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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.

15 Free Things to Do in San Diego

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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.

 

 

Treat Yourself: Best Affordable Spas in San Diego

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Top Affordable San Diego Spas

San Diego might be known for its beaches, but it also hosts a surprising amount of budget-friendly day spas. You can unwind after a long day of sightseeing, or just spend a day pampering yourself, with funds to spare. Most spas in the downtown San Diego hotels are too rich for the average traveler’s blood, but these three options offer wonderful and luxurious treatments everyone can afford.

Oasis Day Spa
www.san-diego-massage-facials.com
Oasis Day Spa offers massage therapy, facials and waxing services. They specialize in working with pumpkin for facials due to its powerful enzymes that loosen and eliminate dead skin cells. A lush one hour pumpkin facial runs $90. Oasis also offers a smudging service which uses herbs to cleanse your body, home and office of negative residual energy. Other services include cellulite treatments, anti-aging eye treatments, eyebrow waxing, and various massages.

Simply Scentual
www.simplyscentual.com
Simply Scentual has a variety of services, in addition to spa packages, such as waxing, facials, massage therapy, chemical peels, body treatments, microdermabrasion, eyelash extensions and make-up application. This spa offers outstanding daily and monthly specials, like two-for-one services on Tuesdays.  It’s also conveniently located a hop, skip, and a jump from airport hotels and hotels in Little Italy, San Diego.

Superior Spa Massage
www.superiorspamassage.com
At this spa, you can receive a one-hour full-body massage for a wallet-friendly $40. Customers also might be interested in the Asian body and foot massage — a special one hour service that combines reflexology techniques with ancient Chinese herbs to boost blood circulation, stimulate the body’s defense systems, relieve foot pain, and reduce stress and pressure from the head, shoulders and neck. This spa also specializes in Chinese Acupressure. They are open daily from 10am-11pm, making it easy to find time in your busy vacation schedule for a relaxing massage.

Take a break from sightseeing and holiday shopping to relax with a luxurious spa treatment. With these cost-conscious options, you’ll still have plenty of funds left over for holiday gifts and San Diego souvenirs. Book your spa services and hotel today! Call 1-800-571-2933 to speak with a Reservation Manager at Pacific Inn Hotel & Suites. You won’t be disappointed with this affordable hotel located near the Convention Center, downtown, Little Italy, and just minutes from the San Diego airport.

Top San Diego Holiday Travel Tips for Families

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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.

San Diego’s Top Holiday Craft Fairs

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Top San Diego Holiday Craft Fairs

When it comes to holiday craft shows, San Diego has the best of the best. Not only will you find that perfect gift for everyone on your list, but you’ll have fun too. If you’re visiting from out of town and plan on doing a little holiday shopping, don’t forget to book your downtown San Diego hotel room and pack an extra bag in your luggage so that you’re able to easily bring your new goodies home with you!
The Local Color

The kid zone is filled with activities, and you’ll find over 20 vendors selling everything from crafts to antiques. The atmosphere is filled with the talents of DJs Ikah and Claire Love. It’s held at The Glashaus Art Studios on Barrio Logan’s Main Street, November 17th from 11 am to 3 pm, and proceeds go to the Museum School.

Annual SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

Join the crowds on December 7, from 11AM to 5 PM at the corner of 32nd and Thorne in North Park for an entire afternoon devoted to food, craft beer, music and shopping. Attendees will be delighted by the delicious chili samples and competition, a beer and wine garden, the SoNo Kids Fun Fest, live music, and most importantly, dozens of vendors selling their unique handcrafted clothing, accessories and art.

South Park Holiday Walkabout

This festival, which takes place 4 times a year, is gearing up for their special holiday gathering on December 6, from 6 to 10 PM. During these walkabouts you’re able to experience the area’s local cafes, boutiques, bars and galleries as you stroll down 30th and Fern Streets. Those who choose to attend will have access to random drawing, prizes and discounts.

These fun, festive and family-friendly fairs shouldn’t be missed during your holiday vacation in San Diego, especially if you’re staying at a nearby San Diego hotel near Little Italy. Still looking for affordable accommodations? Check out the San Diego Pacific Inn. We’re currently offering up to 12% off on our already competitive room rates just for booking in advance. Call (619) 232-6391 today to see how much we could help you save.

 

Spa Week 2014 – Top 3 San Diego Spa

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Cheap massages in San Diego

Want to live like a king or queen during your San Diego vacation without the price tag that usually comes along with a lavish lifestyle? Spa Week 2014 is giving locals and travelers alike the opportunity to enjoy top-notch spa services for a fraction of the price. Spa Week is a national biannual event, taking place for the second time this year on October 20-26. Spa Week was designed to give local businesses a chance to showcase their special treatments at a discounted rate of $50. From massages and pedicures to facials and acupuncture, you’re sure to find it all during Spa Week.

