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Frequently Asked Questions
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Accommodation in National City cost from $109 per night.
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National City Information
About National City
National City in California is a culture-rich community just south of downtown San Diego. It lies on the border between the United States and Mexico. Both Californian and Mexican influences are prevalent throughout the area. National City is the second oldest community in San Diego County. As such, the regional sites and architecture reflect the city’s history. Tourism to the area is popular for the city’s unique characteristics, as well as its proximity to downtown San Diego.
Things to do in National City
The city’s parks are a playground for visitors of all ages. The new Pepper Park has 5.5 waterfront acres where guests can go fishing or boat launching. Kimball Park has 30 acres of land for sports such as baseball, tennis and inline skating. There are picnic areas scattered throughout these different locations, making National City’s parks ideal for an afternoon outing. If you’ve got the munchies, check out the San Diego Pretzel Company on West 12th Street. You can tour the pretzel factory and buy some of their soft-baked snacks. Check out old-town National City by visiting some of the historic sites. Brick Row on Heritage Square was built in an architectural style unique to this region. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its design and story. The last standing terminal of the original transcontinental railroad is located at the Santa Fe Rail Depot on West 23rd Street. This preserved site is now a history museum and meeting place for the public. For more contemporary attractions, there’s the National City Mile of Cars, one of the first auto malls in the world. The Westfield Plaza Bonita is another mall, but one that has a wider variety of goods. Take a drive along Highland Avenue, one of the most infamous routes along the southern Californian coast. You’ll find the largest U.S. naval base along the San Diego Bay, one that includes National City’s three-mile port area.
Day trips from National City
National City is just south of downtown San Diego. A 15-minute drive will get you there. Downtown is full of great attractions like Balboa Park, where you’ll find San Diego Zoo, San Diego Museum of Art and Botanical Gardens and Lily Pond. SeaWorld, located along the waterfront in Mission Bay, is a popular destination for families. The Gaslamp Quarter National Historic District is around 20 blocks of restored 19th-20th century Victorian buildings. The area is now a trendy tourist attraction with shops, cafes and galleries. For wide-open spaces where nature takes the main stage, California’s largest municipally owned park is located 13 miles north of National City. You’ll find 5,800 acres of rugged hills, trails, and indigenous plant and animal communities. You can even cross the border into Mexico and make it back within the day. It only takes 30 minutes to get from National City to Tijuana. Distance-wise, that’s about 20 miles. It’s where you can taste the original Caesar Salad, invented here in 1924. It’s where over half of Baja California’s craft brewers are located. And it’s where you can score amazing street tacos, tamales and fresh fruit.
National City accommodations
Whether you decide to book accommodations in National City or the greater San Diego area, you’ll find deals and discounts all around. Budget options include motels and inns for as low as $60 per night. Many can be found along National City Boulevard or Plaza Boulevard. There are some higher-end hotels and condominiums mixed into the bunch. Some accommodations offer pleasant views of the San Diego Bay. Once you get into the greater San Diego area, you’ll find a greater range of accommodations. Beachfront hotels and resorts with spas dot the coast. There are hotels of every kind—pet-friendly, business, boutique—around town. You’ll also find vacation rentals from single rooms to entire houses in the area.
Transportation in National City
The Blue Line of the San Diego Trolley travels between National City and downtown San Diego. It takes about 40 minutes to get from the 8th Street trolley station in National City to get to the 5th Avenue trolley station in downtown San Diego. You can also take the bus to get from National City places around SD. The Metropolitan Transit System serves San Diego County as well as some parts of East County. The taxi system in SD County runs 24 hours, 7 days a week. You can call 511 to reach a dispatcher. If you drive into the area, or decide to rent a car, the main Interstates are 5, 805 and CA-94 west.
Popular Day Trips Near National City