California’s southernmost city, and second-largest, lies beside the Pacific Ocean, basking in near year-round sunshine with shimmering beaches and a fascinating history.
Discovered by Europeans – and claimed for Spain – in 1542 when Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo docked his ship at Point Loma, this is a maritime city. It is, after all, homeport of the Pacific Fleet and home to the Maritime Museum, which celebrates San Diego’s briny heritage. The USS Midway, which served the U.S. longer than any other aircraft carrier is docked at Navy Pier and now thousands of tourists take cheap flights to San Diego each year to marvel at it.
One of San Diego’s greatest attractions is Balboa Park, a wonderful collection of gardens, stunning Spanish Revival architecture, museums, wilderness and zoo. Another is the Gaslamp Quarter, the historical heart of the San Diego. A red-light and low-rent district in times gone by, the past few decades has seen it come back to life – now as a lively dining, entertainment and urban shopping area.
With Mexico just a $2 tram journey away, flights to San Diego could be just the beginning of wider travels.
San Diego enjoys a Mediterranean-style climate with mild sunny weather throughout the year. Winter temperatures range from about 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 22 degrees (72F) in July. Late summer and early fall are the hottest times of the year. “May gray” in May and “June gloom” in June is when cloudy conditions, sometimes occur in the mornings, but usually burn off by midday.
The Mediterranean climate ensures that there is no bad time to take cheap flights to San Diego.
If basking on the beach is your aim, summer is the best time to visit. For sight-seeing and for the museums and galleries, fall, winter and spring are all good times to go as crowds are thinner.
Low season runs November to January.
February to May and September to October.
Like much of Southern California, the easiest way to get around San Diego is by car. You can find several rental car companies at the airport. Bus tickets are cheap and the trolley system is a great way to get around downtown or to nearby Tijuana. The Blue Line can take you through Old Town before crossing the border into Mexico. Tickets cost a few dollars and last for two hours.