San Diego

Visit San Diego

A City of Endless Sunshine San Diego

Embark on a journey to San Diego, where the adventure of California comes alive amidst a stunning coastal backdrop.

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San Diego

Places to Visit

San Diego

Welcome to San Diego

San Diego, affectionately known as “America’s Finest City,” is located on the coast of Southern California, adjacent to the Mexican border. With a population of over 1.4 million, it is the second-largest city in California. Known for its pristine beaches, vibrant cultural scene, and nearly perfect weather year-round, San Diego offers a unique blend of laid-back coastal charm and bustling urban excitement.

Why Visit San Diego?

San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods each have their own unique vibe, from the historic charm of Old Town to the trendy energy of the Gaslamp Quarter. The city’s appeal lies in its ability to cater to all types of visitors, whether you’re seeking family-friendly attractions, adventure, or a romantic getaway. Its rich history, influenced by Spanish and Mexican cultures, is evident in the architecture, cuisine, and annual festivals.

In The Map

Known Facts

Surf and Sand

With 70 miles of pristine beaches, San Diego is a surfer’s paradise offering some of the best waves on the West Coast. Beachgoers can enjoy a variety of oceanfront activities, from sunbathing and sandcastle building to beach volleyball and tide-pooling.

Craft Beer Capital

San Diego has earned a reputation as the "Craft Beer Capital of America" with more than 150 breweries and a thriving culture of craft beer enthusiasts.

Lodging Options

Overview of Available Accommodations

San Diego offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler's needs, from luxurious beachfront resorts to budget-friendly hostels. Here are some of the top choices:

Short-Term Rentals (e.g., Airbnb, VRBO)

Short-term rentals offer a home-like experience with the flexibility to stay in unique neighborhoods. They are ideal for families or groups looking for more space and kitchen facilities.

  • Advantages: More space, kitchen amenities, local living experience
  • Disadvantages: Lack of hotel services, variable standards
  • Booking Tips: Check reviews, confirm amenities, and communicate with hosts for special requests

RV Parks and Campgrounds

For those who love the great outdoors, San Diego has several RV parks and campgrounds.

  • Facilities: Full hookups, Wi-Fi, showers, laundry facilities
  • Planning Advice: Reserve in advance, especially during peak seasons

Hotels and Resorts

San Diego offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs, from luxurious beachfront resorts to budget-friendly hostels. Here are some of the top choices:

Hotel Del Coronado

Address: 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118

Amenities: Beachfront location, spa, fine dining, historic architecture

Features: Known for its Victorian-style architecture and celebrity guests

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Address: 5300 Grand Del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA 92130

Amenities: Golf course, spa, equestrian center, gourmet restaurants

Features: Luxurious resort with Mediterranean-style decor

Pendry San Diego

Address: 550 J St, San Diego, CA 92101

Amenities: Rooftop pool, spa, multiple dining options

Features: Stylish hotel in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

Address: 1 Market Pl, San Diego, CA 92101

Amenities: Bay views, rooftop pool, fitness center

Features: Modern hotel with panoramic views of the harbor

La Valencia Hotel

Address: 1132 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037

Amenities: Ocean views, outdoor pool, fine dining

Features: Iconic pink hotel with Mediterranean-inspired architecture

Explore. Dream. Discover. San Diego Awaits.

Seaport Village

Pacific Beach

Automotive Museum

Cabrillo Bridge

Presidio Park

Mission Bay Park

Lets Discover

San Diego

A Coastal Haven of Endless Possibilities.

Dining Destinations

Cooking Classes: Participate in local cooking classes to learn the art of making Californian or Mexican cuisine.

Food Tours: Join a guided food tour to sample the best of San Diego’s culinary offerings.

Sustainable Dining: Many San Diego restaurants prioritize sustainability, offering farm-to-table dining experiences.

Addison

Description: San Diego’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, offering contemporary French cuisine

Local Specialties: Seasonal tasting menus

Address: 5200 Grand Del Mar Way, San Diego, CA 92130

Contact: (858) 314-1900

George’s at the Cove

Description: Upscale restaurant with stunning ocean views

Local Specialties: Fresh seafood, innovative dishes

Address: 1250 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037

Contact: (858) 454-4244

Juniper & Ivy

Description: Modern American cuisine with a twist

Local Specialties: Seasonal dishes, unique cocktails

Address: 2228 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Contact: (619) 269-9036

The Crack Shack

Description: Casual eatery known for its gourmet fried chicken

Local Specialties: Fried chicken sandwiches, deviled eggs

Address: 2266 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Contact: (619) 795-3299

Lucha Libre Taco Shop

Description: Colorful spot serving creative tacos and burritos

Local Specialties: Surf & Turf burrito, queso tacos

Address: 1810 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103

Contact: (619) 296-8226

Shopping Scene

San Diego offers a diverse shopping experience, from upscale malls to local markets and artisan shops.

