San Diego Travel Guide
San Diego, one of 18 cities in Southern California's San Diego County, is the eighth largest city in the United States. Sharing a border with Mexico, San Diego is known for its mild, dry climate, with a year-round temperature average of around 68 degrees F (20 degrees C) and low rainfall, occurring mostly between December and March. Coastal areas are generally cooler than inland parts of the city.
Like most large cities, San Diego encompasses a variety of neighborhoods and communities, including casual beach towns, downtown business areas, and both new and historical sections. Tourism is a major industry, attracting visitors to its 70 miles of beaches, family theme parks, and attractions, museums, golf courses, craft breweries, and restaurants.
San Diego is home to several military installations, dating back to the early 20th century when the U.S. Navy established a base there. The Coast Guard has a base on San Diego Bay, and the U.S. Marines have installations at Miramar and Camp Pendleton. The aircraft carrier U.S.S. Midway is a museum and tourist attraction.
Pacific Standard Time (Daylight Savings Time, seasonal; dates vary)
Best Times to Go
Moderate temperatures year round along with minimal rainfall make just about any time lovely in San Diego. Summer is beach season, and visitors enjoy sunny weather and warm water in the ocean and bay for water sports like surfing, paddle boarding, swimming, and boating. The sea and air are cooler during winter months, still pleasant for outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and walking along the shore.
Things to Know
The San Diego County Fair, an annual event at Del Mar Fairgrounds, was first held in 1880, and the most recent fair saw more than 1,500,000 visitors.
San Diego is a dog-friendly destination, with a variety of hotels, restaurants, parks, beaches, and activities that will welcome your furry friend.
In the town of La Jolla, you can watch the seals and sea lions that have taken over the Children's Pool Beach. They can be seen from the cliffs at La Jolla Cove.
In San Diego, you can find both ocean beaches with waves for surfing and calm bays for easy swimming.
How to Get Around
Trolley Service: Three trolley lines (blue, orange, green) service downtown San Diego communities and beyond. They run an average of every 15 minutes. For information, visit the Metropolitan Transit System website.
Waterfront Shuttle: Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, the Waterfront Shuttle makes eight stops along the Bayfront from Harbor Island to the South Embarcadero near the San Diego Convention Center. For information visit the website.
Mission Bay & Beachfront
Inland - Mission Valley and Old Town
Downtown, Gaslamp District, and Little Italy
Multiple Locations around San Diego
Things to Do
Neighborhoods to Know
La Jolla offers beautiful beaches, outdoor recreation, luxury hotels, and outdoor recreation. La Jolla Underwater Park and Ecological Reserve thrives with marine life, and in Torrey Pines, there's hiking and an array of native wildlife. Internationally recognized Torrey Pines Golf Course is nearby.
Gaslamp Quarter is a 16-block area in the historic heart of downtown San Diego, a lively dining, entertainment, and shopping district. More than 100 restaurants, 40 bars and nightclubs, theaters, art galleries, and shops as well as luxury hotels make it a popular destination.
Little Italy was once home to the tuna fishing industry and Italian families who settled there. Now the lively neighborhood is filled with restaurants, pubs, art galleries, and boutiques. India Street is the main thoroughfare, and Kettner Street is the place for new, popular restaurants.
Barrio Logan is home to Mexican street art, focused on Chicago Park beneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge overpass, where a display of colorful murals are painted on the bridge's pillars. Authentic Mexican food, artist studios, bakeries, and a brewery attract visitors as well.
Hillcrest is located next to Balboa Park, minutes from downtown. The hub of San Diego's LGBTQ+ community, Hillcrest is known for eclectic nightlife, casual dining, chic boutiques, and vintage clothing stores. The main thoroughfares are University Avenue and tree-lined Fifth Avenue.
University Heights, adjacent to Hillcrest, features historic and renovated craftsman-style homes, shopping, nightlife, and dining. Its main thoroughfare, Park Boulevard, is home to popular eateries, shops, and lounges.
Coronado is located across the bay from downtown San Diego. Beaches, shops, and the historic Hotel del Coronado attract visitors. Orange Avenue, Coronado's main thoroughfare, is lined with restaurants, galleries, and theaters.
San Diego is known for its moderate, near perfect climate. Temperatures vary, with warmer areas inland and cooler near the ocean often with morning clouds. Annual precipitation is rarely above ten inches, with the majority occurring between December and March.
The following are average Fahrenheit lows and highs by month.
January 48 - 65
February 65 - 76
March 61 - 73
April 54 - 69
May 67 - 76
June 65 - 75
July 62 - 71
August 59 - 69
September 56 - 67
October 53 - 66
November 51 - 65
December 49 - 65
Apps to Download
A variety of smartphone apps are available to make a visit to San Diego convenient and easy.
Balboa Park Official Mobile App is an interactive guide to the park with details on museums, eateries, schedules, and more.
SpotAngel helps drivers find street parking and understand local rules.
SeaWorld's app provides GPS navigation, search, show times, and up-to-date wait times for rides.
Legoland's app provides a park map and overview of rides, shops, dining, and ticket information.