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If you’re in San Diego for a short period of time, you’ve got to plan your time wisely. Taking a short trek on foot around the bayside pedestrian path will provide sight-seeing in spades! There are parts of downtown’s waterfront that will look drastically different in a year or so, but construction shouldn’t stop you from exploring all that the Embarcadero has to offer.

Great Views of the Bay

San Diego Convention Center

Most cities have their own conference hub, but how many host Comic-Con?! Several open-air staircases are open to the public even if the Convention Center is closed, offering serene views of the Embarcadero marina parks.

Shopping & Souvenirs

Seaport Village & The Headquarters

This area is admittedly a touristy shopping destination, peppered with specialty souvenir shops and the like. But there is something kitschy about Seaport Village and its counterpart, Police Department turned dining destination The Headquarters. Explore different architectural styles, garden areas, a carousel carved in 1895 and more charming vignettes.

Museum & Tours

USS Midway

Even if you’re not crazy about aviation, the USS Midway is still an impressive sight. The historic maritime museum lets you get up close and personal to nearly 30 aircraft carriers on the hangar and flight decks. The museum recommends three to four hours to experience the many exhibits above and below deck; same day re-entry is allowed.

Lunch San Diego Style

Carnita’s Snack Shack

It started as a tiny walk-up eatery in North Park, and after its opening in 2011 gained a cult-like following from locals. Carnivores will get a kick out of Carnita’s pic-centric menu, packed with sandwiches, sliders, tacos and even a few salads! This is a great place to stop by for a drink or soft-serve on a hot day and enjoy the sea breeze. 

Museum & Tours

Star of India & Maritime Museum of San Diego

Another feast for the eyes is the Star of India, the world’s oldest active ship that still sets sail. The Star of India has sailed around the world 21 times (!!) since it was erected in 1863. It’s just one part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, which has a collection of historic ships to view and tour. 

Picnic & Play

Waterfront Park

Before heading back to your hotel, stop by the family-friendly Waterfront Park. Aside from green space, the park is home to fun interactive water fountains, a playground, native plants garden and public art. The public restrooms are a bonus before making your way back to your homebase.

Got more time?

The Embarcadero is home to several local bay cruise companies, like Hornblower and Flagship Cruises and Events. Get out on the water for beautiful views of Coronado, wildlife and more.