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Top 4 Attractions of Kensington, San Diego

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Kensington is a vibrant neighborhood, sitting between the arid hills of Mission Trails Regional Park and bustling downtown San Diego. Though the area is primarily known for its rich history and stunning architecture, Kensington also offers a variety of other attractions for visitors to explore. Read on for four Kensington hotspots, compiled by the staff members at the San Diego Pacific Inn.

1. Art Produce
An eclectic art destination on University Avenue, Art Produce offers an array of artwork aimed at promoting activism within the community. With a gallery, studio, cafe, and sustainable urban garden, this venue ensures that, whether you’re admiring the exhibits or sampling sugar snap peas under the garden’s fairy lights, you’ll have a great time.

2. Alchemy Skin Spa
For a relaxing interlude after your exploration of the gallery, visit Alchemy Skin Spa. Offering everything from massages to organic facials, the warm atmosphere at Alchemy will make you feel as though you’re relaxing in a sunny orchard. But be warned: Since Alchemy is very popular with the locals, remember to book a spot in advance!

3. Kensington Vine
If you’re interested in tasting local wines, your opportunity awaits at Kensington Vine, a local wine bar. Known for its homemade tapenade and delicious cheese platters, the Vine has happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m., boasting glasses of wine and appetizers at only five dollars apiece.

4. Kensington Circus Pub
When dinnertime rolls around, the best option in this neighborhood is Kensington Circus Pub. With the vibe of an old British pub, neither the shepherd’s pie nor the fish-and-chips will disappoint. Plus, as it offers kid-friendly service and a fantastic play area in the back, you can bring the whole family to this location. Stick around long enough and you can check out a few songs from local musicians who specialize in bluegrass and folk.

Planning a vacation to San Diego? Reach out to the Pacific Inn & Suites. Located in downtown San Diego, our recently renovated hotel offers a prime location, comfortable accommodations, and complimentary amenities, including fresh coffee and tea around-the-clock, premium cable, and plush, pillow-topped beds. Give a Reservation Manager a call at 1-800-571-2933 to find out about our availability or book your stay online. We look forward to meeting you!

Fun and Feasts in San Diego

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Are you a foodie who is planning on visiting San Diego sometime in the near future? If so, you will feel right at home attending one of San Diego’s fun food festivals. While there are many such celebrations held in San Diego, our staff members at the Pacific Inn of San Diego have compiled four of their top favorite San Diego food fests.

1. San Diego’s Brew and Food Festival
The San Diego Brew and Food Festival will be held on August 29 at Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, with tickets ranging in price from $40 to $110. Admission to the event includes access to live music, beer tastings, as well as some of the best food in San Diego cooked by nearly two-dozen top chefs from the area. As San Diego is well known for its craft beer companies and brews, this event is also an excellent place to feel out the local beer scene.

2. The Great American Foodie Fest
During the month of September, you will not want to miss the Great American Foodie Fest. Held at Qualcomm Stadium on Friars Road, this fun-filled event will include more than 50 specialty food vendors, food contests, live entertainment, carnival rides, and a beer garden. Ticket prices and the exact date are still TBA, however keeping your eye on the Great American Foodie Fest website is a good idea as these tickets sell fast.

3. Hormel Black Label Bacon Fest
The Hormel Black Label Bacon Fest is scheduled to take place on September 5 at Liberty Station Park on Cushing Road. This event promises to be an exhilarating day full of live musical performances, nearly two-dozen food vendors, and a variety of delicious alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Tickets to the Bacon Fest are $60 for a general admission ticket or $100 for a VIP ticket. While tickets may be pricey, admission includes unlimited food and drink, so you can rest assured that the price is worth it.

4. San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival
The 12th annual San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival will run from November 15th through the 22nd at various locations throughout the city. Ranging from $75 to $200, tickets for this event are pricey, however even the basic packages include access to beer and wine tasting, auctions, and more. If you’re really interested in getting involved at this event, the more expensive packages also offer access to different events, such as celebrity chef dinners, culinary classes, and tastemaker meals.

Whether you only spend an afternoon or an entire day at any of these events, you are going to want to sleep off your food coma by the end of the festival. At the Pacific Inn & Suites, our recently remodeled hotel rooms are designed with your comfort in mind, which is why our plush pillow-topped beds are the perfect place to crash at the end of the night. Contact a Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 to learn more, or reserve your room now. We look forward to greeting you!

