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Pandas to Pierogies: A Day at the Iconic Balboa Park

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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.

Scoping Out Local Comedy & Improv Clubs in San Diego

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As with any modern metropolis, the greater San Diego area is practically flooded with some of the nation’s best comedy and improve clubs. Amidst this sea of humor are a few pearls of quality comedy worth diving into during your San Diego vacation. While these venues are not often hosted by the household names one will find at comedy clubs in Los Angeles, the significant benefit to this is that the price of admission is low, and sometimes even free.

One such venue is Comedy Heights located in the University Heights area, just down the street from cheap hotels near the San Diego Zoo. Every Saturday evening they host a free show free of any cover charge or drink minimums. Their slogan “he who laughs…lasts” promises an evening of revelry, and as one of the highest-rated comedy clubs in the area, you can expect several hearty chuckles to take over the room throughout the night.

On the other end of the local comedy spectrum, the Mad House Comedy Club located in the downtown Horton Plaza Mall. Don’t let is shopping-center location dissuade you from attending as they offer a wide variety of stand-up performances, and three hours of mall validated parking. Mad House regularly brings in big name headliners who have had appearances on Mad TV, Comedy Central and late night TV without the big name price. For more information about downtown San Diego and Horton Plaza mall, click here.

Ticket prices for a San Diego comedy show vary based on the venue and the comedian but, as a general rule, the more popular the comedy club and the comedian, the faster the tickets sell out. So don’t hesitate to check out the respective clubs’ websites for online ticket purchases or to call their individual box offices in advance. For highly discounted or free comedy show tickets, visit Goldstar.com or sign up for various comedy club newsletter for possible discounts.

If Improv is more to your liking, look no further than Finest City Improv, offering unscripted comedic hijinks several nights per week with a full bar and menu. Sip on some Pirate Grog while chowing down on spicy shrimp while taking in the variety of improv shows, including those featuring local up-and-coming talent and young adult performers. The Friday Night Comedy Mutiny show is one of the most popular and often features special guests. If you’re looking to check out somewhere a bit off the beaten path, The Roar Theatre in Banker’s Hill offers short and long form improv shows with their cast of self-proclaimed “Roarriers.”

Something else that might have you laughing out of pure joy is the extremely discounted rates currently being offered at Pacific Inn, a trusted and affordable downtown San Diego hotel. If you already know what comedy show you want to see in San Diego, book your tickets and reserve your stay at our hotel in advance for an easy 12% off on already low prices. For more information on our available rooms and discounts, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-571-2933.

 

San Diego Kids Camps Create Time for Parent-Only Vacations

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San Diego Kids Summer Camps

America’s Finest City gets even better in the summer. With comfortable, sunny days, the kids are out of school and ready for adventure. Summer camps for kids are a great way to provide fun for the young ones while giving parents some much needed rest. Pack your bags and your kids and head to San Diego for a family vacation, where kids’ camps are abounding.

Get Into Science 

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is well-known for its dedication to hands-on experiences for kids, along with amazing educational movies. Bring your kids down to Balboa Park for a science-oriented kid’s camp. Your little Einstein can spend the day exploring with critical thinking skills developed throughout the week. Also in Balboa Park is the world famous San Diego Zoo. Book a cheap hotel near the San Diego Zoo for a weekend full of fun.

Whale of a Time

Sea World is packed with different camps throughout the summer. Select Resident Camps to have a sleepover all week long. Or treat the little ones to day camps where you pick them up each afternoon. Kids explore the animal tanks and cheer at the shows for an unforgettable summer. For more information on what to see and do at San Diego SeaWorld, click here.

Drama!

The San Diego Junior Theatre is the perfect place to encourage the arts. Kids from 3 to 18 years old learn about dance, music and acting. They practice all of these arts every day, allowing parents to see their blossoming talent at the end of camp along with a gorgeous end-of-camp performance.

YMCA Tradition

If you want a more traditional summer camp for the kids, look to the YMCA. They take the kids on day trips to parks, events and landmarks throughout the city. Each week poses a new adventure and theme with affordable pricing options. If your children have short attention spans, they’ll love the different experiences offered at the YMCA summer camps.

