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Tourist Traps in San Diego Still Worth Seeing

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The amount of amazing places to visit in the San Diego area can be overwhelming, and many of these spots are tourist traps that can poke a hole your wallet if you’re not careful. Whether you are on a budget or on the fence about checking out some of these places, the Pacific Inn Hotel & Suites has a few tips on how to enjoy some of San Diego’s best-known tourist traps.

Seaport Village

Though Seaport Village is known for high parking fees, overpriced merchants, and large crowds, it can still be worth a trip for the breathtaking scenic views of the San Diego Bay. There are also a lot of quaint shops and unique themed stores, so if this piques your interest, your best bet is to avoid visiting Seaport Village on weekends, park a little ways away (it’s a nice walk along the embarcadero), and make sure you have plenty of cash on hand.

San Diego Zoo

Located near Balboa Park, there is a full day’s worth of fun to be had at the San Diego Zoo. However, when you’re walking around for that long, you’re bound to get thirsty or hungry. It isn’t uncommon to find $10 souvenir drinks and $5 onion rings, all of which adds up quickly when you’re hydrating and feeding the entire family. Consider bringing your own snacks and drinks to save money.

Tijuana

Just across the San Diego/U.S. border in Mexico, tourists visiting San Diego often feel inclined to take a day trip to visit Tijuana and experience the culture there, but don’t realize they’ll likely spend hours sitting in traffic to cross the border back into the U.S. Should you choose to visit Tijuana, consider traveling across the border on foot and be prepared with your passport and identification when crossing back.

LEGOLAND

With tickets starting at nearly $80 for children, admission to LEGOLAND can be pricey for a full family, and that’s without spending any money on food. Though LEGOLAND does not allow outside food into the park, visitors can bring bottled water. The park also has lockers for rent and there are some grassy areas just outside the park gates where you can eat a sack lunch and save some money.

If you have yet to book a room for your stay in San Diego, give the Pacific Inn a try. We are located in the heart of downtown, which is a quick trip from the airport and close to many amazing attractions in the city. Give us a call and speak with a Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933. We hope to hear from you soon!

4 Great Activities For Animal Lovers in San Diego

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If you’re coming to San Diego and you’re interested in animals, then you’ve picked the right destination. As one of the top animal attraction locations in the U.S., San Diego has a number of cool activities and places to go to learn about and see animals. Read on for four of the Pacific Inn San Diego staff members’ favorite activities for animal lovers.

1. San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is an absolute must-see for all animal enthusiasts who visit San Diego. The world-renowned Balboa Park destination is home to more than 3,700 creatures and including more than 650 species and subspecies, like cheetahs, giant pandas, grizzly bears, gorillas, koalas, tigers, and zebras. Plus, if you want to see a bunch of adorable animals up close and personal, there is also a petting zoo is for you, with everything from bunnies and rabbits to ducks and reptiles to get to know.

2. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which was previously referred to as the San Diego Wild Animal Park, is a popular tourist draw located in San Diego’s San Pasqual Valley section. The park spans 1,800 acres and is a great spot for people who want to view diverse animals roaming around inside of spacious free-range enclosures. Some endangered animals can even be found at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, including cheetahs, tigers, ostrich, rhinoceroses, giraffes, African lions, and meerkats.

3. SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is a sprawling San Diego theme park that makes a wonderful destination for people who appreciate aquatic life. The lively park features a range of shows and exhibits that focus on animals such as killer whales, polar bears, dolphins and penguins. And, if you like amusement park rides, SeaWorld also has a number of water rides for all ages.

4. Sweetwater Farms

Animal lovers in San Diego may love Sweetwater Farms, which is located in the Bonita area of San Diego county. This farm is fun for children and adults alike, offering western and English horseback riding lessons, as well as trail rides with beautiful views. With friendly and down-to-earth employees, your whole family will love checking out the horses here.

If you’re planning a trip to San Diego and you haven’t yet booked your hotel, reach out to the Pacific Inn & Suites. Conveniently located in downtown San Diego, staying at the Pacific Inn can help ensure you can make the most of your vacation. To learn more about our comfortable and reasonably priced accommodations, reach out to a knowledgeable Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 or book your stay today!

