San Diego Life and Visitor Travel Tips

(San Diego, California - CA, USA)

San Diego is a large sprawling city that thankfully retains a small town charm and friendly atmosphere. Many of San Diego's attractions are concentrated in certain areas, such as the beaches or the museums found at Balboa Park, so getting around is easy.

Combine this with San Diego's top amusement parks, geographical diversity, lively dining and restaurant scene, perfect climate, Mediterranean feel and its proximity to Mexico, and you get one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country. Travel tips and information can be found at a number of destinations across the city.

Tourism and Tourist Information

The San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau publishes the 'San Diego Official Visitor's Guide', found at visitor centers throughout the city. This useful guide offers advice when planning your holiday and provides information on a comprehensive list of attractions as well as logistics such as opening times and admission costs.

Balboa Park Visitor's Center
Address: 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, California CA, USA
Tel: +1 619 239 0512
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 16:00

Mission Bay Visitor Information Center
Address: 2688 East Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, California CA, USA
Tel: +1 619 275 8259
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to dusk

San Diego Visitor Information Center
Address: West Broadway / North Harbor Drive, San Diego, California CA, USA
Tel: +1 619 236 1212
Open hours: daily, June to September - 09:00 to 17:00; October to May - 09:00 to 16:00

La Jolla Visitor Information Center
Address: 7966 Herschel Avenue, San Diego, California CA, USA
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00


Over 300 languages are spoken throughout America, including more than 170 languages that are indigenous to the area. The most commonly spoken language in San Diego is English and different nationalities are well represented in America. Many other languages are on offer in language schools around San Diego and California.


For information on whether you will require a visa for travel to the USA, California and San Diego, it is best to check with your nearest consulate or embassy for information specific to your country. There are several different visas available, with visitors to San Diego usually needing a non-immigrant visa that permits temporary stay. Citizens from Visa Waiver Program countries are allowed to enter America without a visa, providing they can meet specified requirements. It is always sensible to apply for visas well in advance.


There are a number of categories of non-immigrant visas available for those intending to work in San Diego, California and America temporarily. Working without a visa is against the law and there are penalties for those caught in breach of this. People intending to work in San Diego need to apply for the relevant visa in their home country and may also require a letter from their prospective American employer.


Many restaurants in San Diego now operate a strict 'no smoking' policy and the attitude of locals towards smoking in public places has changed dramatically in recent years. Smoking is now also no longer permitted on public transport in San Diego, including buses and trains. Before smoking in public areas in San Diego, it is often a good idea to check with those around you first.


Tipping is commonplace in San Diego and in many cases required, unless the service has been particularly poor. Restaurants in San Diego expect a tip of between 10 to 20 percent, as do taxi drivers. Bars in the city also appreciate tips and often leave a tips trays on the counter. Hotel staff in San Diego, including luggage carriers and hotel porters, also expect a small tip, which can be as little as a dollar or two.