San Diego has a plethora of various events, parks and experiences open to children of all ages. Sign them up for a fun week or two, giving mom and dad a little free time to relax in San Diego alone. Book a cheap downtown San Diego hotel room at Pacific Inn, located near major summer camp locations like Balboa Park and SeaWorld. Pacific Inn has plenty of room options to suit your needs. Pick the Kids Suite which includes one Queen Bed and one bunk bed if your kids are attending a day camp or opt for the luxurious Jacuzzi suite with an in-room whirlpool tub if you’re looking for romantic time away from the little ones.

Call our reservations line at 1-800-571-2933 to book your family-friendly hotel room today.

2014 College Fair at the San Diego Convention Center

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2014 College Fair San Diego

Are you finally getting ready to send your son or daughter off to college? Prepare yourself for the extensive test-prep courses, college application fees and university tours. Picking the right college can be a difficult and lengthy task, but there’s one organization that is striving to make it easier for your soon-to-be college student. The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) is devoted to helping students transition into college education by helping them make the right choices early on. One way they aim to help students and their families is by hosting College Fairs all around the country. On Wednesday, April 23, that fair is coming to the San Diego Convention Center. If you’re interested in checking out the event, first start by learning more about Gaslamp Quarter hotels for the NACAC College Fair.

This event is expected to draw in over 6,000 people, all visiting San Diego to explore their college options. Attendees can expect 301 local, national and international 2 and 4-year colleges to be at the fair. Some of the big San Diego schools that will be represented include:

  • California State University- San Marcos (CSUSM)
  • San Diego State University (SDSU)
  • University of California San Diego (UCSD)
  • Design Institute of San Diego
  • University of San Diego (USD)
  • University of Southern  California (USC)

Students can register online for the NACAC College Fair at nacacnet.org. The student inputs pertinent information into an online form, such as intended major, extracurricular activities and SAT score. Once you click “submit”, a printable form will pop up on your screen with a barcode. Bring this form with you to the College Fair so that admission representatives can easily scan your barcode to access your information.

This free event is open to the public so cheap hotels near the San Diego Convention Center will likely start filling up soon. If you haven’t reserved your room yet, call the downtown San Diego Pacific Inn located just 2 miles away from the SDCC at 1-800-571-2933. We’re currently offering 12% off already cheap room rates just for booking in advance.

Are you considering moving to San Diego for school? Explore everything that this amazing city has to offer, all of which is located just minutes from Pacific Inn’s front doors. Our affordable downtown San Diego hotel is just one block away from the San Diego Bay, 2 miles from Downtown San Diego and 10 miles away from the area’s top colleges – University of California San Diego, San Diego State University and University of San Diego.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for San Diego travel tips and exclusive online savings.

Affordable San Diego Restaurants with Patios

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Al Fresco Dining in San Diego

 

San Diego offers some of the best outdoor dining options because of its near perfect, year-round weather. However, finding the right restaurant with a patio that has great food and affordable prices can be a difficult task. Here are a few patio restaurants in the San Diego area that offer sun, fresh air, and decently priced delicious meals.

Apollonia | La Jolla
Spawned by ingenuity and shaped by simplicity, the dishes at Apollonia are spectacular. Along with old-age Greek favorites that include Moussaka and Dolmathakia, this restaurant uses fresh ingredients and natural flavors to create some surprising meals. Enjoy your mealon the covered and heated patio.

The Blind Burro | Downtown
With its outdoor bar and patio, diners get exquisite views of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. Located near Petco Park and San Diego Convention Center hotels, The Blind Burro is the perfect spot to enjoy some Baja Mexican fare and a beer before a big game or after an exhausting work convention. The prices are affordable, ingredients are fresh, and they even serve unique and healthy takes on south of the Border traditions like quinoa mixed green salad and steak tacos.

Jsix Restaurant | Downtown
Not only are farm-to-table meals the emphasis at this American restaurant, but so is a comfortable, inviting atmosphere. Jsix Restaurant offers small plates of fresh produce and sustainably raised meats to ensure quality dining. The bartender also serves quality-focused American cocktails that mix flavor and flash. All of this can be enjoyed on the rooftop lounge that also happens to include a pool and bar. Stay after your meal to sip and socialize at one of downtown’s hottest rooftop lounges, LOUNGEsix. For more information on Downtown San Diego do’s and don’ts while you’re on vacation, click here and find affordable Gaslamp hotels as well!

