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San Diego’s Best January Activities

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Coming to San Diego this January? You’ll find mild weather, fewer tourists, and a whole calendar of great events happening around town. It’s hard to pick just a few to spotlight, but the staff at the Pacific Inn in San Diego has managed to do just that.

San Diego Restaurant Week 2015
This unique event happens twice a year, and the first restaurant week of 2015 runs from January 18 to 24. Over 180 restaurants across San Diego County take part in this event, and all of them will be offering excellent food on prix-fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner. Lunch is two courses for $15 or $20, and dinner is three courses for $20 to $50. There’s something for every type of food lover from the Fogo de Chao Brazilian steakhouse in downtown to The Prado at Balboa Park, which offers excellent California cuisine.

30th Annual Plays by Young Writers Festival
Culture lovers and older kids will enjoy this festival, which runs from January 22 to February 1 at the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre in the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, located at the Old Globe. This festival offers two programs for different age groups, and there’s a combined total of eight plays being performed. All of these plays have been written by local playwrights under the age of 18, and all of them have been selected out of the best young talent in the San Diego area. The price for this event ranges from $10 to $60.

Sea World’s 50th Celebration
Even though this legendary park turned 50 in March 2014, the celebrations are still going through January. As part of the celebration, visitors now enter through Explorer’s Reef, which immerses you in an area with multiple pools of small sharks, rays and fish. There’s also a squad of employees surprising people with prizes and giveaways. Admission to SeaWorld San Diego is between $78-84 depending on age. SeaWorld tickets aren’t inexpensive. Save some money during your trip by booking a cheap hotel near the San Diego Airport, located just minutes from SeaWorld, and put the money you save towards tickets for the whole family.

Heading to San Diego? The Pacific Inn Hotel & Suites has you covered. We are conveniently located near Little Italy, the San Diego Convention Center, and are one of the most affordable places to stay near the Gaslamp Quarter. We also offer 24-hour fresh brewed coffee and tea, free Wi-Fi, and a best rate guarantee. Call a friendly Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 to inquire about our unbeatable rates and ongoing promotions.

Top San Diego Holiday Travel Tips for Families

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From packing your kids’ luggage, arranging transportation, checking into flights and booking an affordable hotel near the San Diego Airport, we know that crossing off items on your family vacation checklist can seem daunting, especially when you’re traveling over the busy holiday season. Here are some simple suggestions on how to make your family vacation a little less stressful, from start to finish.

Tip #1: Look for Free Events

Most families understandably need to travel on a budget, and San Diego offers plenty of fun activities during the holidays that don’t cost a penny. During the first weekend of December, Balboa Park’s December Nights is a popular festival for tourists and locals alike. All the major museums are open for free and you’ll get to enjoy lots of live music, dancing, light displays and exotic foods from across the globe. Your family can also enjoy the Big Bay Balloon Parade around New Year’s Eve, which is larger than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in terms of balloon floats.

Tip #2: Dress Appropriately

San Diego remains pretty mild during the holiday season with average November highs of just under 70 degrees and average December highs of 65. It’s preferable to bring a light jacket and long pants no matter where you are. Prepare on layering when you head out in the morning since this is also the start of the rainy season.

Tip #3: Visit Theme Parks Over the Holidays

One of the most popular destinations is Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo. As you stroll through the zoo, you can see lighted sculptures, enjoy a special version of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and take a ride on the Twinkle Light Trolley. SeaWorld San Diego is also going all out for the holidays, bringing in snow, sleds and Santa as the theme park transforms in “SnowWorld.”

If you’re interested in getting a discount on admission into both the zoo and SeaWorld while also saving at a nearby hotel, call the downtown San Diego Pacific Inn at (619) 232-6391 and ask about our available discounts.

Family Theme Park Survival Guide

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San Diego Family Theme Parks

If you are planning your San Diego family vacation and have 1 or 2 local theme parks on your itinerary, it’s important to plan ahead, especially when you have young kids in tow. Certainly you are hoping your day will be relaxing and free of stress; however, a theme park trip can quickly escalate into a whirlwind of temper tantrums, crankiness and excess spending if you’re not equipped with these essential Theme Park Survival Tips, provided by the staff at the San Diego Pacific Inn & Suites.

Top San Diego attractions such as SeaWorld, LEGOLAND California and the San Diego Zoo attract tourists in droves. That is why it’s so important to pre-plan your trip to these major parks to get the most out of what is supposed to be a fun-filled day.

