San Diego is a welcoming, fun and multi-faceted city, offering everything from sunny beaches to tex-mex cuisine. It has wonderful spaces to rest and have fun, as well as to get to know the local culture in places like the San Diego History Center museum.
San Diego’s atmosphere fuses the California lifestyle with the picturesque nature of the border city of Tijuana. Therefore, its wide range of leisure activities offers alternatives to tourists of all ages and preferences.
The culture of craft beer holds a prominent place in San Diego. There are more than a hundred local breweries, including Ballast Point, Stone Brewing Co. and AleSmith Brewing Company.
- Top 5 Reasons to Visit San Diego
- What to do in San Diego
- When to visit San Diego
- Getting to San Diego
- Where to stay in San Diego
- Getting around San Diego
- Cost of living in San Diego
- Where to eat in San Diego
Top 5 Reasons to Visit San Diego
The city is located in a region that has one of the best climates in the world. It enjoys about 266 days of sunshine a year, the winters are not very cold and the summers, although they are hot, do not present extreme temperatures.
San Diego has paradisiacal and uncrowded beaches, such as La Jolla or Coronado, and it also has tourist and immensely crowded beaches, such as Mission Bay. Therefore, there are coastal areas perfect for the more restless and for the quieter and more romantic.
The history that the city treasures
San Diego’s historic downtown is noted for its grand Victorian buildings. In addition, it is an excellent plan to visit San Diego’s Old Town, a theme park that recreates how life in the United States developed in the 19th century.
The San Diego Zoo
The zoo is home to over 3700 animals, including giant panda bears, penguins, polar bears, gorillas, anacondas and many more species from all over the world. It is also possible to see a great diversity of plants. Tickets have a general price of $ 54, and $ 44 for children between 3 and 11 years.
The USS Midway Museum
This unique maritime museum is located on the aircraft carrier Midway, which is docked at Navy Pier. The ship is a place steeped in history, and it displays a large collection of aircraft. General admission is $21, although it offers reduced prices for seniors over 62, military retirees, students and children.
What to do in San Diego
Explore the historic Gaslamp Quarter
As you walk through the streets of Gaslamp Quarter you discover the perfect coexistence of Victorian buildings with modern skyscrapers. Here you will find the best restaurants, pubs, discos and shops in the city, and colorful events and parades are organized throughout the year.
Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Seaport Village
At Seaport Village, shopping enthusiasts will find amazing boutiques. There are also wonderful restaurants, where you can have lunch or dinner while watching the spectacle of San Diego Bay. The USS Midway Museum is located in this area.
Enjoy Balboa Park
Located a few minutes from the city center, this park is home to 17 museums, ranging from art and photography to science and the aerospace industry. There are also several theatres, beautiful gardens and many other attractions, including the city zoo.
Visit the Coronado Peninsula
Also called Coronado Island, this area is one of the most beautiful in San Diego, thanks to its beautiful beaches and natural areas. It can be reached by boat or ferry from the port of Broadway, by the I-5 bridge and on foot along the Silver Strand, where spectacular natural landscapes can be seen.
Getting to know Tijuana
During a stay in San Diego it is possible to take a day trip to Tijuana, to enjoy the Mexican essence, urban art, local food and various attractions. In addition, it is possible to do some shopping at affordable prices, and taste the local craft beers.
When to visit San Diego
The almost daily presence of the sun makes San Diego a splendid city all year round. The largest crowd of tourists occurs during the summer, so if you like the beach and prefer a few quieter days, travel in spring or fall.
Keep in mind that in June the city hosts the Festival of the Arts, and in July the San Diego International Comic Convention is held at the San Diego Convention Center and the LGBT Pride Festival.
Getting to San Diego
San Diego’s international airport is only 2 miles from downtown. To get there you can take the 992 bus, which costs $2.25, or a taxi, which will cost you about $15 plus the usual 15% tip.
San Diego’s Amtrak terminal is located on Kettner Boulevard, and serves the Pacific Surfliner route, which runs along the California coast. In addition, there is a commuter train system, the Coaster, which runs to Oceanside, where it connects to the Los Angeles light rail network.
From Los Angeles you will need to approach San Diego on I-5, and if you are coming from the east, you will need to drive on I-8. Keep in mind that during rush hour traffic is very heavy on all highways.
Greyhound serves San Diego from Los Angeles and San Francisco in the north, and from destinations such as El Paso in the east. From other California cities, San Diego can be reached by some lines of the Hoang Express, Intercalifornias and Lux Bus America companies.
Airports near San Diego
(SAN) San Diego
(SNA) Santa Ana J. Wayne/Orange Cnty
Where to stay in San Diego
Many of the best hotels are located in the centre and the old part of the city. Among them is The Keating Hotel, which offers rooms at rates ranging from $110 to $140 per night. Rooms at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, a luxury hotel complex, are priced at about $220 a night.
Super 8 by Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle, on the other hand, is a more economical hotel located 10 minutes drive from SeaWorld, and has attractive rooms at about $60 per night.
Popular neighborhoods in San Diego
Center. From the centre there are excellent connections to any point in the city. This district is home to the home of The Padres baseball team and numerous museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art.
La Jolla. Located on San Diego’s most attractive beach, this district is home to the University of California and features a lively nightlife, including modern restaurants such as Shores Restaurant. The Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve and La Jolla Cove, a perfect place for snorkeling, are also located here.
Mission Valley. This large district is divided into Mission Valley East and Mission Valley West. It’s a great shopping and entertainment center, and is home to attractions such as the Mission San Diego de Alcala and Qualcomm Stadium, home of the San Diego State Aztecs and Los Angeles Chargers football teams.
Getting around San Diego
The urban bus and tram network is managed by the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), and offers a great service in the central districts. Their single tickets cost $2.25, while day passes cost $5.
A flag down taxi in San Diego costs $2.80 and then increases by $1.80 per kilometer driven.
If you want to move around San Diego and the surrounding area freely, think about renting a car. Companies serving the city include Hertz and Budget, which have offices at the airport. The cost of the daily rate for a four or five person tour is about $30.
Cost of living in San Diego
Shopping is one of the pleasures San Diego has to offer. Mission Valley is home to all the major stores, including Bloomingdale’s and Gucci. The Gaslamp Quarter is home to boutiques and prestigious Goorin Bros. stores, where you can find the perfect hat for you. La Jolla also has many fashion stores, including lululemon San Diego and Cinderella Shoe Clinic.
Supermarkets and Grocery Stores
Several chains and supermarkets operate in the city, including Vons, Albertsons, Safeway and Ralphs. You can find simple prepared food dishes for $15. To guide you with prices, consider that a bottle of wine costs about $12 and a dozen eggs $4.
Where to eat in San Diego
San Diego offers two gastronomic versions. One is made up of world-class seafood restaurants, such as The Oceanaire Seafood Room and Truluck’s, whose prices range from $30 to $50 per person. The other option is found in Mexican restaurants of different levels.
If you feel like trying good tacos, go to La Puerta restaurant, where a lunch or dinner for two can cost $50, and when you want to taste huevos rancheros, one of the best options is at Casa Guadalajara. There are also excellent Asian restaurants, such as J-Wok and Dumpling Inn & Shanghai Saloon.