Time zone: GMT-8 (GMT-7 Mar–Oct)
Int’l dialling code: +1 (619)
Visas: Not required by UK nationals. You will need to obtain an ESTA before arrival; these cost US$14 (£11) and are valid for two years.
Currency: US dollar (US$) ATMs are plentiful and tipping is expected.
Getting there: British Airways flies direct to San Diego from London Heathrow daily, arriving in late afternoon. Prices from £366 return.
Getting around: Phoebe got around San Diego using RentalCars.com car hire.
Recommended guidebooks: Coastal California (Lonely Planet, 2018) has specific info on San Diego, as does the Los Angeles, San Diego and southern California guide (Lonely Planet, 2018)
Useful websites: San Diego's official website – the official guide to the city.
Climate: It can get hot and crowded in summer (Jun to Aug) as temperatures hit the high 20s. Shoulder seasons can be pleasant (Sept/Oct and Mar/Apr), but mid-December to April is when the grey whales visit and the crowds are gone.