San Diego vs. Hawaii

Everybody will find San Diego and Hawaii great summer destinations on the U.S. East Coast. They are located right along the Pacific Ocean, where the best beaches are found. The waters of the Pacific Ocean are perfect for everyone to swim, get a tan, and enjoy the sun's heat.
San Diego vs. Hawaii

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However, San Diego and Hawaii also have several other attractions for everyone to enjoy. There are many natural attractions, zoos, sanctuaries, and other activities offered in both places. You won’t run out of something to do in San Diego and Hawaii.

Hawaii is famous for its breathtaking beaches, rich flora and fauna, exciting culture, and hospitable people. The island has everything you wish for in an enjoyable and memorable summer vacation. Its citizens and unique culture add to your experience in the Aloha state.

On the other hand, San Diego also offers a myriad of activities and attractions for everyone. It has excellent beaches, idyllic weather, and many cultural and historical destinations. You will surely enjoy your stay at what they call “America’s Finest City.”

San Diego

San Diego is California’s second-largest city in the southernmost part of the state. It is regarded as one of the best vacation destinations in the country due to its diverse culture, food, and consistent weather. Enjoy the best of California without dealing with the enormous crowds as you explore San Diego.

What Makes San Diego Unique?

Consistent and Serene Weather

San Diego enjoys amazing and consistent weather all year long. The average temperature on any day of the year is 70°F (21°C). The weather guarantees everyone “not too hot yet not too cold” weather while in San Diego. San Diego’s weather makes exploring the city easy, comfortable, and hassle-free.

Pleasant Sun-Drenched Beaches

You wouldn’t miss visiting at least one of the beaches of a coastal city like San Diego. The city boasts 70 miles (113 kilometers) of shoreline, wherein each beach features something unique. San Diego’s beaches are a haven for those who like surfing and water activities. San Diego’s beaches are also perfect if you want to swim or contemplate under the sun.

Black Beach

Black Beach is home to the best waves in San Diego, which is perfect for surfing. The beach is even popular with students and young adults due to its proximity to the University of California San Diego campus. The beach also has vast mansions, surf shops, and many other establishments.

The beach might be famous for its excellent waves, but it is also known as San Diego’s nude beach. Nudism is illegal in San Diego, but nudists have made the beach their haven for decades. The Glider Port Trail part of the beach is the usual hangout place for nudists and enthusiasts.

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach, or just P.B., is yet another favorite spot for college students and young adults. The beach is lined with vibrant bars and restaurants, which makes it a hot spot for young adults looking for a place to party and have fun. The northern part of the beach offers a calmer atmosphere which is perfect for families to enjoy.

As soon as the sun sets, Pacific Beach gets more active. People start to set up camps and bonfires along the beach. And with the glowing lights coming from the nearby bars, Pacific Beach even gets more inviting.

Ocean Beach

Do you plan to bring your pet with you on your San Diego trip? Fret not, as Ocean Beach welcomes you and your furry friend to have fun and enjoy together. The Dog Beach in Ocean Beach offers a venue for your pet to enjoy the sun and the waters leash-free. They can also interact freely with the other pets roaming around and enjoying the beach.

Ocean Beach also offers various activities for everyone. You will surely enjoy surfing, sunbathing, and swimming in Ocean Beach’s calm and pristine waters. Many surf shops, taco bars, and local boutiques have also set up shop on the beach’s pier.

Intriguing Variety of Fauna

San Diego not only offers summer activities and water sports. The city is also home to several zoos that the kids and the kids at heart will surely love and enjoy. Not only does everyone have fun, but they also get an educational experience while in San Diego.

San Diego Zoo

Located north of downtown San Diego, the San Diego Zoo offers 100 acres (40.47 hectares) of sanctuary for over 12,000 rare and endangered animals. Around 700,000 plants from 3,100 species are also being taken care of and exhibited in the zoo. The zoo features lush and natural habitats for all its animals.

Get into a day in the life of these animals as soon as you step into the zoo. Many exhibits are linked with trails like the Monkey Trail, Tiger Trail, and the Hippo Trail. Enjoy interactive and close encounters with the animals as you visit San Diego Zoo.

SeaWorld San Diego

Get to see aquatic animals up close and personal and experience even more fun activities as you visit SeaWorld San Diego. The marine zoo-slash-theme park is located on a 200-acre (80.94-hectare) land. The attraction features sea-animal exhibits, exhilarating rides, interaction with water creatures, and guided tours.

Jumpstart your visit to SeaWorld San Diego by riding on the 320-foot (98-meter) SkyTower, which gives you a 360-degree view of the whole park. See rare turtles and tropical fishes at the Turtle Reef exhibit. Walk through a long acrylic underwater tunnel surrounded by various sharks in Shark Encounter.

