Carlsbad (California)

A lovely beach town in North County that's the home of Legoland California, a theme park based on the phenomenally popular toy line, featuring thrill rides, a water park, and strikingly accurate Lego sculptures.

Chula Vista

The largest city of the South Bay region. There aren't any major attractions here, although visitors will find a delightful nature center situated in the marshes of the bay and some good boating opportunities.


A beautiful island community just across the San Diego Bay from Downtown San Diego. Much of the island is given over to a major naval base, but you'll also find one of the region's cleanest beaches here as well as the gorgeous and historic Hotel Del Coronado.

Del Mar

A small, very pretty Bavarian style seaside town in North County, famed locally for its charming beach, its fairgrounds, and its horse racing track.

El Cajon

The largest city of the Inland region, El Cajon is largely suburban in character.


A small but picturesque beach town in North County with popular surf spots, beachside camping, coastal wetlands and a lovely botanical garden.


A large inland city of North County, mostly suburban in character but with a few minor attractions. The nearby San Pasqual Valley holds the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the expansive sister park to the San Diego Zoo that contains stunningly huge exhibits that resemble African savanna.


The largest city of the North County region, Oceanside offers a popular beach and pier, coastal wetlands, and the largest of the Spanish missions in California.

Go next


Tijuana lies right across the border from San Diego, easily accessed by car or the San Diego Trolley light rail service. For a more low-key alternative, drive to the small border crossing town of Tecate (home of the Tecate brewery).

Los Angeles

and Orange County are relatively easy to get to via a drive on Interstate 5 or along the Pacific Coast.

Catalina Island

(Avalon) within San Diego County. You'll have to go north into neighboring Orange County to the pier at Dana Point. By car, take I-5 to exit #79 Pacific Coast Hwy 1 (make reservations).


15 and makes a good day trip. There are about many vineyards (with tasting rooms) located fairly close to each other. One hour further is the mountain resort of Idyllwild which features shopping and outdoor activities in an alpine forest.


🏝️ as many sights as a desert island


guide to

San Diego County

San Diego County is the southern-most region of Southern California. It encompasses the city of San Diego and its large metropolitan area, which includes many smaller cities and communities. San Diego County lies along the U.S.-Mexican border, across from the Mexican city of Tijuana.


Get in

For detailed information on getting in to San Diego, see the Get in section of San Diego.

By train

Amtrak's frequent Pacific Surfliner San Luis Obispo-Los Angeles-San Diego route serves San Diego County with several stops along the coast, stopping in Oceanside, Solana Beach, and at the southern end of the line at Union Station in Downtown San Diego, with a secondary station in Old Town San Diego.

By car

Three major interstate roadways, Interstate 5, Interstate 8, and Interstate 15, lead into San Diego County. I-5 runs from the north along the coast, I-8 comes in from the east through the desert, and I-15 leads in to San Diego from the northeast.

More information available on Wikivoyage

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