San Diego

San Diego is a big city with lots of small-town charm. San Diego beaches intermingle with quaint artist communities and huge metropolitan regions bordering ranches and orchards. This is avocado country where over 40% of California's avocados originate. Even though San Diego has a large population and location on the border of a poor third-world country, it has a surprisingly low crime rate. San Diego residents live the good life and some regions have topped the list for the most expensive property in the entire United States. Downtown San Diego is very clean and offers many San Diego attractions within moderate walking distance including Gaslamp Quarter, Padres ballpark, Little Italy, Aircraft Carrier Museum, Maritime Museum, Seaport Village, Horton Plaza and several of the best San Diego hotels. Most of the most popular San Diego museums are found in Balboa Park along with the San Diego Zoo.

Blog Check our Downtown San Diego blog for more details.

Flickr photo album See our San Diego photo album on Flickr.

National Parks

Cabrillo National Monument is located on the southwestern point of the San Diego Harbor entrance. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse, Cabrillo Monument, Bayside trail and Cabrillo tide pools can all be explored here. MORE DETAILS

State Parks

San Onofre is mainly a surfers beach with breaks like Old Man's, Churches and Trestles. Expect crowds and a line to pass through the entrance gate in the summer months. MORE DETAILS

South Carlsbad State Beach

Carlsbad State Beach features a wide sandy beach. The higher bluff areas offer great camping by the sea with stairs that lead to the beach below. MORE DETAILS

Leucadia State Beach features a series of hard-to-find beaches along Neptune Avenue. Because these beaches are not visible from the main highway, they are usually less crowded than other nearby beaches. These beaches have some of the county's best surf breaks. MORE DETAILS

San Elijo State Beach offers day use parking for swimmers, surfers, snorkelers, scuba divers and sunbathers in the northern portion and a very popular State Park campground to the south. Several great surf breaks are situated along San Elijo's shoreline and the big wave producing Swamis is a short distance north of the park. This park is a great choice for camping by the beach. MORE DETAILS

Cardiff State Beach is known for its gentle sloping sand that makes it safer than other beaches for swimming. MORE DETAILS

Torrey Pines State Park

Torrey Pines has a wide sandy beach backed by tall bluffs. Atop the bluffs is Torrey Pines State Park which offers short, manageable hikes through rain weathered bluffs and the rare Torrey Pine trees. MORE DETAILS

Palomar Mountain offers camping, picnicking, hiking and fishing in a lush conifer forest. Visit Palomar Observatory for a glimpse of a massive telescope. Observatory campground has a designated blackout area and cement pad for amateur stargazers and their telescopes. MORE DETAILS

Old Town San Diego is one of the more popular San Diego attractions. Found near downtown San Diego, Old Town offers a glimpse into local life between 1821 and 1872. Some original structures remain including adobe structures and several of San Diego's best Mexican restaurants are within Old Town San Diego. MORE DETAILS

Silver Strand State Beach offers a long and wide sandy beach on the outer edge of the San Diego harbor. This is really two beaches in one with a Pacific side and a harbor side. Many activities are offered at this beach including water skiing, volleyball, sailing and bonfires. MORE DETAILS

Amusement Parks

photo courtesy of LEGOLAND Resort

LEGOLAND amusement park is geared for the younger ones with rides like Fairy Tale Brook and Coast Cruise. LEGOLAND is one of the more popular things to do in San Diego for families and is found in north county. MORE DETAILS

Belmont Park, Mission Beach

Belmont Park is a classic boardwalk amusement park located right on the beach at Mission Beach. You can't miss the hugh pink, wooden roller coaster. MORE DETAILS

The Wave Water Park is owned and operated by the city of Vista and features water slides like Rip Tide Slide, Tubulation and a competition sized pool. MORE DETAILS

Aquatica San Diego Water Park features a local surf theme with water slides like Coronado Express, La Jolla Falls and Imperial Run. MORE DETAILS

Zoos & Aquariums

Sea Life Aquarium is a large ocean aquarium situated next to Legoland. See fish, crabs, rays, sharks, octopus and more at this interactive aquarium. MORE DETAILS

San Diego Zoo is a large city zoo with nearly 1000 animals on display. The San Diego Zoo is situated in Balboa Park, where you'll also find a wide variety of San Diego museums. MORE DETAILS

The San Diego Safari Park features over 1800 acres of wild animals roaming free in their natural habitat. They also offer safari caravans through the park and sleepovers with advance reservation. The San Diego Safari Park is one of the most popular things to do in San Diego. MORE DETAILS

Bottlenose Dolphin photo courtesy of Mike Aguilera/SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is a very large sea park with aquariums, shows, exhibits and amusement rides. See Killer Whales, sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, Beluga Whales and many other marine mammal species. Sea World is one of the most popular things to do in San Diego. MORE DETAILS

Birch Aquarium at Scripps is a moderate-sized aquarium managed by the University of California San Diego. Birch features a large kelp forest aquarium, a petting pool, a nearby pier, nearby tide pool exploration and grunion viewing when in season. MORE DETAILS


Things To Do

Mission Bay is a large aquatic park located at Mission Beach that offers opportunities for picnicking, jet skiing, sailing, swimming and more. Equipment rentals are available throughout the park. Mission Bay features a wide variety of outdoor activities and things to do in San Diego. MORE DETAILS

Harbor cruise options include brunch, dinner, whale watching and more. Available from San Diego Harbor. Ferries also run to Coronado Island and back. Cruise the harbor in style aboard luxurious yachts. MORE DETAILS

