Welcome to San Diego, CA!

Known as America’s finest city, San Diego is a beach town with a city attached. San Diego fills its streets with the perennial surfer type - happy, laid back, welcoming, and always sunny. The city, the weather, and the people will fill your days with sunny vibes. Whether you’re after the caves of La Jolla, the nature of Torrey Pines, the beaches of Coronado, the shopping of the Gaslamp District, San Diegos many villages pulse with personality. You’ll explore Balboa Park and the number one zoo in the world, explore a few of the more than 60 beaches, hike awe inspiring cliffs, eat classic SoCal burritos, all while enjoying the most perfect weather in the country!

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Here's Whym's top ten things to know about San Diego, CA

Welcome!

The 8th largest city in the U.S., this Pacific coast town is known as “America’s Finest City.” From their arts to their food to their sports, San Diego does what they do well - all while maintaining a laid back Cali vibe. The weather doesn’t change, the beaches are pristine and Top Gun was filmed here, what could be bad?! You’ll find a city full of personality - from naval ships, incredible nature, and great food and culture.

Finding Your Way

This city has both practical and fun options for getting around. Exploring by car is the most convenient way if you plan to explore more than just downtown, with an easy to navigate freeway system but avoid rush hour! The MTS red trolley is a great way to get around too, with stops crisscrossing downtown, Old Town, Mission Valley and more. They also have a solid train system during the day that is cheap and easy. The Coaster goes from downtown to Old Town and along the coast while the Sprinter runs East-West to outlying areas every 30 minutes. If public transport is your thing, grab a day pass for $12. Lyfts are also always available and some neighborhoods are very walkable.

Airport Deets

Just 10 minutes from downtown, San Diego International Airport (SAN) gives passengers a bird's eye view of the park, downtown and the bay upon descent. If you’re picking up a car, that’s a quick way to your hotel. Otherwise, Lyfts or taxis are located at the island outposts outside of each terminal. If you want to take public transport, Bus Route 992 picks up every 15 minutes at baggage claim and goes into the city.

History

San Diego has been called "the birthplace of California." Historically home to the Kumeyaay people, it was the first site visited by Europeans on the West Coast. In 1542, Spain claimed it, forming the basis for the settlement of Alta California 200 years later. By 1821, San Diego was part of Mexico, but following the Mexican-American War it became part of the U.S. and was admitted into the union in 1850. This port city grew rapidly with the establishment of military facilities and a cornerstone for international trade. Today in addition to being a major naval base, it has grown into a town that blended its storied past into a multicultural haven for foodies, athletes, artists and surfers alike.

Why Am I Here?

You come to San Diego for the perfect weather, you fall in love with San Diego for the natural wonders. There are few places in the country or the world that can blend mountaintops and vineyards, and beaches and cities, but that is exactly what this city offers. Whether you’re after the nightlife in the Gaslamp District, the romance of La Jolla, the fun of the ocean surrounding Coronado, or the wild of Comic-Con, California’s second largest city delivers it all.

Weather

You've heard it's always sunny in San Diego? It's true! With 263 sunny days a year and average temperatures of 72°, it is a year-round outdoor playground. Rainfall rarely reaches more than 2" in a month. The coldest month is December when nighttime temps can dip to a low of 49° and high of 66°. August is the warmest with an average high of 77° and a low of 67°.

Local Delicacies

Don’t leave without trying the modern Mexican specialties like carne asada fries, or the classics like hand rolled taquitos and street tacos. The seafood is amazing here too - especially the fish tacos. San Diego is also a great town for craft breweries, and there’s a lot of good Southeast Asian to be had. But the most important thing you can’t miss is the California Burrito. Don’t ask questions, just know that it’s the absolute best and you can’t come to San Diego without trying at least one!

Souvenirs

Thanks to its culinary scene, food is a mainstay of souvenirs in this town. Temecula wines and olive oil, artisan chocolates, and locally made beers are great things to bring home. Of course there is always something from LEGOland or the Zoo for the little ones or even surf wax or comic books - this is home to the largest Comic-Con after all!

Style

San Diego is the birthplace of the surfer dude, so the style is comfortable and laid-back. You’ll see a lot of people in sandals, shorts, cotton dresses, and bathing suits. San Diego never gets too hot or too cold, so you’re in good shape with a light layer at night. Go relaxed and sun-loving and you’ll fit right in!

Must Know

Southern California’s wine country is only an hour away, boasts 100+ wineries, and is a great day trip if you have the time. Comic-Con happens every July and is the largest comic/pop culture festival in the world so be prepared for some serious crowds that time of year!

It was out in California, by the San Diego Sea, that was when I was taken in and it left its mark on me

- Tom Petty