"America's Finest City"
1 387 000
3 338 000
Population Density (km2):
Population Density (mi2):
3rd Largest City in California
Avg. Summertime High:
Avg. Summertime Low:
Avg. Wintertime High:
Avg. Wintertime Low:
The Gaslamp Quarter is what will most likely catch your interest as a visitor the most. In this area, every street is lined with bars and restaurants and there's plenty of city life. Coronado Island is another great area to visit and from there you can get incredible views of the Skyline. San Diego is also known for its many parks, including San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.
United States of America
9 525 067 km2
Ranked 4 out of 195
331 500 000
Ranked 3 out of 235
Ranked 36 out of 194
Population: 6 385 000
New York City
Population: 21 140 000
New York City
Economy & Development:
Human Development Index:
Ranked 17 out of 189
Ranked 28 out of 189
GDP (PPP) Per Capita:
Ranked 15 out of 225
Democracy & Freedom:
Ranked 25 out of 167
83 points out of 100 possible
Ranked 42 out of 180
Ranked 5 out of 162
4th of July
What Is Celebrated On The National Day:
The signing of the Declaration of Independence on the 4th of July 1776 where it was declared that the Thirteen Colonies were no longer a subject under the Monarch of Britain (United Kingdom).
Facts & Codes:
Country Calling Code:
Western United States
423 970 km2
Ranked 3 out of 51
39 538 000
Ranked 1 out of 51
Of National Population
Population: 2 397 000
Population: 13 200 000
GDP Per Capita::
Higher than national average
Dry Summer Temperate Climate (Cs)
UTC -8 (PST)
US State Information:
"The Golden State"
Meaning of the Name:
Named after "Saint Didacus" (Didacus of Alcalá).
Old Town District
Aircraft Carrier Museum
Cash Or Credit:
Cash is still common in the US, but in recent years cards have become the dominant form of payment and, nowadays, you can survive a trip to the US with only a minor amount of cash in smaller denominations for tips. In 2022 was the first time I was able to go an entire trip to the US without spending a single paper bill.
Good To Know:
Everyone is expecting tips for everything in the United States. It can be a good idea to have some one-dollar bills available, but nowadays it's often possible to give tips on card transactions as well. Only a few years ago that was not the case and even if you paid by card you had to give tip, which was expected, in cash.
What About English?
Other Common Languages:
Spanish is widely spoken due to the proximity to the Mexican border and the large share of Hispanics in the city.
It's not the largest street, it's not the main thoroughfare for car traffic - but it's the street where the highest concentration of restaurants and foot traffic can be found. 5th Avenue will take you through the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. As of June 2020, parts of the street is also pedestrianized and closed for cars which in the future should further enhance its position as the place to be in Downtown San Diego. The street stretches further than 2 km (3 mi). But after crossing San Diego Freeway in the North, it is no longer a commerce street but rather an ordinary residential street. It is the southernmost 7-8 blocks that are considered to be the Main Street of San Diego.
The Gaslamp Quarter is the central area of San Diego. This is where you should aim to be near when looking for hotels. However, it's very expensive to stay in this area so you might have to look for surrounding areas. Just make sure you stay within walking distance of the Gaslamp Quarter as Downtown San Diego isn't really car-friendly. I stayed at Holiday Inn Express in Cortez Hill, north of Downtown. It's definitely within walking distance, but I wouldn't walk between Downtown and there after dark.
It can actually be tricky to find fast food chains in the Downtown area. If you decide to stay there you will have a much larger supply of local restaurants than the chains. If you stay somewhere else it will be like the rest of Southern California and you will find fast food chains at every corner.
Type of Food:
Did I Try:
5 / 5
In-N-Out is the most iconic of all chains from California! No trip to California is complete without a stop at one of their restaurants! The menu is short and simple (with a not-so-secret additional menu). The prices are lower than average and it's one of few chains where you can still eat a full meal for around $10. Despite that, they are still able to pay their workers decent salaries.
The most famous and, arguably, the best of the local fast food chains in California. It's a must to give it a try at least once, but will likely be more than that.
Type of Food:
Did I Try:
4 / 5
Del Taco is similar to Taco Bell but found mostly throughout the Southwestern United States. Their menus are often served with fries, which is unusual in the United States but similar to how Taco Bell for example does it Internationally.
Unfortunately, they closed their store in Downtown San Francisco almost ten years ago. You can still found them in the outskirts of the city. I like this chain. It's pretty much the same quality as Taco Bell and has a similar menu. Their sauces are hotter than the ones found in Taco Bell, which is a positive thing.
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San Diego is often overlooked when people travel to California, at least from Europe. It's often Los Angeles and San Francisco that is the destination for such trips. If you've never been to Los Angeles I think you should focus only on that city. If you've already been to Los Angeles and visiting again, you should look into the possibility to take a few days in San Diego.
Do I Recommend You To Visit?
Yes. San Diego is worth a visit.
Will I Come Back Again?
It's a city worth coming back to, there is a lot you can't do in just a day or two. But it's not high on the bucket list.
Weather During My Stay:
Partly sunny, and even a little bit of rain.
A fairly walkable Downtown, especially the Gaslight Quarter.
Not As Good:
Some areas of the city can be a little rough. It also lacks specific sights and monuments. San Diego does have sights and is worth seeing, but it does not have a world-class sight that will make people travel across oceans to see it.
Skyline of San Diego from within the Downtown itself.
The Unconditional Surrender Statue in San Diego is probably the most famous of the several replicas that exist.
The statue is located on a small peninsula beside the USS Midway Museum.
The skyline as seen from the peninsula where the statue is located. USS Midway is visible to the left.
The Gaslamp Quarter is the historic Downtown of San Diego. Here you'll find restaurants and bars at every street corner.
Inside the Gaslamp Quarter. Most locals call it Gaslamp District though.
Street in San Diego.
Two girls relaxing in a park on Coronado Island.
Coronado Island is both a military base and a popular tourist destination with beaches and restaurants.
The most central parts of San Diego are rather flat, but Cortez Hill to the northeast is quickly getting more hilly.
Sixth Avenue in Downtown San Diego.
Sixth Avenue, looking North of F Street.
Fifth Avenue in Downtown San Diego.
Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade is a park and promenade cutting through most of the length of Downtown San Diego along the shoreline.
Downtown San Diego.
There's still some old and beautiful architecture left in Downtown San Diego. A lot of newer construction is ongoing, however.
Horton Plaza Park is right in the middle of Downtown.
Skyline of Downtown as viewed from within Downtown.
Skyline of San Diego as viewed from Coronado Island.
Skyline of San Diego.