Indigo Grill | Little Italy
With its covered patio seating and nice views of Little Italy, Indigo Grill serves up class dishes with a modern twist. Rustic and warm, this is a good place to go to enjoy delicious food and a calm atmosphere. Save some money during their great weekday happy hour where they serve $4 beers and 50% off bar food.

At all of the above restaurants, lunch menu items don’t go over $30, so you really can’t go wrong, especially if you’re saving money by staying at a cheap Downtown San Diego hotel room at Pacific Inn & Suites. Pacific Inn is saving you even more money by offering up to 12% off on already cheap hotel rooms just for booking in advance. Call us today at 1-800-571-2933so that you can start planning your San Diego vacation!

6 Can’t Miss February Events in San Diego

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If you’re planning a trip to San Diego this month there’s no need to worry about rain or snow to slow you down! You can pack that social calendar to the brim with some of these fun February events:

  1. KuumbaFest San Diego is an annual event that celebrates African-American expression, culture and heritage. This multi-day celebration runs from February 14-16 and is packed full of events that are fun for the whole family. On Saturday alone you can see a dance showcase, and attend a food tasting event and a fashion show. All the weekend’s events will take place in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter near Horton Plaza. Click here if you’re looking to book a cheap San Diego hotel room near Gaslamp Quarter for the weekend!
  2. This Valentine’s Day celebrate a little differently by attending the San Diego Humane Society’s Pet Drive on February 15 from 10 am to 2 pm. This holiday pet adoption will take place at the U.S.S. Midway right on the San Diego Bay. Adopted animals will all be spayed/neutered, have current vaccinations, and have microchip identification. As a gift to you, the adoption fees for all seniors and military are waived! Seniors and military can continue saving money with a 10% off discount at the San Diego Pacific Inn, a budget hotel near the MCRD and U.S.S. Midway.
  3. Come out for Foodie Fridays at La Jolla Playhouse where along with your theater ticket you get access to gourmet food trucks and craft beer. The last two Foodie Fridays of the season are taking place this month on the 21st at 5 pm and the 28th at 6 pm. Green Truck will be there both nights to serve up their famous 100% organic burgers and salads. New York on Rye will also be parked in La Jolla on Friday to prepare authentic NYC deli food and Red Brick Oven will be cooking up fresh, authentic Neapolitan pizzas for theatergoers on Saturday.
  4. The San Diego Museum of Arts in Balboa Park is getting ready for their next Culture and Cocktails event on February 20. This 21+ event turns the museum into a social mixer with multiple bars, a DJ booth, lighting effects, performances and interactive exhibits. Guests can walk around the museum with a cocktail while viewing famous South Asian Art amidst Bollywood dancers, a Henna body art station and a slow motion photo booth.
  5. Do you like beer? If so, you can’t miss the annual San Diego Winter Brewfest on February 22. Tickets will include access to some of the best local craft beer, a souvenir glass and concerts performed by Headshine and Soda Pants. If you want to take your beer tasting experience to the next level, purchase the VIP ticket for entrance into the festival an hour early with a special cheese and beer pairing.
  6. Circus Vargas is back in San Diego and with their new show Magikaria Extreme it’s more action packed than ever before! Gather under the Big Top in San Diego or Mira Mesa through March 3 to experience astonishing magic, music and circus stunts.

So little time, so much to do! San Diego’s events keep rolling which is great if you’re planning a vacation to America’s Finest City. When picking a San Diego hotel it’s important to look at affordability, location and amenities. The Pacific Inn located near Downtown San Diego is proud to say that we offer our guests a variety of discounts, we’re centrally located near all major attractions and we offer a free hot breakfast every morning!

If you want to learn more about the rooms and services offered at our cheap downtown San Diego hotel, please call us at 1-800-571-2933 so that you can start booking your San Diego social events today!

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in Little Italy for $100

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Planning a trip to Little Italy in San Diego? If so, you’ve come to the right place! As a cheap downtown hotel, we understand that not all travelers have an unlimited budget. This is why we’ve created a guide for affordable dining in Little Italy. As a pair, enjoy authentic Italian pastries, pastas and prosecco for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all for $100.

