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San Diego Travel Guide and Information

Updated on November 17, 2008

Wonderful San Diego!

eautiful San Diego is located on Southern California, it lies just north Tijuana, Mexico and south of Los Angeles. It is one of my favorite places for tourism since it has great weather and a "beach-like" atmosphere throughout the whole place. I created this lens for people who want to travel and enjoy all the beauty that San Diego has to offer. Come and enjoy this tour of San Diego with me.

Shamoo Show at Sea World

The most well known place to visit in San Diego is Sea World. Here you can view Shamu show. There are tons of exhibits, shows, rides and animals to touch for the whole family to enjoy. With 200 acres of excitement, it is the number one place to visit in San Diego. If you go to Sea World make sure you experience the Shamu show. Shamu show is about killer whales, the "wolves of the sea", because they are the ocean's top predators.

500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego, CA 92109

Legoland

City built with legos in Legoland

Not exactly in San Diego (it's located in Carlsbad), but close enough that it's worth visiting. It has more than 50 rides and attractions. Experience a land where you can see people, monuments, mini cities, and many other

things all made from legos. It's probably one of the best places to take a toddler who doesn't like the crazy scary rollercoasters. It's got many rides for toddlers and many enjoyable sights for adults as well. I have a season pass and go here frequently. The only bad thing might be that for some of the rides I had to wait like an hour for a 30 second ride. I guess you can say this about many places but just something to "watch out" for. Please take note of what time it closes too! Sometimes if you are not going in the summer, the park may close at 5:00 pm. Check the schedule on their website! There is also an aquarium soon to open next to Legoland.

One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Balboa Park

It contains 15 major museums, a botanical garden, performing arts and its famous San Diego Zoo. A visit to Balboa Park is a must if you plan to visit San Diego. It is an excellent place to take your whole family.

Among some of the attractions within the park are:

A panda at the San Diego Zoo

1. San Diego Zoo - Home to more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals. It is a very clean zoo compared to others I've been too. It's probably one of the most well publicized places when you think of San Diego.

2. Balboa Park Miniature Railroad - You can take a 3 minute ride throughout the park and experience its beauty.

3. Photographic Arts Building - Home to the Southern California Association of Camera Clubs - for Camera buffs.

Museums Inside Balboa Park

There are many museums inside Balboa Park, it really covers all different types of enthusiasts! Here is a brief summary of all of them:

Centro Cultural de La Raza - Educating about latino culture worldwide. Rotating exhibits about dance, theater, music and video.

Japanese Friendship Garden - Beautiful and serene garden with bonsais, exhibit houses, and a Zen meditation garden. There are also weekend classes you can partake in for sushi making, bonsai care, and caligraphy.

Marston House- Arts and Crafts style museum home built for George W. Marston, one of the great community servants in the history of San Diego. View Native American basket collections and pottery too.

Mingei International Museum - Mingei International Museum features exhibitions of historical and contemporary folk art, craft and design. Mingei is a Japanese concept with the following criteria: made by anonymous crafts people,produced by hand in quantity, inexpensive, used by the masses, functional in daily life.

Museum of Photographic Arts - A must see for a photo/camera lover, this museum details the history of photography and its advancements. Inside it is also a state-of-the-art movie theater.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - One of my favorite places to take children when I visit San Diego. home to Southern California's only IMAX® Dome Theater. IT has galleries full of interactive scientific exhibits. In addition, there is a toddler area filled with activities for toddlers to enjoy. It's toddler heaven here.

San Diego Air & Space Museum - With more than 60 aircraft and space vehicles on display, this museum cover over 5 centuries of flight history.

San Diego Art Institute - 10,000 square foot gallery it showcases the work of San Diego emerging area visual artists through a program of over 30 juried shows a year.

San Diego Automotive Museum - Featuring 80 historic autos and motorcycles such as Frank Sinatra's 1967 Austin Petrol Hire Car. Millions of auto fanatics from all over the world visit this museum since it was opened in 1988.

San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum - Highlighting sporting champions of San Diego, such as the great Tony Gwynn.

San Diego Model Railroad Museum - Lots of fun for kids who love trains. This museum has four giant scale and model layouts. It also contains a toy train gallery for the kids.

WorldBeat Center - Contains artistic, music, and dance works preserving African, African American and other indigenous cultures.

Timken Museum of Art - world-class Putnam Foundation Collection of European old master paintings, American paintings, and Russian icons. Artworks in the collection range from 13th-century altarpieces through 18th-century portraits to 19th-century still lifes.

Veterans Museum & Memorial Center - A place to feel proud about your country! This museum honors veterans of the Armed Forces, Coast Guards, and Marines. It has photographs, memorabilia, and artifacts from the Civil War to present.

San Diego Museum of Man - San Diego's only museum devoted to anthropology. It has educational anthropological exhibits from America and around the world.

Sunset on Pacific Beach

(Also known as PB Beach) It is north of Mission Beach. Is a crowded beach full of restaurants, bars, clothing shops and fun. It can get very crowded in the summer with 20-30 year olds looking to have a great time. It's great for a party like atmosphere. Near this beach is Belmont Park with a wooden rollercoaster called the Giant Dipper. It's quite popular for a thrill.

I-5 south. Exit Balboa/Garnet Avenue. Head west to beach.

I-5 north. Exit Grand/Garnet Avenues. Head west to beach

Boardwalk on Mission Beach

One of San Diego's great places to visit with its wonderful boardwalk, beautiful sights, great eating places and super friendly people. It's a great place to take your bicycle or roller skates and follow the boardwalk.

