America’s finest city is also our first choice for cheap California vacations. S.D. has the best beaches in California for surfing, swimming, and scuba diving, along with the world-famous San Diego Zoo. With the beach resorts of Mission Bay, the gilded age elegance of the Hotel Del, and the urban appeal of the Gaslamp District and Little Italy, it’s easy to see why San Diego is a beloved destination. The trick is how to do San Diego on a budget.
First off, because of traffic in the L.A. Basin, it’s easier to get to San Diego beaches for anybody in Nevada, Arizona, or Southern California for anybody living outside of Los Angeles County or the O.C. Secondly, because of the trolly system and hop-on /hop-off tours, you can visit San Diego car-free if you fly. There are many cheap things to do in San Diego, including biking and the beach, and the hotels are much more reasonable than you might expect. Finally, here’s our ace in the hole – the King of Happy Hour website. There are so many happy hour specials in San Diego, especially Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, that you never need to pay full price for meals.