After an invigorating weekend at the Los Angeles Abilities Expo, the TravelinWheels team headed south to San Diego for an accessibility site visit. San Diego has always been on my bucket list of places to visit. Excellent weather, the beautiful ocean views, and lots of family activities are a draw to millions of visitors every year, and everyone who has been there has raved about it.
The drive down Hwy 5 took us away from the non-stop traffic congestion of Los Angeles County and into the rolling hills and countryside of Orange and San Diego counties. Once we got past Santa Ana, we were treated to lovely vistas and quieter roads. My blood pressure immediately returned to normal!
We had just a few days to check out San Diego before heading back to Chicago, so we enlisted the support and advice of Accessible San Diego, the source for accessible information in the city. Accessible San Diego has been working within the city for years to improve access for people with disabilities. They have partnered with several attractions (including Sea World, San Diego Zoo and Hornblower Cruises), hotels, recreation facilities, and transportation options to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy the wonderful amenities of this lovely ocean-side city.
San Diego, is a fairly compact city, easy to navigate, and easy to get to. Streets are level and wide, curb cuts are plentiful and consistently good, and some parts of downtown have traffic signals with features for pedestrians with sight-impairments. The airport is right in the center of the city, and there are several great hotels in the area. The Amtrak station drops you right in the center of town, where you can catch the regional Coaster trains to other parts of San Diego County or hop on to one of San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit options, that are all accessible, to get you around town. If you choose to drive, we found no shortage of parking lots in the city center, and had no real issues finding street parking, even on Coronado, Island.