leopards, and Californian condors. Roam the park on foot, hop aboard the guided tour bus, or ride the overhead gondola lift to get a bird’s-eye view of the park. As you trek past gorillas in the African rain forest and Malayan tigers in a sloping canyon, each excursion around the zoo is an adventure of exploration and education.

San Diego Zoo

Duration Varies

161 reviews

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9. Small-Group afternoon sailing excursion (from USD 87)

Sail through the gorgeous San Diego Harbor and admire the city’s skyline from afar. This three-hour, small-group journey is peaceful and relaxing, and a memorable way to explore the area. As you soak up the sunshine and the scenery, your crew will provide you with refreshments.

Small-Group San Diego Afternoon Sailing Excursion

Duration 3 hours

49 reviews

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10. Skip the line: USS Midway Museum (from USD 18)

Walk through time as you explore the exhibits in the USS Midway Museum. The former naval vessel is one of the largest aircraft carriers in the US Navy fleet and is a tangible emblem of American history. Learn about the long history of the ship as you explore the flight deck, the galley, the engine room, and more. The self-guided audio tour leads you through interactive exhibits that trace the ship’s journey from 1945 to 1992.

Skip the Line: USS Midway Museum

Duration Flexible

396 reviews

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A city of adventure, exploration, and surprises

If you expect San Diego to have magnificent sandy beaches and a laidback, coastal charisma, you won’t be disappointed. Yet, there are also so many unique attractions, historical neighborhoods, and hidden natural spaces that fascinate, delight, and will spark your desire to explore. The charms of this Californian city are endless! Start exploring San Diego today!

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Hannah is a freelance writer, list making aficionado, and world traveler currently based in the United States. She is an avid explorer, and believes in creating new experiences to put on her bucket...Read more

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