This city by the sea is a coveted vacation destination for anyone with wanderlust. San Diego has it all: natural beauty, a buzzing nightlife, plenty of food, and more adventure sports than you can tackle in one trip. Whether you’re hoping to soak in some sun on the beaches or eat your way through the Gaslamp District, travelers of all types can find fun things to do in San Diego, CA. From the mountains to the sea, San Diego activities appeal to the heart of anyone eager to experience Southern California.…
Adventures in San Diego
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- Adventures (31)
- Air, Balloon & Helicopter Tours (16)
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- Amusement Parks (4)
- Attractions (10)
- Culinary Experiences (49)
- Day Cruises & Water Activities (68)
- Land Adventures (49)
- Restaurants & Nightlife (51)
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- Tours & Sightseeing (160)
Rendezvous with your friendly guide at the shop to gather all your equipment and get a brief overview to prepare for your adventure. Then, head down to the beach, hop on your kayak, and paddle out to sea. Follow your tour leader to an ideal location to anchor the kayaks.
Here, you put on your snorkel gear and jump into the ocean, searching the waters below for sea creatures. Keep your eyes peeled for innocuous leopard sharks, bat rays, and a variety of fish, with a chance to also spot a dolphin or sea turtle.
After a thrilling snorkel expedition, return to shore. Admire the exquisite scenery along the way and watch for your chance to catch a glimpse of sunbathing sea lions on the rocks. Read More close
Meet your guide at the shop to get outfitted with your kayak equipment and hear guidelines for a safe and successful tour. Then you proceed to the beach, hop in your kayak, and start out to sea.
You paddle out about 2 miles (3. 3 km) off the coast to find ideal sites for spotting the majestic gray whale. The 600-foot (180 m) La Jolla Canyon deep below provides a perfect path for the creatures' migration. While waiting for the chance to witness the mammal gliding by, your guide shares the history and background on the surrounding area. As you explore the La Jolla Ecological Reserve, you are likely to see other species of the abundant marine life located here including sea lions.
Finally, you make your way back to shore to conclude the tour. Read More close
Head to the shop to meet your friendly guide, gather the necessary equipment, and get an informational overview in preparation for your excursion. Continue to the beach where the reefs have provided calmer waters to safely get on your kayak. Take notice of the breathtaking surroundings as you leave shore, keeping an eye out for sunbathing sea lions.
Make your way to the millions of years old sandstone cliffs to explore the exclusive sea caves, 6 of which are only accessible by kayak. Enter the fissures in the rocks that were once used to smuggle immigrants and contraband through. Peek over your kayak to discover the plentiful marine life in the ecological reserve, such as garibaldi fish, dolphins, and sea turtles.
Wrap up your tour as you soak up the sun and paddle your way back to shore. Read More close
Meet up with your trained pilot and instructor at an airport just outside the sun-soaked streets of San Diego. Get a thorough orientation to your day's activities, don a flight suit, and learn how to operate the basic controls of a nimble Extra 330LC plane. Climb aboard with your guide, letting them take care of takeoff before you grab the controls and prepare to engage.
Make sharp turns and stomach-churning drops as you track down an enemy plane, getting control help from your co-pilot along the way. Practice lining up stealthy shots and evading fire as you swoop and soar through the air. When your dogfight is over, let loose with some practice on the craziest aerial maneuvers you can dream up including tail slides, spins, corkscrews, and loop-the-loops.
Before you head back, take on one last mission, destroying a simulated missile defense system placed at the bottom of the valley floor. On your way, dodge anti-aircraft guns and digital shots before you launch your own weapons and destroy the target, making the skies safe for a graceful landing back at the airport. Read More close
Once off the ferry, glide beachside and learn the facts, history, and legends of the area. Roll past the West Coast’s only all-wood, luxury Victorian beach resort hotel, the Hotel Del Coronado. This hotel, built in 1888, was once a private home and is now home to a resident ghost, Kate Morgan.
Your fast-paced ride continues around the lively streets and walking paths of Coronado Island. Make frequent stops to snap memorable photos of amazing beaches, stunning scenery, and opulent mansions. After your tour of the island is complete, make your way back to the ferry for a relaxing return trip to San Diego. Watch the island landmarks loom in the distance, feel the San Diego breeze on your face, and reflect on your adventure. Read More close
Beyond the rolling hills and sun-soaked shores of San Diego, head to a local hangar for an up-close view of your aerobatic aircraft, an Extra 330LC. After certified instructors brief you on the logistics and safety of your flight, practice multiple warm-up exercises and experience the surreal feeling of sitting in the pilot’s seat for the first time.
