cool hostels in san diego

Should I Visit LA or San Diego?

This is a question that plagues countless travelers embarking on their Southern California adventure. You feel the draw of the sunshine state calling your name. You hear the sound of the crashing waves.


Where in Southern California do you choose?


Do you choose the glamor and class of Hollywood or the mellow quintessential surfer lifestyle of San Diego? The world famous San Diego Zoo or Disneyland? The Padres or the Dodgers?


It’s true; there is something to be said for each city. You’re going to enjoy stunning beaches lined with palm trees at either location. It’s just a different experience both at the beach and getting to the beach depending on the city you choose.


At International Traveler’s House in San Diego, we’re going to argue that there is no comparison, and hands down San Diego is your best bet. Mickey Mouse may be great, but he’s no comparison to our new baby panda at the zoo. As for the glamour of Hollywood, it might not be all it’s cracked up to be.


We also happen to know that Los Angeles as a city has been dumping way more marketing dollars into the abyss to try and attract you there. That’s not a solid argument. It’s just something to consider.


In case you don’t believe us, here’s a play by play of what you can expect in each city:




We enjoy over 70 miles of pristine beaches in San Diego. Clear, 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 none other than Pacific Beach. We have La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Coronado Beach, and Mission Beach, all worthy of your time.


It’s incredibly impressive. Don’t just take our word for it. Explore it on your trip!


Let’s not forget the famous San Diego Slomo.


Los Angeles also showcases long stretches of beaches. The more notable are Venice Beach, 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.



O'Briens Pub San Diego

This one LA earns a few bonus points. They have the famous clubs like Avalon Hollywood, Giant and more.


In the long run though, a few trending clubs don’t tip the scale enough to outpace San Diego. To add to that, San Diego’s night scene has been drastically growing. Our own FLUXX and OMNIA give the clubs to the north a run for their money every weekend. Check out our Spring Break guide for the lowdown on the San Diego nightlife.




Los Angeles tops the list of “Worst Traffic in the Country” pretty much every year. Occasionally, it falls second to Washington DC. When recounting the time spent in a common commute, the time is measured in days and months.


San Diego does not even hit the radar.


Enough said.


Major Attractions


San Diego is spoiled with countless major attractions. We have the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, the Coronado Bridge, Sea World, and the list goes on. In order to make it a fair fight, we’ll pause there.


Los Angeles doesn’t do half bad. They have Disneyland, California Adventure, Knott’s Berry Farm, the Observatory, and the Hollywood sign. Although, if you had to choose between a famous mouse and a real life baby rhinoceros, what would you choose?


Not sold? Check out this YouTube channel.


Overall Awesomeness


The vibe of San Diego is laid back, relaxed, and ready to have a good time. Our neighbors to the north do exhibit the last trait, but the first two tend to be lost in the shuffle.


It must be all the time stuck in traffic that raises blood pressure.


Here we really do embody that quintessential SoCal vibe in every aspect of the city. Spending a day at Balboa Park? Why not take a yoga class while you are over there? A simple trip to the beach could turn into a surfing lesson. Exploring the zoo will charm and delight.


When you tally everything up, we’re confident you’ll make the right decision. Here’s a little more evidence backing up our claim just in case you were wavering.


How to Have the Best Trip in San Diego

San Diego Hostels

Settled on San Diego? You made the right choice. Now you can avoid the misery of regret like many other travelers who cut their San Diego stay short to visit LA. It’s true! We regularly have travelers stay with us, head up to Los Angeles, and then retreat back to San Diego merely a day or two later. Skip that step. Choose San Diego for the entirety of your beach getaway.


Here’s our biggest insider tip to having the best Southern Californian experience: Stay at an International Traveler’s House property.


With three properties in the San Diego area, we have something that will fit your unique style while offering all the unmatched perks of staying with us. At ITH, we value the importance of our guests’ experiences. To us, you are a friend we haven’t met yet. And when friends come to visit, it’s customary to show them around and feed them. Which is why we provide a free breakfast, lunch, and activities every day.


How can you beat free meals and catered adventures? Once you add in our low price tag, you can’t. Try to find that level of service in Los Angeles.


Book today.


If we haven’t convinced you that you would be far better off in our fine city, check out our guide to the SoCal Trifecta. It will give you the lowdown on hitting Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and the phenomenal San Diego.


Just do yourself a favor. Book a little extra time in San Diego. You’ll thank us later.