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Top 5 Places for Tea Lovers in San Diego

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Tea loving tourists love sunny San Diego. Not only is America’s Finest City the home of budget-friendly Little Italy hotels, but we’re also home to charming tea houses and cafes. Just check out the top five tea spots in the city below.

1.Heartsleeves Coffee

It’s hard to miss Heartsleeves Coffee with the blue exterior and barn doors that make it stand out in the quaint suburb of Little Italy. The coffee shop is hidden on a side street on Fir Street and is known for their delicious tea options. The rose-infused tea and the English breakfast tea are popular earthy beverages on the menu, which are perfect when paired with the fresh pastries that are made each day.

2. American House Coffee & Tea

American House Coffee & Tea has one of the largest selection of teas in the city with hundreds of jars that line the shelves. Black, green, white, chai, mate and oolong are some of the varieties that are available. Just ask for a free sample when you walk in. Each tea is served fresh and can be taken to go as you stroll around Old Town and enjoy some window shopping.

3. Cafe Bassam

Cafe Bassam is an eclectic coffee shop near Balboa Park that resembles an antique store on 5th Avenue. Dozens of jars of loose leaf tea clutter the counters. Foreign music can always be heard playing from the speakers as locals order their fragrant iced matcha teas and chai lattes.

4. Pappalecco

Pappalecco is a hidden gem in Hillcrest that is well-known for their tea and gelato selections. Indoor and outdoor seating is available where guests can relax among the cozy decor that features charming mason jars and plaid curtains.

5. Coronado Spice and Tea

Coronado Spice and Tea is the perfect place to order a jasmine tea or an iced passion fruit tea that can be paired with one of the homemade ice cream puffs that the establishment is known for. Organic loose teas are also available in rustic containers and bags to take home.

Make sure you’re close to these and other fine shops and eateries when you stay at Pacific Inn in Little Italy. We offer affordable rooms, modern amenities and friendly customer service to make you feel at home. Call 619-232-6391 or click here to make your reservation with us.

Update on Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama Project

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Balboa Park near Pacific Inn in downtown San Diego is a haven for both tourists and locals alike. But that hasn’t stopped city planners from looking for ways to improve the historic location.

With the hopes of creating a more pedestrian-friendly park, the Plaza de Panama Project in Balboa Park was recently approved on November 14 by the City Council in San Diego, CA. The project is expected to cost an estimated $79 million and will remove traffic in the middle of the park while also creating over six acres of play area for children. Gardens and pedestrian-friendly plazas will also be used in the space to enhance the use of the setting.

El Prado West and Pan American Road East will both be transformed from a vehicular road for automobiles into a walkway that can be accessed for pedestrian use only. The project is anticipated to ease congestion and hazards that are currently present with an alternate transit route for vehicles in the park to the Oregon Pavilion Lot, Alcazar Lot, and parking in the Palisades. Cars that travel through the park will not be permitted access beyond the Museum of Man and the general entrance to Balboa Park at the archway. The project will also reroute the Laurel Street bridge with underground parking.

Many people hope the project will advance the evolution of Balboa Park and allow it to remain a popular place to visit with improved access to different areas on the grounds. Those who are in favor of the project believe that it will increase the beauty of the park and make it easier to navigate. Other locals don’t think that the project has been vetted enough and is still too premature to be effective.

Half of the $79 million that is used for the project will be from city money with a budget that is double the cost of the same plan that was originally proposed in 2012. The cost of the project increased due to inflation, wages for the project and building code updates.

Be sure to visit beautiful Balboa Park during your next trip to San Diego so you can see what new and exciting developments are taking place. Just remember to make your reservation at a nearby hotel so you won’t be far from this historic landmark. Pacific Inn near Little Italy is a haven for the budget-conscious traveler and offers convenient amenities to guests. Call 619-232-6391 today or go online now to book your stay with us.

