One Week in San Diego – 7 Day Itinerary for Your Vacation

Spending one week in San Diego but aren’t sure what to do to make the most of your time?

Check out our week-long, 7 day itinerary for some suggestions on what to see and where to go.

This San Diego 7 day itinerary is filled with a wide variety of attractions and activities, from theme parks and zoos to museums and tours.

Visit these attractions with a 7-Day Go San Diego® Card and save on combined admission costs vs. paying at the gate.

This 7 day itinerary includes:

  • A helpful 7 Days in San Diego infographic here.
  • SeaWorld San Diego
  • Belmont Park
  • San Diego Zoo
  • San Diego Natural History Museum
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum
  • Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
  • San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Coronado Island
  • LEGOLAND® California
  • Museum of Making Music
  • Birch Aquarium
  • Miramar Speed Circuit
  • Whale Watching Cruise
  • Knott’s Berry Farm

Remember, this one week itinerary is just one of many ways to experience sunny San Diego.

Save on Attraction Admission

The Go San Diego® Card gives you the flexibility to create your own itinerary, so you can choose from dozens of top attractions and create a vacation tailored to your interests.

Only have a few days in San Diego? We’ve also put together a 1 day, 2 day, and 3 day San Diego itinerary.

DAY 1

Stop #1: SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld-San-Diego-1 (1)What better place to begin your explorations than SeaWorld San Diego? Part amusement park, part conservation center, and all fun, SeaWorld has been a great family destination for decades and is adding new and exciting attractions every year.

Some of the highlights of your SeaWorld experience include unparalleled animal shows, behind-the-scenes feeding demonstrations, animal encounters, thrilling amusement park rides, and so much more.

Don’t forget to visit the interactive “Explorer’s Reef” exhibit!

We recommend reserving between 4-5 hours for this attraction.

Getting In: SeaWorld San Diego tickets are included on 3, 5, and 7-Day Go San Diego Cards.

Stop #2: Belmont Park

Belmont-Park-5 (1)
After you finish at SeaWorld, treat yourself to some old-fashioned amusement park fun with a visit to Belmont Park.

Filled with classic rides and arcade games that the whole family will love, this popular San Diego attraction is a great mellow way to round out the rest of your afternoon.

A few of the available rides at Belmont Park include the Giant Dipper roller coaster, a few wave rides, the Vertical Plunge, Krazy Kars bumper cars, and the Coconut Climb.

We recommend reserving between 1-2 hours for this attraction.

Getting In: Belmont Park All Access Combo Pass tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

Stop #3: Seaport Village (free!)

Leave La Jolla and take a quick ride back down to San Diego proper for a chance to explore the popular Seaport Village area. This waterfront locale is filled with shops, restaurants, and attractions that you won’t find anywhere else.

From bookstores to cafés and everything in between, you can window shop to your heart’s content in this quirky neighborhood. Or, stop in a few places in search of that perfect souvenir.

This is also a great place to have dinner, if you’re in search of some fun culinary options.

DAY 2

Stop #1: The San Diego Zoo

san diego zooThis popular San Diego destination is truly the heart of Balboa Park. It spans about 100 acres of the park, and is home to more than 3,700 animals from over 650 different species.

Filled with creatures great and small, from the adorable Giant Pandas to the tiniest of little fish, the San Diego Zoo is the perfect destination for animal lovers.

The San Diego Zoo is also one of the leaders in global conservation, rescuing and rehabilitating hundreds of animals each year. In fact, your admission fee goes right back into their rescue efforts!

We recommend reserving between 3-4 hours for this attraction.

Getting In: San Diego Zoo tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

Stop #2: San Diego Natural History Museum

san-diego-natural-history-museum
With its particular focus on the history and culture of Southern California and Baja California, the San Diego Natural History Museum is a unique cultural destination in Balboa Park.

TheNAT (as it’s known by locals) is filled with fascinating exhibits and ancient artifacts that will delight and inspire the whole family.

Some highlights of their offerings include dinosaur fossils, a collection of 200 animal skulls from their research lab, and special exhibitions on everything from whales to Mayan culture and civilization.

We recommend reserving about 1 hour for this attraction.

Getting In: San Diego Natural History Museum tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

Stop #3: San Diego Air & Space Museum

air-space-museum-san-diego-museums
This one is a must-see attraction for all space lovers. San Diego, after all, is the home of modern aviation and particularly naval aviation. Another Balboa Park stand-out, this museum is perfect for space geeks of all ages.

The San Diego Air & Space Museum is filled with immersive exhibits and real restored aircraft spanning all of aviation history – truly a treat for any fan of flight. The kids will love the scope and variety of the available exhibits, and you’ll love how educational everything is.

