Located in the South Bay region, National City is the second oldest city in all of San Diego. It is considered to be “in the middle of it all” and is home to over 3000 businesses and attractions. The city lies only minutes away from the Mexican border and has everything you need for the perfect getaway. Here are the 5 top things to do in the city:
1) Spend a day in Nature
One thing National City is known for is having amazing parks. Among the most popular of the parks is Pepper Park. Encompassing over 5 1/2 acres of land, Pepper Park offers picnicking areas, boat launching ramps, and even a fishing pier. Kimball Park is another popular park in the area, known more for its recreational activities. Here you can find tennis and basketball courts, baseball fields, and even a new skate park. And while not located in National City, within just a 9 minute drive is one of the most famous parks in all of San Diego – Balboa Park. Here you will find plenty of walking and hiking trails, along with museums and even a zoo!
2) Take a trip back in history
Aside from its beautiful parks, National City also prides itself on its Victorian Heritage. The city has 5 different buildings that are all rated on the National Register of Historic Places. Included within these are the Granger Music Hall, St. Matthews Episcopal Church, and the Santa Fe Rail Depot. Also included on the list is the National City Railcar Plaza and Brick Row on Heritage Square. Among the 5 historical sites, Brick Row is probably the most well known. It was constructed by a man named Frank Kimball in 1887 and consisted of 10 row houses that were to be used by Santa Fe Railroad executives. Today, each of the rows is privately owned so no tours are offered, but the outside still represents the original Victorian architecture of the era.
3) The San Diego Pretzel Factory
Here’s one for all you pretzel lovers – the San Diego Pretzel Factory where delicious Philly-style pretzels are made right in front of your eyes! Founded in 1995 by Harris Golden, a proud Pretzelogist, the Pretzel Factory is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Not only can you munch down on some freshly made pretzels, but the shop also offers facility tours. For those with children, you might even be able to sneak in some private pretzel making lessons!
4) Pier 32 Marina
Labeled as one of the finest marina’s in all of San Diego, Pier 32 provides boaters with first class amenities and facilities. Here you will find everything you need as a boater, as well as a little something for the rest of the family too. Family friendly activities at the marina include a pool and Jacuzzi, fitness center, putting green, bikes, basketball and horseshoes, and barbecuing areas. Waterfront dining is also available.
5) Take a day trip to Gaslamp Quarter
Gaslamp Quarter is really only a 15 minute drive from National City. But the only reason we say full day trip is because you will need a full day to enjoy everything the Quarter has to offer. This historic area is considered the epicenter of San Diego’s nightlife scene, and also offers all of the shopping, dining, sporting, and entertainment you could ask for. The Quarter comprises of 16 blocks, so it is small enough to walk around but still has everything you need to enjoy a full day and night of entertainment. The Quarter is also home to many of San Diego’s hottest festivals and events including Mari Gras and Street Scene.
If you’re looking for a place “in the middle of it all”, National City is where you want to be. Only minutes from the Mexican border, this city has something for the entire family to enjoy. And if you run out of things to do? (Which we assure you, you won’t) – but if you do, just take a day trip to Tijuana!