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San Diego Airport car rental comparison

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San Diego Airport attractions and Travel Tips

Car Rental in San Diego Airport

Known to locals as America's Finest City, it doesn’t take long to understand why. San Diego is a laid-back surfing hub offering spectacular sunsets, cool eateries and a wealth of fantastic attractions. Connections between the airport and the city are a breeze. Rental cars from San Diego Airport will arrive in the city center in a matter of minutes. From there, you can experience some of California’s finest museums, or take your rental car from San Diego Airport to natural parks to experience a change of scenery.

Main attractions in San Diego

San Diego is bursting with family-friendly attractions. The premier of these is the massive 1,200-acre Balboa Park. This cultural center houses some of the city's finest museums, including the San Diego History Center, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego Air & Space Museum, San Diego Art Institute, the San Diego Museum of Art, and San Diego Natural History Museum. 

The park also has themed world gardens with free tours on botany and horticulture. 

In northern Balboa Park, you’ll find San Diego’s most prized attraction, San Diego Zoo, where you can also experience one of the USA’s best outdoor safaris with the zoo’s sister park, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The safari is located in San Pasqual Valley, an easy 35-mile drive from San Diego’s downtown area when you rent a car from San Diego Airport. The downtown area is also home to many of the city’s star attractions, including the USS Midway Museum and San Diego Downtown Museum of Contemporary Art.

Surfing is a must here. You can find rentals and lessons across the coast, especially on Pacific Beach. Alternatively, you can drive your cheap rental car from San Diego Airport up to Oceanside for spectacular surfing conditions. Oceanside also features the California Surf Museum.

What to eat and drink in San Diego

If you were to describe San Diego’s signature dish in one word, it would be fish tacos. You can find spectacular Mexican restaurants throughout San Diego, but if you’re pushed for time, head to Puesto for your taco fix (pick the Baja fish taco). You'll also find a number of must-visit fish restaurants and bars throughout the city, including Fish 101, offering everything from Hawaiian poke bowls to clam chowder. It’s not all fish, of course, San Diego is a center for vegan cuisine and organic produce. Be sure to sample some of the fantastic craft beers and natural wines while you're visiting, too.

Kids activities in San Diego

San Diego is one of the best cities to visit with children, offering a spectacular zoo and a wealth of hands-on museums and galleries in Balboa Park. The park offers plenty of open spaces, with fountains and playgrounds for children to enjoy. Another draw is the coastal SeaWorld Center, which hosts the kids' favorite - Penguin Encounter. The region is also rich in day trips accessible with a cheap car rental from San Diego Airport. Legoland, San Diego Zoo Safari and seaside activities, like surfing and snorkeling in La Jolla, offer perfect family-friendly days out.

How do you book a rental car in San Diego?

You can use HAPPYCAR to find the best car rental in San Diego Airport. HAPPYCAR compares all rental providers to help you grab the best rates on your vehicle. Just type in your chosen travel dates to find the cheapest car rental in San Diego Airport. If you’re traveling on from San Diego or you’re looking for an entirely different location, you can choose from a variety of airports around the world, including cheap car rentals from Los Angeles Airport LAX and cheap car rentals at Honolulu Airport HNL. You can also book other cheap car rentals throughout the United States, including cheap car rentals in Miami and cheap car rentals in Salt Lake City.

Can you take day trips from San Diego?

San Diego is perfectly positioned for day trips with a car hire from San Diego Airport. Consider a trip over to Joshua Tree, Palm Springs or Los Angeles. You can even take a trip over to Tijuana or Ensenada in Mexico. 

What insurance should you book?

All car rentals come with a base level of insurance. You can opt for a more comprehensive package if you’re traveling to natural parks with terrain that may damage the vehicle’s glass or underbody. 

What is the cancellation policy?

San Diego Airport car rentals come with a cancellation policy that allows you to cancel your vehicle up to 48 hours before pick-up. To cancel, simply contact HAPPYCAR’s customer support team by email.

You can secure your car rental in San Diego Airport and compare all available rates with HAPPYCAR, a great car hire comparison tool that does all the hard work for you.