Los Angeles vs San Diego, Which Should I visit?

Amiel Terry

So you’re heading west and don’t know which city to go to. The choice between San Diego vs Los Angeles is always a difficult choice because can’t really go wrong with either of the SoCal cities. Nonetheless, the choice can still be difficult, especially if you have never visited before. Here we’ve decided give you a few pointers to make it a little bit easier.

What’s Open?

So first let’s start with what’s open in each place. We are still in a pandemic and though certain places may be famous for certain cities and attractions, we want to make sure that the things that would be drawing you to those places are even open.

So let’s take a look.


Restaurants are open at a maximum of 50% capacity in both Los Angeles and San Diego. So there is no difference there. San Diego is known as one of the food havens of the United States and Los Angeles is home to some of the best chefs out there. So this one is more up to your personal preference.

Movie Theatres:

Whether you are visiting for the weekend or looking to have an extended stay, it’s pretty likely that going to the movies is one of the things on your itinerary. Especially with all of the months and months we have gone without them and with all the new movies coming out.

As April 5, movie theaters (In both San Diego and Los Angeles) can increase their capacity to 50% or 200 people, whichever is fewer. Groups must be seated at least six feet away from each other.


Drink up Drink Up! Finally, we are able to go hang out in some Covid-friendly bars and be with our friends and other people to enjoy a good evening.


Bars are a tad bit more complex. In Los Angeles, as of April 15th, it is pretty clear. Bars are open and available to the public for outdoor seating only. There will be no indoor seating or countertop performances.

In San Diego things are a little bit different because so many of the architectures and designs of bars and builds are somewhat hybrid. For example, in both Hillcrest and Gaslamp Districts, many of the bars are both outdoor and indoor. Windows are lifted and walls aren’t completely closed off. San Diego gives you an awesome combination of being in a bar but having the outdoor vibe. To our knowledge, due to this design, no bars are currently closed outside of places that closed down permanently due to pandemic.

Theme Parks:

Large theme parks like Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain (and, across the county line, Disneyland) can now all reopen with rides, but with restrictions.

Capacity is limited to 25% for theme parks so reservations are strongly encouraged.

Sports Arenas/Venues

DwafOutdoor sports venues and events are allowed to resume but at 33% capacity and all tickets are digital and reservations are, again, strongly recommended.

LA Beaches vs San Diego Beaches

In San Diego, we enjoy over 70 miles of pristine beaches in San Diego. Bright, gorgeous blue waters as far as the eye can see. What’s even more impressive is that the longest stretch of continuous beach on the west coast is Pacific Beach. We have La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Coronado Beach, and Mission Beach, all worthy of your time. North County San Diego as the locals call it, also offers more family-style beach experience travelers to get an Airbnb and take it slow.

FadsLos Angeles also showcases long stretches of beaches. The more notable are Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu, and South Bay. There’s no denying they are stunning. The masses flock there in swarms. Unfortunately, it causes massive traffic jams and difficulties finding a spot to spread out on the beach.

Venice Beach offers to most culture out of the beaches in LA but our favorite beach is Malibu for the majestic scenery.

Vibe/Lifestyle of San Diego vs Los Angeles

I think the best way to decipher between the vibe/lifestyle of San Diego vs Los Angeles is PACE. If you want a fast-paced, diverse, up-tempo, crazy and energetic time, then Los Angeles is for you. The city that is always moving, partying, or blasting that good music in the streets. If you’re cool with the noise and have the energy, head to the party city.

LoSan Diego is a little bit calmer and a slower pace. If you love nature, a little bit more peace, great parks and museums and dope beach activities without so much chaos, then you are definitely a San Diego cat.

We hope our list has helped you make a choice on whether you want to choose between San Diego vs Los Angeles. If you do choose to come to sunny San Diego, make sure to check us out at ITH!




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