MapQuest

For MapQuest, I was hired to write descriptions of San Diego’s top-tier and mid-tier landmarks as well as hidden gems in the city. The descriptions are written in an engaging, accessible style from a local expert point of view. Both travelers and locals can enjoy my cheat-sheet to explore the city with ease. Here are a few of my favorites:

[accordion title=”Seaport Village Description“]
Seaport Village is located in downtown San Diego within walking distance of the trolley, the San Diego Convention Center and local hotels. The 90,000 square feet waterfront property was built as a car-free village with winding paths that connects the various freestanding buildings bordered by ponds, lakes, fountains and colorful, lush landscaping. The village houses over 70 shops, galleries and eateries. Shops are geared toward tourists, but there are entertainment options for everyone. Parents can fly kites with their kids, pet owners can walk along the waterfront and adults can stop for a drink at one of the many outdoor patios on the boardwalk.

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[accordion title=”San Diego Zoo Description“]
The San Diego Zoo, located just north of downtown San Diego in Balboa Park, is the city’s most famous attraction. Locals and tourists love exploring this 100-acre zoo that is home to over 3,700 rare and endangered animals, representing more than 650 species and subspecies that are not commonly found in other zoos. Besides the exotic animals, the zoo also has an exquisite botanical collection of more than 700,000 exotic plants.

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[accordion title=”Old Town San Diego Description“]
Old Town San Diego, known as the birthplace of California, illustrates the ambiance of 1800s San Diego, connecting visitors and locals to the past. Within walking distance there are many places to shop, dine and explore. From quaint boutiques and museums to mouth-watering authentic Mexican cuisine and cantinas. Old Town hosts plenty of family-friendly events and has nightly entertainment in many of the restaurants located here. Colorful art galleries and festive theatres are also part of this not-to-be-missed hot spot for tourists and locals alike

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[accordion title=”Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) Description“]
Located in beautiful Balboa Park, The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) is a vibrant center for visual learning. One of three independent photography museums in the country devoted to photography, film and video. MOPA exhibits from its collection of more than 7,000 images — focused strongly in modern and contemporary work, specifically social documentary photography and photojournalism — as well as from new artists, representing the entire history of photography, its aesthetic movements, and technological advancements. The museum is also home to a state-of-the-art movie theater.

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[accordion title=”PETCO Park Description“]
Located in downtown San Diego, Petco Park is an open-air ballpark that opened in 2004, replacing Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium as the home park of MLB’s San Diego Padres. The park was named after the pet supplies retailer Petco, which is based in San Diego and paid for the naming rights until 2026. The state-of-the-art fan amenities suit every taste and budget, offering a relaxed, yet dynamic atmosphere that reflects the unique charm and spirit of San Diego. Although the park was built for baseball, during the offseason it hosts concerts, Comic-Con events in the summer and a holiday wonderland around Christmas.

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[accordion title=”Whaley House Museum Description“]
The Whaley House is a museum and a California Historical Landmark located in Old Town, San Diego, California. This world-renowned museum is one of southern California’s most popular visitor destination and one of only two California houses recognized by the U.S. Commerce Department as being haunted. Visitors to the Whaley House will experience a beautifully restored historic house museum that was finished in 1857, it housed not only the Whaley Family, but also Mr. Whaley’s general store, San Diego’s first commercial theater, and the second county courthouse, all of which have been accurately restored. Some people claim to have encounters with the supernatural, but it’s not guaranteed that visitors will encounter them.

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[accordion title=”LEGOLAND California Description“]
Located in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND California Resort is a 128-acre park with amusement rides, a two-story aquarium, hotel and a water park. The park features over 60 rides, shows and attractions, as well as restaurants & shopping for everyone. Though San Diego’s LEGOLAND is geared towards families with children ages 2 to 12, everyone can find something to enjoy at one of America’s most unique amusement parks.

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