Best Bucket List Adventures in San Diego

Packed with unique attractions, dining opportunities, and landscapes, San Diego is the perfect place to check off several bucket list items in one memorable trip.

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Packed with unique attractions, dining opportunities, and landscapes, San Diego is the perfect place to check off several bucket list items in one memorable trip. Nature lovers enjoy the city’s top-notch parks and proximity to the ocean, while those with a passion for extreme sports have access to a seemingly endless supply of indoor and outdoor experiences. Whether you have a day or a week to explore the area, you can always make the most of adventurous options in San Diego.

Natural Wonders

Looking for some animal-themed fun? SeaWorld San Diego has provided opportunities for close-up encounters with aquatic creatures since 1964. In addition to shows, rides, and aquariums, the park offers special opportunities to swim with dolphins for a memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Close up picture of dolphin sticking its now out of the water in a turquoise pool during the daytime in San Diego.

If you want to explore Southern California’s majestic coastline, head to Point Loma, west of downtown San Diego. Be sure to check out the tide pools in the area, including those at Cabrillo National Monument, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the rugged coast.

In nearby La Jolla, a seaside community north of Mission Bay, you can take a kayaking tour through the Seven Caves, a series of beautiful caves along the shore that mostly open into the ocean. The experience boasts amazing outdoor views — usually including sea lions — and an up-close look at these natural wonders.

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Flying High

If you’re in the mood for an adrenaline rush, head to iFLY San Diego for a thrilling indoor skydiving experience. Equipped with a flight suit, goggles, and a helmet, you experience the sensation of flying after learning from a certified instructor onsite. Simply step into the flight chamber and soar.

Paraglider flying through the air on sunny day in San Diego above the coast, with other paragliders in the distance.

On the other hand, Torrey Pines Gliderport provides real-life flying experiences high above San Diego’s gorgeous landscapes. At this largest tandem paragliding operation in the world, Torrey Pines pairs guests of all ages with certified instructors on tandem flights every day of the week. If you’re ready to go it alone, check out the center’s flight school, where you can earn several levels of certification.

Bucket List Dining

Lobster and seafood on a white plate with drinking glasses in the background on a table at a restaurant in San Diego.

San Diego offers an endless array of unique dining choices — some that you simply can’t miss. At Top of the Market, enjoy stunning views of San Diego Bay while dining on fresh seafood specialties, such as Pacific swordfish, raw oysters, and jumbo lump crab cakes. If you love carbohydrates (and who doesn’t?), visit Devine Pastabilities, an affordable concept restaurant that serves up chunks of sesame-seeded Italian bread filled with pasta and homemade sauces. For a fine Italian meal, check out Baci Ristorante near Mission Bay to enjoy delicious pasta, seafood, and poultry dishes.

What are your favorite bucket list adventures in the San Diego area and beyond? Tell us about them on our Facebook page.

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