You probably already know all about the major draws of San Diego, California: the beaches, theme parks, the famous zoo, professional sports teams, fantastic weather.
Before you book your next San Diego vacation, however, consider a few tips, starting with the specific area of the city you want to visit. San Diego is California’s second largest city and had a population of about 1.3 million people as of 2006. The area’s major roadways get congested in the mornings and evenings, so try to avoid driving during those times. Most San Diego-area hotels offer free shuttles to area attractions, but if you plan to spend most of your time at the beach, your best bet is to book a hotel close to the coastline.
Here are seven San Diego vacation tips to keep in mind when planning your trip to southern California:
San Diego Vacation Tip No. 1
Check the weather before booking your trip, particularly if you’re hoping to spend time at San Diego’s beaches and enjoying other outdoor recreational pursuits. July through September is the warmest stretch in San Diego, when daytime temperatures average in the mid- to high-70s and rainfall is typically non-existent.
San Diego Vacation Tip No. 2
Plan your San Diego trip for the spring or fall if you want to avoid the biggest crowds and save money on admission tickets to popular attractions in the area, such as the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.
San Diego Vacation Tip No. 3
If you’ll be driving in San Diego, try to avoid the major freeways – Interstate 5, Interstate 8 and Interstate 805 – during morning and early evening rush hours. Before you plan the driving portion of your trip, check the State of California’s official website, which features a real-time traffic map for the San Diego area.
San Diego Vacation Tip No. 4
Note any major events that might be going on during the time frame you’re considering for your vacation. For example, when the city’s major professional sports teams are playing, traffic is worse than normal and it’s a good idea to avoid the freeways altogether. If you’re booking your trip in the fall or early winter, note the home schedule for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, and from spring to early fall, pay attention to the home schedule for Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres.
San Diego Vacation Tip No. 5
Visit the official website of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau and request a free vacation planning kit through their online form. The site also has plenty of information on planning a trip, under the “visitor information” tab.
San Diego Vacation Tip No. 6
Consider different lodging options beyond hotels and motels. The San Diego area is dotted with hotels, but the city also features a handful of vacation rentals, particularly near Mission Bay along the coast. Mission Bay Vacation Rentals is an online service that lists homes and condos for rent in the area.
San Diego Vacation Tip No. 7
If you’re a golfer, tee it up at one of San Diego’s many golf courses by booking a golf vacation package. The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau’s website lists a handful of available golf packages that include green fees, lodging and, in some cases, meals.
Monthly Averages for San Diego, CA, Weather.com
Mission Bay Vacation Rentals
San Diego Golf Packages, San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau