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One Day Itinerary for the San Diego Zoo



If you’re headed to San Diego for a summer vacation then be sure to experience the amazing sights at the World Famous San Diego Zoo. The popular park, located in the beautiful Balboa Park near Downtown San Diego, is a must-see when traveling to America’s Finest City. The zoo houses over 3,700 animals of over 650 different species so you will surely have plenty to see during a day-long outing.

If you only have a select amount of time to spend at the zoo, it’s important to plan your day wisely. We’ve provided some tips on how to make efficient use of whatever time you have to ensure that you and your family are able to see the best that this wildlife wonderland has to offer.

Zoo FAQs & Savings

 The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily during the summer months. The regular rate for a one day zoo pass is $46 for adults and $36 for children, ages 3 to 11. However, there are a variety of ways that budget-conscious travelers can save on admission.

  • AAA offers a ten percent discount on the tickets and sometimes discounts on food or merchandise.
  • October is FREE admission month for children ages 3 to 11
  • Costco offers Go Select Pass San Diego, covering many different attractions including the San Diego Zoo.
  • The price for 4-day tickets range from $162.99 for children to $189.99 for an adult
  • You can also save by staying at Pacific Inn, one of the area’s trusted hotels near the San Diego Zoo. Buy your discounted Zoo admission through Pacific Inn and you’ll also receive 15% off on your hotel stay!

Best Walking Route
The walking route through the zoo is via Park Way. This path stretches through the entire park, taking you alongside the biggest attractions such as: Outback, Africa Rocks, Urban Jungle, Elephant Odyssey, Panda Canyon, Asian Frontier and Northern Frontier. Be sure to pick up a map upon arrival so that you can arrange for any desired detours.

The most child-friendly place to eat at is Sydney’s Grill located near the Australian Outback. They have delicious sandwiches, wraps, salads and kids meals. You can even watch the koalas, giraffes and rhinos while dining in a shaded area.

Dining on your own
If you’re looking to save money, you can bring your own food and utilize one of the park’s shaded picnic areas located right outside the entrance. While you may bring food items into the park, coolers and other large storage containers are not permitted.


With a little planning and a few hours of time to spend walking through the “wild”, you could fully experience everything that the San Diego Zoo has to offer.

If you’re interested in booking an affordable family-friendly room at the San Diego Pacific Inn, call 1-800-571-2933 or click on the “Reservations” tab above.

A Walkable One Day Itinerary along the San Diego Bay



Plenty of excitement can be found along the San Diego Bay. Many of the best attractions are situated just off Pacific Highway close to affordable downtown San Diego hotels and can easily be reached by foot. If you’re interested in exploring the local area, try our one-day walking itinerary along the beautiful San Diego Bay. Everything on our DIY walking tour is less than a couple miles away from Pacific Inn & Suites located near Little Italy in Downtown San Diego.

Visit the Firehouse Museum

You can reach this museum by turning up West Cedar Street and walking to the intersection of Columbia Street. Once inside the museum, you can spend some time observing firefighter memorabilia dating back to the beginning of the last century.

Head Down to the Maritime Museum of San Diego

Located just off North Harbor Drive on the waterfront, this fascinating museum lets you learn more about the area’s naval history. You will also have the opportunity to view famous ships such as the Californian, the HMS Surprise and the Star of India. The museum additionally features a library containing vintage photographs and important documents.

Shop and Dine at Seaport Village

If you walk south along Pacific Highway to its end point, you will enter this charming shopping complex. Notable shops include Seaport Island Fashion and Safari Animal Collection. You can also choose from eateries such as the Seaport Village Deli, the San Diego Pier Cafe and Buster’s Beach House.

End Your Day at Embarcadero Marina Park South

Situated just off East Harbor Drive, this waterfront park is the perfect place to witness a glorious San Diego sunset. The numerous yachts that moor at this location provide an air of prestige for visitors to admire. You also have the option of partaking in activities like biking and fishing.

Taking a one-day walking tour around the San Diego Bay will give you the chance to enjoy some of the finest things this wondrous city has to offer. Start off by reserving your room at Pacific Inn, one of the most popular and affordable Little Italy San Diego hotels.

For more information about the available rooms and discounts currently being offered at Pacific Inn, call 1-800-571-2933 to speak with a friendly front desk receptionist and booking agent.

Pandas to Pierogies: A Day at the Iconic Balboa Park



Balboa Park is one of the most iconic locations in San Diego, CA. With so much to see and do, Balboa Park is a favorite spot for visitors and locals alike. Make sure to hit all the highlights of the park with our helpful list to get the most out of your fun-filled San Diego day.
Morning at the Zoo

Since a day at Balboa Park isn’t complete without a visit to the San Diego Zoo, this famous attraction would serve as an excellent starting point to the day. A morning excursion allows visitors to see more animals while missing the midday crowds. Make sure to visit the pandas in Panda Canyon and walk the new Tiger Trail which opens on May 24! Book a cheap hotel next to the San Diego Zoo so that you can avoid San Diego traffic.

