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San Diego Travel Tips

Stay safe on your San Diego vacation

Balboa Park

Balboa Park

  • Balboa Park
  • The US Grant Hotel
  • La Jolla Shores beach
  • The Maritime Museum
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  • For any information regarding San Diego, visit the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau Information Centers conveniently located in downtown San Diego, East County, and in the Village of La Jolla.
  • Don’t forget to bring t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops, as it tends to stay warm in this near-perfect climate.
  • Be careful where you light up. Smoking is prohibited in all public buildings and enclosed places. It is also illegal to smoke within 20 feet of doorways or windows of government buildings.
  • The sales tax in San Diego is 8.75% Hotel taxes are 6-13%
  • Major attractions and parks have public restrooms. In downtown San Diego, most hotels and restaurants will let you use their restrooms.
  • San Diego is generally a safe place for tourists. Try to not stick out as a tourist, remove all badges when leaving conventions and know the direct routes to your destination.


  • Alcohol is no longer allowed on the beaches, so make sure those coolers are booze-free.
  • During the summer months, arrive to the beach early as possible in order to get a good parking spot and an area on the sand to call your own.
  • No glass containers on the beach. Broken glass and bare feet do not mix.
  • Beach fires are only permitted in containers provided by the City, or in personal barbeques elevated above the ground. Coals must be deposited in hot coal containers.
  • Keep your canines in check. Dogs are only allowed on the beach and in adjacent parks between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m., and must be leashed at all times.
  • Major beaches separate surf zones from swim zones with a large black and yellow checker flag. Don’t get caught in the wrong zone.
  • The maximum speed on San Diego boardwalks is 8 mph. Remember, this isn’t the Indy 500.
  • Overnight camping and sleeping at the beach are strictly prohibited.
  • Jumping from cliffs higher that 5 feet into the Pacific Ocean is not allowed. 
  • When at the beach, ask the lifeguard about any unsafe conditions, such as riptides or water pollution. One bad incident could ruin a vacation.


  • There is only one toll road in San Diego County: State Route 125, the South Bay Expressway. This 10-mile road extends from State Route 54 to State Route 905. 
  • Beware of where you park - check the parking lot, curb, and signs in the area. Most parking meters are off after 6pm, and all day Sunday & holidays. 


  • If you decide to take a trip down to Mexico, make sure you complete customs procedures upon arrival back to the U.S. Visitors over 21 years of age entering the U.S. may bring back one liter (two pints) of alcohol, gifts worth up to $100, and 200 cigarettes, 100 cigars or three pounds (1.4 kilograms) of tobacco, without paying duty. All food must be declared to inspectors. Make sure to keep your receipts of any purchases made abroad.
  • Don’t get stuck abroad. Make sure you provide acceptable documentation when crossing the U.S./Mexico border. While a passport isn't required to enter Mexico, you must have a valid passport to enter the United States.
  • When traveling to Mexico, stay very aware.  Hide all important documents and stay in well-traveled areas.