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18 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In San Diego

There's way more to the city than sun, beaches, and brews.

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1. Treat yo' self to a flight of ice cream.

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We've all heard of a flight of beer, but have you had a flight of ice cream? Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream in North Park gives you the option to get mini cones. This is perfect for anyone who can't decide which flavor they want. A flight of six is perfect for two people, or, if you're up to the challenge, they have a 32-flavor flight!

2. Visit a yeast factory — for the beer.

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It's no secret that San Diego is a beer town, but it's also home to White Labs Tasting Room, a company that produces the yeast most craft breweries use. You can tour their facilities, and then do a flight of beers using the same base beer — but different yeast. It's amazing to compare how much it changes the beer! More info on the brewery tour here.

3. Invest in artwork by Dr. Seuss.

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If you love Dr. Seuss, you need to check out Legends Gallery. Although they carry art from different artists, the highlight is seeing the illustration art of Dr. Seuss. Fun fact: Dr. Seuss is a San Diegan, and resided in La Jolla until his death!

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4. Enjoy a ~legit~ California burrito.

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A California Burrito is not just a burrito from California. It's a beautiful food creation native to SoCal, and especially San Diego. The guts consist of carne asada, cheese, sour cream, and fries. YUP: fries INSIDE the burrito. Not sure where to get yours? Try one of these places.

5. Go on a safari.

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Most people who visit San Diego know about the world renowned San Diego Zoo, but what they may not know is there's a second park called the San Diego Zoo Safari Park that's 180 times the size of San Diego Zoo! The park offers a wide range of unique ways to encounter animals, including feeding giraffes and rhinos.

6. Discover dinosaurs in the desert.

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Anza-Borrego Desert is a short drive from San Diego, and home to 130 cool, huge sculptures (like the one above) scattered throughout the desert. Sculptures include dinosaurs, a dragon, a scorpion, and more.

7. Spend an afternoon at the Cat Café.

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This isn't a café for cats, or a café run by cats — it's a café where you can get your drinks and then spend time WITH cats! Cat cafés are very popular in Asia, but this is one of the few that exist in the U.S. Plus, they work with the local humane society, and all the cats are adoptable!

8. Catch some crazy-ass fish during the Grunion Run.

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Wait, wtf is a grunion, you ask? So it's a type of fish similar to sardines. Every June through August, there's a phenomenon called the Grunion Run, where thousands of Grunion make their way up the shore to spawn. There are times when the entire beach turns silver and is covered in them!

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9. Take a tour of the Taylor Guitars Factory.

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Taylor guitars are some of the most well-known and popular kinds of guitars in the world — and this factory lets you see how these iconic guitars are made. And it's a pretty serious tour: You get to walk around their warehouse and see the process from beginning to end.

10. Go tide pooling.

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When the tide goes out, it leaves small pools and exposed areas where you can see and explore the ocean floor. Find small creatures, see the plant life, and get a better appreciation for the underwater world.

12. Feed a grizzly bear.

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If you love animals, you've gotta visit Lions, Tigers & Bears, a no-kill, no-breed sanctuary. You can learn about how and where they rescue animals, and you can even feed the animals, including — wait for it — lions, tigers, and bears!

13. Dive with sunken ships.

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San Diego isn't just a hot spot for above-water activities — it's awesome for activities down below. It's a great place to get dive certified, and offers a ton of diving options. There are sunken ships you can explore, there are lobsters you can catch, and there are even leopard sharks you can see in the water (don't worry, they're harmless).

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14. Explore secret sea caves.

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There are a few different ways to explore sea caves in San Diego. You can kayak to them, of course, but there are also some that you can access by land — including a couple of hidden / secret ones that you can get to *at your own risk.* Click here for more details.

15. Conquer your fears on a suspension bridge.

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San Diego has its very own suspension bridge in the middle of town. It sways with you as you cross, and is definitely not for the faint of heart. Built in 1912, it is the only bridge of its type in San Deigo County. It is 375 feet long and sways 70 feet above the canyon floor.

16. Hike a surf trail.

Very well-known among the surfer community, the Ho Chi Minh Trail is a trail that leads to the beach, and is maintained by hikers and surfers. The hike requires a bit of scrambling and sure-footedness, but rewards you with an out-of-this-world landscape. You'll climb the Sand Steps, a group of small sand cliffs, and there's even a section that gets ~reallllly~ narrow. Imagine doing this hike with a surfboard!

BONUS: Once you're down at the beach, head south and get a glimpse of the "Mushroom House," the house above that for real looks like a mushroom. Crazy.

17. Have fresh sea urchin at a farmer's market.

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On any given day, you can find a farmer's market somewhere in San Diego. But for a truly unique experience, look for Poppa's Fresh Fish's stall. They serve up fresh sea urchin and it's seriously delicious. If it's too adventurous for you, they also have oysters and other fresh fish to choose from.

18. Visit a bridge that doubles as a musical instrument.

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Yup. Created by artist Roman de Salvo, the 25th Street Bridge has a railing that's made up of chromatic bells that play a tune when you strike them in sequence. Don't forget to bring a pipe or stick, since hitting them with your hands just won't work!

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