10 local experiences you can give as holiday gifts

If you don’t want to give a thing, share your love of San Diego with fun, educational, and romantic experiences.

San Diego Zoo entrance

There’s no experience in San Diego wilder than the San Diego Zoo.

Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

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Need help with your holiday shopping? If you’re scrambling for gift ideas — or you know someone who doesn’t want a thing — give a local experience instead. These outings might offer fun and memorable ways to explore San Diego that are better than anything you could wrap in a box.

Discover San Diego

  • Get wild by gifting a membership to the San Diego Zoo, or book an experience at the Safari Park in Escondido.
  • Spend a day with Sidecar Tours viewing scenic San Diego sights, or pick a tour focused on breweries or local wine.
  • Get on the water and explore San Diego’s natural beauty with Sail San Diego, or opt for a private boat experience.
  • Take a tour of San Diego — with a twist. Murder n’ Mayhem offers different ways to explore the city, including ghost tours, whodunit scavenger hunts, or LGBTQ+ history explorations.
San Diego Museum of Art exterior

Museums like The San Diego Museum of Art are packed with information.

Photo via SDtoday + Michael Beausoleil

Learn something new

  • Become an artist with classes at The Artist Outpost or make DIY crafts at AR Workshop’s Coronado and San Marcos locations.
  • Take a cooking seminar and become an at-home chef with classes offered by Cozymeal or CocuSocial.
  • Schedule a trip to a local museum — there are over two dozen in San Diego County and many offer annual memberships.
Wine glasses and a gondola ride on the Coronado Cays

Coronado just looks different inside a gondola.

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