Parking

The parking lots at theme parks can be some of the most sinister places on the planet. They are expensive, huge, and a terror to navigate with a mini-van full of excited children. Before you go to your theme park, research the layout of the park and know exactly which parking lot will be your best location. If possible, purchase your parking pass ahead of time.

Public Transportation

You could also consider getting a hotel near your desired attraction and using public transportation to avoid all parking lot-related obstacles. For example, if the zoo is on your vacation to-do list, you could reserve a room at one of the hotels near San Diego Zoo, such as the Pacific Inn which is located less than 4 miles away. From Pacific Inn, you can easily take the Blue line bus route #215 from the Santa Fe Depot Transit Center towards SDSU, departing at Park Blvd and Zoo Pl.

Outline Your Day

Before entering the park, ask each child what their number one activity is. Looking at a park map, plan out the best route to make sure that every family member feels like a part of the vacation planning process. This way, no one will leave the park disappointed.

Pack the Essentials

There are some things you must bring to a theme park if you want to avoid paying exorbitant park prices. These items include water, aspirin, sunscreen, sunglasses, diaper items, and snacks. Pack a backpack the day before your theme park trip and leave it next to your downtown San Diego hotel door to ensure you don’t forget it.

These simple tips should help you avoid some common theme park pitfalls during your family vacation in San Diego. The staff at Pacific Inn truly hopes you have a wonderful, fun and affordable vacation. If you’re still looking for local accommodations, don’t hesitate to contact us at (619) 232-6391 if you’re interested in seeing how much money we could help you save during your stay in San Diego.

 

San Diego Kids Free Month: Best Picks for Downtown Travelers

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Free Family Fun in San Diego

In an effort to appeal to families with children, for the whole month of October San Diego is offering free admission for kids to more than 100 activities as long as there is a paying adult. Locals and visitors alike are able to get into some of the city’s biggest and best attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and a variety of hotspots located near family friendly hotels in Downtown San Diego.  Pacific Inn, one such hotel, has compiled a list of the top participating locations near Downtown San Diego.

Hornblower Cruises

When accompanied by an adult, children 12 and under gain free passage on any of the Hornblower San Diego Bay cruises that sail for one or two hours along the coastal waters. Guides offer narrations of the more than 50 landmarks found around the city. Vessels also travel to locations known to feature sea lions and bird species. Each ship also offers complimentary beverages and snacks.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Learning about the human body and looking at demystifying illusions are but some of the exhibits waiting for young guests at the science center. Various hands-on exhibits offer guests the chance to be an engineer while exploring a variety of sensory details. There is no doubt that the Reuben H. Fleet Center actually makes science fun.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

This museum welcomes guests to explore air and space travel through a number of exhibits that include historic planes, an ever fascinating Ripley’s Believe It or Not area, and a specially designed hanger just for kids. See equipment used by real astronauts and gaze in awe at the reproductions of actual Apollo and Gemini space modules.

Japanese Friendship Garden

Located in Balboa Park, the renowned facility welcomes families to tour the picturesque setting and learn a little more about the Japanese culture. The tranquil destination features buildings constructed using authentic Oriental architecture. The gardens boast plant life commonly found in native settings and includes a collection of unusual Bonsai trees. Other exhibits include a Koi pond that is sure to capture the interest of young visitors.

The San Diego Zoo

Also located in the beautiful Balboa Park is San Diego’s world-famous zoo. With at least one paying adult, children 11 years old and younger are granted free admission! Take advantage of this offer by booking a cheap San Diego Zoo hotel and taking your family to enjoy the animals, shows, exhibits and informational tours.

For a complete list of the Kids Free San Diego participants, visit sandiego.org/promotions/kids-free. And for a popular and affordable hotel located close to the above listed attractions, call San Diego Pacific Inn & Suites at (619) 232-6391.

 

The 2014 Del Mar Horse Racing Season Events

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Horse racing is an exciting event that offers guests a chance to enjoy the pageantry that goes along with watching some of the fastest horses and most talented jockeys in the world compete against each other. In San Diego, guests and locals alike have the chance to join the fun at the Del Mar track. The season is almost here so it is time to get your race day hat and choose an event.

Opening Day
This year guests are looking forward to the opening day at Del Mar on July 17th. More than 45,000 guests are expected to arrive to watch the races and enjoy the spectacle. For the fashion forward, on opening day there is the One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest. Contestants will be judged on the beauty, originality and creativity of their hats. Stretch Run admission is $10, while Clubhouse admission is $20. Admission does not include refreshments or bets.

