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Disability Accessible Travel in San Diego

Resources for Visitors with Disabilities

With its mild climate, 70 miles of sun-kissed beaches, world-famous family attractions and popular year-round events and festivals, San Diego is an ideal vacation destination. To ensure that our visitors with disabilities can experience and enjoy San Diego to the fullest, this travel guide provides resources and information on accessible hotels, tours, lift transportation, attractions and more.

  • No matter the time of year, a trip to San Diego isn't complete without time spent at the beach. To make sure that all San Diego visitors can enjoy the sand and water, free beach wheelchairs are available at seven San Diego beaches for children and adults with special needs or disabilities.
  • Looking for a special night out? San Diego abounds with award-winning theatre and concert options that meet the needs of theatre visitors with disabilities.
  • Enjoy seeing the San Diego sights as narrated by a local expert. Accessible San Diego sightseeing tours happen on land or water, via a bus, boat or old-fashioned trolley.
  • Disabled shopping enthusiasts can spend hours exploring San Diego's unique retail districts, whether checking out the major outdoor malls or the unrivaled bargains at the region's popular outlet centers.
  • Don't miss two of San Diego's most popular annual events, the Del Mar Racing Season from mid-July through early September or the Comic-con Convention in July. Both provide special services for disabled visitors.
  • Through June 30, 2013, the Museum of Man is showcasing a special exhibit that teaches respect and understanding for the disabled, and educates visitors on the "ability" that exists in disability. Developed by the Boston Children's Museum, the access/ABILITY exhibit uses interactive activities to demonstrate that we are all participants in the world; we just accomplish things in different ways.
  • More information for families traveling to San Diego with special needs children can be found on the site.

Additional Travel Tips

  • Call ahead. Service providers are required to accommodate travelers with special needs, however, most need some time to make the necessary arrangements. Mention your needs at the time of reservation, and call the provider 24 to 48 hours before your arrival to confirm that proper accommodations have been made.
  • Be specific and clear when describing a disability. Not all service providers know the "lingo" of accessible travel, or the medical terms for certain conditions. Give as many details as you can about what you can and can't do, and don't downplay the severity of the disability. The more information a service provider has, the better they will be able to accommodate you.
  • Take a doctor's note and phone number. Travel with a statement from your doctor, preferably on letterhead, covering your condition, medications, potential complications, special needs and other pertinent information. Be sure you have a number where your doctor (or another medical professional) can be reached in an emergency situation at any hour of the day.

Additional Resources for Visitors with Disabilities

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

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Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.






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