How to Budget for Your San Diego Vacation

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While vacationing can be expensive, there are ways to make sure that you can enjoy your trip, without going into debt. If you’re heading to San Diego this summer, there are many ways to keep your expenses low. Read on for 4 tips presented by Pacific Inn San Diego for traveling in SoCal on a budget.

1. Free Museum Days
While many museums and attractions have hefty entrance fees, San Diego has a number of locations that offer free days for tourists, including the following popular destinations:

  • The Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego is free every second Sunday of the month
  • The Oceanside Museum of Art is free every Tuesday
  • The San Diego Botanic Gardens are free on the first Tuesday of the month

Additionally, some attractions, like Balboa Park, are always free and offer a number of interesting sites and activities. Checking out the websites of your top attractions and see if your visit will coincide with one of these free promotional days.

2. Hotel Promotions
If you’re planning to stay in a hotel during your San Diego trip, you may consider contacting your lodging to learn about any guest discounts or promotions. At some hotels in San Diego, like the Pacific Inn & Suites, there are Park & Fly or Park & Cruise packages, as well as AAA, Military, and AARP discounts. Reach out to your hotel before your arrival to learn about their ticket discounts for local attractions, like the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, and more.

3. Complimentary Amenities
At many hotels, parking, WiFi, and other amenities are expensive. Avoid paying fees for necessities and basic needs by picking a hotel that has these amenities included in your reservation price. Some hotels also include free items like coffee and tea in your room, as well as modern appliances like fridges and microwaves, which can help you cut costs on getting morning beverages from coffee houses each day of your vacation.

4. Discount Websites
If you know you want to do a particular excursion or visit a certain attraction on your trip to San Diego, keeping an eye on Groupon or U-T San Diego in the months before your trip can help you save a lot of money on tickets. Savings on these sites can often be over 50% off, so taking the time to watch for promotions you’re interested in can make a big difference for your budget.

When you’re vacationing on a budget, you want to find comfortable, but affordable accommodations. At the Pacific Inn & Suites in San Diego, we offer convenient and inexpensive rooms and modern complimentary amenities to ensure you’re able to enjoy the comforts of home without breaking the bank. If you’re interested in booking a room, give a Reservation Manager a call at 1-800-571-2933 and learn about our availability.

How to be Eco-Friendly While Traveling

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Travel Tips to Stay Eco-Friendly in San Diego

If you try to be eco-conscious in your day-to-day life, going on vacation can throw a wrench in your plans. However, even when you travel, there are easy ways to stay green. Read on for some eco-friendly suggestions from the staff at the Pacific Inn in San Diego.

1. Eat Local
While you may already know that eating locally grown foods is healthy, eating local foods can also save a lot of energy. During your trip to San Diego, try finding some delicious, locally sourced restaurants to try. Not only will this make for an eco-friendly meal, but you will get to enjoy local dishes made with fresh ingredients.

2. Unplug Your Home
Before you arrive in San Diego, spend a few minutes going around your home and unplugging your electronics and lamps. While it may be a trial to do this on a daily basis, if you will be away from home for a few days, freeing up some of your outlets can save electricity. Even when turned to off, electronics and appliances still use energy when they are plugged in.

3. Keep Your Thermostat Low
In your hotel room, you can conserve energy by keeping your thermostat on a neutral setting when you’re not in the room. Closing the drapes can also help prevent your room from getting too hot while you’re out exploring the city. Likewise, if your room is cold, instead of leaving the heat on, bundle up with a couple blankets.

4. Share Maps
Many tourist attractions hand out pamphlets of papers, ads, and maps to visitors, which can add up over your vacation. Avoid wasting paper by making it clear that your group would only like one map. This way, you can keep the copy you have as a souvenir, and save a significant amount of paper from the trash.

5. Choose Your Hotel’s Location
The best way to have an eco-friendly trip is to do a bit of extra planning before your arrival. One way to be green and to remove some travel stress when you’re on vacation is to pick a hotel that is close to public transportation. If you’re staying close to bus stops or trolley stations, you can avoid renting a car and dealing with parking. This way, you can be eco-friendly and avoid the stress of driving in an unfamiliar city.

Though trying to be eco-friendly while traveling can be a challenge, at the Pacific Inn & Suites, our central location can help. Our downtown San Diego hotel is conveniently located only a minute’s walk from a trolley station, which makes getting around the city in an eco-friendly way fast and easy. Call a Reservation Manager today at 1-800-571-2933 to find out about our availability and learn more about our central location, just minutes away from major San Diego attractions. Book your reservation today!

