Getting Around San Diego

The best way to get around San Diego is by car. You'll find that the trolley and bus routes aren't as well-connected as in other cities, so to fully experience everything, you're better off controlling your own mobility. You can rent a car from the San Diego International Airport (SAN) located a little more than 3 miles northwest of the city center or you can take a taxi and then rent a car once you arrive in town. Taxi fares from the airport to downtown San Diego can fluctuate depending on traffic, but you should expect to pay about $12 to $15 for a one-way ride. There are also several shuttle companies that connect the airport to popular areas in San Diego, including downtown and Mission Beach. Consult the airport's website for more information about pricing.

On Foot Once you've decided on a neighborhood to explore, you'll find that the heel-to-toe method works rather well. However, when it comes to covering more ground, your own two feet probably won't cut it.
Car You'll find having a car makes it more convenient to get off the beaten path to the city's most beautiful beaches and one-of-a-kind restaurants. And finding your way should be easy, as much of the city's streets are laid out on a grid and most of the key sites have good signage. Keep some coins in the center console; like many big cities, San Diego streets are dotted with metered parking, especially in the popular tourist areas. Rental car agencies can be found at the airport and in town.
Public Transportation

Most travelers say the city's Metropolitan Transit System bus is not as consistent as other major cities' systems, but it does service many of San Diego's top attractions, including Balboa Park, the Cabrillo National Monument and the San Diego Zoo. For quick trips in and around downtown, you can hop on the trolley. Among its stops downtown are the Santa Fe Depot and the San Diego Convention Center. Fares for both the bus and trolley can fluctuate depending on the route, but one-way fares cost between $2.25 and $5. Day passes, which are good for unlimited rides on most MTS bus and trolley routes, cost $5. Check with MTS for more detailed information on current fares and routes. Most bus routes operate seven days a week, with varying hours. The city does not offer round-the-clock bus service.

Taxi There are at least a dozen or so taxi companies servicing the San Diego area, so you'll never have trouble finding a cab if you need one. However, rates are based on mileage, meaning a trip from central city to outer communities like La Jolla can add up pretty quickly. You're better off renting a car if you plan on covering a lot of the city.
Ferry or Water Taxi

Ferries run regularly between downtown's Broadway Pier and the Convention Center and Coronado. The ride takes about 15 minutes, and one-way tickets cost $4.25 per person. Children younger than 4 ride for free. Ferry service from San Diego to Coronado begins at 9 a.m. and departs every hour on the hour. Ferry service from Corondao to San Diego begins at 9:30 a.m. and runs every hour leaving on the half hour. The last ferry leaves San Diego at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The last ferry leaves Coronado at 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. You can also catch a water taxi from any dock along San Diego Bay for a flat rate of $8 per person to most locations. However, water taxis only run on weekends between noon and 10 p.m.

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