Breakfast

For breakfast, head to Café Zucchero. While there are plenty of places to pick up small pastries along the streets of Little Italy, Café Zucchero offers delicious baked goods and has a morning menu that will provide a little more substance.

Breakfast is served Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 11:30am and Saturday and Sunday from 7:30am to noon, perfect for early risers who are ready to explore the Little Italy district. Their most affordable menu items are their morning paninis, with the most expensive being their bagel and lox at $7.95. They also have a variety of egg based dishes, as well as pancakes, French toast, oatmeal, benedicts and more. The most expensive item on their menu is 12.95, so even with coffees, couples that make sensible breakfast choices can escape spending just around $20.

Lunch

We can’t emphasize enough that the options for food in Little Italy are endless! So after a hearty breakfast, grab a few slices of pizza and a soda from almost any restaurant in the area for about $15 for two. However, if you’re ready to go all out and you really are up to wine and dine your way through Little Italy, check out Napizza.

The restaurant prides itself on sustainability and offers healthy and organic pizzas made from handmade dough that is prepared fresh daily. They offer classic slices in the price range of $3 to $5.75 and include favorites such as chicken pesto with homemade basil pesto, a parmigiana with eggplant, and a truffle porcini with decadent truffles and fresh mozzarella. You can also order soups and make your own salads.

That being said, you’ll get the most value when selecting from Napizza’s “Happy Belly Combos” menu. For $10 enjoy a slice of pizza, soup or salad and a fountain drink. Substitute pizza for a focaccia panini for just $12. And last but not least for $13 you can enjoy 2 slices of pizza and a draft beer, or 1 slice of pizza, a soup or salad, and a house red or white wine. Say you pick the most expensive combo — with tax and tip, you’re a little over $30.

Dinner

While the total amount of money spent on dining for the day will depend on what you decided to eat, we’re going to say you’re left with about $50 of your $100. Since we’ve already touched on pastries and pizza, we had to end dinner with a pasta meal at Bencotto. This modern and chic Italian restaurant offers a variety of authentic Italian dishes and has a “pasta your way” section where you are given 7 options for pasta type (all freshly made in house) starting at a base price of $14. You can pick your sauce with options including traditional meat, spicy sausage tomato, creamy cheese, walnut and gorgonzola, and the list goes on. Stick with the basics and you’re at $30 per person or you can choose to add chicken or meatballs for an extra $5 per entrée. Budget foodies should also consider sharing a pasta plate and a bocconi which literally translates to “plates to share” for about the same price.

From this $30 base, add two glasses of sparking, red or white wine, or a beer for about $20 and you’ve hit the $50 ceiling. With tax and tip you might go over your budget a bit, but we can guarantee you’re pretty darn close. And if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, Bencotto also offers tiramisu, cannolis, crème caramels and a pannacotta which add another $10 to your bill, but don’t worry, we won’t tell.

Book your Budget Friendly Trip to Little Italy

Little Italy is one of the best downtown neighborhoods to visit because it offers a great amount of flexibility when it comes to cost for dining. If you are looking for an affordable hotel in the area, click here for information about the Pacific Inn hotel near Little Italy. We are located just a few steps from the historic district and are also within close proximity to the marina and Gaslamp Quarter.

How to Get out of your Parent’s Holiday Guestroom

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In-laws, you love to hate ‘em. The holidays can be especially trying when your parents invite you and your family to stay in their extra guest bedroom for the weekend. But don’t worry, we’re going to help you respectfully get out of it so that you can actually enjoy your trip in the comfort of a quality, yet cheap San Diego hotel room.

We understand that your parents’ hearts are in the right place and that respectfully declining their invitation can be a tricky situation. All you need to do is remember why you’re trying to weasel your way out of staying in a musky and overly-floral guest room in the first place.

