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San Diego (Photo:littleny/Shutterstock)
2017 Top-Rated US & Canada Destinations
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of San Diego

California's second largest city, San Diego is located at the foot of the state's scenic coastline, where it enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year. The metropolitan area is an inviting mix of city chic and beach casual, with plenty of recreational opportunities ranging from sailing across a sparking bay to hiking in the Cuyamaca Mountains.

About San Diego


Pro

The Port of San Diego is located right downtown, in California's sunny second-largest city

Con

Itineraries are somewhat limited to the Mexican Riviera and coastal cruises

Bottom Line

It's a beautiful city with optimal weather and anything you want to do is a trolley ride away


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San Diego is home to diverse nationalities, including Pacific Islanders, Asians, Hispanics, Middle Easterners and Europeans. It is most heavily influenced by its Spanish and Mexican roots. Visitors will discover this as they explore Balboa Park, munch tacos and take note of Spanish street names.

Shaped by canyons, flat lands and rolling hills, the city's numerous neighborhoods have distinct ethnic and cultural identities. Many of the most dynamic, including Old Town, Point Loma, Hillcrest and North Park, are within eight miles of the cruise terminal. Equally close is funky Ocean Beach, one of the last authentic California beach towns. Several other popular destinations -- like the Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy -- are an easy walk from the port.

Just a few miles from the bay is Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park, home to the Old Globe Theater and world-renowned San Diego Zoo. A city-wide celebration is planned for 2015 to mark the centennial of the Panama-California Exposition when many of the park's Spanish Colonial Revival-style buildings were constructed.

For those who arrive or depart and have time on their hands, day trips abound. Take the kids to SeaWorld to pet dolphins or to colorful Legoland in Carlsbad. Enjoy a round of golf at world-famous Torrey Pines followed by a gourmet dinner overlooking the sea in La Jolla. Bet on the ponies during the summer racing season in Del Mar. Less than an hour's drive from the city, taste wine in Temecula's wine country, or camp overnight with lions, tigers and giraffes at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido.

Where You're Docked

San Diego Cruise Port Address:
B Street Cruise Ship Terminal, 1140 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

Cruise ships dock at the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal in San Diego harbor at the bayside entrance to downtown. It's a 20-minute walk to the bustling Gaslamp Quarter and 15 minutes to trendy Little Italy or the novelty shops at Seaport Village.

Good to Know

Trips to Tijuana or other nearby Mexican beach towns can be problematic, especially on ship departure days. Border crossings are long and unpredictable, and violence and crime, plus rising prices for everything from tequila to sombreros, act to deter even savvy locals from making the trip.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The currency is the U.S. dollar, and ATMs are readily available throughout the city and just off the cruise terminal.

Language

English is spoken everywhere, including in the tourist-friendly areas of Baja, Mexico.

Shopping

San Diego is a microbrewery capital, drawing beer lovers from all over the world to quaff hand-crafted suds. At Stone Brewing's World Bistro & Gardens at Point Loma's Liberty Station, grab apparel for men, women and even infants with Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale logo. Suit-case stuffers like beer towels, openers, coasters and even dog collars are for sale too.

Next to the cruise terminal is the historic USS Midway Museum. The aircraft carrier is now a naval and aviation museum where military buffs can buy a Midway ball cap, T-shirts emblazoned with "The Kiss" photo, and souvenir coins made from arrest wire used to help stop planes landing on the flight deck.


San Diego Awards

Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards

2017 Top-Rated US & Canada Destinations
2016 Top-Rated US & Canada Destinations