Great fun atmosphere, sometimes it has large crowds so parking may be difficult. It has firepits where you can cook up some hot dogs or marshmallows for your palate's desires. It has calm waters so it's one of the best places to swim in the ocean if this is what you like. Awesome place to take your loved one for a stroll. There is free public parking near West Mission Bay Drive and also on the north and south side of Belmont Park.

Gas Lamp Quarter in San Diego

Gas Lamp Quarter covers 16 city blocks in downtown San Diego. Places are open late, so you can enjoy a vibrant nightlife. The gas lamp quarter is a beautiful Victorian Historic discrict where one can go shopping, dining, entertaining, viewing art and experience the pulse of San Diego. The area contains historic buildings and it is named Gas Lamp Quarter for all the gas lamps that used to burn here during the 19th century. If you enjoy shopping you can go to nearby Horton Plaza as well, it is a unique mall with 172 different types of stores.

Point Loma Peninsula is located around the North end of Coronado. Here, you can find a monumement honoring the discoverer of San Diego bay, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. He was one of the first Europeans to set foot on the west coast of the United States. It will cost you $5.00 in parking fees but the view is well worth it. It has a lighthouse that overlooks San Diego and Coronado Naval air station. You can also go to the tide pools to see the waves, seals and other marine animals.

A great place to see this military instution. The USS midway had a 47 year career of service to this country. No other carrier has served this long. You can enter the cockpits of planes and have a blast with this military ship. 910 North Harbor Drive San Diego, CA. General Admission- $17 adults and kids under 5 are free.

Home to 3,500 animals operated by the Zoological Society of San Diego. Come face to face with rhinos, giraffes and other wild animals.

Famous Hotel Coronado. Photo by crashmattb

No visit to San Diego is complete without visiting beautiful Coronado. Coronado is a strip of land that has an island feel to it. You should definitely make it one of the places to visit when you go to San Diego. The beaches are the most magnificent in all of San Diego. In addition, it has the famous Hotel Coronado and is considered one of the world's top resorts, being listed as a historical landmark. This famous hotel looks like a castle. Coronado has quiet streets filled with gingerbread like looking houses and is an excellent place for rest and relaxation as well as getting away from the crowds from other places. Across hotel Coronado is the ferry landing marketplace that has shops, eateries, art galleries with magnificent surroundings to make it a fun place to visit. In Coronado you can access the Old Town trolley tours and this will take you a good view of most of San Diego. There are about 10 stops and they pick up frequently (around 30 minutes) so you can stay at any destination for as long as you like. The tour guides are very helpful and I highly recommend it so you can enjoy an overview of San Diego.

Worth trying: In Coronado there is a gondola ride, try them out and get a taste of Venice in Southern California. Great for a romantic evening!

Honorable mentions

Little Italy - Nice neighborhood with Italian flair. Sometimes has Italian festivals. Come and enjoy some Italian food.

La Jolla Cove 1100 Coast Blvd - Nice little place to scuba dive, snorkel and swim.

Black's beach - Largest nude beach in the country (don't say I didn't warn you).

UC San Diego - Local San Diego university.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps - Nice, award winning aquarium.

Petco Park - If you love baseball go to a Padres game. Great top notch baseball stadium.

Yum. Best CHEAP places to Eat in San Diego.

Everybody has their own taste preference so it's always hard to recommend a place to everyone. General advice is to avoid places where tourists tend to gather, those will likely be the most expensive. Here are some top cheap restaurants taken from Citysearch's best of categories.

  1. Limonz Mexican Taco - Mexican Place 978 Garnet Ave , San Diego , CA , 92109
  2. Sushi Deli One - Citysearch editorial winner 828 Broadway , San Diego , CA , 92101-5512 704 Garnet Ave , San Diego , CA , 92109-2408
  3. Kono's Cafe - Breakfast burritos, party potatoes, and more
  4. The Spot - burgers, tacos, even filet mignon (some claim they have rude service).1005 Prospect La Jolla, CA 92037

More on citysearch's best of categories.

Travel to San Diego on the Cheap - Use coupon codes

For the latest cheap travels to san diego, you can see if Travelocity, Orbitz, Cheaptickets, Hotwire have any available coupon codes to cut your costs.

Travelocity promo code to San Diego may help you cut costs. Travelocity often has travelocity coupon codes to San Diego, especially in the summer.

Expedia - Expedia often offers more deals and sales, but once in a while they may have an expedia coupon code for additonal savings.

Cheaptickets coupon codes - Try them out as well, you may get a bargain.

Orbitz coupons - Yet another one of the big online travel agencies with reduced rates.

Try different ones and see who can give the best deal. Make sure you use coupon codes if they are available.

San Diego Travel Video

Please leave some comments. If you enjoy this lens, please rate it 5* and add it to your favorites.

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    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Re-blessed by a Squid Angel!

    • profile image

      tomasscofield 8 years ago

      Hey nice lense, I made one too. Check mine out at: http://www.squidoo.com/San-Diego-Travel-Guide

    • bigjimj profile image

      bigjimj 9 years ago

      Nice lens! Thanks for joining the Squidoo City Guide.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 9 years ago

      Brings back memories. We used to also like Fidel's in North County, Fillippi's Pizza and Anthony's at the embarcadero. 5* and lensrolled.

    • profile image

      TwoBrightHeads 9 years ago

      Great lens. And glad you got blessed by the angels. 5*

      big bright head

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      Gorgeous lens! San Diego is one of my favorite places too. My parents are visiting the Wild Animal Park today. Welcome to All Things Travel. I'm also featuring this on my Squid Angel Diary.

    • estherjane13 lm profile image

      estherjane13 lm 9 years ago

      What a great lens. It makes me want to drive down there for a long weekend. 5*

    • profile image

      SanDiegoGeorge 9 years ago

      Wow, this was very informative. I live in San Diego and there are places here that I haven't been to that I will definitely visit