How to Prevent Stiff Neck During Your Flight

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Why wait until you get to Pacific Inn in downtown San Diego to feel comfortable? Many frequent flyers complain about a stiff neck during and even after a flight, but you need not be one of them if you follow some simple tips.

Use a Hot Pack

Since airplanes are always cold, they are the perfect place to use a hot pack. You can find air-activated hot packs at your favorite big-box store. Once the flight begins, open the pack and place it on your neck. It is recommended that you keep a layer of fabric between the hot pack and your skin.

Choose Your Seat

Choose your seat very carefully when booking your flight. The more legroom you have, the less likely your seat will be cramped, so try to get a seat that reclines fully. That way, you can sit in various positions during the flight to help prevent a stiff neck. Try to avoid seats by emergency exits and the restroom because these seats do not fully recline. Aisle seats tend to provide more space.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated during a flight is crucial if you want to avoid a stiff neck. You need to make sure that your body is well hydrated at least a week ahead of time by drinking approximately half your bodyweight in ounces. The added advantage is that you will have to get up during the flight to go to the restroom so you can stretch.

Move Around

While the best way to avoid a stiff neck is to move at least once an hour, that is not always possible because of air turbulence. You can still move by adjusting your body position in the seat. A lot of neck pain actually starts in the feet, so make sure that you are moving your feet regularly. Try to keep your spine as close to the seat’s backrest as possible.

Following these simple steps will leave you feeling great during and after your flight. Even if you need a little shuteye after your flight, you can always rest at Pacific Inn in Little Italy. Our convenient downtown San Diego location enables guests to rest and relax in our affordable rooms before taking on America’s Finest City. Call 619-232-6391 to book your stay with us or visit our website for more information.

Must-See Downtown San Diego Events This January

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If you plan on staying in a hotel in downtown San Diego this January, there is no need to feel the holiday blues because there is plenty to do. Below are some exciting events you can enjoy during your visit.

San Diego International Auto Show

Starting on December 29 and running through January 2, the San Diego International Auto Show takes center stage at the San Diego Convention Center. See over 400 new models from over 40 manufacturers. Many of these models are not even available in showrooms yet.

Centro Cultural de la Raza

Party in the New Year at Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park from January 6 to 8 when 18 DJs and two live acts take center stage for Something More Than Fusion. Other times at this museum, with a suggested admission donation of just $5, the museum hosts dancing classes, music for children classes and dancers from various cultures.

Mingei International Museum

On January 15, visitors can go to the Mingei International Museum for just $5 for the family, making it the perfect time to see their American and European Folk Art Exhibit featuring many never before seen works of art including works by Felipe Archuleta, Gerard Cambon and Beatrice Wood. Visitors can also explore a special exhibit dedicated to Japanese lacquer makers. On this special day, families can also create their own artworks.

San Diego Restaurant Week

From January 15-22, many San Diego restaurants will be letting diners try their cuisine at prices ranging from $10 to $50 a person. Downtown restaurants participating in this event include Blue Point, De Medici Cucina Italiana, Fogo De Chao Brazilian Steakhouse and Grant Grill to name just a few. Not every restaurant is participating each day, so check with the individual restaurant.

Fleet Science Center

With an admission charge of $19.95, something exciting is always happening at the Fleet Science Center. Through January 29, the center is hosting The Art of the Brick with over 20 Lego block sculptures including a 20-foot T-Rex and a reimagined version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. This exhibit featuring over one million blocks has been named one of 10 don’t-miss exhibits by CNN.

Be sure to make reservations at a nearby hotel in downtown San Diego so you don’t miss these exciting events this January. Pacific Inn in Little Italy offers comfortable rooms for affordable prices, complete with cable TV, complimentary Wi-Fi and other convenient amenities to help you feel at home. Call 619-232-6391 or click here to book your stay with us online.

