What advice can you offer for a first time visitor to San Diego?

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What advice can you offer for a first time visitor to San Diego?

Question by FadedGray: What advice can you offer for a first time visitor to San Diego?
I am planning to visit San Diego in March and am just looking for any helpful advice (and would also appreciate opinions or whether or not it is necessary to rent a car) Thanks.

Best answer:

Answer by King Rat
Don’t order the fish

Give your answer to this question below!


  1. Avatar Lord Zane Vorhis says:

    Don’t come. We do not like tourists.

  2. Avatar Joe C says:

    You need a car. If your destination is not on the trolley line, you’ll waste hours waiting for or riding the bus.

    Some must see attractions are the world famous Zoo, Sea World, and Balboa Park. Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in the country. You can get a park passport which allows you entry to a dozen museums as well as the zoo.

    My favorite museum in the park is the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. It has some of the largest model layouts in the world.

    Mission and Pacific Beach are your best bet for fun in the sun. Belmont Park has a vintage wooden roller coaster as well as other rides.

    North County San Diego is home to the Zoo’s Wild Animal Park. There are multi acre enclosures where herds of wild animals roam plus lots of hiking trails.

    La Jolla offers great views, great food, and shopping.
    Check out the surfers at historic Windansea Beach. At low tide you can walk out onto the tide pools. Walk along the Cove and check out the caves. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. Take a stroll on Prospect St and check out the shops, galleries, and have some authentic Mexican food and Alfonso’s. Then head to the Birch Aquarium at The Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It has a spectacular view of the bluffs over the Pacific Ocean.

    The Old Point Loma Lighthouse at the Cabrillo National Monument offers great views of the downtown skyline, San Diego Harbor and the Pacific Ocean. On a clear day you can see all the way to Mexico.

    For nightlife, the Gaslamp Quarter offers dining, drinking and dancing. It’s also the home of Petco Park and the San Diego Padres major league baseball team.

    Pacific Beach also has some great nightlife.

    Check out this site for discount coupons and other info

  3. Avatar Brutally Honest says:

    Bring a camera, first of all. There are so many beautiful things to take photos of here in San Diego!

    And yes, a car is seriously recommended, especially if you’re only visiting for a few days. San Diego is BIG and while we do have a decent public transit system, it can be time consuming to use.

    I’d also recommend ponying up the money for the Old Town Trolley Tour. It’s an awesome way to learn a LOT about San Diego in very little time. I’ve lived here my whole life and still learned stuff about San Diego when I went on the tour a couple years ago. Rates are around $ 30 per person, I think, but well worth the cost!

    If you’re a member of AAA, go to your local office and get a tour book. Those things are immensely helpful in finding out of the way and little-known “locals” places to visit.

    Finally, no matter what you do, enjoy your stay!

  4. Avatar Matt says:


    Taxi’s are crazy expensive. San Diego is a series of suburbs. It is not like the Bay Area, Chicago, NY, Boston, Philly etc… You must have a car to do most of San Diego tourist stuff. There is minimal if any public transportation.

    Zoo / Sea World / Coronado

  5. Avatar Fang says:

    Rent a car, you’ll be glad you did.
    Cool spots to see…
    Balboa Park
    Shelter Island/Point Loma
    La Jolla
    Coronado Island
    Wild Animal Park (it’s a little north of San Diego, but if you’re into that kind of thing it’s worth it)
    Sea World
    Scripps Aquarium

    Not sure where you’re coming from, but there’s lots of scammers here, just be aware.
    Check out the police blotters in the areas you intend to visit. Obviously some places are better than others, but it’s not always easy to tell.
    Some of the beach areas have their fare share of surfer punks that are a bit territorial. Lotta tweakers in San Diego, too (meth heads).
    California is weird.

    Have fun.

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