Travel

Getting to San Diego | Getting around San Diego | Weather | Time Zone | International Visitors | Tipping Guidelines | Special-Service Needs | Local Attractions | Dining |

Getting to San Diego

Air Travel

San Diego is served by San Diego International Airport (SAN), just 10 minutes away from downtown San Diego and serviced by taxis, buses, vans, and private car services.

San Diego International Airport (SAN)

Getting to San Diego from SAN:

  • Reserve a Super Shuttle
  • Taxi: estimated taxi fare is $20, 3.3 miles (13 minutes).
  • Rental Cars: Prices vary. SAN’s Rental Car Center is served by Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Fox, Hertz, National, Thrifty, and others.
  • Prices vary for private car services and ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft.

Other Ways to Get Here

In addition to nearby airports, San Diego is easily accessible via an extensive network of bridges, trains, light rail, buses, heliports, and even cruise ports.

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Getting Around San Diego

Exploring San Diego by car is the most convenient way of getting around to all corners of the region. The freeway system is easy to navigate and the traffic is manageable other than typical work-day morning and evening rush hours.

The San Diego Trolley

The San Diego Trolley provides convenient services from key locations including the Santa Fe Depot and the San Diego Convention Center, crisscrossing through downtown and out to Old Town, Mission Valley, El Cajon, and Santee.

There are three trolley lines (Blue, Orange and Green) that service the downtown San Diego communities and beyond, covering 51 miles of track, and 53 stations total. Fares run from $1.50 to $3 one-way and trolleys run an average of every 15 minutes, 7 minutes during peak and 30 minutes during off-peak hours.

For current information on Bus and Trolley Service, visit the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System.

Coaster Train

Daily, the North County Transit District’s Coaster trains connect downtown San Diego and Old Town with coastal communities throughout the county including Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Oceanside. These trains offer visitors car-free access to some of the most charming beach communities in the region, as well as a relaxing ride with breathtaking coastal scenery. There are more than 20 trains that run on weekdays with additional service on weekends. The entire coaster route from Oceanside to the Santa Fe Depot downtown takes about an hour. An adult round-trip fare from downtown San Diego to Oceanside is inexpensive, and children aged 5 and under ride free.

Ride Sharing and Taxis

Uber and Lyft are both available in San Diego. As is customary in most U.S. cities, you may also hail a taxi directly or use a smart phone app. Taxis are typically under $20 for most trips around the city.

Coronado Ferry

This passenger ferry, owned and operated by Flagship Cruises & Events, runs regularly across San Diego Bay, between the Broadway Pier and the Convention Center in downtown San Diego and the Coronado Ferry Landing. Fifteen minutes each way, the ferry ride provides gorgeous views of the downtown skyline and the Coronado Bridge.

Water Taxi

San Diego Water Taxi offers on-call transportation services in San Diego Bay Friday through Sunday. Service runs between Downtown and Coronado, where you can relax and enjoy the scenery and beautiful downtown skylines from the water.

Bike Rentals

DecoBike, San Diego’s only citywide bike share, has 170 solar-powered bike sharing stations and more than 1,700 bicycles. There are two ways to rent a DecoBike bicycle. You can sign up for an annual or monthly membership online or rent a bike at the station for a short term casual ride.

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Weather

January has the coldest weather of the year for San Diego, but temperatures remain mild and well above freezing. In early January, the average temperature in San Diego is in the mid-60s. Conference attendees are encouraged to bring a mid-weight jacket and to check the forecast for rain or unusual temperature drops/spikes prior to travel.

Time Zone

San Diego is in the Pacific Standard Time Zone. Check here for the current date and time in San Diego.

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International Visitors

If you’re visiting San Diego from outside the United States, you may need a visa to enter the country. For details, visit the US State Department’s visa information website.