The Historic Old Town of San Diego

San Diego is also considered the birthplace of California because it’s where the first Spanish villages were built in 1769. Because of its rich history, many historic buildings have been maintained and preserved. Make sure to visit them at the Old Town San Diego and get a glimpse of how people lived in San Diego in the past.


Hawaii is a fantastic beach destination for everyone. The island is renowned for its immaculate beaches, verdant jungles, volcanoes, and rich culture. Hawaii offers a variety of activities. So no matter if you’re there to swim, engage in water sports, or tour the island, you can find something to do on its islands.

What Makes Hawaii Unique?

World-Renown Beaches

Every island in Hawaii offers miles of coastline that is part of the crystal clear Pacific waters. It is a must to try dipping in the waters of Hawaii. The Hawaiian Islands are the ideal destination for everyone to enjoy a variety of thrilling water sports, relax by the sun, or walk around the beach until the sun goes down.

Kaanapali Beach, Maui

Kaanapali Beach is a world-class destination with luxurious hotels, fine restaurants, and high-end shops. It is also where Maui Beach, known for its cliff diving ceremony, is located.

Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Enjoy breathtaking views of valleys, ridges, and the famous Kauai pier wherever you put yourself in Hanalei Bay. The bay is known to be one of the largest on the island. Boasting two miles of powdery-white sand, enjoy a myriad of water activities in Hanalei Bay.

Waikiki Beach, Oahu

Of course, a trip to Hawaii won’t be complete without enjoying the wonders of the infamous Waikiki Beach. It is one of the most recognized beaches in the world that have been once the hotspot for royalties. The beach has maintained its spot and continues to be one of the best beaches in the world.

Hawaii’s Proud and Lauded Culture

Hawaii is home to vibrant and diverse people committed to preserving the island’s culture and traditions. They ensure that travelers get to experience an authentic Hawaiian experience. Everyone will feel like they’re a local on the islands.

When you’re in Hawaii, make sure to experience what it’s like to live on the Hawaiian Islands by joining tours, lessons, and other activities. Many places offer hula lessons, drumming sessions, or spend a day learning how to cook Hawaiian dishes. You may also want to visit local villages, spend a day with the locals, or contribute to one of their sustainable projects.

Ecstatic and Interactive Experience With Docile Marine Life

Get to see or even interact closely with whales and dolphins in Hawaii. Hawaii is regarded as one of the best places in the world to watch whales in action. The vast waters of the Pacific make it an excellent habitat for baby whales and those giant whales and dolphins leaping around.

The best way to see these gentle giants is by hopping into a boat. They are so delicate and friendly that they will be excited to come to your boat. Reach your hand to them, and they will love those little pats you will give them. Of course, your whale-watching experience won’t be complete without feeding them.

Prodigious Swelling Waterfalls

Looking for a place to swim that is not on the beachside? Just a short hike within the mountains and the jungles of Hawaii are breathtaking waterfalls. Hiking to these waterfalls can be exhausting, but you will feel refreshed as you reach these mighty waterfalls.

You will surely love swimming in these deep lagoons in the forest as you leap through these waterfalls. The lush forestry and the fresh air add up to the refreshing ambiance of the waterfalls. You would surely want to spend a whole day in the mountains and waterfalls of Hawaii.

Which Is Better – San Diego or Hawaii

Whatever your preference for your next vacation, San Diego and Hawaii has something to offer you. Both offer activities, adventures, and experiences that will be memorable. However, you must also consider a lot when choosing between these fantastic destinations.

If you want to have a very authentic vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then Hawaii would be the perfect place for you. After all, it is secluded from the mainland U.S. With that, a quiet and serene holiday is guaranteed for everyone.

However, Hawaii is secluded from the mainland, so you must ride a plane to get to the islands. And with flying also comes airplane tickets that may cost you a fortune. Getting there by plane would also take several hours. We all know that time is precious when you’re on vacation since you want to enjoy your destination every bit.

By visiting San Diego, you can have a lovely summer holiday without spending too much on airplane tickets or traveling too many hours. The city also boasts many pristine beaches, invigorating nightlife, animal interactions, and rich history. You will always have things to do in San Diego.

Since San Diego is situated on the mainland, reaching the city won’t be a hassle and can even be cheaper. You can even make a side trip to nearby Los Angeles. All it takes is to bring your car or ride public transport to and around the city.


Is San Diego Cheaper or More Expensive Than Hawaii?

San Diego is cheaper than Hawaii. It depends on your preferences, such as eating at less expensive restaurants or staying at more luxury hotels and resorts.

