San Diego Travel Guide

  • San Diego Bay
    San Diego Bay
    by Weaslebeee
  • The US Grant, a Luxury Collection Hotel
    by kenHuocj
  • USS Midway
    by lmkluque

San Diego Highlights

  • Pro
    Ed_G profile photo

    Ed_G says…

     So many things to do and see and experiance. You can go swimming in the ocean and skiing in the mountains all in the same day if you choose. Plenty of shopping, site seeing, and the weather is THE... 

  • Con
    csordila profile photo

    csordila says…

     The heavy traffic and high cost of living. 

  • In a nutshell
    Weaslebeee profile photo

    Weaslebeee says…

     Whether you enjoy the beach, mountains, forest, or desert, San Diego has something for you! 

San Diego Things to Do

  • Zoo

    Oh a zoo, a paradox of conservation and captivity, of living things in a decent environment or squalor, of the marvels of the natural world or the boredom of looking at another exhibit fast asleep? Here are my tips for San Diego Zoo which is one of the best - If you want to see the Pandas go there first. The queues later on in the day were a tad...

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  • Old Town

    Whenever I go to San Diego I must visit Old Town. Aside from all the great Mexican restaurants it's (I believe) San Diego's oldest neighborhood. You can find Victorian structures - which just seem so out of place in SoCal - and lots of stores and vendor carts. Oh, and Mariachis. Who doesn't love Mariachis?

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  • Balboa Park

    The area known as El Prado is one of the most visually interesting parts of the park as some of the architecture - both original and reconstructed - was designed for the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition: a sort of World Fair celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal. The “dream city" of architects Bertram G. Goodhue and Carleton M. Winslow,...

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San Diego Hotels

See all 340 Hotels in San Diego

San Diego Restaurants

  • Anthony's Fish Grotto

    Anthony's has been a favorite in San Diego for many years. It is conveniently located on Harbor Drive, along the San Diego Bay near the Star of India, the Cruise Ship Terminals and the Habor Cruise kiosks. There are three restaurants rolled into one at this spot. The Star of the Sea Room is "casually elegant," the Fish Grotto is casual, family...

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  • Point Loma Seafoods

    I went to Point Loma Seafood because I had heard of it several times and it's ratings on Yelp were through the roof. Given it's location on the water I expected a fancy upscale place what I got instead was a huge local hangout that has so many people going in and out they need a parking attendant to direct the traffic. San Diego doesn't really do...

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  • San Diego Pier Café

    This restaurant was one of my favorites and a treat to all my visitors when I was able to go out to eat often. The pier sits on stilts in the Bay of San Diego and from almost every table there is a view of some part of the Bay. It is located in Seaport Village, a popular tourist spot in the downtown area of San Diego. However, it is not only...

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San Diego Nightlife

  • Gaslamp Quarter

    Tivoli, spelled backwards, is i-lov-it. Yes, we absolutely did. The oldest bar in San Diego has anchored this corner of the Gaslamp district since 1885 when the neighborhood was known as the Stingaree; a gritty, bawdy den of iniquity where vices of every sort were enjoyed with cheerful impunity. Saloons, gambling halls, bordellos, opium haunts…...

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  • Pacific Beach

    This place is great because of the atmosphere and the huge amounts of good looking young people partying, dancing and havinga great time. Within 6 or 7 blocks are about 50 different bars and clubs and the streets are packed with people partying until early in the morning. Best nights are Thursday to Saturday. The street is Garnet and it is in...

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  • Dick's Last Resort

    For years I have heard of "Dick's Last Resort" but had never been there, nor had I ever noticed it. Influencial people in San Diego refer to it frequently, radio talk shows have even been broadcast from it and I thought it would be a great place to add to my SD page. I was shocked. So many pretty places in the Gaslamp Quarter and this is where...

