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Navigating the US: Getting Around in San Diego, California

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getting around in San Diego

San Diego by night

San Diego is known as being the typical southern California city, with beautiful landscapes dotted with palm trees and the perfect weather almost all year round. It is quickly becoming a favorite for tourists and residents looking for an athletic atmosphere, making the options for getting around in San Diego interesting, including Pedicabs and bicycles.

Recommended Modes of Transportation

  • Car—While the city is working on increasing alternative forms of transportation, driving is currently the most popular and convenient way of getting around in San Diego. The city itself is sprawling, covering a large amount of area that makes it difficult to get from one place to another on foot. The major car rental companies work out of the airport, so if you need to rent a car, that would be the place you’d want to go.
  • Metropolitan Transit System (MTS)—As San Diego’s bus service, it isn’t the greatest but it will still get you where you need to go. Make sure you account for the possibilities of buses being late and making multiple stops while you’re making plans. If you want a guide to the bus routes, you can find them at sdmts.com.
  • San Diego Trolley—Mainly serving tourists and those living in the southern and eastern parts of the city, the trolley line offers three different routes that will get you where you need to go. For the trolley schedules, make sure you check out the San Diego Trolley Website.
getting around in San Diego

Skyline and harbor

Major Highways and Roadways to Know

There are three major roadways in San Diego—I-5, I-8, and I-15. I-5 starts at the US-Mexico border crossing and continues north through Los Angeles and Central California all the way to the U.S-Canada border. I-8 travels eastward towards Phoenix, Arizona; while I-15 will take you east towards Nevada.

Alternative Ways of Seeing the City

Airports and Car Rentals

Less than ten minutes from downtown, the San Diego International Airport caters to residents and tourists flying in and out of the city. There are any number of airport shuttle companies to get you to and from the airport, costing around $15 per person. Just north of the city is McClellan-Palomar Airport–though it is limited to only United Express flights–providing service to Los Angeles. All major car rental companies work out of the airport, allowing you to pick and choose whichever company works best for you.

getting around in San Diego

Watch out for some breathtaking sunsets across San Diego’s skyline.

Hotels and Attractions

Depending on whether you’re looking for a beachside vacation rental or a luxury high-rise hotel downtown, San Diego offers numerous accommodation choices, which mostly center along Hotel Circle in Mission Valley.

If you’re looking for something fun to do, San Diego offers a number of different attractions, whether you’re with your family or a group of friends. Some of these attractions include the San Diego Zoo, La Jolla, Old Town, and Point Loma Lighthouse.

For more information about getting around in San Diego, feel free to visit these sites:

Do you have any tips on getting around in San Diego? Leave us a comment below!

  • David BiggsContributor

    David Biggs is the general manager at Jaremko Nissan in Spokane, WA. Jaremko offers new and used Nissan sales, Nissan service, and genuine Nissan parts. Learn more about David Biggs on his Google+ profile.