From known classics like SeaWorld to new venues, bars and Michelin star restaurants, San Diego has a lot going for on for singles, couples and families alike. We’ve pulled together a few recommendations and provided links for a lot more to plan your visit.
So what’s new in 2023?
SeaWorld San Diego’s highly anticipated coaster, Arctic Rescue, is set to open this spring. This family-friendly multi-launch ride will invite guests to hop on a snowmobile and launch at up to 40 mph on a chilly adventure as they race through the unpredictable arctic climate to help animals in danger. The coaster will be the longest and fastest straddle coaster on the West Coast.
LEGOLAND® California Resort’s newest addition to Miniland U.S.A.: San Diego will be unveiled this spring. The world’s first LEGO version of San Diego will feature famous scenes, settings and themes that make up the city’s DNA. Master Model Builders will draw inspiration from such areas as the Gaslamp District, Coronado, Del Mar and San Diego’s incredible coastline. The section will join New York, Washington D.C., Las Vegas and San Francisco, all located in Miniland U.S.A, at the heart of the park.
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Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience, a new exhibition created in partnership with the National Geographic Society, will bring the magic and mystery of Ancient Egypt to the San Diego area, opening at the Wyland Center at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for a limited-run from January 27 – March 26. With nine galleries to explore, the exhibit unlocks the 3,300-year-old story of King Tut – his rule as a child pharaoh, his family, the discovery of his tomb and the mysteries surrounding his early death, and his journey to the afterlife.
Gator By The Bay-Zydeco, Blues & Crawfish Festival is returning to San Diego Bay May 11 – 14. The Mardi Gras-themed music and food festival will feature 100+ live musical acts & performances on seven stages, wooden dance floors, shade, green grass and plenty of fun for the kids. Gator By The Bay’s French Quarter Food Court will serve authentic Cajun, Creole and Southern culinary delights, including gumbo, jambalaya, beignets and 10,000 pounds of crawfish from Louisiana.
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Arts and Culture
WNDR Museum opened in downtown San Diego in January featuring more than 20 exhibits. The museum is an unparalleled immersive art and technology experience that redefines the traditional museum experience. WNDR invites the San Diego community to fully engage with local and international artists, collectives, technologists, designers and makers.
Mingei International Museum will open 25 Million Stitches: One Stitch, One Refugee from March 25 through October 15. The exhibition raises awareness of the unfathomable number of refugees displaced around the world by counting and acknowledging each displaced person with a hand-sewn stitch. In the show, over 2,000 panels are combined vertically to create 408 floor-to-ceiling flags. These flags will be suspended from the ceiling, allowing visitors to walk through and around the installation, being both an immersive and emotional experience.
The Comic-Con Museum was named a winner in the Geeks category of TripSavvy’s 2022 Editors’ Choice Awards. The Geeks category highlights weird and wonderful attractions will appeal to those who like getting a little off the beaten path.
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Scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, Horton Campus will transform from a shopping mall to a grand, wide-open development with inviting parks, retail shops and office and lab space. The renovated campus is projected to have 683,000 square feet of office and life science space and 264,000 square feet of retail space. For visitors, there will be 50-60 stores, a grocery store, and a gym.
Restaurants and Bars
In December Addison earned its third Michelin star, becoming San Diego’s first 3-star Michelin restaurant. The Michelin inspector’s comments highlight the chef’s “Californian sentimentality,” especially in his sesame-seasoned Koshihikari rice with applewood-smoked sabayon and Regiis Ova reserve caviar. Addison, located in San Diego’s Fairmont Grand Del Mar, is now only one of 142 three-star restaurants in the world.The Gaslamplighter, a karaoke and cocktail bar that’s due to land in the Gaslamp neighborhood this year, will feature a list of classic and contemporary cocktails as well as a menu of bar bites and shareable plates. The bar will host karaoke on its main stage on Tuesday through Sunday from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. There will also be occasional live music programming, a mix of local acoustic artists and nationally known names.
Seaport Village, San Diego’s harbor-side hub, will be home to several new dining options as part of the Port of San Diego’s ongoing revitalization. The restaurants being added include L.A. restaurant chain Gladstone’s, Cork & Batter, a baseball-themed restaurant and sports bar, Zytoun, featuring authentic Mediterranean and Greek cuisine, SoCal-inspired dining destination Malibu Farm and Old Harbor Distilling Co.’s first satellite tasting room.
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New Hotels & Renovations
This spring Palihotel San Diego will reimagine the historic St. James Hotel, originally built in 1912, as a vibrant and bustling mainstay. Located in the heart of the Gaslamp District and featuring 122 guest rooms and a rooftop space, Palihotel San Diego will bring a youthful design to San Diego’s hotel landscape. Each guest room will blend Palisociety’s signature California quirky sensibility with nautical-inspired charm. The hotel will also feature Saint James French Diner, an all-day dining room that will blend the approachable nature of an American diner with the subtle elegance of a French bistro.
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