Summer Concert Series
On Friday evenings during the race season, the Del Mar racetrack offers music concerts. The cost of the concert is included in the cost of admission; however, guests who arrive after the last race begins will have to pay a $20 admission fee. The concerts begin at 7pm west of the Grandstand and it is held outside, standing room only. Featured bands scheduled to perform this season include Weezer, Counting Crows and The Cult.

Family Fun Weekends
During the summer race season, Del Mar celebrates enjoying time with the family. On Saturdays and Sundays, admission to the track is only $6 for adults and free for children. The infield area becomes a haven for children looking to having fun. There will be inflatables, bouncy houses, a giant slide, games and of course pony rides. Children can test their skills on the obstacle course and have their faces’ painted by an expert. This is a fun-filled day for children of all ages!

For more fun with animals while you’re in San Diego, stop by Sea World or snag one of the cheap hotels near San Diego Zoo.

Whatever wild adventure you decide to have, make sure you’re home base is set up at the San Diego Pacific Inn hotel. Our family friendly amenities will have both you and your kids satisfied as you settle into the Kids Suite and chow down on the complimentary buffet breakfast each morning.

To make your hotel reservation at the San Diego Pacific Inn, call our reservations hotline today at 1-800-571-2933.

 

Kid-Friendly Art Studios in San Diego

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Finding ways to keep children occupied while traveling can be a bit of a challenge. Children often tire of the typical dining out and shopping excursions that encompass most trips. A creative and fun activity that parents and children can do together is spending some time at an art studio. San Diego boasts several art studios that are kid-friendly and will offer you and your children a fun, interactive and educational experience.

Art Soup is an art studio in Encinitas that caters to children ages 2 to 14. A small fee will allow your children complete access to activity tables, chalk walls, and a huge create-your-own craft bar for an hour and a half.

Bravo School of Art features different activities daily, including acrylic painting, paper mache, jewelry making, and photography. Classes are held in the city of San Diego and are geared towards specific age groups, which is why registration for classes is required.

CeramiCafe Art Lounge offers a huge selection of blank ceramics for you and your children to paint. There is also an extensive mosaic station and clay available if you wish to capture your child’s feet or hand prints during your visit to this La Mesa studio.

Clay ‘N Latte is a full-service art studio with locations in Carmel Mountain, San Diego and one in Vista. They offer pottery painting, glass fusing, mosaics, and clay prints. People of all ages are welcome and specials discounts oftentimes run throughout the week.

Fire & Mud Studios offers classes and workshops, as well as open studio times. Visitors can sculpt their very own piece of artwork out of clay and watch instructors use unique firing techniques to finish off their masterpiece. This studio in San Marcos can accommodate different age ranges and large groups for parties.

Fun Dabbles features an indoor play area alongside its art studio in Carlsbad. Parents and their children can paint their own pottery, make their own candles and scented soap, and paint a beautiful portrait on canvas. There are no studio fees and children can enjoy the play zone for one low price.

If you’re looking to schedule a play date that you’ll enjoy just as much as your children, these art studio will surely provide you with the space and materials you need to make lasting memories. In order to fully enjoy your studio time, make sure you’ve reserved a room at one of the trusted and affordable hotels near Balboa Park in San Diego. Balboa Park is home to several museums and will be a great place to get some art inspiration before heading to one of the above mentioned studios.

To find a coastal hotel that’s within your budget, visit San Diego Pacific Inn and Suites. For more information about our current specials and vacation packages, contact a reservations specialist by calling 1-800-571-2933 today.

 

Dad’s Day Out: San Diego Father’s Day Itinerary

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Father’s Day weekend promises to be a lively one around San Diego, with events ranging from camping with wild animals to a quirky surf competition. Following is a sample itinerary to keep any dad happy, just so long as he has a nice and affordable downtown San Diego hotel to unwind in come days end.

Friday, June 13
Petco Unleashed Surf Dog Competition, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Start the day at Imperial Beach cheering on the unusual surfers at this quirky competition. Check out the sand sculpting competition, relax in the beer garden and watch some courageous canines paddle out and hang 20.

Foodie Friday, 6:00 pm
If your guy loves food and theater, Foodie Friday at the La Jolla Playhouse is the place to go this weekend. The cost of a ticket to the rock n’ roll musical “Chasing the Song” includes access to gourmet food trucks and a beer tasting by Stone Brewing Co.

Saturday, June 14 
San Diego Fair, 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
With loads of food, contests, rides, animals, games and exhibits, this is the place to go for some old-fashioned fun. The family-friendly extravaganza features wild and wooly events from a turkey stampede to six magic shows.

