Destination guide

Desert landscapes and Spanish style in San Diego County

From cultural San Diego with its Spanish-influenced architecture, to the relaxed Californian coastal towns of Encinitas and Oceanside, San Diego County is great for family-friendly vacations or just a short break. Choose San Diego County vacation rentals such as beachfront apartments or homes with pools, and you can enjoy relaxed days on the beach, hiking in national parks, or thrill-seeking at the many theme parks. Close to the Mexican border, sample authentic spicy dishes from hip food trucks, or enjoy the stylish dining scene in San Diego, which has an ever-changing selection of top restaurants.

Things to do

Family-friendly fun in San Diego County

San Diego County is a popular vacation spot for families, with cultural fun for all ages. San Diego Zoo is among the world's largest, with rainforest trails where monkeys swing from the trees, an interactive panda exhibit, and an Arctic-themed exhibit with polar bears and more. SeaWorld San Diego has aquariums full of exotic fish, and regular dolphin shows where you can see these fascinating creatures performing acrobatic tricks. Many San Diego County vacation rentals are located around Carlsbad, which has long sandy beaches, and is the home to Legoland California, with brick-themed rollercoasters and colorful child-friendly rides.

Activities

Mountain hikes through San Diego County

Hiking is a popular activity in San Diego County, and dramatic desert landscapes just outside the city offer endless walking opportunities. Bear in mind that you'll need a permit to hike the best-known, the 5-mile Cedar Creek Falls trail. There are long, sandy roads that gently slope, surrounded by desert plants where you might spot a snake. At the trail's heart is a tumbling waterfall and swimming hole, where you can cool off. Palomar Mountain has shady forest paths and mountain meadows, with over 11 miles of trails, offering views across the national park and across to the ocean.

Weather

California sunshine in San Diego County

San Diego county has sunny days for most of the year, with June to September having warm temperatures and low rainfall. The months of December until February are the coldest, but still have long days with plenty of sunshine, and few rainy days. While the summer months are busiest for San Diego County vacation rentals, it's often worth looking outside of peak times and opting for a spring trip, where you can enjoy hiking and exploring without the strong heat.

Natural features

Sandy beaches and palm trees in San Diego County

Sitting on a long stretch of the California coast, San Diego County has a wide variety of beaches. Some of these are close to the city, with lively promenades full of shops and bars, and a party atmosphere. Further north, the Torrey Pines State Reserve has a rocky coastline with small, sandy coves that are just ideal for relaxation or for finding a quiet spot in which to surf. Inland, San Diego County has vast areas of desert landscape that are studded with cacti and exotic flowers, as well as lush green mountains, with well-worn hiking trails.

How to get there

Transportation options to and around San Diego County

The nearest airport is in San Diego, CA (SAN-San Diego Intl.), located 2.4 mi (3.8 km) from the city center. If you can't find a flight that's convenient for your trip, you could also fly into San Diego, CA (MYF-Montgomery Field), which is 6.7 mi (10.8 km) away.

If you prefer to travel by train, San Diego Santa Fe Depot, San Diego-Old Town Transit Center and San Diego Coaster Sorrento Valley Station are the main stations in the area. You can see more of San Diego County by catching a ride on the metro at Civic Center Station, 5th Avenue Station or Convention Center Station.

Where to stay around San Diego County?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 8,548 vacation rentals near San Diego County. From 3,341 Houses to 130 Villas, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near San Diego County for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in San Diego County?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in San Diego County. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • San Diego: 6,195 vacation rentals
  • Mission Beach: 1,383 vacation rentals
  • Carlsbad: 2,619 vacation rentals
  • Oceanside: 2,021 vacation rentals
  • La Jolla: 775 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in San Diego County! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in San Diego County?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in San Diego County:

  • San Diego: 6,195 rentals
  • Carlsbad: 2,619 rentals
  • Oceanside: 2,021 rentals
  • Coronado: 5,159 rentals
  • Del Mar: 1,934 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Can I find easy-access vacation rentals when traveling by plane to San Diego County?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of vacation rentals near airports. The airports with a large selection of vacation rentals in San Diego County are:

  • Oceanside, CA (OCN): 2,585 vacation rentals
  • San Diego International Airport (SAN): 5,503 vacation rentals
  • San Diego, CA (SEE-Gillespie Field): 5,141 vacation rentals

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holidays in San Diego County?

HomeAway offers a large selection of rentals near lovely places in San Diego County. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Legoland California: 1,715 rentals
  • San Diego Convention Center: 1,700 rentals
  • Del Mar Beach: 1,146 rentals
  • Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base: 2,576 rentals
  • San Diego Zoo: 4,582 rentals

But there are many other points of interest around San Diego County listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

Explore destinations around San Diego County

San Diego
6,195 vacation rentals
Carlsbad
2,619 vacation rentals
Oceanside
2,021 vacation rentals
Coronado
5,159 vacation rentals
Del Mar
1,934 vacation rentals
Encinitas
2,470 vacation rentals
Solana Beach
1,527 vacation rentals
Imperial Beach
1,564 vacation rentals
Fallbrook
841 vacation rentals
Julian
200 vacation rentals
Escondido
3,117 vacation rentals
Borrego Springs
185 vacation rentals
Chula Vista
4,867 vacation rentals
Vista
2,414 vacation rentals
San Marcos
2,438 vacation rentals
Rancho Santa Fe
1,476 vacation rentals
Poway
6,953 vacation rentals
La Mesa
3,807 vacation rentals
El Cajon
3,793 vacation rentals
Cardiff-by-the-Sea
1,032 vacation rentals