If you’re staying at one of the affordable Gaslamp Quarter San Diego hotels, you’ll need to make sure that you choose a conveniently located spa that offers just the services you want in the best suited atmosphere. Here are the top locations that really stand out due to their quality services, all-star ratings and convenient location.

Artesia | 40 5th Avenue

Patrons of Artesia can choose to enjoy a classic, enzyme, or microdermabrasion facial — amongst others — or settle for deep tissue massages and hot stone therapy. And if the choice is too hard to make, just turn to the variety of spa packages and additional treatments Artesia offers: There’s bound to be some combination of luxuries you simply can’t deny.  During Spa Week, choose between a hot stone Swedish massage, facial with microdermabrasion or Guava Paraffin Pedicure for $50 each.

Nature’s Spa by Jurlique at Hotel Palomar | 1047 5th Avenue

This beautiful spa uses only natural ingredients sourced from their farm in Australia, allowing you to rest assured that you’re getting pampered with premium products. Swing by during Spa Week for a $50 Swedish aromatherapy massage, revitalizing facial with extractions or a gel manicure with a glass of champagne.

Sweet Cheeks Beauty Bar | 540 Grand Avenue

Sweet Cheeks is located in the beautiful coastal city of Carlsbad, offering a slew of discounted services for interested vacationers. This whimsical boutique style spa has everything from waxing to massages on their service menu. During Spa Week you can enjoy an affordable Custom Massage with Peppermint Foot Treatment, Custom Facial with Blueberry Detox Enzyme Peel or Brow Shaping, or an Express Facial and Honey Almond Body Polish for $50.

For a complete list of participating salons and spas, visit spaweek.com. And don’t forget to book your downtown hotel room at the Pacific Inn San Diego soon so that you can begin enjoying your cheap Southern California relaxation vacation. Give us a call at (619) 232-6391 to find out how we could help you save even more money during your vacation!

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 Essential Apps For Your San Diego Vacation

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Top San Diego Travel Apps

If you’re planning a trip to sunny San Diego and are looking for a little guidance, it may be as easy as making sure to pack your smartphone or tablet. With twenty-first century technology, it’s easier than ever to “do as the locals do.” America’s Finest City is renowned for more than just its beautiful beaches and world-class zoo. Lucky for you, there are a slew of apps that can help you decide how to spend your vacation days, from planning your itinerary to picking an top restaurants near your hotel in Downtown San Diego.

First things first, you want to think about your transportation options. San Diego has a fairly comprehensive trolley system, as well as integrated bus lines throughout the city. Plan your trip with the Metropolitan Transit System’s free MTS GO! app, which will allow you to track arrival times for your bus or trolley line. If you prefer, you can join Zipcar and download their mobile app, for on-the-go, short-term car rentals. There’s also the option of letting someone else chauffeur you. San Diego is now home to both Lyft and Uber drivers, who are available 24/7 to get you to your destination. Both ride-share systems run on easy-to-use apps that handle the entire process from ordering a ride to paying the driver.

For the beer enthusiasts among you, a tour of San Diego’s lauded craft beer scene is a must. Apps like TapHunter (free) and San Diego Beer Guide (99 cents) will track the availability of your favorite local brews and suggest new options you may not be familiar with. If you’re on a budget, make sure to download the free Happy Houred app- perfect for pinpointing the best beer deals in town!

If live music is more your speed, you should check out the popular Bandsintown app, which was created by innovative San Diegans to show fans which artists are playing nearby. Simply input your location and select a musical style. With a variety of venues, San Diego is the perfect place to catch an amazing show.

As far as dining goes, you can’t go wrong with the available, and free, apps from Yelp or Urbanspoon. Apps like these allow you to base your dining choices on quality and price as well as location. No matter your price range, San Diego abounds with delicious international cuisine. Search for the best fish taco in town on either app, and you won’t be disappointed. San Diego is also known for its many diverse and high end food trucks. Download SD Food Truck Map for a daily listing of each truck’s whereabouts. Incidentally, you’ll often find them parked at one of the city’s many breweries during happy hour.

With these apps in hand, your San Diego vacation is well on its way to being unique and memorable. Not only are you able to get a lot of insider tips from locals by using these apps and reading reviews, but you’ll also be able to score some of the city’s best deals! For a surefire way to save, don’t pass over the multitude of discounts available at the San Diego Pacific Inn. Not only is our hotel right in the mix of things – located in the heart of Little Italy just minutes from the Gaslamp Quarter and the San Diego Airport – but we also special discounts from 8 to 15% off! Call (619) 232-6391 for more information and to reserve your room today!

