San Diego Travel Guide: Vacation + Trip Ideas

Table of Contents

San Diego, one of 18 cities in Southern California’s San Diego County, is the eighth largest city in the United States. Sharing a border with Mexico, San Diego is known for its mild, dry climate, with a year-round temperature average of around 68 degrees F (20 degrees Celsius) and low rainfall, occurring mostly between December and March. Coastal areas are generally cooler than inland parts of the city.

Like most large cities, San Diego encompasses a variety of neighborhoods and communities, including casual beach towns, downtown business areas, and both new and historical sections. Tourism is a major industry, attracting visitors to its 70 miles of beaches, family theme parks, and attractions, museums, golf courses, craft breweries, and restaurants.

San Diego is home to several military installations, dating back to the early 20th century when the U.S. Navy established a base there. The Coast Guard has a base on San Diego Bay, and the U.S. Marines have installations at Miramar and Camp Pendleton. The aircraft carrier U.S.S. Midway is a museum and tourist attraction.

Time Zone

Pacific Standard Time (Daylight Savings Time, seasonal; dates vary)

Best Times to Go

Moderate temperatures year round along with minimal rainfall make just about any time lovely in San Diego. Summer is beach season, and visitors enjoy sunny weather and warm water in the ocean and bay for water sports like surfing, paddle boarding, swimming, and boating. The sea and air are cooler during winter months, still pleasant for outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and walking along the shore.

Things to Know

The San Diego County Fair, an annual event at Del Mar Fairgrounds, was first held in 1880, and the most recent fair saw more than 1,500,000 visitors.

San Diego is a dog-friendly destination, with a variety of hotels, restaurants, parks, beaches, and activities that will welcome your furry friend.

In the town of La Jolla, you can watch the seals and sea lions that have taken over the Children’s Pool Beach. They can be seen from the cliffs at La Jolla Cove.

In San Diego, you can find both ocean beaches with waves for surfing and calm bays for easy swimming.

How to Get Around

Buses: For bus schedules and information, visit the Metropolitan Transit System website. Refer to the map and timetable to plan your trip. In San Diego’s North County, the Breeze System provides service.

Trolley Service: Three trolley lines (blue, orange, green) service downtown San Diego communities and beyond. They run an average of every 15 minutes. For information, visit the Metropolitan Transit System website.

Waterfront Shuttle: Between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, the Waterfront Shuttle makes eight stops along the Bayfront from Harbor Island to the South Embarcadero near the San Diego Convention Center. For information visit the website.

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Best Hotels

Mission Bay & Beachfront

The Catamaran Resort & Spa

Address: 3999 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109
Phone: (858) 488-1081
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Tropical landscaping and decor create an elegant atmosphere, and with a patio or balcony in every room, views are guaranteed. Set on a sandy beach on Mission Bay, the resort includes refrigerators, coffee makers, pool, jacuzzi, and bike rentals.

Paradise Point Resort & Spa

Address: 1404 Vacation Road, San Diego, CA 92109
Phone: (855) 463-3361
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This family resort on Mission Bay near SeaWorld features five pools, a mile-long beach, tennis courts, bonfire pits, putting course, beach cruisers, two waterfront restaurants, and a private marina on its 44-acre island. Bungalow-style rooms are set among lagoons and tropical gardens.

Bahia Resort Hotel

Address: 998 West Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109
Phone: (858) 488-0551
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The Bahia is set on a private 14-acre peninsula on Mission Bay less than five minutes from SeaWorld. Amenities include a pool, arcade, tennis courts, shuffleboard, beachfront cabanas, and complimentary cruises on the Bahia Belle, its Mississippi-style sternwheeler.

Kona Kai Resort & Spa

Courtesy of Kona Kai Resort & Spa

Address: 1551 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106
Phone: (619) 452-3138
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Located on the tip of Shelter Island near the Point Loma neighborhood, the Kona Kai offers waterfront accommodations, a fitness center, two waterfront pools, and locally sourced cuisine served at Vessel with sea breezes and views.

Hotel del Coronado

Courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

Address: 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118
Phone: (619) 435-6611
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The iconic hotel offers a variety of accommodations including rooms, suites, newly renovated cabanas, and beachfront suites at the Beach Village with patios facing the sand and ocean. A variety of dining venues, shops, and expansive beach make a stay at the Del a memorable experience.