Some of the exhibits you and your family can enjoy feature a variety of mint-condition historical aircraft, including a Navy F6F Hellcat and the A-4 Skyhawk Jet, as well as the Wright EX Vin Fiz (from 1911!).

We recommend reserving between 1-2 hours for this attraction.

Getting In: San Diego Air & Space Museum tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

Stop #4: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

fleet-scienc-center-san-diego-museums
The Fleet Science Center is one of the most important scientific complexes in the region. It’s also conveniently located in Balboa Park, so you don’t have to travel too far from your previous attraction to explore this fun option.

It’s both a museum and an active research facility, offering the best of both worlds to curious visitors.

Although their collections are vast and diverse, a few of the most popular exhibits include “Cellular Journey,” “Kid City,” So Watt,” and more.

Don’t forget to check out the world’s first IMAX Dome Theater (you get one free movie with admission).

We recommend reserving between 1-2 hours for this attraction.

Getting In: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center with IMAX Movie tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

DAY 3

Stop #1: San Diego Safari Park

san-diego-zoo-safari-park
This magnificent animal park is like nothing you’ve ever seen before and is probably unlike anything you’ll ever see again.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a truly unique institution, filled with animal encounters and experiences that go way beyond your typical zoo visit.

For example, the Cheetah Run exhibit allows you to watch a cheetah go from 0-60 miles per hour in just seconds – an intimate glimpse of what their lives are like in the wild.

You can also get up close (behind glass!) to lions, tigers, and many other majestic Saharan creatures.

We recommend spending your entire day here. Plan on having lunch at one of their many delicious on-site restaurants.

Getting In: San Diego Zoo Safari Park tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

DAY 4

Stop #1: USS Midway Museum

uss-midway-museum
This is one of the most-visited attractions in all of San Diego – for good reason! Its historic significance alone makes it worth exploring and its modern reincarnation as a world-class museum makes it worth spending plenty of time here.

You’ll learn all about the battle that gave the ship its name, about aircraft carrier participation in U.S. Naval battles, and about the lives of sailors during WWII. Don’t miss their popular movie, “Battle of Midway: Voices of Midway.”

We recommend reserving between 2-3 hours for this attraction.

Getting In: USS Midway Museum tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

Stop #2: Coronado Bike & Kayak Rentals

coronado-ferry

If you’ve you got one full week to spend in San Diego, it’s definitely worth taking the time to explore Coronado, with its totally distinct culture and vibe. Hop aboard the ferry to come over.

While you’re enjoying the sun in Coronado, why not be a little more active with your outdoor time with a bike, kayak, or stand up paddle board rental? This is an excellent way to explore the great outdoors in style, by land or by sea.

Some of the sights you may see include Petco Park, the Embarcadero, the USS Midway, Naval Station North Island, the Silver Strand, the Convention Center and Glorietta Bay.

Reservations are required for this attraction.

Getting In: Coronado: Tandem Kayak and/or Stand-Up Paddle Board Rentals are included on the Go San Diego Card.

Stop #3: Explore Coronado Island & Centennial Park (free!)

There’s also plenty more to see in Coronado, so you might as well spend the rest of your day here. There’s the historic Hotel Del Coronado, today a resort with popular dining options (which you can enjoy without being a guest). Then, there’s a golf course, multiple parks, and beaches to enjoy.

As for Centennial Park, this cute little garden space is located just near the ferry landing. It provides stunning ocean views and amazing views of the San Diego skyline – the perfect photo opportunity.

We recommend reserving between 30 minutes to 1 hour for this attraction.

DAY 5

Stop #1: LEGOLAND® California

LEGOLAND-California-1
Every kid’s favorite toys come to life at LEGOLAND® California!

This fun-filled wonderland has enough exhibits, attractions, rides, and slides to keep the whole family busy for practically the entire day. The little ones will love the DUPLO® play area, and the older kids will enjoy exciting roller coasters and the famous Miniland USA.

Did you know there’s also a water park and an aquarium that make up part of the larger LEGOLAND® complex? If you want the complete experience, why not check out the new LEGOLAND® hotel?

We recommend reserving between 5-6 hours for this attraction.

Getting In: LEGOLAND® California tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

Stop #2: The Museum of Making Music

Museum-of-Making-Music-1The Museum of Making Music is a specialty museum dedicated to studying the art of how humans create, distribute, and enjoy music. It’s also located in Carlsbad, so you don’t have to drive too far from LEGOLAND to enjoy this attraction.

Immerse yourself in over a century of musical history in interactive and exciting exhibits that cover all of the major developments in American musical history.