Diminish Travel Fatigue with These 5 Tips

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Traveling is a tiring experience for most people and the fatigue that travelers experience can seep into their vacation time, making it hard to enjoy their time in a new city. Help manage the feelings of tiredness and fatigue that most travelers experience with these tips from the Pacific Hotel San Diego.

1. Be Prepared
Stress adds to travel fatigue by robbing you of quality sleep time. To alleviate the kinds of travel stressors that lead to fatigue, confirm hotel reservations, route driving directions, finish packing, and print your boarding pass ahead of time and get a full night’s sleep before your day of travel.

2. Forget Your Expectations
No matter how carefully you plan, flights can be delayed, baggage may be lost, and traffic can get backed up. Don’t let these stressors wear you out. Rather than stressing about what could go wrong, try to think about how nice it is to be away from work and home. Enjoy the fact that you are not working and appreciate your time to relax.

3. Stay Away from Caffeine and Alcohol
Drinking too many caffeinated or alcoholic beverages can aggravate travel fatigue by interrupting sleep cycles and making it difficult to get to sleep. Try to avoid drinking carbonated, caffeinated, or alcoholic beverages at least six hours prior to bedtime to help ensure you can sleep soundly.

4. Keep Normal Hours
As much as possible, try to stay on your home schedule, even if you’ve crossed into a new time zone. This is particularly important when it comes to your sleep schedule. As staying up later than you’re used to and then sleeping late can sometimes result in insomnia or poor-quality sleep, keeping to your normal hours can be the best way to stay refreshed.

5. Relax
Traveling can be exciting and winding down at the end of the day can sometimes be difficult, which can cause you to feel fatigued the next day. To help yourself relax and get to sleep, do a relaxing activity prior to turning in, like taking a bath or drinking herbal tea.

Are you traveling to San Diego for your vacation? Be sure to select a conveniently located hotel in the city. The Pacific Inn & Suites, a leading hotel in San Diego, is situated in the heart of downtown, making it an ideal spot for tourists looking to explore the beautiful Embarcadero and Gaslamp Quarter. Reach out to a friendly Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 to book a room or reserve your stay online.

Top 4 Attractions of Kensington, San Diego

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Kensington is a vibrant neighborhood, sitting between the arid hills of Mission Trails Regional Park and bustling downtown San Diego. Though the area is primarily known for its rich history and stunning architecture, Kensington also offers a variety of other attractions for visitors to explore. Read on for four Kensington hotspots, compiled by the staff members at the San Diego Pacific Inn.

1. Art Produce
An eclectic art destination on University Avenue, Art Produce offers an array of artwork aimed at promoting activism within the community. With a gallery, studio, cafe, and sustainable urban garden, this venue ensures that, whether you’re admiring the exhibits or sampling sugar snap peas under the garden’s fairy lights, you’ll have a great time.

2. Alchemy Skin Spa
For a relaxing interlude after your exploration of the gallery, visit Alchemy Skin Spa. Offering everything from massages to organic facials, the warm atmosphere at Alchemy will make you feel as though you’re relaxing in a sunny orchard. But be warned: Since Alchemy is very popular with the locals, remember to book a spot in advance!

3. Kensington Vine
If you’re interested in tasting local wines, your opportunity awaits at Kensington Vine, a local wine bar. Known for its homemade tapenade and delicious cheese platters, the Vine has happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m., boasting glasses of wine and appetizers at only five dollars apiece.

4. Kensington Circus Pub
When dinnertime rolls around, the best option in this neighborhood is Kensington Circus Pub. With the vibe of an old British pub, neither the shepherd’s pie nor the fish-and-chips will disappoint. Plus, as it offers kid-friendly service and a fantastic play area in the back, you can bring the whole family to this location. Stick around long enough and you can check out a few songs from local musicians who specialize in bluegrass and folk.

Planning a vacation to San Diego? Reach out to the Pacific Inn & Suites. Located in downtown San Diego, our recently renovated hotel offers a prime location, comfortable accommodations, and complimentary amenities, including fresh coffee and tea around-the-clock, premium cable, and plush, pillow-topped beds. Give a Reservation Manager a call at 1-800-571-2933 to find out about our availability or book your stay online. We look forward to meeting you!

Fun and Feasts in San Diego

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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!

