We recommend planning at least 3 days for San Diego. This will allow you to explore the city center, visit one or two theme parks, and potentially also take a look at the beautiful coastal areas nearby. However, if you have more time, you can easily spend 5 to 7 days in San Diego and you'll find plenty to do. For a more complete experience of the city, excluding theme parks, I recommend that you spend at least two full days in San Diego.
This way, you can also visit historic districts and major monuments in a single day, especially if you're only planning a short stop during your road trip or if you want to stay for 2 days, including a theme park. Planning the perfect 2- to 4-day San Diego itinerary isn't always an easy task with so many things to do in the city. Others avoid it because it's a bit off the beaten path for those who take the classic route that includes the other two major cities on the California coast (Los Angeles and San Francisco) and major inland attractions. San Diego is about 2 to 3 hours by car from Los Angeles and there are plenty of interesting places to visit along the way.
But the main reason to visit it is to enjoy the best nighttime views of San Diego Bay from Centennial Park (later on in the best places to take pictures). La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya) is a popular upscale neighborhood in the northwest of San Diego, famous for its excellent cuisine and its upscale town atmosphere. If you want to get a little more active and explore one of San Diego's most beautiful suburbs, head a little further north to explore the beautiful La Jolla area. We suggest that you consider Gaslamp, La Jolla, or downtown San Diego as the best place to look for hotels.
Pacific Beach, the northernmost beach on the third day, is a beautiful, wide stretch of sand and one of the most beautiful beaches in San Diego. In other cities, a park is often just a great place to relax, but Balboa Park in San Diego is much more. San Diego is one of the most beautiful and attractive cities in California and is right on the border with Mexico. This is one of the less touristy beaches included in this 3-day San Diego itinerary and is the perfect place to go if you're looking for a more local and peaceful environment instead of bustling Mission Bay or exclusive Pacific Beach.
The first thing is to go to Coronado Beach, where you can take off your shoes and walk on the pristine sand with gold spots. This is an ideal 5-day San Diego itinerary, which you can combine according to your schedule and personal taste. If it's Saturday, you can go to the fish market, but even on the rest of the days of the week, taking a walk along the waterfront is a good way to start the day. If you're an animal lover or traveling with kids, no visit to San Diego is complete without going to the incredible San Diego Zoo.
There is a lot of history in this picturesque and walkable district, especially considering that it fell into total chaos in the mid-20th century and became synonymous with San Diego's red light district.