San Diego

From Eco Friendly Travels

Eco-friendly travel guide to San Diego advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in San Diego, California, United States of America.

Downtown San Diego Skyline at night, viewed from Coronado towards Downtown

  • Air quality: 2.9 / 5
  • Exploring by foot: 4 / 5
  • Exploring by bicycle: 4.2 / 5
  • Public transportation: 3.6 / 5
  • Parks: 4.7 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 5 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 5 / 5
  • Safety: 3.75 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$20- $1,200
  • Budget per day: US$110 - $1,500

Responsible Travel

Hosting several cultural and artistic attractions, San Diego is well-known for its rich history, laid-back persona, natural beauty, and it's not surprising that those who visit this beautiful city have a wonderful experience waiting for them. Whether you seek a place for a romantic holiday getaway or you're looking for a family-friendly destination, San Diego makes for a fine destination for any as it's teeming with attractions from its world-famous zoo and fêted beach towns, to its illustrious surf spots.

Famous for its pristine year-round weather, it has the best Mexican food north of the border, a cool surf-town scene, and a healthy dose of sunshine. From the energetic Gaslamp Quarter within city limits to museums and championship golf courses, there's truly something for everyone in America’s finest city, and you'll as well find the city's flourishing restaurant and bar scene to be appealing. Attracting over 35 million visitors every year, San Diego is a desirable destination for culture seekers, outdoor enthusiasts, and beachgoers. And, as an eco-friendly traveler hoping to travel responsibly in San Diego, you could use some few tips to move around; Quick Sustainability Facts about San Diego: Compared to other cities in the state, there are more solar installations in San Diego, and this makes it the number one solar city in California. More so, it's reputed for having the first LEED Platinum-certified commercial airport terminal worldwide.

  • Take the Trolley. You can relax and let someone else do the driving by learning how to take the trolley during your visit to the city. There are some clumsy situations that can occur and put you at the risk of getting stuck at the border crossing or getting on the wrong road but you can easily avoid these if you take the Trolley, especially if you'll be considering visiting the close-by Tijuana and, people don't seem to fancy driving up to the border of the traffic. Additionally, it feels more like a parking lot than a freeway on Interstate Highway 5 at rush hour. The San Diego Trolley connects quite a few of the most popular sights but take note that it doesn't go everywhere. With trains arriving every 10 to 30 minutes, it runs from morning until late at night, and it's an easy option to opt-in for if you'll be frequenting the popular tourist attractions in the city.
    • Still, solely relying on the Trolley to get around is not a great idea. Lyft and Uber are pretty much preferable to get around San Diego. Unless you're going to or from the convention center, the access is pretty limited, and there are three lines.
  • A car will be helpful. The best way to get around San Diego is by car. Looking at the fact that San Diego is a fairly large and sprawling metropolis, the available buses and cabs don't usually cut it, and if you want to enjoy convenience as you go around, it's imperative that you have a car.
    • Avoid driving during rush hour. Although getting around by car is recommended, you definitely won't want to be involved on the road driving during rush hour, trust me. The rush hour traffic in San Diego is not as bad like that of Los Angeles (this is what the locals say) but be informed that the I-15 and I-8 can get bad during peak drive times but the usual worst ones are the I-5 and I-805 that run north and south. There's a usual bad weekday traffic from about 7 to 10 am and 3 to 7 pm and this is resulting from the fact that thousands of people who commute across the city daily cannot rely on the ineffective public transit system in the city.
    • Make plans; fighting the traffic is a waste. No-one loves the idea of spending their vacation time sitting in traffic and this is why if you're taking day trips from San Diego without having to drive back and forth, you should plan ahead. During rush hour, a 20-minute drive can easily turn into a 2-hour drive during rush hour. It's needless fighting the traffic, rather plan around it.
    • Parking is expensive. Driving in San Diego isn’t the most pleasant experience even though it's a great way to get around because aside from the traffic, you'll also have to deal with parking which is expensive.
  • Hold your passport. It's almost impossible to suppress the temptation of traveling to Tijuana when one is in San Diego. San Diego is situated just 17 miles from Tijuana and it's an international border city. However, you'll need a passport if you want to cross the border to Mexico. Border wait times are often longer on Sundays but normally, they vary, and as earlier mentioned, taking the trolley with a $5 round-trip is the easiest way to travel to the border from San Diego.
  • Make Reservations. This is quite important if your visit will involve going around to check some of the nice attractions in the city. Although you won't need reservations to visit Sea World, there are some activities there that demand that you make reservations beforehand. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo have tours that demand that you make a reservation and as you'll be moving around to catch a great time in San Diego, you should inculcate the habit of making reservations.