San Diego Zoo Father’s Day Sleepover, 4:00 pm – Sunday, June 15, 9:00 am
After the fair, head to the zoo and get ready for an amazing overnight adventure including animal presentations, bus tour, moonlight stroll and morning feeding. This year’s theme is animal superheroes and the price includes tent, dinner, evening snack and a hot breakfast.

Sunday, June 15 
Family Kayak Adventure Center Kayak Tour, 9:00 am
Glide out on the water early for a guided kayak tour of lively San Diego Bay, complete with all equipment and a certified instructor. Paddle along enjoying views of the downtown skyline and Coronado Island while listening to fascinating tales of the area’s history.

San Diego Wooden Boat Festival, June 14, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and June 15, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Wooden boat fanatics will love this annual Shelter Island festival at the Koehler Craft Boat Yard featuring over 80 wooden water craft in various stages of restoration. Take an afternoon stroll around the grounds admiring vessels from rowboats to schooners, along with nautical displays, music, food and crafts.

Concert Humphrey’s on the Bay, 7:00 pm
A perfect ending to Father’s Day weekend just might be the Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson performance at Humphrey’s on the Bay, one of the highlights of the spectacular outdoor venue’s summer series.

A packed weekend full of dad-focused activities is the perfect way to say “I love you.” Dad will also appreciate the top-notch amenities offered at Pacific Inn. We have in-room ESPN/HBO, daily buffet breakfast free of charge and Jacuzzi suites with an in-room whirlpool tub. If you really want to make sure the man in your life feels appreciated, book a room at Pacific Inn & Suites today – our cheap San Diego zoo hotel offers all the frills without excessive bills.

To schedule your Father’s Day room reservation at Pacific Inn, call 1-800-571-2933.

San Diego’s top Arcades

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When visiting San Diego, most people think of spending time at the beach or exploring the downtown area. But did you ever think of rallying your friends or family together for a friendly game of laser tag, pool, or air hockey? Arcades and game rooms offer fun for people of all ages, encourage friendly competition and best of all, they’re extremely affordable. There are several game-themed entertainment venues in San Diego, offering different vibes based on the age requirement to get in. So scrape up all the spare change you can find and hit one of these fun establishments for a fun-filled outing:

Rush Laser Tag & Arcade

For a chance to enjoy good old fashioned skee ball or to try your hand at laser tag, Rush’s offers a number of activities for all ages. Located at Belmont Park in Mission Beach, it’s a hot spot that makes it easy to enjoy classic arcade games in a prime location that is next to the rides on the boardwalk. Rock climbing is an additional outdoor feature that is available next to the arcade.

Nickel City Amusement Center

Nickel City Amusement Center is a larger arcade that offers classic games with $2 admission and only nickels needed to play select games. A free play section is even offered for unlimited use to customers. Patrons can enjoy playing on the pinball machine or use new games that are based on the latest Hollywood films. With a large selection in prizes available after collecting tickets, it makes for a great place to visit on the weekend or when hosting a birthday party.

Brewski’s Bar

For adults looking to have a bit of fun on a Friday night, Brewski’s bar offers a free arcade to its customers with video games, air hockey, and plenty of pool tables. Guests can leave their laundry money at home and enjoy the adult playground with classics that will remind them of their childhood. Perhaps the best part is enjoying food and adult beverages while playing in the arcade.

So book your room at one of the city’s top cheap hotels near the San Diego airport today! Pacific Inn & Suites offers everything a budget-conscious traveler is looking for: cheap room rates, discounts, money-saving vacation packages, free in-room WiFi, free parking, and a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning.

Don’t wait until our guest rooms book up during your ideal dates this summer. Call Pacific Inn hotel today at 1-800-571-2933.

 

Your Guide to the 2014 AirShow San Diego

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AirShow San Diego, formerly called Wings Over Gillespie, brings an exciting collection of military aircraft to one location for the show of a lifetime. The event commemorates the 70th anniversary of D-Day with a stunning display of aerial acts, paratroopers, staged dogfights and more. The event is family friendly and even features a free Kid’s Zone for younger visitors.

Guests can also enjoy carnival rides and other entertainment, food and beverage vendors including craft beer, educational displays, and classic cars sponsored by Warriors United. From your littlest aviators to seasoned veterans and everyday civilians, there is something for everyone.

