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How to Plan a Successful Family Vacation


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!


Spring in San Diego: Events for the Whole Family


San Diego Spring Events

Spring is one of the best seasons to spend in San Diego. Most days aren’t too hot or too cold, there are fewer visitors than summer, and there are a number of really awesome family-friendly events. The Pacific Inn in San Diego has narrowed the long list down to a few of the most enjoyable for all ages.

90th Annual Coronado Flower Show
Apr. 18-19

Just across the bay from cheap San Diego Convention Center hotels, visitors will find the country’s largest tented flower show. This annual event in Coronado features dozens of flower exhibits in tents that surround a central gazebo, which is the central stage for entertainment and presentations. Those 21 and up can relax and listen to live music in the wine and beer garden. Tickets are $5.

25th Annual San Diego Earth Fair
April 19

Over 300 exhibits will be featured in Balboa Park at this annual event promoting environmentalism. Visitors can enjoy art, dine at the food pavilion, and even tour different themed areas that are all focused on preserving Mother Earth and informing the community. There will also be an area for kids featuring crafts, face painting, games, hands-on activities, and a stage with youth-focused entertainment.

Annual Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo
May 2

To celebrate Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla, Old Town will be hosting a celebration for Cinco de Mayo a few days early with authentic Mexican food, live entertainment, and three music stages. Both kids and adults can enjoy viewing a low rider car show or participating in a soccer competition with other guests. A children’s area and stagecoach rides will also be available. Admission is free.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
May 31

Folks travel from all over to participate in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Both adults and kids can run or watch this annual event that features different types of music played along the way, a health and fitness expo, and the Racekids Kids Camp. Registration starts at $40.

Planning to pack your running shoes? Don’t wait to book a room. Cheap downtown San Diego hotel rooms wont’s last long. Call the Pacific Inn & Suites at 1-800-571-2933 and find out about our best rate guarantee. We also offer guests top amenities, a great location, and flexible dates. We look forward to hearing from you!

Visiting the Beach While in San Diego? Read These Tips First


Beach Tips for San Diego Tourists

Thinking of heading out to one of the beaches in San Diego? Follow these simple tips to have the most enjoyable experience during your day of sun and sand!

1. Check your beach attire.

While Black’s Beach may be clothing optional, most of San Diego’s beaches are family oriented. Unless you’ll be in a secluded location, make sure your beach attire is appropriate for eyes of all ages. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable, have to buy a new suit, or drive back to your Little Italy San Diego hotel to change.

2. Don’t assume Fido is welcome.

Want to bring your pup to frolic in the surf as well? For the majority of the beaches, from April 1st to October 31st, dogs are not allowed on the beach from 9am to 6pm and must be leashed when at the beach.

Dog Beach, North Beach Dog Run, Fiesta Island, and Del Mar Dog Beach all cater to the canines and have individual rules. Dog Beach is one of the oldest dog-friendly sites and is open 24 hours. Leashes are optional.

3. Be mentally prepared for parking.

It might sound like an exaggeration, but if you aren’t mentally prepared for parking at a San Diego beach during high season you’ll quickly be overwhelmed and discouraged. Be polite, don’t engage people who swoop in and steal a spot even though you had your blinker on, and if you wait for a person leaving and follow them to their car let them know you want their spot and aren’t just being a creep. Most importantly, depending on the day, the time, and the beach, you could easily spend 20-30 minutes trying to park.

4. Keep your sunscreen to yourself.

Some beachgoers have shunned old-fashioned sun block in favor of the spray on brands. If you prefer the spray, make sure you pay attention to your nearest neighbors as well as the direction of the wind so your fellow beachgoers don’t end up with a mouthful of SPF.

5. Headphones are a must have.

Respect your neighbors on the sand and employ your headphones to listen to your favorite beats! They also come in handy if other beachgoers aren’t using headphones and you’re just not in the mood to listen to their music.

6. Watch your children.

While many beaches employ lifeguards, it is still your responsibility to keep an eye on your offspring and ensure they are not only safe, but not pestering other beach goers who are intent on relaxing.

7. Properly pack up.

When it’s time to head back to your hotel near the SDCC, ensure you shake out your beach towels away from the crowds. Also pick up all of the trash and ensure you leave your space clean for the next visitor.

Visiting a San Diego beach is a wonderful way to spend a beautiful day outdoors, and following these few simple tips will help ensure you have an amazing visit.

For more beach tips or to secure a room for your San Diego stay, reach out to the Pacific Inn San Diego. Our recently remodeled rooms are comfortable and spacious, we offer free Wi-Fi, and always have fresh tea and coffee brewing. You can also count on quick booking, no booking fee, and the best rate guaranteed. Speak with a Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 and reserve your room today!

6 Things for Families to Do in San Diego


San Diego Family-Friendly Activities

No matter where you vacation, you can always find fun things to do that won’t break your budget, and San Diego is no exception. The staff at the Pacific Inn, a family-friendly hotel near the San Diego Airport, suggests these six fun and cheap things to do in San Diego with the whole family.

1. Go to the beach.
As if we really need to tell you. San Diego is full of beaches, all of which are free to the public. La Jolla Beaches are some of the best in the city and La Jolla Shores has a large grassy area and playground for the kids.

2. Wander Seaport Village.
Downtown San Diego’s Seaport Village is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and free entertainment. Located on the San Diego Bay, you can enjoy the incredible view while you explore all the shops.

3. Tour the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
Grab the kiddos and head to Chula Vista for a free tour of the 150-acre U.S. Olympic Training Center where you can see the facilities and athlete dorms. Guided tours are given at the Copley Visitor Center starting at 11am on Saturdays. You can also choose to take self-guided tours daily from 9am to 4pm.

