Explore San Diego: Explore San Diego,California in 6 Days (includes Itinerary)

Welcome to  San Diego, California ♥♥

Hello There! Today I am going to share with you my 6 days vacation trip in San Diego California and the attractions that I managed to squeezed in. There are a lot of activities that you can do in San Diego depending on how much time you have, I only had 6 days and so these are the attractions that I chose to do.

6 Days Itinerary

  • Sea World – 1 Day
  • Zafari Park – 1 Day
  • Balboa Park – 1 Day
  • San Diego Zoo – 1 Day
  • Lego Land – 1 Day
  • USS Midway Museum – 1-2 hours
  • Coronado Island – 1/2 Day
  • Explore Downtown Area – few hours daily

Additional Information:

  • Hotel where I stayed: Porto Vista
  • Address:1835 COLUMBIA STREET SAN DIEGO, CA, 92101

Sea World

Sea World Map

Sea World made it in the top of my list, and why not? If there is one place that you should visit when you go to San Diego it is the Sea World. It’s an animal themed park with shows and performances and fun rides too. The park size is of reasonable size, it’s not a big as Disneyland and something that is manageable in 1 day which is not bad at all. I started my day early and I was there even before it opened and I had enough time to go around the park. There are several animal shows happening during the day make sure to check the show schedule so that you can plan ahead on which show to go. Let me show you what they have there.

Dolphin Day Show

This is probably the highlight of my visit to Sea World and a show that you shouldn’t miss. The duration of the show is about 20 minutes and is done in an open area with benches. The acrobatics, the tricks is truly amazing to watch. It was very entertaining and fun to watch. The only issue I had is that is was too hot when I visited the area and so even if it was only 20 minutes, It was very uncomfortable for me. I am pretty sure that the experience would had been better if it were not for that.

Dolphins Show at Sea World San Diego

Fun Rides

Journey to Atlantis at Sea World San Diego

There are quite a lot of fun rides in the park as well if that is your thing. They have the Journey to Atlantis, Manta Roller Coaster Ride, Shipwreck Rapids and more! I am not a rides person, so for me it was just appreciating it from afar and having fun watching people go on the rides.

Safari Park

Zafari Park San Diego

This place definitely requires 1 whole day and no less. I visited 3 animal park/attractions in San Diego namely Safari Park, Sea World and San Diego Zoo and all of those 3 have their own charm that gave me the reason to visit them. The Safari Park was something that was different among the other two. For me what made it different from the two is its expansive open space where animals were actually allowed to walk around, where Girrafes are running in the fields, or elephants walking around just like in their normal habitat. It was so big to the point that it would be difficult to actually see the entire place by foot.  There are so much things and activities to do in this place even a 1 day visit is going to be jam packed. I only had 1 day allocated for this place, but if you have more days another day would be nice so that you can take your time to do all the activities they have there.

Zafari Park at San Diego

Zafari Ride

I walked most of the time so that I get to see and appreciate the place better. It also gave a the opportunity take more photos and stop longer in places I like. I went there month of May and it was super hot to the point that it was too much for me to handle. There’s really not too much shade to hide as the place is open. That was the time that I wished I had an umbrella with me. I know it looks “uncool” o be using an umbrella while strolling the park but it really crossed my mind, too bad I don’t have one. 

I managed to see the entire place mostly by foot, but I also took their safari trolley ride that goes around the area. This is a must thing to do because there the areas that are really far to see by just walking. That was the highlight of my visit, being able see wild animals roaming almost freely (there’s still fence barrier but they were not caged) is such a wonderful sight to see. I mean how often do you get to see things like that? It was really like a Zafari experience. This was the one that made it different from San Diego Zoo or Se World where animals are kept in a smaller place. 

Zafari Park San Diego USA

Balloon Walk

I cannot forget this balloon walk ride, not because I rode it but because I did not get the courage to actually do it. I cannot help but smile every time I remember how I was phasing back and forth hoping that I will get the courage to go on this balloon walk. I’m really scared of heights and this is really something this is too high for me. Basically, the balloon will rise up to a certain height and then it will stop there for few minutes so that people will get the chance to appreciate the view. There is no fee to do this, all you need to do is line up and wait for your turn. In case you do this or In case you’ve done this before, let me know of your experience as I am really curious how it feels to be up in the air like that.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park at San Diego USA

A huge cultural park that with lareg open areas to walk around, beautiful gardens and walking paths, vegetation area, museums and theater. This is located close to San Diego Zoo, so you can visit both at the same day although it could get really tight, but doable.  My suggestion of 1 day is with consideration to convenience and taking the time to roam around. One thing I like about this park is that it is not only about gardens and plants like regular parks, they also have museums and historic buildings that are a sight to see. The architecture are beautiful and out of the ordinary.

