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California

San Diego Holidays

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San Diego? Sorted.

San Diego is a city in southern California, close to the Baja California peninsula and the US border with Mexico. It was the first place Europeans settled on America’s west coast and has since evolved into one of California’s liveliest cities. As it shares a border with Tijuana, Mexican influences can be felt across the city’s dining, drinking and cultural scenes. San Diego holidays are loved for their sunny skies, impressive surf swells and bustling atmosphere, whether you’re sight-seeing by day or unwinding once the sun goes down.

There are plenty of things to do on your trip to San Diego. Explore the white and golden sandy beaches, take a stroll through the endless parks, and sample some of California’s best cuisine. The city is also home to some of the US’s largest military bases. While you can’t visit them, you can learn more about the area and the country’s fascinating battle history here. 

You should spend some time exploring San Diego’s neighbourhoods, as each one has a distinct feel. Harbourfront areas like Gaslamp Quarter are home to stylish places to dine, while Old Town in the historic heart has free museums and family-friendly eateries. Mission Bay and La Jolla are picture-perfect and serene, and close to central attractions. If you’re honeymooning here, Coronado Island – accessible by ferry or car – is a romantic and secluded place to stay.

Whether your San Diego holiday calls for a packed schedule or you prefer to take it easy, this place ticks all the boxes. Powdery beaches almost continuously line the shores, where you can top up your tan, go for a swim or catch a wave whenever you like. And the city comes to live in the evenings, as the bars, restaurants and cosy pubs will welcome you until the early hours of the morning.

Things to do

Dining

Beaches

Best time to go

Things to do in San Diego

San Diego’s vast Balboa Park holds many of its best attractions. There are 17 museums to explore, including the Museum of Art, Air and Space Museum, History Centre and Botanical Centre. If that’s not enough to keep you busy, why not go for a stroll around the Japanese gardens, or get in a round at Balboa Park Golf Course? The park’s most famous resident is San Diego Zoo, where you’ll spot koalas, giraffes, monkey and more across the safari park. Birch Aquarium is also worth a visit, as it’s home to a fascinating array of marine life.

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Stroll along the Embarcadero harbour front to take in San Diego’s waters from afar, or stop and admire the views across the Coronado Island. Visit the USS Midway Museum while you’re there – it’s home to vintage military planes and is staffed by volunteer veterans with plenty of stories to tell.

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San Diego dining

Lots of San Diego’s best food can be found in Gaslamp Quarter on the harbour front. When the sun goes down, sip, dine and dance at one of its rooftop bars and eateries, like The Nolen or Searsucker. Little Italy is also a culinary hotspot where you’ll find celebrity chefs’ restaurants and San Diego’s oldest watering hole, Waterfront Bar, which has stood since 1888.

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Buzzing Liberty Station is home to the permanent Liberty Public Market, now considered one of the finest artisan markets in the country. Pick up new blends of hand-roasted coffee, try unique treats from the cheesemonger, or treat yourself to patisserie goodies from one of the stalls. If you love craft beers, San Diego has established itself as California’s best destination. Over 100 breweries call the city home and many can be found off Highway 78 – known as ‘Hops Highway’ to locals – so you can explore the city and try new drinks.

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San Diego beaches

A holiday to San Diego gives you more than 70 miles of picture-perfect coastline to explore. Coronado Beach is family-friendly and flat, so it’s great for strolls with the whole clan. Other central favourites include bustling Ocean Beach and Mission Beach. Or, visit Pacific Beach and explore 90-year-old Crystal Pier, or stroll along the six-kilometre boardwalk while you’re there. Imperial Beach is home to more than 300 bird species, and hosts the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition every summer.

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Surfers will be spoilt for choice, too. Learn the ropes at idyllic La Jolla Beach, or take on big swells at Tourmaline Surfing Park, Windansea Beach and the Del Mar beaches. Black’s Beach is another great surf spot, but its secluded sands are also perfect for relaxation. It’s an LGBT+ friendly beach and clothing is optional, so you can totally unwind on its silver sands.