Budget-Friendly Winter Activities for Tourists in Downtown San Diego

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Even if you are strapped for cash when you stay in affordable Little Italy hotels in San Diego, you can still have a lot of fun, as there are many budget-friendly activities that you can enjoy in the area.

Take a Tour of the Gaslamp District

The Gaslamp Historical Foundation is located in the Davis-Horton House at 410 Island Avenue. The tours are varying prices depending on the options chosen but can be as low as $20 a person. Choose to go on a tour to learn more about this neighborhood with its varied architecture while learning the stories of the people that first settled here. For a more unique experience, go on their Friday evening ghost tour to see if you can spot some very unusual characters still hanging about this old neighborhood.

Visit the Museums

Downtown San Diego is home to three exciting museums. Tickets to the New Children’s Museum are $12. Children can participate in many free activities such as making stamps with potatoes and performing with puppets. Families can also get into the Maritime Museum for $43, which is quite a bargain when you consider that you can see several old ships including submarines, steam-powered boats and tall sailing ships. The Chinese Historical Museum is just $5 per person and contains a fascinating collection showcasing how people with Chinese ancestry have made important impacts on the city. On occasion, these museums even offer free or deeply discounted ticket days, so be sure to check with the museum.

Explore Seaport Village

Even if you just go for a stroll, you will be amazed at the things that you can see at Seaport Village. The variety of music is simply amazing and can often be enjoyed for the price of a cup of hot tea or coffee. Poetry and Shakespeare readings occur on some days. The village is also a great spot to enjoy a quiet walk along the bay. Since it is winter, make sure to watch as occasionally whales are spotted in the waters just off the shore.

Downtown San Diego is a fascinating place to visit. It is easy to walk here even in the winter when daytime temperatures are often reached near 65 degrees. Plan your visit very soon and remember to book your stay at Pacific Inn in Little Italy. Our convenient location is perfect for tourists who plan to check out popular attractions such as Coronado Island, Seaport Village and Balboa Park. Call 619-232-6391 or go online to book your stay with us today.

What Will Happen to the San Diego Chargers Now That They Don’t Get a New Stadium?

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On November 8, 2016, San Diego voters said they would not build the San Diego Chargers football team a new downtown stadium. Just seven days later, Mayor Kevin Faulconer sat down with team officials, including owner Dean Spanos, to discuss what the team might do now. Neither party would make any comments after the meeting concluded. If you plan on staying in a Little Italy hotel after the new year, you will learn what the Chargers plan to do next.

Available Options

The Chargers have several options open to them. Spanos says that he will not make a public statement until after the regular season concludes when the Chargers play the Kansas City Chiefs on New Year’s Day. He also says that team officials are weighing each option very carefully.

Continue at Qualcomm

The Chargers have several seasons remaining on their contract with Qualcomm Stadium. They aren’t in any hurry to make a final decision if they do not want to make one. Although Qualcomm is an older stadium, playing there has been a good deal for the Chargers. Instead of paying rent as their contact with the city entails, thanks to the ADA settlement money in 2013, the city actually ended up paying the team $3.3 million dollars.

Move to Los Angeles

Another option that the Chargers will want to weigh is moving to Los Angeles. While NFL owners have already voted to OK this action if the team chooses, Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that he strongly favors the Chargers staying in the San Diego market. Moving to Los Angeles is a viable option because the team could share the new football stadium that is already being constructed there.

Finance Private Stadium

Now that voters have refused to help build a new stadium for the Chargers in downtown San Diego, Spanos could choose to finance a new stadium privately. In the past, he has said that if he has to pay for a new stadium it will not be in Mission Valley. He has, however, left open the possibility of building it elsewhere in the San Diego region.

New Home

The NFL owners must approve any move made by the team. There are several cities that have publically said that they would like to have a team including Louisville, Kentucky, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Honolulu, Hawaii. The most likely city, however, would be San Antonio, Texas.

