Getting to San Diego is a whole lot easier thanks to British Airways' (BA) all-new nonstop flight from London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) to San Diego (SAN). You will fly comfortably from London to San Diego on the popular Boeing 777 aircraft without ever having to make a transfer. As a bonus, the BA flight from London to San Diego will be the only international plane landing at its arrival time, meaning you will breeze right through customs and start your vacation even sooner!
Welcome to San Diego, California's second largest city and 'America's Finest'. Where clear blue skies keep watch on 70 miles of beaches and a year-round perfect climate begs for a day of everything and nothing.
At the southern tip of the state, bordered only by Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, the Anza-Borrego Desert and the Laguna Mountains, San Diego County's 4,200 square miles offer immense options for holiday pleasure.
Famed for its laid-back lifestyle and effortless style, you'll soon find yourself slipping into the groove.
Whether it's surfing Pacific swells or introducing the kids to Shamu; partying with the beautiful crowd or just sitting back and enjoying the fruits of the sea at sunset; San Diego has it all.
San Diego is a two hour drive from Los Angeles and Palm Springs and a six hour drive from Las Vegas. Driving from San Francisco is approximately eight hours, however we do not advise you to attempt this in one day. San Diego has excellent air connections to cities all over the United States.
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This content is partially funded by a grant from San Diego County.
California's second largest city and the United States' eighth largest, San Diego boasts a citywide population of nearly 1.3 million residents and more than 3 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 and Chula Vista just to name a few.
San Diego is renowned for its idyllic climate, 70 miles of pristine beaches and a dazzling array of world-class family attractions. Popular attractions include the world-famous San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California. San Diego offers an expansive variety of things to see and do, appealing to guests of all ages 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 agricultural community produces quantities of flowers and magnificent produce. Wine growers are also making a mark by growing and harvesting 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 booming. The hottest, new culinary arts talents prepare award-winning meals throughout the region's 6,400 eating establishments. Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in the U.S., is home to 15 museums, numerous art galleries, beautiful gardens, the Tony Award-winning The Globe Theatres and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
San Diego County also features 92 golf courses and a variety of exciting participatory and spectator sports, beachfront resorts and luxury spas, gaming, a dynamic downtown district, annual special events and unique holiday offerings, multicultural festivals and celebrations, colorful neighborhoods and communities, a rich military history and much more.
The most difficult decision to make regarding a vacation to San Diego is determining what to do and see among the region's vast and diverse offerings. San Diego County promises a truly remarkable vacation experience for everyone.
The most difficult decision when planning a holiday to San Diego is determining what things to go and see among the region's vast and diverse variety of attractions. From the theatre to wild animals, we've got something for everyone.
Across the entire county, San Diego serves up an enticing menu of dining and nightlife options. Whether you are craving live music, dancing, filet mignon or fish tacos, we'll help you find a place to match your style.
San Diego's ideal climate, 70 miles of coastline and diverse topography encourages year-round recreation opportunities for visitors and residents alike. Match that with San Diego's active lifestyle and you're sure to find something exhilarating, exciting and thrilling to watch, do and discover in San Diego.
San Diegans love a good adventure, and will stop at nothing to take advantage of the area's natural playground -- on the water, in the air, or on the trails. For a bird's eye perspective on the gorgeous San Diego coastline, try your hand at paragliding or hang gliding from La Jolla's Gliderport. A plethora of options await for recreation on the water; from fishing, sailing, jet-skiing and scuba diving to surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding and kite boarding. On land, explorers can enjoy gorgeous hikes in the desert or a trek up mountains to take in beautiful views, tour the terrain on horseback or on a mountain bike, or enjoy the lush greens of the many golf courses spotted throughout the region.
For spectator sports fans, there is plenty of cheering to do as San Diego's professional sports teams battle it out each season. Bolt up with the San Diego Chargers as they take on the NFC East title each year, with dreams of the Super Bowl never far away. Every spring, the San Diego Padres take the field at Petco Park to kick off the baseball season. Beyond the NFL and MLB, there are plenty of other spectator sports to enjoy, including international soccer tournaments, rugby games, surfing, action sports competitions, marathons and much more.
Plan your San Diego trip now and discover San Diego's sports and recreational paradise!
San Diego's vibrant arts & culture scene teems with lively performances, thought-provoking exhibitions, and engaging historic sites and monuments. From the 15 major museums located just within Balboa Park, two Tony® Award-winning theatres, historic sites, public art, music, dance, film, galleries, missions and a multitude of other cultural offerings, there's always something in San Diego to engage your senses and enrich your mind.
