I have lived in San Diego for over 20 years, and most of the dangers listed here are overblown. San Diego is a safe, easy place to have a good time, day or night.
A few simple cautions and you should do just fine. These cautions include:
(1) At night, stay out of area within the following box: South of 8, North of 54, East of 5. There are some nice areas in that box (Hillcrest for example) but as a basic rule stay out of that area at night. You would probably be okay, but why invite trouble.
(2) At night, stay out of Tijuana. Same thing: you would probably be okay, but why invite trouble.
(3) At beach, beware of rip currents that can drag you out to sea very quickly. Find the nearest life guard tower and ask if there are any rip currents in the area. They will gladly point them out.
(4) At the parks with wild vegetation, be on the lookout for rattlesnakes. Though bites are rare, they do happen. Dogs are especially prone to rattler bites.
(5) As with ANY city in ANY country, keep a close eye on your wallet and purse (make them hard to steal!), and lock up anything valuable at all times.
(6) Do not overdrink - it makes you a target for thieves and police. Also, drinking age is 21.
If you follow the simple rules above, you should have an excellent time in San Diego. Welcome, and enjoy!
Although I feel crime in San Diego is no greater than any other city, here are a couple of hot spot's that seem to attract the bad elements.
Pacific beach and the Gaslamp areas are a tourist must stop. However, after the sun goes down there has been a notable amount of car thefts, robbery and after hour violence from the drunks pouring out of the clubs.
Best way's to avoid, don't leave valuable in your car.
Don't walk down dark alleys or streets in the late night alone.
And even though your vacationing and don't want the party to end, recommend you leave the club's before last call. This way you are not leaving with all of the drunks.
For more info on San diego's crime areas, check the link below
Driving while black,....
East of 7th st downtown at night is best to avoid walking....keep your car door locked while driving. ....
Too many from L.A. vacation here; come friday eve. and leave Sunday eve. avoid the drive with them...... Be cautious of couse in Tiajuana- go to Tecate instead...... Our rt. 15 freeway is a disaster durring commuteing times- as many other highways.
If you go downtown and you bring your vehicle, makes sure you’ve got a lot of change with you. If you plan to park on the street – meters are maximum 2 hours. The better option is to park in one of the parking lots where you pay about 2 bucks for 2 hours or 5 bucks for an entire day.
The cheapest option to check e-mail and use internet is the Public Library. There is one on, I believe C street between 7th and 8th Ave, which is very close to the Youth Hostel I did mention before. You must sign up before you can use a computer and sometimes it’s booked out for the entire day. Make sure you get there early and your chances increase to get assigned to a PC. Usage is free.
Traffic is a problem here and it would be advisable to watch the news or read the paper. Also, it tends to get hot here in the summer so I advise anyone to dress in summer clothes, drink plenty of water, and wear sunscreen.
Other than that, San Diego is perfectly safe.