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San Diego Transportation

  • By Trolley

    San Diego has a decent infrastructure for travelers who don't have cars, especially if you are in the downtown area The link to our system is:http://www.sdmts.com/ But the best way I have found is to use GoogleMaps and map and click on the "public transportation" tab. It will even tell you the lines to get on, the cost and how long it will take...

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  • Pacific Surfliner/Amtrak

    I have taken the Pacific Surfliner to L.A. from San Diego twice and it has been a pleasant (and punctual) trip each time. I purchased a Business Class ticket to ensure a comfortable seat, but I can't speak to whether or not that is really necessary. From the website, it looks like the Coach seats are pretty spectacular as well. The return ride that...

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  • The Coaster

    The Coaster is basically a comuter train that connects Oceanside to downtown San Diego. It offers a few morning trips from San Diego to Carlsbad and Oceanside with stops in between. It is economical and a great solution for those who would like to see these destinations and who must rely on public transportation. The price at this time is up to...

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San Diego Shopping

  • Fashion Valley / Mission Valley

    There are four Macy's in San Diego that are convenient for tourists to reach, Horton Plaza downtown, Fashion Valley mall which is service by the SD Trolley Fashion Valley station and two Mission Valley locations also near the SD Trolley Mission Valley station. Macy's is a large chain throughout the country but most well known in New York City....

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  • Horton Plaza

    Horton Plaza is a sight to see and a place to experience. This colorful, mulitlevel (seven levels) center offers 140 shops, restaurants, boutiques and bistros. The Lyceum Theater, United Artist Cineplex and the live music played throughout the seven levels are a treat for those not in the mood for shopping. The Food Court offers a variety to...

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  • Old Town

    This little women's shop carried an interesting assortment of southwest clothing and jewelry. How about a chili pepper necklace? Actually there are many stores in the Bazaar area with so many choices...you could shop for two days and keep finding unusual arts, jewelry, kitchen ware, ceramics, clothing...and for extras, there are benches amongst...

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San Diego Local Customs

  • Dress Code

    San Diego is quite the beach culture. These peops are raised on the wet sand and they're not so friendly to outsiders. You stick out like a sore thumb if you're wearing elastic trunks while drinking and chillin on the beach. Before you go, invest in some board shorts. Don't get them in San Diego because you'll be paying way too much. Otherwise,...

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  • Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter

    Barrio Logan is an impoverished neighborhood in San Diego. It is one of the earliest to develop, as dockworkers were recruited and this bit of land near the Bay became home to the families of the workers. As happens in most towns where poverty flourishes, crime and a bad reputation seeps in and the city, in general discounts the value of the people...

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  • People

    When I moved to San Diego I spent an entire month trying to figure out where to live. In the process I stopped (as in stopped them on the streets) over 40 people to ask about their neighborhood and EVERY ONE of them took at least 20 minutes out of their day to talk to me. Most even wrote notes for me. Gotta love the people of San Diego

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San Diego Warnings and Dangers

  • Beware of...

    East Village (Petco Park etc.) is fine, just try to stay out of there after dark. Same with the gaslamp quarter. Do NOT go north of the 5 freeway up to the 8 except for Hillcrest, Mission Valley etc. Although you will probably not venture into these areas, try tobstay out of Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, Barrio Logan, Normal Heights, City Heights,...

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  • Driving / Traffic

    (SAN DIEGO, CALIF. July 17, 2012) – The low prices at the gasoline pump are keeping Americans on the road this summer. The American Automotive Association estimates around 34.8 million Americans will be traveling by car 50 miles or more away from home between now and the Labor Day holiday. This is 1.2 percent increase in traffic from last year....

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  • Beaches

    If you stay in or near the Ocean Beach area, be sure when you go in the water to stay in front of the main lifeguard tower, or in front of tower 4. The rips can be awfully strong and will pull you out in a heartbeat. The waves are awfully strong , and they break hard at times. I've seen many a broken board over the years. Lots of fun but... can...