4. See the Big Bay.
Stretching 27 miles, The Big Bay is San Diego’s largest attraction. It features a variety of activities, such as parks, marinas, shops, and tons of restaurants. Take the inexpensive ferry from downtown to the Coronado landing and spend some time exploring the island.

5. Head to the San Diego Zoo.
The zoo can be a great family activity. Zoo parking is free, and there are a ton of animals to see. Save money on admission by checking online coupon sites. You can also check with your hotel to see if they offer any discount tickets or packages. The Pacific Inn and Suites offers 15% off your stay with purchase of Zoo tickets.

6. Visit Balboa Park.
Enjoy the Spanish Colonial Revival Architecture, and check out the variety of attractions in Balboa Park. The park includes, 15 museums, free daily tours, free organ concerts on Sundays, and beautiful gardens to explore.

If you’re bringing the whole family to San Diego, make the Pacific Inn & Suites your first choice. Aside from our great rates and being one of the few cheap hotels near the San Diego Convention Center, we also have a Kid’s Suite, which comes with bunk beds perfect for the children. Call a friendly Reservation Manager today at 1-800-571-2933 to inquire about our great rates and promotions.

15 Free Things to Do in San Diego


San Diego's Funnest Free Things

The cost to live in San Diego may be astronomical compared to most cities, but not everything in the city is crazy-expensive. In fact, there is an ample amount of free things to do any given day. If you are already paying a pretty penny on a plane ticket or in gas money (but not on a room since you’re booking a cheap San Diego Airport Hotel) check out these 15 fun free things to do in San Diego.

1. A Day at the Beach
The beaches in San Diego can provide hours of free fun just about any time of the year due to the city’s generally pleasant climate. Kids can build sandcastles while the entire family can do a little swimming or pack a picnic lunch and take in the view.

2. Take a Scenic Drive
Take a trip to the International Visitor Information Center and get all the maps and brochures you need (or download the free Discovery Map app for your iPhone). You’ll be all set to take a free scenic driving tour throughout the area. Need a suggestion? Consider a drive through Point Loma, a hilly peninsula offering breathtaking sea views.

3. Listen to a Free Concert
From late June to mid-August you can sample some great music around San Diego at a number of free concerts. You can hear good jazz during the annual Carlsbad TGIF Jazz in the Parks series, take a short drive across the Coronado Bridge to Spreckels Park on Coronado Island for free music under the stars, or head to Point Loma Park for free summer concerts on Fridays.

4. Visit the Gaslamp Quarter
This 16 1/2-block area of San Diego contains beautiful architecture and an assortment of art galleries, shops, and charming boutiques that welcome visitors who wish to do a little browsing. For added convenience, consider staying in one of the affordable Gaslamp Quarter hotels.

5. Fly a Kite
Covering roughly 4200-square miles, Mission Bay Park offers plenty of space free of obstructions such as trees and utility lines where you can spend the afternoon flying a kite.

6. Watch the Hang Gliders Do Their Thing
On most warm days, usually during the summer, you can find some hang gliders putting on a free show along the coastline cliffs for anybody who happens to be at Torrey Pines State Beach.

7. Have a Sunset On the House
The spectacular sunset is worth the trip to La Jolla Cove alone. Nestled between sandstone cliffs, this small beach is also a prime spot for snorkeling and diving since the waters here are typically calm.

8. Olympic Training Center Tour
The U.S. Olympic Training Center, located 15 minutes from San Diego in Chula Vista, offers free facility tours on Saturdays (from the Copley Visitor Center) and free self-guided tours daily.

9. Hike Mt. Laguna
Nestled about an hour east of San Diego, you can go for a hike or just walk around and enjoy the pristine surroundings and gorgeous pine trees – all free of charge.

10. Explore an Old Gold Mining Town
Explore the region’s rich history with a trip to Julian in the Cuyamaca Mountains about an hour east of San Diego. You can take a free self-guided tour of the mining town after picking up a free map from the local Chamber of Commerce.

11. Gaze at the Stars
Gaze at the stars for free just outside of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. The San Diego Astronomy Association sets up a large telescope for free viewing on the first Wednesday of every month.

12. Scenic Walk at Big Bay
Considered San Diego’s “largest free attraction,” The Big Bay is a 27-mile stretch of waterfront with parks perfect for picnics, marinas, and miles of biking trails and walkways.

13. Seaport Village Stroll
If you’re going to go for a casual walk in San Diego, you definitely want to make your way to Seaport Village located behind a few San Diego Convention Center hotels. Get your camera ready and snap some free pics of historic Victorian, Mexican and New England architecture.

14. Art Nights
During Little Italy’s Kettner Art Nights, you can view works on display in various galleries and studios while sampling some free hors d’oeuvres. Art nights tends to take place on Friday evenings. Check the website for exact dates.

15. Train Rides
Take the family on a free train ride through Rohr Park on Sweetwater Road in nearby Bonita (about 15 minutes from Downtown San Diego). Free rides are courtesy of Chula Vista Live Steamers throughout the summer on weekends from noon to 3pm.

Remember that affordable hotel we talked about earlier? Book a room at the Pacific Inn Hotel & Suites in San Diego and put the money you save towards fun activities or good eats during your trip. Booking with us is quick and easy, there is no booking fee, and we have a best rate guarantee we stand behind. Call 1-800-571-2933 to speak with a Reservation Manager today.



San Diego’s Best January Activities


San Diego's Best January Events and Activities

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


Travel Tips for Families Coming to San Diego

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


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.


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


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



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.


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