San Diego Travel Guide & Information

San Diego, the second-largest city in California, and the ninth largest city in the United States has long been known as a vacationer's paradise due to its idyllic year-round temperatures and miles of pristine coastline. San Diego is equally fascinating to travelers in search of art, culture, world-class shopping and culinary exploration. San Diego offers an expansive variety of things to see and do, appealing to travelers of all ages from around the world.

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Travel to San Diego, often known as America's Finest City for its hospitability, beauty and ideal climate. Flights to San Diego are your tickets to a destination that is an eclectic mix of old and new. San Diego is a perfect blend of modern and old world Spanish colonial influence, which is eminent in the city's wide variety of architectural styles. The historic neighborhood of Gaslamp Quarter is a perfect example of this.

Besides offering endless opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing and observing wildlife, San Diego also has several first-rate art scenes. The variety of cuisine is yet another reason that makes San Diego a leading travel destination. With attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Sea World San Diego and Legoland California, San Diego is well known as a family destination, romantic destination, senior and student travel destination and a city for friends to visit. With so much on display, San Diego promises a truly remarkable vacation experience for everyone.

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Things to do in San Diego

Museums:

San Diego houses several world class museums to excite and amaze all types of travelers with a variety of exhibits.

Maritime Museum of San Diego: preserves one of the largest collections of historic sea vessels in the United States. The museum is home to a collection of 19th century sailing ships, including the Star of India, the world's oldest active sailing ship, as well as a steam ferryboat and a former Soviet Union submarine. The Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels.

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San Diego Natural History Museum: is home to over 7.5 million fossils, dinosaur models and live reptiles, as well as other specimens. The most popular exhibits include the Foucault pendulum, suspended on a 43-foot cable and designed to demonstrate the Earth's rotation; a full-size gray-whale skeleton and Ocean Oasis, the world's first large-format film about Baja California and the Sea of Cortez.

San Diego Museum of Art: is primarily known for its Spanish baroque and Renaissance paintings, including works by, El Greco, Goya, Rubens and Van Ruisdael. Dubbed as San Diego's most comprehensive art museum, it also houses South Asian art, Indian miniatures and contemporary California paintings. The Museum's collections include a nature encyclopedia with pieces ranging in date from 5,000 B.C. to 2001 A.D.

Prominent Landmarks:

San Diego has a host of other attractions, from theme parks to monuments, gardens and more.

SeaWorld San Diego: is a theme park that allows visitors an opportunity to interact with aquatic animals. Through shows, displays and enclosures, people can learn about the world’s oceans and the creatures that inhabit them. Spread over 189 tropically landscaped bay front acres; it is often regarded as the world's largest marine-life amusement park. The majority of SeaWorld's exhibits are walk-through marine environments.

Cabrillo National Monument: is located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego. This 160-acre preserve marks the site of the first European visit to San Diego, made by 16th-century explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. Visitors can enjoy films and lectures about Cabrillo's voyage, the sea-level tide pools and migrating gray whales. Today the site is one of the most frequently visited of all the national monuments.

Children's Pool Beach: popularly known as Casa Beach, is an extremely popular spot to visit. This shallow cove, protected by a seawall, has small waves and no riptide. The area just outside the pool is popular with scuba divers who explore the offshore reef when the surf is calm. Aside from that, this beach offers unmatched panoramic views of the coastline and the ocean.

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Where to Stay in San Diego

San Diego offers a wonderful variety of accommodation ranging from cheap hotels and 4 star hotels under $99, to deluxe five star luxury hotels and extended stay hotels.

Downtown: San Diego is the city center of San Diego and the central business district, a hub for business and entertainment, with plenty of restaurants, shops and nightlife. Travelers will find several attractions, like the Children's Museum, Gaslamp Quarter and Maritime Museum, to name a few. Dubbed as one of the premier areas of the city, it comes as no surprise that it is also home to a variety of choice hotels to suit all budgets, making it an ideal spot for every traveler.

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Old Town-Mission Valley: area consists of Old Town, the birthplace of San Diego that is now an incredibly popular tourist attraction. It also includes Mission Valley, a major commercial center lining the San Diego River; home to several shopping centers, Qualcomm Stadium and the Mission San Diego de Alcala, the oldest of the California missions. Being a premier tourist attraction, it’s no wonder that this locale would be the address for numerous renowned hotel chains.

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Passport & Visa Requirements

As per the latest travel information available to San Diego, here are the latest passport and visa guidelines:

For US Citizens:

* A valid identification in order to board the plane.

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For Canadian Citizens:

Canadian citizens travelling by air to, through or from the United States must present one of the following valid documents:

* A passport or

* A NEXUS card when used at a kiosk at designated Canadian airports and at all U.S. airports when returning to Canada.

This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.

We recommend that you check out the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, before planning your travel.

*Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.

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When to visit San Diego

The warm climate and abundance of festivals make San Diego an ideal destination to visit any time of the year.

* Spring and summer are popular times to visit San Diego.

* Winters are an ideal time for those who plan to visit on a budget and want to get away from freezing winters. Though you might run into some rain and cooler temperatures, airfares and hotel rates are cheaper.

Planning your Visit:

High season: (June to August)

Low season: (November to January)

San Diego Weather

San Diego's climate is characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters with most precipitation between November and March.

* The city has mild, mostly dry weather with minimal rainfall.

* Winter temperatures are mild.

Currency and Language:

Currency:

Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are available throughout San Diego. Let your bank know your dates of travel and find out the cost for cash withdraws.

Languages:

* English is the primary language.

* Many people in San Diego speak Spanish as well.