San Diego: Like No Place Else

Zoos, Legos, ComicCon, oh my! Find out what makes this California city unique.
By: Aaron Heier

San Diego is home to several of the world’s most renowned attractions, events, conventions, tourist destinations and recreational endeavors. More than 31 million visitors spending $7.9 billion help make tourism the city’s top industry. They come for many things, including:

World Famous San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park
2920 Zoo Drive in Balboa Park, 619-231-1515
The 100-acre San Diego Zoo is home to more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals, representing more than 800 species and subspecies and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants. One of the largest nonprofit public zoos in the United States, it is run by the Zoological Society of San Diego which also operates the Wild Animal Park and San Diego Zoo Conservation Research. Founded on October 2, 1916, by Harry M. Wegeforth, M.D., the society is currently the largest zoological membership association in the world, with more than 250,000 member households and 130,000 child memberships, representing more than 500,000 people.

Hotel del Coronado
1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118, 619-435-6611
A Victorian icon unequalled anywhere in the world, the historic Hotel del Coronado -- The Del -- is a landmark institution of vacation hospitality. The Del’s idyllic locale on one of the West Coast’s most revered stretch of beach land is matched only by its unique fusion of modern luxury and the grandeur of period architecture and aesthetics. Immortalized by Hollywood in the comedy classic Some Like it Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, the 700+ room Hotel Del is a true American treasure encapsulating more than 120 years of fascinating history and lore.

500 Sea World Drive, 800-257-4268
With more than 100 million visitors since its opening on March 21, 1964, the first and original SeaWorld is San Diego’s #1 tourist attraction and one of the most popular marine parks in the world. Spread out over 189+ acres on Mission Bay Park, SeaWorld is renowned for its spectacular animal shows, interactive attractions, aquariums and rides, and is currently home to more than 20,000 animals, including 16 species of marine mammals, 430+ species of fishes and more than 100 species of birds. It is also home to the world-famous killer whale, Shamu, who has performed for millions of guests from around the world since 1965.

One LEGOLAND Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760-918-5346
The only Lego-themed and branded park in the United States, Legoland, in San Diego’s North County, offers more than 50 rides, shows and attractions for the whole family. Geared to younger aged children, the park is split into various areas with all rides, themes and scenes completely constructed by and emphasizing the iconic Lego brick toy.

Del Mar Racetrack
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014, 858-755-1141
Built in 1937 by Hollywood legend Bing Crosby and a host of partner investors, the Del Mar Racetrack is widely considered one of the most beautiful American Thoroughbred Horse Racing tracks in the country, known for its tan stucco grandstand located directly on the Pacific Ocean. In 1938, Del Mar hosted the first nationally broadcast Thoroughbred racing event ever, where Seabiscuit’s triumphant win over favored Ligaroti put the racetrack on the international map.

Balboa Park
Mission Bay
Mission Trails Regional Park
The Triple Jewel of the San Diego City Park system offers the best in outdoor activities, from hiking to swimming to golf.

Native American Indian Reservation Casinos
Try your luck at these entertainment resorts:

  • Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino
  • Sycuan Casino
  • Pala Casino Spa Resort
  • Harrah’s Rincon Casino & Resort

Temecula Valley Wine Country
Sample fabulous wines and take a tour of the Napa Valley of Southern California.

Street Scene
This popular annual music festival features outdoor concerts on multiple stages showcasing up-and-coming bands as well as familiar favorites from various musical genres.

Comic-Con International
A comic lover's heaven, this annual fan convention is the world’s largest comics and popular arts convention promoting comic art, films, television and science fiction. 

Next Up

San Antonio: Like No Place Else

Learn about the attractions that put San Antonio on the map.

San Francisco Bay Area: Like No Place Else

Learn what makes the Bay Area unique.

What Makes San Jose Like No Place Else

This list of local San Jose tourist top spots will make your visit a memorable one.

What Makes Sacramento Like No Place Else

Here are the sights and events that make Sacramento unique.

Raleigh: Like No Place Else

Find out what makes Raleigh's residents love their city.

San Jose Essentials

Whether you're visiting San Jose or have recently moved to this northern California metropolis, here's the scoop on the best places in town.

San Antonio Essentials

Where to go and what to do in San Antonio? This vistor's guide leads the way.

San Diego Essentials

Where to eat, drink, and play in this Southern California city.

San Jose's Technology Obsession

Learn all about why this city calls itself the capital of Silicon Valley.

Profile: San Jose, California

Learn about San Jose, CA with this visitor guide that includes relocation information, top local destinations and more.


Top GAC Shows

Flea Market Flip

Sundays at 8|7c

Living Alaska

Mondays at 9|8c

Top 20 Countdown

Consult Program Guide

Flippin' RVs

Wednesdays 9|8c

Get Social With Us

Let's explore this country together.