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Enjoying San Diego Safely and Responsibly

A few tips on getting the most out of your visit

San Diego welcomes you! We love our city, and we feel sure you'll love it, too. We also hope you'll take as much care as San Diegans do to enjoy this beautiful region safely and responsibly.

This page provides some useful basic information on accessing services around San Diego, as well as guidelines for keeping you and your family safe and secure and having fun while respecting the region, its people and its resources.

Enjoy your visit!

Getting Around

San Diego is a big place! Not only is it the nation's eighth-largest metropolis by population, with nearly 1.3 million residents, but the city also stretches nearly 40 miles from north to south. And San Diego County encompasses 3 million-plus residents, 4,200 square miles of land and 70 miles of sparkling coastline.

With all that ground to cover, most people here travel by car, and the area is well-served by a network of freeways and other primary routes (although some congestion is inevitable).

But San Diego also has a strong and growing public-transportation system — and taking advantage of it provides a big boost to the region's sustainability and environmental quality. The recently expanded San Diego Trolley now offers routes from the U.S.-Mexico border all the north to La Jolla, and also ranges deep into East County. The Coaster commuter-rail connects travelers to North Coastal San Diego County, while the Sprinter train serves the North Inland area. And the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner take passengers to Los Angeles and beyond. San Diego International Airport also offers the free San Diego Flyer electric-bus shuttle to ferry visitors between the airport and the Old Town transport hub.

San Diego Weather

San Diego is blessed with a mild Mediterranean climate; high temperatures are typically in the 70s through most of the year, though a little cooler in the winter months. And the region averages only about 10 inches of rain a year.

Temperatures can vary considerably between the beaches and the backcountry here, so it's prudent to check local conditions and dress accordingly, whether that means sun protection or cool-weather gear (the local mountains do receive snow in wintertime).

Beach and Wildlife Safety

Not only is the San Diego region known for its great geographic diversity, but it has plenty of wild places, and has been called the most biodiverse county in the country. Some points to keep in mind about the natural environment here:

  • Although there are plenty of protected spots to enjoy San Diego's beaches (both ocean and bay), the Pacific's waves and currents can be challenging. Always swim at a guarded beach and observe any safety alerts. For comprehensive information, consult our San Diego Beaches FAQ.
  • San Diego is a renowned destination for sportfishing. For information and regulations on fishing in the San Diego region, check out our page for anglers.
  • A number of San Diego beaches, particularly in the La Jolla area, are home to significant seal and sea lion populations. Periodic beach closures for these marine mammals' pupping seasons are strictly enforced, as are regulations on keeping a safe distance from them. The Point La Jolla area is also now subject to a year-round closure. For guidance on viewing and appreciating seals and sea lions safely and responsibly in San Diego, consult the Sierra Club's guidelines.

Other key health, safety and accessibility resources

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