Balboa Park San Diego californiaBalboa Park San Diego USA

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

Although both Zafari Park and San Diego Zoo will require a lot of walking, but the good news about San Diego Zoo is that they have hop-on hop off buses that could take you around the area, so you have an option to do less walking. The Zafari Zoo a lot bigger and thus will require more walking just to get to one area to another. It depends on what you are more interested in doing, but either park I assure you will have not have a shortage of animals to see.

San Diego Bus TourSan Diego Zoo USA

USS Midway

If you have few hours to spend, you might want to squeeze this in your schedule as this is doable in more or less 1-2 hours depending on how interested you are with exploring Maritime Museum. This is located in the downtown area Navy Pier. My hotel was walking distance to this so I decided to include this in my itinerary. You can buy the ticket there or online, general admission cost 21USD.

USS Midway Museum

They have plenty of exhibits, like Hanger, Flight and Below Deck exhibits and some activities like flight simulation, guided tour and more. For me, it was the Hanger Deck Exhibit that I really enjoyed the most.

USS Midway Museum San Diego

Coronado Island

  • Website: http://coronadovisitorcenter.com/
  • Location: across the San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego
  • Admission Fee: No.
  • Hours:  Open Daily
  • Recommended Duration: Minimum 2 Hours to 1/2 Day. If you have more time, 1 Day overnight is probably a good idea to fully appreciate the place.

One of my favorite stop is my visit to Coronado Island. I was really short of time so I did this after my visit to USS Midway Museum. I only had 1 day left so I allocated 1/2 day after I did the museum and 1/2 day for this place. Coronado Island is located few minutes from downtown area via a short ferry ride.

Coronado Island

The place was not big at all, but it has its own charm. Although there were tourist around, it was not as crowded and busy as the other tourist attractions. They have small ships, cafe and restaurant in the area. I walked around the area and ate something while just sitting and watching people pass by.  They have quite a lot of parks and nice sandy beaches.

Coronado Island San Diego

This is a small community with complete extablishments like hotels, community centers, shops, restaurants and more. This is one place I want to go back for a visit to explore more, probably stay overnight to get a full appreciation of the place.

Coronado Island San Diego USA

Lego Land

This place is quite far and will really require planning. This is not something that you do in a spur of a moment so plan ahead. The Lego Land park alone requires 1 day to explore, but if you also want to spend sometime in the water park then that would require more time. You can do 1/2 day in each area which will be a little rush and packed activity but it can still work. This place was far from where I was staying so I only  did the Lego Land so 1 day was enough for me. You can drive to go there, in my case I took the shuttle service that I found.

Lego Land San Diego California USA

This place was truly unbelievable! It was mind-boggling for me how those Lego creations were assembled. I mean it’s not a huge set of Lego, it was an entire place replicated using Lego. You see the White House, that was just one standing piece, there’s actually an entire area for the Washington DC where you can find Jefferson Memorial and all other landmarks in the area all built using a Lego. See the photo below, those are all made from Lego. They have the San Francisco City, Las Vegas, Star Wars collections and more. The Lego display was the highlight of the place (which make sense) although they also have few rides that are mostly for kids. There’s not much concession stands to buy food, so it will be a good idea to bring some snacks to nibble on while you walk around. There was however a cafeteria or food court but it is not convenient to go back and forth to get something. So a little snack and water on hand was nice and I only had to stop for lunch to get something more filling. 

Lego Land San Diego


I always make it a point to at least allocated time to explore and see  downtown district of the place I am visiting. This is also the reason why hotel location is one of my main concern when I book for a vacation. I want something central, accessible and walking distance to most attractions. I got a hotel  close to Little Italy village so I had the opportunity to store the area of downtown.

San Diego california Downtown DistrictSan Diego Downtown District

I always do my downtown walk at the end of the day. I typically end my day by walking by the board walk to watch the sunset. If you like Italian cuisine, there is a district called Little Italy where you can find good Italian restaurants ranging from simple to fancy one. Check it out.

Downtown Breakwater San Diego

I’m pretty happy on how I was able to spend my days in San Diego. There are still a lot of place that I want to visit, but I think I had a good start. Thank You for staying with me, until my next adventure. This is SweetNSpicyLiving, your travel buddy.

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