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Unique Museums in San Diego


San Diego is known for it’s great beaches, but it’s home to even more amazing museums. While you can always visit the art museum and other exhibits that are popular with tourists, you’ll also find some unique museums throughout our lovely city. Below are just a few staff favorites from the folks at the Pacific Inn Hotel and Suites.

Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum

Get up close and personal with history in this museum, which is actually a fully restored aircraft carrier. Located in the Navy Pier Port, the venue has its own complex that features more than 60 exhibits dedicated to military and aircraft history. It is also home to nearly 30 military vehicles and aircrafts on display.

California Surf Museum

Have you ever wondered who the first surfer was or what prompted men and women to hit the ocean waves on wooden boards? At the California Surf Museum, you’ll learn the answers to these questions and many more. Though the museum dates back to the 1980s, it was moved a new home with more exhibit space in 2009. Located on Pier View Way, the museum also inducts surfers into the hall of fame every year.

Museum of Making Music

Conveniently located near Legoland on Armanda Drive, the Museum of Making Music offers an inside look at why and how people create music today. While it does have exhibits dedicated to more modern music, it also has a number of displays that pay homage to the history of music, artists throughout time and even a variety of historical musical instruments.

San Diego Automotive Museum

Take a trip near Balboa Park to see one of the largest collections of automobiles in the entire state. You’ll see unique and one-of-a-kind cars, trucks and motorcycles created by some of the most famous designers in history.You may even see some of your favorite vehicles from film and television!

Even if you stick to the more popular museums, make sure you make time to see some more unique exhibits in San Diego. For the inside scoop on SD’s lesser-known sites and attractions, contact the Reservation Manager at the San Diego Pacific Inn at 1-800-571-2933. Our centrally located hotel offers affordable accommodations in the heart of Downtown San Diego, near some of the city’s most popular and historic attractions. Book your stay in any of our comfortable guest rooms with convenient amenities like air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, in-room safe, and cable TV. We look forward to hearing from you!

Great Shopping Spots Near Downtown San Diego


If you’re in San Diego for a visit and are looking for some of the best shopping spots in the city, look no further! The staff at the San Diego Pacific Inn can recommend some of the most impressive shops and outlets near the downtown area.

Old Town

Old Town is the place to go if you’re looking for some authentic and intriguing cultural shops. Just outside of Old Town Historic Park, you’ll find a plethora of stores featuring Latin and Native American influenced items, including folk art, clothing and accessories. You can also find some specialized items and gifts here, like one-of-a-kind glass art pieces and nautical antiques like submarine equipment and diving suits.

Hillcrest and Uptown

This hip and trendy town will satisfy the style of any potential shopper. Whether you’re looking for some the latest fashion picks, stylish household accessories, or want to get lost in a treasure trove of books, Hillcrest can provide a full day of shopping and exploration. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re sure to find something chic and unique to suit your needs.

Mission Bay

With San Diego’s pristine oceanside location, it’s only proper to do a bit of beach-themed shopping just outside the city center. This laid-back atmosphere offers plenty of surf shops and beach gear stores, and includes some unique outlets like head shops and pottery stores sprinkled into the mix. No San Diego visitor can properly experience our city without shopping for some beachside essentials.


As a naval community, Coronado isn’t typically known for its shopping options, but you can still find your fair share of interesting boutique shops in the crown of San Diego. Some notable boutiques include fine jewelry shops, women’s clothing, beach shops, and a unique bookstore that hosts a diverse selection of novels. Coronado is worth a stop for shoppers with a flare for unique and interesting stores.

After a fun and exciting day of browsing the local shops and boutiques, why not admire your latest purchases from the comfort of one of our affordable Pacific Inn rooms? Our centrally located hotel offers free parking, swimming pool, and easy access to San Diego’s most popular attractions like the Gaslamp, San Diego Zoo, and the bay. Click here or call a helpful Reservation Manager today at 1-800-571-2933 for details.

