Things to Do in the Embarcadero
Although it only occupies a small strip of land along the harbor, the Embarcadero is packed with activities for visitors to the city. Naturally for somewhere named “boarding place,” the neighborhood has a lot of aquatic- and nautical-themed attractions.
San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal
The main cruise ship embarkation and disembarkation point is in the Embarcadero. San Diego is a major port for cruises in the area including international routes. If you are planning to take a cruise in the Pacific, there is a reasonable chance you will depart from or return to San Diego.
Watching the cruise ship terminal can be fascinating also. The larger cruise ships are a sight to behold as they come into port and leave. Fortunately, there are numerous spots that make for great viewing of the ships such as Waterfront Park in Harborview just north of the Embarcadero.
USS Midway & the Maritime Museum of San Diego
Visitors with an interest in nautical education should check out the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum and the Maritime Museum. Both attractions offer unique insights into the workings of ships and everyday life onboard.
The USS Midway was launched just after WWII and was the largest ship in the world for the next 10 years. It served in many significant conflicts before finally being decommissioned shortly after Operation Desert Storm. Today, it is a museum ship that visitors can explore and see everything from the aircraft on the deck to the inner mechanisms of the ship.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego is only a short distance past the USS Midway. It has a fine collection of museum ships including the Star of India, the oldest ship in the world that still actively sails (the USS Constitution and HMS Victory among a few others are older but stay in port). Each ship represents a different aspect of maritime life and industry.
The museum also has some fascinating exhibits. It is some family-friendly, educational fun.
San Diego Convention Center
The San Diego Convention Center is located on the south side of the Embarcadero. This large event space holds consistent conventions and other gatherings throughout the year. Perhaps the most famous of these is the San Diego Comic-Con.
Whether you are in town for a specific event or just want to check out whatever is currently going on, the proximity to the convention center makes the Embarcadero a desirable place to stay. Some of the architecture of the center is also worth seeing, most notably the Sails Pavilion’s unique roof made of “sails.”
Embarcadero Marina Park
For a truly memorable experience by the bay, head to the Embarcadero Marina Park. Technically, this space is actually two parks, one on each side of the marina entrance.
They offer greenspace, pavilions, benches and a pleasant walkway along the water. This is a great place to relax and enjoy the views. Actually walking in the Embarcadero is featured in the Best 15 Things to do in San Diego at night . You can look across the water to Coronado or just sit and watch the ships passing by.
Another popular park is on the northern end of the area. Waterfront Park is another relaxing space designed along the harbor.
This park has a little something for everyone. There are interactive foundations and equipment for kids. There are also several nature gardens located throughout the space.
Waterfront Park also provides event spaces. It is a popular venue for weddings due to the incredible location next to the water.
Historic Carousel in Seaport Village
Don't miss the historic Fair Park Looff Carousel at Seaport Village. Both children and adults will enjoy each of the 54 animals and 2 horse-drawn chariots that were hand-carved in 1895.
This shopping and dining complex is situated on the southern end of the neighborhood near the Embarcadero Marina Park. It has a diverse variety of shops, restaurants and entertainment. No matter why you are visiting the city and with whom, you will find something to love in Seaport Village.
The complex mixes some interesting architectural styles including Victorian and traditional Mexican design. This can make it an interesting place to walk around even if you are just looking.
Seaport Village is located close to the convention center. This makes it a great option for eating when you are planning to go to an event.