This San Diego trip planner shares everything you need to know before you go to San Diego, including when to go, where to visit and how to get around.
With beautiful beaches, perfect weather year-round and plenty of things to see and do, there is no wonder why San Diego is one of America’s most popular tourist destinations.
San Diego Travel Guide
WHEN TO VISIT SAN DIEGO
Firstly, let’s look at when to visit. San Diego is lovely and warm all year but there are certain times of the year to avoid. Visit in January to March if you can, the weather is cooler and it’s low season, so everything is less crowded and less expensive. Spring and Summer can be rainy and overcast.
COST OF TRAVEL IN SAN DIEGO
As an American city, a vacation in San Diego will cost you more than cities elsewhere in the world but not as much as Californian cities such as LA or San Francisco. Hotel rooms range from $90 to $140 in a 2 or 3-star room, whilst budget hotel rooms can be as low as $70. If you are looking for something more luxurious, expect to pay upwards of $200. An average meal costs around $13 whilst a local beer will cost around $6.
HOW TO GET AROUND SAN DIEGO
San Diego is a large city with many neighbourhoods to explore. The easiest way to get around San Diego and California is by renting a car or using Uber or Lyft. Staying downtown also offers plenty of places to eat and drink within walking distance.
WHERE TO STAY IN SAN DIEGO
There are some great neighbourhoods to choose from in San Diego when you are planning where to stay. Gaslamp is the heart of the city and a great place for nightlife and dining options. North Park is a diverse neighbourhood with some cute coffee shops, boutique stores and great little cottages. Little Italy is a trendy, pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood packed with creative cocktail bars whilst Point Loma – Ocean Beach offers a laid-back, relaxed vibe on the beach.
THINGS TO DO IN SAN DIEGO
When planning your itinerary, keep in mind some of these great things to do in the city.
Balboa Park is a picturesque 2100 acre urban cultural park, home to gardens, walkways, theatres and museums. It is also where you’ll find the famous San Diego Zoo.
Whilst in the city, find some time to visit the USS Midway Museum, the longest-serving aircraft carrier in the world and now home to a large museum deduced to air crafts and aviation.
Make sure you find some time to relax on the beach too! Head to La Jolla for an upscale oceanfront community compete with fine dining or head to Coronado Beach or Pacific Beach to relax and unwind.
San Diego offers some amazing food, with tasty fish tacos and enchiladas available all over the city. The city is also the birthplace of the California Burrito so pick one up after visiting one or two of the amazing craft beer spots.
San Diego Old Town is also a historic site to visit in California, being the first European settlement and home to buildings dating back to 1820.
Between December and April, head out on the waters for some whale watching or watch a baseball game at the state-of-the-art Petco Park.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO TO SAN DIEGO
Before you visit, we have a few more San Diego travel tips:
- Bring layers and an umbrella. Although the weather is pleasant all year, the city can experience some chilly winds and rains at times. Check the weather forecast before your visit and pack these essentials.
- Take the trolley. Although driving is easier, the trolley is a great way to get around during your vacation, especially during rush hour.
- It is worth making a reservation for tours at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park to avoid disappointment.
- Head to Hillcrest, North Park or Kensington to eat the best food.
- If you are short on time, use the hop-on, hop-off buses and boats for a sightseeing tour around the best attractions.
- Book tickets online in advance for major attractions, this saves time queueing and saves money.
- Avoid visiting during Comic-Con as room rates are limited and costly.
- Spend some time explore some other incredible USA bucket list items whilst in America.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel Insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offers year coverage.
What to pack:
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizer’s and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these, over backpack and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.
We hope you have an amazing time in San Diego, hit subscribe for more travel tips and drop us a comment below if you want us to share tips on your next travel destinations.