How to Plan a Successful Family Vacation

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Family Friendly San Diego

While there are a lot of things to coordinate when planning a family trip to San Diego, there are several ways that you can ensure your trip’s success. Check out these four tips by the San Diego Pacific Inn for making your next family vacation a happy one.

1. Cushion Your Budget
One of the most crucial elements to planning a great family vacation is to stay within your budget. Since there can be a number of unplanned expenses on your trip, be sure to leave some breathing room in your budget when you’re booking the essentials. This way, if you do have money left over towards the end of your trip, you may get to splurge for a fancy dinner, or, if an emergency arises, you have the financial flexibility to take care of it.

2. Check for Deals
Along with planning some wiggle room in your budget, you may want to look for deals on discount sites before coming. Groupon has deals for small groups, so you may be able to get a deal on tickets for the whole family to attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, or even Disneyland. Some companies offer special rates for groups of 5 or more people, so if you have a big family, don’t be afraid to ask for discounts before you purchase your tickets.

3. Invite a Friend
Traveling can be more fun for you and your children if they have a friend or sibling to share it with. If you will be traveling with just one child, consider having your child invite one of his or her friends along on the trip. While you will need to foot the bill for an extra person, having a friend along means that your child will be kept occupied, which means you can have some time to relax.

4. Get a Consensus
Another important step for making your trip successful is to make sure that everyone’s interests are given equal attention. Before the trip, make a list of all of the destinations in the city that are interesting to your family. Then, let everyone vote for their top 2 choices. Make sure to visit everyone’s top destination choice, and then try to squeeze in each person’s secondary choices if time allows. This way no one will feel left out, and everyone will get to do at least one thing that they’re interested in.

Planning family vacations is a challenge for most families, but picking a hotel that will work for your family doesn’t have to be. Reserve a room at the Pacific Inn San Diego and rest assured that your stay will be a comfortable and affordable one. Call a Reservation Manager today to learn more about our complimentary amenities and to find out about our availability. We look forward to welcoming you!

 

6 of San Diego’s Hidden Gems

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San Diego Hidden Locations

With an evolving craft beer community, innovative college students, and a young entrepreneurial population, San Diego is constantly growing, and new hot spots are popping up all the time. Check out some favorites from the Pacific Inn San Diego, where our staff members have a flair for finding the latest hip places to visit and dine. 

1. Edna and Alex Harper’s Hillside Topiary Garden
Frequently described as something out of Edward Scissorhands, this private garden features over 50 giant tree creatures in an environment that feels like a storybook. While the garden is located on the Harper family’s private residence, Edna and Alex welcome guests to enter for free, take photographs of the topiaries, and stroll the property.

2. Bankers Hill
This San Diego neighborhood is frequently passed over because of its reputation as an affluent residential area. For locals, however, Bankers Hill is a lovely place to stroll, with historical footbridges, like the Spruce Street suspension bridge or the Upas Street bridge, that take you through idyllic and scenic areas of San Diego.

3. Cinema Under the Stars
Cinema Under the Stars, located in Mission Hills, is a cute spot to see a film. At $15, the tickets are a bit more expensive than regular theaters, but the Looney Tunes cartoons before the film, combined with the gravity chair seating under outdoor heaters, and real views of the stars make the price worth it.

4. Noble Experiment 
If you’re looking for a blast from the past, check out Noble Experiment. Accessible through a secret door in a restaurant called Neighborhood located on G Street in downtown, this speakeasy is a salute to the Prohibition era. One of the best-kept secrets in San Diego, Noble Experiment exclusively serves high-end, traditional drinks in an old-timey atmosphere.

5. Oscar Wilde’s Irish Pub
Located in Hillcrest, this Irish pub stands out in the community for welcoming guests to lounge on their dog-friendly patio while munching on giant pretzels slathered with beer cheese. They offer a versatile selection of craft beer on tap with a happy hour that makes the prices extremely affordable.

6. The Secret Cave at Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument has a gorgeous location for hiking. With a hidden cave on the western side of the national monument that is unknown to most hikers, come here to escape the city and enjoy nature. The cave can only be accessed during low tide and is a great place to enjoy the natural beauty in San Diego.

If you’re looking for economical hotels near the Gaslamp Quarter so that you are close to these best-kept secrets, check out the Pacific Inn. We offer convenient, comfortable, and affordable lodging in San Diego. Give a Reservation Manager a call at 1-800-571-9233, or book your room online. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Make the Most of Your Business Trip

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Business Travelers in San Diego

San Diego is a major destination for business professionals and for hosting conventions. Unfortunately, business travel often sounds more glamorous than it really is. It can be challenging to find time to see the sights and relax when you’re busy attending meetings or conferences. The following tips will help you make the most of your trip and enjoy some personal time away from work.

