National City Travel Guide

  • National City
    by lmkluque
  • National City
    by lmkluque
  • National City
    by lmkluque

National City Things to Do

  • Visit the Frank A Kimball House Museum

    Founder of National City: Frank A. Kimball (1834-1913) built this Italianate-style house with the most modern facilities of the times.Open: 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thurs., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sat., no charge.It's interesting to realize that this was, a "high-tech" home in it's day. This is the type of place I'd take my kids to. It gives the opportunity...

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  • Seeped in Calfornian History

    National City Boulevard, known to us as, "The Miracle Mile of Cars," (Now known simply as "The Mile of Cars,) spans the north-south length of National City on what is known as National City Boulevard. It is fitting that the whole focus of this road is the car. A stroll along this part of National City Boulevard would be especially interesting to a...

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  • Kimball Community Park

    This park is named after the Kimball brothers, Frank, Warren and Levi. It was 1868, just before National City became an incorporated city, (1887) that the brothers bought the land now known as National City.In it's day, National City was the most modern city in the South Bay area of San Diego due mainly to Frank's vision. He built the most modern...

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  • Kimball Park Bowl Ampitheater

    Kimball Park Bowl is also called Kimball Park Bowl Amphitheater. This is a relatively new addition to the Park. They sometimes show outdoor movies here, sort of the child to the now mostly defunct Drive-In Theaters. The movies are free and begin showing at dusk. It's located not too far from the motels on Roosevelt Avenue so check-out the events...

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  • Pepper Park

    Though this is the boat launching facility for Pier 32 marina, there are other aspects of Pepper Park that is of interest. Their is a nice and new playground area, shady trees to have a picnic under, a large area for kids to run off steam and a fishing pier and most important, clean restroom facilities. Pepper Park is a great place to stop while...

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  • Pier 32 Marina

    Since the late 1880's this has been a dock for commercial ships carrying all sorts of products to National City. Pier32 is a newly developed marina that is well designed for boaters in the Sweetwater Channel. It is still in the development stages but has come along quite nicely in the past six months. They offer excellent amenities to the boaters...

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National City Hotels

National City Restaurants

  • Erratic Hours and Free Wi-Fi.

    The Living Room Coffeehouse Bistro and European Pastries is my all time favorite coffeehouse. This National City branch is next to the Southwestern College Extension building and they have an association with the college to provide inexpensive meals, breakfast and lunch, to the students. However it is open to the public and if their Wi-Fi is down,...

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  • Tasty Sandwiches

    Stopping at Plaza Bonita to take a few replacement photos I noticed the first "restaurant" in the Food Court because a guy was standing out side of the counter with a plate of samples. I wasn't planning to eat here but why not try his sample. Wow! That little square of sandwich was good and very flavorful! Most important, the flavor and texture of...

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  • Bento Box!

    Hibachi-San is the only Japanese food I've seen at Plaza Bonita and I was happy to see they served Bento Boxes.To Be Continued.... Chicken Teriyaki bento box is my favorite choice.To Be Continued....

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  • A Chain Restaurant

    The Outback is in a free standing building at the northwest corner of the Plaza Bonita parking lot. Patio dining is available all year long--except maybe when it is raining--and heaters are provided for chilly days or nights.They are only open for dinner, except on Saturday and Sunday they open at noon. I'll also mention that the prices here are...

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  • Moved from Chula Vista

    El Torito moved from Chula Vista to National City. It is a nice addition to the Westfield Plaza Bonita mall. At first, from the outside, it looks small but walking through the doors you'll see it's quite roomy. The food is good and to me, interesting. They've added various regional styles/flavors that most Mexican restaurants don't offer. So, if...

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  • Buster's Replacement

    This used to be a Buster's Beach House/Marina Gateway, but has since closed up shop at this location. Now it is Goodies. I went here to interview the hotel next door and wanted to check this restaurant out also. I went in and talked to the manager, he was nice and though he didn't want me to photograph the customers--understandable--he allowed me...

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  • For Your Convenience

    At the Plaza Bonita food court there are many options to choose, from a simple drink at Orange Julius or the Cyberbrew Cafe to a full meal at any of the American, Chinese, Japanese or Filipino food stalls. The advantage to eating at the food court is that everyone in your party can order their favorite type of food. Plenty of tables and seats are...

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  • At Pier 32 Marina

    A new restaurant to the area that is open to the public as well as a convenience for the boaters docked at the marina. At the moment their hours are limited. Monday through Thursday they are open 11 am to 2 pm. Friday they are open until 7 pm and on Saturday and Sunday they open for breakfast at 9 am to 7 pm. The building is sort of interesting. It...

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  • Old Texas Style

    This old style Texas BBQ first opened in National City before I was born!! That opening was a long, long time ago, 1947 to be exact. You know, the fact that it is still is doing a thriving business is the best recommendation. I've eaten here many times over the years. I think it's the best BBQ around and I have tried most of the others. Everything...

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National City Nightlife

  • Old Long Time Favorite

    The Trophy Lounge has been around for many years. It is quite popular, especially with the guys and gals from the Naval Base about a mile away.This is not an up-scale hipster spot, more like an old, casual neighborhood spot catering to all age groups. The price of a drink is not too high and sometimes they charge a cover and the music is provided...