Under the supervision of an expert combat fighter pilot, embark on the ultimate competitive challenge and master the art of basic fighter maneuvers against a friend, or other expert pilots. Feel the power of your plane's 330-horsepower engine as it delivers the thrill of authentic aerial combat, savor the satisfaction of hitting a target with the optical targeting system, and watch as smoke appears from your enemy’s aircraft.
As the mission wraps up, experience the heart-stopping drop of your first hammerhead stall and the adrenaline rush of your first dynamic low-level air-to-ground mission, destroying a simulated missile defense system before you head back to the runway. Read More close
Nestled in Chula Vista, sits a new fleet of lavish supercars. There, you meet up with experienced drivers to help you get set up with your vehicles. Over the course of your 2. 5-hour experience, you can opt to drive in any of the 4 exotic cars on offer—a Ferrari 360 and F430, Porsche GT3, and Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. For a more thrilling adventure, you can also choose to drive in a combination of 2 or 3 or drive in all of the 4 supercars.
Choose which powerful machine you want to hop into first and receive a safety briefing, becoming acquainted with the exotic beast. Get instruction on how to operate the paddle-shift system used in Formula One race cars, and then you're ready to get out onto the open road. Feel the power and exhilaration of the engine as you blast down straights and whip around curves with adept precision.
Feel the ocean breeze blow through your hair, and listen to the animalistic roar of the engine as you speed along some of San Diego’s most beautiful coastal scenic roads, including the Silver Strand, Coronado Island, and Harbor Island routes. Get a scenic glimpse of the area's bustle, striking structures, and iconic architecture as you cross the Coronado Bridge, heading back to the car yard, safe and sound.
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2 hours 30 minutes
Your experienced instructor is waiting for you on the picture-perfect Cabrillo Isle Marina, on the north end of scenic San Diego Bay. Here, begin a brief orientation on the techniques necessary to control a flyboard, which combines the feeling of a jetpack with the power of a jet ski.
This experience is perfect for you and a group of friends or family. Get fitted into your wet suit and then begin your aquatic adventure. Put your feet onto your skateboard-style flyboard and learn to balance, move your feet, and levitate—and before long—start to zip and skim along the water, reaching up to 40 feet (12 m) in the air. With the help of 2 jets of water blasting out from beneath your feet, shoot up through the surface, or lean forward and race your friends along the sparkling San Diego shore.
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Meet up with your professional instructor in Cabrillo Isle Marina, on the north end of scenic San Diego Bay. Enjoy a brief lesson on the basic controls of your high-flying ride, don a wetsuit, and then strap your feet onto your skateboard-style flyboard.
Leap into the water and feel the power churn underneath your board. Rise up and hover above the surface, lifted only by the force of 2 massive jets of water blasting out from beneath your feet. Once you’ve mastered balancing, attempt a few maneuvers like corkscrews, dives, or maybe a dizzying flip. Experienced instructors control the throttle, so you only have to worry about deciding which trick to try next.
When your time runs out, gracefully descend back into the water and make your way toward the dock. As you unstrap from your curious contraption, consider another round or enjoy the chance to watch the pros take a few spectacular spins. Read More close
Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get behind the wheel of one of the world's top-rated supercars. Your day begins with a choice between a candy red Ferrari F430 Spider, with a V8 and 490 horsepower, a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, with a V10 and all-wheel drive, and a nimble Porsche GT3.
After a private instruction and safety briefing to acquaint you with the car's paddle-style shifters, blast off and begin an adventure where you get to choose the route and itinerary. Race along curvy mountain roads toward Cleveland National Forest, view the San Diego skyline as you travel over the Coronado Bay Bridge, or tame the coastal lanes near La Jolla. Don't forget, you get to enjoy the thrills of this high-powered ride for 24 hours, so you can cruise during the day and at night.
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Start your hunt in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, where your friendly guide is waiting for you with an envelope containing the name of 2 randomly chosen team leaders and all the instructions you need to get going. Split into teams and and read the first clue to kick off an adventure that leads you through the sunny streets of San Diego to historical buildings, world-famous sights, and delicious food stops.
A friendly tour guide is on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly, but figuring out the clues is up to you. Along the way, sing songs, snap photos, and enjoy delicious samples from local eateries as you race the other team to 3 popular San Diego restaurants featuring a wide variety of American and international cuisines.
Fuel up on samples of specialty dishes and consider grabbing a glass of wine, a pint of frothy beer, or an expertly mixed cocktail before you head to your next secret destination. End the hunt back at your starting point as you compare your adventure with the other team and make plans for your next excursion. Read More close
Your tour starts with a quick safety video and a discussion on how Segways work, with a demonstration in an enclosed training area. With your Segway skills mastered, set off to explore the distinguished landmarks of the Gaslamp Quarter and San Diego Bay.
The Gaslamp Quarter is rich in modern character and Victorian-era history, boasting former residents such as Wyatt Earp and other figures from early American history. Travel the Embarcadero that runs along San Diego Bay—connecting residential areas, hotels, and restaurants—to see the city's naval history at the USS San Diego Memorial and the USS Midway.
After rolling beside the bay, discover the lush sights within Balboa Park's 1,200 acres (485 ha), wheeling by fragrant gardens, intriguing museums, and world-renowned attractions. Read More close
Embrace the opportunity to cruise around town in your choice of high-powered rides. Consider revving the V8 engine of a Ferrari F430 Spider and find out what 490 horsepower feels like when you stomp on the gas. Or, trade elegance for the brutal strength of the all-wheel-drive Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, whose V10 produces 520 horsepower and fetches a price tag of US$ 235,000.
After you make your choice, enjoy a brief lesson on how to operate the paddle-style shifters, or choose to use the fully automatic mode as you blast off on your joyride. Head for the chaparral-blanketed hillsides of Cleveland National Forest, the scenic spans of the Coronado Bay Bridge, or the dramatic rock formations and ocean-hugging lanes near La Jolla. No matter where you go, don't forget to put the top down. Both models are convertibles, perfect for cruising around sun-soaked San Diego. Read More close
Your Segway lesson starts with a quick safety video, followed by a discussion on how Segways work and a demonstration in the training space. You then hop on your own Segway for some professional instruction and ride time in an obstacle course, so you can get comfortable maneuvering the machine around the city streets.
Once you've aced the course, receive a ceremonial certificate indicating that you have completed Segway training and are ready for the streets of San Diego. Read More close
As you journey away from the start location to La Jolla, you see why it is also known as the "The Jewel. " Cruise past one of the most expensive places to live in the United States—with average house prices of 1. 8 million dollars.
During your time beachside, visit some of the famous areas like the Children's Pool. This beach, built for families in 1932, quickly became a favorite of the harbor seals and sea lions. Another stop on the trip is the Windansea Beach. Hear the fierce waves crash on the underwater reefs and jutting rocks structures, as you roll past this magnificent sight. See a steady flow of romantics and experienced surfers enjoying the picture-perfect weather and waves.
Before heading back, check out historic Sunny Jim's Cave, which was once used to smuggle Chinese immigrants and contraband whiskey during Prohibition. Read More close
Your day starts on warm beaches just north of San Diego's sun-drenched streets as you squeeze into a wetsuit and take a few test breaths out of your snorkel. Before you head into the water, listen to your guide share tips about how to communicate underwater and what to look for as you swim through this incredible undersea world.
Make your way into the calm waters of a quiet cove and begin skimming the water's surface looking for bizarre anemones, brightly colored starfish, or maybe even a curious sea lion. Dive down to get closer looks at plant life gently waving with the changing tide, and investigate the nooks and crannies under rocks where you might see scampering lobsters or camouflaged rockfish. Return to shore as your trip winds to a close, keeping your eyes peeled for more creatures hiding in tidal pools scattered along the beach. Read More close
Once the sun goes down, take a short ride from San Diego and meet up with an experienced diver in La Jolla for an underwater excursion you won't soon forget. Known to locals as "bugs," these crawling creatures are far more active at night, moving across the ocean floor to feed, mate and, hopefully, get caught.
Get fitted with a wetsuit, booties, and gloves to keep you warm and safe while you dive, and make sure to grab a flashlight to shine into the nooks and crannies where these tasty crustaceans like to hang out. When you're ready, dive under the surface and start looking. Find your first catch of the night with a little guidance from your expert guide and use your handy lobster gauge to ensure it's a keeper.
After your dive bag is full of monster lobster, head back to shore to get a few tips on how to clean and prepare these sought-after delicacies, so you can enjoy them when you get back home. Read More close
Meet your local guide on the shores of La Jolla Cove and get fitted in your swim and snorkel gear. As you prepare to enter the water, your guide gives you detailed descriptions of the wild life commonly found in the area and clues you in on the finer points to help you spot them.
