San Diego is a paradise for travelers who love to explore. With so many things to see and do, it can be hard to choose what to include on your vacation there.
Will you spend your time relaxing on the sandy beaches and partying at night? Or do you prefer outdoor adventures like hiking, kayaking, or surfing?
Perhaps you’re more of an indoor person and will focus your trip on visiting museums and famous landmarks.
Best Times to Visit San Diego
San Diego is a great place to visit all year round. However, the best time to visit depends on what you want to get out of your trip.
If you want to experience the city during its best weather, the best time to visit is between July and September. The summer months are usually warm and dry, and the weather is perfect for hiking and beach activities.
If you’re visiting to see the city’s famous wildflowers in the spring, you’ll want to visit between April and May.
If you're looking to perhaps escape the cold or snow, November-January is a great time to visit. While temperatures are slightly colder this time of year, it's still warm enough to be outside and enjoy a beachy climate.
How to Get Around in San Diego?
The San Diego International Airport (SAN) is located just 1 mile from downtown San Diego. Flying into San Diego is one of the most convenient airports in California because it’s proximity to the city and the beaches and the smallest of the three major airports in California.
If you fly into San Diego, you can use public transportation, taxis or Uber/Lyft to get to your hotel or Airbnb. Rideshares, taxis and public transportation are located just across the street from both terminals.
Many accommodations offer shuttle services from the airport to their locations, but these are often booked early so make sure to plan ahead. Taxis are also available, but they can be expensive more expensive. We recommend using a rideshare app as they're the fastest and most convenient option.
If you plan, you can take advantage of the San Diego Transit’s MTS Bus and the NCT (Neptune) WATERFRONT shuttle bus to get around the city during your visit. The MTS Bus runs between the airport and Downtown, while the NCT WATERFRONT shuttle runs between Downtown, the Gaslamp Quarter, Old Town, and Coronado.
Always remember that the city offers old town trolley tours for convenient access.
Places to Stay in San Diego
There are plenty of accommodation options throughout San Diego. There are San Diego vacation packages you may want to try out.
This part of Southern California offers many options from hostels to luxury hotels, meaning there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, you’ll find plenty of hostels in the city. You’ll also find plenty of Airbnb options, which is the perfect way to save money while still getting the experience of the city.
The San Diego Zoo is a great attraction, especially if you're traveling with kids. You can book a hotel with exceptional amenities very close to the zoo. If you want to be close to the beach, you’ll want to stay at a hotel near Coronado, Pacific Beach, San Diego Bay, or Mission Beach.
If you’re planning on visiting Legoland, you’ll want to stay in Carlsbad. If you want to be near SeaWorld, stay in Mission Bay. Downtown San Diego is the perfect place to stay if you’re visiting Balboa Park.
Things to Know
In San Diego, CA, the weather is very temperate and can be enjoyed year-round. There are plenty of outdoor activities in San Diego to keep you busy.
San Diego is the home of famous attractions like Legoland California, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, SeaWorld, and is a short drive away from Disneyland.
San Diego Bay offers a scenic view perfect for your Instagram post. San Diego’s beaches are open to everyone, but they are not public property. You must stay on the sand and respect the rights of people who own property along the beach.
San Diego has very mild winters, but the summers are pretty hot. If you are not used to the heat, you may want to plan your tour for the cooler months.
You’ll want to keep an eye on the weather forecast and tides. The fog may roll in at any time, and if you don’t check the tides, you may miss out on visiting places like the tide pools.
Restaurants in San Diego, California
San Diego has a wide variety of foods and restaurants to try. If you're a fan of Mexican food, you're in luck! Since san Diego is so close to Mexico, there are plenty of amazing and authentic Mexican restaurants. Taco Tuesday is a great example of this. Other popular restaurant options include Little Italy and Parakeet Cafe. These are only a few examples, so you’ll want to research the right restaurants based on your preferences.
Places to See in San Diego, California
Gaslamp Quarter - The Gaslamp Quarter is the city’s historic downtown district, and it’s packed full of incredible views and things to do. You can visit the San Diego History Center, take a tour of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, or visit the nearby shops and restaurants.
North Park - North Park San Diego is a charming neighborhood perfect for those who love art, culture, and history. This area is home to many local restaurants, fine dining, shops, and bars.
Old Town-Mission Valley - This is an area of San Diego that has preserved and restored many of its original buildings, giving this neighborhood a unique and special charm. You can visit the nearby Mexican heritage center or take a walking tour of the area.
Balboa Park-Hillcrest - This destination is one of San Diego’s most popular tourist attractions and is home to more than a dozen museums and gardens.
Point Loma-Ocean Beach - This area is a great place to visit if you love the beach. It’s known for having some of the best surfing in the city, so if you come here and don’t catch a wave, you’re missing out!
Mission Beach-Pacific Beach - If you’re looking to party while in San Diego, you can’t go wrong with visiting this area. It’s known as one of the best places in the city to enjoy the nightlife, and there are many different bars and clubs with live music to choose from.
La Jolla - This neighborhood is perfect for those who love nature and exploring. This area is also a great place to visit if you’re interested in the Pacific ocean.
Coronado Island - One of the best beaches in San Diego and is excellent for swimming, spa, and relaxation.
San Diego is a city that offers something for everyone, and it’s the perfect destination for travelers of all types. If you love the bay and the beaches, there are endless sandy shores to explore.
If you’re more of an indoor person, you can visit the city’s many museums and historical landmarks. And if you’re an outdoor adventurer, you can hike through the mountains or explore the nearby wildlife preserves.
No matter your interests, San Diego is a city that will keep you entertained and engaged during your entire vacation.