Some call it The “Land of the Free,” others call it “Murica,” but all have heard that you can come to this country for “The American Dream.” This title is based on the premise that anyone, from any background, can achieve anything. Located in Southern California, right above the Mexican border, San Diego is year-round sunny and 75 paradise. With so many places to visit, this very dynamic country truly brings an opportunity for all walks of life to enjoy. Be curious and adventurous when exploring famed California!
Important Dates in the States
January 1- New Year’s Day
January 15- Martin Luther King Day
May 28- Memorial Day
July 4- Independence Day
September 3- Labor Day
November 12- Veterans Day
November 22- Thanksgiving
December 25- Christmas Day
San Diego has some of the most beautiful weather in the country. It is almost always sunny and rarely rains. Interestingly, that means the city has to import 168 millions of gallons of water every day. Tap water is safe you drink and you should bring a refillable water bottle with you!
Did you know that San Diego is the largest producer of avocados in the country? It is known as the Avocado Capital of the nation. If you visit in April, make sure to check out the Fallbrook Avocado Festival which has been happening since the early 1960s. There is wine, beer, and a guacamole contest!
The Pacific Ocean doesn’t get overly warm, and locals of San Diego do not frequently swim in the water. The beaches will get crowded with sunbathers, but high temperatures of 60 degrees do not make for the most enjoyable swim. There are also many lakes and reservoirs. All lakes in San Diego are man-made and it is illegal to swim in any of them.
Public transportation is available in San Diego in the form of pedicab, train, trolley, bus and waterfront shuttle.
Good to know
A visa is required to visit the United States. This can be a lengthy process and it is important to start well in advance of your intended travel dates. Consult your country’s guidelines for specific instructions. You can also visit the State Department website.
Culture and Etiquette in the USA
A firm handshake or polite smile and nod are appropriate methods of greeting. You should introduce yourself upon meeting someone. In a business or more formal setting you should state both your first and last names. In casual settings simply your first name will do. Most people will address friends, family, and new acquaintances by first name.
The United States is a tipping culture. Service people such as waiters, attendants and hotel staff are all dependent on tips as they typically paid a very meager salary. If tipping with cash it is appropriate to leave the tip directly in the checkbook- leaving payment on the table or handing it to the server is fine but slightly less classy. Tips are expected and appreciated at many places that would be unusual to tip at in other areas of the world. Bars and cocktail lounges operate on tips, as do hotel valet assistants.
San Diego fully embraces the laid-back California vibe that one expects of a sunny beach town. Here you will find locals dressed in shorts, sandals, flowy dresses and skirts, and light linen trousers. Bring a jacket or pashmina for the evening after the sun sets as nights get chilly. The temperature does not vary much during the year, but slightly warmer weather clothes would be advised if you are visiting during the absolute winter.
If you are going out for a nice dinner or to the bar, a pair of jeans and a nice blouse is appropriate. Maxi dresses and cardigans are also lovely combinations. Of course, a swimsuit, a hat, and sunglasses are essential! Also, bring a good sun cream or buy one when you arrive to protect your skin while you are enjoying one of San Diego’s many outdoor activities. Lastly, don’t forget a tote bag to bring all of your beach goodies with you to the coast for a day in the sun!