Last updated: 03:13 PM ET, Tue October 18 2022
Downtown San Diego Gaslamp sign over moving traffic (photo via Mindy_Nicole_Photography / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

San Diego

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Downtown of San Diego, California.
Downtown skyline of San Diego, California. (photo via SeanPavonePhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

When describing San Diego, California, one word comes to mind -- pleasant. And that’s a great thing. With arguably the best weather in the U.S., picture-perfect waves, a steady stream of tourists, economic boom and some of the friendliest people around, visiting this sunny SoCal locale is nothing if not unrelentingly pleasant. San Diego’s downtown area may have skyscrapers and countless rows of bars and restaurants, but the majority of the city is made up of beautiful outdoor parks and sandy beaches. From Balboa Park to endless stretches of boardwalk, San Diego is both a good-time hotspot and a beach lover’s paradise.

Beaches in San Diego like Coronado, La Jolla, Mission Bay and Encinitas are considered among the best in the country. With the majority of tourism focused on the waterfronts, the city has a resort-like feel to it most of the year. The world-famous San Diego Zoo is one of the largest and most progressive zoos in the world, with over 4,000 animals calling it home. For a little culture amidst the sunshine, check out the San Diego Museum of Art or the Museum of Man located in Balboa Park. At night, check out the best bar scenes in the Pacific Beach and Gaslamp Quarter located downtown.

Sunset at La Jolla cove beach, San Diego, California (photo via kanonsky / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
PHOTO: Sunset at La Jolla Cove Beach, San Diego, California. (photo via kanonsky/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

With gastronomic influence coming from the city’s geography, ethnic mix and sustainable ingredients, San Diego cuisine is just as diverse as it is fresh. For a French, Mediterranean and Californian-style fusion restaurant located beachside at La Jolla Shores, The Marine Room is famous for its high-end dishes and dramatic ocean views. El Agave Tequileria is an authentic Mexican restaurant situated in Old Town, and famous for its Mexican nouvelle cuisine and tequila list of over 100 brands. A trendy hotspot in town is the Quarter Kitchen. Located at the Ivy Hotel, the restaurant receives rave reviews for the Kobe beef pot pie and caviar tacos.

Located less than 10 minutes from downtown, San Diego International Airport (SAN) is the area’s largest passenger airport, serving most major domestic and international carriers. McClellan-Palomar Airport (CLD), located in Carlsbad, Calif., is the other commercial passenger airport in San Diego County, and is used more for domestic commutes. The public transit system in San Diego includes the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), which is a series of bus routes that operate throughout all parts of the region, as well as the San Diego Trolley. The trolley serves mainly the eastern, southeastern and downtown sections of the city. The best and most efficient way to get around sprawling San Diego is by car, as it’s a large metropolis and easily navigable.

Characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters, San Diego is split between a Mediterranean and semi-arid climate. Summer temperatures are generally warm, with average highs ranging from 71° F (22° C) to 77.7° F (24.6° C). Average winter temperatures are usually anywhere from 66° F (18.8° C) to 70° F (21.1° C). Because the city receives an average of over 200 days of sunshine and just nine to 13 inches of rain annually, San Diego is a perfect year-round vacation destination.