Wade out into the water and then submerse yourself into the beautiful world beneath the surface. Follow your guide to the hidden caves off the coast that are only accessible by swimming. As you snorkel in these caves, it's possible to spot Garibaldis—California's state fish—along with Senorita fish, and even sea lions. Make the most of your time in these magical sea caves before heading back to shore. Read More close
Meet your local guide at the La Jolla Shores and get fitted in your snorkel gear as your guide briefly runs over the safety information. Your guide describes the wildlife that inhabit the area—including beasts of both the land and sea—to get you hyped for spotting some of these majestic creatures.
Once you've ventured into the water, experience the thrill of swimming with leopard sharks, which range from 3—7 feet (1–2 m). If you’re brave enough, reach out and touch them—the sharks are actually completely harmless. Enjoy your two hours of snorkeling and take in all that the ocean has to offer by swimming with these creatures, in addition to stingrays and sea turtles. Read More close
Head to Chula Vista and meet up with experienced drivers to get acquainted with your rides for the day. Consider starting in an elegant but powerful fiery red Ferrari 360, or perhaps kick off your day with the brutal acceleration of a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. But don't worry, whatever you choose only represents your first ride. Over the course of your 2-hour adventure, you can drive every super car on offer, including a Ferrari F-430 and a Porsche GT3.
Before you take off, get a brief lesson on the car's operation, including how to operate the paddle shifting system—the same type used in Formula 1 cars. When you're comfortable, fire up the engine on your own, or grab a friend to act as your co-pilot and navigator. If you want, you also have the option of taking turns and sharing the drive, so you can both experience the thrill of executing perfect turns and the excitement of stomping on the throttle down long straightaways.
Spend the afternoon carving up mountain roads, gazing down wide-open valleys and grabbing peeks at the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Swap cars along the way, comparing their handling and acceleration qualities,and putting each of them to your own critical driving test. Who knows, you might just want to buy one! Read More close
Make your way to Gillespie Field with convenient transportation from a central meeting point in downtown San Diego. When you arrive, listen to a brief orientation and get fitted for a flight suit before you head to the runway and hop under the glass canopy of an Extra 330LC. This 330-horsepower stunt plane is the ideal aircraft for an afternoon spent performing wild flight maneuvers.
Watch as the propeller spins to life and you cruise down the airstrip, gaining speed until you gracefully lift off the ground. Once you're airborne, your pilot doesn't waste any time diving into a wide array of incredible tricks and aerobatics. Hold on as you snap into tight barrel rolls, swoop into aileron rolls, and slowly fade into hammerhead stalls.
Before you head back to the airport, enjoy a low-flying buzz so you can watch the scrub-covered landscapes blur by the bright belly of your nimble plane. End your high-flying excursion with a graceful landing and a comfortable ride back to San Diego. Read More close
Enjoy convenient transportation from downtown San Diego to Gillespie Field, where your pilot is performing final safety checks on your plane for the day, a 330-horsepower Extra 330LC. Get a quick introduction to the safety protocols and basic controls of the aircraft before you throw on a flightsuit and hop in. Rocket down the runway and blast into the air, keeping your eyes peeled for the first signs of other fighters.
Your high-flying engagement pits 2 teams against each other in a game you won't soon forget. Whether you're defending or attacking, you're sure to find yourself dodging and diving to escape enemy fire. Along the way, take over the controls to fly the plane all on your own, getting feedback and guidance from your instructor and pilot.
Afterward, blow off some steam, learning how to perform some gnarly tricks including spins, dives, corkscrews, and loop the loops in preparation for your final mission. Dip down to cruise along the desert floor, screaming toward your target and dodging anti-aircraft guns. Drop your payload and then shoot up into the clouds for a daring escape, returning to the airport to compare your performance with other pilots. Read More close
You won’t have trouble finding the Patriot upon your arrival to the harbor. Covered in giant American flag decals, the 70-foot (21-m), turbo-charged jet boat catches lots of attention as it waits for you to jump on for a hair-raising ride around the harbor.
Climb aboard and listen to a brief introduction about the day’s tour from your experienced captain. When it’s time to head out, make sure your hat is on tight and the grip on your camera is secure as the engine revs and you launch across the dark blue waters powered by dual 1,400 horsepower engines.
Reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour (80 km/h) while you fly under the Coronado Bay Bridge and alongside mighty Navy vessels like the USS Midway. Watch the city skyline blur during tight, controlled spins and heart-pounding turns, all set to high-energy hits blasting from the state-of-the-art sound system.
