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Important Things You Should Know Before Visiting San Diego
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Important Things You Should Know Before Visiting San Diego

Picture of David Lindsey
Updated: 9 February 2017
Visitors heading on vacation to San Diego are in for a wonderful experience. The city is known for its natural beauty, laid back persona, and rich history, and is host to many cultural and artistic attractions. Read on for six things to know before you go.
San Diego Cityscape
San Diego Cityscape | David Lindsey

1) Pack light

The climate in San Diego is pretty much perfect. So much so that The Weather Channel lists it as one of the top ten climates in America and one of the two best summer climates. This gorgeous California city boasts mild temperatures and tons of sunshine all year long. Summer highs range in the upper 70s (Fahrenheit) while winter lows are in the high 50s. No need for heavy coats or any of that other winter wear—even when visiting in January.

Maritime Museum
Maritime Museum | David Lindsey

2) Be ready to hit the water

San Diego has a rich maritime history that dates back centuries. It’s no wonder then that the city is home to the Star of India, the world’s oldest active sailing ship, the USS Midway, America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier, and a host of other historical sights in and around the water. To see them all and learn about San Diego’s fascinating maritime and military past, hop on the coolest tour in town, the San Diego SEALS tour. This tour takes place aboard a hydra-terra vehicle that goes from the street to the water without any transformation. Driven by experienced captains who are also local historians, the SEAL takes guests past many of San Diego’s most important sights on land and in the water.

Old Town Trolley's La Jolla and Mission Beach Tour
Old Town Trolley’s La Jolla and Mission Beach Tour | David Lindsey

3) Life’s a beach

There are 70 miles of shoreline in this beautiful city, and within them are the most magnificent beaches visitors love to discover. Whether napping under the shade of a palm tree, climbing to the top of a rocky cliff, investigating the creatures that live within tide pools, or walking along a stretch of powdery sand, it’s all there in San Diego. A great way to experience several of the area’s best beaches in one day is to check out Old Town Trolley’s La Jolla and Mission Beach Tour. It’s a special beach shuttle that makes a continuous 24-mile loop and transports guests to Mission Beach, La Jolla, Mt. Soledad and Old Town. Visitors have the freedom to hop off and on as many times as they want and are treated to enchanting stories, fun music, and a picturesque ride.

Balboa Park
Balboa Park | David Lindsey

4) There’s history at every turn

Home to the birthplace of California, San Diego holds centuries of fascinating history. Visitors interested in learning about the city’s heritage should check out the San Diego History Center, located in Balboa Park, a beautiful 1,200-acre urban cultural park. It is here that guests will not find only a collection of exhibitions that journal San Diego’s rich history, but also their research library. This vast collection of 45 million pieces and 2.5 million images archives key influencers and events of San Diego’s past.

Sleeping Giant Panda at San Diego Zoo
Sleeping Giant Panda at San Diego Zoo | David Lindsey

5) Bring the children

San Diego is a family town, so don’t hesitate to bring along your brood. In addition to the many beaches, parks and family-friendly attractions, it’s home to the San Diego Zoo. One of the world’s most famous zoos, and the 10th largest, the San Diego Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals that represent more than 800 species, and 6,500 different types of plant life can be seen. Within its hundred acres, families will be awed and entertained by hippos, Giant Pandas, koalas, gorillas, lions, leopards, giraffes, and much more.

6) The local fare is out of this world…especially the Mexican food

In this culturally hip, artistic, and casual city, there’s an abundance of exceptional restaurants to delight the palates of tourists and locals alike. Because of its close proximity to Mexico—just a short bus ride will put visitors in the heart of downtown Tijuana—the Mexican cuisine here is not to be missed. Whether looking for an upscale eatery that serves up Baja fish tacos or an outdoor café or beachfront taco stand where you can sink your teeth into mouthwatering burritos, there will be no trouble finding restaurants to indulge those cravings in San Diego.