Air Quality and Pollution

Recurrent and extended periods of unhealthy ozone pollution is what the air quality in San Diego suffers from. The American Lung Association (ALA) rates San Diego's air quality as “F” due to its severe status and, it's gathered that every year, the city experiences 43.3 days of unhealthy ozone averagely. Local spikes in emissions is not the major facilitating factor for San Diego's poor air quality but weather patterns, geography, and climate. However, it's also worthy to point out that pollution levels vary across the city.

Respect the Culture

San Diego is popular for its thriving dining and craft-beer scene and it takes pride in its plentiful attractions which include Legoland California, Balboa Park, SeaWorld San Diego, and the San Diego Zoo. San Diego is a cool place to be and if you've ever visited this city, you'll be impressed by its natural beauty. Speaking of respecting the city's culture, there's nothing much to talk about per se but putting into cognizance some of the customs and traditions in the city go a long way in showing your respect. To begin with, take note that glass containers and alcohol are not allowed at the beach. This, however, doesn't stop you from legally enjoying an alcoholic drink on the beach because there are tons of beach bars you can visit for a cocktail. But, don't take the containers to the beach.

More so, take note that San Diego is a city that loves its beer and you shouldn't drink a beer that's not from the city. The thing is, the local breweries are heavily involved in the local culture, and with the plenty of good beer made in the city, you wouldn't be supporting the city's local scene when you neglect the city's beer. Another thing you should take note of is not to laugh when the locals freak out about rain. The locals in this city tend to freak out with a little bit of rain because it's so rare and you'll soon get to notice that they aren't used to rain at all. San Diego gets rain occasionally, even though it's infamous for its weather.

Top 10 Places to Visit

With plenty of sunshine perfect for outdoor adventures, San Diego boasts a mild Mediterranean climate and an enchanting natural beauty. It's the oldest town in California, it's not far from the Mexico border, and it's situated in Southern California. The Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, the world-famous San Diego Zoo, and the Spanish Colonial-style architecture found in Balboa Park are some of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

You can enjoy surfing, swimming, and sunning with the available over 68 miles of coastline in and around the city and it's pretty interesting to know that San Diego has some of the best beaches in Southern California — in case it interests you to soak up some of the famous year-round sunshine. And, you can wander through the Gaslamp Quarter or stroll the streets of Old Town San Diego if you're in for a little history and shopping. However, here are some of the top attractions and things to do in San Diego — you can even choose to plan your sightseeing in this America's Finest City with this list;

