San Diego County comprises 18 different cities, each with its own unique character. All located along the Southern Californian coast, these cities are well-known for their sublime weather and amazing outdoor pursuits. But none more so than San Diego city itself.
As the 8th-largest city in America, San Diego shares its border with Mexico, and as such, displays plenty of vibrancy — from its weather to the food, sites to see, and the locals.
If you’ve yet to visit this iconic Californian city, this San Diego travel guide should convince you.
When Is the Best Time for San Diego Travel?
This city experiences some of the best weather in all of America. With mild temperatures year-round and minimal rainfall, you could basically visit San Diego at any time throughout the year.
The average annual temperature sits at around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius). If you want to avoid some rainfall, try not to plan your visit for December through to March. Naturally, summer is the best time to visit if you’re looking for a beautiful, sunny, beach getaway. If this is on your agenda, plan your visit anytime from May through to September.
It’s worth noting that there are specific events that take place in San Diego at specific times of the year, just like any other major city.
For example, if you’re a big fan of horse racing, you don’t want to miss the Del Mar racing season. This iconic San Diego event runs from July through to Labor Day in September. Here you can enjoy the magic of this age-old tradition and make your best horse racing picks.
Getting Around San Diego
When it comes to public transport in the sunny city, you’re spoiled for choice. One of the most inexpensive ways to get around is via the public bus system. For the greater San Diego area, visit the Metropolitan Transit System for more information on costs. And for San Diego North County, there’s the Breeze System.
The city also offers a fun means of transport in the form of trolleys. The blue, orange, and green lines all service the downtown area and some communities beyond this. You can catch a trolley every 15-minutes to most parts of the city.
If you’re staying near the waterfront area, there’s also the waterfront shuttle service. It tends to run between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with 8 stops along the Bayfront.
Eat (And Drink) Your Heart Out in San Diego
It should come as no shock that this city is heavily influenced by its Mexican neighbors, especially when it comes to cuisine. And if you’re a fan of Mexican delights, San Diego is the ultimate foodie destination.
You can find a Mexican restaurant or canteen on just about every street corner, both big and small. If you’re looking for something a little more refined, head to the areas of La Jolla and Point Loma. But one of the best starting points in San Diego is Barrio Logan for authentic Mexican deliciousness.
Then there’s also the San Diego craft beer industry which is booming. With over 130 breweries, city-wide, you have a huge choice of top craft beers to sample throughout your stay. You want to add Karl Strauss, Stone Brewing, and Ballast Point to your must-visit list. If you’re a true beer-lover, plan your visit during November so you can experience San Diego’s annual beer week.
For wine lovers looking for a good wine tour, head to the region of Temecula for a taste of California’s finest wines.
The Top Must-Do’s To Add to Your List
San Diego is just brimming with character, culture, history, and a plethora of outdoor pursuits. From surfing to hiking, stand-up paddling, museums, parks, and quirky neighborhoods, the list of things to do is endless. Here, we’ve summarized some of the top sites worth seeing:
- Belmont Park — an iconic San Diego must-see. This seaside amusement park, with its authentic, vintage feel is great for both parents and kids
- Petco Park — if you’re a huge fan of baseball, you don’t want to miss this San Diego stalwart. It also hosts soccer matches, concerts, and other events
- The Maritime Museum — a great attraction featuring one of the world’s best collections of sailing and steam-powered ships as well as submarine tours
- Cabrillo National Monument — for a touch of local history, time in the great outdoors hiking, and exploring tidal pools, this is a must-visit
- The San Diego Zoo — if there’s anything truly iconic about this city, it has to be the zoo! This is a brilliant experience for parents, kids, couples, and more
- Balboa Park — most locals will tell you this is one of the best spots to see in the city. Featuring 17 different museums, 20 gorgeous gardens, shops, and dining spots, a visit here will keep you busy for hours
- Mission Bay Aquatic Center — if you’re looking to learn to surf, sail, paddleboard, or waterski, this is the best place to visit!
- The U.S.S. Midway Museum — for a touch of U.S. airforce history, take a guided tour of this historic aircraft carrier. You can explore restored aircraft, experience flight simulators, and more
Of course, there are plenty of things to do and see in San Diego that are also affordable or free. One of the most popular is the Mission Bay Bike Path. Here you can hire a bike and discover 12 miles of flat pathways that weave around Mission Bay and its scenic reserves.
You could also head over to Barrio Logan, one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods. Well-known for its artists, designers, incredible galleries, and display of public art, there’s so much to see and explore. Including a few popular craft breweries.
Got Itchy Feet?
We hope this succinct San Diego travel guide has outlined the basics of what you need to know if you’re planning a trip to this popular Southern Californian city. You really can’t go wrong with a trip to San Diego, you may even find that it’s a city that will draw you back time and time again.
If you’re itching to travel and looking for more local inspiration, be sure to explore the rest of this blog. We not only offer articles and insights on travel, but lifestyle and beauty hacks, health tips, and more.