San Diegan – I Know San Diego – Travel Guide

Coronado Bridge offers quick access to and from Downtown.

San Diego 500 Things to Do + Maps Attractions, Shopping, Coupons, Sightseeing, Best Restaurants

50 Maps & Walking Tours

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You’re one of 5.2 million newcomers, visitors, and residents a year, who follow Barry’s PERSONAL recommendations via his, San Diegan Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, & LinkedIn. San Diego 500 Things to do we’re #1. SAN DIEGAN is a trademarked 52 yr. Brand.

Barry Receives a San Diego Day

The City of San Diego gave Barry a “Barry Berndes Day” on January 14th, 2018. This award was in recognition of Barry’s 50-year devotion to showing millions of people his city annually via the SAN DIEGAN and You are in good hands with Publisher Barry Berndes because Barry Knows San Diego.

Enjoy the Best of San Diego with the SAN DIEGAN

Our 52 years of showcasing the best of San Diego is based on only recommending the best of the best. Our recommendations are based on an unbiased personal research approach. It’s your assurance that only the best of the best will do.

Best 1, 2, & 3 Day City Tours

Must-see attractions include the Cabrillo Monument and a dinner cruise on San Diego Bay. Beyond these two must-see attractions, the sky is the limit. Using my Map page you can create your own custom city tour including where to eat. My 700-page website has so much reliable content that Google categorizes us as an authority site just like The New York Times.

Best Restaurants

I spent the past 52 years writing the “honest guidebook to San Diego” by dining in 10,000 restaurants by going unannounced, paying for my own meals, and inspecting the kitchens. My reviews are the gold standard of excellence. I did the same extensive research for my San Diego 500 Things to do, attractions, sightseeing tours with maps making my tours special.

Best Bucket List Getaways for Locals

Virtually every year online travel magazine ranks San Diego as the top destination worldwide beckoning 36 million visitors here to relax and enjoy the moment. Here is a local and regional travel bucket list of must-experience travel destinations in your own backyard for locals with cabin fever, to take the edge off during the coronavirus.

Best do-it-Yourself Brewery Tour

San Diego County is the Micro-Brewery Capital of the World. Thus, a fun San Diego things to do easy-to-navigate brewery tour is my San Diego Micro-Brewery Tour. Included on my San Diego 500 Things to do brewery tour is visiting three of the top microbreweries in America. They are Stone Brewery, Ballast Point Brewing Company & Coronado Brewery. My San Diego map tours with San Diego attractions enable you to visit four distinctive neighborhoods in a few hours, and find great places to eat too!

Calendar of Events

My San Diego 500 Things to Do should definitely include a perusal of the Calendar of Events Page. Over 100 communities offer an annual event to celebrate who they are. They are TONS of fun! You’ll be spoiled with so many exhilarating San Diego 500 Things to Do. Live the San Diego Adventure locals enjoy.

Casinos in San Diego

Our Las Vegas-style casinos offer top-notch gaming venues along with nationally acclaimed entertainment, and dining alternatives galore 24 hours a day. Five casinos even boast luxurious hotel accommodations. Thus, you no longer have to go to Las Vegas to enjoy gaming at its best. Additional perks include: day spas, golf courses and one casino even has a factory outlet. They are, yet another, day or fabulous weekend San Diego 500 Things to do getaway.


If you’re not staying in an ocean view or bay view hotel, staying in a hotel with excellent access to the rest of the city for a lot less money makes good sense. If you are staying in the central zone, then stay in Mission Valley (see this map in the 50 Maps & Walking Tours Title above). Back-in-the-day, it was where everyone stayed. That was before the downtown convention center was built. Mission Valley’s major appeal is its two major shopping centers, great restaurants and easy accessibility to all of the major freeways, and major attractions. Good hotels like The Kings Inn ($72) a night and the Town & Country Hotel ($129) are great recommendations.

Coupons for Attractions

You’ll enjoy the many coupons for attractions like a dinner cruise aboard a Hornblower yacht on San Diego Bay, touring the USS Midway Aircraft carrier, and the awesome high-end factory outlet shops. You’ll be happy to discover my handpicked San Diego 500 Things to do offering coupons based on 500 San Diego Things to Do with Sightseeing maps and must-see attractions.

