Playing Tour Guide in SD

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If you have friends or family visiting sunny San Diego before summer ends and you’re not sure where to take them, we’ve got you covered. Sometimes it’s difficult to decide what events and places to squeeze in when you only have a limited amount of time to show off your city. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best that San Diego has to offer. Typical tourist spots are included, but we’ve also added some fun adventures that are off the beaten path and they’ll be sure to impress your visitors.

Family Friendly

Some of the most iconic spots in San Diego are at Balboa Park. Just taking a stroll through the park, past the fountain, over to the pond, and ending up at the California Tower is an experience that gives people a feel for our city. As of earlier this year, the California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Man is open for public tours. You can show your friends and family the new view of San Diego. From the second floor of the Museum, you go up a staircase that has been hidden to the public for decades. Then you climb seven floors, getting glimpses through narrow windows of the beauty outside. Finally, you climb a spiral metal stairway and emerge into sunlight where you’ll see a spectacular Southern California vista. Good views of the city are always crowd pleasers, especially if the crowd is from out of town.

While you’re strolling around Balboa Park, show your friends and family the world famous San Diego Zoo (especially if you have some kiddos visiting.)

Eclectic Spots

If you want to give your visitors an all encompassing tour, don’t just include the most iconic spots. Stop by mom and pop shops, and local, family owned business to show them the more personal side of the city. Take a stroll down Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach to enjoy a main street that’s full of locals and locally owned businesses. If you have a friend or family member who loves finding antique treasures, this is a great place to be. Or, if you are looking to show off San Diego’s craft beer culture, Newport Avenue has more than a few breweries and tasting rooms to visit.

If your guests like to trek around the outdoors, head over to Presidio Park. The hiking trails are never disappointing, the park offers great views of the city, and the wildlife is beautiful year round.


If you want to spend a night on the town, two of the best places to be are Pacific Beach or Downtown. These two areas definitely have different vibes, but tons of San Diegans know that if you want to have a wild night, you’ll end up in one of these places. If you’re looking for a more laid back, beach vibe, cruise over to Garnet Avenue in PB for a good pub crawl.

If you want to party like a rockstar and show your visitors some upscale clubs, head downtown and check out Omnia. This nightclub boasts rooftop cabanas, a pulsing dance floor with world famous DJs, and a chic modern lounge area. Omnia is guaranteed to impress any guests interested in the club scene.


Last, but definitely not least: You haven’t done your job as a tour guide if you don’t bring your friends and family out to the Pacific Ocean. When you live this close to the water, the shoreline has to be in your visitors’ itinerary. Whether its PB, OB, La Jolla, or anywhere in between, your visitors will thank you for the quintessential California experience of simple relaxation on the beach.

Visiting these spots will give your visitors some epic memories of sunny San Diego.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at [email protected].

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