Downtown/Gaslamp District

Manchester Grand Hyatt

Address: 1 Market Place, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 232-1234
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This waterfront hotel near Seaport Village offers a resort-like feel in the midst of downtown. Visitors love having views of the sea along with a convenient location and upscale amenities.

Andaz, San Diego

Address: 600 F Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 849-1234
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Set in a historic 1913 building and updated in contemporary style, the Andaz offers guestrooms and suites, pool, private cabanas, Andaz Wine Bar, and a rooftop bar and lounge with views of the San Diego skyline.

Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Address: 509 Ninth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (877) 846-3446
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Conveniently located near the Convention Center and Petco Park, this pet-friendly boutique hotel boasts a roof garden and Level 9 Rooftop Bar with cozy fire pits for chilly evenings.

The U.S. Grant, San Diego

Courtesy of The US Grant San Diego

Address: 326 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 232-3121
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This historic hotel dates to around 1910, and a major renovation retained its vintage style and elegance. Visitors enjoy cocktails in the Grand Grill Lounge or French-inspired Rendezvous Bar. A spa, fitness center, and luxurious guest rooms and suites make it a popular choice.

Pendry San Diego

Courtesy of Pendry San Diego

Address: 550 J Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 738-7000
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This modern hotel offers a spa, rooftop pool, and several dining and entertainment venues, including a beer hall and fine dining restaurant. The Pool House, their rooftop lounge, provides poolside service and sunset views from the pool or hot tub.

La Jolla

The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Address: 11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: (858) 453-4420
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The elegant Lodge offers early California Craftsman style with expansive public spaces with fireplaces, overstuffed furniture, leather chairs, and views of the Pacific and Torrey Pines Golf Course.

La Valencia Hotel

Courtesy La Valencia Hotel

Address: 1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: (855) 476-6870
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Set atop the La Jolla Cove among fashionable shops, galleries, and beaches, the Mediterranean-style La Valencia, nicknamed “the Pink Lady,” offers luxurious accommodations, romantic courtyards, Spanish mosaics, ocean views, and lush tropical landscaping.

La Jolla Shores Hotel

Address: 8110 Camino del Oro, La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: (855) 923-8058
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Set directly on the beach for a romantic oceanfront stay, the hotel’s amenities include an outdoor heated pool, Jacuzzi, year-round kayaking, s’mores nights, bike rentals, and yoga classes. Savor Baja-inspired coastal cuisine and epic ocean views at The Shores restaurant.

Estancia La Jolla

Address: 9700 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: (855) 318-7602
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The hotel is set among nine acres of lush gardens, featuring a spa, saltwater pool, and outdoor wellness activities and yoga classes. Its prime location near elegant La Jolla’s attractions and University of California San Diego make it an attractive destination.

Inland – Mission Valley and Old Town

Town and Country San Diego

Address: 500 Hotel Circle N, San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (619) 291-7131
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With a complete renovation, the 1953 property has added a host of new amenities while retaining its mid-century modern charm. A sun-drenched pool complex with the new Twister, a four-story-high water slide, colorful artwork, bright yellow accents, and new furnishings make the hotel a delightful place to stay.

San Diego Marriott Mission Valley

Address: 8757 Rio San Diego Drive, San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (619) 692-3800
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Conveniently located near San Diego State University, Old Town, and SDCCU Stadium, the hotel offers a fitness center and outdoor pool with a waterfall. There’s casual dining at DEN and an upgrade available for access to the M Club Lounge featuring complimentary breakfast, snacks, and drinks.

JTran Photos/Courtesy of San Diego Tourism Authority

Best Restaurants

Downtown, Gaslamp District, and Little Italy

Rustic Root

Address: 535 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

American cuisine with a modern touch and a menu of locally sourced meats, produce, and seafood is their specialty. Craft cocktails and a rooftop with skyline views add to the experience. Reservations are recommended.


Address: 366 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

Helmed by Michelin-starred celebrity chef Akira Back, Lumi offers creative Japanese dishes and sushi along with views of the city from his rooftop. Cocktails, Japanese whiskey, and DJ beats provide a lively atmosphere. Reservations are recommended.

Herb & Wood

Address: 2210 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 955-8495

The extensive menu includes seafood, meat, salads, pasta, toasts, wood-fired pizza, craft cocktails, and a dessert menu that might tempt you to start there first. Brunch is also a treat at this popular spot. Reservations are suggested.