Curbside Takeaways/Deliveries

The NEW NORMAL is Curbside Takeaway and Delivery. I feature personally reviewed restaurants vs. a list of unknown places. Therefore, you know you are getting insider information for which restaurants are the best! I have always been a big supporter of curbside takeaway dining. Now that dining at home or in your hotel room has become the new NORMAL make it your own by adding candlelight dining, champagne, music via Pandora, and why not do a little dancing?

Day at the Horse Racings

The 83rd running of the thoroughbred horse races got underway with empty stands. Yet, 20 exciting countywide venues at top restaurants, a casino, and the Del Mar Hilton all feature off-track betting, libations …

Eat Free on Your Birthday

You may not live to be 100, but everybody should DEFINITELY HAVE 100 BIRTHDAYS. Eating in multiple restaurants during your birthday month is what local restaurants are encouraging you to do. For example, Barra Barra in historic Old Town celebrates all birthdays for the month on the 5th day of each month by giving you a FREE meal, when you buy a frosty margarita. In Mexico, birthdays are celebrated for 2 days a year. Why not make yours a whole month? One day is just not long enough!

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Mexico Travel & Tijuana Ole!

If you are a visitor, a day trip to Tijuana is just what you do. My how to get there, where to park on this side of the border, and the round trip bus that will take you back to where you parked your car in a secure lot is thoroughly covered in my San Diego 500 Things to do Tijuana Chapter excursion. Plus, I tell you where to shop and eat. Locals, have more time, and like to travel throughout Baja California, Mexico using my many helpful chapters and maps.

Museums & Attractions

Balboa Park is San Diego’s Cultural Center and is home to 32 museums. It’s a must-see on your list of San Diego things to do. The offers a wonderful walking tour with an easy-to-follow maps. Yet, Balboa Park is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to museums. There are military museums galore including the USS Midway aircraft carrier. Plus, an absolute must is my museum walking tour of historic Old Town San Diego, where California’s history began. Of course, I’ll also show you where to enjoy a frosty margarita and a delicious Mexican meal.

Real Estate, Apartments, Condos, New & Resale Homes, Refi

For 52 years the SAN DIEGAN has been the #1 resource for getting to know San Diego. Its suburb maps with walking and driving tours will give you the lay of the land as each suburb has its own unique flair! Be sure to read the Relocation, Real Estate, Neighborhoods, Jobs, and Shopping chapters. If you’re in the military read the extensive Military chapter too. I also served in the military in San Diego, and I’ve been on every military base. So, I know the San Diego you need to know!

Shopping Attractions

San Diego has awesome factory outlet centers, where you can literally shop till you drop! I also showcase the major shopping centers, as they are glamorous major San Diego 500 things to do destinations too! A must-see Christmas store boasting 40,000 sq. ft. of sheer wonderment is City Lights Collectibles. They offer free shipping & visitors pay no taxes!

Travel By Air

San Diego is a happy 10 airport county with the San Diego International Airport at Lindbergh Field being the busiest air travel destination. It’s just 2 miles from downtown San Diego. The second busiest air line destination is North County’s McClellan–Palomar Airport at 2198 Palomar Airport Rd. (760-431-4646). The third major airport is Mexico’s Tijuana’s International Airport. Travelers can actually get to the airport from the U.S. to Mexico and back via a walking bridge. Not counted in this list of 8 civilian airports are two large military airports.

Travel by Train AMTRAK

Rail travel is fast becoming in vogue again. One reason is that the fares are so reasonable. For example, one way fare from Los Angeles to San Diego is a mere ($36). California’s picturesque coastline when seen by train is incredible. A must-see getaway by train is California’s central coast wine country.

Videos capture cool San Diego 500 things to do

These San Diego 500 things to do videos capture San Diego’s mystique of why San Diego so special. They showcase AWESOME must-visit restaurants, shops and attractions.

Winery Tour to Temecula

Freeway close Temecula is a famous wine-growing region in Southern California. What put this once little-known wine-growing region on everybody’s list of must-visit places was when then-President Reagan served the Queen of England a (second glass at her request) of Temecula’s Calloway 1974 White Riesling wine. The rest, as they say, is history. While there are 40 wineries in the Temecula Valley, I have chosen 17 for you to visit with 4 being must-visit wineries. I also suggest superb wine country restaurants (I have personally dined in) and two excellent places to stay. One is a French chateau. Plus, the map is excellent! This is yet another fun San Diego 500 things to do day-trip getaway.

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