Dinner cruises are available aboard luxury and historic yachts with Hornblower Cruises. Cruise in style while sipping champagne, dining on sumptuous fare and dancing to hit songs. Cruises depart from two locations in San Diego Harbor. MORE DETAILS

Biplane Flights are offered by Barnstorming Adventures from the Montgomery Field Airport. One or two people can fit in the front of a 1920's biplane for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Get a low flying glimpse of local beaches or head inland over golf courses, lakes and vineyards. A biplane flight is one of the more unique things to do in San Diego. MORE DETAILS

Skydive San Diego offers solo dives, tandem dives, instruction, certification and advanced training in skydiving. They have several of the newest and safest planes in the industry and take offs and landings are done from the same location without need for a shuttle. MORE DETAILS

K1 Speed features electric indoor kart racing on a smooth asphalt track with tight, technical corners and a wide straight. These are high-speed Go karts that can approach 40mph. MORE DETAILS

Smith Ranch Train

Julian Train & Goldmine offers train rides, goldmine tours, gold panning and early pioneer experiences on Smith Ranch. Julian is a mountain community found in east county and known best for fresh apple pie, wineries and gold mines. MORE DETAILS

Llama Treks explore the historic regions of Julian. Visit a winery, gold mine, apple orchards and other scenic locations of the region. MORE DETAILS

Wine tasting is offered at dozens of local wineries. Wine tasting rooms are available in the touristy downtown shops of Julian and Ramona. Julian is a mountain community found in east county and known best for fresh apple pie, wineries and gold mines. MORE DETAILS

Whale watching cruises depart from several locations in the region from Oceanside to the San Diego Harbor. Whales that are found off California's coast include the Gray Whale, Humpback Whale, Blue Whale, Minke Whale, Fin Whale, Sperm Whale and Killer Whale (Orca). Whale watching is one of the more popular things to do in San Diego during the summer. MORE DETAILS

Boats 4 Rent, Oceanside

Kayaking and stand-up paddleboard is popular all along the coast. Rentals for kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and more are available. Most places included all the necessary equipment, lessons and tours. Explore the sea caves of La Jolla or play in Mission Bay. MORE DETAILS

Boat rentals are available at various locations throughout San Diego including lakes and harbors. Paddle the calm protected waters of Oceanside Harbor and Mission Bay. Head out to sea for a day in the sunshine or fishing from San Diego Harbor. Fish for trout at one of dozens of recreational lakes. Boat rentals include sea-worthy motor boats to stand-up paddleboards (SUP). MORE DETAILS

Golf Courses are situated throughout the the county including the picturesque and world-renowned Torrey Pines. Or challenge yourself on the 7100+ yards of the Maderas course in Poway. MORE DETAILS

Horseback Riding is available through multiple stables and ranches in the region. Traverse through the historic regions of Julian or along the sands of the Pacific Ocean. MORE DETAILS

Campgrounds in San Diego range from campsites on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean to campsites in the Laguna Mountains. Several recreational lakes offer camping and terrific fishing. MORE DETAILS

Tours include a tour by San Diego trolley, double-decker bus, amphibious vehicle, ship or on foot. Destinations include Gaslamp Quarter, Old Town San Diego, San Diego Harbor, Little Italy and even a ghost hunting tour in Old Town. MORE DETAILS

Recreational Lakes are located throughout the region and offer activities like water-skiing, boating, fishing, camping and more. Some of the largest lakes include Lake Hodges, Lake Cuyamaca, El Capitan Reservoir and Barrett Lake. Lakes are popular San Diego attractions during the summer and offer plenty of things to do. MORE DETAILS

Cruise ships depart from the San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal daily to destinations like Canada, Mexico, Pacific Coast, Hawaii, Tahiti, French Polynesia, Marquesas, Bahamas, Caribbean, Panama Canal and Costa Rica. Hop aboard and explore the world by sea. MORE DETAILS


Oceanside Harbor Village

Oceanside Harbor Village is a quaint Cape Cod village situated along the harbor shore and comprised of several touristy shops, restaurants and harbor activities. Boat rentals from sea-worthy fishing boats to stand-up paddleboards (SUP) are available. MORE DETAILS

La Jolla is an upscale artist community nestled comfortably into the hillside above the ocean. La Jolla is a favorite place among tourists and locals alike. Pronounced 'La Hoya'. La Jolla offers many activities and luxury amenities. MORE DETAILS

La Jolla sea caves are only accessible by kayak and best at low tide, but one is accessible from inside the La Jolla Cave Store. Descending the staircase into Sunny Jim Cave is one of the more unique things to do in San Diego. MORE DETAILS

San Luis Rey de Francia

Spanish Missions were built all along the California coast between 1769 and 1823. Their purpose was to convert the indigenous peoples to Christianity and as strongholds for their newly claimed territories. Three of these missions are found in San Diego and are the oldest standing structures. MORE DETAILS

Palomar Observatory features free self-guided tours of a massive, operational telescope that peers deep into the universe. Guided tours through the dome are also available for a small fee. MORE DETAILS

Julian is well known for its fresh apple pies, wineries and golmines. Julian is a trip back in time with horse-drawn carriages carrying visitors around town, vintage bed & breakfast Inns and small town hospitality. Julian is one of the more popular San Diego attractions found in east county. MORE DETAILS

Julian gold mines offer tours, sluice panning and many pastime activities that are fun and educational for the kids. Julian is well known for its fresh apple pies, wineries and golmines. MORE DETAILS

