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San Diego, California

 San Diego is often called “America’s Finest City,” and it isn’t difficult to see why. This might be the eighth most populous city in the United States, and it fittingly offers heaps of attractions, culture and an undeniable cosmopolitan vibe, but you’d never guess its size by the emphatically laid-back feeling you get from San Diego, its people and of course its famously wonderful weather. With year-round temperatures in the 70s and almost constant sunshine, there is no such thing as the wrong time to visit and enjoy the world-class museums, 5-star dining, internationally famous beaches and unbeatable hospitality.

US Dollar, $1 = 100 cents

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The San Diego Union Tribune
(www.signonsandiego.com)
The San Diego Daily Transcript
(www.sddt.com)
San Diego Reader
(www.sdreader.com)

Independent stores are usually open from 10am to 6pm daily. Major malls and shopping centers stay open until 9pm or longer.

1,359,000

International Visitor Information Center
1040 1/3 West Broadway (at Harbor Drive)
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone:+ 1 619 236 1212

The City

With an estimated population of nearly 1.4 million, San Diego ranks as the second-largest city in California and the eighth-largest in the United States. The city hosts a diversity of neighborhoods, each of which offers its own unique flavor.

The epicenter of downtown is the historic Gaslamp Quarter, which in recent years has seen an explosion of flashy fashion boutiques, restaurants and art galleries in Victorian-style settings. Neighboring East Village is San Diego’s largest downtown community. Known for its funky cafés and live music venues, it continues to attract artists and musicians and hosts San Diego’s September Street Scene – the largest music festival in California.

North of downtown is Old Town, which has preserved the city’s Spanish and Mexican heritage, and some of the city’s first houses. Adjacent to Old Town is Uptown, a pedestrian-friendly area that consists of North Park, University Heights, and Hillcrest. The neighborhood – and especially Hillcrest – serves as a center of the city’s gay and lesbian community.

Further west, between the airport and La Jolla, is the scenic coastal area, which encompasses beach communities such as Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, both famously popular with surfers and students. If you continue north, you will eventually reach a stunning piece of coastline that belongs to La Jolla, home to some of the most beautiful and safest beaches in Southern California. It is also where you will find one of the region’s most affluent communities and some of the best – and most expensive – dining.

Do & See

In comparison to sprawling LA, San Diego has the feel of a compact city, and it is tempting to stay downtown. A lot of people do, however, think of San Diego in terms of the whole county, which leaves a lot more to explore. The regional terrain is extraordinary in itself and varies from the Pacific coastline in the west to the Sonoran Desert in the east. Those who travel to the northeast will also come across its snow-capped mountains, while travellers who go south will find themselves at the Mexican border in just 15 minutes. This variety makes the city a favourite for outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing, biking and sailing. Additionally, the long list of family-friendly attractions (LEGOLAND, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, the New Children's Museum) make it a city that offers abundant entertainment for everyone.

Balboa Park

SeaWorld San Diego

San Diego Zoo

The Gaslamp Quarter

Old Town

Coronado

Cabrillo National Monument

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Old Point Loma Lighthouse

La Jolla Cove

San Diego Bay Walk

USS Midway Museum

Botanical Building and Lily Pond

Top Boat Tours in San Diego

Pacific Surf School

Torrey Pines Gliderport

PETCO Park

Knott's Soak City USA

Little Italy

Torrey Pines Golf Course

Dining

Street food in San Diego is synonymous with fish tacos, and most locals couldn’t enjoy a Padres game without one. But it doesn't stop there. The city offers too many exciting dining options to pass up. Little Italy is an obvious choice for contemporary Italian cuisine, while the Gaslamp Quarter continues to attract cutting-edge chefs who are eager to make a culinary statement. To experience local drinking culture, make sure to also visit the wine-making district (the vineyards are located in the North County, just 45 minutes from downtown) and the abundant artisanal breweries.

George’s California Modern

A.R. Valentien

Antica Trattoria

Nobu

The Oceanaire Seafood Room

Taka

Las Cuatro Milpas

Mistral

Island Prime

Roy's

Bali Hai Restaurant

Tom Ham's Lighthouse

Mary's Kitchen

Bertrand at Mister A's

Boathouse

Aroma Thai Restaurant

Blue Wave Bar & Grill

Restaurant at The Pearl

Marion's Fish Market

Top of the Market

Cafes

Whether you just want a regular black coffee or a signature espresso with a pastry-to-go, San Diego knows how to please its coffee crowd. The city is known for its abundance of coffee houses and has everything from simple, inexpensive cafés to well-established coffee chains, with some of the best and most loved concentrated around Balboa Park.

