Plenty To See And Do In The San Diego Area

San Diego is located on the southern tip of California, on the border with Tijuana, Mexico, and is the second largest city in California, It's also on the coast, so if beaches and the ocean are an attraction to you, be sure to spend some time at one or more of their beaches. It's also home to the well-known San Diego Zoo and Sea World, San Diego Wild Animal Park, and nearby Legoland. The San Diego Chargers (Football) and San Diego Padres (Baseball) call this city their home, along with other college and professional sports. Climate-wise, the temperatures are generally moderate throughout the year, and rainfall is minimal, even in the winter months when it's at its highest level. Like San Franciso, you may find foggy days, particularly in May and June. This is referred to by the locals as "May Gray-June Gloom." If you're thinking visiting San Diego, follow along as we guide you in finding hotel accomodations, places to eat, sight-seeing, shopping, and other activities in one of the prettiest cities in the nation.

Getting There Is Easy

You can get to San Diego by driving, flying, Amtrak or bus. Since it's right on the water, if you're so inclined you can arrive by boat, too. Most people fly in or drive. Major airlines serving San Diego include American, Delta, United, Alaska, Southwest, Continental, Frontier, Northwest, JetBlue, Aloha, and Hawaiian, among others. If you're flying, you can pick up a rental car here to do your sight-seeing. Most major hotels have their own shuttle to pick you up and take you to your hotel. Or you can take a cab to your destination. The airport isn't that far from the downtown area, and it may be worth the extra money if your destination isn't one of the drop points for the Airport shuttle, or you're not staying at a hotel which offers shuttle service.

Where To Stay

Unless you're staying with friends or relatives, you will need some type of housing while you are in San Diego. Of course, being the wise traveler, you will have booked your hotel rooms before leaving home, and probably through one of the online travel sites like, or You will generally find cheaper rates booking through a travel service, especially if you are flying in and booking your flights through them, too. Here's a partial list of places to consider when looking for a place to stay in San Diego.

  • Kings Inn
    Located in Mission Valley, Shopping District. 100% non-smoking hotel, has a pool and jacuzzi, free parking, two nearby family restaurants, discount tickets to area attractions, and more. Rates start at $72 per night.
  • Holiday Inn San Diego-Mission Bay-SeaWorld
    Located close to everyting--Sea World, Old Town, Downtown, Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego Zoo, Mission Valley & Fashion Valley Malls, the Airport, Mission Beach. Within walking distance of twenty popular restaurants. If you're travelling with children, ask about their two room suites or Kids Mini-suites. They also offer a "Kids Stay Free/Eat Free" plan for more affordable rates on your housing. Amenities include heated pool, room service, fitness facilities. Starting at $116 per night.
  • Catamaran Resort and Spa
    Looking for a unique experience in vacation accomodations? This might be what you are looking for. While it's close to places like Sea World, Encinatas, La Jolla and beaches, you could spend several days here without leaving the site and come away relaxed and rejuvenated. Amenities include private treatment rooms, steam and dry saunas, outdoor whirlpool, full service salon and fitness center, and water sports rental department which rents sailboats, power boats, ocean kayaks and paddleboats. The Attol restaurant is nearby, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you are looking for something different and just for you, try this one. Rates start at $159 a night.
  • Ramada Inn/Convention Center
    Located in downtown San Diego in the Gaslight Quarter, its close to the Convention Center, San Diego Zoo and Sea World. There are also many restaurants, bars, theaters, Horton Plaza Mall and boutique shops. Hotel amenities include free Internet, Business Center, full service gym, and valet parking at a rate of $20 per day. Room rates start at
  • The Handlery Hotel and Resort
    Rates starting at $104 per night, this is a family-oriented hotel in the heart of San Diego, just minutes from beaches, Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park and the San Diego Trolley. They offer a complimentary hotel shuttle to area attractions within a 5-mile radius of the hotel. Parking and Internet access are not free, but are available. Other amenities include day spa, Enterprise car rental office, ticketing services, hair salon, large pool and jacuzzi.

Dining Out In San Diego

Most of the hotels we've mentioned have their own restaurants, or have nearby restaurants which you may find good food at. An example is the first hotel we mentioned, the Kings Inn. It's nearby restaurants include the Waffle Spot and the Amigo Spot; the Handlery offers the Postcards American Bistro for all daily meals. A good source for information about San Diego dining is You'll find restaurant reviews here, and sections titled "Last 10 Online Reservations," "Best Restaurants," Customer Reviews," "____ (name of previous month) Top 20," and links to restaurants by location, meal type, cuisine, prices, etc. Here are a few recommendations from this web site.

Best Restaurants Overall
Firenze Trattoria - Italian Cuisine, located North County Coastal
Bertrand At Mr. A's - American Cuisine, downtown
Primavera Ristorante - Italian Cuisine, Coronado
Donovan's of La Jolla - Steak, La Jolla

By Price
Under $25 - Devine Pastabilities, only one found for this price range.
$25-$50 - 83 restaurants found in this price range, including India Palace in San Diego, Sbicca in Del Mar, and Busalacchi's in San Diego. Obviously we can't list them all here.

By Features
There's even a listing of top restaurants by features, such as child friendly, Romantic Dining, Healthy Options, Ocean View, and even "Dog-Friendly" restaurants.

By Location
Restaurant listings by location, such as Downtown - broken down by section such as the Gaslight Quarter; Old Town; La Jolla; etc.

By Meal Type
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner; brunch restaurants; late dining restaurants.

San Diego Area Attractions

Now that we have you here, you've settled into your hotel accomodations and have a good idea of where you will be eating during your stay, we're ready to show you some of the sights and attractions that San Diego has to offer. I'm sure you're well aware of the major attractions like Sea World and the San Diego Zoo. Here are some other great tourist attractions and tours that can be enjoyed while visiting the San Diego area.

San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park
Legoland California
Belmont Park
San Diego Harbor Tour
Whale Watching Tours
Tijuana Tour
Birch Aquarium
Air and Space Museum
Natural History Museum Automotive Museum

This is just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to things to see and do in San Diego and vicinity. There's just not room here to cover it all, but this gives you an idea of what is available, not to mention the great shopping malls and boutiques, sporting events, and other activities. And if you're looking to save money, check out for information on how to get discount tickets to the major attractions that San Diego has to offer. Have a great visit!

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