Several major cruise lines, including Celebrity, Disney, Holland America and Princess Cruises depart from San Diego, California. The San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal is located in downtown San Diego right on the Embarcadero on San Diego Bay. Since the airport is also in the same area, it’s a busy hub year round. Most of the cruises from this port city are headed to Mexico and you’ll find a wealth of things to do and explore around the city before and after your trip.

The Beaches

Even if you’ll be in San Diego for just a day before or after your cruise, make sure to check out one of the many beaches. There are multiple beaches to choose from including Coronado Beach, La Jolla Shores and Pacific beach, but the one that stands out to us is Windansea Beach since it has such amazing scenery. And for some excitement, you can watch experienced surfers ride the waves here since the surf breaks right at the shoreline.

Parks & Gardens

One of the most popular things to do in San Diego is visiting the local parks and gardens. Unlike other parts of California, San Diego is known for its biodiversity and you’ll find everything from beautiful gardens to rugged desert terrain around the city. Make your way to the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Botanical Building with its Koi and Lily Pond, and the San Diego Zoo to make the most of your visit.

Balboa Park

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Balboa Park is perhaps the most well-known attraction in San Diego, located just minutes from downtown. The historic park is where you’ll find the Spanish Village Center with its arts, crafts and beer. Live music events take place daily throughout the park and you can also visit sites like the Balboa Park Carousel, the Balboa Park Miniature Railroad, and The International Cottages.

Local Flavor

Foodies will appreciate the diversity of offerings in San Diego and you’ll find plenty of great places to explore in the downtown area. The vibrant dining scene includes restaurants offering al fresco dining, chic spaces, and urban-inspired menus. Make your way to eateries like Juniper & Ivy; Kindred cocktail bar that serves vegan dishes; or  the classy Provisional bistro inside The Pendry hotel to try some new flavors. Several restaurants serve up amazing seafood dishes and can also be a great place to get your fill of local favorites.