Explore San Diego Attractions You Never Knew Existed


I promise you will find a tourist attraction you never knew existed in San Diego.  Ninety-nine percent of you will find dozens of San Diego attractions you never heard about before. How? By introducing you to the launch of TourGuideTim Reveals San Diego, the best Theme-Based Travel Web Site and Tour Company in San Diego. (Note that the tourist web site is separate from this blog about unique aspects on living in San Diego.)

Downtown San Diego's Marina District

Downtown San Diego's Marina District

Organized by Theme and Location, The Best Places In San Diego travel guide includes hundreds of attractions throughout San Diego County from the Pacific Ocean to our Peninsular Mountains and Sonoran Desert.  If you think ‘hundreds of San Diego attractions’ must be either a) an exaggeration or b) include more than just legitimate tourist attractions, I don’t blame you. I’ll explain more in a moment.

I started this project several months ago when I got tired of visiting multiple travel web sites to find all of the attractions I wanted to visit when planning a vacation. It seemed as though I was spending more time planning a vacation than I actually spent enjoying it.  (I’m not one to just set up an umbrella and sit on the beach.)

I kept encountering two basic problems:

  1. No one travel web site ever comes close to listing all of the tourist attractions. Yet, each one  lists a different set of attractions. (To use San Diego as an example, some travel sites only mention the  top attractions, others mention attractions within a particular area such as within the City of San Diego, North County San Diego, East County San Diego, the mountains, or the desert and most travel guides leave out special niche attractions such as those related to active adventures or kid-friendly attractions.) I don’t know about you, but if I’m only going to take one or two vacations a year, I want to make sure I make the most of it. I don’t want to find out after-the-fact that I missed more than half of the attractions that could have made my experience all the more enjoyable.
  2. Most travel guides either give too little information (a one sentence description and contact information),  too much information (hundreds of user reviews, many of which say basically the same thing), or outdated information (the 2009 issue of a brand name travel book still describes the former Wgasa Bush Line Railway tour at the Wild Animal Park).

So, I set out to create a travel web site for San Diego from a tourist’s perspective.  As a tourist, I want to quickly know:

  • All of the attractions (Are there lesser known attractions that are related to my hobbies or special interests?)
  • The relative location of the attraction (Is the attraction I’m interested in visiting in a place called Carlsbad 5 minutes away or 45 minutes away from the hotel I’m staying at in downtown San Diego?)
  • Transit information (Do I have to rent a car?)
  • Traffic information (Can I avoid spending my vacation stuck in traffic?)
  • Cool things I should know about an attraction (Are there behind-the-scenes tours? Is there something I can brag about to my friends when I return home?)
Learn More about Quail Botanical Gardens

Learn More about Quail Botanical Gardens

To accomplish this, I created a travel web site where all of the attractions are listed in Theme Based categories.  To use an example, if you like ‘Trains’ or ‘Wildlife’, pick those respective themes in the right sidebar at The Best Places In San Diego and you will find a list of San Diego attractions related to those themes.

If you are going to be visiting a particular area of San Diego County, which is nearly as big as the state of Connecticut, select that location in the right sidebar and find a list of nearby attractions.

Whenever you pull up a list of attractions for a particular theme or location, you will find a summary for each related attraction.  This summary allows you to quickly find attractions that may be of interest to you. (The one thing I’ve always liked about travel books is you can always find things quickly using the index. Travel web sites don’t generally provide you any type of ‘index’, until now.) Just click on the attraction’s title or ‘read insider details’ for a full write-up on each attraction that answers all of the things a tourist would want to know.

At the bottom of each attraction’s write-up, you’ll find links to related themes and the location so you can find additional tourist attractions you may be interested in visiting. You will also be able to post recommendations on each attraction for other visitors. If I’ve missed some perspective on what makes the attraction a cool place to visit or if you find some detail about the attraction has changed and needs to be updated, you can submit it for me and possibly others to see.

Learn more about East County San Diego Attractions

Learn more about East County San Diego Attractions

I am happy to provide all of this information to you for free because I love San Diego and I want you to make the most of your experience with this wonderful area. I don’t charge any of the attractions to be included on The Best Places In San Diego like some other web sites do. (This is another reason why some travel web sites only list a small number of ‘paying’ attractions and leave the other ones out.) There’s no need to buy a San Diego travel book. Just print out the pages of the attractions you want to visit or access the content from your cell phone. (I’m still working to improve the cell phone view so you don’t have to scroll back and forth.)

All I ask of you is to spread the word about this web site and to let me know of out-of-town friends or groups who would like an escorted tour of San Diego. Compared to other major tourist cities, tour buses are relatively non-existent in San Diego. I’d like to change that. If you have ideas on how to reach out to those who want someone else to take care of their local travel arrangements, guide them around this huge area filled with attractions, and get them behind-the-scenes tours, let me know.

Learn more about the Chula Vista Nature Center

Learn more about the Chula Vista Nature Center

So, back to that original claim about ‘hundreds of attractions’.  I did accumulate a few hundred San Diego attractions after browsing through hundreds of travel web sites, travel books, and brochures at tourist hotels, and by talking to fellow San Diegans.  This project took several months longer than I planned because there are so many attractions. Even though The Best Places In San Diego includes far more tourist relevant details on more attractions than any other San Diego travel guide I have been able to find, there is still much more to add. Let me know if an attraction you like is not yet listed and then keep an eye out for the latest attractions added to The Best Places In San Diego.

I encourage you to find a new attraction and explore everything San Diego has to offer. It is a great place to live so make the most of it!

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