Plan Ahead
No matter how busy you expect to be during the trip, spend some time researching things to do in the city before you go. You can also email friends and colleagues who have been to San Diego for recommendations. Prepare a list of the restaurants, destinations, and events you hope to see while you’re in town so you have suggestions at hand if you can find time to get away.

Meet Clients at an Exhibition or Restaurant
If there’s something you want to see in town, plan to meet clients or colleagues there instead of in your hotel’s lobby. Meeting at the restaurant or museum maximizes your time and gives you an excuse to visit a location you otherwise would not have had time to see.

Add Extra Time
If possible, add an extra day or two to your trip to get in a bit of sightseeing. Arriving even a day early for a business trip gives you time to get settled in your hotel in downtown San Diego and explore.

Use Travel Time
A great deal of business travel involves merely waiting to get to a destination. Use your wait time on the plane or in the taxi to get through your work to-do list so you have more time to explore the city.

Get in a Workout
If your days are packed with meetings, nothing melts away the stress of work and travel better than getting in some exercise. When you have little downtime, take advantage of the beautiful San Diego weather to go for a walk or run before work and see the city up close.

Try New Foods
Instead of eating the lunch your company provides, suggest that your coworkers explore local restaurants near your hotel or business destination. Use Yelp and other review apps to find out where the locals like to eat. Work up the bravery to try some local cuisine, even if it’s out of your comfort zone. Nopales (cactus) tacos are a favorite at many San Diego Mexican restaurants.

Coming to San Diego for a work trip? Book a room at one of the top hotels in downtown. The conveniently located Pacific Inn is close to the San Diego International Airport, as well as local attractions, like the Gaslamp Quarter and the famous San Diego Zoo. Reach out to one of our Reservation Managers at 1-800-571-2933 for available dates, or reserve your room today!

Petco Park Offers New Delights for 2015 Season

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2015 Season Delights  in Petco Park

Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres, is a great place to catch a game and grab a delicious bite to eat. San Diego’s famous ballpark has more than 60 concessions to choose from, including several new menu items this year. Before you head to the park, plan your in-game dining around these great options hand-picked by the staff at the Pacific Inn Downtown San Diego.

Juicy Lucy Burger at The Patio
The Patio has two spaces in the park this season behind sections 228 and 128. While you will undoubtedly have trouble narrowing down the menu options, the famous cheddar-stuffed Juicy Lucy burger topped with caramelized onions on a brioche bun is a must-have.

Swell Coffee Roasting Co.
If you need a little pick-me-up by the seventh inning, try a coffee from the park’s new concession. The Patio in Left Field will be serving up smooth coffee from Mission Beach’s Swell Coffee Roasting Company all season long.

Cocktails at Deep Eddy Vodka Hideaway
The Vodka Hideaway, from Austin-based Deep Eddy Vodka, will debut in Petco Park this May with a bar located on the Toyota Terrace level. Be sure to try the official craft vodka brand of the Padres during your next game and follow it up with a roll from Zenbu Sushi, which will be featured on the bar’s menu.

Garlic Beer Buddies at the Pizza Port
What’s a game without a good beer? Enjoy a cold one along with the restaurant’s signature garlic beer buddies, served with marinara and ranch sauce. While there are many beers to choose from, try the exclusive Petco Park Pale Ale brew.

Mahi Mahi Tacos at Rimel’s Rooftop Grill
Make game day complete by dining atop the Western Metal Supply Co. Building–previously reserved for private groups only–and enjoying fine Mahi Mahi tacos or rotisserie chicken at Rimels Rotisserie.

Coming to San Diego to catch a few baseball games? Reserve a Gaslamp Quarter hotel room and you can walk to the field as well as all the action after. Give the Pacific Inn a call at 1-800-571-2933 to find out about our great rates and ongoing discounts!

Top Tips to Make the Airport a Breeze

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SAN Aiport Tips

No matter how excited you might be to head out to a warmer climate, going to the airport at the start of your trip can be a real mood-killer. This is especially true if you happen to be traveling with kids in tow, during a busy season, or with lots of luggage. Fortunately, you can make travel a breeze with these innovative airport hacks.

