Traveling Solo in San Diego
Although traveling with friends, family and loved ones is always a great way to make memories, there’s also nothing quite like striking out to discover a new city on your own. You can check out the things you want to see, do, taste and experience without having to accommodate anyone else’s tastes but yours. So if you’re interested in really taking the time to immerse yourself in all of your interests, here are some fun and safe ways to plan San Diego solo travel.
Enjoy a Hike (everywhere)
Thanks to our famously mild year-round weather, hiking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the city for locals and visitors alike. The varied topography of San Diego (which includes beaches, parks, and even mountainous regions) also makes for a wide variety of terrain types. So there’s truly a path for every hiker, from beginner to experienced trail-trekker. Not sure where to start? Check out our previous post on San Diego hiking trails for some tips on great trails you’ll want to be sure to check out.
Take a Trolley Tour (4.6 miles)
While it’s always fun to find adventure on your own after landing in a new place, there’s also something to be said for trusting the experts on navigating the highlights. Old Town Trolley Tours offers excellent hop-on / hop-off “transportainment” tours through some of San Diego’s most can’t-miss sightseeing spots, all narrated by friendly local historians who know the city inside and out. Expect fun stories, informative trivia, more than 100 points of interest, and a relaxing ride. Every tour also includes complimentary admission to 10 of the city’s best museums.
1050 Embarcadero, San Diego, CA 92101
Visit Balboa Park (4.9 miles away)
Balboa Park is one of the crown jewels of San Diego. At 842 acres, it’s one of the largest urban park spaces in the country — making it an even bigger green space than New York’s Central Park. In addition to being an absolutely beautiful nature spot, the park is also home to some of San Diego’s most acclaimed museums, restaurants, and public art. So it’s the ideal place to have a leisurely stroll and appreciate the fresh air. If you’re visiting alone, we recommend a visit to the Museum of Photographic Arts or Museum of Us. Looking for a gorgeous setting to enjoy an appetizer and cocktail? Check out The Prado. We promise you won’t regret it!
1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
Explore Old Town (6.8 miles)
Old Town is located on the site of the first European settlement in the state of California, dating back to the late 1700s. Looking to spend a day here? We’d suggest joining a walking tour, visiting the world-famous (and very haunted) Whaley House, shopping for unique artisan wares and colorful Mexican crafts, sipping a margarita at one of the many local restaurants, or taking in a musical at Cygnet Theater! Presidio Park is also a lush and gorgeous green space that’s the ideal spot for a sunny picnic.
4002 Wallace St San Diego, CA 92110
Experience the Sensation of Skydiving (8 miles)
Jumping out of a plane with a parachute can be a pretty terrifying experience — not to mention the lengthy amount of instruction involved. Still, if you’ve ever wanted a taste of skydiving without the commitment, San Diego has you covered. iFly San Diego offers a safe, indoor alternative that still gets the adrenaline pumping. Flyers suit up and head into a vertical cylindrical wind tunnel that lets you enjoy all of the aerobatic thrills of a dive, but without the “plummeting to Earth” part.
2385 Camino Del Rio North, San Diego, CA 92108
Learn to Surf (9.7 miles)
Surfing is the quintessential San Diego pastime. If you’ve ever wanted to discover it for yourself, then we recommend checking in with our friends at San Diego Surf School. Their expert instructors can help you learn to ride the waves, shoot the curl, hang ten, and all the other fun stuff the Beach Boys sang about. And with spring here (and summer just around the corner) there’s never been a better time to get out and enjoy the water.
4850 Cass St, San Diego, CA 92109
Learn About Marine Life (16 miles)
The Birch Aquarium at Scripps is a must-stop for anyone with an interest in sea life. This public education center offered by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography encourages visitors to enjoy interactive displays, a tide-pool exhibit (which can be explored to search for sea life up close), and 60-plus habitats housing a variety of fascinating and colorful marine plants and animals. The aquarium also offers seasonal whale-watching tours and snorkeling classes, so there’s truly something for everyone.
2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037
Visit a Farmers Market
San Diego’s many farmers markets are a fantastic way to enjoy the famously fantastic local weather, support local growers and craftspeople, and save big on a wide variety of amazing items. The sellers at these bountiful bazaars offer fresh produce, floral arrangements, preserves, hot ready-to-go food, and even crafts, clothing, and accessories. There’s no better way to mix and mingle with locals, and explore inviting neighborhoods.
Simply Pick a Direction and Explore
Here’s the thing about San Diego: there’s beauty and adventure everywhere you turn. Serene beaches (like nearby Ocean Beach), stunning sunsets, unique and boutique shopping opportunities, cozy coffee shops, landmark restaurants, and abundant natural beauty are absolutely everywhere. So just striking out on your own wherever the wind carries you is never a bad strategy for discovering your own escape. Still, if you’d like a subtle nudge to get started, you’re welcome to check out our own visual tour of San Diego.
Humphreys is Your Solo Travel Home Base
Humphreys Half Moon Inn is the perfect spot to call home when planning your solo sojourn to San Diego. Our central Shelter Island location, competitive rates, exceptional amenities and nightly entertainment right on-site make for the ideal accommodation for exploration. When it’s time to plan your visit, Check out our Special Offers page to select the San Diego travel deal that’s right for you — including our “One Happy Traveler” offer. It’s the perfect package for solo travelers, and includes a welcome bottle of wine to get your adventure started right!