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Tipping Guidelines

  • Hotel doorman: $3 for hailing a cab
  • Porters and bellhops: $1–$2 per bag
  • Maids: $1–$2 per person, per day of your visit, or as much as $5 per day
  • Waitstaff and bartenders: 15–20 percent of total bill
  • Taxi drivers: 15–20 percent of total fare
  • Tips for other service personnel, such as theater ushers, tour guides and coat-check staff, are always appreciated.

It’s worth noting that if you’re having drinks at a bar, bartenders typically expect a $2 tip for every drink they serve you.

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Special-Service Needs

With its mild climate, 70 miles of sun-kissed beaches, world-famous family attractions and popular year-round events and festivals, San Diego is an ideal vacation destination. To ensure that our visitors with disabilities can experience and enjoy San Diego to the fullest, this travel guide provides resources and information on accessible hotels, tours, lift transportation, attractions and more.

  • To make sure that all San Diego visitors can enjoy the sand and water, free beach wheelchairs are available at seven San Diego beaches for children and adults with special needs or disabilities.
  • Looking for a special night out? San Diego abounds with award-winning theatre and concert options that meet the needs of theatre visitors with disabilities.
  • Accessible San Diego sightseeing tours happen on land or water, via a bus, boat, or old-fashioned trolley.
  • Disabled shopping enthusiasts can spend hours exploring San Diego’s unique retail districts, whether checking out the major outdoor malls or the unrivaled bargains at the region’s popular outlet centers.
  • Please visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website for visitors for more information on accessibility to Attractions.

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Local Attractions

San Diego’s scenic beauty, cultural attractions, diverse communities, and world-class cuisine are just some of the many wonderful experiences that the city has to offer. Popular destinations include the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, La Jolla Cove, and the city’s miles of beautiful beaches.

Dining

Called one of “America’s best cities for foodies,” San Diego’s culinary scene is a burgeoning, vibrant mix of locally inspired flavors, from delightfully simple to sophisticatedly artful. The city’s proximity to the ocean and Mexico has greatly influenced both the local cuisine and culture. From fish tacos to groundbreaking Cali-Baja fine dining, San Diego’s gastronomic scene sits at the intersection of two culinary styles: California cuisine, distinguished for its devotion to fresh local ingredients and farm-to-table roots, and Mexico’s Baja Med cuisine, a food revolution that combines traditional Mexican ingredients with those of the Mediterranean. For restaurant information and recommendations, visit the San Diego Travel Dining Guide.

For your convenience while at the Annual Meeting, please see suggestions for dining close by the Annual Meeting hotels.

Nearby Lunch Spots
Nearby Cuisine

Sightseeing

San Diego is home to many of Southern California’s top attractions, with plenty of options for adventure-seeking, fun-loving explorers. Have a close encounter with an exotic animal. Take a wild ride down a 375-foot water slide. Step aboard a real aircraft carrier. Or even take a day trip to Disneyland, just a short drive north to Anaheim. Nearby the Annual Meeting Hotels is the Gaslamp Quarter, where you can immerse themselves in rich Victorian architecture and history and dine with world-renowned chefs. Tucked tightly into 16 ½ blocks, the Gaslamp Quarter is a walkable urban playground located in Downtown San Diego adjacent to the Convention Center, Petco Park, and Horton Plaza.

Shopping

San Diego has many outdoor shopping centers that feature both name brand shops and local boutiques and specialty stores. For the latest retail deals and information, visit the San Diego Travel Shopping Guide. The Gaslamp Quarter’s 16 city blocks are also filled with shopping opportunities, and for more information you can visit the neighborhood’s shopping guide.

Additional Fun Activities

For more information on sightseeing tours, activities, and adventures around San Diego, please visit the San Diego Sightseeing Guide.

Social Media and Mobile Applications for Visitors

While you are in San Diego, there are some mobile apps to enhance your visit. For more information on these mobile apps (ranging from bike sharing to fine dining searches) please visit Best San Diego Travel Apps.

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