Inside: Fun Things To Do in San Diego for Teens
There are tons of great activities for families visiting San Diego, CA with teenagers to enjoy. From fun outdoor adventures, educational (but still fun) museums, and so much more, your teens will have no problem unplugging for a bit to enjoy all the activities you have planned.
We’ve listed the best beaches, tours, museums, and other fun things to do in San Diego with teens. We recently took a trip ourselves with our teens and they have a blast!
So check out what we learned and how we kept our picky teens happy all vacation long!
Fun Things To Do in San Diego for Teens
Seaworld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego has everything a teenager could possibly want—extreme thrill rides, nonstop entertainment, animal encounter opportunities, and so much more. With so much to do, they’ll be begging you not to leave at the end of the day.
If traveling with daredevil teens, get in line for thrill rides such as:
- Journey to Atlantis
- Shipwreck Rapids
- Riptide Rescue
- Electric Eel
If you want to sneak in a bit of education into the day, sign your family up for an animal encounter. On top of coming face-to-face with a dolphin, beluga whale, or penguin, your teen will learn all about life under the ocean and wildlife conservation. These experiences also include hands-on fun such as training directions, feeding, and perhaps a chance to pet a marine animal.
San Diego Zoo
You can’t bring the family to San Diego without going to the San Diego Zoo. With over 100 acres of animal education and experiences, this renowned zoo is at the top of every family’s “San Diego must-see” list. Be sure to let your teenager see their favorite animal while at the zoo. It’ll be the highlight of their day.
Zoo Safari Park
Is your teenager obsessed with animals? When searching for things to do in San Diego with teenagers, take your vacation to the next level at San Diego Zoo Safari Park. This interactive park brings guests on wild safaris and excursions, hosts intriguing animal shows, and offers a wealth of teenager-friendly activities.
Teens will love going on the Photo Caravan Safari and snapping pictures of Asian and African birds, mammals, and more. Plus, at one point in the tour, guests have the opportunity to feed a giraffe. Talk about an Instagram-worthy experience!
Another teen-approved safari is the Flightline Safari, an exhilarating zip line tour with aerial views of rhinos, giraffes, and other exotic animals throughout the park. Teens also love the Jungle Ropes Safari, which offers hands-on challenges up in the trees.
Additional safari experiences include:
- Balloon Safari
- Behind-the-Scenes Safari
- Cheetah Safari
- Roar & Snore Safari
- Ultimate Safari
Teen Activities in San Diego
Here are a few more of our favorite fun things to do in San Diego for teens!
Balboa Park is a San Diego masterpiece. This gigantic park features more than 16 museums, serene hiking trails, performing arts venues, and a multitude of restaurants and eateries. With so much to do and see in one spot, your teenager will be amused for hours on end.
Top museums and attractions for teenagers at Balboa Park include:
- Fleet Science Center
- Japanese Friendship Garden
- San Diego Air and Space Museum
- San Diego Natural History Museum
- Timken Museum of Art
Take time to discover as much of the park as you can. You never know what hidden gems or trails you’ll find along the way.
San Diego Beaches
What teenager doesn’t like going to the beach?
San Diego is overflowing with gorgeous beaches and coves just begging to be explored. Teens can try their luck at surfing, go for long strolls along the shore, or even discover marine life in the tide pools.
Add a trip to these San Diego beaches during your stay:
- La Jolla Cove
- Coronado Beach
- Mission Beach
- Moonlight State Beach
- Mission Bay Park
- Bonita Cove
- Children’s Pool
Remember to bring your sunscreen, sunglasses, and towels for a perfect day by the ocean.
Whale Watching Tour
Among the best things to do in San Diego with teenagers is a whale-watching cruise. Once onboard, you’ll get to see San Diego from a whole new perspective while searching for gray whales and hearing from professional naturalists and tour guides.
Do note, these cruises are only offered from December to April due to whale migratory patterns. For the best viewing experience, the Birch Aquarium marine animal experts recommend taking a cruise anytime in December and January. In addition, remember to bring a camera, jacket and hat, sunglasses, and nausea medication if you tend to get seasick.
Fun Things for Teens To Do in San Diego
It’s obvious why Belmont Park is ranked as one of the top things to do in San Diego with teenagers. With a roller coaster, amusement park rides, arcade games, escape rooms, and so much more, teenagers love spending the day at Belmont Park.
Set against a pristine backdrop, the amusement park and boardwalk also offer exceptional dining and shopping experiences. Whether your teen wants a quick bite to eat or a full meal, you’ll find it here!
Speed Boat Adventures
This boat tour involves driving your own 16-foot mini speed boat in the San Diego Bay, narrated by a guide in a boat ahead of you.
There is quite a bit to learn on the bay including San Diego’s military history, tidbits about wildlife, and even the discovery of California at Cabrillo National Monument.
Drivers must be 16 years old with an adult in the boat, or 18 years old to drive alone.
San Diego Fly Rides
Take an electric bike tour with San Diego Fly Rides (or, rent your own). You’ll still pedal, but these bikes take riders with ease up hills and on longer rides while you enjoy and learn about the San Diego coastline.
Favorite rides include the SoCal Rivera bike tour and, teens may particularly like the Cali Dreamin’ bike tour of both La Jolla and Pacific Beach.
La Jolla Zip Line
It’s a day trip, but San Diego County is home to California’s longest zip line. The La Jolla Zip Zoom is located in Pauma Valley, about 90 minutes from downtown San Diego.
It’s four courses ranging from 300 to 2700 feet in length. You’ll reach speeds of up to 55 mph, and since it’s a side-by-side zip line, you can experience it together. Must be 48″ tall and 65-250 lbs.
More Fun Vacation Idea Teens Will Love
Since you’re planning a trip, here are a few more fun ideas of different trips that we love.
- Fun Things To Do in Los Angeles – Sticking with our traveling in California with teens theme, check out our favorite things to do in Los Angeles. From fun roller coasters, cool downtown areas, and exciting rides, there is no your teens will be bored of this trip.
- Fun Things To Do in Las Vegas – There are a ton of cool things to do in Las Vegas with teens. Exciting tour options include everything a teenager wants to see and conquer including zip lines, roller coasters, navigating an ATV or dune buggy, and there are even options to take them to a shooting range.
Now that you have some fun ideas, planning your next trip might be a little more difficult but so much more fun! Let us know in the comments your favorite travel activities to do with your teens.