48 Hours in San Diego: Things to See, Do & Eat!

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!

If you are planning a short or weekend visit and only have about 48 hours in San Diego California, this list will help you navigate how to get the most out of your trip. I traveled to San Diego for the 3rd time in April and it was more beautiful than I remembered! It is a very easy city to navigate and the weather is perfect. Here are my top picks of 10 things to see, do and eat during 48 hours in San Diego!

1. Old Town Trolley (Hop On/Hop Off): If you only have 48 hours in San Diego California, this is the best way to see the city. The driver is also your tour guide. You will learn about the history of San Diego and current neighborhoods without even getting off the trolley. The trolley is very family friendly and is open aired which is also a great way to enjoy that SoCal weather. If you have time, you can hop on/hop off at the 10 stops offered. The trolley runs approximately every 30 minutes. Be sure to pay attention to the last pick up time at each stop so you will make your way back to your destination. Many of my favorite stops are listed below.

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
Hanging out with my former flower girl and her Mom on the Old Town Trolley

2. San Diego Marina: The San Diego Marina is a great place to stay if you only have 48 hours in San Diego. You can enjoy morning or evening walks along the marina, take a harbor cruise or eat at many of the restaurants with outdoor patios. You can also walk over to Seaport Village which has cute shops and even a wine bar.

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
Enjoying a morning walk along the marina. I know.. I have on a Chicago Tshirt in San Diego lol
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
San Diego views

3. The Gaslamp Quarter: This is a very famous area and not to be missed during your 48 hours in San Diego. The Historic Gaslamp Quarter is filled with restaurants, bars and lounges. Therefore, it is known as the center of the night life scene in San Diego. Here is a great guide to the area.

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!

4. USS Midway Museum: The museum is located in the aircraft carrier shift-Midway. It is located downtown along the Navy Pier and includes many former air craft carriers and aviation relics. If you are a history buff then this will be an interesting place to visit. Be sure to go towards the pier to find the “Unconditional Surrender” statue AKA as the “Kissing Statue”. It is a depiction of the famous picture of a sailor kissing a nurse at the end of World War II in NYC.

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
At the USS Midway Museum
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
The “Kissing Statue” Isn’t it romantic?

5. Balboa Park: Although I had been to San Diego twice before, this was my first visit to Balboa Park. Honestly, you could spend 48 hours in San Diego California simply exploring this beautiful park! It is filled with a large variety of museums and sculptures and fountains. It is also a great place for architecture buffs. I could have written an entire blog post just on Balboa Park hence all the pictures!

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
The Botanical Building and Lily Pond
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
Take a look at what he is painting.
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
The San Diego Museum of Art
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
The California Building-Home of The San Diego Museum of Man
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
There are beautiful pieces of art throughout the park. This is “Border Crossing” by Luis Jimenez 1989
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
Solar Bird 1966 by Joan Miro
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
Mother and Daughter Seated 1971 by Francisco Zuniga

6. Little Italy: Until my recent visit I had no idea there was a Little Italy in San Diego. Expect to find Italian restaurants (of course) as well as coffee and dessert shops. It is a small but quaint area to walk around.

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
One of my favorite pictures from the trip! Mother and Daughter Stroll in Little Italy

7. Coronado Island: I hope by now you have read my review of Hotel Del Coronado located on Coronado Island! During your 48 hours in San Diego you must head over the bridge or take the ferry to Coronado Island. Besides the historic and luxurious resort of Hotel Del Coronado, the island has a lot to offer. Boutique shopping, restaurants, bike riding trails and the beach!

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
At Hotel Del Coronado.

8. La Jolla: I spent an afternoon in La Jolla and fell in love with it all over again as I did on my first visit to San Diego in 2000! It is very scenic with great shopping and restaurants with ocean views.

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
Scenic views in La Jolla

9. Old Town San Diego: This is a historic area of San Diego where you will find a lot of Mexican restaurants and craft markets. If there is one place you should eat while spending 48 hours in San Diego, it is in Old Town. You will get authentic Mexican food in this area. I enjoyed my Mexican food sampler and mango margarita at Fiesta de Reyes along with the live music.

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
Old Town San Diego
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
Old Town shopping area
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
Sipping on a frozen mango margarita!
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
Quesadillas,, Guacamole, Nachos… oh so good!
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
I enjoyed the atmosphere at Fiesta de Reyes

10. Sea World, San Diego Zoo, Legoland: If you are traveling with children then make time during your 48 hours in San Diego to visit one of these top family-friendly attractions. My friends took their daughter to Sea World and she had a blast!

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
At Sea World
48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!
Flamingos at Sea World

48 Hours in San Diego California! A list of 10 things to do, see and eat in this beautiful Southern California Town!

Bonus: Tijuana, Mexico: If you have never been to Mexico and you are looking to do something unique during your 48 hours in San Diego, spend some time in Tijuana Mexico. There are several tours you can take from San Diego.

So, have you been to San Diego? If so what did you think of this list? Would you add anything else? Share your thoughts with us below and pin this post for future reference! By now you relaize I absolutely love California! Catch up on my other California posts here.

48 Hours in San Diego California. Things to See, Do and Eat in this picture perfect Southern California city!

 

 

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