San Diego is a beautiful city on the Pacific coast of California known for its beaches, parks and warm climate. A deep harbour is home to a large active naval fleet, with the USS Midway, an aircraft-carrier-turned-museum, open to the public.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 911
- Language: English
- Currency: US Dollar
- Country Code: US
- Travel Visa: ESTA
- Population: 1,322,553
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
For the Emergency services just dial 911 from any phone, for not so serious situations please dial (619) 531-2000.
If you’re staying in and around Southern San Diego, Downtown, Mission Valley or just east of the city, the iconic Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) bright red trolley is a fun, easy and convenient way to get around. The Trolley provides convenient services from key locations including the Santa Fe Depot and the San Diego Convention Center, crisscrossing through downtown and out to Old Town, Mission Valley, El Cajon and Santee.
Click the airport below to visit their website:
San Diego Safety
How can I keep up with the news?
What are the top safety tips?
Be alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings. Take the usual safety precautions so you do not become a targets for pickpockets. Don’t put your wallet or mobile phone in your back pocket. Put any valuables items in a dark colour shopping bag when going out to avoid attention.
Stay on well-lit main roads after dark and plan a route before you leave your accommodation.
Carry a portable charger for you phone to avoid your phone losing battery and not being able to call the police/ friends.
What are the common crimes?
Beware of pickpockets as they tend to operate in tourist areas, keep your belongings secure at all times and be careful if strangers try to make conversation or distract you as it could be an attempt to steal your valuables.
Car thieves normally target expensive cars but there are some exceptional situations where rental cars have been broken in to. Park the car in well lit areas and use car park with CCTV. Don’t leave valuables on your car seat as it could attract criminals, drive with the car door locked all times.
Credit Card Fraud
Credit card fraud, cloning cards can be an issue be careful where you use your cards. Also if you are withdrawing money from cash machines make sure you cover your pin and be discreet about the amount of cash you withdraw.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
The San Diego Crew Classic is a premier rowing event and brings together many athletes from over 100 universities, clubs and high school across the USA. Regarded as the highlight of many rowers’ competitive careers, it is also a great competition for future Olympians. The San Diego Crew Classic also offers a festival atmosphere for all the family with music, trade shows and alumni tents.
San Diego is one of 26 North American cities who host the Rock and Roll Marathon featuring live bands along the course with cheer teams and entertaining water stations. The finish line features a headline concert. Runners have 7 hours to complete the full marathon and 4 hours to complete the half marathon. The half marathon may be run as a two person relay.
The International Film Festival is held annually in October over five days in downtown San Diego and La Jolla. There are more than 100 film screenings, with Q&A sessions, events and parties.
The San Diego County Fair, which generally runs from the second week of June through to the 4th of July (closed on Mondays), has all the things a good fair should have including rides, animals, food, exhibits and music. The Fair began its life as an agricultural fair so there is an emphasis on livestock in the animal section including a Junior Livestock Auction where young people auction the animals they have raised. This is one of the largest fairs in the United States.
This annual festival takes place over three days. The event begins with a block party in the Hillcrest neighbourhood and a two day Pride Festival continuing on Saturday and Sunday in Balboa Park. The festival includes many stages of entertainment with bands, comedy and dance performers together with art exhibits, cultural presentations and food. The Pride Parade, which takes place on the Saturday, has more than 200 floats.
San Diego Highlights
What are the highlight attractions?
The Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on 28 September 1542. This was the first time that a European expedition had landed on the west coast of the United States. At the highest point in the park stands the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, an icon of San Diego since 1854, with amazing views of the San Diego harbour and skyline. A statue and museum provide details of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s explorations. In the winter, it is possible to see migrating gray whales off the coast.
The Coronado Bridge joins the Island of Coronado and the City of San Diego and was opened on 3 August 1969. It has a distinctive curve, is 2.12 miles long and has a vertical clearance of about 200 feet so the tallest ships can pass underneath. The Bridge won the “Most Beautiful Bridge” Award of Merit from the American Institute of Steel Construction in 1970.
The San Diego Museum of Art is the oldest and largest art museum in the region. Its collection includes Spanish and Italian old masters, together with South Asian paintings and 19th and 20th century American paintings and sculptures.
The San Diego Natural History Museum’s exhibitions focus on the unique and bio-diverse southern California region with fascinating exhibitions and a giant screen Dolby digital 3D theatre. The Museum also hosts travelling exhibitions.
Torrey Pines State Reserve is one of the wildest stretches of land on the Southern California coast. It consists of 2000 acres of land with rare Torrey pine trees, miles of unspoiled beaches and a lagoon vital to migrating sea birds. The visitor centre is able to provide details of the 8 miles of trails. Guided nature walks are available on weekends and holidays.
Where else is great to visit?
Mount Soledad provides breathtaking views of San Diego and is the site of the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial cross. You can cycle to the top of the hill on one of the many cycling routes or, if you prefer, you can take your car.
Seaport village is a 14 acre waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment centre in downtown San Diego. It features shops, galleries and restaurants together with four miles of cobblestone pathways bordered by ponds, lakes and fountains. Live music can be enjoyed everyday together with seasonal events and other entertainment programmes.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego restores, maintains and operates historic vessels, including the world’s oldest active ship – the Star of India. The museum has many exhibits on maritime history and visitors can sail on San Diego Bay on the museum’s schooner, the Californian. The museum’s collection also includes a replica of an 18th century Royal Navy frigate which was featured in the film “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”.
The Reuben H Fleet Science Centre is a science museum and planetarium. There are eight interactive exhibit galleries, an IMAX Dome theatre, shops and café.
Are there any nice parks?
Balboa Park is a “Landscape of Art and Culture”. It is home to 15 major museums, several theatres and lush gardens including an award winning rose garden and an historic Botanical Building. You can enjoy an outdoor workout on the many trails, some of which go through remote areas of the park while others go past the museums and other attractions in the park. Enjoy a game of golf on the Park’s golf course, play tennis on the tennis courts or just enjoy a picnic in one of the many picnic areas. There are many restaurants and cafes to enjoy, together with educational programmes, workshops, guided tours, seminars and classes.
Belmont Park is San Diego’s beach front amusement park and entertainment centre and is located one mile west of Sea World on the surf and sand of Mission Beach. The park contains traditional and temporary amusement park rides, several wave machines and surf machines, plunge pool, laser tag, arcade style games, shops and restaurants.
San Diego Safari Park is about 35 miles north-east of San Diego Zoo in Escondido. It cares for over 3,000 animals (400 species) in 1,800 acres, including rhinos, giraffes and antelope. Animals are kept in the most natural way possible.