Health and Safety

San Diego is generally a safe place for travelers who observe all normal precautions. Downtown can get a little rowdy at night, especially toward 2 am, when bars boot drunken patrons out on the sidewalks. The city also has a large homeless population, who often camp out on side streets not far from East Village. Most are harmless, aside from the occasional panhandling, but it’s safest to stick to well-lighted, busy areas. Certain pockets of Balboa Park are frequented by drug dealers and prostitutes after hours; if you’re attending a nighttime theater performance or art event, park nearby or use the valet.

At the beach, check with lifeguards about any unsafe conditions such as dangerous riptides or water pollution. The San Diego Tourism Authority offers a print and Web version of visitor safety tips, providing sensible precautions for many situations.

For police, fire, or ambulance, dial 911 (0 in rural areas).

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