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Is that San Diego Attraction Overrated?

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Overrated San Diego Attractions

Travelers ready to explore a new destination start out adventurous and end up flocking to the same tourist attractions as everyone else. However, following the crowd isn’t always good for adventure – or the wallet. While your ultimate decision to visit a specific attraction will depend on your personal preferences and budget, here are a few attractions that are as easy to avoid as they are to seek out.

  1. SeaWorld – SeaWorld has enough amusement park rides, shows and restaurants to keep the most energetic child occupied. Unfortunately, this can be the park’s downside too. There will be large crowds and sore feet by the end of the day, not to mention that it is impossible to give each exhibit the time it deserves. Even if you stay at a cheap San Diego hotel near SeaWorld, Birch Aquarium is an alternative attraction that is located only 15 minutes away in the neighborhood of La Jolla and is much more affordable for visitors. It may be without the glitz, but offers an in-depth look into the underwater world and is fun for the whole family.
  2. San Diego Zoo – The famed San Diego Zoo is considered by many to be one of the best in the world. If you’ve never been to the Zoo, it definitely is a must-see attraction. However, if you’re on a budget this vacation or don’t have too many days to spare in San Diego, it might be the attraction to skip because of its high ticket prices. A family or group of four could easily save about $500 by passing on this outdoor adventure. If your heart is set on visiting the zoo, the best way to explore the more than 100 acre park is over multiple days with a discounted multi-day pass so you can enjoy all of the attractions, getting as much of your money’s worth as possible. And don’t forget to book your cheap hotel near San Diego Zoo for additional savings.
  3. The Beach – During the peak seasons, a trip to the beach is a must, just don’t expect a quiet relaxing haven for a lazy beach bum. Those who want simply to relax need to know their San Diego beaches. The popular beaches such Pacific and Mission beaches are packed with sightseeing tours, amusement parks, overpriced food, crowds, noise and even some garbage. Sticking to the budget might mean seeking out the less popular areas such as the San Diego Bay which still provides you with water views and sand, without some of the extra visitors!
  4. The New Children’s Museum – This attraction is polarizing for parents and is often put at the top of the list of a family’s San Diego to-do list. However, reviews say it is either a good museum for children to wander around in, or it is a cramped space with few exhibits. Some even argue that it doesn’t go far enough in terms of actually teaching kids. Parents should do their own homework and decided if the museum will engage their children before paying the admission fees.

Did we spark your interest? As one of the preferred cheap hotels in downtown San Diego, we’re always looking to share great travel tips and information with our readers, at the very least to give you a different perspective on some of the most well known activities and attractions in the area. For more San Diego vacation advice, follow us on Facebook or Twitter and don’t forget to contact a Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 to check upcoming rates and availability for the Marina Inn & Suites.

Eat Your Heart Out in San Diego

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The word foodie – defined as having “a particular interest in food; a gourmet” – has more than quadrupled in usage in day to day conversation, online print, magazines and more in the past 10 years. So why the sudden increase in what seems to be a made up word?

Recently, major cities across America including Los Angeles, Aspen, Austin, Portland and New York have become home to some of the nation’s, if not the world’s best chefs, serving up unique farm to table creations that truly tickle the taste buds. While these chefs focus on the quality of their products and the cohesiveness of their menus, they also emphasize dining experience, giving way to a “foodie culture” intended to ignite feelings of fun, happiness and satisfaction. Restaurateurs are bringing the technologically-dependant workaholics back to the simple life of good food and good conversation in a relaxed environment.

Although a smaller city, San Diego is joining the foodie revolution, even hosting major food inspired events including San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, Vindiego and Latin Food Fest to name a few. So if you’re a self-proclaimed foodie and are heading down to America’s Finest City for a relaxing weekend getaway, save your dollars by staying at a cheap downtown San Diego hotel, and eat your way through the streets:

SEARSUCKER
If you have even the smallest insight to the world of celebrity chefs, the name Brian Malarkey is one you’ve heard time and time again. Breaking into the industry as a contestant on Top Chef and a judge on season one of ABC’s The Taste, Malarkey is known for his eccentric personality which is captured in his menu at Searsucker in downtown San Diego. Swanky cocktails such as the Peter Rabbit and the Honeybadger show Malarkey’s fun side, followed by small plates you probably won’t find anywhere else like “farm bird lollipops + snake oil + bleu fondue” and “marrow bone + sea salt + onion jam.” And for the main course, we’ll leave it up to you to check it out for yourself!

