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Your guide to San Diego
Laidback surf-town vibes meet a buzzing metropolitan center in San Diego, a city situated on the Pacific coast just 15 miles from California’s southern border. Catch your first wave at Mission Bay and follow it up with a tasting flight at one of the 150 local craft breweries. Neighborhoods such as La Jolla and the Gaslamp Quarter offer trendy dining experiences that visitors expect from the Golden State, but San Diego’s abundance of sandy beaches and outdoor spaces such as Balboa Park encourage you to slow down and enjoy the sunshine. Resist the temptation to cram everything into one vacation, and savor the relaxed demeanor that permeates San Diego.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in San Diego
San Diego’s climate remains relatively moderate year-round: Highs hover between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and lows only dip down to the mid-40s in winter. After the gray, overcast skies of June Gloom clear away, the air becomes more humid than average through September. Late summer and early fall bring ideal conditions for experienced surfers as the Santa Ana winds kick up, but pay attention to local weather reports, as the Santa Anas also increase wildfire risk in Southern California. During all seasons, be sure to pack layers — after spending all day in the sun, you may want a light jacket to stave off the slight evening chill.
Top things to do in San Diego
Encapsulating 17 museums, 19 gardens, a 100-year-old carousel, and even a miniature train, Balboa Park can feel like its own city. Highlights include the Botanical Building, one of the largest wooden lath structures in the world, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the open-air Spreckels Organ Pavilion, home to a 5,000-pipe organ, the world’s largest.
This small, stroller-friendly neighborhood offers opportunities to soak up Spanish Colonial architecture, pop into boutique shops, and treat your dog to lunch on a pet-friendly restaurant patio. Fans of thrills and chills should visit the Whaley House Museum, considered by some the most haunted house in the United States.
Head to Mission Bay for equipment rentals and lessons in sailing, kayaking, waterskiing, and more. Bordering the bay is Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach, both ideal spots to learn how to surf. While in the area, check out Mission Beach to watch X Games hopefuls at the skatepark and take a spin on a 95-year-old wooden roller coaster at an oceanfront theme park.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the weather in San Diego?
San Diego enjoys a mild, Mediterranean climate. Summers typically see temperatures around 75°F (24°C), while winters hover around 50°F (10°C) with occasional rainfall. Its sunny year-round weather makes it perfect for outdoor activities at any time of year.
What are some of the best things to do in San Diego?
In San Diego, visitors enjoy exploring its historic sites such as Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, relaxing at its numerous beaches such as La Jolla Cove, and experiencing thrilling outdoor activities like surfing and paddleboarding. Animal lovers also appreciate visiting the Birch Aquarium and SeaWorld San Diego.
What is the best time of year to visit San Diego?
San Diego is typically most visited in the summer months, particularly from June to August, when the weather is warm and the city hosts the San Diego County Fair and Comic-Con International. However, the mild climate makes it a pleasant destination year-round.
What are the best places to stay in San Diego?
Popular places to stay in San Diego include Downtown, known for its vibrant nightlife and diverse dining scene, and La Jolla, loved for its picturesque beaches and upscale boutiques. Pacific Beach is also popular among those seeking a laid-back beach vibe.
What are the best places to visit in San Diego?
Some frequently suggested places to visit in San Diego include Balboa Park, home to numerous museums, gardens, and the San Diego Zoo, and the USS Midway Museum, a historical naval aircraft carrier museum. The Gaslamp Quarter, a dynamic downtown neighborhood with Victorian architecture, is also often recommended.
What are some hiking trails in San Diego?
San Diego has a variety of hiking trails for different fitness levels. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve has scenic trails overlooking the Pacific Ocean, while the 6 mile (9.6 km) Cowles Mountain trail offers panoramic views of the city. For a more leisurely hike, the flat trail around Lake Miramar is a great choice.
What are some family activities to do in San Diego?
San Diego is filled with family-friendly activities. You can explore the interactive exhibits at the New Children's Museum, embark on a safari adventure at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, or discover marine life at the Birch Aquarium. The LEGOLAND California Resort also provides a fun-filled day for families.
What are some of the best day trip ideas in San Diego?
Day trip ideas from San Diego include a visit to the artistic town of Julian, famous for its apple pies, or a trip to the Temecula Valley for hot air ballooning and horseback riding. For a nature escape, a visit to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park or the Cabrillo National Monument is often recommended.
Are there vacation rentals near San Diego's top attractions?
You're in luck! Stay at the heart of it all with our vacation rentals near San Diego's top attractions. We offer over 6,380 vacation rentals near Torrey Pines State Reserve, over 16,820 vacation rentals near Balboa Park, over 16,770 vacation rentals near Balboa Park (San Diego) station, over 16,970 vacation rentals near San Diego Zoo, and over 16,800 vacation rentals near Balboa Park December Nights, and so much more! Experience the best of San Diego right on your doorstep.
What types of vacation rentals are available in San Diego?
Uncover the perfect home-away-from-home with our diverse selection of vacation rentals in San Diego. From over 2,820 condo rentals, over 7,330 house rentals to over 3,830 apartment rentals, we've got you covered. For even more variety, explore our Airbnb Categories to find the ideal space for your getaway.