San Diego has so much to offer. People from all over the world spend thousands of $$$ to visit this city. But a San Diego local, do you really take advantage of all the cool stuff that San Diego has to offer during your day-to-day life? When was the last time you went whale watching or even just walk along the waterfront in Seaport Village? Maybe it is time to explore your own backyard and book a San Diego Staycation!
Advantages of a San Diego Staycation
Of course, a San Diego staycation is most likely cheaper than an overseas trip. No cost for transportation, renting a car, and accommodation will leave you with a nice pocket of cash for the important things in life: food and experiences. Splurge and take yourself to a few of the best restaurants in San Diego and do some of the bucket list things you have always wanted to do.
If you really want the full San Diego Staycation experience, I recommend staying at a hotel or maybe a really cool AirBnB (if you are new to AirBnB, you can sign up and save up to $55 on your first booking by clicking on the link). If you want to splurge and have an unforgettable San Diego staycation, you could also rent one of these stunning beach houses directly on the ocean? How about a few nights in one of these nice beach resorts? There are some surprisingly affordable options. And with all the cancelations happening at the moment, you might be able to snag up some amazing deals AND support your local economy at a time of need.
If you stay close by, you obviously don’t waste any time on travel. That means more time to actually relax and enjoy some fun activities during your time off. With limited vacation time, a Staycation is a perfect way to maximize your relaxation.
You also don’t have to deal with jet-lag, packing and more. Instead, you can just kick back and relax.
Since San Diego is your home turf, planning will be much easier. You know the area and probably have a few ideas of things that you always wanted to do/check out but never found the time. If you need some more inspiration, check out some more of the articles on this site to get you inspired. Start making a list of cool stuff to do in San Diego, every time you hear someone mention something that interests you.
In any case, planning a Staycation in San Diego is much less time-intensive than planning and organizing a trip to a place you are not as familiar with.
Depending on your current obligations, I recommend you set some boundaries before your Staycation. If not, your boss/family/friends might give you a honey-do list for your time off, simply because you are available.
Make sure you make it clear that you are not available during that time, except for real emergencies. Then turn off your phone and don’t feel guilty. After all, if you had booked that all-inclusive resort in Mexica, they probably would not bother you either.
Ideas and Itineraries for your San Diego Staycation
I know we all can get in a rut and keep on doing the same things over and over again. We develop a routine, go to the same restaurants and places over and over again. But a true vacation is all about experiencing something new and exciting. So here are some ideas for your San Diego Staycation.
San Diego is one of the hotspots for beer lovers with over 150 breweries in the county. So a Beercation sounds like an absolutely appropriate idea for your Staycation in San Diego.
How about a craft beer tour in San Diego? Then you can make it a mission to try as many craft beers from as many breweries during you vacation as possible. You might not remember much of your Staycation, but it sure sounds like fun 😉
Remember, don’t drink and drive!
If you are planning a family staycation, I would highly recommend staying in a hotel by the beach (read our guide on beachfront resorts in San Diego for any budget). There is just something about going to the beach without packing up the house that makes it instantly more relaxing (for the parents), and fun (for the kids). If you want to avoid hotels, check out these fabulous beach rentals in San Diego.
After a couple of beach days, you might want to add some more kid-friendly activities to your itinerary, like a trip to the San Diego Zoo, Whale Watching, or Legoland. If you plan to do a lot of attractions, you might want to look at the Go San Diego Pass, or the Go California Pass. They might save you a LOT of money.
>>Also read our List of San Diego Free Kids Activities
Romantic San Diego Staycation
Whisk away your lover for a romantic staycation in your own backyard. Make some new memories, spend time together and have some fun. I am no Dr. Phil, but spending time together is so important for a relationship and not being distracted by a brand new environment might give you the chance to really discover some new sides in each other.
How about you show each other your favorite places around the city, and try out something fun and new that neither of you has done before? Here are some cool ideas for some of your romantic “dates” during your Staycation, whether it is Valentine’s Day or not.
Party in the Gaslamp
It is important to let loose sometimes. Going out, maybe have a couple of drinks and enjoying yourself is a great way to feel like you are on vacation. If you book yourself a room in the Gaslamp and you don’t have to worry about parking and driving, it feels even more like a “real” getaway. Ask your friends to join you on your Party weekend in San Diego. And during the day, play tourist and check out some of the fun attractions in and near downtown.
Main attractions in and near Gaslamp Quarter/Downtown:
Balboa Park | San Diego Zoo | USS Midway | Seaport Village
Gaslamp Quarter Nightlife and Restaurants | Petco Park
Convention Center | San Diego Symphony | Bay Cruises
Whale Watching | Cruise Ship Terminal | Maritime Museum
Santa Fe Station | Museum of Contemporary Art
San Diego Children’s Museum
Hotel Recommendations Downtown/Gaslamp
Most of us get into a rut and eat at the same ol same ol restaurants every time we go out. We usually only try a new spot, if friends or family are suggesting to meet at a new place. But San Diego has so many great restaurants that are worth trying.
So how about you challenge yourself during your San Diego Staycation and try a new restaurant every day? Or maybe even join a food tour? Greg and I did a food tour a few years ago in North Park and we had a great time. We discovered some really cool new spots and bars that have made it now into our regular rotation of places we go to.
So no matter why you decide to stay close to home this year, a San Diego Staycation can still be relaxing, revitalizing and lots of fun. There is so much fun stuff to do in this city that you never have time for in your busy day-to-day life, so it can be a great opportunity to really enjoy the beautiful city you call home.
San Diego Staycation Tips and Ideas – Pin for later:
Last Updated on May 15, 2023 by Maria Haase