View of Downtown San Diego from the harborWhen you’re looking for things to do in San Diego, there are several online resources. These are great when you are looking for something to do on a particular day, especially as the day approaches. San Diego is a great place to live but if you sit at home every day you are definitely going to be missing out.

The San Diego Reader is available in tons of locations as a weekly print magazine, but I like the online version even better.  I like The Reader when I’m looking for something to do on a particular date.  In order to find an event for a particular date go to the Events menu selection. Then find the date on the Events Calendar to see a list of local events on that day. The lists default to All Categories and can be quite long; however, you can filter them by a specific category. Just select a category, like music, you can adjust the date range if you want to search a range of dates (like a weekend), and then click the search link. The list will update for your new search criteria. The criteria list is multi-select, so just hold the CTRL key to select multiple categories (just be sure not to hold it for your first selection or the All Categories selection will remain active). This is another opportunity to try something new, just pick a category for something you’ve never tried before, say lectures, and before you know it you could be learning about crop circles and UFOs (actually on the list they day I searched).

The SignOnSanDiego website is owned by the San Diego Union Tribune. (Note the SignOnSanDiego URL takes you to the Union Tribune site now) They have a things to do page that is also a good place to find things to do in San Diego today or in the near future. I don’t like their search capability as much as The Reader, but they have things that aren’t listed on The Reader, plus they highlight major events (the Parade of Lights in the Harbor was highlighted the day I searched) that you may miss in the long list on The Reader’s site. SignOnSanDiego also provides links to sites to buy tickets for many of the events, although for many of these events I recommend you check a site like GoldStar San Diego for bargain tickets before paying full price. SignOnSanDiego also has a lot of content from the San Diego Union Tribune, but if all you want is the events list, their events list is driven by (this site no longer exists) and you can get access to the events without any distractions directly on their site.

City Beat – San Diego is another local printed weekly magazine, that also has a fairly decent online presence. They have an event search capability that is similar to The Reader. The Reader seems to have a more comprehensive list of events including more small/local interest events. So I prefer The Reader to City Beat.

The San Diegan is the self-proclaimed “Original Guide to San Diego” and has been around for 44 years. So in addition to a good list of event the San Diegan website is a good guide to attractions, restaurant, and other venues. They also have a good coupon page if you can’t find the copy of your “Get1Free” coupon book, of course that is also available online at

Looking for a restaurant near an event, check out Yelp for suggestions. The reviews are priceless, but not always completely trustworthy (check out my Yelp post). There is also a section called Talk San Diego where you may find some ideas or some weird conversations… One good conversation thread for ideas is: Yelp topic – 100 Things To Do In San Diego.

Don’t forget we live in a vacation destination. The site is the official travel resource for the San Diego region. It is run by the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau. The function of the site is to lure tourists in with the attractions and big draw events, but it also list some of the other fun activities in San Diego on the 25 Fun & Free Things to Do in San Diego page. This site can definitely be used as a resource by locals too!

Like this post check out my other posts on living locally in San Diego, on planning for a full life, or on living locally in general.


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