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Top Underappreciated Attractions in San Diego

As California’s second-largest city, San Diego is home to numerous attractions both residents and visitors alike are welcome to explore and enjoy. And we certainly appreciate popular SD attractions such as Balboa Park, Seaport Village, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and the California Tower—all of which are worth seeing during your time in SD. However, the underrated attractions and destinations highlighted below are equally worthy of your time while in this ocean-adjacent paradise. Here are a few underappreciated attractions to add to your itinerary, suggested by the welcoming team at Sunrise Inn San Diego, one of the most budget-friendly and ideally located San Diego hotels you’ll be able to find.

Spruce Street Suspension Bridge

Once you get settled, make your way to Bankers Hill to check out the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge. As you walk along it, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of Kate Sessions Canyon, which rests below it.

Old Town Model Railroad Depot

Turn your attention to San Diego’s Old Town neighborhood to discover this underrated local attraction. Travel back in time at this museum and hobby shop to view highly detailed model trains, including some you can purchase as souvenirs.

Miss B’s Coconut Club

Your palate will thank you for discovering this laid-back hangout on Mission Boulevard. It’s an underrated spot in that it’s better known among locals than casual visitors. Try any of the tropical beverages on the menu with the equally delightful sandwiches, and you’ll be glad you came here.

Secret Swings

Start your journey to this underrated attraction by heading towards the University of California San Diego. Look for the nearby Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier and you’ll find these swings with handmade seats hidden among the trees.

Sunny Jim Cave

For more than a century, this has been an underrated attraction in nearby La Jolla, and you’ll really have to put effort into finding it. It’s only accessible through the Cave Store. Once you enter the store, you’ll need to go down a manmade tunnel to reach the underground sea cave.

Secret Bars

Go beyond the easy-to-find bars in the Gaslamp Quarter and hunt for some of San Diego’s secret bars. You’ll have to do some digging to find info about these locations online, but that’s part of the fun. For instance, False Idol is accessible via a walk-in fridge in the back of the Craft & Commerce restaurant in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood on Beech Street.

Underrated Hiking Spots

San Diego is a great place to get in touch with nature. You can do this directly in the city at Balboa Park thanks to the easily accessible trails there. But also take some time to explore further within the SD area and you’ll discover some underrated hiking destinations, some of which include:

• Mission Trails Regional Park
• Mission Trails Kwaay Paay Peak Trail
• Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve 

If you’re looking for an inexpensive place to stay while you enjoy exploring the attractions in San Diego, reserve your room today at Sunrise Inn San Diego. When they’re looking for comfortable yet affordable hotels near downtown San Diego, visitors will be amazed by our unbeatable rates as well as our spacious rooms, stunning views of the harbor, and proximity to the best tourist attractions in America’s Finest City. Call one of our friendly staff members today at (619) 223-5544.