Wrap up your exhilarating excursion with a few final tricks and high-speed runs before returning the marina and finding a towel to help you dry off. Read More close
Ride from your hotel to Gillespie Field, where your pilot is performing the final safety checks on a nimble Extra 330LC. While you don your flight suit, listen to a safety briefing and find out your flight plan. Get a few tips on how to use the digital gun controls in the wingman's seat and then hop aboard, ready to fly.
Shoot down the runway and take off into the skies, ready to look for your airborne opponent. When you find your target, bank, dip, and swoop to avoid getting hit, and then go on the offensive, honing in before you pull the trigger.
After your dog fight, make a low pass over the desert floor to take out simulated anti-aircraft guns and a missile defense system. As you shoot, your pilot helps point out targets ready to be destroyed and even lets you take the controls, so you can top off your adrenaline rush flying the plane all on your own. With your mission complete, swoop back around and make a graceful landing before hopping on comfortable transportation and returning to San Diego. Read More close
Kick off your underwater safari with a lesson on how to use a Hawaiian sling, a classic style of speargun that uses a simple rubber band to launch a sharp arrow through the water. After a bit of target practice, head into the calm waters to try your hand at the real thing.
Explore the waters, looking under rocky overhangs and behind thick kelp gardens as you keep your eyes peeled for the camouflaged spots of a calico bass or outlines of halibut in the sand. When you spy something worth shooting for, dive down for a closer shot, line up your speargun and let your arrow fly.
Throughout the trip, your guide assists you with finding suitable targets and helps to hone your aim so you can get plenty of chances at landing a tasty souvenir. As you head back to shore, listen to tips on cleaning and preparing your day's catch. Read More close
Start the tour with instructions on boating basics and safe driving before getting in your own mini speedboat. Seats are comfortable, and there is nothing obstructing your view, so get ready for a thrilling ride as your guide leads the way from the dock.
Feel the wind in your hair and splashes from the water as you cruise between sights along the harbor coastline. Meanwhile, listen in on the narration provided by your knowledgeable guide as you pass navy ships, Coronado Bridge, the historic ships of the Maritime Museum, and the downtown skyline. During one of the many stops along the way, you're able to swap seats so everyone gets a chance to drive.
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La Jolla's scenic shores are filled with an incredible array of marine life, from adorable sea lions basking on rock formations to manta rays and striking leopard sharks. Explore their world as you strap on a snorkel and enter the water with an expert guide by your side. Don't worry about cages; though these sharks can get up to 6 feet (2 m) long, their mouths are far too small to do any damage.
Keep to shallow waters where leopard sharks prefer to hang out as they feed and look for mates. Admire the spotted black and silver colors of their shimmering sides and keep your eyes peeled for their underwater friends, including gliding manta rays and spiky rockfish.
Back on shore, chat about myriad of creatures you found underwater, but don't stop looking for wildlife. In addition to sharks, rays, and fish, La Jolla's shoreline is often brimming with barking sea lions and soaring sea birds. Read More close
Don a flight suit on the runway of Gillespie Field, just beyond downtown San Diego as your trained pilot goes over basic safety information. When your plane is prepped, jump into the cockpit and lower the glass canopy before taxiing down the airstrip.
Watch as the propeller roars to life and you lift off into the skies. Soon you're breaking into adrenaline-pumping aerobatics, watching the earth spin during daring loop the loops, holding on as you go into tight spins. Drift into tail slides, find out why they call it a snap roll, and feel gravity press you into your seat during High-G turns. Once you've tumbled, rolled, looped, twisted, and turned through the air, straighten out and head back to the airport for a soft landing back on the ground. Read More close
Steel your nerves as you get fitted for a stylish flight suit and meet your pilot and instructor for the day. After a brief orientation to get you familiar with the controls, head out to the runway and hop in the front seat of a 330-horsepower Extra 330LC stunt plane. Let your pilot get you into the air and stabilized, and then take over at the controls.
With step-by-step instructions from your guide, start off your looping lesson with a few basic tricks, including quick turns and long, graceful loops. After each maneuver, up the ante with a more challenging stunt, dipping the plane into hammerhead stalls, tail slides, and tumbling drops sure to get your blood pumping and your heart racing.
Finish up your extreme experience by letting your pilot take control, showcasing their favorite aerobatics before you head back to the airport and touch down back at the runway, taxiing to the hangar where you can jump out and catch a ride back to San Diego. Read More close