San Ysidro Travel Guide

  • Transportation
    by lmkluque
  • Things to Do
    by lmkluque
  • Now it's $79.00
    Now it's $79.00
    by lmkluque

San Ysidro Things to Do

  • Shop Till You Drop!

    Las Americas Premium Outlets is the newest thing in San Ysidro. A lovely shopping mall with over a hundred outlet stores. This is a shoppers haven as it is now, but there are more plans for this place. An extended section is being added and the Grand Opening of that will be 20 May 2005. Later, a bridge connecting the U.S.A. with Mexico will be...

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  • Tijuana River Valley Regional Park

    This part of San Ysidro has an "out in the country" feel to it. First you come to the Community Garden, but unless it's spring time, the garden usually looks like a big section of weeds or overgrowth. On the other side of the road from the Community Garden are the Ball Fields. This whole area is filled with Horse ranches and so the TRVRP offers...

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  • Cross into Mexico

    The main reason most people go to San Ysidro is to cross the border. This photo is actually U.S,.side of the entrance you'll take from Tijuana, Mexico to return to the U.S.A.. You can see how close the San Diego Trolley--San Ysidro--Station is to the border. The draw back is that once you reach the station, you'll have to go over the bridge, a...

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San Ysidro Hotels

San Ysidro Restaurants

  • A Caffeine Break From Shopping!

    They pop up everywhere, those Starbucks, don't they? Well, Las Americas is no different. I personally like the little hippie-type coffeehouses, but have to admit that the coffee is good at Starbucks and they usually have Wi-Fi, so why not? It's always nice to stop after a few hours of shopping to get that caffeine fix. The shame is that the outside...

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  • International House Of Pancakes!

    The A-frame sturcture of the International House Of Pancakes has been an American icon sinced 1958. Through the years there have been many changes, the A-Frame is no longer the shape of things, not only pancakes are offered and it is now known as IHOP. However, this family restaurant serves a variety of items on their breakfast, lunch and dinner...

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  • Fast Food?

    Some people are afraid to eat in Mexico. (Afraid the food isn't handled properly) So, they'd rather eat on this side of the border. Some people are very hungry by the time they've crossed back into the U.S.A. Some people are driving further south than Tijuana and don't want to stop in that city once they've crossed into Mexico, and decide to grab a...

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San Ysidro Transportation

  • Taking the San Diego Trolley to the...

    The San Diego Trolley Blue Line ends at the border between the United States and Mexico. Some call it the McDonalds station because the station was built in McDonalds parking lot.There should be a bus stop within a block or so of your hotel if your hotel is not near a Trolley Line. Ask your driver which stop you should take to either take another...

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  • Driving Into Mexico!

    Car Insurance is not compulsory in Mexico, but the issue of insurance is important when driving in Mexico.Most U,S, car insurance policies will not cover your car beyond the U.S. border--some do, so check out your policy before driving across. Many car rental companies will not allow their cars to cross the border--some do, and the price of...

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  • Parking West Side!

    Parking is an issue for those who want to drive to the border but not drive across. Parking Lots are a big business in San Ysidro. The closer you are to the border, the more you'll have to pay for parking. Pay attention to the rates offered. You'll see big signs, $4.00, $5.00, $6.00 and $8.00, a no-brainer, right? Not exactly. At the $4.00 place it...

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San Ysidro Shopping

  • Young and Trendy!

    Located in Las Americas Premium Outlet, is Charlotte Russe, a popular clothing store for young women and not so young women who like to dress in style, at moderate prices.This isn't my kind of shop,--I'm too big and too old--however the prices seem to be reasonable and the choices are up-to-date.Along with the clothes, you'll find accessories to...

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  • Duty Free Shopping!

    When I think of duty free, I think of the catelogue given out on the airplane just before landing in another country, I think of the shops in the airport and I think of the shops on the ferry going from Sweden to Denmark. I also think about how surprised I was to find out that at the duty free shop a bottle of French perfume was more expensive than...

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  • Changing Your Shoes!

    I don't really know how popular Nike still is and they may be last seasons shoes, but shopping at this Nike Factory Store will save you money. In my day there were girls tennis shoes and boys tennis shoes, today there are more than one sport shoe and more than one brand for each sport! This is a country of choices, but sport shoes are out of my...

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San Ysidro Local Customs

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    by lmkluque Updated Jul 15, 2013

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    Today there are fewer Casas de Cambio than there were years ago, but still all along San Ysidro Boulevard you will see them with their gaudy signs advertising the rates each place offers. As a cultural point it is interesting to see what other services they offer and they all do offer some other product or service.

    This sign for RP International shows (2005) a better selling (Venta) than the place I've put under Tourist Traps, but the buying (Compra) rate is not as good. However, you can register your car here and get personalized license plates too. Also, you can buy here and sell at another place to get a better deal.

    So shop around before making the deal. Remember, you won't need to change your money if it is in U.S. dollars.

    The (2013) rate has gone up. 1.00 U.S. Dollar is equal to 12.83 Mexican Pesos or 100.00 Mexican Pesos is equal to $7.79 U.S. Dollars. Though I will mention here that it is not necessary to change dollars into pesos because all the places in Tijuana will accept U.S. dollars and give change in U.S. dollars in return.

