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Gift Yourself a Solo San Diego Trip this Holiday Season

While the holiday season is about connecting with friends and family, the most important relationship to nurture is with oneself.

While the holiday season is about connecting with friends and family, the most important relationship to nurture is with oneself. Traveling solo can provide an entirely unique experience, allowing individuals to connect with themselves, call the shots when exploring, and make new memories and friends. Whether solo travelers are in search of an escape from the noise of their daily life, to spend some time in solitude, or to scratch off that trip from the bucket list before year-end, San Diego is the ideal destination for visitors to take off on their own adventure. 

Where to Stay
San Diego has several hotel options ideally suited for solos. For travelers looking for more of a city experience, centrally located in the heart of Downtown San Diego and close to the San Diego International Airport, the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina is a grand waterfront hotel inspired by California Coastal Culture. Guests can enjoy onsite dining options, like the Tequila Bar & Grille, serving up Cali Baja-inspired cuisine and one of the world's most extensive tequila menus in true San Diego fashion. After dinner, visitors walk a few steps to The Rady Shell at Jacob’s Park, San Diego’s newest year-round bayside outdoor concert venue, to enjoy music from the San Diego Symphony and other well-known artists.
Independent travelers searching for a beachy and coastal stay should consider the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa. Located on the shores of Mission Bay and mere steps from San Diego’s young and laid-back neighborhood of Pacific Beach, the hotel has plenty of things to do nearby, so there’s no need to travel far. In the hotel’s backyard, right on the Bay, Action Sports Rentals offers rental equipment for exciting outdoor activities, including standup paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, and biking around the Bay. Curious wanderers can explore Pacific Beach's neighborhood to surf, check out the area's restaurants and bars, or visit Mission Beach's iconic Belmont Park amusement park for a ride on the Giant Dipper roller coaster.
How to Get Around
Since San Diego comprises more than 100 vibrant neighborhoods, with much to do in all parts of town, renting a car is the best bet if visitors are looking to explore many different features of the destination. For visitors flying into San Diego International Airport (SAN), the airport offers several rental car company options at the Consolidated Rental Car Center. San Diego's freeway system is easy to navigate and provides fast access to the farthest corners of the county. By steering clear of the typical work-day morning and evening rush hours, the traffic shouldn’t slow drivers down.
San Diego also offers plenty of public transportation options for visitors who prefer not to drive. Options include buses with plenty of routes and services throughout the county; the iconic San Diego Trolley, a light rail system which provides access to key locations including La Jolla and the Mexico border; and the COASTER, SPRINTER and Pacific Surfliner train services connecting with Northern California. Please note the Pacific Surfliner isn't currently operating between Oceanside and Irvine due to repairs.
Table for One
Because farms and the ocean surround San Diego, restaurateurs can offer an abundance of high-quality ingredients to produce fantastic, environmentally responsible dishes. The city's proximity to the sea and Mexico has also greatly influenced both the local cuisine and culture. Travelers can check out what all the hype is about at Tahona Bar in San Diego's historic Old Town neighborhood. The restaurant and bar serves contemporary Mexican cuisine with Oaxacan bites and over 120 kinds of the best mezcals. Diners should check out the restaurant's speakeasy, Oculto 477, after their meal.
With more than 140 breweries and a collection of distinctive distilleries throughout the county, along with a wealth of local talent, it's no doubt that travelers to San Diego should experience the famous craft beers brewed locally in the city. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in the waterfront urban village of Liberty Station features indoor and outdoor dining and bars, a bocce ball court, outdoor cinema space and a garden for guests to enjoy. Beer lovers can choose from its 40 taps of exceptional craft beers, including Stone year-round and special releases. San Diego also offers other exciting dining options like the Little Italy Food Hall, located in the heart of Little Italy, at the much-buzzed about Piazza della Famiglia, a 10,000-square-foot European-style piazza. The food hall has six locally driven food stations, a mobile outdoor chefs’ area featuring pop-up cooking demonstrations and a full bar program complete with local beers and craft cocktails.
Unaccompanied Activities
Whether visitors are thrill seekers looking for an adrenalin rush, history nerds looking to explore museums and learn more, or hedonists looking for a relaxing escape, there's something for just about anyone in San Diego. Adrenalin junkies should head to the Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla for a paragliding or hang-gliding adventure to enjoy sensational bird's-eye views of dramatic cliffs, Torrey Pines Golf Course and the stunning mansion homes of La Jolla. For a more relaxing experience, visitors can enjoy a massage, facial or body treatment at the Spa at The Del. Then visitors can retreat to the private spa terrace with a vanishing edge pool overlooking the Pacific.
Those looking for more of an educational visit should explore Balboa Park, a cultural oasis that includes 17 museums, gardens galore and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. The Park has a rich history reflected through its stunning architecture, thought-provoking exhibits, lovely gardens, installations and cultural events throughout the year. A renewed addition to Balboa Park is the Mingei International Museum, now open again after a three-year renovation, dedicated to folk art and more. After exploring the exhibits, guests can head to the museum’s restaurant, ARTIFACT at Mingei, on the commons level of the museum, for craft cooking inspired by ancient methods, spices and botanicals. 
Tours for Travelers Looking for Company
From guided sightseeing tours to whale watching excursions and everything in between, solo travelers can find their perfect adventure in San Diego and make friends along the way. A hop-on hop-off tour is a great way to explore some of the most popular spots during a vacation. Old Town Trolley Tours takes visitors through the city, exploring different neighborhoods while sharing fun and interesting facts about San Diego. Visitors can also combine their sightseeing with a bit of exercise by taking a bike or kayak tour of San Diego with Bike & Kayak Tours Inc La Jolla. Kayakers will likely see an array of marine life, including sea lions, seals, Garibaldi, leopard sharks, shovelnose guitarfish and the occasional dolphin. Bikers can witness the 360-degree view from atop Mt. Soledad, bike backstreets of scenic, coastal San Diego and visit local sights.
Visitors can also witness the magic of migrating whales year-round during a whale watching tour, recognizing two distinct "seasons" for whale watching off the coast of San Diego, including Gray Whale season (December-April) and Blue Whale season (June-October). San Diego Whale Watch tours feature a variety of marine animals, including sea birds, sea lions, seals, dolphins and, of course, whales on this two-and-a-half-hour journey. San Diego Sailing Tours offers a more upscale opportunity to step aboard a classic sailing yacht for a relaxing cruise on the Bay or a gorgeous sunset sail on the Pacific.

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For more information on San Diego’s offerings, including exciting vacation packages and valuable coupons for attractions, restaurants and more, visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at




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