San Diego Lighthouse

Old Point Loma Lighthouse is situated high on a peninsula with Cabrillo National Monument overlooking all of San Diego. Cabrillo National Monument features the lighthouse, Cabrillo National Monument and a museum. MORE DETAILS

Balboa Park is a cultural & activity center of the city with 13 museums, a city zoo, theatres, golf course, restaurants, botanical gardens and much more. Balboa Park is one of the most popular San Diego attractions. MORE DETAILS

Quail Gardens Lily

Quail Botanical Gardens are located on top of a hill overlooking the ocean and Encinitas. Trails wind through several acres of gardens with species from around the world. A large waterfall cascades into pools through the tropical rain forest. A three story lookout offers expansive views of the region and Pacific Ocean. The gazebo in the lawn garden is often used for weddings. Snack bar, restrooms, gift shop and nursery are on site. MORE DETAILS

Little Italy

Little Italy is a small, upscale section of downtown San Diego that features Italian restaurants, art galleries, hotels and boutiques. MORE DETAILS

Whaley House is considered to be the most haunted house in the United States. Situated in Old Town San Diego, tours are given daily both day and night. MORE DETAILS

The San Diego Maritime Museum showcases several tall ships, an historic paddle boat and a cold-war era, soviet submarine. The H.M.S. Surprise was the tall ship used to film the movie Master and Commander starring Russell Crow. Reservations can be made in advance to sail the harbor on some of the tall ships. MORE DETAILS

The USS Midway Museum is a retired naval aircraft carrier turned museum. The USS Midway served in combat from WWII to Desert Storm. Not only is this a full tour of a huge naval vessel but multiple fighter aircraft are part of the exhibit as well. The USS Midway aircraft carrier is one of the more popular San Diego attractions for families. MORE DETAILS

Hotel Del Coronado

Coronado is actually more of a peninsula than an island since it's connected to south San Diego by Silver Strand State Beach. Coronado's most notable landmark is the Hotel del Coronado on the Pacific side. Coronado Island activities include biking, boating, swimming, golfing and sunbathing. MORE DETAILS

Local museums include the San Diego Museum of Art, children's museums, railroad museums, a surfing museum, early pioneer museum, U.S. Marine museum and more. Balboa Park has some of the most popular San Diego museums. MORE DETAILS


Padres Stadium

Padres baseball is played in Petco Park in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown. They feature a unique stadium that incorporates the brick buildings of former manufacturing businesses into the architecture of the ballpark. MORE DETAILS

Chargers football is played at Qualcomm Stadium east of downtown. MORE DETAILS

Gaslamp Quarter is an historic portion of downtown spanning more than a dozen square blocks. It borders the San Diego Harbor and is full of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shops. MORE DETAILS

House of Blues San Diego features a restaurant, bar and concert venue featuring top blues and rock musicians from around the country. Special events include a 'Blues and barbecue' and 'Gospel Sundays'. MORE DETAILS

The Dinner Detective

Book a Mystery Dinner Show and help to solve a murder case with a touch of comedy while you enjoy a fantastic four-course meal. Everyone is a suspect, even you, and the killer may be sitting at your table. Win a prize package for being The Top Sleuth of the evening. MORE DETAILS

Del Mar Race Track is a great place to watch horse races and place a wager. "Where the Turf Meets the Surf!", you'll be basking in ocean breezes and California sun at California's most beautiful race track. A day at Del Mar can be one of the more lucrative things to do in San Diego. MORE DETAILS

Pala Indian Casino

Try your luck at one of many Indian Casinos in the region. Indian Casinos offer slots, bingo and table games like Blackjack, Poker, Baccarat, Pai Gow, Spanish 21 and more. Many Indian Casinos also feature live entertainment, restaurants and resort hotels. MORE DETAILS


San Onofre State Beach is mainly a surfers beach with breaks like Old Man's, Churches and Trestles. The southern portion features high bluffs with RV and tent camping and dirt trails that lead down to large sandy beaches. MORE DETAILS

Carlsbad offers sandy beaches backed by bluffs, several estuaries, sand dunes and a state beach. The most popular beach area is at the end of Tamarack Avenue. MORE DETAILS

Grandview Beach, Leucadia

Encinitas features several small beaches backed by high bluffs including Beacon's (Leucadia), Swami's and Moonlight. Because these beaches are not visible from the main highway, they are usually less crowded than other nearby beaches. Many of Encinitas' beaches are accessible from Neptune Avenue, which parallels the ocean. MORE DETAILS

Solana Beach offers narrow sand beaches backed by bluffs populated with homes. Fletcher Cove Beach Park ('Pillbox' to the locals) is the most popular beach in Solana Beach. MORE DETAILS

Del Mar offers several miles of wide sandy beach. Steep cliffs rise on the southern end where the beach is accessed by narrow and steep trails. MORE DETAILS

Torrey Pines has a large sand beach for swimming and surfing with public restrooms. The bluffs above are a State Reserve offering short hiking trails and a bike trial overlooking the ocean. MORE DETAILS

La Jolla Coast

La Jolla features wide sandy beaches and a pier to the north and a protected cove that is popular with divers, snorkelers and kayakers to the south. Sea caves can be explored by kayak from La Jolla Cove. MORE DETAILS

Pacific Beach is a long stretch of wide sandy beach that blends with Mission Beach to the south. Crowded beach neighborhoods creep right up to the beach. Pacific Beach is referred to as 'PB' by locals. Pacific Beach is one of the most visited of San Diego beaches. MORE DETAILS