  • La Jolla Cove: In a place like this, you’ll definitely fill your reel. If you have a thing for photo ops and you've got a nice water-resistant camera, you should consider a trip to La Jolla Cove. However, take note that there are restrictions against things like motorized boats since it’s part of a marine refuge area but you can always enjoy everything from picnicking and biking to hiking, scuba diving, kayaking, and swimming here. Outdoor enthusiasts will find tons of cool things to do here. The landscapes range from slopes and grassy hills to sandy cliffs, and the local marine life includes sea lions and starfish, among many others. The beaches are tropical and the water is beautiful. This place is one of the most photographed destinations in the city.
  • San Diego Zoo: This zoo is a vacation within a vacation for it offers such a good time. If you love animals and you find pleasure in aerial trams, theaters, rides, shows, and tours, then, you need to be here. This zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation and no amount you spend here is a waste. Here, you'll see birds and butterflies fluttering in open-air houses, monkeys swinging from trees, and tigers stalking around canyons. The San Diego Zoo is considered one of the best worldwide and it's home to more than 3,500 animals.
  • iFLY San Diego: It's centrally located near San Diego and it's one of the best indoor skydiving facilities in California. Stop by iFLY if you seek cool things to experience on your vacation. Young children can appreciate the simulations, snacks, demonstrations, and more, even though there are some age restrictions for them. Kids and adults are both welcome at iFLY and there's often supervision from the nearby flight instructors. Here, you'll float in an enclosed tunnel, and this place does mimic the sensations, speeds, and sounds of a death-defying dive as it's built with revolutionary technology. The secret lies in the wind tunnel to experience all of the thrills of sky diving with no risk.
  • Downtown San Diego: Downtown San Diego is an absolute must if you're thinking of what to do on your visit to the city as it's a bustling place filled with possibility. The list of things to do here is pretty massive. In shopping malls, plazas, and parks, you'll find an array of glitzy boutiques and trendy cafes. You'll as well find gaslamp historical quarters bustling with landmarks, monuments, and museums; if you’re into history. You can enjoy amazing date nights with the symphonies and orchestras, bars and clubs are there for the hopping, and there are loads of activities to show you a good time.
  • Balboa Park: Give yourself plenty of time to explore this place because it’s easily one of the best things to do in San Diego and you might need to plan a second vacation just to experience it all because there are so many cool places to see here. The archery ranges are worth checking out and if you like games, you have remote-controlled racetracks, bowling alleys, and ballparks to enjoy. You're also likely to find someone hosting a theater production or an open-air concert here. You can take tours through cultural institutes, science centers, art houses, memorials, and museums. Or, stroll through dozens of landscapes if you're a nature lover. In the entire state of California, Balboa Park is one of the biggest tourist attractions and it's packed with recreational facilities, concert stages, theaters, zoos, museums, gardens, and trails. A trip to San Diego without visiting Balboa Park is an incomplete one.
  • Old Point Loma Lighthouse: Give this place a visit while you’re touring the California coast. If you’re a fan of fun landmarks and monuments, you won’t want to miss this place. You can climb the steps and gaze at the city from on high and the actual tower is open to the public on the lighthouse’s birthday. You can catch a show from historical re-enactors, visit the on-site museum, explore the grounds, or take a tour. It used to be the most elevated lighthouse in the United States of America and it's situated on top of a cliff.
  • Belmont Park: This place will leave you breathless from the sun and the rides and it’s one of the hottest tourist spots in the state. Take a trip to Belmont Park if you'd like to unleash your inner child in San Diego. You'll love it here if you aren't afraid of excitement, fun, food, and noise. Grand prizes are always jingling and pretzels are always cooking at this kind of place. The sounds and smells will get to you; if the sights don't, and adults who enjoy the nostalgia would fancy the old-fashioned arcade. There are things like mini-golf and laser tag for entertainment on the ground and you'll have your choice of bumper cars, vertical plunges, tilt-a-whirls, ziplines, carousels, and slides for high-octane fun. The roller coaster is just the beginning here!
  • The Casbah: This place provides adults with a lot of fun but it isn't a place to bring the kids. You can always stop by here for some bands, billiards, and beer. During sold-out shows when space is needed, there's a semi-secret room open. There's a pool table and other amenities offered at the lounge area and a full bar keeps the alcohol flowing. It's one of the major points of interest of the city and it hosted Nirvana back in the day. It has live performances at least 5 to 6 times per week and it's a great place to be if you’re a fan of live music.
  • Embarcadero: It's considered to be one of the top sites in California. If you crave fun things to do in San Diego along the coast, consider a trip to Embarcadero. There’s a festival just about every week if you visit during the summer months and the bars and restaurants are always lively. The attractions here are awesome and the seafood is fresh. Embarcadero boasts a rich and colorful history as a port and a floating maritime museum is one of the plentiful tourist attractions it hosts. It's one of the busiest waterfront destinations in the state of California and it's situated just a few miles from downtown San Diego.
  • Spanish Village Art Center: For a trip into the imaginations of diverse international artists, stop by the Spanish Village Art Center. A global atmosphere is very much present here and from soft and mellow vintage-style prints to sharply critical contemporary paintings, you'll find a range of displays here. There’s also a lot of varieties in its subject matter, all thanks to the diversity of its artists and, there’s always something new to see even if you’ve visited before. This venue offers a sensational collection of art for all.
Embarcadero, San Diego