Unforgettable San Diego: A Day in Hillcrest


Sometimes the best way to make a trip memorable is to find the hidden wonders and live like a local. Hillcrest is a popular San Diego neighborhood with an eclectic range of activities for both tourists and locals to enjoy. The friendly staff of the nearby Pacific Inn Hotel and Suites can recommend a host of activities to make the best of your time there.


Start your morning in Hillcrest at Hash House a Go Go and fill up on their amazing breakfasts, including griddled French toast, farm scrambles, or farm Benedicts. If these options are too extravagant for your taste buds, you can always order the basic two-egg breakfast with potatoes, fruit, and a biscuit.

Morning Stroll

Walk off your breakfast and head toward the Quince Street Bridge. This route is part of the Seven Bridge Walk as seen in the San Diego Reader. Be prepared for stunning views and continue on to the Spruce Street Bridge, or spend the rest of your morning perusing local bookstores.


After an eventful morning, consider dining at the Bread & Cie café. Their menu includes assorted gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads, pastries, and breads. Cozy up with your new book and indulge at this fragrant bakery and cafe.


For travelers who enjoy the Avant Garde, purchase a ticket to the Hillcrest Landmark Theater, a venue that caters specifically to the distribution and support of independent films. They offer a variety of flicks that have eluded the mainstream movie industry and provide thought-provoking insight to the viewer.


Head to 100 Wines for a delicious menu and outdoor seating perfect during the warmer months. Their specialties include appetizing steaks, flavorful flatbreads, specialty pastas, and ridiculously delicious ribs. Don’t forget to top off your dinner with a seasonal cobbler, a chocolate floreplay, or their signature 100 Wines cinnamon rolls for a tasty treat!

After exploring Hillcrest like a local for the day, why not reside like one at our Pacific Inn Hotel? The Pacific Inn is a pet-friendly and affordable hotel located downtown near Little Italy, Seaport Village, and Hillcrest. Call us today at 1-800-571-2933 or reserve your room online.

Fun and Feasts in San Diego


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

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

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

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

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

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

6 of San Diego’s Hidden Gems


San Diego Hidden Locations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Amp Up Your Adrenaline


Adrenaline Seekers in San Diego

Sure, you could spend your time in San Diego laying in the sun and listening to the waves crash. Or you could channel your inner adrenaline junkie and check out some of the thrilling activities the city has to offer. There are at least a dozen to choose from, but the staff at a friendly and affordable hotel downtown San Diego has selected 6 of the best.

1. Cliff Diving in La Jolla

Get a bird’s eye view of San Diego and feed your need for adventure at the same time by diving off the cliffs of La Jolla–attached to a hang glider, of course. You’re welcome to hang glide or paraglide with an instructor or go it alone if you’re experienced enough. While in the air, enjoy miles of gorgeous shoreline and the glamorous mansions of La Jolla.

2. Chill with Dolphins and Whales

Hop in an authentic, inflatable, low-profile Navy S.E.A.L boat and get up close and personal with the playful dolphins and magnificent whales (depending on the season) that call the waters off the San Diego coast home. A U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain will fill you in on all the wildlife that happens to be in your line of view.

3. Swim—Cage-Free–with the Really Big Fishes

Get chummy with sharks without a cage. “Mako Mike” offers shark diving expeditions that literally put you eye-to-eye with the feisty creatures. Mike safely handles the sharks while you snorkel or free-dive.

4. Extreme Circus Flying

If you want to kick your fear of heights while having lots of fun, make your way to Trapeze High. The friendly instructors cater the tricks they teach to your abilities and comfort level. Be warned though, you could very easily become addicted to the highflying fun you’ll experience here.

5. Discover Your Inner Marty McFly

While Back to the Future’s hoverboards have yet to become reality, you can come close to the experience thanks to some heavy-duty waterpower. You can’t go shimmying across San Diego’s sidewalks. However, you do get to check out the view from 30 feet in the air when on a water-powered Flyboard or Hoverboard.

