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Stadiums and arenas
Looking to make your trip a home-run? Home to the San Diego Padres, PETCO Park is like Downtown’s back garden, where San Diegans come to kick back and catch a ball game. If you don’t fancy a seat in the stands, Park at the Park’s lawn lets you watch the game from the comfort of your picnic blanket. The stadium even plays host to outdoor concerts and events.Accommodation near PETCO Park
Pleasure-seekers, look no further! Head down to this waterfront complex and flit between boutiques and eateries to the melodies of open-air shows. Grab your souvenir knick-knacks, linger over a wine tasting, then stop by Swings n’ Things for your very own chilled-out Californian hammock. Top it off in one of the bay view restaurants and you’re living the dream, baby!Accommodation near Seaport Village
Hello, sailor! Ready to embark on a voyage of discovery? Hop aboard this colossal aircraft carrier and learn what life was like for its 225,000 former crewmen. Patrol between the restored aircraft on deck, head below for flight simulators and interactive exhibits, then explore the crew quarters to hear stories of the ship in its heyday.Accommodation near USS Midway Museum
Calling this place a park doesn’t do it justice. It’s more than just a gargantuan green space embedded in the cityscape. It’s jam-packed with 17 museums, 9 performance spaces and 19 gardens, as well as the truly unmissable San Diego Zoo. You name it, Balboa’s probably got it. Mad about miniature railways? Potty about puppets? Big on butterflies? Balboa Park’s got you covered.Accommodation near Balboa Park
Believe the hype – this world-famous zoo is something else. Its 100 acres of open-air enclosures are home to over 3700 critters. Stand to attention with meerkats and monkey around with macaques. Hop on the cable car and glide above it all like the mighty condor. One tip: cough up the extra dollars for a Backstage Pass – you’ll get up close and personal with cheetahs and rhinos!Accommodation near San Diego Zoo
Nobody’s perfect! But the Hotel Del might come close. This iconic resort – the filming location for “Some Like It Hot” – has hosted Hollywood royalty and literary luminaries since 1888. It’s not hard to see why. Under this vermilion pagoda roof lies the lap of luxury – plush rooms, a snazzy spa, ritzy restaurants and an unbeatable beachside setting. The jewel in Coronado’s crown.Accommodation near Hotel del Coronado
Join the great California gold rush! In the 19th century, this landscape was swamped by intrepid fortune-seekers looking for riches in the dirt. This cluster of wooden cabins and colonial houses takes you back to a time when the West really was wild. Saddle up on a rickety old wagon, see a blacksmith forge iron horseshoes and pick up your own Mexican poncho. Yee-haw!Accommodation near Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
Land ho! This quaint Victorian lighthouse stands high on Point Loma’s craggy cliffs. So high, in fact, that it was often obscured by fog – not ideal for a lighthouse. Its foggy travails forced it to close in 1891, and today it’s a museum frozen in time, complete with re-enactments by guides in period dress. And the icing on the cake? The views all the way across to Mexico.Accommodation near Old Point Loma Lighthouse
Pop on your cassock and step back in time at California’s first Franciscan mission. Peeking at you through gnarled tree branches, the walls of the Basilica have been restored to the gleaming white of their glory days. Inside, the campanario bells echo softly around the courtyard garden, while in the chapel whispered prayers mix with flickering candle-light.Accommodation near Mission San Diego de Alcala
“I got chills, they’re multiplying…” Belmont Park is a funfair straight out of the 1950s. You better shape up if you’re planning on braving the rickety Giant Dipper, a wooden rollercoaster built in 1925. Got your breath back? Go for a spin on the bumper cars or scale the heights of the climbing wall. Cap it all off with a full-on sugar rush from an oversized ice cream cone.Accommodation near Belmont Park
If Misson Beach is the West Coast’s take on a classic Atlantic boardwalk, they’ve certainly done their job well. This sandy gem has all kinds of warm-weather activities to keep you entertained 24/7. Packed with bikes, bars and babes, it’s one salty strip of seaside that also benefits from the year-long Californian sunshine.Accommodation near Mission Beach
P.B. (so-called by the locals) should really stand for Party Beach. This sun-kissed stretch of sand is frequented by college kids looking for a funky beach bar, novice surfers trying out Tourmaline Surfing Park, and families tucking into a picnic on the north side. Head here for a balmy Californian sunset and watch the bonfires and nightclubs come to life.Accommodation near Pacific Beach
For sunshine and surf year round, you can’t do much better than Ocean Beach. A small seaside town favoured by laid-back locals, it’s got great surfing, fantastic fishing and even better tacos. If you’re into chilling SoCal style, this is the place to find ideal sunbathing spots by day and funky beach bars by night.Accommodation near Ocean Beach
A 1920s fun fair right on the Pacific, Belmont Park has been welcoming thrill-seekers, beach-lovers and families for almost a century. There’s no better way to enjoy the warm California sunshine than spending a day whirling and twirling on the many rides – you’ll love the historic wooden roller coaster! Afterwards, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump over to the seaside.Accommodation near Belmont Park
Killer whales, dolphins and sea lions all call this magical marine park home. Come here to learn about the mysteries of the sea and enjoy amazing performances by its most fascinating creatures. Don’t forget that SeaWorld also has its share of amusement rides, so be sure to take advantage of the warm weather with a trip down the rapids or a spin on the sky tower.Accommodation near SeaWorld San Diego
This water park’s inland location means the weather’s even warmer than on the coast, so you and your family will really want to splash around all day long. Fly down the water slides, float along the lazy river and get some thrills in the wave pool. Afterwards, you can get up close and personal with flamingos and turtles at the aquarium or even catch one of the dolphin shows!Accommodation near Aquatica San Diego
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“I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal”. Sun-kissed celebs splash the cash in Girard Avenue’s high-end boutiques. Bigwigs of science and politics stay classy in La Jolla Cove’s swanky seafood joints. And if you prefer starfish to stardust, don your snorkel and plunge into the teeming waters of La Jolla Underwater Park.Accommodation in La Jolla
Won’t you take me down to Funkytown? This busy district wiggles and shakes with the best of them. During the day, PETCO Park buzzes with baseball buffs and Little Italy’s pizzerias reverberate with clinking cutlery and delighted diners. At night, the Gaslamp Quarter’s a disco inferno, as revellers fill the dance floors of Onyx Room or Stingaree.Accommodation in Downtown San Diego
Livin’ is easy in PB. Happy youthful faces abound, welcoming you to their world of fun and sun. Join boarders in the surf or dangle your legs off Crystal Pier, shooting the breeze ‘til sunset. After dark, Garnet Avenue’s slew of bars keep the party going. Head to Tap Room for home-brewed ales, or Bub’s Dive Bar for good ol’ American fare. Far out!Accommodation in Pacific Beach
Mamma mia! An influx of Italian tuna fishermen gave this district a splash of Old-World colour back in the day. Though most have long since hauled anchor, you can still munch meatballs at Mona Lisa or Pappalecco. And don’t miss Little Italy Mercato, a street market awash with green smoothies, gourmet tamales and stuffed sea urchins. Buon appetito!Accommodation in Little Italy
This place is a gas. Named after streetlights of yore, this historic district has come a long way from its days as a seedy pleasure-town for grog-swilling seamen. Today its quaint Victorian buildings are crammed with eateries and bars. Devour a juicy steak at Greystone, sample rare brews at Tipsy Crow and shake your moneymaker at F6ix hip-hop club.Accommodation in Gaslamp Quarter
Coronado’s a place for “California Dreamin’”. Set across the water from the city, it’s got a family-friendly, small-town feel. Mamas and Papas bring frolicking sprogs to pristine Coronado Beach, famous for its gentle surf and fine, white sand. Stop into a hotel that you pass along the way – iconic Hotel Del has dominated the beachfront for 125 years.Accommodation in Coronado
The birthplace of California. In 1769, Spanish explorers set up camp in Presidio Park, firing the starting pistol on California’s colonisation. In Old Town, you’ll get a glimpse of San Diego’s infancy. Budding prospectors can pan for gold at Mormon Battalion Museum, while spook-seekers test their nerve at Whaley House, haunted since 1852.Accommodation in Old Town
Surf’s up dude! Once known as Mussel Beach, this chilled-out seaside paradise swapped mussels for muscles – these days it’s toned surfers who slink over the sands. OB’s still riding the waves of 60s far-outness – the bongos, hula hoops and loved-up twenty-somethings speak for themselves. For that classic California sunset, head up to Sunset Cliffs.Accommodation in Ocean Beach
Avast, landlubbers! Rows of moored-up boats bob in Marina’s marina, while the SS Midway, a warship-turned-museum, looms over the waterfront. From watercrafts to handicrafts, the arty New Children’s Museum gives nippers a space to create and play. Walk the plank and try the fish tacos at Pier Café, perched on stilts over the lapping waves.Accommodation in Marina District
This is definitive Sunday stroll territory. Families and sweethearts meander along Harbor Island’s sweeping coastal path, giving a contrast to the sun-splashed fitness fanatics that zip by in a blur of logoed lycra. Follow the path to Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, where craft beers and sweeping bay views make that lazy lunch all the more tasty.Accommodation in Harbor Island
When she’s not boogie boarding in La Jolla, Kylie loves discovering good eats, drinks and thrifts.
If your feet get tired after bar hopping in the Gaslamp District, take a pedicab. The bike-pulled carriage is slower than a cab, but cheaper, and you'll get to see the historic downtown architecture while people watching. It’s a good way to experience the hustle and bustle of Gaslamp.Accommodation nearby
Native San Diegan Lee enjoys Balboa Park, plays at the Old Globe Theatre and relaxing with family.
I love catching up with family members at Kensington area’s Clem's Tap House, a beer and wine bar with rotating local and regional brews. It’s located behind Clem's Bottle House on Adams Avenue, and has a friendly and knowledgeable bartender.Accommodation nearby
A self-proclaimed foodie, Paula continuously explores the different flavours San Diego has to offer.
Many people visit Coronado Island’s historic Hotel Del Coronado, but few experience the hotel’s Classic Roast. With comfortable beach chairs, cozy blankets, a delicious do-it-yourself s'mores kit and bonfires on the beach at sunset, this becomes the ultimate San Diego experience.Accommodation nearby
From longboarding in the OC to hiking at Torrey Pines Park, Kelly lives weekends to the fullest!
I’ll let you in on an insiders’ secret: rent a “Cruising Hot Tub” on Mission Bay! The easy-to-manage pontoon boat has a small grill, large hot tub, and a seating area with a small table. One of the seats doubles as a cooler so be sure to bring drinks, ice, food to grill, and sunscreen!Accommodation nearby
When not running at Balboa Park, James can be found biking in downtown or catching a Padres game.
To satisfy your morning sweet tooth, head to the San Diego Donut Bar on B Street. The fresh batches of specialty pastries attract a crowd even before their opening time, and they're only open until they sell out – which happens every day! Make sure to get there early.Accommodation nearby
Jaxton likes spending time in nature, especially when sailing his catamaran to the Channel Islands.
If you are here on a Saturday, definitely check out the Little Italy Mercato. This city market has a great selection of local foods, goods and produces. There are vegan and gluten-free options too, not to mention yummy free samples. Get there early and BYOB (bring your own bag).Accommodation nearby
Booking.com asked travellers...The beach means different things to different people. What did the beach in San Diego mean to you?
There are plenty of wide beaches everywhere for sun bathing or surfing. Waves seem to be quite big which makes swimming difficult.See all 26 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...How can you enjoy the sights in San Diego while avoiding the crowds?
We visited during the week during Christmas break--the crowds were minimal.See all 9 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...How could the beaches in San Diego be more accommodating to walking?
Too many skateboarding/bicyclists and drug addicts/bums.See all 8 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...What did your kids enjoy the most on the beaches of San Diego?
Going Swimming at night. Water was Excellent.See all 10 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...Are the animals cared for in San Diego? What did you like and what didn't you like?
Fantastic to visit as so well kept and managed.See all 11 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...Tell us about your most relaxing moments in San Diego.
Nice restaurants in La Jolla.See all 8 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...How do you best cope with the warm weather in San Diego?
poolSee all 15 answers
San Diego International Airport is 4.5 km northwest of downtown San Diego, and has 2 terminals. Taxis are available outside the terminals and cost about USD 13 to city centre. Alternatively, travellers can take the Flyer Route 992 bus to Santa Fe Depot Station, where they can transfer to the Amtrak and Coaster trains; bus fare is USD 2.25 each way. A number of car rental and shuttle services are also readily available.
Running parallel to the Pacific Ocean and linking San Luis Obispo and San Diego (with stops in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles), the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner is a scenic way to travel to and from San Diego. Ticket fares vary according to destination, but cost between USD 11 and USD 24. There are 12 daily round-trip services. Guests may bring along a surfboard or bicycle but must reserve a space beforehand.
San Diego MTS (Metropolitan Transit System) offers 93 bus routes connecting downtown San Diego and the rest of San Diego County. Bus fare is USD 2.25 each way, and must be paid in exact change upon boarding. A Regional Day Pass can be purchased for USD 7, which includes a Day Pass and a reusable Compass Card. Day passes are valid on most MTS buses and trolleys. Be sure to check bus schedules in advance as some lines offer limited service on week nights and weekends.
The 3-line trolley conveniently serves tourist sites such as Old Town, Mission Valley, PETCO Park, Qualcomm Stadium, SDSU and even the Mexican border. Purchase a one-way ticket for USD 2.50 or use your MTS Regional Day Pass. Tickets are available at ticket machines and are valid for 2 hours after the time of purchase.
There are several taxi services available throughout San Diego. The more popular taxi companies are Orange Cab of San Diego, Yellow Cab and AK Cab. Fares start at USD 2.80 and each mile (1.6 km) costs an additional USD 3 – but don’t forget to add a 10-15% tip. You can either hail a cab on the street or call one for pick up. A ride from San Diego International Airport to city centre costs around USD 13. Note: extra fees apply to taxis departing from the airport.
At San Diego International Airport car rental reservation boards are located near the baggage claim areas of Terminals 1 and 2. Travellers can use courtesy phones to request shuttle transport to the car rental company of their choice. Driving in San Diego is relatively easy, especially with a GPS – but rush hour traffic can get heavy, so plan accordingly. Metered street parking or paid lots are generally available. Watch out for fast-moving highway traffic.
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