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San Diego Tourist Traps

  • Too Expensive

    This place used to be a place to view marine animals. It still is, but you have to look for them. There are lots of games which really belong in an amusement park, which SeaWorld has become. It is WAY over priced. If you want to see fish, go to an acquarium. UPDATE: Anhauser-Busch, which owned Sea World, has been bought out by IBev, a Belgin...

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  • Tijuana

    Everyone should go to "TJ" at least once in their lives. It is incredible that so many people can be crammed into a space so small. ALWAYS haggle with the shop owners. Don't be too cheap - but they will always drop the price, especially if you are buying more than one item from them, e.g. "I'll give you 10 bucks for both." Go straight to Ave....

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  • Old Town

    This used to be called Bazaar del Mundo. A company from the east coast (Delaware Company) outbid the people who had it for 30 years. It was a very popular place to eat and shop. It was a very colorful place with a Mexican theme, where there was music and dance on weekends. It is now supposed to reflect "early California." It doesn't. It's just...

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San Diego What to Pack

  • Cool / Casual

    On the VT Gear website the question is asked, "Ever wonder who you're standing next to?" Well, that is one reason to wear VT gear, but I have another reason. To easily keep track of my grandkids while we are on an adventure! As you can see from the photo, they each have their own style, yet, where ever we were--this time at the San Diego...

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  • Chilly Evenings

    Even though San Diego is warm and sunny, it's right on the water and can still get chilly. If you go to the baseball game, bring a blanket or warm clothes! It was a hot and sunny day here, but we were sitting in the shade and freezing because of the breeze. I might just be a big wimp, but I think other people in my group were cold too!

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  • Weather Wise

    First, let me say that San Diego does in fact have four seasons (granted that it's sunny 95% of the year), so having said that let me provide you with a rough guide as to what to wear while visiting. In the winter, it is highly advisable that you bring an umbrella (it does rain), sweats (as it does get cold) and a warm coat (in addition to your...

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San Diego Off The Beaten Path

  • Point Loma/Ocean Beach

    San Diego has lots of bakeries, but one that is just a slight bit different, is one that only sells cupcakes. Oh, and they are square, not round, so that you get more topping. Yummy. This business is open and the cupcakes are a sensation. The name of the bakery goes right with the product, Cupcakes SQUARED. The many varieties of flavors are all...

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  • Downtown San Diego

    Named after John D. Spreckels a sugar magnate, construction was finished in August of 1912 to service patrons with 1,915 seats. Designed to be earthquake and fire proof and built with the state of the art heating system. It was considered to be nicest theater on the west coast and was constructed to be acoustically perfect for its day. Harrison...

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  • Old Town San Diego

    Old Town is a historical park , located in the center of San Diego, that keeps the feeling of the original Spanish settlement. The people who work within the park wear traditional dress so it adds to the atmosphere. The buildings are kept in the condition they were hundreds of years ago. Many of them now house museum displays and shops. Many of...

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San Diego Sports & Outdoors

  • Other Sports

    It took quite a bit of effort on the part of local business people but finally a site in Chula Vista was chosen and given as a gift from the San Diego National Sports Training Foundation, a group of SD business and community leaders, and volunteers who raised the funds to build this Official Olympic Training Center in June of 1995. The facility is...

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  • Surfing

    Every day of the year, in San Diego, there are suffers riding the waves at the beaches where surfing is allowed. The Pacific Ocean is usually cool but that doesn't stop lovers of this sport. San Diego Coast line has played an important role in surfing history in California. San Onofre, Corona del Mar, Windansea and The Tijuana Sloughs in Imperial...

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  • Pro Sports

    Until just recently, Qualcomm Stadium was home to San Diego Chargers, The Padres, San Diego State University Aztecs, and the Holiday Bowl. San Diego's professional Baseball team, The San Diego Padres, no doubt was named after the priests who established the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, no longer play at Qualcomm. As of April 2004 the...

