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Overview

Home to three million people, youthful, hip and sun-kissed San Diego – California's second largest city and the quintessential U.S. Navy town – enjoys one of the world's most enviable coastal settings, with a vast bay where sail craft share space with naval vessels and luxury liners. The glorious beaches along Mission Bay are the place to see and be seen in a swimsuit. Every visit should include a stroll along the Embarcadero beachfront boardwalk, ending at the Maritime Museum, with its many historic vessels spanning three centuries. Culture? Performing arts are off the hook. And sprawling Balboa Park, the city's showcase, boasts the San ...

Home to three million people, youthful, hip and sun-kissed San Diego – California's second largest city and the quintessential U.S. Navy town – enjoys one of the world's most enviable coastal settings, with a vast bay where sail craft share space with naval vessels and luxury liners. The glorious beaches along Mission Bay are the place to see and be seen in a swimsuit. Every visit should include a stroll along the Embarcadero beachfront boardwalk, ending at the Maritime Museum, with its many historic vessels spanning three centuries. Culture? Performing arts are off the hook. And sprawling Balboa Park, the city's showcase, boasts the San Diego Zoo – the world's finest – as well as 13 museums covering everything from art and automobiles to natural history. Downtown, the Gaslamp Quarter is a 16-block-long National Historic District restored with trendy boutiques and bars, and who can resist a cocktail at the world-famous Hotel Del Coronado, backdrop for the comedy classic Some Like It Hot. When winter comes around, Old Point Loma Lighthouse is a great place to spy migrating California gray whales. And Mexico's Tijuana spices things up and awaits just over the Mexican border.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Now Happening in San Diego

Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time is good, but summer weather is spectacular (June can be cloudy).