As part of the 17th largest metro area in America, San Diego County has a population of approximately 2,814,000. The city has a population of about 1,223,000. It's the state's second largest city and among the country's ten largest cities. Biotechnology research, computer sciences, electronics and defense-related manufacturing, agriculture and software development are just some of the industries fueling growth in the region. Well-known brand headquarters located here include Qualcomm, Neurocrine Biosciences and Nventa Biopharmaceuticals. Major employers include federal, state and local governments, area universities and private companies such as Scripps Health, Kaiser Permanente, Qualcomm Inc. and Sempra Energy. San Diego sales tax is 7.75%.
Located three miles northwest of downtown, the San Diego International Airport witnesses approximately 300 departures each day, with several Mexican and Canadian destinations served by direct flights. Upon arriving in San Diego, you have a number of transportation options, but car rental is probably the best, as most residents and visitors do get around by car. See the "Making Your Way" section for car rental agency contact information. Amtrak and Coaster trains link the airport to downtown and surrounding communities, providing access as far away as Los Angeles. Commuters traveling from the airport to nearby destinations can take the Metropolitan Transit System Flyer Route No. 992 from the airport (service runs every 10 minutes from 5am-12:50am) to Amtrak's Santa Fe train station downtown where they can board Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner or the Coaster on the appropriate train to surrounding locations. Although Amtrak operates daily, Coaster operates only Mon-Sat. For Amtrak train information, contact 800-USA-RAIL. For Coaster train information, contact 800-262-7837. The Flyer Route No. 992 is a Metropolitan Transit System bus that makes its way between the airport and downtown, with stops between the airport's 1 and 2 terminals and the commuter terminal. The bus does make connections with Coaster and Amtrak trains as well as with the Trolley. The airport operates the Red Bus, a shuttle which provides free transportation between terminals. Buses generally run every 10 minutes. For more information, call 619-291-1508. If you need a charter bus, contact Cloud 9 Shuttle at 800-974-8885; A Blue Shuttle at 800-719-3499; or Access Shuttle at 800-690-9090. For shared shuttles, make your way to the airport's Transportation Plaza where a transportation representative will direct you to available transportation.
The main way to get around San Diego is by car. If you plan to be in the city for any length of time, consider renting a car. Area car rental agencies include: Avis Rent a Car 3180 N Harbor Dr 619-231-7171 or 800-852-4617 Enterprise Rent a Car 1691 Hancock St 619-225-8881 or 800-270-8881 Hertz Rent A Car 3202 N Harbor Dr 619-220-5222 or 800-654-3131 Thrifty Car Rental 1120 W Laurel St 619-429-5000 or 800-847-4389 It's helpful to be familiar with some of the major highways when making your way, so we've included some brief information here. I-5 runs north/south, and I-8 runs east to Arizona. I-15 also runs north, to the Canadian border. CA-94 connects the downtown area with I-805, the highway that breaks away from I-5 at Sorrento Valley and joins it again near the border with Mexico. CA-163 connects downtown to the city's northeast. The city has a trolley that runs downtown and into area suburbs, Mission Valley, East County and the coastal south bay. Amtrak and Coaster trains run regularly along the coast, easily connecting the San Diego area with Los Angeles, Orange County and San Bernardino. Amtrak stations can be found at Old Town, downtown's Union Station and Sorrento Valley. Bus transportation is also available, with most stops being located in the city's central district. Ferries also ply the waters of the Bay to Coronado every 30 minutes.
The San Diego Union-Tribune and The San Diego Daily Transcript are two area newspapers. The San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Reader, alternative weekly publications, provide additional insight into the goings on in the community. The North County Times covers topics of importance to those in San Diego's North Country. The San Diego Metropolitan Magazine and the San Diego Business Journal are two local business publications.
Local radio stations include:
KOGO AM 600
KFMB AM 760
KCEO AM 1000
KCBQ AM 1170
KLSD AM 1360
KFSD 1450 AM
Free Radio San Diego (aka Pirate Radio San Diego)
XMOR Blazin 98.9
ESPN Radio 800
XX Sports Radio AM 1090/FM 105.7
Conventions & Tourism
When visiting a new city, it's helpful to know where to find help should you need it. The city's visitor information center is located at: International Visitor Information Center 1040 1/3 W Broadway (at Harbor Dr) San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: 619-236-1212 Fax: 619-230-7084 E-mail: email@example.com Hours: Jun-Sep daily 9am-5pm; Oct-May daily 9am-4pm La Jolla Visitor Center 7966 Herschel Ave (Herschel & Prospect in the Village of La Jolla) La Jolla, CA 92037 Phone: 619-236-1212 Fax: 619-230-7084 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: Sep-Oct and Apr-May Mon-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am - 4pm; Nov-Mar Mon-Thu 11am-4pm, Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm; Jun-Aug Mon-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 10am-6pm The Mayor's office is located at: City Administration Building 11th Floor, 202 C St San Diego, CA 92101 Phone: 619-236-6330 Fax: 619-236-7228 Email: email@example.com Website:www.sandiego.gov/mayor/
Although tipping is generally a personal matter, there are some guidelines that prove helpful to travelers. At restaurants, servers typically get 15% of the bill, although 10% acknowledges basic assistance, and 20% awards exceptional service. Taxi drivers usually fit into similar guidelines by receiving a tip equivalent to 15% of the tab.