 

Tips for Frugal Shoppers in San Diego

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Shopping in San Diego

Traveling to San Diego, California, is a great getaway from winter climates. Aside from its heavenly weather, San Diego is also a great place to do some bargain hunting while on vacation. While brand-name boutiques and designer labels certainly abound, so do many eclectic thrift shops, bargain brands and affordable retailers. With a little research, which the staff at the Downtown San Diego Pacific Inn has already done for you, you can save major moolah on your mini San Diego shopping spree. Here are our tips on where and how to save when splurging in San Diego.

Downtown San Diego is a bargain hunter’s dream. The downtown area’s Gaslamp District includes a wide variety of restaurants and bars, but there are also some local worthwhile shops where travelers can score some rare finds and great deals. Some of the best bargains in downtown San Diego might be found at:

  • Bubbles Boutique
  • Buffalo Exchange
  • Eden Boutique
  • MS Vintage Clothing Boutique

Another way to save is by using mobile apps or scouring the internet for online coupons and savings, of course by using the free Wi-Fi available in your Gaslamp Quarter hotel room. Frugal shoppers want to be sure to check for coupons or special discounts and sales available through these local publications and websites:

  • San Diego Reader
  • San Diego Magazine
  • Local Deals (San Diego)
  • San Diego City Beat
  • Groupon San Diego
  • Living Social San Diego

Budget travelers could also gain some knowledge from the locals working at their San Diego hotel. The front desk staff at the Pacific Inn hotel is more than happy to direct guests to the best places for deals on clothing, or other items of interest like vintage jewelry and art. Let Pacific Inn Hotel in Little Italy save you money during your vacation so that you have more for shopping! Call us today at (619) 232-6391 and be sure to ask about our available discounts!

What’s New at the San Diego Zoo

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San Diego Zoo news & attractions

The San Diego Zoo hosts over four million visitors each year. As one of the most well-known zoos in the world, the San Diego Zoo must keep pace with new research, practices and cultural interests. The zoo’s dedication to proving the best experiences possible for both the visitors and the animal residents results in regular improvements and additions throughout the park. Below is a glimpse of what’s new for The San Diego Zoo.

Early Morning with Pandas
This special, paid tour allows guests to enjoy a “two-hour adventure” through the zoo before the park opens for the day. The shuttle cart tour through the zoo includes visits with some of the resident animals, educational discussions and a stop at the giant panda viewing area to watch Xiao Liwu, Bai Yun and Gao Gao have breakfast. The tour runs from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM and costs $80. Because of the early call time, we recommend you stay at a San Diego hotel close to the Zoo for ease of access in the morning.

Tiger Trail
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park recently opened a new 5.2 acre habitat for their six Sumatran tigers. The new habitat features three open yards, climbing rocks, swimming ponds, trees for scratching and long grasses for catnip. Thanks to the new exhibit, visitors can enjoy close-up views with nothing more than a sheet of glass separating them from the tigers.

Zoo Babies
2014 has brought a plethora of new babies to the San Diego Zoo. This year, the zoo has celebrated the births of a gorilla, an okapi, an elephant, a black rhino, a giraffe and rare visayan warty pigs, to name a few. Visitors of the zoo are always excited to catch a peek of these young ones at play.

Koalafornia
Opened in 2013, the new Australian Outback area nicknamed “Koalafornia”, doubled the habitat space for the park’s koalas. The space includes more outdoor enclosures and other Australian wildlife such as wombats, wallabies and kookaburras.

There’s never a bad time to plan a visit to the San Diego Zoo! If you’re still looking for a nearby hotel, consider the San Diego Pacific Inn. We are currently selling discounted Zoo admission passes from our front desk. And if you purchase your admission through us, you’ll also receive an additional 15% off on your hotel stay! Click on the “reservations” tab above to take advantage of this money-saving offer today.

Rooms & Suites
Rooms & Suites to accommodate everyone.
Amenities
Free Breakfast, WI-FI, Swimming Pool and more.
Attractions
Conveniently located near several attractions.
Reviews

"Nice place to stay in San Diego"
I went for the business trip in San Diego and l stay in Pacific Inn near harbour...

"Clean, comfortable, convenient,inexpensive"
I spent three nights at the Pacific Inn while attending a work-related conference ...

"Wonderfull, Homely, Lovely, Enjoyable, Rememberable Stay"
you get more for what you pay less for. keep it up...


  


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