San Diego beckons nearly 40 million travelers each year because it's home to nearly perfect weather year-round, dozens of miles of sunny beaches, and many top tourist destinations. Many popular attractions are easily driven to, so visitors should consider a rental car during their next visit to America's Finest City to make the most of their trip.
Renting a Car in San Diego
A high demand for car rentals in San Diego means there's ample agencies to choose from throughout the city. The city's major airport, San Diego International, has a new rental car center as of 2016 where all pick-ups and drop-offs occur. Fliers enjoy free shuttle service to the rental center around the clock.
Better known rental agencies found at San Diego International include Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Payless, and Thrifty. There are 16 car rental companies at the airport in all. Vehicle choices range from compact cars and sporty sedans to minivans and full-size pickups.
Visitors looking for offsite car rental have several options, including Enterprise Rent-a-Car at 7370 Broadway and Hertz at 333 W. Harbor Drive. Both locations are only a short taxi ride away from the airport.
Driving in San Diego
Most destinations in San Diego can be reached in less than half an hour's drive. Rush-hour traffic happens on weekday mornings and again in the late afternoons and early evenings, with the largest backups at highway on and off ramps.
Visitors should avoid I-5 if possible because many local drivers are aggressive on this freeway. When it's necessary to use I-5, tourists should steer clear of the inner and commuter lanes unless they're familiar with the area and their destination.
There is metered parking downtown and paid parking lots, but drivers will find a few areas where it's free. Most metered beachside lots are usually full during peak hours like weekends, but free parking is available, too.
Things to Do in San Diego
A trip to San Diego wouldn't be complete without a trip to the beach. Voyagers can drive 20 to 30 minutes east from the airport to Mission and Pacific Beaches. These connected shorelines boast high and low swells for all types of water sports. Belmont Park ties the two together and is home to arcades and thrill rides. The boardwalk includes several eateries and boutiques.
Balboa Park boasts the world-renowned San Diego Zoo, the Botanical Building, and Old Globe Theater. Inside the Botanical Building, travelers view an astounding collection of over 2,100 plants. Outside, there are cactus, Japanese, and rose gardens. Visitors may take in a theatrical show or be serenaded by the outdoor pipe organs.
The San Diego Zoo is one of America's largest zoos and houses an immense collection of endangered animals. Tourists will see giraffes, pandas, polar and koala bears, capybaras, manatees, and even a humpback whale.
This sun-soaked, amazing city offers some of America's best tourist attractions and most beautiful beaches — all of which visitors easily reach via car rental in San Diego. Let Skyscanner help plan this getaway today!