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San Diego, California — overview for travelers

San Diego Bay
San Diego Bay

San Diego in a nutshell

California’s second largest city and the United States’ seventh largest, San Diego boasts a citywide population of nearly 1.3 million residents and more than 2.8 million residents countywide.
Within its borders of 4,200 sq. miles, San Diego County encompasses 18 incorporated cities and numerous other charming neighborhoods and communities, including downtown’s historic Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, Coronado, La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Escondido, La Mesa, Hillcrest, Barrio Logan, Chula Vista and more.

Known for it’s near-idyllic climate, 70 miles of pristine beaches and dazzling array of world-class family attractions, including the World-Famous San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California, San Diego offers a wide variety of things to see and do, appealing to guests from around the world.

In San Diego’s East County, the terrain varies from gentle foothills to mile-high mountains and the historic mining town, Julian, down to the 600,000-acre Anza Borrego Desert State Park, offering nature-conscious visitors endless opportunities to hike, camp, fish, observe wildlife and much more.
In San Diego’s North County, the land produces quantities of flowers as well as quality grapes that become excellent wines, which are served at some of the most elegant restaurants and resorts in the region.

Along the west, 70 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline not only supports year-round outdoor recreation, such as surfing, boating, sailing and swimming, but also important scientific research at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
To the south, it’s a whole different country, Mexico, featuring its own cultural offerings in various towns along the border and coastline, including Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada.

San Diego’s arts and culture and culinary arts are making a name for themselves, both nationally and internationally. Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in the U.S., features 15 museums, numerous art galleries, beautiful gardens, the Tony Award-winning The Globe Theatres and the World-Famous San Diego Zoo.

The region is also a breeding ground for the hottest, new talents of culinary arts, who prepare award-winning meals in many of the region’s 6,400 eating establishments.

Sightseeing & Attractions

Read all about the best sightseeing and attractions in our article: San Diego, California — Sightseeing & Attractions

Climate and Temperatures

San Diego enjoys beautiful weather year round with an average daily temperature of 70.5 degrees Fahrenheit (21.4degrees Celsius). A marked feature of the climate is the wide variation in temperature within short distances due to the topography of the land. You can enjoy coastal, mountain and desert environments all in the space of one day.

Best time to travel Year round

Average temperatures Celsius (Fahrenheit) in San Diego:

MonthMaxMin
Jan18 (65)10 (50)
Feb18,8 (66)10 (50)
Mrch18,8 (66)11,1 (52)
Apr20 (68)12,8 (55)
May20,5 (69)14,4 (58)
Jun21,7 (71)16 (61)
Jul24,4 (76)18 (65)
Aug25,5 (78)19,4 (67)
Sep25 (77)18 (65)
Oct23,9 (75)15,5 (60)
Nov21,1 (70)12, 2 (54)
Dec18,8 (66)9,4 (49)

Visitor Info & Getting around

Public transportation

Public Transportation MTS buses, trolleys and coasters provide convenient transportation throughout San Diego County.
Travel to and from the airport, all shopping centers, attractions, beaches, hotels and Mexico. Bus schedules differ, but most hotels and attractions have service every 15 to 20 minutes.
The San Diego Trolley runs every 15 minutes throughout most of the day and 30 minutes in the evening.
The North County Coaster runs 43 miles along the coast with station stops in downtown San Diego, Old Town, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside. You can also get a free trolly transfer which will take you to Tijuana. All MTS buses, trolleys and coasters are equipped with wheelchair lifts

Web: Transit Home (511sd.com)

Web: Metro Busses, Trolleys, Multi-Day Transportation Passes: San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (sdmts.com)

Population

City: ca. 1.39 million (2020)

Airport

San Diego International Airport at Lindbergh Field
3665 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

Web: SAN Official Site | Welcome to San Diego International Airport

Elevation

ca. 4 m (13 ft)

Visitor Center

San Diego Visitor Information Center
11 Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101

Newspapers & News Media

Web: The San Diego Union-Tribune – San Diego, California & National News (sandiegouniontribune.com)

Web: Times of San Diego :: Local News and Opinion for San Diego, California

Web: ABC 10News San Diego | 10News.com | San Diego, California News and Weather

Web: San Diego Local News | San Diego’s source for Local News, Sports, Weather | cbs8.com

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