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A Comprehensive Travel Guide to San Diego

Our expertly curated guide to this coastal California city.

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San Diego at sunset

Travelling to San Diego? This chill and charming city on California’s coast is the ideal spot to unwind and unplug with family or even to spend a few days one on one with your better half. From the beaches to the shopping, the nature to the food and drink scene, this place has it all and thanks to our travel guide, San Diego will be yours to enjoy without all the work and hassle that usually goes into planning a holiday.

Our fastidious Plum Guide home critics have personally vetted each and every home on our website, so you don’t have to worry about even one mattress being uncomfortable or any kitchen being poorly stocked. We’ve got you covered, so all you need to do is sit back and enjoy you holiday. Without further ado, here's our expert travel guide to San Diego.

Things to know about San Diego

San Diego is located on the Pacific coast of California and is famous worldwide for its 70 miles of beaches, expansive parks and a pleasant, temperate climate all year round. It can get chilly early in the morning and late at night though, so make sure to pack an adequately warm jacket no matter what the weather apps may be telling you.

Apart from that however, you can expect mild to hot temperatures depending on what time of year you choose to visit. Thanks to the proximity to the sea however, even the hottest days offer a breezy respite and of course the chance to cool off with a dip in the ocean.

Otter at San Diego Zoo, California

Otter at San Diego Zoo, California

Few cities in the world offer the wide array of family attractions that San Diego does. The San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, SeaWorld San Diego and LEGOLAND California are all located here, to name but a few. These are just a few of the countless things to do with kids in San Diego. We can feel the parent points piling up already.

Accommodation in San Diego

A travel guide to San Diego wouldn’t be complete without including places to stay. We know you want to have access to the very best homes in the city so this is really the only travel guide for you.

Balboa & Bacchus, Plum Guide home in San Diego, California

Balboa & Bacchus, Plum Guide home in San Diego, California

This sweet home in the Grant Hill area is the perfect spot for those who prefer to be closer to town than the beach itself. Tasteful fairy lights brighten the terrace garden for elegantly lit family barbecues and beautiful city views make the perfect eye candy on a clear night. You’ll love the well designed kitchen and handwoven natural textures throughout the home.

Azure & Ochre, Plum Guide home in San Diego

Azure & Ochre, Plum Guide home in San Diego

If you’re looking for a chic and cosy apartment, why not try this sea view beauty in Middletown? Sweeping ocean views from the living room mean your sunset perch is built in and you’ll love waking up early to enjoy coffee on the balcony.

Evening Gem, Plum Guide home in San Diego

Evening Gem, Plum Guide home in San Diego

For a real beach house experience, try this adorable pad right on the La Jolla coast. Not only will you be in walking distance to the beach, but there’s also a hot tub and you’ll be staying in one of the most posh neighbourhoods in California. It’s a triple win. For contemporary luxury vibes, this sleek and chic natural light filled home also in La Jolla is a real holiday dream pad.

The Shack Life, Plum Guide home in San Diego

The Shack Life, Plum Guide home in San Diego

Activities in San Diego

When it comes to activities, there is so much to do here that a San Diego travel guide could go on for as long as your mother in law’s text messages, but here are some of our highlights.

Visit Balboa Park. This expansive outdoor space is home to 17 museums as well as beautiful gardens, paths and nature. You can soak in the sun and some culture all in the same spot – talk about two birds, one stone are we right?

Balboa Park, San Diego

Balboa Park, San Diego

Play a round of golf at the world famous Torrey Pines Golf Course. Your work buddies will be super jealous when they find out you were here so make sure to take plenty of photos – after all, you wouldn’t want them missing this high quality content. That’s what frenemies are for.

You can’t come all the way to Southern California and not hit the beach. Take a surf lesson or simply spend a few hours lazing on the sand, depending on how much embarrassment you’re willing you tolerate for not being able to stand up on your surfboard. Truth be told it's not that humiliating at your age. Your kids will love exploring the rock pools and building sand castles. Go for a swim as a family and enjoy this quality time together in a new place.

La Jolla, San Diego

La Jolla, San Diego

Speaking of quality, why not give your credit card the workout it deserves with some epic San Diego shopping? There are plenty of boutiques and stores along Girard Avenue and Prospect Street in La Jolla. This is an upmarket shopping destination perfect for the whole family (well, at least when they’re as spoiled as yours).

What to eat in San Diego

If you’re anything like us, shopping makes you hungry so where does one grub in San Diego, you ask? Thankfully there is great food here to complement the stellar atmosphere and enviable homes.

For authentic Mexican food, try one of the many cute spots in the Old Town San Diego area. The city is very close to the Mexican border so be assured this will be some of the tastiest regional cuisine of your life.

If your family are picky eaters, your best bet for a lunch that makes everyone happy is Windmill Food Hall. North County’s first food hall, this spot offers 14 eateries under one roof, as well as indoor and outdoor seating and a cocktail bar.

For something totally out of the ordinary, check out The Yasai: Vegan Japanese Experience. Score extra points with your environmentally savvy teens as you enjoy elegantly presented meatless ramen with homemade noodles and vegetable-based sushi and sashimi.

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