San Diego County, CA

Pacific Beach Park showing general coastal views, surfing and swimming

On the sun-drenched Pacific coast, this Southern California city provides great beaches, a famous zoo, historic sites and exciting nightlife.

San Diego is one of the most populated U.S. cities, but its laid-back lifestyle and pleasant open spaces give it a crowd-free feel. Bring the family to enjoy zoos, parks and beaches or have a romantic vacation with winery tours, great food and cultural evenings.

In Balboa Park near downtown, the famous San Diego Zoo has giant pandas, koalas and more than 3,500 animals in natural habitats, as well as 700,000 exotic plants. See more wild animals or even spend the night at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park north of the city. Enjoy marine animals and rides at SeaWorld®.

Along the ocean northwest of downtown is La Jolla. Hike past craggy trees in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and watch for whales beyond the shoreline. Play at the renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course or visit the beaches along this peninsula to swim and watch sea lions.

In San Diego Bay, tour the USS Midway Museum, a retired aircraft carrier with 29 planes from World War II to Desert Storm as well as exciting flight simulators. A few blocks north is the Maritime Museum of San Diego, with restored tall ships from the days of early explorers.

San Diego has more than 70 miles (110 kilometers) of beaches for snorkeling, swimming, surfing and watersports. Enjoy the sands of Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Windansea Beach.

The city has abundant cultural attractions including more than 15 museums and performance venues in Balboa Park. Attend first-run and popular touring plays at La Jolla Playhouse.

Visit the Gaslamp Quarter to view historic Victorian homes and sample San Diego’s fine dining and exciting nightlife. See a professional baseball game at Petco Park or let the kids enjoy interactive exhibits at the New Children’s Museum.

Fly into San Diego International Airport or drive along the scenic coastal highway and stop to view the Pacific Ocean. Visit some of the county’s 100 wineries. End your days with sunsets at Cabrillo National Monument or La Jolla Cove.

San Diego County Travel Guide Video

Popular cities in San Diego County

Marina District featuring a bay or harbor
San Diego
Known for Beach view, Sea and Ports
On the sun-drenched Pacific coast, this Southern California city provides great beaches, a famous zoo, historic sites and exciting nightlife.

Reasons to visit

  • Waterfront Park
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego
  • San Diego Convention Center
La Jolla showing general coastal views, swimming and a sandy beach
La Jolla
Known for Beach view, Sea and Sunsets
This Californian beach town attracts luxury travelers, newlyweds and surfers with gorgeous palm tree parklands, secluded nudist beaches and spectacular waves.

Reasons to visit

  • La Jolla Cove
  • La Jolla Shores Park
  • Windansea Beach
Coronado Beach featuring tropical scenes and a sandy beach as well as a small group of people
Known for Dining, Beach view and Sea
Sunny beaches, leafy streets and a relaxed small-town vibe are all good reasons to visit this charming peninsula that curves into beautiful San Diego Bay.

Reasons to visit

  • Hotel del Coronado
  • San Diego Coronado Bridge
  • Coronado Ferry Landing
Known for Beach view, Sea and Ports
Trip time! Discover the beaches, seaside, and camping in Oceanside.

Reasons to visit

  • Oceanside Pier
  • Oceanside Strand Beach
Legoland California which includes rides
Known for Beach view, Family-friendly and Shopping
Escape to Carlsbad! Enjoy its beaches, theme park, and surfing.

Reasons to visit

  • LEGOLAND® California
Known for Family-friendly, Safaris and Zoo
Escape to Escondido! Enjoy its zoo, hockey, and beaches.