San Diego offers a lot of things to do for visitors and locals alike. All in the space of a day, you can go grab a at bite one of the longest-running authentic Mexican restaurants in the city, check out some fresh art, indulge in a tiki drink, and explore a sea cave. When it comes to architecture, food, culture, and art, this diverse city has plenty to offer, and it gives more beyond the surf and sand.

With near-perfect weather all year long, this beachside city is considered to be one of the finest cities in the United States of America and it's quite easy to accept when one gets a chance to experience its enchanting natural beauty and pleasant climatic conditions — no wonder it's nicknamed "America's finest city". Often attracting millions of people from different corners of the world, San Diego is home to fascinating locations that won’t let you down, world-class attractions, and it does keep its visitors and residents engaged with its several captivating and refreshing activities.

City Parks

Get your camera ready and grab your sunglasses as you make plans to check out some of the best parks in the city. San Diego has something for everyone to enjoy whether you want to embark on a rigorous hike to a coastal vista or take a leisurely stroll in an urban park. You have the opportunity to explore all that nature has to offer year-round with San Diego's warm climate and here are some of the best parks in the city;

  • Waterfront Park: It's an ideal venue for a bayside wedding in San Diego. From a relaxed family recreation and farmer's markets to festivals, it has enough space to accommodate special private and public events. Waterfront Park has cozy garden rooms with a vibrant children's play zone, several picnic areas, and distinct themes. It has over 12 acres of parkland.
  • Mission Bay Park: In designated areas, you'll find lifeguard stations and showers, and it provides playgrounds, basketball courts, motor rentals, sailboats, launching facilities, and boat docks for the purpose of the comfort of its guests. Eight sites are designated as official swimming areas, there are 19 sandy beaches, and this confirms that the park boasts 27 miles of shoreline. It's the most awesome aquatic park in San Diego.
  • Balboa Park: It's almost impossible to talk about the best parks in San Diego without mentioning this park. It's home to a natural history museum, Miniature Train, Carousel, Pepper Grove Playground, EthnoBotany Children’s Peace Garden, Alaska Airlines Flight Path Grill, Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, Japanese Friendship Garden, Museum of Man, Youth Performance Groups, and Model Railroad Museum. There are plenty of creative and recreational attractions amidst the trails, lovely gardens, and multiple performing arts venues that decorate here. It's home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo and it has over 1200-acres of parkland.
Mission Bay Park during sunset

National Parks

Cabrillo National Monument overlooks San Diego Bay and it's the only designated National Park in San Diego. On the west side of the park, you'll find tide pools and marine life. To boost your steps for the day and see the best of the area, you can take the two-mile self-guided tour when you find the lighthouse. This national park honours Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo.

Cabrillo National Monument


There are several different beaches to choose from in San Diego! If you're visiting this city, going to the beach is a must-do activity. With the variety of activities, premium shopping, awesome museums, fine dining, and warm weather the city offers, it compliments further with the 70 miles of coastline it features. Some of the beaches are perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling and then we have those that are ideal for kayaking and surfing.