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  • Live Music and Dancing Old Style

    The live music is a piano bar, the dance floor is rather small and it's only during the weekend. They do bring in a jazz group as well.This is a local favorite and one of very few formal dinning rooms in National City. It can get crowded or be practically empty but it is worth a visit to experience old school dining from days gone by. (1940's) The...

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  • Movies at the Mall

    This is a popular place for everyone. Just to give you an idea how popular this shopping mall and movie theater is, I'll mention that right in the middle of the depression they were able to expand.The latest movies are shown here and there is plenty of free parking. However, if you are relying on public transportation there is bus stop in the...

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National City Transportation

  • Traveling by Bus in National City

    National City doesn't actually have it's own bus system, but there are San Diego MTS buses that service this city. The route numbers are: 13, 929, 932, 955, 961, 962, 963, 967, 968 and though these routes are geared for residents to get to the grocery store or places like a doctor's office, these should be useful getting to most places a tourist...

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  • San Diego Trolley, Blue Line

    The Blue Line services National City. There are two SD Trolley stations there. At the south end at 24th Street and at the north end at 8th Street. The 8th Street station is a couple of blocks from a group of budget motels in National City, so convenient for getting around easily. The 24th station is a couple of blocks from the Naval Base for those...

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  • Car Rentals Made Easy

    In most areas of San Diego, getting around by car is the easiest. If you don't have your own, it's easy to rent one. While searching on-line for the best deal for a rental, keep in mind that some of the best offers are only at a specific location and not necessarily near your hotel or the airport.The other day (2003 I wanted to rent a car and did...

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National City Shopping

  • Just a Few Signs of Life.

    In the day, South Bay Plaza Shopping Center was the place to shop in National City. Since, it has faced a sharp decline. Thankfully a few places like Chuck E. Cheese, Hometown Buffet and Price Breakers are keeping South Bay Plaza alive. It's up for lease and hopefully a company will scoop it up and renovate to compete with other renovation projects...

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  • A Local Favorite

    Plaza Bonita is the place to shop in National City. It is a nice mall with a myriad variety of shops, department stores, restaurants and movie theaters to choose from. One of the things to consider about Plaza Bonita is that the prices at each store will be generally lower than in the same brand store that is also located in a mall at the north end...

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  • National City Hotels

    7 Hotels in National City

    1 Reviews

National City Local Customs

  • Granger Music Hall

    The Granger Music Hall was built in 1886 and is a National Historic Landmark. Granger Hall has moved quite a few times since it's original construction. It was built to be an "acoustically perfect" music auditorium. It has since become a venue for private events and is rented out as Banquet Rooms. Now it's located on Fourth Street. The architecture...

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  • What Happened to 24th Street?

    While exploring National City for interesting things to tell a tourist, I realized that 24th Street was missing. So, I wanted to find out where it went. As long as I've lived in or near National City, it's been 24th Street. There is a 24th Street exit off Interstate-5 and there is a 24th Street Trolley station.Now, the I-5 exit sign reads, Mile of...

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National City Tourist Traps

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Feb 10, 2013

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You never know what flavors will assault your taste buds.

    Oftentimes people have found a jewel buried in those hole-in-the-wall places, but my experience in this area has been that it not the case around here. Generally speaking this type of place serves the worst foods to be found.

    There are really great restaurants that might look a bit shabby or outdated because they haven't re-decorated since the first day, but they've kept up the quality of food since.

    Just be aware and check such a place out before committing yourself to a meal there.

    Unique Suggestions: Better go to McDonalds than order at this type of place.

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National City Off The Beaten Path

  • Paradise Creek Park

    I came out to see this park because I had never heard of it before. I had never even known that there was a Paradise Creek. I do know of Paradise Road in National City, but this creek is new to me,. So, I came out to see it for myself. Well, there are bridges but no water. Maybe this is a place I'll have to come during the winter after a few good...

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  • Butterfly Park

    I came across this small and unusual park while trying to find Las Palmas Park. It is located on E. 22nd Street, which is the last street before a canyon. The park is hardly noticeable mainly because it is a "natural" park. Nothing much in the way of landscaping, obviously not even a bit of water that doesn't come from rain. I'll try to remember to...

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National City Sports & Outdoors

  • National City Golf Course

    Honestly, I know nothing about Golf, bur once had to find a Course for a friend visiting from Japan and this was the nearest one that was open to the public. It is a 9-hole course. At this writing (Summer 2013) the Green Fees are $12.00 Mon-Fri and $15.00 Weekends/Holidays. There is an $8.00 per person to rent the golf cart for 9-holes and $4.00...

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  • Kimball Park Skate Park

    Open 7 days a week and it is open from dawn to dusk. In comparison to other skate parks it's pretty boring, but I have to say that even early in the morning there were a few guys out there trying their stunts.To Be Continued.... The only equipment needed is a skate board, nerve and lots of energy.To Be Continued....

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  • National City Hotels

    7 Hotels in National City

    1 Reviews

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