On average, a person would spend at least USD 160 when visiting San Diego. Meanwhile, you will pay at least USD 227 if you’re touring Hawaii. The payment includes accommodation, food, transportation, and other activities.

San Diego vs. Hawaii Weather

San Diego enjoys consistent weather, making it comfortable for everyone at any time of the year. However, Hawaii can be very hot and humid during the summer. Hawaii is also prone to weather disturbances like hurricanes due to its location.

Is San Diego in Hawaii?

No. San Diego is part of California on the U.S. west coast. However, Hawaii is still a part of the United States but is right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Is Hawaii Close to San Diego?

Hawaii is far from San Diego and is separated by the vast waters of the Pacific Ocean.

San Diego to Hawaii Distance

San Diego is 2,527.44 miles (4,067.52 kilometers) away from Hawaii.

Where Is Hawaii in Relation to San Diego?

Hawaii is located 2,527.44 miles (4,067.52 kilometers) southwest of San Diego.

Time Difference Between San Diego and Hawaii

Hawaii’s time is 2 hours behind San Diego’s. Hawaii follows the Hawaii Standard Time (HST), while San Diego follows the Pacific Standard Time (PST). However, Hawaii becomes three hours behind San Diego when Daylight Saving Time is observed.

San Diego to Hawaii

The most convenient way to get to Hawaii from San Diego is by plane. However, you may also sail to Hawaii or join a cruise ship to get to the islands if you’re coming from San Diego.

San Diego to Hawaii Flight

As mentioned, flying is the most convenient and fastest way to reach Hawaii from San Diego. However, getting to the islands would take a couple of hours. Many airlines also offer flights from San Diego to Hawaii any time of the day.

San Diego to Hawaii Direct Flights

All flights departing from San Diego to Hawaii are direct and nonstop flights. There are no stopovers since there aren’t any other airports between them for the airplanes to have a layover.

San Diego to Hawaii Flight Time

The average flight time from the San Diego International Airport (SAN) to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Honolulu is around six hours and nine minutes.

Which Airlines Fly From San Diego to Hawaii?

Alaska Airlines offer the most flights from Honolulu in Hawaii to San Diego. However, Hawaiian Airlines, Korean Air, Southwest, Delta, American Airlines, and United Airlines also offer direct and nonstop flights from San Diego to Hawaii.

San Diego to Hawaii Flight Price

Airplane ticket prices from San Diego to Hawaii and vice versa vary depending on the season. The average roundtrip tickets cost USD 473. The cheapest flights are during the winter season in January. Meanwhile, the most expensive tickets are during the middle of the summer in July.

Cheap Flights to Hawaii From San Diego

It has been a common misconception that flying to Hawaii from San Diego can be expensive. However, you can still get to Hawaii from San Diego by plane without spending too much. The cheapest flight to Hawaii from San Diego costs USD 104. Consider flying to Hawaii from San Diego in January, where airfares can drop up to 6% of their regular rate.

Can You Drive to Hawaii From San Diego?

Driving to Hawaii from San Diego is impossible. Both locations are part of the United States, but the Pacific Ocean separates these places.

Sailing From San Diego to Hawaii

It is possible to sail from San Diego to Hawaii. According to people who have experienced it, it is easier to get to Hawaii, but getting back to San Diego can be perilous. It takes a rigid boat and an experienced sailor to sail to Hawaii from San Diego.

Distance From San Diego to Hawaii by Boat

The average distance from San Diego to Hawaii when you travel by boat is 2,269 nautical miles (4,202.19 kilometers).

How Many Nautical Miles Is San Diego to Hawaii?

The distance from San Diego to Hawaii is 2,269 nautical miles (4,202.19 kilometers).

How Long Does It Take to Sail From San Diego to Hawaii?

An average sailor can reach Hawaii from San Diego in around 14 days while sailing at an average speed. It will take a while, but you can get accustomed and enjoy the experience of living above the waters surrounding you.

Is There a Ferry From San Diego to Hawaii?

There are no ferries that service the San Diego – Hawaii route. If you want to travel to Hawaii from San Diego by sea, your best choice is to join a cruise.

Cruise From San Diego to Hawaii

Yes, it is possible to get aboard a cruise ship to go to Hawaii from San Diego. The Holland America and Crystal Cruises offer regular voyages originating from San Diego. It might take a while for you to reach Hawaii aboard a cruise. However, you keep yourself busy along the way with the number of entertainment and food choices inside the ship.

How Long Is a Cruise to Hawaii From San Diego?

Both Holland America and Crystal Cruises offer voyages from Hawaii and San Diego. It usually takes four to five days to reach Hawaii from San Diego aboard these cruise ships. However, if you’re on tour, these voyages can last from two to four weeks if you include the stopover destinations.