In San Diego, the beach is a way of life, a source of pride and joy, a defining influence in people's lives. Whether you're a first-time visitor or life-long resident, the San Diego Tourism Authority encourages you to enjoy the beach and hopes the information provided here will help you to make the most of your stay. Learn more by reading our Beach and Sea Guide.
San Diego casinos make it possible to enjoy a laid-back beach outing during the day and a Las Vegas-style adventure at night. From blackjack and poker to Pai Gow and progressive slot machines, gaming San Diego-style is the real deal. With world-class entertainment, spas, golf courses and more, you'll never have to leave the casino to get a true San Diego experience.
There's just something about being in San Diego that makes it hard to stop smiling no matter what your scorecard says. Why are golfers so happy here? Maybe it's because San Diego is home to more than 90 golf courses in every conceivable setting - from oceanfront to desert to mountains. Or that golf is a year-round pursuit with more playable days than anywhere else in the United States. Hailed by Golf Digest as "one of the top 50 golf destinations in the world," host to the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, and home to the annual Farmers Insurance Invitational (formerly known as the Buick Invitational), San Diego is a favorite destination for golf-lovers.
San Diego is the ideal place for retail therapy. Enjoy the warm sunshine while you hit up the shops at one of the many outdoor shopping centers located around the county, or stay cool in the shade as you browse through exclusive stores. San Diego has it all - from luxury boutiques to bargain antiques. Regardless of what you're looking for, this city makes it easy to find your heart's content.
Pampering yourself is essential if you want to look and feel marvelous. San Diego's spa menus incorporate ingredients, techniques and design elements from throughout the tropics and beyond. From a full body coconut sugar rub followed by a honey mango moisturizer to a sea salt exfoliation with aromatherapy, you're sure to get your dose of relaxation while achieving mind and body harmony.
The best part of visiting San Diego is the vast variety and diversity of things to see and do. Get the most out of your visit to San Diego with guided tours and sightseeing adventures that can be enjoyed on a boat, trolley, bus or even a Segway! Learn about San Diego's historic beginnings in Old Town, or head to sea for a Whale Watching aboard a historic vessel. Explore the best bird watching spots in East County and learn about over 480 species observed around the county. Take a tour around Southern California's best wineries, or go on a brew hopping tour to get a behind-the-scenes look at how some of San Diego tastiest craft beers are brewed. Tours and sightseeing trips are available year-round in all parts of San Diego and perfect for a memorable day trip.
As the fastest growing cruise destination on the West Coast, San Diego now welcomes 180 cruise ships throughout the year to the B Street Pier Cruise Ship Terminal on San Diego's Big Bay. Passengers can choose from a variety of exciting itineraries - excursion destinations originating in San Diego include the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii and the Panama Canal.
San Diego makes a perfect location to start and end your cruise vacation. Offering year-round mild climate, more than 70 miles of pristine beaches, world-class attractions, captivating arts and culture scene, and endless dining and shopping options, make sure you plan to spend a few days exploring San Diego before or after your cruise.
In addition to a variety of visitor offerings located within a very short distance from the cruise ship terminal, the San Diego International Airport and Amtrak station are also within close proximity. Plus, many area hotels offer discounts for cruise passengers. Check out San Diego's cruise-friendly hotels.
San Diego welcomes gay and lesbian travelers with a vast array of activities, including six popular annual Pride festivities, and a vibrant gay and lesbian community. Visit once and get hooked on the sunshine and spirit of a city where people from all walks of life come together to meet, shop, dine and enjoy the area’s arts, culture and nightlife.
Hillcrest, home to San Diego’s gay and lesbian community, is an exciting uptown district that celebrates diversity year-round. Strolling along its main thoroughfares, University Avenue and the tree-lined Fifth Avenue, guests are eased by the community’s openness, hospitality and quaint neighborhood charm. Hillcrest celebrates San Diego’s hip and wild side with a mix of exotic bistros, eclectic coffee houses and cafes, urban-style boutiques, nightspots and so much more.
San Diego is home to a many of Southern California's top tourist attractions which provide exhilaration, education and excitement for adults and kids of all ages. San Diego's close proximity to Anaheim also makes for an easy day trip to Disneyland. For more information on the best way to enjoy the area's attractions and to purchase advance tickets, be sure and visit San Diego's International Visitors Center, located on the bay front at Harbor Drive.