If you’ll be in town before 2017, be sure to catch a Chargers game. Just remember to make your reservation at Pacific Inn in downtown San Diego so you won’t be far from the game. Our budget-friendly hotel offers clean and comfortable rooms, convenient amenities and 24/7 customer service to help you feel at home. Call 619-232-6391 today or go online to book your stay with us.

How to Stay Safe When Traveling to Tijuana

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When you come to San Diego, make the most of your trip by journeying over the border. Just remember to keep the following safety tips in mind when you go so you can truly enjoy your time.

Stick to Popular Tourist Areas

You may want to explore the outskirts of Tijuana and become friendly with the locals, but straying from popular tourist areas can cause you to go off the grid and increase your chances of getting lost. Stick to the bars, clubs and hotels where you are sure to find people who can guide you around the area.

Don’t Show Off Your Bling

Wearing a high-end watch or your favorite designer sunglasses can make you a target for theft, which is why it’s important to avoid showing off your pricy technology and jewelry. Try to blend in with the locals and keep your cash hidden in your sock or in your bra to avoid getting pickpocketed while you’re on the street.

Make Copies of Important Documents

Make copies of your passport, ID and visa to ensure that you have the papers on hand if they’re lost or stolen during your trip. You can email the documents to yourself or store them on a cloud to help you easily access the information so you don’t get stranded in Tijuana.

Avoid Drug Use

Many people head to TJ to party and have a bit of crazy fun, which can often involve drug use. Avoid illegal activity while spending time in Tijuana as this can make you vulnerable to unsavory types or land you in the hospital. Drug use can also cause you to end up in jail for several days, so try not to party too hard.

Don’t Go Out at Night

Tijuana is best explored during the daytime when the crime rates are the lowest and more people are out. Once the sun begins to go down, head back to your downtown San Diego hotel. You also want to travel in a group and avoid visiting the city alone, as there is safety in numbers.

Stay in the center of the action during your vacation by staying in downtown San Diego. Pacific Inn in Little Italy offer flexible dates, friendly customer service and no fees for booking with us. Book your stay online or call 619-232-6391 today to make your reservation with us.

Fun Events Coming to Downtown San Diego This December

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If you’re lucky enough to find an affordable downtown San Diego hotel room during your stay in America’s Finest City this December, be sure to check out the following upcoming events.

SD Bay Parade of Lights

This annual holiday tradition is held in the San Diego Bay where over 80 boats will entertain the crowds lining the shore of Seaport Village. Each boat will feature Christmas lights and will fit within the theme of “It Began with a Roar – San Diego Zoo Celebrates 100 Years.” The event is scheduled for December 11 and 18 and is free to watch.

2016 SONO Fest & Chili Cookoff

Eat to your heart’s content at the 2016 SONO Fest & Chili Cookoff on December 4 where you can indulge in spicy chili, visit a beer garden and watch live performances by local bands. Food trucks will also offer various types of cuisine from local eateries that you can sample. Tasting passes are $20 each, the proceeds of which will benefit McKinley Elementary School. Kids are welcome to take part in the fun by taking part in carnival games and bounce houses.

Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village

Kick off the holiday season with local Italians in the city by visiting India Street where over 1,000 gorgeous poinsettias will adorn the area with other festive Christmas decor. Spectators can purchase snacks, listen to live music and participate in holiday crafts. The tree will be lit at 5:30pm during this annual event that is free to attend for both children and adults.

Coronado Christmas Parade and Open House

Celebrate the Christmas season on December 2 by attending a parade in Coronado where festive floats will pass by excited kids and their families. Santa Claus and a few of his elves will also make an appearance as he waves to the crowds to incite some holiday cheer. The procession will also include fire trucks, police officers, cheerleaders and Christmas carolers who bring extra cheer to the island.

December is a magical time to visit San Diego. Gain easy access to these and other winter events around the city when you book your stay at Pacific Inn in Little Italy. Our budget-friendly hotel offers flexible dates, quick and easy booking and convenient amenities to help you feel at home. Call 619-232-6391 today or click here to make your reservation with us.