  • Fashion Valley Mall

    • Description: Upscale shopping mall with high-end retailers
    • What to Buy: Designer clothing, luxury goods
    • Address: 7007 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92108
    • Hours: 10 AM to 9 PM (Mon-Sat), 11 AM to 7 PM (Sun)
  • Seaport Village

    • Description: Waterfront shopping and dining complex
    • What to Buy: Souvenirs, local crafts
    • Address: 849 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
    • Hours: 10 AM to 9 PM (Mon-Sat), 11 AM to 7 PM (Sun)
  • Gaslamp Quarter

    • Description: Historic district with unique boutiques and shops
    • What to Buy: Fashion, accessories, local art
    • Address: Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Old Town San Diego

    • Description: Historic area with shops selling Mexican and Native American crafts
    • What to Buy: Handmade jewelry, pottery, traditional clothing
    • Address: Old Town, San Diego, CA 92110
  • Liberty Public Market

    • Description: Marketplace with local vendors offering food, crafts, and more
    • What to Buy: Gourmet food, artisanal products
    • Address: 2820 Historic Decatur Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
    • Hours: 11 AM to 7 PM daily

Sustainable/Ethical Shopping

Support local artisans and eco-friendly shops that prioritize sustainable practices. Look for markets and stores that offer fair-trade products and locally sourced goods.

Guided Tours

Most tours include a knowledgeable guide, entry fees, and transportation (if applicable). Wear comfortable shoes, bring a camera, and stay hydrated.

Exclusive Access or Experiences : Some tours offer exclusive access to private areas or special experiences, such as behind-the-scenes tours or private tastings.

Safety and Comfort Advice : Follow the guide’s instructions, stay with the group, and be aware of your surroundings. If you have any health conditions, inform the tour operator in advance.

Walking Tours

Examples: Gaslamp Quarter Historic Walking Tour, Old Town Walking Tour

Price: $20-$30 per person

Inclusions: Guide, historical insights, entry fees

Bus Tours

Examples: Old Town Trolley Tour, San Diego SEAL Tour

Price: $40-$60 per person

Inclusions: Transportation, guide, sightseeing stops

Culinary Tours

Examples: San Diego Food Tour, Little Italy Food Tour

Price: $50-$70 per person

Inclusions: Food tastings, guide, restaurant visits

Events in San Diego 2024

San Diego Comic-Con International

  • Dates: July 18-21, 2024
  • Location: San Diego Convention Center, 111 W Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
  • Contact Information: (619) 525-5000
  • Description: Comic-Con is the largest comic and pop culture convention in the world, featuring panels, celebrity appearances, and exclusive merchandise.
  • Highlights: Cosplay contests, panel discussions, and sneak peeks of upcoming films and TV shows.

Imperial Beach Sandcastle Competition

  • Dates: August 3-4, 2024
  • Location: Imperial Beach, CA 91932
  • Contact Information: (619) 424-3151
  • Description: This annual competition showcases incredible sand sculptures created by professional and amateur artists.
  • Highlights: Sand sculpture displays, live entertainment, and family activities.

La Jolla Art & Wine Festival

  • Dates: October 12-13, 2024
  • Location: Girard Ave & Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
  • Contact Information: (619) 233-5008
  • Description: This free festival showcases fine art, wine, and beer from local and international artists and vintners.
  • Highlights: Art displays, wine and beer tastings, and live music.

Activities

Getting Around

Transit: The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) offers buses and trolleys.

Parking: Ample parking available in most areas; downtown parking can be limited.

Walkability: Many neighborhoods are pedestrian-friendly.

Visitor Resources and Centers

San Diego Visitor Information Center

Location: 2688 E Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109

Contact: (619) 236-1212

Exploring Balboa Park

Description: Cultural hub with museums, gardens, and the San Diego Zoo

Location: Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

Times: Open daily, museum hours vary

Costs: Varies by museum

Difficulty Levels: Easy

Age-Appropriateness: All ages

Safety Considerations: Stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes

Visiting the San Diego Zoo

Description: World-famous zoo with over 3,500 animals

Location: 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

Times: 9 AM to 6 PM

Costs: $60 adults, $50 children

Difficulty Levels: Moderate (walking required)

Age-Appropriateness: All ages

Safety Considerations: Stay hydrated, wear comfortable shoes

Hiking in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Description: Scenic reserve with hiking trails and coastal views

Location: 12600 N Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037

Times: 7:15 AM to sunset

Costs: Parking $10-$25

Difficulty Levels: Easy to moderate

Age-Appropriateness: All ages

Safety Considerations: Stay on marked trails, bring water