REI DO GADO
We’d like to preface this section by saying it’s in your best interest to stay an affordable hotel near the Gaslamp because dinner will cost you a pretty penny, and you’ll likely be too stuffed to walk more than few blocks to get back to your hotel. That said, Rei do Gado is a new Brazilian steakhouse that combines past traditions with a modern twist. In addition to an included salad bar which offers much more than salads (enjoy charuterie, cheese, fruits, veggies and more) patrons can choose from an unlimited amount of meats with a dozen cuts to choose from including lamb, pork tenderloin, tri tip, turkey breasts wrapped in bacon and filet mignon. Simply sit down, show you’re ready to eat, and relax as the servers bring around a constant and never ending supply of food.

NOBLE EXPERIMENT
Don’t mistake this underground bar for pretentious, because it is exactly the opposite. While you do have to make reservations in advance (about a week) via text, the small speakeasy is a hidden gem that never disappoints. The prohibition style theme gives the bar a unique feel and a laidback atmosphere, and the craft cocktails can’t be beat. Pair a stiff drink with something off their eclectic bar menu and enjoy a one of a kind dining experience. Holding just over 25 people at a time, it’s more of a lounge than a restaurant so you might want to get a snack ahead of time.

CELLAR DOOR
If you’re really up to try something new, you’ll want to head to Cellar Door. This private dinner club is hosted in the home of a San Diegan with all guests asked to sit at a single table, family style. Yes, you may be dining with strangers, but you’ll likely have the love of food in common which is more than enough to excite and push you through the fixed course menu. The dishes change on a seasonal basis and you’ll have to pre-purchase tickets ahead of time because they always sell out, but diners are always raving about the quality of food, the passion and kindness of the chefs and the amazing experience as a whole.

Reserve a room at one of the hotels near the San Diego Airport so you can sip and savor each restaurant in San Diego, right until the time you have to board your plane! If you know someone who is going to visit the city and has a passion for food, share this article with them on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the icons at the top of the page.

Downtown San Diego: City Basics

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So you’ve never been to San Diego – what took you so long? Whatever the reason, be happy you’re headed to America’s Finest City (which has rightfully earned its nickname) and check out our city basics, a short list packed with important information that we think all first-time travelers should know.

Arriving. The heart of San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter, is roughly an 8 minute cab ride from the San Diego Airport and will typically cost less than $15. Although the cabs conveniently line up across the airport’s skybridge located outside of baggage claim and are always readily available, they tack on “an airport convenience fee” which adds a few unnecessary, but required dollars to your final fare. You can also take the bus or a shuttle service which are often about the same price, but will take longer because you have to wait for other passengers to hop off at their respective destinations. Need a place to stay near the Gaslamp Quarter? Click here for information about the Pacific Inn, an affordable San Diego hotel minutes from the Gaslamp.

Getting around. San Diego is a beautiful waterfront city, providing the perfect environment to walk around and explore. However, do remember that a day of walking can be pretty tiring, not to mention rough on your feet, so wear comfortable shoes and think about trading out your flip-flops for more supportive tennis-shoes. In addition to walking, tourists have ample options for transportation including driving, the trolley, the MTS bus, trains, bicycles, ferries and segways (even if they do scream tourist.)

Driving. There are plenty of rental car agencies located near the airport making renting a car and driving easy. Finding a place to park your car however, is not. Patient drivers will be rewarded with on-street parking which provides easy access to downtown’s shops, restaurants and entertainment venues, but will have to return every two hours before 6pm to feed the meter. If you plan to drive into the city, expect to pay $10 to $20 for hourly parking and even more if you need to stay overnight. Our advice for visitors who must rent a car – look for an affordable downtown San Diego hotel that offers free parking.

Taxis. In most parts of the city you can hail a cab without problem. There really only tends to be an issue around 2am when everyone is trying to escape the chaos surrounding the city’s popular nightclubs and bars. Also keep in mind that many downtown patrons out at this hour are college students and self-proclaimed partiers who might not have a problem with (or realize they are) swopping your ride if you telephoned for a cab directly. You’re likely better off just hailing a cab from the street directly.

