Flights to San Diego
Windblown hair, positive vibes, casual style, miles of beaches, artisanal restaurants and booming nightlife spots. As the eighth largest city in the U.S., San Diego offers an array of interesting neighborhoods, intriguing sights and a distinctly casual vibe, unique for such a large city.
With a reputation for near-perfect weather, fly to sunny San Diego to experience highs in the upper 70s in the summer, with lows in the 50s in the winter. Temperate weather year-round means visitors stop in at all times, but there’s a definite tourist rush in the summer months. While there’s much to see on its signature Pacific beaches, you’ll also find many activities and sights dotting the city’s other neighborhoods.
Of course, stop by the city’s big attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Maritime Museum or Balboa Park Gardens. Grab an afternoon pick-me-up at any of the city’s cafés or food trucks. In the evening, savor an evening out at any of the city’s fantastic restaurants - an eclectic mix of cutting-edge cuisine and more casual dining, often featuring the coastal city’s fresh seafood.
A short three miles from downtown San Diego, the San Diego International Airport sits close to the city and to the region’s vibrant beaches. Originally built in 1938 close to the site where Charles Lindbergh flew first tested his plane The Spirit of St. Louis, it’s sometimes referred to by its first name, Lindbergh Field.
The airport houses two terminals with ample parking, plus the Airport Loop shuttle service between the terminals for connecting flights in the San Diego National Airport. You can find baggage claim located in each individual terminal. Like most airports, San Diego recommends that you arrive two hours prior to your flight. At the airport, you’ll find a host of shops, restaurants and even the airport therapy dog program that brings furry visitors around to tired airport passengers.
- If you’re driving to or from the airport, find access to I-5, I-8 and I-15
- If you’re biking or walking, access the airport via a shared-use path that connects to the city in Little Italy and to Liberty Station
- Find valet, hourly and long-term parking in the decks adjacent to the San Diego International Airport
- To catch a taxi or shared-ride service from an app, visit the Transportation Plaza to find ground transportation
- To catch a hotel shuttle, also visit the Transportation Plaza
- To rent a car, take the dedicated Rental Car Shuttle to the new consolidated Rental Car Center
- Access the city’s light rail trolley service through the Trolley to Terminal shuttle service, with a stop one block from the airport on Admiral Boland Way
Whenever you visit, you’ll find so much to explore in San Diego. Form outdoor activities like surfing, sunbathing and even SUPing (stand up paddle boarding) to simply sitting back and savoring a local brew, there’s truly something for every visit. Take your time and tap into the laid back city vibes, savor the culture or tap into the booming food scene. Of course, don’t forget to explore San Diego’s dramatic coastline and wander its pristine beaches.
HIT THE BEACH
Much like the city’s neighborhoods, each beach offers a unique personality and breathtaking view all its own. Located just across the water from the city, start in Coronado — a pristine beach town with white sandy shores, quaint shops and dining. Of course, take on La Jolla, an array of beaches surrounded by a dramatic coastline, complete with surfing and other outdoor activities at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Close to downtown, visit Mission Bay and its vibrant beaches, where you’ll find live music, watersports and “spring break” vibes for all ages.
In other cities, tourist destinations might seem over-hyped. Not in San Diego. Here, the popular tourist destinations are worth your time and attention. The iconic San Diego Zoo located in Balboa Park showcases over 3,500 animals and serves a key role in conservation, it also operates the sister San Diego Zoo Safari Park outside the city. Just outside the zoo, discover the various Balboa Park gardens. Also worth a visit, the Maritime Museum that explores San Diego’s rich history as a port city.
There’s many restaurants to choose from in San Diego, from casual dives to interesting concept spots, from Asian fusion to fresh seafood. A good place to start is Mexican food — since Tijuana is the metropolitan sister-city located next to San Diego, it might be the best place in the country to find authentic Mexican cuisine. Explore an interesting and evolving dining scene in the popular Gas Lamp district, Little Italy, or the North and South Park neighborhoods. Also don’t shy away from street eats in the city, since San Diego (much like many west coast cities) has an array of interesting and popular food trucks.
ART & CULTURE
To start exploring art in San Diego, head back to Balboa Park. In the same park housing the San Diego Zoo, you’ll find a concentration on 15 museums and performing arts venues that features attractions and exhibits year-round. For a longer day visit, use the park’s Balboa Park Passport program, to gain admission to all museums. For the performing arts, you’ll find many live music venues around the city and outdoor shows. Plus, San Diego offers an abundance of playhouses for Broadway shows and community theater.
ATTIRE (WHAT TO PACK)
Whenever you visit San Diego, bring the essentials. Protect yourself from sun damage with sunscreen, a hat and your favorite pair of shades. For chilly nights in the summer, bring a sweater or fleece. In the winter, pack a raincoat, a pair of pants and dress in layers — temperatures can vary, so it’s easy to wear a few things that you can take off and on. Like its vibes, most places in the city are pretty laid back and casual dress is appropriate.
When you visit San Diego, you’ll find a wide-array of hotels to choose from. From modern stays to some of the most historic hotels in the region, you’re sure to find something interesting and close to the attractions you’re looking to visit.
For beachside stays, try the iconic Hotel del Coronado, The Grande Colonial Hotel, La Valencia or TOWER23, named for its lifeguard tower and catering to the surfing crowd. To stay close to nature, try the Fairmont Grand Del Mar or the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa.
For a city stay, the Andaz San Diego and Hotel Solomar both sit in the busy Gas Lamp Quarter. For a historic hotel, try the boutique Inn at the Park or visit the popular US Grant, founded by the son of President Ulysses S. Grant in 1910. If you’re looking for an even smaller stay in San Diego, consider booking a room or rental property through Delta partner Airbnb.
San Diego’s tourism board markets the city’s beautiful weather, and it doesn’t disappoint. This southernmost point of the West Coast enjoys warm summers and mild winters. In the summer expect highs in the 70s. In the winter expect lows in the 50s or high 40s. Of course, the sun shines often in San Diego, with around 260 days of sun annually.