After a few hours with the wild animals, exit the Zoo and head south into the main hub of Balboa Park by walking through the Spanish Village Art Center. This quirky attraction is home to dozens of local artists. Browse through their studios or catch a live art demonstration. If you’re starting to feel hungry, make a quick stop at the Village Grill. This outdoor eatery offers inexpensive and delicious food.

Tour the Museums

Not far from the Village Grill is El Prado, Balboa’s main thoroughfare and the central location for most of the museums. The Ruben H. Fleet Science Center, a perennial favorite, is found here. This interactive museum is a big hit with visitors of all ages because of the IMAX theater and the multitude of hands-on exhibits. Another favorite is the San Diego Natural History Museum which features several permanent collections along with special rotating installments.

Anyone looking for a more artistic museum should head west along El Prado to the Museum of Photographic Arts or the Timken Museum. Make sure to take advantage of the Passport/Zoo Combo, a pass which includes entrance to the zoo and all museums. Families can also take advantage of the savings offered with the Go San Diego Card which includes discounted admission at 46 local attractions including the Zoo and San Diego SeaWorld. For more information about SeaWorld click here and to buy your Go Card visit smartdestinations.com.

Grab some Grub

After a couple hours of museum hopping, a bite to eat is just the thing. A good budget option is one of the museum restaurants. Of course, if you happen to be in Balboa on a Sunday, head towards the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages. One of the cottages should be hosting a lawn program that includes food. Expect to be tempted by lamb shawarma or Polish pierogies. The experience is an excellent way to end to the day!

A trip to San Diego simply isn’t complete unless you plan a day at Balboa Park. Pack a picnic, plan your discounts and fill up on a complimentary breakfast if you have a room booked at a cheap San Diego hotel nearby like Pacific Inn & Suites. Pacific Inn is less than 3 miles away from Balboa Park, making it an easy walk or cheap cab ride away if you would like to avoid the busy park traffic.

If you call us and book your stay today, you could qualify for up to 12% off just for booking in advance. You can also purchase your discounted Zoo or SeaWorld admission tickets from us to receive 15% off on your hotel stay. Call us now at 1-800-571-2933 to see how much money we can save you during your upcoming San Diego vacation.

1 Day Itinerary for Visiting Downtown San Diego


Downtown San Diego 1 Day Itinerary

If you’re spending any time in San Diego or will have the opportunity to stop by during a Southern California vacation, the downtown district is a must visit destination. Downtown San Diego mixes historic charm with new and modern construction for a city feel unlike any other. While some visitors are fortunate enough to spend days or more in the city, we understand that others may be on a tight schedule. If this is the case, here is the ideal one day itinerary for exploring the popular downtown district, presented by the Pacific Inn hotel in downtown San Diego. It might take a bit of hopping around, but it will sure be worth the hustle!

  • 8am – Start the morning off early with breakfast at one of the city’s many great eateries. The famous Hash House A Go Go is known for their farm-chic atmosphere and unbelievably large portions of your favorite morning meals. For a more “whimsical” take on breakfast, Snooze Eatery is your best option, or you could go with classic downtown favorite like Richard Walker’s Pancake House.
  • 10am to 1pm – Work off your morning breakfast by exploring Balboa Park. There are more than a dozen museums nestled among the park rounds including the famous San Diego Museum of Man and the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Check out the list at the visitor’s center and see which museums you’d like to visit and pair them with the admission package that works best. This way you can save and enjoy!
  • 1:30pm to 4pm – Next, head along the coast to nearby Seaport Village, which is the ideal destination or a light lunch at one of the quaint waterfront cafes. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, Greek or American, you’ll find plenty of dining options. After, stroll along the waterfront, watch a street performance and check out the area’s boutiques for a few souvenirs to take home.
  • 4pm to 6pm – Continue the coastal theme of the afternoon and head over to the Maritime Museum of San Diego and the USS Midway. Select which one interests you the most and tour the large vessels for a look into the history of military life in San Diego. You are sure to be amazed by the resident ships and countless historical exhibits.
  • 7pm to 9pm – While you might think you’ve had plenty to eat, dinner is by far the best meal of the day in San Diego. First, know that you’re going to have difficulty choosing because the options are endless. For classic Italian fare, head to Little Italy and stroll the streets. One of the top restaurants near our affordable Little Italy hotel in San Diego is Isola Pizza Bar, which offers classic pizzas and pastas at affordable prices.
  • 9pm to ? – Even after a long day, the nightlife of downtown San Diego is too great to pass up. As you stroll through the Gaslight quarter, you will have the opportunity to check out many of the quarter’s great nightclubs, bars and pubs. Also, don’t forget to stop by one of San Diego’s signature rooftop bars for a cocktail and a bit of relaxing with the beautiful San Diego skyline in the backdrop.