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San Diego Favorites

  • Beaches

    If it is the beach you're looking forward to, I'd suggest that which one you spend most time at would depend upon your income level and tastes. Ocean Beach is a "funky,""let it flow" type of place and the main street, Newport Avenue is full of restaurants and bars, and the Ocean Beach Hotel is just across the street from the Ocean. Mission...

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  • Information / Sources

    I find that local maps are useful while trying to get an idea of the scope of a place and where specific areas are in relation to other places. The second photo is a map from a free magazine that tells about the things to see and do in SD and it is showing the downtown area, Coronado Island, the SD Zoo, Hillcrest and Old Town. Just to give an...

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  • Downtown

    The San Diego Trolley or Old Town Trolley Tours? The confusion comes in because both the SD Trolley and Old Town Trolley Tours have a stop at Old Town and they are both called the "Trolley." San Diego's public transportation system includes a three line light rail system we call The Trolley. The BLUE LINE runs approx. north/south from American...

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Top 10 Multi-Generational Destinations: San Diego

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

A delight for children and adults alike, San Diego is a great place for a multi-generational trip. Possibly the most kid-friendly destination in America, San Diego boasts a world famous zoo, SeaWorld, LegoLand, and the Zoo's Safari Park. The city's proximity to Anaheim (less than 2 hours by car) means families can easily visit Disneyland for a night or two as well. In Balboa Park, the entire family can find fun activities: kids can visit the Zoo, while some adults can peruse the San Diego Museum of Art or enjoy Balboa's amazing collection of gardens. Both children and adults will enjoy a visit to Coronado, where adults will recognize the Hotel del Coronado from movies such as "Some Like It Hot," and kids will delight in the island's fantastic white sand beaches. Those interested in nightlife and a great bar scene need only venture to the Gaslamp Quarter, while couples looking for a romantic seaside stroll might want to venture up to La Jolla, one of the most beautiful beaches in California.

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Comments (12)

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Nov 24, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Sailor’s Days on the Star of India: Every day from November 23- December 1, 2013 and again December 14 thru December 31 from 9 am-2 pm. Adults and children alike can experience first hand various activities such as what it is like to make rope for sailing, move cargo, raise and lower huge sails, tie sailor’s knots, climb through a steam engine and many more fun things to see and do. These activities vary each day. Each child can participate in a scavenger hunt around the ships learning about history while having fun. Each child wins a prize of their choice from our treasure chest. All activities are included in General admission: $18.00 Adults and $8.00 Children.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Nov 4, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    "5th Annual San Diego Beer Week"
    November, 1-10, 2013

    Actually lasting ten days, San Diego's fifth annual Beer Week is something to enjoy! Celebrating the 80-some craft breweries in the County of San Diego, this event offers daily events of all types for the beer lover or anyone remotely interested in the craft and it's history. Read more about it at: "What's Going On in San Diego?" - Gaslamp Quarter Tip by lmkluque

    SD Beer Week is so much fun, interesting and even educational. You must be at least 21 years old to join in the festivities.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2013 at 6:31 AM

    "Trolley Dances"
    September 28-29 and October 5-6 2013

    The San Diego Dance Theater will put on performances at various trolley stations to celebrate the revitalization of East Village and Barrio Logan. Tickets include a FREE all day Trolley Pass with advance purchase. Tickets are valid for any of 6 tours each day.
    Purchase a ticket for the entire day and hop aboard!
    sandiegodancetheater.org/tro...

