This article is sponsored by Port of San Diego. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC San Diego’s editorial staff. To learn more visit Portofsandiego.org.
This summer, the Port of San Diego and Ace Parking have teamed up to make it easy to explore the waterfront. There is plenty of parking at the San Diego Convention Center or Hilton Bayfront parking garages on the South end of the Embarcadero, then the Waterfront Shuttle will pick you up and drop you off at any stop along the waterfront of the Embarcadero and Harbor Island. Here’s a list of 10 of our favorite things to explore along the way!
Visit one of San Diego’s newest fine dining and retail destinations located right next to the quaint and picturesque Seaport Village. The Headquarters, the iconic former headquarters of the San Diego Police Department, boasts the original Pueblo-style architecture of the original building with a sleek modern touch. After dining at one of the seven world-class restaurants in the complex including Season 52 and Puesto, take a peek at a wide variety of specialty shops or stroll through open-air plazas lined with vibrant tiles, lush gardens and beautiful fountains. No matter what visitors are in the mood for, this historic landmark will not disappoint!
Relive almost 50 years of maritime history aboard the USS Midway. There’s a reason this attraction boasts a whopping 1 million visitors a year! Named after the epic Battle of Midway of June 1942, the USS Midway is the longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Enjoy a self-guided audio tour of the more than 60 exhibits and see the 29 meticulously restored aircrafts. Don’t forget to step onto the climb-aboard cockpits and flight simulator!
Explore some maritime history on the high seas. The Maritime Museum features a distinguished collection of 11 antique vessels from all over the world. These include a B-39 Soviet Navy submarine, a 1898 steam ferryboat that is also a California State Historic Landmark, and the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship. These ships have to tell and you can even spend a day cruising around San Diego Bay on some of the museum’s active vessels. So climb aboard and set sail for adventure!
Even Mexican food aficionados have likely never had Mexican food like the kind served up at Coasterra. Known as San Diego’s premiere bayfront dining destination, Coasterra puts a unique twist on beloved traditional Mexican dishes, creating a delightful dining experience that will leave visitors hungry for more. Try an innovative dish from their ever-changing menu such as the Ahi Tuna Tostada or hang out at the bar and sip on a delicious Watermelon Fresca margarita, all while enjoying a spectacular view of the San Diego waterfront.
Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
Just as a lighthouse guides a ship, Tom Ham’s Lighthouse will guide visitors to a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. Winner of Open Table’s 2016 Diners’ Choice award and ranked as one of the 100 most Scenic Restaurants in America, Tom Ham’s Lighthouse offers a wide variety of delicious menu options that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest of palates. From a scrumptious family brunch to a romantic dinner, Tom Ham’s Lighthouse’s pristine views of Downtown San Diego and delectable food such as Pan Seared Maine Diver Scallops and prime cut steaks make it the perfect dining destination for any occasion.
Carnita’s Snack Shack
If casual dining, mouth-watering food and remarkable views are your thing, then Carnita’s Snack Shack is the place for you. At their newest location, situated right on the Embarcadero waterfront, Carnita’s Snack Shack serves up a wide variety of dishes including carnitas tacos, the Snackshack Burger, the Triple Threat Pork Sandwich and the meat-free Beet Terrine. Aside from spectacular views of San Diego sunsets, their modern outdoor bar offers great happy hour deals on local brews and specialty drinks every day of the week! Head down to the waterfront to explore one of San Diego’s favorite local “pork-centric” eateries.
Harbor Island Park
Looking for the ideal location for a picnic or brisk morning jog? Harbor Island Park is a hidden gem you won’t want to miss. Located near the west end of the island, Harbor Island Park offers open areas of green grass, shoreline paths for joggers, a bike route, a fishing pier and expansive views of San Diego’s beautiful Bay and all its activities including sailing, jet skiing and more. Bonus, it’s a little less crowded than some of the more centrally located parks!
Hornblower Cruises and Events
From weddings, to birthdays to corporate events, creating amazing, creating unforgettable experiences is what Hornblower Cruises and Events does best. For 35 years, their yachts have sailed past famous landmarks, given memorable tours and hosted elaborate parties. With more than 30 vessels, experienced planners and eight locations including San Diego and New York, Hornblower Cruises and Events able to accommodate any event of any size.
Embracing Peace Statue
Perhaps one of San Diego’s most iconic landmarks is the Embracing Peace Statue, known among many as the “kissing statue.” Located in Downtown San Diego, the 25-foot sculpture embodies the famous moment, captured on camera by LIFE Magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, of a sailor and nurse embracing one another after World War II on April 14, 1945. On any given day, couples can be seen taking pictures and imitating that tender moment.
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
With all the hotels available in San Diego, choosing a hotel can be a daunting task, but after seeing the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, it becomes an easy decision. Guests can stay in one of the luxurious rooms with breathtaking views of the San Diego Bay, catch a quick workout in the 24-hour fitness center, and take a dip in the resort-style pool with cabanas and a bar. In addition, with its central location in Downtown San Diego, guests have easy access to the city’s many famous attractions including the San Diego Convention Center, the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld® San Diego and more.