Ironside Fish & Oyster

Address: 1654 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Their menu of shellfish, finfish, chowders, small plates, big platters, lobster, cocktails, beer, and wine along with weekday happy hours make this a popular spot. Reservations are suggested.

Juniper and Ivy

Address: 2228 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 269-9036

Set in a renovated warehouse, the atmosphere is relaxed, and dishes are tasty and artfully presented. Their imaginative food is based on seasonal local ingredients treated to the creativity of a team of chefs. Reservations are recommended.

Born and Raised

Address: 1909 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Elevated steakhouse cuisine with a menu that includes luxurious dry-aged steaks and Wagyu beef. Retro touches like tableside presentation of Caesar salads and steak tartare make for a delicious and entertaining experience. Reservations are recommended.

Civico 1845

Address: 1845 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 431-5990

Civico 1845 serves traditional southern Italian dishes, an expansive menu, and a selection of cheeses and cured meats in addition to a separate vegan menu. Their outdoor patio offers a pleasant spot for al fresco dining. Reservations are suggested.

Little Italy Food Hall

Address: 550 W. Date Street, Suite B, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 269-7187

Located at the Piazza della Famiglia, the food hall features six food stations and a full bar. Choose to dine on pizza, tacos, pasta, Asian dumplings, or lobster and save room for Bobboi’s Natural Gelato for dessert.

La Jolla

Nine-Ten Restaurant and Bar

Address: 910 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: (858) 964-5400

Recognized with awards for chef Jason Knibb, sommelier Chris Russo, its wine list, cocktails, and more, Nine-Ten serves an eclectic menu of creatively prepared farm-to-table ingredients. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch provide a variety of opportunities to sample its dishes, from salmon benedict in the morning to butternut squash risotto at dinner. Reservations are recommended.

A.R. Valentien

Address: 11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: (858) 453-4420

Set in an elegant craftsman-style dining room, A.R. Valentien serves regional cuisine overlooking the 18th hole of the Torrey Pines Golf Course and the California Coast. Outdoor seating is available, and reservations are recommended.


Address: 1025 Prospect Street, Suite 210, La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: (858) 459-0040

The breakfast menu includes French toast, blueberry pancakes, chilaquiles, crab cake benedict, omelets, and more served on their ocean-view patio. Choose from the breakfast menu at lunchtime too, or take advantage of their weekday happy hour.

North Park

Louisiana Purchase

Address: 2305 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104
Phone: (619) 255-8278

They serve the best of Creole and Cajun classics like gumbo, po’ boys, crawfish, catfish, collard greens, and Southern flavors along with cocktails and unique shareable punches.

The Smoking Goat

Haley Hill/Courtesy of Smoking Goat

Address: 3408 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104
Phone: (619) 955-5295

This intimate French bistro has an enthusiastic following of fans of their baked brie and duck fat truffle fries served during happy hour. The dinner menu includes seafood, steak, and lamb with seasonal additions and an extensive wine list.

Shank & Bone

Address: 2930 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104
Phone: (619) 458-9085

Traditional and modern Vietnamese dishes include a selection of pho, spring rolls, bowls, rice dishes, and banh mi sandwiches. The colorful, casual atmosphere includes a large mural, and outdoor tables are available. Reservations are suggested.

Mission Hills

Farmer’s Bottega

Courtesy of Farmer’s Bottega

Address: 860 West Washington Street, San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 458-9929

They serve traditional Italian dishes with a focus on organic, seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. The atmosphere is vintage, with the rustic feel of a farmhouse. Come for weekend brunch and daily happy hour.

Blue Water Seafood

Address: 3667 India Street, San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 497-0914

This is the place for fresh local seafood, tacos, sandwiches, salads, soups, oysters, and sashimi — all from the nearby seas. There’s an Ocean Beach location too.

Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar

Address: 902 West Washington Street, San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 955-8451

They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Weekly specials include Maine lobster Thursdays, Taco Tuesdays, Prime Rib Fridays, and Southern Fried Chicken Saturdays.

Barrio Logan


Address: 2196 Logan Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: (619) 255-3856

Tacos and street food-style offerings are the specialty at this popular dining spot, and their “not tacos” menu includes ceviche, fries, quesadillas, and more. Sip a margarita, horchata, or michelada, and stop in for weekday happy hours.

