The second-largest city in California, San Diego, is often called the birthplace of the state. ‘America’s Finest City’ certainly gives off that vibe, with an air of fascinating history. If that wasn’t enough ‘number ones,’ it’s also argued to be the city with the best weather in the entire country! It’s no wonder San Diego is one of the U.S.’ most popular destinations. There is so much to see and do, it can be a bit overwhelming. Not the least intimidating is figuring out where to stay. Triphop’s travel experts have gotten together to help. We’ve compiled a list of San Diego’s best attractions, as well as where to stay and how to get around!
Downtown San Diego could be an entire trip’s destination. Balboa Park is a sprawling urban green space with shopping, museums, and multiple attractions. Walk the boardwalk along the Pacific Ocean and at night, head downtown to Gaslamp Quarter and other vibrant areas. Checkout rooftop bars like Altitude and Level 9 for a stunning city view. They overlook the San Diego Padre’s Petco Park – a great destination for the sports fan.
San Diego is steeped in a combination of American and Mexican history. Mission Valley and Old Town are essential destinations for the history buff for this reason. These neighborhoods also feature some of the best Mexican food you’ll ever taste! Thanks to its central location, Mission Valley is a top accommodation spot. Conveniently, the area is awash with affordable options.
San Diego is also home to two of California’s finest zoos. The San Diego Zoo is one of the most famous in the world, beloved for its groundbreaking safari-like open-air nature. If marine animals are more your speed, SeaWorld is another pioneer. You’ll enjoy rides as well as exhibits on your visit there.
Interested in an ultra-lux San Diego getaway? Tower23 and Rancho Valencia are just two of San Diego’s exclusive hotel resorts. Expect to be pampered when staying here! The Fairmont Grand Del Mar and the Pendry are also considered top spots. However, for a one-of-a-kind experience, travel a bit further from the city center. The Hotel Coronado has been a favorite of presidents and movie stars since 1888. Don’t miss San Diego’s first electric streetlight in the grounds!
San Diego is an excellent travel destination. But when should you go? Thanks to its fantastic weather, you can avoid the peak summer season and still have a great time outdoors. March through May and September through November will save you money on flights and hotels. You’ll also avoid the crush of summer visitors, making it easier to see all the sights.
Unfortunately, San Diego’s public transport isn’t like that of NYC or Los Angeles. With much of it relying on bus routes, it’s advisable to rent a car if you want to see a lot of this rather large city. To save some money, ensure your hotel offers free parking. Also, learn about the cheap downtown parking garages (e.g., Ace Parking and Park-it-on-Market) where you can leave the car for the day while you explore. Speaking of exploring, here are some of the best destinations in San Diego!