What is San Diego Known For? 16 Famous Things

San Diego is a city that is beloved by many, and for good reason. Nestled along the beautiful California coast, San Diego is a vibrant and diverse city that offers something for everyone. From its stunning beaches and world-famous attractions to its delicious food and rich cultural heritage, living in San Diego definitely has its advantages.

No matter if you’re a first-time visitor or you own a home or rent an apartment in San Diego, taking the time to explore all that this city has to offer is sure to be a delightful experience. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the unique things that San Diego is known for, so that you can discover what makes this city so special.

San diego coast

1. Excellent surfing

With over 70 miles of coastline, San Diego is a surfer’s paradise. The city is home to some of the best surfing spots in the world, including La Jolla Cove, Black’s Beach, and Swami’s Beach.

2. Comic-Con

Every year, San Diego hosts the world-famous Comic-Con International. This event brings together comic book fans, movie buffs, and pop culture enthusiasts from all over the world for a weekend of panels, exhibits, and cosplay.

3. SeaWorld

This marine park is home to killer whales, dolphins, sea lions, and many other marine animals. Visitors can watch shows featuring these remarkable creatures, and even get up close and personal with some of them.

san diego orca at Seaworld

4. Balboa Park

This 1,200-acre park is home to over 16 museums, stunning gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. The park was built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and is now one of the city’s most visited attractions.

5. Craft beer

When thinking about what San Diego is known for, beer and breweries may not come to mind. However, Some call San Diego the birthplace of the modern craft beer movement, with the city having over 150 breweries. Many of these breweries have won awards for their beer, making San Diego a must-visit destination for beer lovers.

6. Outstanding Mexican food

San Diego is located just a few miles from the Mexican border, which means the city has some of the best Mexican food in the country. From street tacos to authentic mole, San Diego has something for everyone.


7. USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway was one of the longest-serving aircraft carriers in the US Navy, and now it’s a museum. Visitors can explore the ship and learn about its history, as well as see some of the aircraft that were used on board.

8. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

This natural reserve is located on the coast of La Jolla and features beautiful hiking trails, stunning ocean views, and unique Torrey Pine trees, which can only be found in this area.

9. Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter is a historic district in downtown San Diego known for its vibrant nightlife, restaurants, and entertainment. The district is also home to over 100 Victorian-era buildings, making it the perfect place to take a walk if you enjoy looking at historic homes. 

10. Coronado Island

Coronado Island prides itself on its beautiful beaches, historic hotel, and charming downtown area. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, shopping, and dining. The island is accessible by ferry or by car over a scenic bridge.

Coronado Island

11. Cabrillo National Monument

Located on the southern tip of Point Loma, the Cabrillo National Monument offers stunning views of San Diego Bay, as well as a historic lighthouse and museum dedicated to the explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo.

12. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a wildlife park located in Escondido, just north of San Diego. Spanning over 1,800 acres, the park houses over 3,500 animals from around the world. The African Plains exhibit is one of the most popular attractions, featuring herds of giraffes, antelopes, and zebras, as well as predators such as cheetahs and lions.

13. Del Mar Racetrack

Located in the seaside town of Del Mar, The Del Mar Racetrack was first opened in 1937 and has since become a beloved institution in Southern California. The racetrack hosts a summer racing season that features some of the top horses and jockeys in the country, as well as a variety of events and activities for visitors. The track is also known for its scenic setting, with views of the Pacific Ocean and nearby mountains.

14. Old Town San Diego

This historic district is known for its preserved adobe buildings and its Mexican heritage. Visitors can explore the many shops, restaurants, and museums that celebrate the area’s rich history.

15. La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is a small, picturesque beach located in the seaside community of La Jolla, just north of San Diego. The beach is known for its clear blue waters, stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, and the opportunity to see seals and sea lions up close. It’s a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling.

La Jolla Cove

16. San Diego Bay

This natural harbor is one of the largest on the West Coast and is home to many attractions, including the USS Midway Museum, the Maritime Museum of San Diego, and the San Diego Harbor Cruise.

What is San Diego known for? Final thoughts

San Diego truly lives up to its reputation as a destination that has it all. With its natural beauty, diverse culture, delicious food, and iconic attractions, this city offers a unique experience that’s hard to find elsewhere. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, an action-packed adventure, or a chance to explore new cultures and cuisines, San Diego is the perfect destination. 

Learn more about San Diego

10 Free Things to do in San Diego Every Local Should Know About

Is San Diego a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons of America’s Finest City

12 Beautiful Places in San Diego Locals Rave About

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