Barrio Dogg

Address: 2234 Logan Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113
Phone: (619) 546-7889

This popular spot is open all day serving high-quality, organic, 100{d8a8d447f05f03c64398acf0d3c5a745c9c41fc784ba89cd5aecd37177dc7d51} Angus beef hot dogs embellished in Chicago, TJ, Asian, Cuban, and German style, along with fries to match. Side dishes include Elotitos sweet corn, nopalitos, and mama’s macaroni. Enjoy along with local beers.

Multiple Locations around San Diego

Crack Shack

Address: 2266 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 795-3299

Chicken is their specialty — fried, sandwiched, smoked, grilled, served in bowls and salads and accompanied by Mexican poutine, fries, and biscuits. Other locations include Encinitas, Costa Mesa, Pasadena, and Las Vegas.

Buona Forchetta

Address: 30001 Beech Street, San Diego, CA 92102

They serve a full menu including antipasti, salads, pastas, and vegan selections, but their specialty is Pizza Napoletana baked in authentic wood-fired Italian ovens. Locations in the San Diego area include Encinitas, South Park, Coronado, and Liberty Station.

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Things to Do

Belmont Park

Address: 3146 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109

Go back in time to an old-style beachside amusement park with rides, arcades, and views of the Pacific. The Giant Dipper Roller Coaster was originally built in 1925, and its restoration in the early 1990s included all new tracks, thousands of board feet of lumber, and two new trains with modern restraint systems. It retains the vintage look of its original era of wooden roller coasters.

While you’re at the Mission Beach amusement park, stop for a snack or play a game at the arcade.

Petco Park

Sharyn Umana-Angers/Travel + Leisure

Address: 100 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 795-5555

Conveniently located in downtown San Diego, this magnificent baseball stadium is home to the Padres, and it’s also a venue for concerts, soccer, and special events. A delightful place to watch baseball, the park also provides views of the city and delicious foods including grilled fish tacos, BBQ, burgers, pizza, and of course, hot dogs and ice cream. Visit for a behind-the-scenes tour, sit in the dugout, and see the pressbox, Visitors’ Clubhouse, and more.

Maritime Museum of San Diego

Address: 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

The museum features a world-class collection that includes sailing ships, steam-powered ships, and submarines. Sailing ships include the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, and the 555 USS Dolphin, the deepest diving submarine in the world. Permanent exhibits cover sea monster myths, photography, navigation, and lots more.

Cabrillo National Monument

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Address: 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA 92106

This national park celebrates the 1542 arrival of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the U.S. It’s a great place for tide pool exploration, hiking, history, and spectacular views of downtown San Diego.

San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo

Address: 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 231-1515

This world-famous zoo in Balboa Park houses more than 4,000 animals including giant pandas from China and many rare and endangered species. Take a guided tour on a double-decker bus or a ride on the Skyfari for an aerial view. For a special experience, try the Early Morning Photo Expedition or Sunrise Surprise Stroll before the zoo opens for the day.

SeaWorld San Diego

Address: 500 Sea World Drive, San Diego, CA 92109
Phone: (619) 422-4732

SeaWorld’s dolphins, orcas, Beluga whales, otters, turtles, penguins, fish, and other sea creatures entertain, educate, and make us appreciate their beauty and value their presence.

You’ll also see flamingos, macaws, and have an opportunity to watch animal specialists feed the penguins, sea turtles, and others. Watch sharks from their amazing underwater tunnel.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Address: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, CA 92027

Take a wildlife safari in the back of a covered, open-air safari truck with an expert guide to get a close-up view of a variety of birds and mammals. You can enjoy wide-open views of giraffe herds, rhinos, and a variety of African wildlife in a private cabana with a dedicated host to share stories about the animals. See beautiful cheetahs at Shiley’s Cheetah Run on an early morning stroll along with an experienced guide.

Balboa Park

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Address: 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Balboa Park is home to 17 museums, more than 10 performing arts spaces, nearly 20 gardens, shops, dining spots, and attractions like the carousel, miniature train, and the San Diego Zoo. Start at the Visitors Center to plan your day or days — you could spend a week there and not see it all. Decide on a museum or two, stroll through a garden, and download the Balboa Park app to your smartphone to guide you all day.

Mission Bay Aquatic Center

Address: 1001 Santa Clara Place, San Diego, CA 92109
Phone: (858) 488-1000

At one of the world’s largest instructional waterfront facilities, you can learn surfing, sailing, water skiing, kayaking, windsurfing, stand up paddleboarding, and more. Rent a paddleboard, kayak, sailboat or other water sports equipment, and if you’re new at it, this is the place to learn how to enjoy watersports safely.