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Best time to visit San Diego

Holidays to San Diego are best planned for the summer months, when the city’s at its hottest and driest. However, it’s very busy at this time of year and the beaches are usually packed. Not a fan of crowds? San Diego’s spring is mild, with temperatures in the high teens to mid-twenties between March and early May – although California’s famous May to June gloom can affect the city during late spring.

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Autumn is also a good time to visit for warm weather, as the ocean is at its hottest in September and October. It’s the best time for surfers, too, as California’s hot Santa Ana winds stir up the ocean swells.

Winter is usually sunny in San Diego and temperatures rarely slide into single figures. You’ll have the highest chance of rain, but heavy showers are very rare. The biggest waves appear in winter, but are best left to experienced – and wetsuit-clad – surfers.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in San Diego

San Diego’s vast Balboa Park holds many of its best attractions. There are 17 museums to explore, including the Museum of Art, Air and Space Museum, History Centre and Botanical Centre. If that’s not enough to keep you busy, why not go for a stroll around the Japanese gardens, or get in a round at Balboa Park Golf Course? The park’s most famous resident is San Diego Zoo, where you’ll spot koalas, giraffes, monkey and more across the safari park. Birch Aquarium is also worth a visit, as it’s home to a fascinating array of marine life.

Show More
Show Less

Stroll along the Embarcadero harbour front to take in San Diego’s waters from afar, or stop and admire the views across the Coronado Island. Visit the USS Midway Museum while you’re there – it’s home to vintage military planes and is staffed by volunteer veterans with plenty of stories to tell.

Show More
Show Less

Dining

San Diego dining

Lots of San Diego’s best food can be found in Gaslamp Quarter on the harbour front. When the sun goes down, sip, dine and dance at one of its rooftop bars and eateries, like The Nolen or Searsucker. Little Italy is also a culinary hotspot where you’ll find celebrity chefs’ restaurants and San Diego’s oldest watering hole, Waterfront Bar, which has stood since 1888.

Show More
Show Less

Buzzing Liberty Station is home to the permanent Liberty Public Market, now considered one of the finest artisan markets in the country. Pick up new blends of hand-roasted coffee, try unique treats from the cheesemonger, or treat yourself to patisserie goodies from one of the stalls. If you love craft beers, San Diego has established itself as California’s best destination. Over 100 breweries call the city home and many can be found off Highway 78 – known as ‘Hops Highway’ to locals – so you can explore the city and try new drinks.

Show More
Show Less

Beaches

San Diego beaches

A holiday to San Diego gives you more than 70 miles of picture-perfect coastline to explore. Coronado Beach is family-friendly and flat, so it’s great for strolls with the whole clan. Other central favourites include bustling Ocean Beach and Mission Beach. Or, visit Pacific Beach and explore 90-year-old Crystal Pier, or stroll along the six-kilometre boardwalk while you’re there. Imperial Beach is home to more than 300 bird species, and hosts the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition every summer.

Show More
Show Less

Surfers will be spoilt for choice, too. Learn the ropes at idyllic La Jolla Beach, or take on big swells at Tourmaline Surfing Park, Windansea Beach and the Del Mar beaches. Black’s Beach is another great surf spot, but its secluded sands are also perfect for relaxation. It’s an LGBT+ friendly beach and clothing is optional, so you can totally unwind on its silver sands.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit San Diego

Holidays to San Diego are best planned for the summer months, when the city’s at its hottest and driest. However, it’s very busy at this time of year and the beaches are usually packed. Not a fan of crowds? San Diego’s spring is mild, with temperatures in the high teens to mid-twenties between March and early May – although California’s famous May to June gloom can affect the city during late spring.

Show More
Show Less

Autumn is also a good time to visit for warm weather, as the ocean is at its hottest in September and October. It’s the best time for surfers, too, as California’s hot Santa Ana winds stir up the ocean swells.

Winter is usually sunny in San Diego and temperatures rarely slide into single figures. You’ll have the highest chance of rain, but heavy showers are very rare. The biggest waves appear in winter, but are best left to experienced – and wetsuit-clad – surfers.

Show More
Show Less

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Our tailor-made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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