Mission Beach blends with Pacific Beach to the north and continues with the dense urban dwellings creeping up to the beach. It is basically a large sandbar that separates the Pacific Ocean from Mission Bay. Many stores, eateries and accommodations can be found throughout the region as well as many surf shops that rent equipment. Belmont Park is a boardwalk amusement park at Mission Beach that features a roller coaster and carnival attractions. Mission Beach is one of the most visited of San Diego beaches. MORE DETAILS

Ocean Beach is a large sandy beach, a VERY long pier and a dog beach at the northern end along the jetty. The pier offers opportunities for fishing and surfing. A coffee shop and bait shop reside at the halfway point. Ocean Beach has all the amenities including public restrooms, showers, a nearby skate park, lifeguards and plenty of shops and eateries. The picturesque Sunset Cliffs are located at the southern end of Ocean Beach. This is one of the most visited of San Diego beaches. MORE DETAILS

Silver Strand State Beach is a long sandbar that separates San Diego Harbor from the Pacific Ocean. This is a long, wide beach with volleyball nets, fire rings, camp spots, public restrooms and showers. MORE DETAILS

Imperial Beach is a large sandy beach with less amenities than other local beaches. The Imperial Beach Pier offers fishing and surfing opportunities and a bait & tackle shop is at the end of the pier. MORE DETAILS


Carlsbad Outlets

Carlsbad Premium Outlets are a collection of over 100 outlets for stores like Guess, Kenneth Cole, Dooney & Bourke, Skechers and more. Located in north San Diego County in Carlsbad. MORE DETAILS

Fashion Valley Mall has over 200 stores, restaurants and a movie theater in an outdoor mall setting. Stores include Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and more. MORE DETAILS

Viejas Outlet Center is a collection of over 50 outlets for stores like Bass, Fossil, Levi's, Tommy Hilfger and more. The outlet is part of the Viejas Indian Casino. MORE DETAILS

Horton Plaza

Horton Plaza is located in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown and features nearly 200 stores including Bebe, Macy's, Nordstrom, Louie Vuitton, Formaggio and more. MORE DETAILS

Gaslamp Quarter is a very popular section of downtown for shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Located in an historic portion of town and spans several city blocks. Shops are situated in old historic buildings and include the Far East Trading Company, Lucky Brand Jeans, San Diego Store, The Wine Bank and more. MORE DETAILS

Seaport Village is a touristy marina attraction with unique shops, restaurants and entertainment. It is situated between many popular attractions that are all accessible along the Marina Walk. This would be a good place to pick up a unique souvenir. MORE DETAILS



photo courtesy of LEGOLAND Resort

LEGOLAND Hotel is situated at the LEGOLAND California Resort and offer exclusive early entrance to the park. Hotel amenities include a dragon entrance, interactive LEGO® features, themed play areas, family pool, gift shop, restaurant, café and plenty of kid's entertainment. MORE DETAILS

Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort is located on the beach. Carlsbad Inn offers easy access to the sea and provides beach cruiser bikes, beach toys and beach cabanas. Resort amenities include a pool, hot tub, playground, fitness facility and sauna. MORE DETAILS

Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa is situated next to LEGOLAND and offers ticket sales with a private entrance to the park. Hotel amenities include a Grill & Wine Bar, spa, fitness center and heated pool & spa. MORE DETAILS

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is located east of Interstate 5 off La Costa Avenue. The Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is a full-service resort with multiple restaurants, swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, a fitness center, day spa and more. MORE DETAILS

Grand Del Mar Resort is located off Highway 56 just a short distance east of Interstate 5. The Grand Del Mar is the epitome of luxury and considered to be one of the top triple five-star resorts in the nation. The resort features an old-world Mediterranean architecture with a multitude of patios, verandas and fountains. MORE DETAILS

Hotel Indigo is situated just a few blocks and easy walking distance from the beach and just a short distance drive to Torrey Pines and La Jolla. Shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and more are just steps from the Inn. MORE DETAILS

L'Auberge - photo courtesy of Destination Hotels & Resorts

L'Auberge is a luxury hotel situated in the heart of the quaint Del Mar Village with boutiques, galleries, cafés, restaurants and two seaside parks. Resort amenities include a footpath leading just a short distance to the ocean, whirlpool, two pools, restaurant, bar, spa, priority tee times and two tennis courts. MORE DETAILS

The Lodge at Torrey Pines is a Craftsman-style luxury resort situated on the bluff adjacent to Torrey Pines State Reserve and Torrey Pines Golf Course. Craftsman decor of wood, leather, copper and stained glass adorn the lodge's interior. MORE DETAILS

La Jolla Shores Hotel is located off Interstate 5 from the La Jolla Parkway exit. This beachfront hotel is situated on the shore of La Jolla Cove. Hotel amenities include a courtesy shuttle, free beach gear, WiFi, swimming pool, hot tub, tennis courts, fitness center, restaurant, in-room spa service and more. MORE DETAILS

La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club is an exclusive resort uniquely located on the beach at La Jolla Cove. Resort amenities include tennis courts, a nine-hole golf course, Olympic-size swimming pool, fitness center and multiple beach activities on their private beach. MORE DETAILS

Estancia - photo courtesy of Destination Hotels & Resorts

Estancia is located at the northern end of La Jolla near the Birch Aquarium and Torry Pines. Estancia welcomes its guests with its Spanish-style architecture, fountains and patios. MORE DETAILS

Grand Colonial Hotel

The Grande Colonial is situated within easy walking distance of La Jolla Cove and beaches. This 1913 European-style hotel greets its guests with elegance. MORE DETAILS

