Easygoing San Diego is the surf dude to the glamorous movie stars of Los Angeles and the hip city slickers in San Francisco.
Its laidback lifestyle is sun-kissed and culture-packed, and holidays in San Diego might just be the perfect American adventure for you.
Sitting in southern California on the west coast of the United States of America, the harbour city of San Diego is often overlooked as a holiday destination in favour of its fellow Californian cities. But San Diego holidays continue to grow in popularity as visitors fall for the charms of this relaxed and bronzed beauty.
Located just a few miles north of the border with Mexico, San Diego enjoys one of the best holiday climates in the US. Couple that with some of the coast's most extensive and loveliest beaches, and you begin to understand why holidays here are so alluring.
There is plenty to keep visitors happy, with family parks, historic districts, whale-watching and sailing opportunities, fantastic shopping outlets, lush golf courses, and plenty of options for eating, drinking and partying.
The beaches in San Diego meet the vast Pacific Ocean and attract crowds of sun worshippers and those looking for a bit of sports action on the waves.
The city, which has a long association with the US Navy, is crammed with history and the Gaslamp Quarter is a place you'll want to spend long evenings drinking in the hospitality of southern California. The area, which features many splendid Victorian buildings, is home to bars, restaurants and a lively nightlife scene. There's a Mexican flavour in San Diego's Old Town, and a visit here is a must.
For a true taste of Mexican nightlife though, you should head over the international border to Tijuana. There are no checks going south, but to enter the US again you must take passports. The city offers cheap nightlife and a fun slice of Mexico.
Back in San Diego, the whole family will revel in the city's brilliant attractions. The world-famous San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park, where you'll also find more than 1,000 acres of parkland, museums and theatres. SeaWorld and Legoland are other sure-fire hits with the kids.
San Diego is an excellent place to enjoy a road trip and see more of sunny southern California. The bright lights of Los Angeles might draw you in, or you could tour the state's natural pleasures on the way to the city of Palm Springs.
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San Diego enjoys year-round sunshine with summer highs of 30C and mild winters hovering at around 20C. Rainfall is uncommon in summer and highest in winter.
Mardi Gras; February: Fat Tuesday, as Mardi Gras is otherwise known, receives a big fat welcome in San Diego. The Gaslamp Quarter is the place to be for an unforgettable line-up of parades, music, dancing and parties.
ShamRock; March: Head to the Gaslamp Quarter to celebrate St Patrick's Day in one of the biggest Irish parties on the west coast. Rock out with the locals as the historic heart goes green for the day.
Baseball season starts; April: The San Diego Padres start their season every year in April and this sports-mad city is a great place to catch a game of baseball. Book tickets early.
Imperial Beach Chilli and Jazz Festival; June: Amateurs and professionals of the chilli-making world are on hand to dish up their unique take on chilli in this hotly-contested event. When it all gets a little too hot, get cool with the soothing sounds of jazz.
San Diego Blues Festival; August: Some of the biggest names of the blues world head to the sunny climes of San Diego to entertain the crowds at the waterfront venue. This is an ultra-cool addition to the events calendar and tickets are fairly cheap.