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Your guide to San Diego
All About San Diego
With 112 kilometres of pristine coastline, world-class family attractions, and year-round sunshine, San Diego is one of the most popular holiday spots on the West Coast of the United States. Located at the edge of the Mexican border, California’s second-biggest city boasts some 60 beaches, including Mission Beach and the city’s most popular, Pacific Beach, which is lined by a five-kilometre boardwalk bursting with bars and restaurants. Twenty minutes away, Coronado Beach is known for its throwback vibe, miles of soft sand, and calm, warm waters.
San Diego is a city of eclectic neighbourhoods, each with its own personality. Little Italy boasts red-sauce Italian joints and authentic bakeries, as well as a solid selection of bars and boutiques. A designated Historic District, the Gaslamp Quarter is distinguished by its restored 19th-century buildings that house galleries and theatres — the name comes from the classic wrought-iron street lamps that line the brick sidewalks. Balboa Park is the city’s cultural centre, featuring 16 museums, including the San Diego Museum of Art and the Air and Space Museum. You’ll also find shops, family-friendly attractions, and lovely gardens that provide an urban oasis in the city.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in San Diego
San Diego offers more than 260 days of sunshine a year, so you’re likely to see sun whenever you choose to book your vacation rental. You can expect hot days and nights from July to October, perfect for enjoying the warm waters at the city’s beaches. The largest military air show in the United States takes place in September. November through April are pleasant months to visit, when you won’t experience the stifling hot days of summer, but can still expect consistent sunshine.
In November, a food and wine festival takes over the San Diego Bay, with more than 40 culinary events across the city, including a grand tasting at Embarcadero Marina Park North. If you prefer to hide from the sun, San Diego experiences what’s known as the May Grey and June Gloom phenomenon. At this time of the year, the marine layer moves in overnight, causing low clouds to hover and blocking out the sun until early afternoon.
Top things to do in San Diego
This famous boardwalk runs from the South Mission Beach jetty to the Pacific Beach pier. It’s a hive of activity with walkers and joggers, skaters, and cyclists. The beaches offer soft sand to bask on and warm waters in which to take a refreshing dip. At the Pacific Beach end, you’ll find a range of restaurants, bars, and shops to explore, while adjacent to Mission Beach is Belmont Park, where you can ride the historic wooden roller coaster.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Just 30 minutes from downtown is the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, dedicated to preserving the critically endangered trees — this is one of only two places in the world where they can be found. There are lots of trails to explore in the park, such as the two-kilometre Razor Point Trail; as you hike, you’ll come across spectacular sandstone canyons and cliffs overlooking the beach.
Cedros Avenue District
Enjoy a stroll around the Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach, home to art galleries, independent boutiques, and dozens of unique and quirky shops. On Sundays, the vibrant Solana Beach Farmers’ Market takes over, with more than 60 vendors selling organic produce, crafts, and clothing, plus a food court where you can try delicious treats like crab cakes, crepes, and smoothies.