10 Travel Guide Apps For Visiting Sunny San Diego

Smartphone Travel App Showcase

Sunny San Diego is a popular summer time destination, thanks to its temperate coastal breeze cooled coastline, beautiful and culturally enriching Balboa Park, and a very tourist-friendly transit system with walking-friendly downtown. Here are some of our favorite apps to download before making it over to the city which touts itself as America's Finest City...

Getting Around and Accommodations 

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Left: Transit! - Right: Trip Advisor 

Transit! - Android
We recommend ditching the car and jumping aboard one of San Diego's Metropolitan Transits buses, trolleys, or trains while visiting the city. The Transit! app makes city travel from point A to point B easier, with information about bus and trolley routes, departure and arrival times, and stop locations. And if your internal compass isn't so reliable, you'll appreciate the trip mapping function, which makes an easy to follow itinerary. Free - Equivalent for iOS / Windows Phone

Trip Advisor - Windows Phone
The massively popular vacation guide shares their travel resources in an app version. Though not specifically designed for San Diego, Trip Advisor's 75 million reviews and opinions by travelers, alongside a database of hotel photos, prices, locations, and amenities can prove an invaluable tool for comparing possible accommodations, with the option for users to save favorite spots while browsing. Free - Also available for iOS / Android

City Maps and Shopping Guide 

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Left: Stay City Guides - Right: San Diego Travel Guide

Stay City Guides - iOS
Offline maps are traveler's necessity, and Stay City Guides helps keep data roaming charges at a minimum thanks to their archive of offline maps to download. With these maps in hand loaded on the phone, travelers can pinpoint destinations beforehand, alongside share trip itineraries with friends via social networks. Stay City Guides is useful for planning trips in advance and for 'winging it' since you can find POI or restaurants on the fly. Free - Also available for Android

San Diego Travel Guide - iOS
The San Diego Travel Guide has the SoCal destination's most notable attractions, with it's most standout feature offering automated tourist activities itinerary listed by time available ("In 1 day", "In 3 days", etc). A detailed search feature, offline maps, augmented reality camera feature, nightlife listings, and public transit guide all serve to help visitors figure out what San Diego has to offer in specific amounts of time (great for weekend getaways). One exclusive feature I've yet to find in any other app is the "where, what, and how" shopping function, offering shopaholics point of interests they really want. $3

Tourist Attractions

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Left: Visit Coronado - Right: San Diego Essential Guide

Visit Coronado - Android
While in San Diego County, whether for the first time or your tenth visit, it's always recommended to drive across the Coronado Bridge to check out Coronado Island, a relaxing coastal resort section located across the San Diego Bay. Coronado Island is 'where Main Street meets bare feet' and this app can provide details about photo opportunities, fine cuisine, shopping, and more. Free - Also available for iOS

San Diego Essential Guide - iOS
San Diego Essential Guide is an in-depth resource written by an award winning native San Diego resident who professes to know the city inside and out. SDEG provides visitor reviews, photos, opening/closing hours of points of interest, and prices for attractions such as Sea World, Balboa Park (and its highly recommended museums), Legoland, the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. With 265 entries for eateries, nightlife, and general entertainment, it's impossible not to find something to do. $3 - Also available for Android

Wine and Dine

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Left: San Diego's Little Italy - Right: LocalEats 

San Diego's Little Italy - iOS
San Diego's Little Italy is a small, but vibrant corner of the city where many artists and designers have set shop, offering plenty of dining and shopping opportunities unique to this part of the city. San Diego's Little Italy app will help find a place to park and discover a Italian cafe or restaurant to sit from, perfect for people watching. The app lists unique retail shops, home design stores, art galleries, frequent festivals and events located in the neighborhood. [Tip: take the public transit from nearby downtown locations into Little Italy to avoid parking]. Free - Also available for Android

LocalEats - iOS
Visiting a new city is a great opportunity to try new cuisines and restaurants not available back home. LocalEats lists independently owned restaurants across America, including San Diego, ranging from casual eateries to more expensive and hotspot restaurants. This app is not only great for the great American road trip, I highly advise it for expanding your palate in your own home turf. $1 - Also available for Android

Nightlife and Travel Necessities 

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Left: TapHunter - Right: Postagram 

TapHunter - Android
Similar to LocalEats, TapHunter is designed to aid beer aficionados find local craft beers in cities like San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Orange County, and Los Angeles. San Diego is well known for their beer and bar scene, so whether you like a stouts, porters, bocks, pilsners, or IPAs, TapHunter's list of local bars can prove helpful at guiding you to your next new favorite local beer on tap while in SD. Free - Also available for iOS

Postagram - iOS
During my recent honeymoon, my wife and I wanted to send some postcards to our families. Seemed easy enough, but we found the process a bit tedious in this era of instant messaging and Insta-everything.  Postagram proved to be a much easier and personalized way for us to send photos while on our trip using our smartphones; each
postcard was accompanied by a message, printed and sent via the app for us. Postagram does all this for users for only $1 within the US, or $2 internationally. No stamps required! Free - Also available for Android

Honorable Mention
• San Diego Zoo - iOS / Android
• Balboa Park - iOS

(Images: Jason Rodway; as linked above)

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