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A view of downtown San Diego, the convention center and shoreline from high above 5th Avenue.

San Diego Zoo – Probably the star attraction in the city, this is more than a zoo – it’s a conservatory and breeding program for endangered animals housing more than 3,500 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies. You can learn more about its mission here.


The Maritime Museum - Established in 1948, the museum has one of the largest collections of historic sea vessels in the USA. The ‘star’ of the museum's collection is the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship. Find out about times and prices here.

Balboa Park – This 1,200-acre urban cultural park features open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, and walking paths. It houses museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. There are also many recreational facilities and several gift shops and restaurants within the boundaries of the park. The park's site is one of the oldest in the United States dedicated to public recreational use.

Coronado Island – There’s a water taxi and ferry that will whisk you over to Coronado Island, famous for huge white sand beaches and the Hotel Del Coronado, a favorite spot for iconic celebrities.

Old Town – The historic heart of San Diego, Old Town was built in 1769 as California’s first settlement with only a mission and a fort. While mostly a re-creation of the original area, it’s still worth a visit, especially if you want some great Mexican food (see Eats for our favorite). It's also the home of the famous haunted Whaley House. Take a trolley there so you can indulge in some margaritas!


Petco Park – An urban baseball park, it’s only a few minutes walk from the hostel in the East Village of downtown. It’s home to the San Diego Padres, but the park is also used for concerts, soccer, golf, and rugby sevens. Here’s the Padres schedule.

Hiking – With great, non-humid weather most of the year, we’re a great place to go hiking. Learn all about great hikes here.

Whale Watching – While this is seasonal (December to April and June to September), it’s a pretty cool thrill to see a whale breach! More information here.

Bull riding - (mechanical of course) - Head to Double Deuce to test your endurance.

Go Karts - K1 Speed - tons o'fun on a rainy day, especially since it's indoors. 


Need to get your dance on? - Just ask our staff for the latest hotspot! 

Pub Crawls - Join a local pub crawl on Fridays and Saturdays. We have discounted admission through the hostel. 

Karaoke - Ask and we'll point you to our favorites. 

Dueling Pianos - The Shout House will get you cheering for your favorite duelist! 

Speakeasys - Prohibition and Noble Experiment will take you back to days when secret entrances and special codes were needed to find that drink!


Eats and Drinks

We're literally in the middle of some of the best places to eat and drink in San Diego. We have a longer list, including best happy hours, at the hostel. But here's some of our favorites:


Ike's - Sandwiches with a San Diego theme and the most delicious ever!

Cafe 222 - our favorite corn beef hash and eggs in the world! Great for breakfast. 

There's also awesome places outside the Gaslamp. If you go further afield we recommend the following:


Quartyard - An urban park and event venue constructed from repurposed shipping containers in the East Village. Home to an eatery, dog run, full service beer garden, event venue, art space and coffee shop.


Coyote Cafe - favorite for Mexican/margaritas. 

Hana Sushi - yeah, sushi in Old Town. A bit pricey but worth it! 


Arrivederci - awesome Italian!

Hash House a GoGo - you'll need two people to finish off one order of breakfast! Long lines, go early!


Luigi's - featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. New York style pizza with a twist! 

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