-----> Plan your RV trip with our NEW State By State Guide To State And National Park Campgrounds. <-----

Monday, January 1, 2024

Things To Do In San Diego, CA

 Read this post to find things to do, see and eat before your visit to San Diego, CA.

If you are making this trip in your RV, read this post before you start packing - 10 Items You Should Have On Your Camping List.

2022 Cross-Country Road Trip Stop 17

Sometimes you can get the best information from fellow campers. Someone we met when we camped in Big Sur suggested that we stop at Solvang, a sweet little Danish community, that we would pass on our way to San Diego. 

We were so glad we stopped and didn't miss the opportunity to visit Solvang! It was such a fun experience. It felt as though we drove right into Denmark. 

In the middle of this town was a statue dedicated to one of Denmark's most famous resident, Hans Christian Anderson.

We have never been to Denmark but if we ever thought what the buildings might look like there, they would look like the ones we saw in Solvang. The husbands were happy to see this one.

After our visit to Solvang, we now know we can see windmills in Denmark if we ever get a chance to go.

We couldn't leave this city without getting some treats from the Danish bakery.

And we couldn't wait to get to the campground to have a taste of the mouth watering danish we just bought so we shared one as soon as we all got settled back into the car.

After our short stop in Solvang, we headed to Sweetwater Summit Regional Park where we would be camping for the next 3 days. After setting up the trailer we headed out to Mitsuwa for our first dinner in San Diego. Mitsuwa is a Japanese food market with a food court full of the best Japanese fast food eateries. It's our favorite place to have ramen.

The choices of flavors were exactly the same as the Mitsuwa we eat at in Fort Lee, NJ. I had my favorite miso ramen and Sandie had her favorite shiro ramen. Not sure if one of the hubbies had the third choice, soy sauce.

After eating and shopping in Mitsuwa we went back to our campsite to relax and enjoy the gorgeous view we had from our campsite.

On our first full day in San Diego, we visited the Japanese Friendship Garden. The song tells us "it never rains in Southern California" but it did this day.

It didn't stop us from enjoying this beautiful garden though.

We took a break from the rain a couple of times when we went inside one of the museums or gift shops.

We did get a few breaks from the rain during the day which was nice.

The garden was so authentic that we had to keep reminding ourselves that we were not in Japan.

We would highly recommend spending time at this garden if you are ever in this area.

GOOD TO KNOW: The Japanese Friendship Garden is a participant in the Reciprocal Admissions Program which you can take advantage of if you are an annual member of your local garden.

We had a few more things to see after visiting the garden. Our next stop was Tuna Harbor Park. It is here that you can find this 25 foot sculpture named Unconditional Surrender (or sometimes called The Kiss). Of course we had to take the very touristy picture. It was very awkward posing in the rain and trying to take the picture as fast as possible while holding onto an umbrella and the picture tells that story. We will put it next to the equally terrible picture of Soko holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Having these pretty bad pictures is much less disappointing than having not taken them at all.

Here is also where the USS Midway is. This ship is tremendous and is a museum. We didn't go to the museum but we were impressed by the ship itself.

Somehow I got separated from Soko, Sandie and JT and wound up here. 

If you are old enough, you will remember how Bob Hope visited and entertained troops all over the world. This sculpture is an amazing tribute to an amazing person and to the military.

I have a fear of dolls, though, so I snapped these pictures very quickly and got out of there as fast as I could before one of the statues came to life. 

Our last stop was the Gaslamp Quarter where we did some souvenir shopping. You can also find plenty of restaurants to eat in and lots of bars to enjoy a drink. 

One of the coolest things we saw this day was something you don't see when you live on the east coast. A tumbleweed. I thought you could only see them in old western movies!

The San Diego Zoo, in Balboa Parkwas our plan for our last day in California after Sunday mass at St. Michael's Catholic Church. I was the one who wanted to add the zoo on our road trip list. It was one of the most, if not the most, expensive attraction of our trip. But I really wanted to see the pandas. No one told me that the pandas went back to China in 2019!

I felt bad that I convinced everyone that we needed to go to the zoo. We were all disappointed that we wouldn't be seeing pandas but, in the end, it is one of the best known zoos in the US and we were glad we had a chance to visit it. We did see a very cute and sleepy brown bear though!

And this adorable, and also sleepy, koala bear.

We made sure we kept our distance from the lions after we saw this warning sign!