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Aug 18, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    This weekend, Sunday (8-18) at 5 am until Monday (8-19)v at 5 am, Interstate 805 in Chula Vista, from the 54 at the north end of CV to the 905, at the south end of CV, will be closed. Interstate 5 will remain open and the 125 Toll Road will be FREE during the 805 closures. These closures are expected to happen sporadically for the next year and a half 2013 to 2015 so check with Caltrans before you plan a drive south of National City.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Jun 11, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    2013 Comic-Con International will over flow the streets around the SD Convention Center July 18th through the 21st. Even if you haven't a badge and can't get in, the whole area will be alive with fun and exciting characters. It's worth a trip over so don't miss it if you'll be in San Diego those days.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Jun 11, 2013 at 7:44 AM


    As of 10 June 2013, the Plaza de Panama is no longer open to car traffic. The mayor has closed off the road and all parking in that area. This may not be a permanent situation as junctions have been filed in court. However, for now don't expect to drive through this part of the Park. Arrangements are being made for seniors and the handicap, but still for everyone the Free Park bus will be available from all parking areas.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Sweethearts Sail on the Bay
    Guests will board the official tall ship of California, the Californian, for a four hour scenic tour of the bay, marine wildlife and local attractions. Ticket prices include keepsake photos, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and other delicacies. Event takes place on Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10 from 12:30pm-4:30pm. Tickets are $60 for adults and $35 for children and can be purchased online through the museum’s website at www.sdmaritime.org.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Jan 10, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    January 13-18 2013 is a fine dining opportunity for all. 180 restaurants in San Diego offer reduced priced meals for lunch and dinner to any who stop by during this week. This event happens twice a year and many of the participating restaurants are located in and around the Gaslamp Quarter. Ch
    eck the Restaurant Week website for specific information about this event. http://www.sandiegorestaurantweek.com/

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Dec 4, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    San Diego Maritime Museum holiday celebrations:

    SAILOR DAYS: December 15-31 the museum will have Sailor Days for the kids from 9am-3pm. Knot tying, sail raising, scavenger hunts and prizes are all included with a child’s admission.
    BOAT RIDES WITH SANTA: For just $5 added to admission, guests can take a 45 minute historic bay cruise on San Diego Bay with Santa Claus aboard the1914 Pilot boat. Parents are welcome to take pictures of their kids with Santa at no cost. Check website at www.sdmaritime.org for details.

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    The Parade of Lights on the Bay. This parade consists of boats that have been decorated for Christmas, with lovely lights blaring as they sail along the coast of the Bay.
    December 9, December 16, 2012, 5:30 PM until 9:00 PM. San Diego Bay
    The theme this year is, U.S.S. Santa Claus.

    The best place to see the annual Parade of Lights on San Diego Bay is from the historic ferryboat Berkeley at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. There will be a holiday buffett and no-host bar during the Parade and this is where the Judges will be stationed. Check the S.D. Maritime Museum's website at www.sdmaritime.org for details.

    Another option is to gather at the park behind SeaPort Village for a free view of the Parade as well as other spots along the Harbor's coast.

 
Explore Deeper into San Diego
Gaslamp Quarter
Things to Do
SeaWorld
Things to Do
La Jolla
Things to Do
Seaport Village
Things to Do
Wild Animal Park
Things to Do
USS Midway
Things to Do
North County
Off The Beaten Path
Nature Walks / Hikes / Bikes / Drives
Off The Beaten Path
By Car
Transportation
Local Laws / Rules
Warnings and Dangers
Plaza Las Americas
Shopping
Mexico/Tijuana
Off The Beaten Path
Coronado Island
Off The Beaten Path
Balboa Park
Off The Beaten Path
La Jolla
Off The Beaten Path
People
Warnings and Dangers
Old Town Mexican Cafe
Restaurants
Kansas City Bar-B-Q
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Speciality Shops
Shopping
Helpful Hints
Warnings and Dangers
Road Rules
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Bali Hai Restaurant
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By Bicycle
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Combined Suggestions
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Extraordinary Desserts
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Old Town Trolly / Tours
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Downtown
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Casa de Bandini
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UV Ray Protection
What to Pack
Cafe Sevilla
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Spanish Influence
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What to Pack
Information / Sources
Local Customs
Onyx Club
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