Scripts Inn is a Bed & Breakfast Inn offering a quaint, romantic setting within walking distance of many La Jolla attractions. Most rooms feature ocean views, a fireplace and are furnished with Mediterranean decor. MORE DETAILS

Empress Hotel La Jolla is located in the town of La Jolla only two blocks from the beautiful La Jolla coast. This boutique hotel offers amenities like a continental breakfast, restaurant, bar & lounge, concierge, WiFi, fitness center, laundry room and valet parking. MORE DETAILS

Crystal Pier Hotel offers rooms literally on the Crystal Pier. Every room has a view. Several beach cottages line each side of the pier. MORE DETAILS

Pacific Terrace is situated on the beach and within walking distance of shopping, restaurants, entertainment and sidewalk cafés. MORE DETAILS

Bahia Hotel is located off Interstate 5 from Sea World Drive. Situated on the waterfront of Mission Bay, Bahia is near Sea World, Belmont Park and many other popular attractions. Hotel amenities include a Mediterranean café, bar, fitness center, swimming pool, day spa, tennis courts and complimentary cruises on the Bahia Belle, a Mississippi-style paddlewheel boat. MORE DETAILS

The Dana on Mission Bay is located off Interstate 5 from Sea World Drive. Situated on the waterfront of Mission Bay, The Dana is the closest hotel near Sea World and offers a free shuttle to the park. Nearby is Belmont Park with roller coasters and a boardwalk amusement park. Hotel amenities include two restaurants, two swimming pools, bike rentals, volleyball, ping pong, laundry room, fitness center and complimentary shuttle to the San Diego Airport, Amtrak station and cruise ship terminals. MORE DETAILS

Catamaran Resort & Spa is located off Interstate 5 and the Mission Bay Drive exit. Situated on the water, the Catamaran Resort offers a private white sand beach, a bay-side Tiki lounge and boat & water sports rentals for use on the Mission Bay Aquatic Park. MORE DETAILS

Humphrey's Half Moon Inn

Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites is situated on Shelter Island in the San Diego Harbor. Its location on the island rewards with scenic city and harbor views. Humphreys is close to many popular attractions. MORE DETAILS

Island Palms is located on Shelter Island and offers scenic city and harbor views. Island Palms is close to many popular attractions. MORE DETAILS

Cosmopolitan Hotel is located off Interstate 5 from the Old Town San Diego exit. Situated in the heart of Old Town, the historic Cosmopolitan Hotel is adjacent to boutique shops, Mexican restaurants, museums and more. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, complimentary breakfast and free parking. MORE DETAILS

Hacienda Hotel Old Town is located off Interstate 5 from the Old Town San Diego exit. Situated in the heart of Old Town, this Best Western Plus hotel is adjacent to boutique shops, Mexican restaurants, museums and more. Hotel amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub, fitness center, Mexican restaurant & bar, continental breakfast, WiFi and free San Diego Airport, Amtrak and cruise terminal shuttle. MORE DETAILS

Handlery Hotel is located off the Interstate 8 between the 5 and 805 freeways. Situated at Hotel Circle, the Handlery Hotel is centrally located to many popular attractions including SeaWorld, Old Town, Mission Bay, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Gaslamp Quarter, downtown and more. MORE DETAILS

Extended Stay is located off the Interstate 8 between the 5 and 805 freeways. Situated at Hotel Circle, Extended Stay is centrally located to many popular attractions including Sea World, Old Town, Mission Bay, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Gaslamp Quarter, downtown and more. MORE DETAILS

Lafayette Hotel is located in the North Park region between the 8, 805 and 163 freeways. Lafayette is a mix of modern and traditional with Grand Colonial architecture surrounding an Olympic-size pool. The swimming pool was designed by Johnny Weissmuller, the original Tarzan. MORE DETAILS

Porto Vista Hotel is located off Interstate 5 in the Little Italy region of downtown. Modern boutique hotel amenities include a seafood restaurant, rooftop lounge, hair salon and more. MORE DETAILS

La Pensione Hotel is located off Interstate 5 in the heart of the Little Italy region of downtown. This boutique hotel offers amenities like an Italian café, pizza restaurant, complimentary breakfast coffee & pastry, fitness center, Italian courtyard and small parking lot. MORE DETAILS

W Hotel is located in the heart of downtown. This modern luxury hotel offers many upscale amenities including a restaurant, rooftop bar, lounge, swimming pool, fitness center and in-room spa service. MORE DETAILS

Westgate Hotel is located in the heart of downtown. Westgate is a luxury hotel with many upscale amenities including a fine-dining restaurant, piano bar, wine shop & delicatessen, rooftop swimming pool, in-room spa service, fitness center, florist, barbershop and much more. MORE DETAILS

The Sofia Hotel is located off Interstate 5 from either Front Street or Broadway. This hotel is situated in the heart of downtown and centrally located to many popular attractions, The Sofia Hotel features 211 modern hotel rooms and suites. MORE DETAILS

The Bristol Hotel is located in the heart of downtown. This modern luxury hotel offers many amenities including a restaurant, lounge, fitness center, WiFi, valet parking and more. MORE DETAILS

U.S.Grant Hotel

U.S. Grant is a landmark hotel that U.S. President Grant once stayed. It is undoubtedly the most luxurious hotel in the region. Crystal chandeliers, imported carpets, hardwood floor ballrooms, marble accents and overly high ceilings adorned with layers of mouldings work together in displaying the U.S. Grant's opulence. MORE DETAILS

