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Must See Attractions & Things to Do in San Diego

With Autograph Collection luxury accommodations in downtown San Diego, you’ve got a peerless jumping-off point for soaking up the best of America’s Finest City as a guest of ours at Hotel Republic!

If you’re trying to wrap your head around all of the possibilities—and from ravishing Pacific scenery to some of the nation’s top cultural attractions, there are an awful lot of them—we thought we’d provide a little direction with the following sampler pack.

Take a Hop-On, Hop-Off Trolley Tour

For nearly 30 years, Old Town Trolley Tours has given San Diego visitors (and residents, too) the ability to enjoy the city’s top sights without monkeying around with driving and parking. Climb aboard the charming trolley—it embarks less than a mile from our hotel—and enjoy more than 100 destinations and points-of-interest, from the Gaslamp Quarter and Balboa Park to the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum and Coronado Island.

Five Star Tours of San Diego

Here’s another option for some convenient, locally guided San Diego sightseeing. Five Star Tours leads four-hour explorations of the area, holding roughly 20-minute stops in five fabulous cornerstones of greater San Diego’s geography: Downtown, Old Town, Coronado Island, the La Jolla coast, and Mount Soledad. The tours kick off from the Five Star Tours Visitor Center at the Santa Fe Tran Depot—just a couple of walkable blocks from Hotel Republic.

Cabrillo National Monument & Point Loma

Easily one of the crown jewels of greater San Diego, the Point Loma Peninsula and Cabrillo National Monument near its namesake tip serve up awe-inspiring Pacific Ocean beauty, ecology, and history. Cabrillo National Monument marks the site of the first European landfall on the West Coast: Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, in September 1542. There’s a monument to the Portuguese explorer to admire, plus the iconic profile of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, built in the mid-1850s. Explore life-crammed tidepools, hike coastal scrub, and survey for migrating gray whales from some of the finest shore-based whalewatching vantages in Southern California.

Balboa Park

Twelve-hundred-acre Balboa Park is one of the most famous destinations in San Diego, showcasing great landmarks of the Spanish Colonial Revival Style dating from the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition and a plethora of luxuriant gardens. Balboa Park’s home to some of the city’s leading attractions: The San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Man, the San Diego Air & Space Museum, and the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, to name a few.

San Diego Zoo

Speaking of the San Diego Zoo, it’s easily one of the largest and most esteemed zoological parks in the world. Close to 4,000 animals of all stripes (literally, in some cases) call this lavish bestiary home, including such threatened and endangered species as giant pandas, California condors, and Amur leopards.

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