U.S.S. Midway Museum

Address: 910 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 544-9600

This historic aircraft carrier is open for self-guided audio tours and guided tours of the bridge and more. Exhibits include more than 30 restored aircraft, flight simulators, flight deck, admiral’s cabin, and more. As a bonus, the flight deck provides views of San Diego’s downtown skyline, the San Diego Bay Bridge, and active U.S. Navy ships.

Mission Bay Bike Path

Address: 850 West Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109

Nearly 12 miles of flat, scenic paved paths wind around Mission Bay, taking you through public parks and wildlife reserves. You’ll ride past SeaWorld and Belmont Park, enjoying the sea breeze and views on the way. Bike rentals are available along Mission Boulevard.

Barrio Logan

Address: Caesar E. Chavez Parkway at Main Street, San Diego, CA 92113

The historic neighborhood is home to artists, designers, galleries, and a growing display of public art — the largest collection of Chicano murals in the world. Authentic Mexican food is another good reason to visit Barrio Logan. Enjoy homemade tortillas, spicy tacos, refreshing paletas (ice pops), and agua frescas or a local craft beer.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Address: San Diego Avenue at Twiggs Street, San Diego, CA

Learn about life in the early days of San Diego in the early 19th century when it began as a Mexican pueblo. Visit the Whaley House Museum, one of only two officially designated haunted houses in California. Enjoy authentic Mexican food, mariachi entertainment, and shopping for souvenirs and snacks.

Swim With Sharks

Address: La Jolla Shores Beach, northern end of La Jolla

When you tell your friends you swam with sharks in San Diego, you might forget to mention that they were harmless Leopard sharks, named for their yellow and black markings. The creatures, from four to five feet long, arrive in early June and peak in numbers during August and September when they seek the abundant food in the warm, shallow water of La Jolla Shores. All you need is a snorkel and swim fins to watch the sharks swim by below.

Coronado Ferry

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Address: 990 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 234-4111

A bargain at only $5, this scenic boat ride takes you across the bay to the Coronado Ferry Landing for shopping, dining, and exploring Coronado Island. Enjoy the views and sea air during the 15-minute ride.

Rent a Boat or Take a Boat Tour

In a city bordered by the ocean and home to a huge bay, a cruise is a natural way to see the sights from another perspective. With so many to choose from, you’ll find one that’s just your speed. Whether you want a sailboat, speedboat, dinner cruise, whale watching trip, or sunset harbor cruise, don’t miss a chance to see San Diego from the sea.

Whale Watching

If you visit during the whale migration times of year, you can see the amazing creatures from land or sea. From mid-December through April, more than 20,000 gray whales travel between Alaska and Baja California, passing San Diego on their journey. Blue whales, the largest creatures on earth, can be found off San Diego’s coast from mid-June through September. The blue whales travel further out to sea, so a boat tour is a better way to view them.

Hiking in San Diego

The moderate weather is ideal for outdoor activities, and San Diego offers many hiking trails with a range of difficulty. Mission Trails Regional Park, just 12 miles from downtown, provides a variety of hikes as well as Lake Murray. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in La Jolla is another favorite of hikers who enjoy views of the ocean and the reserve along with wildlife that includes birds, rabbits, mule deer, lizards, and snakes.

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Best Shopping

Balboa Park Museum Shops

Address: 1549 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Throughout the park, museum stores and artisans provide the opportunity to take home a prized item, gift, or souvenir. For example, the Spanish Village Arts Center is a community of more than 200 artisans offering paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photographs, prints, baskets, as well as glass, clay, and fiber art. The San Diego Museum of Art store offers books, prints, handmade jewelry, toys, games, and even chocolates in art-decorated tins. The San Diego History Center Museum Store features books, historic photographs, memorabilia, jewelry, and handmade items by local artisans.

Liberty Station

Address: 2850 Womble Road, San Diego, CA 92106

In San Diego’s Point Loma community, Liberty Station, once the Naval Training Center dating back to 1923, is now a venue for art, entertainment, dining, and shopping. The multi-use community is home to restaurants, bars, boutiques, art galleries, museums, office spaces, and parks.