Omni Hotel is located in downtown right next to Petco Park, Gaslamp Quarter and San Diego Convention Center. This modern, luxury hotel offers all the amenities you could expect including fitness center, spa, pool & hot tubs, child care services, restaurant and more. MORE DETAILS

Horton Grand Hotel

Horton Grand Hotel is located in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown. The Horton Grand Hotel is an historic 1886 hotel that features an all brick exterior with Victorian windows and accents. Many important people have stayed at the Horton Grand Hotel including U.S. Presidents, Kings of nations and Wyatt Earp to name a few. MORE DETAILS

Hotel Solamar is located in the Gaslamp Quarter region of downtown near Petco Park. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, rooftop pool, poolside bar, valet parking, fitness center, in-room spa services, evening wine reception and complimentary bikes. MORE DETAILS

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

Hard Rock Hotel is located in the Gaslamp Quarter region of downtown. Conveniently situated within walking distance of Petco Park, the San Diego Convention Center, restaurants, bars, shops and more. This chic luxury hotel is all about the music. Hard Rock Hotel amenities include a sushi restaurant, diner, dance club, rooftop lounge, day spa, gift shop, fitness center and loaner bikes. Reserve a complimentary Fender guitar or music mixer during your stay and create music in your own room. MORE DETAILS

Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel

Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel features panoramic San Diego Harbor views and luxury amenities like a rooftop pool with hot tubs and fire pit, tennis courts, spa, beauty salon, fitness center several restaurants and more. MORE DETAILS

Hotel Del Coronado

"The Del", as it's referred to by locals, is a grand example of late 19th century Victorian architecture. Situated on the sand overlooking the Pacific, The Del remains one of San Diego's most recognizable landmarks, and offers luxury accommodations in both historic and modern structures. Amenities include several restaurants & bars, two pools, boat rentals, bike rentals, beach rentals including surf boards, umbrellas, volleyballs & more, MORE DETAILS

Orchard Hill Country Inn was voted "One of the top six lodges in the West" by Sunset Magazine. This Craftsman-style lodge features two dining rooms, a library, gift shop, 22 lodge rooms and 12 detached cottages. Julian is a quaint, historic town situated in the eastern, mountainous region of the county. MORE DETAILS

Julian Gold Rush Hotel is situated on Main Street in the heart of downtown Julian. Gold Rush was voted "Best of the West" Bed & Breakfast by Sunset Magazine. Historic Hotel is the only designated landmark in Julian and features several hotel rooms and a detached cottage & honeymoon house. Julian is a quaint, historic town situated in the eastern, mountainous region of the county. MORE DETAILS

There are several hostels situated throughout San Diego County including popular destinations like Downtown, Pacific Beach, Mission Bay, Old Town, Hillcrest, Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy. These are low cost alternatives to hotels and often require dorm-style living. MORE DETAILS


333 Pacific is a steak and seafood restaurant situated on the corner with the Wyndham Hotel at the Oceanside Pier. MORE DETAILS

Fresco Trattoria is situated in the heart of Carlsbad Village, this Italian restaurant & grill features traditional Italian fare. MORE DETAILS

Le Papagayo is situated in downtown Encinitas on the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Le Papagayo features Pacific Island cuisine with French Mediterranean influences. Candle lighting and nightly live music make this a romantic and entertaining experience. MORE DETAILS

Naked Café is situated along the shores of Solana Beach. They feature healthy menu choices with global influences. MORE DETAILS

Pamplemousse Grille is situated across the street from the Del Mar Fairgrounds & Racetrack. The interior walls of the restaurant are covered in murals by local artist Rod Knutson. The Pamplemousse Grille features continental cuisine MORE DETAILS

Market Restaurant & Bar is located near the Del Mar Fairgrounds & Racetrack. Modern decor and exquisitely prepared cuisine are the Market Restaurant's hallmark. MORE DETAILS

Jake's is situated on the beach between the Del Mar racetrack and Del Mar Village, Jake's is a popular seafood restaurant. MORE DETAILS

Sbicca is situated in the heart of Del Mar Village, Sbicca is an award-winning neighborhood restaurant serving a seasonal menu of California cuisine. MORE DETAILS

Searsucker has two locations in Del Mar and the Gaslamp Quarter. Searsucker Del Mar specializes in fresh food, local beers and a lively atmosphere. MORE DETAILS

Marine Room

Marine Room is situated oceanside overlooking all of La Jolla Cove. This award-winning, fine-dining seafood restaurant is the perfect choice for a romantic dinner with spectacular ocean views. Steak and seafood fare are prepared with French inspired recipes. MORE DETAILS

The Cottage is located in La Jolla Village at the corner of Fay and Kline. Situated in a classic beach house with a white picket fence, The Cottage La Jolla is a popular place for gourmet California fare. MORE DETAILS

George's La Jolla restaurant is situated high atop a hillside overlooking La Jolla Cove and offers expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. Their Ocean Terrace is touted as being San Diego's best rooftop dining. This fine-dining restaurant offers a California Modern menu. MORE DETAILS

Crab Catcher is situated high atop a cliff overlooking La Jolla Cove and with expansive views of the Pacific. This primarily seafood restaurant offers unique menu specialties. MORE DETAILS

Bijou French Bistro restaurant is located in the heart of La Jolla Village. This French restaurant specializes in French food like French Onion Soup, Gnocchi a La Parisienne, Lobster Gratin, Salmon Rillettes, Escargot en Croute and Creme Brulee. MORE DETAILS