6. Kayak the Caves of La Jolla

Nestled within a 75 million-year-old sandstone sea cliff, the seven sea caves of La Jolla are a breathtaking sight to see, especially if you’re in a kayak. You’ll be safely guided through the waters in and around the caves (weather permitting) and introduced to sea lions, leopard sharks, dolphins and other regional delights along the way. You can also do some snorkeling or rent a kayak and do a little kayak fishing.

Whether you’re seeking thrill after thrill or hours of relaxation, one thing is for sure. You’ll want to rest and recharge in a comfortable hotel room with a convenient location. Don’t hesitate to book a hotel near the SAN airport like the Pacific Inn Hotel & Suites. We’re near all the major attractions, offer all the comforts of home, and have some great ongoing discounts. Find out more by calling 1-800-571-2933 to reserve your room today!

7 Cool Places to Take Pictures in San Diego


Spend some time at the touristy locales like Balboa Park, downtown, and Coronado, and then head out to find the hidden treasures that make for standout pictures. To make it a little easier for out-of-towners, the San Diego Point Loma Inn & Suites has put together a list of our favorite off-the-beaten-path photo ops.

1. Harper’s Topiary Garden
Tucked away in Mission Hills, this zany garden is truly a treat for the eyes. Artist Edna Harper keeps over 50 topiary sculptures in this space, ranging from whimsical animals to shrubbery replications of famous landmarks.

2. Chula Vista Salt Mounds
Visitors in San Diego might not know that they are in prime salt production territory. However, these enormous, glacier-like mounds of salt extracted from the ocean will quickly dispel any doubt.

3. Hidden Cemetery
In 1889, a streetcar line was built over a small city cemetery in what is now Old Town. City planners didn’t discover what lies beneath this patch of street until 1993 and has since placed tiny markers on the paved ground denoting each gravesite.

4. The Mushroom Beach House
Black’s Beach is home to the inimitable mushroom-shaped beach house, constructed in 1986 as the guesthouse for a seafront residence. With cliffs to one side and the ocean to the other, this futuristic hut looks a bit like a James Bond villain’s lair.

5. Heritage Park Victorian Village
Just outside of Old Town lies a picturesque cul-de-sac of old Victorian mansions. Pay them a visit for some gorgeous antique architecture and sweeping views of the city.

6. The Jail Cell at The Headquarters at Seaport
Patrons of this bustling complex might not know that they’re shopping in a former jail. Head to the hallway between Madison Leather and Kitson Boutique to take a picture in one of the few preserved cells.

7. Banker’s Hill Footbridges
Before the days of modern infrastructure, engineers linked San Diego’s neighborhoods by spanning the city’s canyons with footbridges. Head to Banker’s Hill for some fine vertigo-inducing examples and great views of downtown.

A great way to make sure you see all the city has to offer is by booking a centrally located cheap San Diego Convention Center hotel like the Point Loma Inn. We’re close to restaurants, great sights, and plenty of things to do. You can even save 15% just by booking in advance! Give us a call at 1-800-571-2933 to learn more and reserve your room!

Top Spots for Surfing in San Diego


Where to Surf in San Diego

Undoubtedly, you plan to spend at least a little time at the beach while visiting San Diego. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer happy to visit some new waves or just getting your feet wet (pun intended), here are a few of San Diego’s top surf spots.

La Jolla Shores

With protection from the southwest winds, this surfing location is safe for beginners and families. Should you prefer your surf with a little more kick, head down the road to Marine Street Beach for a killer break, known locally as “womp,” or Windansea Beach, which has powerful waves due to steep ocean floor slopes.

Nearby: Walking trails, formal surfing schools

Ocean Beach Pier

Regardless of how skilled you are when it comes to surfing, you’ll be welcomed at this beach, just 10 or so minutes from several cheap SDCC hotels. Waves tend to fluctuate enough for everyone to get their surf on, from beginners to those more accustomed to riding some serious waves.

