San Diego travel information
Set around a gracefully curving bay, with an easily navigable central area, San Diego is the second biggest city in California. It represents the acceptable face of southern California and embodies both work-hard and play-hard lifestyles. A navy city graced with 70 miles of fabulous sandy coastline, near-perfect climate and Mediterranean façade, scenic bay, 42 miles of beaches and plentiful parks and museums, San Diego is hard not to like from the moment you arrive.
Despite the city's poverty, the housing markets are the nation's priciest and biotech, tourism, and telecom economy is booming.
New buildings are transforming formerly downtown neighborhoods into upscale wonders. San Diego's dining, shopping, and entertainment options are improved by the rich residents and shop owners they attract.
Good food in a fun atmosphere and at reasonable prices is easy to find everywhere in San Diego. Whether you're looking for crusty coffee shops or stylish ethnic restaurants, San Diego restaurants are sure to satisfy. Seafood is at its best around Mission Beach and the Gaslamp District, and the latter home to the greatest concentration of restaurants.
It is a place that makes it hard on one to decide what to do first. You can swim, snorkel, windsurf, kayak, bicycle, in-line skate, and partake of other diversions in or near the water, as you like or if you feel like walking, the boredom-beating museums, zoos, animal parks and beaches are bound to keep you busy for a good few days.
Having a worldwide reputation San Diego's zoo is one of biggest attractions. Among the big draws are: the Tiger River bioclimatic exhibit, which realistically re-creates an Asian rainforest environment, and Gorilla Tropics, which does the same with an African rainforest. It is home to more than 3000 animals. Kids will love this zoo as they can touch small animals at the children's zoo exhibit, and they can peek at the zoo's latest arrivals in the nursery. If you’re even just a bit interested in the natural world, take a full day to explore this wonderful place.
A great way to get a real feel for the city is to head out to the various festivals and fairs. The Ocean Beach Kite Festival makes the most of the wind, with kite making, decorating and flying competitions in March. There’re Native American dancing, music and art exhibits at the American Indian Cultural Days held in Balboa Park in May. The Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chilli Cook-Off is a popular two-day street bash in June and if you stick around you’ll also experience the three-week Del Mar Fair, a huge county fair held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, with headline musical acts and hundreds of carnival rides. And what kind of beach town would it be without a US Open Sandcastle Competition that is held in Imperial Beach, south of Coronado. There’s plenty to see and do all year round with San Diego events.
So pack a laid-back attitude along with your sandals and swimsuit, forget the pace, price and pollution of your town and prepare for a warm welcome to San Diego beach town.