Dining. Honestly, there isn’t a good place to start when it comes to dining, you just have to experience it all! The best way to sum up the foodie culture in San Diego – the city offers everything. From prohibition-style gastro pubs and gourmet food trucks to critically acclaimed seafood establishments and five-star steakhouses, there is something sure to make everyone’s mouth water. With limited meals during your trip, refer to review websites like yelp.com to ensure you dine somewhere that meets your taste preferences and budget requirements.

Weather. San Diego is infamously known for beautiful, sunny skies and a mild year-round climate. Visit during the summer and blue skies are almost guaranteed. Visit during the off season and temperatures drop when the sun sets. Now, if you’re from the East Coast and used to harsh winters or a place less fortunate in terms of annual sunshine, you’ll probably snicker at San Diegans who are bundled up in the evening when its “only” 50 degrees. And that’s fine, we just wanted to warn you – packing that light jacket might be a good idea.

What more do you need to know about San Diego? Start planning your vacation now and consider reserving a room at the Pacific Inn & Suites. Our spacious rooms and suites are perfect for couples, families and groups of friends and we offer pricing and a location that can’t be beat! Learn more about our exclusive San Diego hotel deals or contact a Reservation Manager directly at 1-800-571-2933 and take advantage of our unbeatable rates!

Should I Rent a Car for my Trip to San Diego?

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Like many other travel questions, the age old debate of whether or not to rent a car when visiting San Diego continues. While your final decision will be heavily influenced by personal preferences, your travel itinerary and the amount of people you’re traveling with, the Pacific Inn is going to offer you some insider tips!

Traveling with the Family

If you are visiting San Diego with the little ones and are interested in exploring the many family friendly attractions of the city such as the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Safari Park, SeaWorld and Legoland, a rental car is a must unless you have an unlimited budget for private transportation. While the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld are centrally located, only a few miles from one another, the Safari Park and Legoland are about a 30 minute drive from the downtown district. Even fixed price vans and shuttle service will charge upwards of $50 for for transportation to these destinations.  Looking for a cheap SeaWorld hotel? Click here and enjoy family-friendly accommodations at a discounted nightly rate.

For families on a budget, visiting all of San Diego’s theme parks might not be in the cards for this trip. However, if you book an affordable hotel in downtown San Diego and don’t mind skipping a few attractions, you can likely skip renting a car as well! A taxi fare or more affordable ride share services (Uber or Lyft) can get you to the Zoo and SeaWorld for about $10. Pack comfortable shoes and most attractions such as Little Italy, Seaport Village and Gaslamp Quarter will be in walking distance.

Romantic Getaway Weekend

San Diego’s pristine weather and endless activities beckons couples from around the nation. If you are in town with your significant other, the decision to rent a car will depend on what you plan on doing. If you are interested in exploring other areas of San Diego such as La Jolla, Del Mar or Coronado, renting a car will be in your best interest. Those who are adventurous and like spontaneous outings may also prefer a personal vehicle so they will have transportation at a moment’s notice.

Skip the rental car only if you plan on staying in one place. While this sounds like a no brainer, people often forget that San Diego is a city on the water. Couples who stay in the downtown district can enjoy a morning stroll along the bay, stop for coffee and brunch at one of the many downtown restaurants, explore the museums and beautiful grounds of Balboa Park, and top the night off with a romantic dinner, cocktails and nightlife in the Gaslamp Quarter. Although the city of San Diego has an abundance of activities to offer, staying downtown might be all you need for your romantic retreat.

Girls or Boys Trip

Whether visiting with your friends for leisure or an event such as a wedding or bachelor party, be realistic about what you will be able to fit into your itinerary. While many groups think renting a car is a necessity, the San Diego Airport is not far from some of the top spots in San Diego and can easily be traveled via taxi cab or airport shuttle. Also keep in mind any transportation costs will be divided among the group helping to minimize costs so plan your outings before you go and then make your decision. Interested in additional savings? Learn more about cheap downtown hotels near San Diego Airport and find a room or suite perfect for your group.

Know someone traveling to San Diego in the near future? Share this article with them on Facebook or Twitter so they can make the most of their trip to America’s Finest City!