Nine-Ten Restaurant & Bar is located in La Jolla Village. Situated in the Grande Colonial Hotel, Nine-Ten La Jolla is an elegant restaurant serving California cuisine. MORE DETAILS

Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India is situated near the very popular Balboa Park and is quite possibly the best Indian restaurant in the entire county. MORE DETAILS

Hash House A Go Go is situated near the very popular Balboa Park and won a plethora of awards. Serving Southern fare they specialize in breakfast MORE DETAILS

Bread On Market is located in downtown San Diego near the Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Plaza and many other popular destinations. This is a bakery serving traditional fare with fresh-baked bread and soup, salad, sandwiches and dessert items. MORE DETAILS

Hodad's is located one block from the sand and is a favorite among locals. Burgers, fries and shakes are the specialty here in this totally laid back hole-in-the-wall restaurant that is tauted to serve San Diego's best burger. MORE DETAILS

Café Bella Italia is located in the heart of Pacific Beach and offers authentic Northern Italian restaurant experience. The chef and owners are all from Milan, Italy. MORE DETAILS


Filippi's Pizza Grotto is located in Little Italy. This is a local favorite for Italian food, so it is not uncommon for lines to extend down India Street. A small market selling Italian products is located in the front of the store. MORE DETAILS

Bencotto Italian Kitchen is located in the Little Italy region of downtown. Bencotto San Diego specializes in fine wine and traditional Italian food cooked "home-style". MORE DETAILS

Buon Appetito is located in Little Italy, enjoy a fine Italian restaurant in this little trattoria that showcases the works of local artists. Dine indoors or people watch the busy streets of Little Italy out on their front patio. MORE DETAILS

Sogno DiVino

Sogno DiVino is located in Little Italy. Are you a light eater and enjoy a fine glass of wine with your meal? Sognio DeVino's wine & appetizer menu is just for you. Not only does this Italian restaurant have an extensive wine list but they also serve some of the world's best beers including California microbrews. MORE DETAILS

Indigo Grill is located in the Little Italy region of downtown. Indigo Grill specializes in modern Latin food with menu choices including Salt & Pepper Shrimp, Crispy Jalapeno Chicken, Baja Gold Spotted Bass, Tortilla Soup, Serrano Ham Flatbread and Ahi Tiradito Ceviche. MORE DETAILS

Searsucker San Diego has two locations in Del Mar and the Gaslamp Quarter. Searsucker specializes in fresh food, local beers and a lively atmosphere. Restaurant menu choices include Alaskan Halibut, Center Cut Swordfish, Loin Filet, Ribeye Steak, Braised Pork Butt and Drunken Chicken Salad. MORE DETAILS

The Oceanaire is located in the historic Gaslamp Quarter region of downtown. The Oceanaire specializes in the freshest seafood flown in daily from around the world paired with the perfect wine. MORE DETAILS


Sevilla is located in the historic and active Gaslamp Quarter. Sevilla serves Spanish fare and features a nightclub with Flamenco, Tango, Gypsy and other styles of dancing. MORE DETAILS

Rama is located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter and nearby the San Diego Convention Center. The award-winning Rama is quite possibly the best Thai restaurant in the entire county. MORE DETAILS

The Tin Fish

The Tin Fish is located in the Gaslamp Quarter right next to Petco Park. The Tin Fish makes a great place for pre-game tailgating or post-game celebrating. This is a great fast food fish restaurant. MORE DETAILS

The Field

The Field is located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, this authentic Irish pub was dismantled in Ireland and reassembled here in San Diego. Traditional Irish fare of bangers & mash, rashers, boxty, corned beef and more. MORE DETAILS

The Pier Café is situated in San Diego Harbor, Seaport Village is comprised of several restaurants and touristy shops in a fisherman's village environment. The San Diego Pier Café hovers just a few feet above the water on pier pile-ons and offers terrific views of the harbor. MORE DETAILS

Romano's Dodge House is situated in the heart of Downtown Julian. Julian is a quaint, historic town situated in the eastern, mountainous region of the county. Romano's is an Italian restaurant situated in a turn-of-the-century historic home. MORE DETAILS

The Julian Grille

The Julian Grille is located in downtown Julian. This cozy cottage offers steak, seafood, salads and other grill specialties inside the restaurant or outside on their tree-shaded patio. Situated just steps away from Julian's hustle and bustle, The Julian Grille is the perfect place to enjoy a great home cooked meal in a peaceful garden setting. MORE DETAILS

Mom's Pie House is located in the heart of Downtown Julian. This is apple country and Mom's Pie House is the place get your fix of fresh apple pie. Julian is a quaint, historic town situated in the eastern, mountainous region of the county. MORE DETAILS



San Diego Airport offers convenient access to all of San Diego County and Imperial Valley regions. MORE DETAILS

Traffic & Transportation

The 5 Freeway spans the entire state from the Canadian to Mexican borders. Traffic is heavy traveling toward downtown in the mornings and away from downtown in the evenings. On the weekends, heavier traffic is possible heading south on Saturday morning and north on Sunday evening with visitors to Mexico.

The 805 Freeway runs north and south and parallels to the east of Interstate 5. The same description applies to either freeway. San Diego Traffic can develop due to events at Qualcomm Stadium.

The 15 Freeway runs north and south from San Diego to Las Vegas, Nevada and beyond. Traffic can develop during rush hour mostly heading southbound in the mornings and northbound in the evenings.