Nearby: A great burger place, a cafe, an ice cream shop, and board shops

Sunset Cliffs

First things first–you’ll need to be an experienced shredder if you want to hang ten here. The surf tends to pound the rocks hard, but it’s a thrill if you know what you’re doing. It’ll take some time to get to know the breaks within the coves here, but that’s part of the fun.

Nearby: Nothing but parkland and residential homes

Del Mar

You’ll run into a decent mix of surf conditions along the area between Dog Beach and 15th Street, and there’s plenty of room for all skill levels here. On hot summer days, you’ll have no trouble finding the prime surfing spots along the Del Mar shore since the adjacent beaches are usually deserted. Del Mar is about 20 to 25 minutes north of most hotels in downtown San Diego, so if you head up to surf consider making a day of it and exploring the quaint, and ritzy, neighborhood.

Nearby: Restaurants (a bit pricy, but great views), a surfing school offering private lessons, and some local boutiques

Mission/Pacific Beach

The main surfing spot here is between the Mission Bay Jetty and Crystal Pier. The surf isn’t spectacular, but you’ll find some good peaks here and there. You’ll also find some decent swells and breaks during the winter months when the crowds are gone.

Nearby: Belmont Park, PB Shore Club, board shops, sportswear shops, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants

Imperial Beach Pier

This surfing spot, also a prime fishing destination when the waters are calm, offers a nice combination of mid-to-high tides. Surf cams on the pier allow you to check conditions before grabbing your board.

Nearby: An RV resort, free parking (mid-week), an ice cream shop, a t-shirt place, and restaurants

Heading to surf in San Diego? Book a hotel room near the SAN airport at the Pacific Inn and you’ll have plenty of room to store your board. You’ll also be able to take advantage of booking discounts and our great low rates. Oh, and we offer free Wi-Fi, fresh coffee 24/7, premium cable channels, flexible dates, 24/7 customer service, and we won’t charge your card until you check in. Interested in inquiring about availability? Call a friendly Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 who can help you out!

Where to Go Wine Tasting in Baja


Top Spots for Wine Tasting in Baja California

If you’re in San Diego for any length of time and love wine, you may want to venture further afield to the Baja peninsula in Mexico, less than an hour to the south of San Diego. There, the Guadalupe Valley (Valle de Guadalupe) is a prime wine-producing region with over 100 wineries and bottles that rival California’s Central Coast. Leading San Diego Airport hotel, Pacific Inn Hotel & Suites, suggests the following wineries.

Vinas de Garza, Rancho Mogorcito

Towards the middle of Route 3 that runs between Ensenada and Tecate, you’ll find Rancho Mogorcito, where Vinas de Garza offers a stunning wine tasting experience with the flavor of true Mexico. While only in business since 2003, the Garza winery has become a top destination on the Ruta del Vino in Baja. While well known for their wide selection of flavorful red blends, they also offer a white blend and a Chardonnay. No reservations are required for groups less than eight people, and a flight will set you back just $8-12.

Bibayoff Vinos, Rancho Toros Pintos

When you first see the classic onion domes on the sign for Bibayoff, you may be tempted to think, “What? Russian wines?” But while the Bibayoff winery has technically only been in business since 1992, the family has been growing grapes in the region for over a half century. The winery is run by descendants of Russian immigrants and the tasting room reflects a funky mix of Russian art and rustic Mexican thrifty chic. Bibayoff offers a couple of signature wines: a Chenin Blanc/Columbard/Muscat blend and a Nebbiolo that is a perennial favorite. Their romantic tasting room is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm and pricing varies.

Adobe Guadalupe, El Porvenir

While LA Cetto and Santo Thomas have the biggest commercial business, Adobe Guadalupe is making a name for itself with serious oenophiles and gourmet chefs across Mexico and Southern California. Not only do they grow their own grapes, but they raise Azteca horses and run a gorgeous, serene inn as well. The wines, tasted in a brick room adjoining the barrels, are all named for angels, and they are truly heavenly, particularly the red blends. Tastings are available with tour by reservation most days of the week, or without a reservation (minus the tour) for about $10.

