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Inexpensive Tour of San Diego with the 59 Mile Scenic Drive

San Diego is one of the most precious jewels of Southern California offering a variety of attractions and activities for visitors and vacationers. With so many options for entertainment and fun, how do you know where to start? One of the most popular and most affordable ways to get to know this classy city is to take the 59-Mile scenic drive. All you need is a few hours and a tank of gas.

Where to Start the 59 Mile Drive

The trip starts at the historic Embarcadero, where you should visit the International Visitor Information Center. The friendly staff can provide you with maps and information about the trip, or they can tell you how to program your car’s GPS navigator system to make the most out of the tour. Your starting point is the Broadway Pier; just north of here you will find the Maritime Museum and its fine collection of elegant and historic ships.  Love history? Click here for more about the Maritime Museum, the USS Midway and the San Diego harbor area.

Major Sites and Landmarks along the Drive

The scenic drive is marked along the way by blue and yellow signs with a stylized picture of a white seagull. The dramatic views start early on the trip: Harbor and Shelter Islands, Point Loma and the Cabrillo National Monument. If you are looking for a place to stop, we highly recommend the Cabrillo National Monument where you can enjoy panoramic views of the entire city. During the summer, check out the tide pools below and during the winter, stop to do a bit of whale watching.

If you are prepared for surfing, park at Ocean Beach and catch a few sets. If you still have energy after this session, you can surf the next spot at Mission Bay. The next portion of the trip will be Soledad Mountain and the ultra-ritzy La Jolla neighborhood. Stopping here for lunch will not set you back that much, but if you are really on a budget you might want to continue to the University of California San Diego Campus.

59 Mile Side Trips

The interesting side trips begin at the Birch Aquarium, La Jolla Cove Park and Pacific and Mission Beaches. Some drivers pause their trip here and return the next day to visit other areas of San Diego including Sports Arena, Old Town and Hillcrest.

After you’ve seen the remainder of San Diego, head back to the Embarcadero in the downtown district where you can enjoy Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Seaport Village and the Gaslamp Quarter. These are some of the top tourist attractions in San Diego, however most visitors will want to allocate at least a half a day to exploring each!

What Visitors Love the 59 Mile Drive

Even across several days, the 59 Mile Drive is one of the best budget-friendly ways to get to know the city of San Diego. In addition to saving money, you also have the option to go at a pace that meets the needs of you, your family or any of your fellow road-trippers. You have the freedom to pick and choose the attractions that interest you and can turn the 59 Mile Drive into a custom scenic tour!

If you’re planning a trip to San Diego and are still looking for affordable accommodations, visit www.pacificinnsd.com and learn about our discounted hotel rooms and suites. We are located in Downtown San Diego and offer a variety of hotel deals throughout the year and are only a few blocks from the historic Embarcadero, the starting point of the 59 Mile Drive. Don’t worry, we also offer complimentary parking so you don’t have to worry about what to do with your car! Contact a Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 for exact rates and availability.

Rates & Availability
Arrival Date
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Advance Booking

14 Days - 12% Off

7 Days - 10% Off

3 Days - 8% Off

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Zoo & Seaworld Discount

15% OFF

With any purchase of
Zoo or Seaworld tickets

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Weekday Discount

10% OFF

Stay any day
Sunday - Thursday

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Other Discounts

10% OFF

AAA, Military, AARP
Other Package

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Pacific Inn San Diego is a Pet Friendly Hotel Pacific Inn San Diego Hotel Accepts AAA Members
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