  • Ocean Beach is one of the most popular beaches in San Diego. Grab a reusable shopping bag and make a trip to Ocean Beach and it's also a place to see cool things. It's famous for being one of the only places to visit in the city that hasn’t been commercialized and you'll find no shops of big-name businesses here. You'll find everything here from kitschy souvenirs and antique collectibles to baked goods, jewelry, furniture, flowers, and books as it's teeming with an array of small, independent retailers and home to hundreds of vendors. The potential for a shopping extravaganza is the main draw of Ocean Beach and it's a popular area to have some beach time.
  • Cardiff State Beach is another nice beach in the city so, do well to include Cardiff on your list if you have enough time to hit a couple of places while you’re in town as it has cemented itself as one of the best beaches in San Diego with the endless amounts of fun it offers. You can set up your RV at any of its campgrounds nearby if you live for camping. On the beach, you can join a yoga class or volleyball game if you like working up a sweat, and you also have lots of scheduled activities to choose from. If your dog stays on the leash, you can even take him for a walk. It's suitable for surfing and swimming with its warm waves and clean, sandy slopes, and it's protected by the government.
  • Coronado Beach is famous for its proximity to the popular Hotel Del Coronado that dates back to the 19th century and it's a pet-friendly beach; the northern part of the beach is a common area for pet owners. Due to its flat profile, it's perfect for kite flying, and this island is easily accessible by a taxi, private shuttle, car, or public bus via San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge. Centennial Park, Tidelands Park, Coronado City Beach, and Glorietta Bay Park are the four different beach areas that make up the stunning Coronado Municipal Beach.
  • Pacific Beach is another beach worth visiting. Charming shops and restaurants lined the path above it and it's loved by many for being gorgeous. It's situated between Pacific Beach Drive and the Crystal Pier, it's a laid-back community, and it's fondly called “PB” by the locals.
View along the Cardiff State beach


San Diego is a great place to vacation. From a day at the beach for the outdoorsy folk to a baseball game for the sports fans, it's evident that it has something for everyone. There are some landmarks in San Diego that are not worth missing and they include:

  • San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Cabrillo National Monument
  • San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge
  • The California Tower
  • Mount Soledad
  • The Mormon Temple
  • Mormon Battalion Historic Site
  • Old Point Loma Lighthouse
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Balboa Park
  • Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
  • Gaslamp Quarter
  • Old Town San Diego
  • Self-Realization Fellowship Temple Gardens
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Liberty Station
An aerial view of the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. The bridge connects the California cities of Coronado and San Diego over the San Diego Bay


If you find pleasure in checking out some of the best museums in San Diego, here are great suggestions for you;

  • San Diego Air and Space Museum: Your chance to get up close and personal with the skies has been made feasible by this museum. You can snap a selfie in a spacesuit or watch a rover in action at its interactive portals. Names and faces of important people in different fields are immortalized in the galleries and there are reproductions of aircraft and spacecraft at its halls. The intersection of science and technology is celebrated by the different models, exhibits, displays, videos, and pictures it offers.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD): You can enjoy a fun afternoon in the city with a place like the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego but take note that the calendar of this museum is always packed. You can attend special events like lectures and auctions here or take self-guided tours. Jutting out from the walls and dangle from invisible strings are the 3D art installations, scrolls, sculptures, paintings, and several other types of art it houses.
  • San Diego Museum of Art: This museum is one of the major points of interest in the city and as a result, it has the tendency of getting booked up quickly so, do well to call as early as possible if you’re hoping to go this week. Tours are also available but you must have them scheduled in advance. By passing through a particular hallway, you can effortlessly enjoy exploring the rise and fall of an ancient civilization. Hosting general historical pieces, artifacts, documents, sculptures, and hundreds of paintings that date back to 5000 BC, its collections are just as impressive as the exterior.
La Jolla branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla, San Diego, California. The building was designed by architect Irving Gill and was originally the 1915 residence of philathropist Ellen Browning Scripps. The museum was founded in 1941


In this city, major restaurant chains are found in almost every district and food representing almost every world cuisine is available at some specific places in the city. There's a wide variety of national and international cuisine offered in San Diego just as it is with any large metropolitan area and, La Jolla, Hillcrest, and Downtown are some of the best districts in the city for fine dining.

