Compared to other parts of California, San Diego ’s major attractions sit relatively close together, and it’s easy to get from one place to another in a reasonable amount of time.
San Diego County has arguably the best beaches  in the state. If your travel goals are focused on sand and surf, consider staying in Mission Bay  or Point Loma , or farther afield in the North County  coastal area.
If you’re starting a tour of California Missions, head for Old Town  first. Military history and Navy buffs will be content to spend their whole trip within the city limits of San Diego , dividing their time between the Harbor and Point Loma .
If you’ve got an extra couple of hours and you haven’t been out there yet, take the bridge over to Coronado to gawk at the ridiculous exuberance of the Hotel del Coronado .