24 Hours in San Diego

Bobby Dyer

San Diego is a beautiful place filled with lots of places to see and things to do. But what if you are only here for one day? It will be difficult to capture all of those experiences in just one day in San Diego. Do not fret though, here is a list of the keynote places to visit while here:

Balboa Park

BalboaBalboa Park is full of life and culture just waiting to be explored! Known as the world’s largest “urban cultural” park, it is home to 15 museums (such as Museum of Man and Fleet Science Center), beautiful gardens, and The Old Globe theatre. If you happen to be in San Diego on a Tuesday, select museums will have free admission that day.

The World famous San Diego Zoo located in the Balboa Park area as well and you may be able to get away with spending only a few hours there and still catch more of beautiful San Diego!

Sunset Cliffs

When on the coast, catching a beach sunset is a no-brainer (if possible). There are lots of beaches to choose from here in San Diego from La Jolla to Ocean Beach to Pacific Beach. A fan favorite to catch the sunset though is Sunset Cliffs located the coast of Point Loma (I mean come on, it has sunset in its’ name). While you wait for the sunset you can explore the natural cave and cliff formations as well as the expansive ocean views!

While over in the Point Loma area, you should also try to visit Cabrillo National Monument!

Coronado Island

Coronado Island can be seen right across the bay from downtown San Diego. It is home to the famous Hotel Del Coronado and Coronado Beach along with numerous restaurants. Along the beach near the Hotel Del, you can also find what remains of a ship wreck! In order to see the shipwreck, it will need to be low tide however. You can get to the island by either driving acorss the Coronado Bridge or taking the ferry.

Grab a Beer

BeerSan Diego is one of the most prominent craft brew communities in the world. With over 100 craft/micro/nano breweries in the county, there are certainly plenty of options! 5 of the most famous brewery names native to San Diego are Stone Brewing Co, Green Flash, Ballast Point, Karl Strauss, and AleSmith. Depending on where you are in San Diego, there will surely be a brewery close to you! Here is a list of breweries with the addresses for each.

Downtown San Diego

DowntownThere is lots to do and see in Downtown so if you want to spend your day in one central location, this would be a great choice! There are a plethora of restaurants and bars to choose with every genre of food you can think of. The Padres’ Petco Park (baseball) is located in the heart of downtown. Their park-in-the-park is open for visitors to walk through daily. The SD bay harbor runs along the outer edge of downtown. Here you can walk along the water and see some of the attractions such as the USS Midway, Star of India, and even take a harbor cruise!

There is also Seaport Village located on the water on the outskirt of downtown. Here you will find restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory, Puesto , & Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, lots of shops, and the Embarcadero Park.

ITH has 2 locations in San Diego: our Zoo hostel located in Hillcrest area and our Adventure hostel located right in downtown San Diego! If you only have one day in San Diego, staying with here at ITH would be a great opportunity to maximize your time here! We also offer free activities if you do not want to adventure alone!



Cofounder of ITH Hostels. I love traveling, hosting, gardening, golfing, fishing, and sailing.