There are lots of nice restaurants that cater to a more local crowd at the neighborhoods of Mid-City and there's a more laid-back and bustling dining scene at Pacific Beach. Mexican food is also abundant in San Diego and this is quite obvious looking at the city's closeness to the border. Rolled tacos is the local specialty here and from fine dining to hole-in-the-wall taco joints, there's an endless option for Mexican food the city offers. The carne asada burrito and fish tacos are also not worth missing.

Sombrero Taco Shop, San Diego

Traditional Local Restaurants

Some of the popular traditional local restaurants in San Diego include:

  • STK Steakhouse
  • Rustic Root
  • The French Gourmet
  • HOPE 46 Classic American Cuisine
  • Trust
  • Dobson's Bar and Restaurant

Vegetarian and Vegan

There are tons of eateries to explore in San Diego whether you're simply in the mood for something different, just cutting down your meat intake, or you're a hardcore vegan vet. You've got no reason not to jump on the plant-lover bandwagon with the city's rife options for great vegan and vegetarian food for San Diego is well ahead of the curve when it comes to great vegan and vegetarian food.

  • Café Gratitude: It has its doors open all through the days of the week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There's a selection of freshly squeezed juice, wine, and organic beer available for you to pair your food with. Yam cauliflower samosa chaat, collard spring rolls, buckwheat-flax pancakes, and asparagus risotto are some of the sumptuous dishes you'll find here. The meal titles might be odd but the taste isn't definitely odd! Presenting a menu of healthy vegan dishes for its guests, it's situated in Little Italy, and in its casual, laid-back setting, it offers organic wine and beer, fresh cold-pressed juices, and creative plant-based cuisine.
  • Civico 1845: This restaurant is open for lunch and dinner every day. The Ravioli al Basilico is a favorite of many who patronize here. This restaurant has several signature dishes that keep people coming back for more and it boasts an outdoor patio with comfortable tables and chairs as it's furnished in reclaimed wood. With a variety of vegan options, it serves a menu of contemporary Italian fare as a charming eatery tucked away in Little Italy.
  • Evolution: It's open for lunch and dinner from Monday through Sunday. Diners who desire to eat in can chill at its modest patio seating and its hut-like restaurant caters to mostly take-out fans. Organic shakes and smoothies are available to be paired with burgers with a side of chili cheese fries. It has a menu of wraps, tacos, and burgers as it follows the successful formula of meat-centric burger joints. It was established in 2009.

Street Food

Food trucks are plentiful in San Diego and they give you an opportunity to enjoy quality street food:

  • Devilicious
  • Super Q Food Truck
  • Simply Fresh
  • Baby's Burgers
  • Two for the Road
  • New York on Rye
  • Marisco’s German Taco Truck
  • Hana Hou


San Diego boasts some of the best and most unique selections of beer in the United States of America and there are several specialty craft beer bars scattered throughout the city. Although there's an emphasis on highly-hopped beers, San Diego is quite popular for its craft-brewing scene. There are significant deals during happy hour offered at the plentiful bars and restaurants that litter the Pacific Beach and Downtown areas. Happy hour specials are very popular in this city and the Gaslamp Quarter area of Downtown and in Pacific Beach are the best bar scenes in San Diego.


