The top places to see
- La Jolla Shores Beach and Cove
- Torrey Pines / Black's Beach
- Sea World
- Embarcadero / San Diego Harbor / USS Midway
- Gaslamp Quarter
- Balboa Park
- San Diego Zoo
- Old Town San Diego
Day trips outside San Diego:
Traveling to San Diego
- San Diego Lindbergh Field code: SAN - located right downtown
- Alternative - Los Angeles(LAX) or Orange County(SNA) airports and drive 80/90 miles down to San Diego. This is a great option if you want to visit Disneyland or Universal Studios in the same trip.
Places to stay
- Downtown/Gaslamp - best dinning and entertainment + Embarcadero within walking distance.
- Recommended: Westin Emerald Plaza, Sheraton Suites, Grand Hyatt, Westgate, Sofia, Grand Horton
- Avoid: Ramada Inn - loud, old and worn down, despite 3 star rating.
- Be aware of parking downtown - it is hard to find, and most of the hotels will charge up to $40/night
- Be aware of possible noise in downtown area, especially along the streets of Gaslamp Quarter.
La Jolla area
- La Jolla Shores Hotel
- UTC - La Jolla Marriott, Hyatt Regency La Jolla, Marriott Residence Inn
One of the benefits of great bulding boom in San Diego area is wide availabilty of various condominiums/townhouses for rent. This option is especially nice for family/budget travel, since most places provide separate bedrooms and bathrooms, and kitchen facilities with all the accompaniaments of home - forks, knives, plates, glasses. You really learn to appreciate simple things when you are out on the road!
Entertainment & dinning
Gaslamp is THE place to go eat and play in San Diego. This area is full of restaurants, cafes, food stands and bars to suit every taste. Thanks to San Diego climate, there is number of outdoor seating options, with good food, and great people watching. Favorite pick: Cafe Sevilla.
Gaslamp is also an epicenter of San Diego nightlife - the place realy comes alive after 10pm, with number of clubs and late night bars, and nightlife going on seven days a week. Gaslamp.org has comprehensive listings for this area, both restaurants and bars.
La Jolla is another great place to have food experience ranging from "hole-in-the-wall" to most upscale dinning, all often located on the same block. There are two areas with restaurants: upscale area around La Jolla Cove, and more casual around La Jolla Shores Beach.
Contrary to popular image of "sunny California", San Diego can be surprisingly cool and gloomy. Lots of time the weather reminds one more of San Francisco than LA. The common expressions among locals are "May gray" and "June gloom". Luckily, the fog wears off most of the time by noon, and the weather stays very stable throughout the year - the coast sees consistent low 70s in summer, and 60s during winter, while inland portions are about 10-15 degrees higher, the farther away from the water, the warmer the weather. During rainy season (December to March) the area is subject to large rainstorms, so be prepared.