Take a Quick Picture of Your Parking Spot

You think you’ll remember where you parked, or you write it down on scrap paper at your hotel in San Diego Gaslamp Quarter but accidently throw it in the trash. Instead, use your phone to photograph your parking space before flying will eliminate all of the stress and hassle of finding your car once you get back in.

Secure Luggage Zippers with Cable Ties

Before checking your bags, use a few zip ties to keep your zippers securely closed. This will prevent your luggage from falling open when loaded and unloaded, and it will also protect all of the important items that you have stowed inside.

Use a Mobile App to Find the Fastest Security Line

If there are multiple security stations at the airport that you’re leaving from, use a mobile phone app like MyTSA to find out which of these is moving fastest.

Pack Inflatable Toys for the Kids

An empty gate and an inflatable beach ball are all you need to keep kids entertained when experiencing flight delays. You can also pack board games, playing cards and drawing kits. Making sure that kids have plenty to do will make it easier for you to manage them while waiting to depart.

Carry a Refillable Water Bottle

While you can’t carry a full bottle of water onto the plane, you can carry your own refillable water bottle. This way, you can fill it up once you’ve made your way through the security station and won’t have to spend money to buy expensive beverages in the airport.

Look for a Luggage Cart in the Pick-Up Area

If you need a luggage cart, you may be able to save a little cash by snagging one that was recently used. You can usually find these in the pick-up zone.

Hang Near an Airport Lounge for Free Wi-Fi Access

Although some airports have free Wi-Fi, many limit your access to 30 or 60 minutes. Take advantage of the free Wi-Fi offered in airport lounges by sitting close to the lounge entrances. For more room to spread out and full-access to all of the features offered in airport lounges, you can also consider splurging on a day pass.

Before you ever take off, don’t forget to book a cheap downtown San Diego hotel like the Pacific Inn. We don’t believe in sacrificing comfort for price, so in addition to our low rates we offer newly remodeled rooms, HBO and ESPN, and 24/7 customer service. Find out how much you can save by calling 1-900-571-2933 and reserving your room today!

Tips for Traveling During Peak Allergy Season

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Allergy Season Tip for Travelers

Allergies can derail even the best-planned vacations. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that make it much easier to prepare for new climates, exposure to new allergens and the ravages of an unexpected allergy attack. Following are several things you can do to ensure your next trip is a smooth one, in spite of food allergies or negative responses to airborne allergens.

Stow Your Allergy Medicines in Your Carry-On

Lost luggage can create significant problems for people who are reliant upon prescription allergy medicines or over-the-counter products that are difficult to find. Antihistamines and epinephrine pens might additionally be necessary in-flight if people come in contact with dust mites or foods that trigger allergic reactions. You should also make sure to have a bracelet, necklace or card on hand at all times that lists your allergies and any essential medications. If you plan on bringing prescription medicine, be sure to bring the actual prescription just in case.

Opt for a Pet-Free Room

Make sure your hotel puts you in a room that has always been pet-free. Discuss your allergies with the Downtown San Diego hotel manager when making your reservations so that the likelihood of in-room allergens is minimized. Make sure your room is away from indoor swimming pools and bring your own hypoallergenic pillow case and mattress cover.

Find a Nearby Allergist

If you suffer from severe allergies, find the name and contact information of a reputable allergist before departing. Should you need an urgent appointment after having reached your destination, you won’t have to spend time hunting down a good provider.

Get Your Prescriptions Refilled Before Departing

Discuss your travel plans with your doctor before heading out. He or she may be able to recommend several short-term adjustments to help limit adverse responses to new allergens. This is also a good time to get all of your prescriptions refilled. Make sure you have sufficient amounts of each medication for the duration of your trip.

Download a Pollen Report

Many companies offer comprehensive pollen reports online. Find a report that is specific to your destination, and follow this before and during your trip. This will let you know which days are best for outside activities. You can also download a mobile app to stay current with local pollen counts while visiting San Diego.

Order Local Honey

Although there is still limited evidence concerning the efficacy of consuming local honey to control pollen allergies, many people assert local honey has helped them naturally manage seasonal allergies. You can use the web to find a supplier of honey that is local to your intended destination. Consume at least one teaspoon per day starting several weeks before your trip. This could minimize your response to airborne pollen, thereby making it easier for you to get outside and enjoy yourself, even on high pollen days.

The Pacific Inn hotel near the San Diego Convention Center is a great choice for location and comfort. We offer several discounts, including a Park & Fly package, 24/7 customer service, and the best rate around. To speak with a Reservation Manager, call 1-800-571-2933 and book a room today!

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