The air show takes place at Gillespie Field in El Cajon, California on June 7th and 8th with gates open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. General parking is free as is the shuttle from the Trolley station to the front gate. They’re expecting thousands of guests, so be prepared for a bit or traffic. Another option is to book a room at one of the city’s top cheap hotels near Little Italy for quick and easy access to Gillespie Field via the San Diego trolleys’ Green Line (towards Santee).

Scheduled AirShow events include:

  • Over 55 Aircraft On Display
  • Paratroopers
  • 99′s Female Pilot Parade
  • Red Eagles Formation Flight Team
  • R/C Plane Demonstration
  • ASTREA
  • D-Day Invasion Dogfight
  • John Collver & WarDog
  • Smoke N’ Thunder Jet Car
  • Mock Battle with Pyro
  • Live Concerts
  • 1940′s Costume Dance Contest (Saturday only)
  • Enter a Raffle to Win a Ride in a Real Warbird!

A variety of tickets are available to suit every visitor’s needs. World War II and Korean Vets, as well as Wounded Warriors are all free with ID. There are family packages and discounts for children, families, seniors, and active military. Those wanting the ultimate experience can opt for the 2-Day VIP pass. Tickets are available in advance through AirShow San Diego’s website at ag1caf.org.

Feel free to dress up in 1940s attire, grab a cold Hangar 24 beer in their 21+ beer garden and enjoy the sky-high aerial stunts and performances all at San Diego’s Gillespie Field.

If you’re looking to save money during your weekend in San Diego, consider booking a room at one of the city’s cheap MCRD hotels like Pacific Inn & Suites. Staying at a budget inn near the Marine Corps Recruit Depot will allow you the opportunity to see the MCRD Museum and experience more of San Diego’s vast historical sights. Another benefit is having a trolley stop right outside the hotel doors to take you to Gillespie Field and all around San Diego eliminating the need for a rental car.

To book your cheap Downtown San Diego hotel room at Pacific Inn today, call 1-800-571-2933. Be sure to let us know if you’re active duty military and we’ll give you an additional 10% off our already low room rates!

Free Family Friendly San Diego Activities

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Free San Diego Family Activities

Planning a family vacation can get expensive very quickly if you don’t take the time to look for affordable family-friendly activities that you’ll all enjoy during your time in San Diego. You put a lot of time into planning and budgeting for your dream trip and we know that you want to ensure that your family has a great time. To save money while not skimping on the fun, plan to do some of these free activities that will still provide your family with a fun memory.

Stargazing
On the first Wednesday of each month at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, you and the family can spend some time gazing up at the stars. The San Diego Astronomy Association brings large telescopes for guests so that they can take a turn looking at the night sky in a whole new way. Your children will enjoy seeing the rings of Saturn and the craters on the moon, and you will enjoy the price —free. While you’re in Balboa Park, now is the time to enjoy some adventure at the San Diego Zoo located just steps from the Science Center. Click here for cheap San Diego Zoo hotel information and to see how you can save money when you buy your zoo admission tickets from Pacific Inn & Suites.

Seeking Sea Creatures
During low tide, take the family down to Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma to explore the tide pools. Here you and your family can spend a fun afternoon seeing all kinds of sea creatures. The pools contain sea life such as flowering anemones, deadpan’s fingers, shore crabs, starfish and a variety of other sea animals. If you are lucky, you might catch sight of a shy octopus. Just let your kids know that touching the living plants and animals isn’t allowed, as it can disrupt the very sensitive ecosystem.

Flying Kites
One of the features of Mission Bay Park is Tecolote Shores – a grassy area that is free of power lines and tress, making it the perfect place for your family to try your hand at flying a kite. Pack a picnic lunch and a blanket to make a day of it. Seeing the smile on your kids’ faces as their kite catches air will make the few dollars that you spent on food and simple kites well worth it.

Walking in the Past
When staying near San Diego Old Town hotels visitors are encouraged to wander through the streets, checking out the old buildings that served the town in the past. Walking through the area is free of charge and there are even a handful of volunteer led tours to enjoy that are also free. Your family will delight at exploring Seeley Stables, an authentic blacksmith shop, and San Diego’s oldest school.

For more ideas on what to see and do while you’re visiting San Diego, just head to Pacific Inn’s website at PacificInnSD.com and click on the “Attractions” tab at the top. When you visit our homepage you’ll also see all of the amazing deals we’re offering. To book a cheap Downtown San Diego hotel room for your upcoming family vacation just call one of our reservations specialists at 1-800-571-2933 and be sure to ask about the convenient Kids Suites.

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Attractions
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