Kaplan City Guide: San Diego

When learning English abroad, the first step is deciding what type of city you want to be studying in. For our students in San Diego, they choose their destination because of its favorable weather and ocean-side location. Known for it’s warm climate, beautiful beaches, and friendly atmosphere, San Diego is the embodiment of the laid back Californian lifestyle. Here are some of our students' tips on how to make the most out of this beautiful and easy-going city. 


Check out San Diego's beaches 

"The city is close to a number of beaches, which is perfect for water sports.’"

Tip provided by:

Mohammed Sumili, Saudia Arabia 

The best way to make the most of San Diego is by visiting the beach. Listed as a "must see" destination for those visiting San Diego, there are over 70 miles of sandy beaches to choose from. For Arabic student Mohammed, going to the beach was a great opportunity to try out some water sports such as jet skiing. For those that want to try their hand at surfing, head to notorious surf beaches such as La Jolla and Pacific Beach, where the waves are a bit more extreme.

A firm favorite beach amongst our students is Mission Beach, which attracts large crowds all year round. With a skate ramp, cycle route, and bustling boardwalk, there's more than just sand and great surf at this popular beach. 

mission beach san diego
Relax or try your hand at some of the more extreme water sports – the choice is yours!


Take advantage of the transportation links 

"The transportation is easy, safe, and affordable."

Tip provided by:

Eid Alatawi, Saudi Arabia

One of the most common tips from our students studying in San Diego is their recommendation to use the public transport. Simple, frequent, and affordable, the transportation allows users the chance to move around the city freely, offering quick links to locations such as downtown, the beach, and the harbor. For those that want to explore different cities, the AMTRAK transportation link also provides an affordable alternative to flying, providing links to cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara.  


Support the San Diego Padres at a Baseball game

"Go see the San Diego Padres."

Tip provided by:

Martina Zuend, Switzerland 

Located just a short walk away from our Kaplan school, plenty of our students enjoy going to Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres, to watch a baseball game. With foam fingers, amazing street food, and a lively and brilliant atmosphere, nothing beats the true American tradition of watching a national team play baseball.

petco park san diego
A baseball game is a great way to spend the afternoon with your friends


Check out the wildlife at the San Diego Zoo 

"My favorite thing to do in San Diego is to visit the animals at the San Diego Zoo."

Tip provided by:

Genia Vasiliev, Russia

For Russian student Genia, no trip to San Diego is complete without a visit to San Diego Zoo. Located in Balboa Park, the zoo houses over 4,000 animals, spread out across 2,000 acres of land. In addition to touring the zoo, visitors can also enjoy feeding giraffes and pandas, visiting animals in their natural habit in the safari wildlife park, and taking the sky tram, which offers an aerial view of the zoo. From tigers and elephants to monkeys and giant pandas, the San Diego zoo is regarded as one of the largest and best zoos in the world, offering species from continents all over the world. 


Treat yourself to some retail therapy  

"I love the shopping here - it's great and really affordable."

Tip provided by:

Federico Passarino, Italy

Like many of our students, Federico enjoys the shopping in San Diego, as it has "many shopping malls that are unique and fun to shop at." For those that enjoy bargain hunting, try visiting the Gas Lamp District, which boasts 16 blocks filled with boutiques and thrift shops, offering a wide selection of local art, books, crafts, jewelry, home furnishings, and gifts at affordable prices. If big department stores are more your thing, then San Diego has that covered too. With large American chain stores such as Bloomingdales, Macys, and Nordstrom, you’ll never be short of some retail therapy.

balboa park san diego
Whether you're shopping or just hanging out around town, the weather is always favorable


In the words of Kaplan student Federico, "San Diego has it all." With amazing beaches full of "friendly people," "great shopping," and weather that is always sunny and warm, San Diego is the perfect place to live and study.

Come and discover the city of San Deigo yourself! You never know what you might find. If you’ve lived or studied here, feel free to share any other tips in the comment section below. Want to find out more about how you can study English in the USAContact one of our advisors for more information.

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