No aquarium you visit will ever equal the incredible experience that is SeaWorld, and the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park will take you a whirlwind trip around the world to deserts, jungles, and mountains within just a few hours. San Diego makes the most of its great weather year-round and you will find a wide variety of attractions and activities you can enjoy outdoors, ranging from the Japanese Friendship Gardens, to stargazing at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, to open-air concerts at the Seaport Village, and dozens of walking tours that explore San Diego's neighbourhoods from historic Old Town to stylish La Jolla.
Those looking for a more laid-back vacation should pitch a sun umbrella on Mission Bay or Point Loma beaches, and not move a muscle for the rest of the day. For a night on the town or a fine dining experience you won't ever forget, try some of the many chic restaurants and bars around the bay. As a university town, students can get discounts on tickets to most major San Diego attractions but even if you're not in school, you can find coupons for cheap tickets and deals on San Diego's tourism website.
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San Diego International Airport (SAN), also called Lindbergh Field Airport, is located less than five kilometres away from the city and is served by a number of domestic and international airlines including Allegiant, Delta, JetBlue, United, and US. Air Canada offers passengers direct flights from Vancouver and Toronto while WestJet flies direct from Calgary. Passengers booking flights to San Diego from Canada on other airlines will most likely have to make connections via San Francisco or Los Angeles.
Although year-round temperatures average a warm 21ºC, the weather can change drastically within short distances owing to the city's mix of mountain, desert, and coastal topography. San Diego flights fill up quickly during the school holiday months from June to August, but weather-wise, the best time to visit San Diego is actually from September to October when it is still warm and most of the tourists have left. May Grey and June Gloom are phenomena particular to the San Diego region and it's best to avoid the overcast skies and frequent fog cover during these months. Booking between November to January will get you cheap airline tickets but this is also the wettest period in San Diego. The weather improves in the shoulder season from February to May but flights may be more expensive if there are business conventions planned during this time.
San Diego International Airport (SAN) has two main terminals which deal with international and domestic airlines as well as a smaller Commuter Terminal which is used for short-distance flights to Los Angeles. Passengers with connecting flights can use the Airport Loop shuttle service which runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and connects all the terminal buildings.
Public Transit: Passengers on San Diego flights who need to connect to Amtrak services, the city's Trolley light rail network, or downtown destinations can buses on Route 992 which stop by Terminals 1 and 2 as well as the Commuter Terminal every 15-30 minutes. One-way fares are less than $3 USD with discounts on tickets for seniors and the disabled. Those in town for a fortnight or more can buy a multi-modal Compass Card for $2, adding additional fares when necessary, or buy day passes for shorter stays.
Airport Shuttle: Shuttle services depart from the Transportation Plazas at Terminals 1 and 2 and at the curb outside the Commuter Terminal. For trips to downtown San Diego, shared-ride shuttle fares average $10 USD while private vehicles can cost between $30-$40 USD. Discounts are available for group bookings for two or more passengers.
Hotel Shuttle: A limited number of hotels are allowed to operate courtesy shuttles from the airport so call ahead and check if this service is included in your hotel booking, or proceed to the Transportation Plazas on arrival to find out if your hotel has a shuttle waiting.
Taxi: Cabs can be found at the Transportation Plazas at Terminals 1 and 2. The airport is less than 10 minutes away from the city centre so fares to downtown San Diego are cheap, costing no more than $15 for a one-way trip.
Chauffeured Car Service: When booking your luxury car or limousine ride into the city, make sure that the company is authorized to collect passengers from the airport. Rates vary depending on your destination and the service provider you choose, and booking at least 48 hours in advance is recommended.
Car Rental: Over 15 companies provide car rental services from off-site locations for passengers arriving on flights to San Diego, including A1, Ace, Fox, and Travcar. You can request a pick-up shuttle from your car rental company of choice by using the courtesy phones located near the baggage claim areas or simply follow the signs to the shuttle zone areas and wait for the next available shuttle.