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San Diego - Weekend Getaway

How to Spend a Weekend in San Diego


San Diego is one of California's most popular tourist destinations. In recent years, San Diego has become a surprisingly sophisticated place, and it has something to offer almost everyone, from ballet to theatre to zoos.

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Plan your San Diego weekend getaway in a jiffy using the resources below.

Why Should You Go? Will You Like It?

Best Time to Go

San Diego weather is great almost any time, but contrary to what the song claims, it does sometimes rain in Southern California, especially in winter.

Don't Miss

If you're visiting San Diego in the spring, the Carlsbad Flower Fields are blooming brilliant!

5 More Great Things to Do in San Diego

  • Animals: Choose between the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park. They are quite far apart, and either one takes a whole day.

  • Harbor Cruise: Especially on a nice day, this is a relaxing way to see the city, get a peek at the Navy SEALS Training Center and find out a few of the Coronado Bridge's secrets.

  • Go to the Beach: Read our San Diego beach guide to find one with just the right personality for you.

  • Old Town: Where San Diego began. Tour the historic buildings, do a little shopping, or join a guided tour. The Mexican restaurants here, if a little cliched, still make a nice place for lunch.

  • The Other San Diego : If you've been to San Diego before, you may find some new ideas here.

Tips for Visiting San Diego

  • We know it's popular, but we think many of the Gaslamp Quarter restaurants are too expensive, and it's almost impossible to find parking in the area. For a weekend visit, we'd skip it.

  • If you are planning to visit Tijuana, bring identification. A passport is best. If you are not a U. S. citizen, a passport or green card is essential.

  • Pack comfortable casual clothing and good walking shoes, your camera, swim suits, sunscreen and beach gear if you want to get in the water. Most restaurants in San Diego accept casual dress, so unless you have a very special evening planned, leave your dress clothes at home. Evenings near the ocean can be quite cool even in summer; bring a sweater or jacket.

Best Bites

A weekend getaway is a great time to enjoy a leisurely brunch. SignOnSanDiego lists a selection of great places to enjoy "a most civilized tribute to gluttony." If you don't mind getting out of the normal tourist rut, Blue Boheme in the Kensington neighborhood serves a great brunch (lunch and dinner, too).

If you like jazz music, swanky music-and-supper club Anthology is a good place to get all glammed up and listen to some great musicians. There's not a bad seat in the house, the sound system is top-notch and the food is quite good and fairly priced, considering the classy surroundings and show that comes with it. If you love jazz but have a limited budget, try their upper level, general admission value tickets (V-tix), where seating is first-come, first-served and there's no food/beverage minimum.

Where to Stay

Check our recommended hotels and campgrounds.

How to find a good place to stay, fast.

Step by step guide to How to find a good place to stay..

Getting to San Diego

Driving? San Diego is about 130 miles from Los Angeles and 330 miles from Las Vegas. If you don't have one, buy a map.

Flying? San Diego's airport is called Lindbergh Field (SAN). Check airfares.

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