Best (FREE) San Diego Travel Guides

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More than three million people call San Diego home, making it the second most populated county in California and is the 5th most populated county in the country. People from all over the world flock to San Diego to experience year-round sunshine, miles of pristine coastline and a diverse social scene that can’t be beat.

If you’re planning a vacation to San Diego, figuring out where to go can be overwhelming due to the vast array of options. To help you map out your itinerary we’ve narrowed down the top 5 free online San Diego tour guides to help you during your vacation.

  1. SanDiego.gov is an obvious pick. The city’s website has everything from a San Diego Visitor Planning Guide to Value Coupons and even a Golf Guide. You can view their winter 2013 planning guide online or you can have a hard copy shipped to your home for free. It includes tips on things like hiking trails, ideas for couples and how to do a fun family getaway at SeaWorld or the San Diego Zoo. If you would like to learn more about the exhibits at the San Diego Zoo and the best time to visit, click here.
  2. Fodor’s Travel (fodors.com) also offers handy hints when visiting San Diego. Their San Diego Travel Guide includes Places to Explore, Restaurants, Shopping, Deals and more. Also be sure to click on Fodor’s Choice, which lists other travelers’ San Diego favorites, and Travel Tips, which helps vacationers plan transportation and lists important local resources.
  3. DiscoverSD.com offers a very comprehensive editorial-style guide for both locals and tourists alike. They are always posting information on not-to-be-missed upcoming events and reviews for new restaurants. If you want to enjoy the trendy and hip side of San Diego, from entertainment and arts to nightlife, this is the website to check out.
  4. Lonely Planet (lonelyplanet.com) is a great and easy guide for those that love seeing photos of where they’re going before they go. Just click on See, Do, Tour, or Eat & Drink for a collection of things to enjoy at a discounted rate in America’s Finest City.
  5. Mom’s Guide to San Diego is not just for moms. This fun and colorful online guide is a great resource for anyone traveling to San Diego with kids. A visit to their website, momsguidetosandiego.com, and you will links to Family-Friendly Resources, Local Events, Kids Eat Free!, and more. To receive a notification on where to pick up the new 2014 Moms Guide, coming out in January, sign up for the email list on their website.

If you are in need of a kid-friendly hotel with complimentary breakfast or perhaps would like to book a romantic Jacuzzi Suite, look no further than the affordable Pacific Inn hotel near San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Call us today at1-800-571-2933 and be sure to ask about our available discounts!

Cheap Day by the San Diego Bay

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A fun-filled day in San Diego doesn’t have to cost a fortune! There are plenty of local attractions that are free and worthwhile. So if you’re staying at the affordable Pacific Inn hotel near Downtown San Diego, here are some nearby things to do, all under $20.

Less than a half a mile away from the hotel is the Maritime Museum of San Diego, located at the Embarcadero. The Maritime Museum is dedicated to preserving some of the city’s oldest and most historic ships, including the Star of India. Tickets are listed at $13 to $16 for children and adults respectively. For just $5 more guests can float the open waters on Pilot during the old ship’s Historic Bay Cruise.

Next, enjoy a leisurely stroll heading North on Harbor Drive until you get to the Car2Go parking lot. Easily rent a convenient smart car for $.41 a minute and drive to Downtown San Diego, where you can drop the car off at its designated spot on 3rd and Ash. Once in the Gaslamp Quarter your options are seemingly endless. You can peruse the vast array of shops at Horton Plaza, grab happy hour at Ra Sushi or listen to entertaining dueling pianos at Shouthouse.

Another option is to drive your Car2Go smart car to Paradise Point where you can watch the sunset along the bay and then catch the nightly 5-minute SeaWorld fireworks show, which is visible from miles away. Traveling with the little ones and interested in a downtown hotel near SeaWorld San Diego? Click here for information about affordable family friendly accommodations conveniently located in the center of the city.

Finish off the day by relaxing in a spacious room or suite at the Pacific Inn hotel. Not only is Pacific Inn located just a couple blocks from the water and the airport, all of our rooms are extremely affordable. On top of already low price, we’re also offering our guests up to 12% off for booking in advance and 10% off for military, AAA and AARP members. Book a room online or call a reservations specialist at1-800-571-2933 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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