No Car, No Problem: How to Get Around San Diego Without a Car
When visiting a new city, it’s important to make a plan for how you’ll be getting to everywhere you want to be. Despite Southern California’s reputation as a driver-centric destination, San Diego offers all the conveniences of any modern metropolis. With a growing public transportation system, bike paths, boardwalks, ferries, and more to take advantage of, it’s easier than ever to discover how to get around San Diego without a car.
Catch the Trolley
The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System is an easy and economical way to get around San Diego County. Known as “The Trolley,” San Diego’s metro trains service over 50 areas of the city and run on three lines — including the newly expanded Blue Line, which has recently added multiple stops. Riders can use the Trolley to reach many of the city’s most popular attractions. At just $2.50 for a one-way ticket to any station, and $8 for a Day Pass (which is good to be used on any bus or trolley the whole day), this option is both efficient and budget-friendly. Need to find a stop? The MTS offers a handy reference map right here.
Explore by Bike
San Diego is ranked as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the nation, so getting around town on two wheels is a popular transportation option. Riders can enjoy the sunshine and sea breeze, and get some exercise while they’re at it. Going to the beach? Cruise the route known as the Bayshore Bikeway, a 24-mile path reserved for cyclists, providing riders with a convenient way to commute safely without having to worry about sharing the road with motor vehicles. Guests can ask our front-desk staff for recommendations on rental bike stations that are currently open.
Take a Walk
Stroll along Shelter Island for scenic views of the marina, or head to the shore and discover the bustling stretch of boardwalk between Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. The Boardwalk connects these popular destinations and is brimming with restaurants, specialty shops, bars, and more. Wherever you stroll, you’ll find that stopping to smell the roses gives you time to enjoy just how spectacular San Diego’s scenery really is.
Hop on the Ferry
If you’re looking to venture across the bay to Coronado Island, be sure to hop on the Coronado Ferry. This 15-minute cruise is perfect for those who enjoy being on the water and offers a scenic, reasonably priced option for getting across the bay. Not only will you be able to enjoy panoramic water views, but you’ll also experience one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Pro tip: Grab a seat on the roof for better views of the bay.
Share the Ride
Ride-sharing is always a great option if you need to travel longer distances than a bike or your feet can take you. Uber and Lyft are the two most prominent, but upstart rideshare service Bounce is also making inroads in the San Diego market. A ride to just about anywhere in the metro can be ordered via smartphone apps in minutes. Ultimately, you’re never far from your next ride, and the fares are usually quite reasonable.
FRED (an acronym for Free Ride Everywhere Downtown) is a convenient shuttle that operates in San Diego’s downtown area. The hours and coverage area are a bit limited, but if you’re already downtown, these electric, open-air shuttles are easy to hop on and off from nearly any street corner. And if you need to travel further afield, FRED makes many stops that can connect you with other mass-transit options with a wider reach.
Electric scooters from companies like Lime, Bird and Spin have recently begun to pop up in many urban centers, and San Diego is no exception. These convenient and fun “last mile” transportation options are easy to ride, and even easier to access. Just download the corresponding app, use a GPS-linked map to find a scooter, and unlock it with your smartphone. From there, you can zip around to your heart’s content — you’re only charged for the amount of time you spend on-board.
In addition to ride-share services, San Diego is also home to many traditional taxi companies. Each is only a phone call away and will be happy to take you anywhere you’d like to be. Andy’s Cab (619-981-0621), AK Cab (619-306-9761), and City Captain Transportation (619-800-3515) are all highly rated by locals and visitors alike.
Want to take advantage of these convenient modes of transportation to get around our beautiful city? Our friendly staff will be more than happy to help you plan your car-free itinerary. Check out our latest offers and start planning your stay today.