How to pick the perfect vacation rental in San Diego
With 70 miles of coastline and a year-round average daily temperature of 70 degrees, it isn’t difficult to imagine that San Diego—AKA the “birthplace of California”—is a popular vacation spot on the West Coast. Despite its reputation as a beach hub, San Diego has so much more to offer than just big waves and sand. Learn how to surf like the pros or head to any of San Diego’s major attractions, such as the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, SeaWorld, or La Jolla Cove.
Follow these tips to help you pick the perfect San Diego vacation rental for your travel plans.
- Where to stay for the best surfing. Whether you’re a pro or a tourist wanting to hop on board for the first time, the best beaches—the ones with the best waves—includes the iconic Swami's, Stone Steps Beach, Torrey Pines State Beach, Cardiff State Beach, San Onofre State Beach, and the southern portion of Black's Beach. Beginners should stick to Oceanside Beach, La Jolla Beach, and Pacific Beach—home of the San Diego Surf School.
- Where to stay near the San Diego Zoo. Rated among the best zoos in the world and housing more than 650 species, the San Diego Zoo is located in the Gaslamp Quarter in between the Inspiration Point North and Penn Station neighborhoods. Conveniently, the zoo is also walking distance from other popular indoor destinations, including the San Diego Natural History Museum.
- Where to stay near the University of California San Diego. Wedged in between La Jolla and Interstate 5, the University of California San Diego is home to roughly 36,000 students. To visit the campus, consider staying in neighboring communities, such as the Torrey Pines neighborhood north of the university and southern La Jolla Village.
- Where to stay to visit La Jolla. The upscale oceanfront community of La Jolla draws visitors with its cliffs with sea caves, coves where seals and sea lions rest on the sand, and local art brought to the city by the one and only Dr. Seuss. Search for tide pools along La Jolla Cove, walk along the picturesque Scripps Pier, and snorkel in the La Jolla Underwater Park. Since it is a more expensive area of San Diego, more frugal visitors should look to stay in Pacific Beach.
- How to choose your own San Diego rental experience. While folks may mostly think of San Diego because of its beaches, the area is actually more vast inland. Of course, stay in Torrey Pines, La Jolla, Ocean Beach, and Sunset Cliffs along the coast if you want a classic beach vacation. But also check out the Gaslamp Quarter downtown, which is known as the cultural epicenter of San Diego; Little Italy, which is packed with craft breweries and several world-renowned chefs; and the historic heart of San Diego, Old Town/Mission Valley, which is both the most easily accessible area from the airport and a short drive away from the downtown area.