Karen Krasne’s Extraordinary Desserts

Bread & Cie

Crest Cafe

Heavenly Cupcake

Claire de Lune Coffee Lounge

Bars & Nightlife

San Diego’s nightlife suits a wide variety of tastes, and there is no shortage of hip hangouts. From the legendary jazz clubs to the jet set bars, many venues are just waiting to be discovered. The night comes even further alive during the summer, when the usual bars and clubs are complemented by tons of outdoor concerts, theatre and cinema. Note that you can’t buy drinks after 2am.

House of Blues San Diego

Anthology

Casbah

The Tower Bar

Wine Steals

Live Wire

The Waterfront Bar & Grill

Onyx Room

Whiskey Girl

FLUXX San Diego Nightclub

Aero Club

Craft and Commerce

Altitude Sky Lounge

Bar Dynamite

Small Bar

The Tap Room

Miller's Field

Gaslamp Tavern

Pecs

The Shout! House

Shopping

San Diego is a great city for heart-warming retail therapy. The very accommodating climate provides the perfect backdrop for open-air shopping centers, and there is an endless variety of top quality malls, luxurious brands and vintage shops to choose from. Hipsters are also well served with many small designer boutiques and retro bookstores and record shops.

Fashion Valley

Westfield Horton Plaza

Adams Avenue

Seaport Village

Ms Vintage Clothing

San Diego Old Town Market

Boomerang For Modern

San Diego Zoo Gift Shop

Bay Books

Bazaar Del Mundo

South Coast Surf Shops

Liberty Station

Piazza Carmel Shopping Center

Coronado Ferry Landing

Hazard Center

Westfield UTC

Bubbles Boutique

Pangaea Outpost

Africa and Beyond

Farenheit 451

Essential Information

San Diego International Airport (SAN)

San Diego International Airport (SAN), also known as Lindbergh Field, is located three miles northwest of downtown. Terminals 1 and 2 serve major airlines and are situated close to Transportation Plaza, where you can find all ground transportation including taxis and shuttle vans.

A taxi ride to downtown usually takes five minutes. If you prefer public transport, look for the red and blue-striped buses.

Address: 3225 N Harbor Dr, San Diego

Phone: +1 619 400 2404

Website: www.san.org

Public transport

San Diego’s bright-orange trolleys are great for exploring the city and operate from about 5am to midnight, seven days a week. Fares are based on trip distance. San Diego Transit also provides local bus services throughout the county. Most buses have bike racks, making it easy to pedal around the city.

For most visitors, driving in Southern California is an adventure, but it can also be stressful. Make things easy on yourself by avoiding the freeway during the morning and afternoon rush hours (6-8:30am and 3:30-6pm).

Downtown San Diego is pretty simple to navigate, and finding on-street parking can be easy. Just remember to feed your parking meters.

Website: www.sdmts.com

Taxi

Taxis are easily available at shopping malls, hotels and the airport. If any questions about the flat rate, call the following numbers:

Airport Yellow Cab of San Diego
Phone: +1 619 234 6161

Orange Cab
Phone: +1 619 291 3333

San Diego Cab
Phone: +1 619 226 8294

Phone: +1 619 234 6161

Post

You can buy stamps at many newsagents or at the post office. Official United States Postal Services (USPS) mailboxes are usually blue steel containers on city sidewalks. Many post offices or private mail companies like UPS or FedEx are open 8am-5pm.

One post office can be found:

Address: 3911 Cleveland Ave, San Diego

Phone: +1 619 295 5091

Website: www.usps.com

Pharmacy

In San Diego, many pharmacies are open 24 hours. Some are even drive-through. To locate a store near you, contact a national drugstore chain such as Rite Aid or CVS/pharmacy.

Rite Aid
Phone: +1 800 748 3243
Web: www.riteaid.com

CVS/pharmacy
Phone: +1 888 607 4287
Web: www.cvs.com

Phone: +1 800 748 3243

Website: www.riteaid.com

Telephone

Country code: +1

Area code: 619

Time Zone

San Diego is in the Pacific time zone, and all times are reflected in Pacific time.

Electricity

110V AC, 60Hz

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