  1. No privacy. There is no place for un-awkward intimacy when you’re staying in your parent’s guestroom. Booking a room at the nearby Pacific Inn would allow you to be within driving distance of their home while also enjoying the romance of an affordable Jacuzzi Suite.
  2. Familiarity breeds contempt. Sometime spending that much time in confined quarters with extended family can be difficult and leads to tension or arguments. Having somewhere to detox and spend time alone is crucial and can make the time you do spend together much more enjoyable and worthwhile.
  3. House rules. When you’re staying with your parents or your in-laws, sometimes grandma and grandpa take on the parenting role, trying to govern over you and your children. Be sure to establish your ground by informing parents what is and isn’t appropriate for your children.
  4. Freedom. You may feel obligated to do everything according to your parent’s time table instead of being able to schedule your own trips. Getting a hotel room will allow you the freedom to plan out your vacation as desired. Prioritize time with family but also allow yourself the opportunity to enjoy the San Diego sights like the world-famous Zoo and some of the beautiful San Diego beaches.

When it comes time to let the ‘rents know you’ll be staying at a hotel close by, just inform them that while you appreciate their offer, you didn’t want your family to overstay their welcome and that you need some quality time alone with your spouse and children over this holiday vacation. It also wouldn’t hurt if you happened to stop by Horton Plaza mall to pick them up something nice for Christmas.

Know someone trying to get out of staying with their parents or in-laws this holiday season? Share this article with them on Facebook or Twitter and remind them to take advantage of the Pacific Inn’s advance booking and AAA member discounts!

Great Gifts for less than $20

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page-3 Great Gifts for less than $20 copy

Buying fun, thoughtful and creative presents for loved ones this holiday season doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. If you’re searching for that perfect gift for an active San Diego loved one or friend, then hunt no more! We took care of the research and now all you have to do is get out of your cheap downtown San Diego hotel to do the shopping! Here’s our list of the top 5 gifts under $20 for adventurous San Diegans:

  1. Extreme Adventure Combo at Belmont Park. For $19.95 you get access to Unlimited RUSH Laser Tag, Sky Ropes, Sky Climb, 10 Laser Maze runs and 20 arcade tokens.
  2. Admission to the Birch Aquarium. Tickets cost $12.50 to $17 but the experience of petting a stingray or seeing a sea dragon is priceless.
  3. Race go karts at K1 Speed. For $19.99 adults get 14 laps and juniors get 12, making racing at K1 a great gift for the entire family!
  4. Snorkel at La Jolla Cove. Rent snorkel gear for just $20 at any location around the Cove and explore the surrounding caves and coves populated by sea lions and leopard sharks. This is a great gift idea for those who have family staying at an affordable hotel near the beach.
  5. Jump around at Sky Zone trampoline park in Chula Vista. During their holiday promo you can get 90 minutes of trampoline time for just $15.

San Diego is a city for lovers, family, friends and adventurers, so pack up your bags and book a budget hotel room near Sea World today to get an advanced booking discount. If you call Pacific Inn at least three days prior to your stay you can reserve our luxurious Jacuzzi Suite at a discounted rate, which would surely make a very special gift. To talk to a reservation’s specialist, call 1-800-571-2933.

Combining Work and Play on a San Diego Business Trip

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As a successful corporate traveler, you practically live in the airport, going from city to city, meeting to meeting. We’re here to remind you how to slow down and stop to enjoy the wonderful places your company is sending you to. San Diego is called America’s Finest City for a reason and there are plenty of things you can do in between work obligations and shaking hands with VIPs.

If you’re attending a conference at the Convention Center, then you are already in a prime location for strolling along the Big Bay, shopping at Seaport Village or trying one of the over 100 restaurants available in the Gaslamp Quarter.  Getting outside is a great way to distress and take in the beautiful San Diego sunshine.

Use the trip to reconnect with old friends or make new ones! Schedule that get together with a friend you haven’t seen in years, meet new people at your work gathering, or just go mix and mingle with the friendly people of San Diego.

Maybe you only have a little bit of time but want to see as much of San Diego as possible. Book a city tour on SanDiego.org and choose from whale watching, birding or a guided Gaslamp tour. Another option is the popular GoCar tour. Drive your own mini GoCar during a guided San Diego tour through downtown, Old Town or the beaches.

Perhaps most importantly, use this time to relax. Book an appointment for a massage, take a hot yoga class or detox in a comfortable downtown San Diego hotel room.

Pacific Inn is a great option because it’s close to downtown San Diego and the MCRD, has affordable rates and you can book a room with a Whirlpool Jacuzzi tub! If you’re interested in booking one of our luxurious Jacuzzi suites for your next business trip, call a reservations specialist at 1-800-571-2933 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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