Highways 76 and Highway 78 are smaller two-lane highways that run east and west. Rush hour traffic is applicable since these road serve some of the most desirable regions to live in the county. San Diego traffic can be heavier on weekends with visitors traveling to many of the popular attractions that are present along these highways. If heading east on 78, be prepared for the freeway to end in Escondido where you will then make a right on Broadway, left on Washington and a right on Ash to continue on. Another right will be necessary in Ramona. This is avocado country with a multitude of fruit stands offering avocados at unbelievably low prices.

The 8 Freeway runs east and west from San Diego to Arizona. This is California's southernmost freeway and it parallels the Mexican border. Traffic is heavy traveling toward downtown in the mornings and away from downtown in the evenings.

San Diego Trolley

Public Transportation is excellent in San Diego County.

  • MTS (Metropolitan Transit Systems) utilizes a combination of train, light rail, bus and trolley systems to link the entire region.
  • San Diego Trolley links popular downtown attractions like Gaslamp Quarter and the Maritime Museum with Old Town, Fashion Valley Mall, Qualcomm Stadium and much more. Taxis and bicycle taxis are readily available throughout downtown.

See our resources page for links to Rental Car agencies, Amtrak Train and Greyhound Bus.


Weather from San Onofre to the Mexican border including Del Mar, La Jolla, Escondido, Julian, Downtown and more.

Winter Average lows in the 50's and highs in the upper 60's. Mostly rain and rare hail storms occur.

Spring Average lows in the 60's and highs in the mid-70's. Rain showers can occur through May.

Summer Average lows in the 70's and highs in the mid to upper 80's. Humidity can make those temperatures seem higher. Rarely, the temperature will climb into the 90's and summer brush fires become a regular occurrence. Marine layer is a common occurrence and blankets the region with clouds, but often burns off by midday.

Fall Average lows in the low 60's and highs in the 70's. Mostly rain and rare hail storms occur.

Ocean water temperature Ranges from the 50's in winter to the upper 60's in summer.

The Weather Network


San Diego Restaurant Week is an eight-day event when nearly 200 of the San Diego's best restaurants offer prix-fixe meals for a discount price. San Diego locations include everywhere from Oceanside to Downtown and east county. WEBSITE

Grunion Runs are hosted by the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Grunion are small sardine-like fish that choose every year in April and May to spawn along our shores. They can only be seen at night during New and Full Moons. This unusual event requires warm clothes, a lot of patience and a flashlight. Timing is everything because the grunion will not beach themselves if they spot a light on or hear a noise before the run begins. Special rules and licenses are required to catch grunion so most just view the event. WEBSITE

Vista Civil War Reenactment takes place at the Antique Gas & Steam Museum in Vista. Visitors can expect to see live cannon fire, period costumes, battles and more during the two-day festival. You may even run into Abe Lincoln. WEBSITE

Fallbrook Avocado Festival takes place in the beautiful town of Fallbrook along Main and Alvarado Streets. Booths line the streets offering avocado souvenirs and food items. You thought guacamole was it? Well there's much more. Festivities include live music and beer garden. WEBSITE

Renaissance Faire is held at Felicita County Park in Escondido. Visitors are invited to dress in medieval period clothing and join in celebrating 16th century life. Several stages will offer entertainment including Shakespeare, street performers, magic shows and more. There will be more than just cake to eat at this event. WEBSITE

The San Diego Fair comes to the Del Mar Fairgrounds every summer for an entire month. Enjoy carnival rides, concerts, car shows, festivals, games, fair food, farm animals, horse racing and more. WEBSITE

San Diego Comic-Con is held each year at the San Diego Convention Center. San Diego Comic-Con features events and exhibits focused on comic books, animation, video games, anime, science fiction, horror and super heroes. People watching is most interesting with event-goers dressing as their favorite comic character or their own made-up alter ego. Comic-Con also draws famous SciFi and pop culture guests like Stephen Spielberg, Malcolm McDowell, Harrison Ford, Michael Straczynski and more. WEBSITE

Poway Rodeo features rodeo events, live music, a rodeo dance, great food and more. WEBSITE

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Miramar Air Show features three days of military air power in action. Miramar was once known as Fighertown USA. Remember the movie Top Gun? This was the air station where Top Gun trained and upon which the movie was based. Show finales include the Blue Angels, U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. Come here to see the best of the best in action. WEBSITE

Fleet Week honors America's service men and women fighting for our freedom. Festivities include an entire week of military air and sea shows, tall ship parades, live music and much more. WEBSITE

Little Italy Festa celebrates Italian heritage with wine, food, art and festivities. Stick ball and sidewalk chalk art are just a sample of Italian festivities taking place. Little Italy San Diego is located within moderate walking distance of the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego Convention Center and San Diego Harbor. WEBSITE

San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival takes place at Seaport Village. Festival includes wine tasting, cooking classes, tasting classes, live entertainment, Hornblower cruises of the bay and more.. WEBSITE

Mother Goose Parade is a popular local event and one of the biggest parades of its kind in the United States. It attracts hundreds of thousands to the streets of El Cajon. Well over 200 parade entries from all the surrounding cities join in the festivities. Exhibits include floats, equestrian displays, marching bands and more. WEBSITE

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is held on two consecutive Sundays in December. This Parade of Lights features nearly 100 holiday decorated boats that parade through the harbor. See ingenious light displays that boat owners come up with each year to a new theme. WEBSITE

San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade is held the day before the Holiday Bowl at the downtown waterfront. This Balloon Parade features a full day of festivities including the Battle of the Bands and the Bumble Bee Seafoods 5K run. The highlight is "America's Largest Balloon Parade" with marching bands and drill teams. WEBSITE

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