How You Should Prepare Your Car for Long-Term Airport Parking

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While shopping around for last minute hotel deals for your trip to San Diego, you should also consider what to do with your vehicle while you’re away. If you plan on using the airport parking lot to store your car or truck while you’re away, you will need to prepare for long-term vehicle storage. Read on to learn how.

Remove Items

Thieves who want to break into cars often look through the windows of vehicles in an attempt to see if there’s anything valuable to steal. Make it a point to remove valuable items that will give thieves an excuse to break in. You can also cover up items in the backseat with a towel to make them difficult to see. It’s also important to remove documents from the glove compartment or center console to prevent the information from being passed on to thieves. Be vigilant when it comes to removing everything from the inside of the car, which includes loose change or phone chargers.

Protect Your Vehicle from the Elements

One of the most important steps to leaving your vehicle at the airport for an extended period of time is to protect it from environmental elements. Leave the car in a garage or on a lot that is covered to prevent damage from occurring to the car’s body due to heavy rain, snow or even intense sunlight it’s exposed to while you’re away. If the car is left outdoors, consider investing in a durable cover that can be placed on the vehicle and will keep it clean and less exposed to the elements.

Take the Car in for an Inspection

Your car needs to be looked at by a mechanic to have the oil changed and ensure that the battery is fully charged before you leave it for several weeks or months at the airport. You’ll also need to repair any structural damage that can be exacerbated by both hot and cold weather.

Inspect It When You Return

Once you start your car again after leaving it for a long period of time, check the wiper fluid to ensure that you can clean the windshield. You’ll also need to check the tire pressure with a gauge that is kept in your glove compartment to avoid getting a flat.

When you follow these simple steps, you can strike another worry from the list and enjoy your vacation in downtown San Diego. Remember to make your reservation at Pacific Inn near Little Italy to really get into the vacation spirit. Our affordable hotel offers friendly customer service and easy access to some of San Diego’s finest attractions. Call 619-232-6391 today to make your reservation over the phone.

San Diego to Add New Public Space in Downtown

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San Diego will soon become even more accommodating to residents and visitors alike thanks to a dynamic new public space. The Office of James Burnett, a local landscape architecture firm, is coordinating efforts with the San Diego Parks and Recreation Department to transform empty lots in the East Village neighborhood into East Village Green, a proposed 4.1-acre park near hotels in San Diego.

Designed to serve as an inviting gathering spot in a rapidly growing residential neighborhood, the three-phase project will include a pedestrian plaza. Developers see it as ideal for farmers markets, neighborhood festivals and fairs, and other community events. It makes the most of limited public space and serves as a complement to Fault Line Park on Island Avenue, which opened to the public in 2015.

The new public space is part of a gradual transformation of the neighborhood from an arts and industrial district to more of a go-to destination for recreational and community activities. The neighborhood is already home to an assortment of popular gathering spots such as Petco Park and a new library.

The redeveloped site will also include a basketball half-court, community center with meeting rooms, kids’ play area, reading room, and a performance pavilion. An off-leash dog park will be coupled with a pet-friendly dining area.

In keeping with the city’s reputation for embracing eco-friendly designs, East Village Green will include drought-resistant landscape features and a storm water cistern. The developers had to employ some creative design solutions to deal with dramatic elevation shifts and seismic faults.

The project is the result of a series of compromises and a combination of suggested plans and visions for the neighborhood. Ultimately, it will be a versatile public space designed to serve a variety of functions. The Office of James Burnett has earned recognition for successfully completing similar public park projects in other communities across the country.

You too can enjoy this public space after it’s built when you stay at Pacific Inn in Little Italy. Our convenient downtown San Diego location is perfect for guests who want to see the best that America’s Finest City has to offer, including SeaWorld, Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. Call 619-232-6391 to book your stay with us today.

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