We passed fun displays and other things to see as we walked around the zoo.

There are a couple of different ways to get around the zoo besides walking. The Kangaroo Express Bus which you can hop on or off at 4 different stops and the Skyfari Aerial Tram. There is no extra charge to board them and we took a ride on both.

Then walked a while longer to see a couple more of our favorite animals.

After a long day at the zoo, we came back to the campground and made ourselves a Japanese dinner with the food we bought at Mitsuwa. 

The next day we packed up and headed to Nevada. But before we left California, we reached out to our cousin Richard to see if we could see them as we were passing their neighborhood on our way to our next destination. Luckily for us, it was a Sunday and they were free. We met Richard, Vicky, Summer, Richie, Naomi, Rochelle and Brooklyn at Denny's for lunch.

Seeing Richard, Vicky and the kids was definitely one of the best memories we have of our cross-country road trip. We will never forget, and always appreciate, Richard gathering us all in the parking lot where we stood holding hands while he prayed for a safe trip for us.

2022 Cross-Country Road Trip Stop 18 

We did a 2 night hotel stopover in Las Vegas on our way to Utah. We had plans to camp at Circus, Circus but when The Mirage offered us free rooms for the two nights, we opted to sleep at the hotel.

Relaxing at their gorgeous pool was another big reason why we chose the hotel instead of the campground for this stop.


And then for dinner, with reward credits we all had from playing games on our Konami app we enjoyed BOGO dinners at Wolfgang Puck in MGM Grand. We had Wild Mushroom pizza with roasted garlic fromage blanc, goat cheese, leeks and fresh thyme and grilled prime burgers with smoked onion jam.

Both choices were good ones and very delicious! 

GOOD TO KNOW: Konami has a couple of apps that give you reward credits to use at several casinos, cruise lines, and other places for playing their games. You can download the apps for free and play for free using the coins they give you daily. Of course it is probably their hope that you purchase extra coins but we don't.

After our fun two nights in Vegas we headed to Utah and Stop 19. Stay tuned!

This post was featured:

Read about our Stop 15 and Stop 16 here.

What are some of your favorite things to do, see and eat in San Diego? 


  1. Very cool. I love Balboa Park. Last time I was there, I got the Balboa Park pass and spent a day and half there.

    1. That must have been fun! We wanted to spend more time there but it was raining the day we went. Hopefully we will get back one there one day!

  2. What fun things to do! I love the Japanese Garden. I have never been to Solvang--that sounds like so much fun! Thank you for sharing this post at the Will Blog for Comments #19 linkup. Hope to see you there next week, too. Happy New Year!

    1. I hope you get a chance to go to Solvang one day! Happy New Year and thanks for hosting your party!

  3. Nicely documented trip, with all the trappings of a world tour.

    1. We certainly got a taste of being world travelers on this leg of our cross-country road trip. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. To the blogfriends of My Corner of the World: I wishing you and your family a year filled with health, joy,
    and moments of happiness.

    Happy New Year 2024!

  5. The little Danish town is special and I'd love to visit there.

    1. I hope you get a chance to visit. It is such a cute little town!

  6. What a great travelogue. I loved seeing Balboa park, but only was there for a day. Next time, I will plan to spend 2-3 days there at get aa hotel nearby. So much to see and do. Saw your post at Creative Muster Link-Up Party 570. Thanks for sharing. Nancy Andres @ Colors 4 Health

    1. It was raining the day we went so didn't get to explore as much as we wanted to. This gives us an excuse to visit again!

  7. You made my day, kissing in the rain. Happy new year to all of you

    1. Aww! Thank you for stopping by. Happy New Year from my family to yours!

  8. Looks great - love the kiss, and of course the Danish pastries! Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

    1. The pastries were amazing and well worth stopping for! Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I love virtually traveling with you guys. Having several chronic illnesses I don't get to travel. So it's a real treat that I get to virtually go with you. Lol.
    Thanks so very much for sharing your travels with Sweet Tea & Friends this month dear friends.

    1. I am so glad that you have found a way to travel and so glad it is with us!

  10. This looks like a fantastic trip. I've been to San Diego but not Solvang. I've always wanted to go to Solvang, it looks so charming! We loved the SD Zoo. I remember it being huge (and hot!). That garden looked amazing!

    1. We are so happy that we learned about Solvang and got a chance to visit. It was unique and lots of fun!