One Paseo

Address: 3725 Paseo Place, San Diego, CA 92130
Phone: (858) 523-2298

You can live, work, and shop at One Paseo, and it’s a pleasant place to browse the boutiques or stop for a bite. A variety of specialty shops offer apparel, home decor, beauty and wellness products, swimwear, jewelry, shoes, and more.

Seaport Village

Address: 849 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 530-0704

For waterfront shopping and dining near downtown, Seaport Village offers casual browsing, souvenirs, clothing, and specialty shops. Look for toys, collectibles, games, novelty items, kites, beach apparel, and more. Grab a bite to eat or a glass of wine while you’re there.

Westfield UTC (University Town Center)

Address: 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92122
Phone: (858) 546-8858

Recently renovated, this open-air shopping, dining, and entertainment destination offers luxury brands, excellent customer service, and a family-friendly experience. Nordstrom, Macy’s, and more than 200 shops and restaurants make it a favorite with locals and visitors alike.

Fashion Valley

Address: 7007 Friars Road, San Diego, CA 92108

This trendy destination in Mission Valley features Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and designer houses like Gucci, Prada, Ferragamo, and Saint Laurent.

Westfield Mission Valley

Address: 1640 Camino Del Rio, North San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (619) 296-6375

This open-air mall features Bloomingdale’s Outlet, Nordstrom Rack, Macy’s Home, and Vans as well as restaurants and a movie theater.

Las Americas Premium Outlets

Address: 4211 Camino de la Plaza, San Diego, CA 92173
Phone: (619) 934-8400

Located about 20 minutes south of downtown San Diego, the outlet mall includes 125 stores in an outdoor courtyard setting. Name brand and designer stores as well as a variety of eateries make it a popular shopping stop.

Neighborhoods to Know

La Jolla offers beautiful beaches, outdoor recreation, luxury hotels, and outdoor recreation. La Jolla Underwater Park and Ecological Reserve thrives with marine life, and in Torrey Pines, there’s hiking and an array of native wildlife. Internationally recognized Torrey Pines Golf Course is nearby.

Gaslamp Quarter is a 16-block area in the historic heart of downtown San Diego, a lively dining, entertainment, and shopping district. More than 100 restaurants, 40 bars and nightclubs, theaters, art galleries, and shops as well as luxury hotels make it a popular destination.

Little Italy was once home to the tuna fishing industry and Italian families who settled there. Now the lively neighborhood is filled with restaurants, pubs, art galleries, and boutiques. India Street is the main thoroughfare, and Kettner Street is the place for new, popular restaurants.

Barrio Logan is home to Mexican street art, focused on Chicago Park beneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge overpass, where a display of colorful murals are painted on the bridge’s pillars. Authentic Mexican food, artist studios, bakeries, and a brewery attract visitors as well.

Hillcrest is located next to Balboa Park, minutes from downtown. The hub of San Diego’s LGBTQ+ community, Hillcrest is known for eclectic nightlife, casual dining, chic boutiques, and vintage clothing stores. The main thoroughfares are University Avenue and tree-lined Fifth Avenue.

University Heights, adjacent to Hillcrest, features historic and renovated craftsman-style homes, shopping, nightlife, and dining. Its main thoroughfare, Park Boulevard, is home to popular eateries, shops, and lounges.

Coronado is located across the bay from downtown San Diego. Beaches, shops, and the historic Hotel del Coronado attract visitors. Orange Avenue, Coronado’s main thoroughfare, is lined with restaurants, galleries, and theaters.


San Diego is known for its moderate, near perfect climate. Temperatures vary, with warmer areas inland and cooler near the ocean often with morning clouds. Annual precipitation is rarely above ten inches, with the majority occurring between December and March.

The following are average Fahrenheit lows and highs by month.

January 48 – 65
February 65 – 76
March 61 – 73
April 54 – 69
May 67 – 76
June 65 – 75
July 62 – 71
August 59 – 69
September 56 – 67
October 53 – 66
November 51 – 65
December 49 – 65

Apps to Download

A variety of smartphone apps are available to make a visit to San Diego convenient and easy.

Balboa Park Official Mobile App is an interactive guide to the park with details on museums, eateries, schedules, and more.

For transportation, apps for Uber and RideYellow make getting around easy.

SpotAngel helps drivers find street parking and understand local rules.

SeaWorld‘s app provides GPS navigation, search, show times, and up-to-date wait times for rides.

Legoland‘s app provides a park map and overview of rides, shops, dining, and ticket information.