Emeve, El Porvenir

Just up the road from Adobe Guadalupe, Emeve offers a perfect counterpoint from the same wine maker. There, you can sit on their little stone patio and gaze out at the vineyards or cluster around their indoor bar to learn about their one-of-a-kind Viogniers, Grenache and red blends, including their signature Los Nietos. Bring your own snack or enjoy their special cheese covered in a charred pepper crust, which stands up nicely to their full-bodied wines. Their schedule changes with the seasons, so check ahead for tasting hours. Three full pours can be had in their flights for about $12, and you can pick from a variety of combinations.

It’s best to plan on paying with cash in Baja, and businesses there all accept both pesos and American dollars. You can enter Mexico at a number of points, but to get to the Guadalupe Valley, it may be easiest to cross at Tecate and follow the signs to Ensenda once in Mexico. Once on the road to Ensenada, you’ll see plenty of signage to the Ruta del Vino. If you don’t want to drive yourself, there are frequent wine tasting tours by bus from San Diego. Just don’t forget to bring your passport to re-enter the US.

Ready for a little adventure? Book a room at the San Diego Pacific Inn Hotel & Suites and get your trip started. As a guest of our hotel, you will enjoy a comfortable and spacious room, premium cable channels, and the best rate around—guaranteed! To speak with a friendly Reservation Manager, call 1-800-571-2933 today!

Things San Diego Does Better Than Anywhere Else


The Best Things in San Diego

Next time you visit the vibrant city of San Diego, indulge in some unique experiences that you can only find here. In fact, before even booking a cheap SAN hotel, take a moment to think about the one-of-a-kind things San Diego does better than anywhere else.

1. Craft Beer Tasting
San Diego is home to 90 craft breweries—yes, 90–which surely makes it a destination for all beer lovers. Come and explore as many as you can by taking a brewery tour and sampling delicious local beers.

2. Growing Wildflowers
If you are in San Diego during spring, the drive to Carlsbad is worth the breathtaking sight. The Flower Fields of Carlsbad boast 50 acres of ranunculus flowers every spring. This unique attraction is a must-see for all nature lovers and makes for a very romantic (and cheap) date.

3. Ghost Tours
Believe it or not, San Diego has several nationally known haunted locales. You can explore the landmark Hotel del Coronado at night, cruise through the Whaley House in Old Town, drive down Proctor Valley Road, or take a guided ghost tour to learn more about the paranormal activities in the city.

4. Fish Tacos
San Diego restaurants and taco shops truly offer the best tasting fish tacos in the region, hands down. Check out a few local “Best of” lists to narrow down your search for the tastiest.

5. International Shopping
You can actually enjoy shopping in Mexico just by walking across the Mexican border and traveling to Tijuana from San Diego. The dollar goes further there and you can usually find some one-of-a-kind items. Apart from the quaint boutiques and craft stalls, you will also find a huge premium outlet just this side of the boarder.

6. Whale watching
Take a boat ride and watch giant gray whales migrate from December to April, and watch Blue whales migrate from mid-June through September. These giant creatures migrate from Alaska every year to spend time in the warm waters of San Diego and Baja. You can also watch them from land at the Cabrillo National Monument.

7. Food and Wine Festivals
Thanks to the accommodating weather, San Diego hosts food and wine festivals frequently throughout the year. The San Diego Food and Wine Festival is by far the biggest celebration, where festivalgoers enjoy sampling regional cuisine and wine, meeting celebrity chefs, and participating in workshops.

Get your San Diego vacation started today and see what all the fuss is about. Need a hotel room? Reach out to the Pacific Inn Hotel and Suites, one of San Diego’s most affordable and conveniently located hotels. We offer great rates, great customer service, and great amenities like free Wi-Fi, 24/7 fresh coffee, and premium cable channels. Call us today at 1-800-571-2933 and get your vacation started!

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