As you might have noticed the above itinerary doesn’t include a trip to the San Diego Zoo. While it is a top attraction and one that we do find worth going to, it takes a good majority of the day to explore the parks 100 acre lot. Therefore, we suggest staying at one of the cheap San Diego Zoo hotels in the area so you can stop at the zoo the next morning before heading out to your next vacation destination.

1 Day Itinerary for Couples on a Budget


 Cheap Date Night San Diego

Did you know that Travel & Leisure Magazine rated San Diego as the 6th most romantic city in the United States? Clearly travelers keep flocking to America’s Finest City for a reason. We have over 70 miles of beautiful shoreline, a celebrated nightlife scene, and culturally diverse towns. Even couples looking for a budget getaway will find plenty to do in this historic and charming city. Here’s a low-cost itinerary for couples who only have a day to take in San Diego’s most charming qualities.

Start your day with breakfast at Pacific Beach’s Café 976. This small, laid-back café offers shady, outdoor seating complete with fabulous coffee and bagels. If you are there on a Friday, your bagel will even come free with your coffee.

Next, head to the Mission Beach Boardwalk for a little ocean-side strolling, sunbathing and prime people watching. The area also contains a plethora of boutique shopping options and inexpensive eateries. Consider stopping at The Green Flash for their Sunset Happy Hour where you can grab a $3 drink and a $13 steak.

After lunch, pack up your beach bag and travel 13 miles south to the Coronado Ferry Landing. Rent bicycles at Bikes and Beyond and explore the manmade island’s unique shops and beautiful scenery. The landing offers free outdoor concerts every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 2 to 5 pm, featuring the area’s best local talent in an incredible outdoor setting.

You could also purchase discounted San Diego Zoo tickets through Pacific Inn & Suites. Grab your sweetheart and journey through the Lost Forest together where you can see the brand new baby gorilla.

Watch the sun sink into the ocean, and then head over to Spiro’s Gyros for a feast of Lamb Gyros and rice. Spiro’s has a cozy outdoor seating area, where you will have a beautiful view of the San Diego skyline. Snuggle up with your significant other as you enjoy San Diego’s stunning sunset.

Finally, clean up at your cheap downtown San Diego hotel room before you end your evening at the Coronado Playhouse. This 50 year old theater is a small cabaret-style venue that offers engaging plays in an intimate setting for a fair price.

There’s no place like San Diego for a taste of lively entertainment and casual romance. Even the most frugal vacationers will fall in love with San Diego’s magnetic charm as they fall more in love with their partner.

To make your stay in San Diego even more special, book the affordable Jacuzzi Suite at Pacific Inn. With this luxurious suite you get to enjoy a private in-room whirlpool Jacuzzi tub, a California King Bed with a pillow top mattress, a wet bar and complimentary plush bath robes. Call 1-800-571-2933 today to reserve this room as space is limited, and don’t forget to ask about our available savings and discounts!

Fun Filled 1 Day San Diego Itinerary


Photo Credit: globltorg

Just like Rome, San Diego wasn’t built in a day. However, if you only have one day to see SD’s finest we can help. You might just want to see some sights during your business trip in between meetings, or perhaps you have a long enough layover to venture around your cheap hotel near San Diego Airport and the downtown district. Whatever the case, we have compiled a list of the top 5 must-see items, all of which can be done in one day!

  1. Book an affordable hotel near Old Town San Diego because this is a great place to start your day. Old Town is packed full of history, beautiful parks, museums, shopping and plenty of restaurant options.
  2. Next head just down the street to see the wonders of Balboa Park. You’ll have your choice of museums, including the esteemed San Diego Museum of Art, along with prime picnic spots and playgrounds for the kids.
  3. Continue going south and you’ll hit San Diego’s Gaslamp District. Downtown San Diego is full of life, energy and diversity and you can’t skip town without experiencing it. Take your time to walk 5th Street, enjoy the overwhelming amount of restaurant options and grab a glass of wine on an Italian bistro-themed patio.
  4. Speaking of Italian, next up on your must-see list is Little Italy located just next door to the Gaslamp Quarter. With award winning restaurants on every corner and bars that cater to every taste, from classy and trendy to cheap and divey, this quaint town is a must. Just be sure you make reservations if you want to enjoy dinner here on a weekend night!
  5. Wrap up your fun-filled day by the Big Bay. Walk along the harbor during sunset and stop by the Maritime Museum to soak in some rich San Diego history.

When you wrap up your day alongside San Diego’s Bay you’ll also be conveniently located right next to your affordable San Diego hotel room if you made a reservation at Pacific Inn & Suites, which sits on California’s popular Pacific Coast Highway. If you call and book your room in advance today you can even receive 12% off already low prices. To secure your San Diego hotel room click on the “reservations” tab above or call us at 1-800-571-2933.

What are you most looking forward to seeing during your day in San Diego? Share this article on Facebook or Twitter to spark a conversation!

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