San Diego, California: a Complete Travel Guide


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To me, San Diego can best be described in three words: Seventy-two and sunny.

That near-perfect year-round weather is just one reason travelers flock here, and a major reason why I relocated to this sun-soaked spot from New York City almost 25 years ago. 

A blonde woman taking a selfie with palm trees in the background.

The writer at home in San Diego

Lois Alter Mark

San Diego also has its share of world-renowned attractions and outstanding art and music, but in my experience, most people come here for nature’s own performance. And rightly so ​​— it’s one of the few cities where you can savor the sun, ride the waves, and admire ocean views most of the year. The ideal weather — what we refer to as “the sun tax” — is why San Diego is an expensive place to live. Fortunately, visiting doesn’t have to be.

Though San Diego tends to be overshadowed by Los Angeles, its flashier neighbor to the north, we locals are just fine with that since it keeps our traffic lighter and our vibe more chill. LA may have celebrities, but we have plenty of stars — and beautiful spots where you can stargaze with clear skies and less light pollution.

Here’s how to plan a trip to San Diego so you see it as an insider. Pro tip: Don’t forget your sunglasses.

→ The quickest and easiest ways to get to and around San Diego

→ 13 San Diego hotels that have everything you’ve been dreaming about in a vacation

→ 12 restaurants in San Diego that are as good as my favorites back in NYC 

→ 10 of the coolest things to do in San Diego, plus the 4 best beaches

→ Important advisories to consider before you arrive in San Diego


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