The water supply in San Diego is connected to the Colorado River Aqueduct. However, the tap water in San Diego is generally considered safe to drink as it meets up with the laid-down regulatory requirements by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Organic Cafés

Cafe 21 Gaslamp is one of the best organic cafés in San Diego and you'll also find a handful of other organic cafés in the city like GreenFix Organic Smoothie, Cafe 21 University Heights, OODONYA Organic, and Trilogy Sanctuary.


Known for hosting major festivals like the San Diego International Beer Competition and San Diego Beer Week, this city was once called the Craft Beer Capital of America. There are lots of breweries housed in San Diego and picking one could be somewhat nauseating as it's overloaded with amazing bars and more than 100 breweries. San Diego is one of the few cities in the United States of America that's famous for craft beer culture and you'll find nice flavor combinations like caramel, chocolate, strawberry, and lots more amidst the classic IPAs and stouts offered at the breweries.

  • Ballast Point Brewery
  • Societe Brewing Company
  • Mission Brewery
  • AleSmith Brewing Co.
  • Mike Hess Brewing Company
  • Longship Brewery
Mission Brewery


San Diego offers a fun and inexpensive getaway for both the young and old with its variety of magnificent settings countywide, near-perfect weather year-round, and 70 miles of beautiful beaches. There are lots of things to do in San Diego and what makes it more interesting is the fact that you don't need a lot of money before you can have fun here.

  • Take a scenic walk along The Waterfront
  • Visit the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and experience its natural beauty
  • Drive to the top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla
  • Stroll through Balboa Park
  • Go hiking at Torrey Pines State Reserve
  • Go bird watching at one of the many wetland reserves
  • Visit Mission Trails Regional Park to enjoy hiking and biking
  • Explore the 59-Mile Scenic Drive
  • Take a scenic, one-hour drive to Mt. Laguna
  • Bike or jog along Mission Bay Park's many trails
  • Stroll along San Diego's Embarcadero
  • Stroll through the 16½-block historic Gaslamp Quarter
  • Cliff jumping at the La Jolla
Cliff jumping near the big cave at La Jolla Cove

Yoga and Retreats

SoCal Wellness Retreat is a quality place you can trust for your yoga practices and yoga retreat in San Diego. Other valuable options you have include:

  • Pura Vida Yoga
  • Mission Beach Yoga
  • Infinite Yoga
  • Bird Rock Yoga


Whether you seek a luxurious romantic weekend escape or you're staying longer in the city and you're on a budget, San Diego has varied accommodation options that suit your taste and pocket. Nevertheless, you should be conscious of the neighborhood you're staying in if there's a particular atmosphere you crave; opt-in for a place at La Jolla if you desire an upscale seaside escape and you can stay at Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, or Pacific Beach if sun, sand, and sea are high on your list. More so, downtown is one of the best places to stay in the city if it interests you to see the city's top tourist attractions as a first-time visitor.

Green Hotels

Some of the best green, eco-friendly hotels in San Diego include:

  • Hotel Indigo San Diego - Gaslamp Quarter
  • Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina
  • The Lafayette Hotel
  • Kimpton Solamar Hotel
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel Mission Valley

Hostels and Guest Houses

Hostels and guest houses are not hard to find in San Diego:

  • International Travelers House Hostel
  • USA Hostels San Diego
  • Motel 6 San Diego
  • Gaslamp Hostel
  • R. K. Hostel


The cost of renting seems to climb continuously in the city as the number of renters is on the rise. Depending on where you intend to find an apartment, you could be paying about $1,100 to $1,700 for a bedroom apartment. Airbnb is also common in the city.


Couchsurfing is a great way to go by if you don't want to spend much on lodging in a hotel or a hostel and you might be lucky to find a host quickly in the city.


You can enjoy camping at any of these places in San Diego:

  • Campland on the Bay
  • Kumeyaay Lake Campground
  • Mission Bay RV Resort
  • Santa Fe Park RV Resort

How to Get There

There are several options you can explore to get in San Diego and this is dependent on your proximity to the city.


San Diego International Airport is the major airport serving the city.