With over 500 vintage instruments and hundreds of audio and video examples, the Museum of Making Music is a comprehensive portrait of the kinds of music that Americans have enjoyed and produced over time, from the player piano to the invention of modern digital music.

We recommend reserving about 1 hour for this attraction.

Getting In: Museum of Making Music tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

Stop #3: Carlsbad Village Art & Antique Mall (free!)

Explore downtown Carlsbad by strolling around the Carlsbad Village Art & Antique Mall, a great hidden gem.

It’s a shopper’s paradise with more than 15,000 square feet and over 100 sellers at the Art & Antique Mall itself, although there are also more shopping options in Carlsbad Village as a whole.

You are also close to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets, should you be craving a more intense shopping experience.

Depending on how much shopping you feel up to, we recommend reserving between 1-2 hours for this attraction.

DAY 6

Stop #1: Birch Aquarium

birch-aquarium-san-diego-museums
Your San Diego itinerary wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. This highly interactive oceanographic institute is the perfect destination for anyone who loves sea creatures.

From various special exhibits to several marine habitats and the opportunity to interact with select sea creatures, there’s so much to do and see here that you’ll never want to leave.

Some exhibits you’ll find at the Aquarium of the Pacific include “Boundless Energy,” “There’s Something About Seahorses,” and “Coral Displays.”

You also won’t want to miss the beautiful, unforgettable view of the Pacific that you’ll see from inside the Aquarium!

We recommend reserving between 2-3 hours for this attraction.

Getting In: Birch Aquarium tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

Stop #2: La Jolla Beaches

What better way to take advantage of the natural beauty of La Jolla than with some good old fashioned beach time?

Sun, swim, or just wander these beautiful beaches to your heart’s content and feel like a real Californian.

If you’re looking for something specific to explore, check out the fascinating Shell Beach Tide Pools, located at the south end of Ellen Browning Scripps Park.

We recommend reserving between 1-2 hours for this attraction.

Stop #3: Miramar Speed Circuit & Laser Tag

miramar-speed-circuit
Transition from water-bound fun to some totally awesome indoor adventures at the Miramar Speed Circuit. Feel like you’re a real race car driver as you speed through hairpin turns and long straightaways.

The state-of-the-art equipment offered at this establishment is thrilling to observe and even more exciting to drive.

Advanced technology will allow you clock your lap times, aim for specific speeds, and more. It’s one of the best indoor kart tracks in the country!

Plus, your admission through the Go Card now includes Laser Tag!

We recommend reserving 1 hour for this attraction.

Getting In:  Miramar Speed Circuit tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

DAY 7

Stop #1: Whale Watching Cruise by Newport Landing

Newport-Landing-Whale-Watching-Cruise-1
Another attraction you won’t want to miss is an informative and exciting Whale Watching Cruise by Newport Landing.

With several daily departures available, you’ll be able to enjoy one of these great cruises any time you visit.

A few of the fascinating and majestic species you may see on your adventure include the California Gray Whale, Giant Blue Whales, Orcas, Minke Whales, Humpback Whales, and other sea creatures including dolphins, seals, sharks, and more.

Getting In:  Newport Landing Whale Watching tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.

Stop #2: Knott’s Berry Farm

knotts-berry-farm-2
For your last attraction of the vacation, take a short drive up north to Knott’s Berry Farm. This classic theme park attraction is both an historic establishment in California (the very first theme park) and an exciting modern destination.

Enjoy dozens of thrilling rides and slides, plus other fun attractions. There are breathtaking rides for the adults and gentler rides for the little ones, so there’s something to appeal to all visitors.

Some of the popular rides are coasters like GhostRider and Boomerang, thrill rides like La Revolución, and rides for the little ones like those you’ll find at Camp Snoopy.

Don’t forget to pick up some Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry Pie!

We recommend reserving between 2-3 hours for this attraction.

Getting In:  Knott’s Berry Farm tickets are included on the Go San Diego Card.


7 fun-filled days in San Diego itinerary

Share this Image On Your Site

Let’s Recap

So there’s your fun-filled San Diego 7 Day itinerary.

It’s packed with every variety of attraction and activity you could imagine, complemented with delicious meals and fun free activities. So make the most of your one week in San Diego!

Visit each of these above attractions with the 7-Day Go San Diego® Card and save on combined admission costs.

Plus, get additional discounts on shopping, dining, and more attractions.
Go San Diego Card

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

Comments

  1. Jim Mccarty says

    Check spelling in day 1, stop 2. Hard to believe the dinosaurs had 200 SKILLS?? Maybe skulls!

Please leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *