at last, the secret to san diego’s top attractions

Greetings from San Diego Mural

Address: 4225 30th St. San Diego, CA 92104

Parking: We parked in front of the mural, quickly took our pictures, and headed out to lunch. But I read that if you do want to stay a bit longer, people recommend parking at the Vons nearby and walking over or finding some street parking!

This was my first time going to the mural and it wasn’t hard to find at all using Google or Apple maps! It’s located in an alley that you can see off 30th street. Also, be aware of cars turning in or coming out! Other than that, I don’t think there’s much to be prepared for! We came on a Sunday at around noontime and there was barely anyone around, so if you do want to get a photo opportunity, go at odd hours so you don’t run into too many people! Click the “Greetings from San Diego” to find the link to the yelp so you can map there easily!

La Jolla Cove

Address: 1100 Coast Blvd La Jolla, CA 92037

Parking: There is limited free parking on the street or nearby residential areas. The key is to go early in the morning (ex: 8 am) or later in the afternoon (ex: 2-4 pm) because you want to beat the crowd and get the best parking! But please please please pay attention to the street parking signs because you do not want to get a ticket!

My boyfriend and I parked in one of the residential areas and thought it would be okay. Little did we know, we came back with a $60 parking ticket because it was commercial parking only. šŸ™ So please be super cautious because the parking attendants are like hawks. I checked the time on the parking ticket and it was only a couple of minutes after we left my car.

If you don’t want to risk it, there are nearby parking lots and parking meters if you don’t mind spending money or don’t want to waste time looking for parking. I believe the nearest lot would be the La Jolla Financial Building found at 1200 Prospect Street La Jolla, CA 92037.

This was my boyfriend’s first time going to La Jolla Cove so I was hoping to show him the sea lions, but sadly there weren’t any around. I read that the sea lions would be there most of the time, but I think due to the clouds and the uncertainty of the sun shining, the sea lions weren’t out. However, we did get the chance to explore the tide pools.

If you do want to check them out, check out the calendar on when a good time to go see them is due to the weather and high tides. Be sure to wear close-toed footwear that has some sort of grip because it can be quite slippery.

Since we were only doing a day trip to San Diego, we were in a bit of a time crunch so we did not get to walk around longer or do any other activities like a kayak tour or snorkeling. But I do intend to come back to try the kayak tour and hopefully see some sea lions next time! Click “La Jolla Cove” under the picture and a link will open up to show you more information and how you can map there.

Balboa Park

Address: 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101 (Please be sure to type in a specific place you want to visit because I typed in “Balboa Park” on Apple Maps and it led me somewhere nearby the park. Luckily I was with a friend who’s been there before and she told me to search up “Desert Garden” so we had some sort of navigation to get to Balboa Park.) The address I gave you is to the heart of Balboa Park.

Parking: Parking at Balboa Park is free (the last time I was there was back in 2021).

Balboa Park is not the park you think it is. It contains more than 16 museums, multiple performing art venues, lovely gardens, trails, and many other creative recreational attractions, including the San Diego Zoo. Put on some comfortable walking shoes because there is so much beauty and culture to explore and it can easily take up a day.

Walking around Balboa Park is completely free, however, admission to museums, performance venues, and attractions does cost money. You can find individual tickets, passes, packages, and more on their website at

If you want a little fun, rent a bird (the electric scooter) to get around. Please be careful of oncoming cars and pedestrians though because they can only be ridden in the streets. To rent a bird, it’s $1.00 to start and $0.15 per minute.

To start, scan the QR code with your camera and it will open up to a link, you have to download the app, sign up, and add your credit card to get started. I know, it sounds like a lot to do, but trust me, it’s so much fun getting around on a bird. You can actually refer your friends and you get $5 off your next ride which isn’t too bad. Click “Balboa Park” under the pictures, and it will direct you to their website for you to find out more information about the park.

San Diego Zoo

Address: 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 (Click on “San Diego Zoo”, under the ‘visit’ tab, you can find directions to the zoo according to which direction you’re heading from)

Parking: The San Diego Zoo shares a parking lot with Balboa Park, so parking is completely free.

Expenses: $48 & up (for children) and $52 & up (for adults).

I think the San Diego Zoo is one of the best zoos I’ve been to in California. They have plenty of animals to check out, many special experiences to purchase, and great dining options once you get hungry! My boyfriend and I were able to check out most of the exhibits from an hour after opening to just before closing time. Although this is us *barely* taking our time, because we were trying to squeeze in all the exhibits before Hans & Harry’s closes.

If I were to suggest how long of a visit you should take, I’d recommend getting a two-day pass so you could take your time seeing all the animals and leaving once you’re tired and finishing the rest the next day. This way you can take some time exploring other parts of San Diego as well. You could go on their website or app to check out how huge the zoo is before you go so you can come up with a game plan of what animals you want to see.

Bay View Park

Address: 413 1st St Coronado, CA 92118

Parking: Street parking/residential parking, just pay attention to the signs to make sure you’re allowed to park at specific times

Although Bay View Park is smaller than your average park, it’s great to visit because you get to see this beautiful view of Downtown San Diego. The serenity you feel once you visit makes you want to stay there forever.

Imagine this: you’re walking up to this park and see a glimpse of San Diego’s skyline. You can hear little waves crashing against the rocks. As you walk closer to the view, you can see the ships go in and out of the harbor. But they’re too far for you to hear their commotion, all you hear is the soft wind, birds chirping, and little waves.

It’s the most perfect hidden gem that I would gatekeep to myself, but the title did mention I was going to share my San Diego secrets.

Comment other places in San Diego for me to check out!

Hungry for more? Check out my other posts!

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