Other airports servicing the city include:

  • Airport Consolidated Car Rental Center
  • USO Neil Ash Airport Center
  • General Abelardo L. Rodríguez Airport or Tijuana International Airport
Outside the terminal 2 of the San Diego International Airport


Several bus and shuttle services which include Greyhound go up to Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Hungtington Park, and many more.

Sightseeing Bus in San Diego


From downtown along the coast into northern San Diego County, there's a commuter train operating. In Old Town and Sorrento Valley, you'll as well find secondary rail stations. Amtrak also connects San Diego with other neighboring cities.


California is one of the states in the country that frowns at hitchhiking.


San Diego is easily accessible by car via the 5, 8, and 15 interstate freeways. There's as well a cruise ship in the city offering voyages and serving as a port of call and home port.

Moving Around

Getting a car is the best way to move around San Diego. You can either choose to take a taxi and then rent a car once you arrive in town or just rent a car straight off at the San Diego International Airport (SAN).


Your two feet probably won't cut it when it comes to covering more ground but then, you'll you'll find that walking works rather well once you've decided on a neighborhood to explore.


Due to the fact that parking is tight, most of the residents of the beachside communities use bikes to get around. Biking is a good way to explore the beachside communities and the weather in San Diego is ideally suited for bicycle riding.

Electronic Vehicles

Some of the car rental companies have an electronic vehicle available for rent.

Public Bus

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) operates bus service in the city and between Downtown San Diego and a number of touristy destinations, there's bus service every 15 minutes or thereabout. The fare is $2.50 for express routes and $2.25 for most bus routes.

Tram, Train and Subway

The MTS operates the San Diego Trolley which is the city's light rail system and standard one-way fares are $2.50.

Sustainable Shopping

For decades, California has been a leader in sustainability initiatives in the United States of America and you'll find the city of San Diego engulfed with second-hand stores, thrift stores, and eco-friendly local shops where you can shop sustainably. Some of these eco-friendly stores include:

  • Pigment
  • Shop Good
  • Simply Local
  • The Holistic Science Co.
  • Verbatim Books

Food Markets

If you desire to mix and mingle with the locals and as well find local artisan crafts, food and farmers markets are great spots to be. San Diego produces a wealth of farm-fresh goods with a year-round growing season and plenty of sunshine and you'll find fresh-squeezed juices, cooked meals, clothes, sundries, produce, seafood, art, and more at these markets:

  • Little Italy Mercato
  • Hillcrest Farmers' Market
  • Ocean Beach Farmers' Market
  • Harney Street Market
  • Tuna Harbor Dockside Market
  • Liberty Public Market
Hillcrest Farmers' Market

Flea Markets

Some of the best flea markets in San Diego include:

  • Kobey’s Swap Meet
  • San Diego Vintage Flea Market
  • South Bay Drive-In Theaters and Swap Meet
  • Stadium Swap Meet
  • La Pulga Swap Meet

Second Hand Stores

A few favorite thrift stores to check out in San Diego include:

  • Buffalo Exchange
  • Humble Heart
  • Honest Thrift Studio
  • Frock You Vintage Clothing


For your ethical shopping in San Diego, you can trust any of these sustainable brands:

  • H&M
  • Raven + Lily
  • Future: Standard


San Diego offers home and community recycling programs and ideas.


Trash is collected weekly in San Diego from Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Work and Study Abroad

Although San Diego is a beachside city, it's also home to an array of reputed colleges and universities which make it a great location for work and study abroad.

Exchange Student

The exchange student program is run by a vast majority of the higher institutions in the United States.

Au Pair

Au pairs don't seem to be that common in San Diego.


In San Diego, you can volunteer in places like:

  • Jewish Family Services
  • Meals on Wheels
  • The San Diego Foundation
  • The Ronald McDonald House
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego
  • San Diego Habitat for Humanity
  • Father Joe's Villages

See Also