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Why Go To San Diego

Consistently sunny weather and 70 miles of magnificent coastline are what draw active types and sun seekers alike to San Diego throughout the year: that and the mouthwatering Mexican cuisine, thriving nightlife and one of the country's favorite zoos. And then there are the beaches: Retreat to Mission Beach to catch a wave, to La Jolla to soak up the sun and to Coronado for a leisurely seaside stroll. When you're ready to ditch your flip-flops and board shorts for more formal attire, you'll find pockets of vivacious nightlife throughout, especially near the historical Gaslamp Quarter.


The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions.

San Diego is ranked as:

  • #1 in Best Family Spring Break Destinations

  • #2 in Best Places to Visit in California

  • #3 in Best Weekend Getaways

  • #6 in Best Family Vacations in the USA

  • #6 in Best Summer Vacations in the USA

  • #6 in Best Beaches in the USA

  • #6 in Best Family Summer Vacations

  • #7 in Best Cheap Family Vacations

  • #7 in Best Summer Vacations

  • #7 in Best Spring Vacations

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  • #9 in Best Nightlife Cities in the USA

  • #12 in Best Foodie Cities in the USA

  • #15 in Best Fall Vacations

  • #17 in Best Places to Visit in the USA

Best Things To Do In San Diego

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San Diego's coastal seat makes it an ideal destination for adventurers and sun seekers. Whether you're hiking along the sandstone cliffs of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, walking through the frothy surf of Coronado Beach or admiring the postcard-worthy scenery at La Jolla Cove, you'll find little reason to stray far from the city's natural wonders. Spend a day at Balboa Park – the city's definitive cultural hub – and soak up the stunning setting while exploring the many museums, theaters and gardens that call this 1,200-acre park home. Though it's tempting to spend your whole vacation exploring, don't forget to carve out some time for a San Diego history lesson: America's Finest City proudly shows off its military and maritime heritage with two well-regarded (and highly interactive) museums.

San Diego Travel Tips

  • Surf's up - Before diving in, make sure to check the weather and surf conditions at San Diego's beaches. Heavy tides and rough waves can make a leisurely Pacific swim unpleasant and even unsafe.

  • Don't count on public transportation - San Diego is much easier explored by car. The light rail system (trolley) has few lines and getting from point A to B via bus in this large city can yield long travel times.

  • Beware "May Gray" and "June Gloom" - If you're coming to San Diego for the sunshine alone, keep in mind that May and June are notorious for having more overcast days than other times of the year.

  • Check the calendar - There are numerous events and conventions throughout the year, ushering in thousands of visitors at any given time. Plan your trip around San Diego's event calendar to avoid high hotel rates.

  • Skip summer - This is the peak tourist season, meaning hotel rates skyrocket while availability plummets. Instead, try for an early spring or late fall getaway.

  • Hang your hat downtown - Hotels along the beach or ones overlooking the bay charge hefty fees for their views. You'll find more affordable lodging the farther you are away from the water.

*SOURCE: Information From This Page Can Be Found at U.S. News & World Report