• Ben Webby

The Ultimate San Diego Travel Guide

Ah, San Diego. Drink it in and it always goes down smooth. Ron Burgundy loves this city and I share that love. Although the name does not translate to Whales Vagina, as he says in Anchorman, he is spot on with how great of a place San Diego is.

A Southern Californian gem and the birthplace of California. Where the weather is perfect year-round, the people are friendly, attractive, and love to socialize. San Diego is the best place in the USA to visit for perpetual sunshine, tanning, food, surfing, and enjoying the beach life.

The Mexican border is 10-15 minutes' drive from the city and the Mexican influence on the city is evident. Arguably the best place in the USA for Mexican food, the delicious cuisine is everywhere in San Diego. Try authentic, cheap taco trucks by the beach or head to taco Tuesday at any of the Mexican restaurants.

Where to go when you are Traveling in San Diego

  • Gaslamp District

  • Pacific Beach

  • La Jolla

  • Mission Beach

  • Balboa Park

  • Coronado Island

  • Point Loma

  • Old Town

  • Little Italy

San Diego Travel Guide

Gaslamp District

Gaslamp is located in the heart of downtown San Diego. If you plan on traveling to San Diego, then be sure to include a trip to the Gaslamp District. A major hub for nightlife and dining for tourists and locals alike. Omnia is one of the top nightclubs in California and famous restaurants are packed into the area. You can catch a Padres baseball game at Petco Park which is located in the Gaslamp District.

Pacific Beach

Packed bars line the streets along with PB. The social hub for all young to middle-aged adults. When bars aren’t shut due to the lockdown, this is the place to be in San Diego. Some popular bars for party-goers are Mavericks and Moonshine. El Prez has an upper story deck where you can watch the sunset over the ocean while enjoying a few drinks. When you arent out drinking or clubbing, hang out on the beach by the Pacific Beach Pier or learn to surf, the waves are perfect for beginners. Be sure to try the Carnitas Tacos at Ramiro's, cheap and delicious.

La Jolla

5 minutes north of Pacific Beach is La Jolla. One of the richest areas in San Diego, mansions are dotted along the ocean cliffs. The crowds here are more of an older demographic than Pacific Beach. La Jolla downtown has some amazing free art galleries, Dr. Seuss personal collection is here, and a fantastic National Geographic gallery. The ocean around La Jolla is a protected marine reserve area, so you get to see all kinds of wildlife. You will find lots of seals down by La Jolla Cove. The Birch Aquarium is located in La Jolla and is one of the best aquariums in the world to visit.

Mission Beach

A popular spot all year round, Mission Beach and Mission Bay are packed with swimmers, surfers, paddleboarders, jet skis, and boats. Palm trees and glistening water give Mission Bay the classic Cali vibe. Fun family entertainment can be found at Belmont Park, the park gives the feel of a county fair. Ride the big dipper rollercoaster here and play some classic carnival games.

Balboa Park

A beautiful park in central San Diego where science, nature, and culture combine. The range of museums, gardens, and galleries will keep you entertained for hours. The Virtual Reality ride at the Fleet Science Center is one of my personal favorite things to do in Balboa Park. Hike the garden trails and paths that cover the 1200 acre park. The San Diego Zoo is here. One of, if not, the best zoo in the world, it is home to over 800 unique species and 4000 animals. A great place to explore with the whole family. The park itself is entirely free but the museums and zoo have varying prices for entry. The zoo costs $58 per adult and $48 for a child.

Coronado Island

If you are looking for an impressive view of the San Diego skyline, head across the Coronado Bridge to Coronado Island. An impressive feat of engineering, the bridge takes you over the harbor and you will be greeted with spectacular views. Once in Coronado, you can hang out on the huge stretch of Golden Beach or visit the Victorian-style hotel, Hotel Del Coronado. Opened in 1888, the Hotel was formally the largest resort in the world.

Old Town

Take a trip back in time to the birthplace of California. Old Town still has remnants of what San Diego looked like hundreds of years ago. When you travel to San Diego, you need to check out Old Town, it’s a unique look at the history and culture of San Diego. Major festivities are held here each year like Cinco de Mayo and the Day of the Dead.

Little Italy

Little Italy is a quaint area in downtown San Diego, the streets are lined with top quality restaurants, gastro pubs, cocktail bars, and trendy coffee shops. Fantastic architecture and paved walkways remind you of an Italian town, hence the name. Little Italy is pedestrian and bike-friendly for those looking to see the area on foot. Do some bar hopping and experience one of San Diego’s top dining areas.

Why You Should Travel to San Diego

San Diego is one of the best places to visit in the US. The combination of perfect weather, great cuisine, and a laid back culture is irresistible and makes San Diego a hard place to leave. I hope this tourist guide to San Diego travel was insightful and helps you to plan your next holiday here. Must-sees are Pacific Beach, La Jolla, and Balboa Park. Take a California Roadtrip this summer and ensure San Diego is one of your stops.

Guide to San Diego Travel

Currency: USD

Language: English is the main language, but Spanish is also widely spoken due to the large Mexican community.

Public Transport: The public transport system is not great for getting around the city. Uber and Lyft are more common options here. Or the Trolley line, that runs downtown.

Locals: Overdosed on vitamin D, tanned, fit, and happy. The locals here a friendly bunch that loves to socialize.

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