Interesting San Diego Itinerary 3 Days (Best Things To Do + Hotels + Day Trips)

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Read about San Diego Itinerary 3 days with the best things to do in the San Diego city tour in 3 days.

San diego vs San Francisco - San Diego Itinerary 3 Days

Why San Diego – San Diego is a coastal, quaint, laid-back city with lovely beaches and ancient historic vibes. San Diego is known for surfing beaches and hence an outdoorsy, idyllic seaside city.

San Diego Itinerary 3 Days – Best Things To Do In San Diego

Plan your San Diego itinerary 3 days with day wise list of the best places to visit in San Diego. 

Where To Stay In San Diego in 3 Days?

San Diego Itinerary 3 Days – San Diego In 3 Days

The highlights of the San Diego tour are – Historic Downtown tour, + Parks & zoo tour, + Best Beaches tour.

Day 1 of San Diego Itinerary

Historic Downtown + Balboa Park + San Diego Zoo

  • Start your day at Balboa Park, home to 17 museums, beautiful gardens, and plenty of outdoor spaces to explore. Spend the morning wandering through the beautiful park with Spanish architecture. 

    Stunning California Road Trip Itinerary 21 – 25 days
    Balboa Park – San Diego

  • Grab lunch at Panama 66, a popular restaurant serving tasty food and craft beer in a beautiful outdoor setting.
  • After lunch, head to the San Diego Zoo, close to Balboa Park. San Diego Zoo is a famous zoo with many exotic animal shows.
  • After the zoo, head to Old Town San Diego, the city’s historic heart. Take a stroll through the neighborhood, checking out the old architecture, ancient-styled shops, and Mexican restaurants, and maybe even stopping by the Whaley House Museum, which is said to be one of the most haunted houses in America. The historic Downtown area is energetic in the evening with lovely taverns and cafes. For spooky adventures, you can take evening and late-night haunted tours in this region.                        
  • Take dinner in old town San Diego. Indulge in Mexican food at colorful Cantinas. Cafe Coyote is the best place for a dinner with lovely live Mexican music.

Day 2 of San Diego Itinerary

Coronado + San Diego Port Village + Gaslamp Quarter

  • After breakfast, take a scenic drive to Coronado Island through a beautiful drive on the Coronado Bridge. Coronado is a wonderful island with lovely beaches and a historic hotel. Weekend Day Trips From San Diego - san diego itinerary 3 days
  • Have lunch in Coronado, which has lovely restaurants and open seating areas. The distance between Coronado from San Diego – is 6 to 7 Miles – You can do this by ferry or by driving through the famous Coronado Bridge.
  • After lunch, return to San Diego and explore the San Diego Port village.
  • Explore USS Midway Museum, on a retired aircraft carrier in San Diego Bay. The museum offers a self-guided audio tour that takes you through the ship’s various exhibits and gives you a glimpse into what life was like for the sailors who served on board.  
  • In the evening, head to the Gaslamp Quarter, the city’s historic district and home to some of the best nightlife in San Diego. Grab dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area and then hit up some of the bars and clubs.

san diego vs san francisco - things to do in san diego in 3 days

Day 3 of San Diego Itinerary

La Jolla, Carlsbad, and nearby beaches – Mediterranean-styled beaches with beautiful sunsets and surfing points would enchant beach and nature lovers.

  • La Jolla Shores is one of the world’s most famous and beautiful beaches. Its breathtaking views, upscale shopping village, surfing waves, white sands, and mysterious sea caves make it worth visiting. This beach is also known for scuba diving and snorkeling. La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Caves are the most famous attractions here. La to san diego road trip scenic stopovers
  • Carlsbad is the prime vacation spot for families due to its laidback stunning beaches, eclectic, colorful village, and kid-friendly attractions. Carlsbad is famous for its sunset, stunning beaches with blue waters, surfing, and plush beachside resorts. It also has its little downtown area known as Carlsbad Village, with many boutiques, funky restaurants, and bars. Carlsbad downtown is walkable, and the beach is within walking distance. Most Romantic Getaways ( Cities ) / Places in California
  • Take incredible, stunning sunset views from these beaches, as some of these sunset points are the best in the world. Dine in at beach-facing restaurants with fantastic ocean views with the setting sun. 
  • If you plan for San Diego in 4 days or a San Diego itinerary for 4 days, then on the fourth day, go for wonderful road trips or day trips from San Diego.

Historical Facts About San Diego

Spanish explorers first explored San Diego Bay in September 1542, so you can find much Spanish architecture in the old historic downtown. The whole old town depicts the ancient lifestyle, shops, and living with Spanish vibes. San Diego officially joined the USA in the 1800s and was earlier part of Mexico. 

Most Instagrammable or Photogenic Spots in San Diego

Stunning California Road Trip Itinerary 21 – 25 days - places to visit in san diego in 3 days
Colorful Mural art in Old Historic Town 
  • Old Historic Town, Balboa Park, San Diego port, La Jolla Beach, Carlsbad, Gaslamp Quarters, Sunset Cliffs San Diego,
  • Old Point Loma Lighthouse, Coronado Island – Hotel Del Coronado, Greetings from San Diego” Mural, Flower Ranches of Carlsbad. If you are looking for the best captions for San Diego, then read this wonderful list of Instagram captions on San Diego

San Diego Guided Tours – San Diego in 3 Days

These are some best-guided tours in San Diego.

Best Time To Visit San Diego

Weekend Day Trips From San Diego - San Diego vs San Francisco
San Diego Skyline from Coronado Bridge

San Diego, California’s climate is famous for its Mediterranean climate and has the best weather in the USA. San Diego is sunny throughout the year with warm weather and perfect for outdoor activities. 

Getting Around San Diego – Walkability or Internal Commuting

There are tourist attractions all over San Diego, so you must rent a car or taxi. There is little public transport in the city.

san diego vs san francisco

 You loved reading about things to do on the San Diego city tour and would plan your interesting San Diego itinerary 3 days. San Diego’s historical and cultural vibes with a fantastic coastline would win your heart. So plan some of the best places to visit in San Diego in 3 days for your following holidays.

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