Advertising on Billboards In San Diego, CA

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the city

About San Diego

San Diego is an oasis by the sea. A clean, small-feeling city with incredible beaches, a thriving group of artists and galleries, and family-friendly attractions like LEGOLAND and SeaWorld, San Diego has a well-educated, affluent population. It also houses an active United States Navy presence with one base on San Diego Bay and a large fleet. And, of course, it hosts the annual Comic-Con, which draws more than 130,000 people per year.

If you’re looking for billboard advertising in San Diego, California, you can use this guide to find the best locations, the average cost for billboards, local demographics and more.

the Landscape

Data for Billboard Advertisers in San Diego, CA

The fast-growing city of San Diego has a population of 1.381 million as of 2021, up 6% from 2010. San Diego residents are well-educated and affluent, with many working in healthcare or the biotechnology field. Almost half hold a bachelor’s degree, well above the national average, and the median household income of $89,457 ranks fifth among the top 25 biggest cities in the country.

The city has 150 billboards, many fewer than Los Angeles, which has 600, but comparable to northernly neighbor San Francisco, which has only about 100.

Here’s a complete demographic rundown on the San Diego DMA.

San Diego, CA miPopulation: 1.381 million

Woman Population


Men Population


White 42
Hispanic 30
Asian 17
Black 6
Other 5



Foreign-born residents:


Persons per household:


Percent who speak a non-English language at home:


High school graduates


Hold at least a bachelor’s degree:


Median household income:



Types of Billboards Available

The kinds of outdoor advertising available in San Diego are more limited than other cities.


Most of San Diego’s inventory consists of bulletins, spread out across west San Diego County and north to Escondido. Bulletins are the standard size of billboard along highways. Most are in high-traffic areas where the boards can act as an immediate call to action, such as advertising a restaurant on an upcoming exit.


Bulletins measure 48 feet wide x 14 feet tall.


Posters, or 30 sheets, describe the smaller, somewhat less prevalent style of billboard that you might find in a residential area of a city. They tend to be cheaper than bulletins but can be just as effective, especially if you research where your target audience is most likely to be.

Dimensions +

Most posters measure 24 feet, 6 inches wide x 12 feet, 3 inches tall. A handful of 30 sheets measure smaller at 22 feet, 8 inches wide x 10 feet, 5 inches tall.

Digital Billboards

Unlike the majority of cities across the country, San Diego does not have many digital billboards. It has extremely strict rules governing outdoor signage, and indeed a recent proposal to introduce digital kiosks downtown has sparked rancor in the city. Following a city-sponsored study a decade ago to consider adding digital in unincorporated areas, San Diego seems unlikely to add many more. The city certainly remains an outlier in California, where the number of digital billboards along freeways has tripled in recent years.

Dimensions +

Digital bulletins are the same size as static ones at 48 feet wide x 14 feet tall.
Digital posters also mimic traditional posters at 24 feet, 6 inches wide x 12 feet, 3 inches tall.

places to advertise

Best Places in San Diego to Advertise on a Billboard

The loosening of cannabis laws in California made that a big category for advertising, and those ads appear throughout the best places to advertise in the city. Based on our experience, here are some of the best places to find bulletin, poster and digital billboard inventory in San Diego.

I-5 at the 54 exit in National City:

One of the lone choices in the market for advertisers looking for digital billboards is Clear Channel’s double-sided board. Popular advertisement types on the board include entertainment, schools, sales and public service. (For advertisers who really want digital, San Diego suburb Oceanside, located just north of Carlsbad, began allowing digital billboards in the early 2010s, though it, too, has been controversial.)

Little Italy:

We get lots of inquiries for billboards in the Little Italy area of San Diego, which is located near Waterfront Park and includes loads of hotels and restaurants. It is a great place to reach tourists, families and people hitting the town for the night. The most popular ad categories include alcohol, cannabis and lifestyle apparel.


Tourists flock to nearby Balboa Park and San Diego Zoo to enjoy the city’s beautiful weather and experience outdoor fun. That makes it an ideal location for advertisers. Popular billboard categories include more family-friendly fare, such as apparel, luxury brands, tourism and nearby schools like the University of California San Diego.

Normal Heights:

Bordered by I-15 and I-805, Normal Heights has ample billboard spots. The historical neighborhood has buildings that date back more than a century, and its home values are slightly more affordable than some of the city’s higher-end hoods. Top advertising categories include tourism, restaurants, apparel and entertainment.

Lemon Grove:

Nine miles outside downtown San Diego and just a short distance from San Diego State University sits Lemon Grove, a slice of suburbia with cute coffee shops and family-friendly parks. Top categories for billboards range from alcohol and cannabis to entertainment to lifestyle apparel.


Cost of a Billboard in San Diego

Billboards in San Diego tend to be pricier than you’d think thanks to the market’s desirable audience. All prices are for four-week increments and represent average cost trends we’ve seen in the market.

The Cheapest Billboards in San Diego

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Posters: $4,000 to $6,000, though may be higher downtown

The Most Expensive Billboards in San Diego

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Bulletins: $10,000 to $12,000, with the most expensive ones downtown

San Diego

San Diego Creative Examples


Thinking About Advertising in San Diego?

San Diego is a fantastic place for advertisers to buy billboards and reach receptive audiences. We can help you find the right place for your board at the right price. Contact us today to learn more about San Diego billboard ads.

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