One of the best and most popular ways to explore the wonders of the sea in San Diego is at SeaWorld. Home of Shamu the orca, SeaWorld has become as synonymous and iconic as San Diego itself. Fun for families and children of all ages, a day spent at SeaWorld is guaranteed to be filled with fun, learning, thrills, chills and much more. From exhilarating rollercoaster rides, inspiring and lively animal shows, up-close encounters with sea animals, and interactive and educational exhibits throughout the park, there is plenty to see and do each time you visit. With seasonal celebrations like nightly fireworks during the summer, or a snowy play area in winter, be sure to check their calendar of events to see what new attractions they have to offer. Not only a tourist attraction with an exceptional journey into the wonders of the ocean, SeaWorld also serves the community of San Diego as the premier rescue and rehabilitation facility for the region's fragile coastal ecosystem.
Beloved by San Diegans and tourists alike, the World-Famous San Diego Zoo is a sanctuary for over 4,000 rare and endangered animals and a collection of rare plants from all climates. A living classroom that entertains as well as educates, the San Diego Zoo stands as a model for zoos around the world. Or explore the wonders of wild animals at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park (formerly known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park). Located 35 miles northeast from downtown San Diego in the inland region of Escondido, the park is nestled in the majestic foothills of the San Pasqual Valley. Take one of their many Safari rides, where you can observe animals as they are in their natural habitats.
First founded in 1916, San Diego Zoo Global, which operates both parks, is the largest zoological membership association in the world. Their efforts in conservation and education as well as their dedication to the reproduction and protection of animals, plants and habitats are unmatched in the world.
Located 30 miles north of downtown San Diego, LEGOLAND® California is a 128-acre family theme park nestled in the seaside community of Carlsbad. With over 60 interactive rides, shows and attractions, as well as restaurants, shopping and beautiful landscape features incorporating dazzling statues made entirely of LEGOs, the theme park is specifically geared for families with children ages 2 to 12. In addition to the LEGOLAND theme park, there are two other LEGO-themed parks on the grounds to explore. In the summer, the LEGOLAND Water Park opens to the delight of kids and adults alike. Families can cool off on a warm summer day at the water park on one of their two sandy beach wading areas, or explore the more than 20 LEGO slides. For year-around aquatic fun, visit LEGOLAND's SEA LIFE Aquarium to explore the ocean's wonders. The Aquarium's educational and interactive exhibits provide a dynamic and wondrous setting for kids to observe and interact with sea creatures big and small.
Experience an unforgettable adventure aboard the U.S.S. Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, one of America's longest-serving aircraft carriers and now a San Diego tourist attraction. You'll feel a powerful surge of patriotism and pride for America's military history as you walk in the footsteps of 225,000 Midway sailors who served our country and upheld American ideals of strength, freedom and peace. Families and friends can spend the day exploring more than 60 exhibits, including 25 restored aircrafts. The self-guided audio tour, narrated by Midway sailors, brings the carrier's history to life. And those who want to test out their Top Gun skills can take to the sky in one of the three flight simulators on board the ship. Whether you want to celebrate America's rich and proud military history, honor the sailors that have gone through San Diego's port, or experience an adventure like no other, the U.S.S. Midway Museum offers excitement, nostalgia, patriotic pride and amazement.
Known as the birthplace of California, Old Town San Diego teems with a lively, authentic atmosphere, not to mention great Mexican food and souvenirs. Old Town State Park boasts 17 museums and historical sites, many of which are free to explore. Old Town San Diego is also a departure point for the Old Town Trolley Tours, which offers a fun, often humorous, sightseeing tour of San Diego. And, be sure not to miss the Whaley House, which tops Travel Channel's America's Most Haunted list.
As the largest urban cultural park in North America and one of San Diego's popular tourist attractions, Balboa Park contains 15 major museums, 8 gardens and attractions and venues. Home to the World-Famous San Diego Zoo, you can spend many days exploring the park and not see it all. For your dose of arts and culture, be inspired by the exhibitions at the San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Photographic Arts, the Timken Museum or the Mingei Museum. For the adventurous explorer types, visit the Air and Space Museum, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, or the San Diego Natural History Museum. And for the thespians, be sure to grab your tickets for the next performance at the Tony Award-Winning Old Globe Theater.
No matter what you're looking to do, Balboa Park offers inspiration, exploration and discovery at every corner. From an engaging day at a museum, a stroll through beautiful gardens, or if you simply want to lie on a blanket and enjoy a leisurely picnic, this is one San Diego destination you don't want to miss. Additionally, the park offers a host of festivals, free concerts and seasonal activities with a dynamic and ever-changing calendar of events.
Ready to plan a trip to San Diego? Create an itinerary or make reservations at one of San Diego's best hotels!
*Please note this is not a definitive list and there may be other travel companies offering San Diego product.