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San Ysidro Tourist Traps

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    House of Change

    by lmkluque Updated Aug 3, 2013

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    All along San Ysidro Boulevard you will see Money Houses. Usually the rates of buying and selling Mexican pesos are predominately posted, but the "trap" comes in the fact that it is not necessary to change U.S. dollars with Mexican pesos. Every business in Tijuana's tourist areas will accept U.S. dollars and give change back in that currency. It is rare, but some shops will accept other currencies, but I wouldn't count on that being the case.

    If you only have money from your country--not the U.S.A.--it might be a good idea to change at one of these Casas de Cambio.

    Unique Suggestions: If you must change your money before entering Tijuana get the best selling rate for the peso. Then when you return find the best buying rate for the dollar--Not necessarily at the same place.

    Fun Alternatives: It's not necessary to search around for a bank that will change your money, these Casas de Combio have been regulated since 1988 (that is why so many have closed since then.) So, they are safe enough to do business with. Another truth is that the U.S. dollar is accepted by most businesses in Tijuana.

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San Ysidro What to Pack

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    by lmkluque Updated Dec 17, 2012

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    Luggage and bags: San Ysidro Village mall, across the street from Las Americas, was once the big outlet shopping center of the South Bay area. It lasted several years but eventually began to die out. What remains is a shadow of itself.

    One of the surviving stores was Kmart, a discount department store. If you are on a budget and aren't into Name Brands, this is a great place to go for inexpensive items/replacements. Need another bag to carry all your purchases home? They have it.

    4330 Camino de la Plaza
    San Ysidro, CA - 92173
    (619) 428-0303

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: At San Ysidro Village another store that weathered the storm of departing businesses was Marshalls. Though they have a sampling of items, it is mainly a clothing store with an eclectic mix of brand names. Not everything is high quality, but at times a rare find will surprise you.

    4472 Camino de la Plaza
    San Ysidro, CA 92173
    Phone: 619-428-4121.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Need sun screen, aspirin, or shampoo?
    Kmart. has them.

    4330 Camino de la Plaza
    San Ysidro, CA - 92173
    (619) 428-0303

    Photo Equipment: Kmart has most things for your photo needs.

    4330 Camino de la Plaza
    San Ysidro, CA - 92173
    (619) 428-0303

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Need an ice-chest, Coleman stove or a bathing suit? You can find it all at Kmart.

    4330 Camino de la Plaza
    San Ysidro, CA - 92173
    (619) 428-0303

    Miscellaneous: Looking for jewelry, snacks, sunglasses, slippers, a toy for the kids? All of these and much more can be found at Kmart and the prices are very reasonable.

    4330 Camino de la Plaza
    San Ysidro, CA - 92173
    (619) 428-0303

    Disclaimer:

    If all this sounds like an advertisement, don't be misled, these stores are not usually suggested to tourists who want to shop. However, there are times while traveling I've needed something I forgot to bring, like extra film and it would have been nice to know where I could find the everyday items at reasonable prices.

    So, I add San Ysidro Village under packing tip to let you know where we shop for those products without having to pay tourist mark-ups.

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San Ysidro Off The Beaten Path

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    by lmkluque Updated Dec 17, 2012

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    Boondocks is just the word to describe this County Park. The roads bordering the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park are rarely used and at times it seems the drive is too isolated for comfort.

    However, the traffic--what little there is--in this area west of San Ysidro is mainly horse related. There are quite a few horse ranches out here as well as an equine staging area. The US Border Patrol car is a common site along these roads and that adds to the sense of security while driving through the wild and dense brush--unless, of course, you are a terrorist, drug-smuggler or are illegally in this country.

    This part of San Diego is a wild life perserve and in sections it is quite marshy. That would be at the far west end, where the Tijuana River flows into the Pacific Ocean. This is called the Tijuana Estuaray and walking off the path here will get you fined. At least a thousand dollars.

    There are riding trails, hiking trails, picnic tables and plenty of birdwatching. There are over three hundred species, some of which are endangered.

    A community garden is located here for all those who haven't a plot of land for themselves and this is not to mention the feel and smell of horse-country surrounding it all.

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    • Birdwatching
    • National/State Park

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San Ysidro Sports & Outdoors

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    by lmkluque Updated Jul 14, 2013

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    It started out as Hunting and as we evolved, it evolved into what we now call Shopping! Or is it shopping the Sales? Which ever it is the Las Americas Premium Outlets mall fits both categories and has something for everyone.

    Even if you don't care for shopping, this is an interesting place to see and walking through all the nooks and crannies you will have had a great deal of exercise. Maybe that's why I don't like to shop. Ya think?

    Equipment: The equipment needed has also evolved, from sling-shots to spears, bow & arrows and guns to small Plastic Shovel or a pocket full of money and a good pair of shoes.

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San Ysidro Favorites

  • Last Chance Exit Is Not The Last Chance!

    You may have read/heard that the San Ysidro/Tijuana border is the busiest land crossing point in the world. It is and that means that driving near the border area can be daunting, especially since both, Interstate 5 and Interstate 805 end at the border crossing into Tijuana, Mexico and because there are so many cars in the area all the time. Before...

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  • Entering The United States #2

    If you go into Mexico, be patientwhen returning. Car lines willbe long if your driving, but if youare walking, the lines moverather quickly ......

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  • Entering The United States #1

    If you go into Mexico, be patientwhen returning. Car lines willbe long if your driving, but if youare walking, the lines moverather quickly ......

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