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San Diego, California Travel Guide

San Diego Summary


  • Beautiful weather (average daily temperature is 70 degrees)
  • 70 miles of coastline, with white-sand beaches and picturesque bluffs
  • World-class golf
  • Sea World and the San Diego Zoo
  • Numerous museums, including the San Diego Museum of Art and Natural History Museum
  • Petco Park, where the San Diego Padres play
  • Legoland amusement park in Carlsbad
  • Beautiful national parks, including Torrey Pines State Park
  • Thoroughbred horse races in Del Mar
  • Great nightlife and restaurants in Downtown San Diego
  • Great Mexican food (only beat by Mexico itself)


  • You will need a car to get just about everywhere
  • The ocean is a little chilly
  • Vagrancy in some areas
  • Expensive parking in most areas

Neighborhood Guides

  • Balboa Park: The San Diego Zoo, 15 museums, and gardens
  • Carlsbad: Wealthy seaside community where Legoland amusement park is located
  • Coronado: Peninsula with a beautiful beach, a quaint, historic town, and Ferry's Landing
  • Del Mar: Affluent beach community with shopping and dining, horse racing, and stunning views
  • Downtown San Diego: One square mile of restaurants, nightclubs, offices, and Petco Park
  • Gaslamp Quarter: The hippest section of Downtown San Diego, with the city's best restaurants and nightlife
  • La Jolla: An upscale seaside community with boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and golf courses
  • Point Loma: Peninsula with hills, a beautiful rocky shoreline, a harbor, and a picturesque lighthouse
  • Marina: Convention centers, a cruise ship terminal, and the Maritime Museum
  • Mission Bay: Part of Mission Bay Park; home to SeaWorld, 19 miles of beaches, Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach
  • Mission Valley: Shopping malls, several golf courses, and historic parks
  • Rancho Santa Fe: Residential area that's one of the most upscale in the country

What It's Like

San Diego's is geographically diverse, with Mexico to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Anza-Borrego Desert to the east, and the Laguna Mountains to the north. The result? Quaint, upscale seaside communities, miles of rugged coastal bluffs and white-sand beaches, dry climate, picturesque, rolling hills, golf courses, and a vibrant city that mixes California culture with Latino flair.

Attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Petco Park (where the San Diego Padres play), Sea World, and the numerous beautiful beaches make this a popular vacation spot for families, but there's also excellent nightlife for the party-minded, and charming seaside retreats like La Jolla and Del Mar for those in search of romance.

Where to Stay

To be near San Diego's best restaurants and nightlife, stay in the hip Gaslamp Quarter. If you need to be near convention centers or the cruise ship terminal, the Marina will likely be the most convenient. For a kid-friendly beach getaway, stay on Coronado. For a luxurious romantic trip, Del Mar and La Jolla offer stunning stretches of coastline, fine dining, golf courses, and art galleries.

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