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What to Do with 48 Hours in San Diego


If you are planning on visiting San Diego, off the Pacific coast of California, for a short or weekend visit, you will need to pack a lot into your short 48 hours in the city. San Diego is an excellent place to visit with its almost perfect weather all year round, exquisite beaches, parks, restaurants, bars, and attractions. So, if you are visiting San Diego for 48 hours, here are some things you need to do:


Lionfish is a San Diego Restaurant located in the Pendry Hotel, and this restaurant is a modern and cutting edge with its fresh catch dishes using seasonal ingredients, prepared by homegrown San Diego chef Jojo Ruiz. The restaurant is two-stories, where you can dine on delicious seafood. So, when you are looking for a place for lunch or dinner, be sure to give Lionfish in Gaslamp Quarter a try, especially if you love fresh seafood.

The Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter is a popular area and not to be missed. You could spend a lot of time in the historic Gaslamp exploring the history, restaurants, bars, and lounges. It is a center for its nightlife scene and therefore is extremely busy in the evenings.

USS Midway Museum

This museum is located in an aircraft carrier shift-midway located downtown along the Navy Pier. The museum includes the former aircraft carriers and aviation relics. If history is your thing, then the USS Midway Museum will be an exciting place for you to visit.

Balboa Park


In Balboa Park, you will find numerous museums, recreation venues, and a variety of performing arts arenas and attractions to enjoy. Also, in Balboa Park, you can enjoy restaurants, dog parks, and walking trails. The park is popular for its family-friendly activities, especially in the summer, including Food Truck Fridays, where families can eat and listen to live entertainment.

Coronado Island

Across the bay from downtown San Diego, you will find Coronado Island. It's a busy place for tourists, who love to visit for the spectacular beaches, clear water, and friendly beach town environment. In Coronado Island, you will find the historic Hotel Del Coronado, which has been serving guests since 1888. In Coronado Island, you can enjoy a 10-mile bike tour that takes you over the Coronado Bridge, by the Hotel Del Coronado, and by many other historic and picturesque spots on the island.


Old Town

If you want to do some shopping for souvenirs or enjoy history, make your way to Old Town. The Old Town Market is where you will find all sorts of souvenirs from folkloric are to one of a kind handcrafter’s items and contemporary Mexican fashions. Along with the market, you can enjoy the food at one of the authentic Mexican restaurants.

Old Town Trolley (Hop-on/Hop-off)

The best way to see San Diego, especially if you only have 48 hours, is by the trolley. The driver is also your tour guide, where you will learn about the history of the city and the neighborhoods. The trolley is open-aired, which allows you to enjoy the warm temperatures and sunshine while you ride.

Belmont Park

Belmont Park is an amusement park, where you can enjoy an old-school wooden roller coaster, attractions, and games. If you are hungry, make your way to the Wave House, a restaurant and bar that features sand floors and wave simulators where you can watch novice and expert surfboarders do tricks. If you are feeling adventurous, rent a surfboard and try catching your own waves on the simulator, or try the real waves in the Pacific Ocean behind Belmont Park.

Final Thoughts

There is so much that you can see and do in San Diego, from the museums, attractions, and beaches, to the restaurants, bars, and nightlife. Your 48 hours will undoubtedly be packed, trying to fit everything in on your visit.


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