How to Budget for Your San Diego Vacation

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While vacationing can be expensive, there are ways to make sure that you can enjoy your trip, without going into debt. If you’re heading to San Diego this summer, there are many ways to keep your expenses low. Read on for 4 tips presented by Pacific Inn San Diego for traveling in SoCal on a budget.

1. Free Museum Days
While many museums and attractions have hefty entrance fees, San Diego has a number of locations that offer free days for tourists, including the following popular destinations:

  • The Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego is free every second Sunday of the month
  • The Oceanside Museum of Art is free every Tuesday
  • The San Diego Botanic Gardens are free on the first Tuesday of the month

Additionally, some attractions, like Balboa Park, are always free and offer a number of interesting sites and activities. Checking out the websites of your top attractions and see if your visit will coincide with one of these free promotional days.

2. Hotel Promotions
If you’re planning to stay in a hotel during your San Diego trip, you may consider contacting your lodging to learn about any guest discounts or promotions. At some hotels in San Diego, like the Pacific Inn & Suites, there are Park & Fly or Park & Cruise packages, as well as AAA, Military, and AARP discounts. Reach out to your hotel before your arrival to learn about their ticket discounts for local attractions, like the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, and more.

3. Complimentary Amenities
At many hotels, parking, WiFi, and other amenities are expensive. Avoid paying fees for necessities and basic needs by picking a hotel that has these amenities included in your reservation price. Some hotels also include free items like coffee and tea in your room, as well as modern appliances like fridges and microwaves, which can help you cut costs on getting morning beverages from coffee houses each day of your vacation.

4. Discount Websites
If you know you want to do a particular excursion or visit a certain attraction on your trip to San Diego, keeping an eye on Groupon or U-T San Diego in the months before your trip can help you save a lot of money on tickets. Savings on these sites can often be over 50% off, so taking the time to watch for promotions you’re interested in can make a big difference for your budget.

When you’re vacationing on a budget, you want to find comfortable, but affordable accommodations. At the Pacific Inn & Suites in San Diego, we offer convenient and inexpensive rooms and modern complimentary amenities to ensure you’re able to enjoy the comforts of home without breaking the bank. If you’re interested in booking a room, give a Reservation Manager a call at 1-800-571-2933 and learn about our availability.

How to be Eco-Friendly While Traveling

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Travel Tips to Stay Eco-Friendly in San Diego

If you try to be eco-conscious in your day-to-day life, going on vacation can throw a wrench in your plans. However, even when you travel, there are easy ways to stay green. Read on for some eco-friendly suggestions from the staff at the Pacific Inn in San Diego.

1. Eat Local
While you may already know that eating locally grown foods is healthy, eating local foods can also save a lot of energy. During your trip to San Diego, try finding some delicious, locally sourced restaurants to try. Not only will this make for an eco-friendly meal, but you will get to enjoy local dishes made with fresh ingredients.

2. Unplug Your Home
Before you arrive in San Diego, spend a few minutes going around your home and unplugging your electronics and lamps. While it may be a trial to do this on a daily basis, if you will be away from home for a few days, freeing up some of your outlets can save electricity. Even when turned to off, electronics and appliances still use energy when they are plugged in.

3. Keep Your Thermostat Low
In your hotel room, you can conserve energy by keeping your thermostat on a neutral setting when you’re not in the room. Closing the drapes can also help prevent your room from getting too hot while you’re out exploring the city. Likewise, if your room is cold, instead of leaving the heat on, bundle up with a couple blankets.

4. Share Maps
Many tourist attractions hand out pamphlets of papers, ads, and maps to visitors, which can add up over your vacation. Avoid wasting paper by making it clear that your group would only like one map. This way, you can keep the copy you have as a souvenir, and save a significant amount of paper from the trash.

5. Choose Your Hotel’s Location
The best way to have an eco-friendly trip is to do a bit of extra planning before your arrival. One way to be green and to remove some travel stress when you’re on vacation is to pick a hotel that is close to public transportation. If you’re staying close to bus stops or trolley stations, you can avoid renting a car and dealing with parking. This way, you can be eco-friendly and avoid the stress of driving in an unfamiliar city.

Though trying to be eco-friendly while traveling can be a challenge, at the Pacific Inn & Suites, our central location can help. Our downtown San Diego hotel is conveniently located only a minute’s walk from a trolley station, which makes getting around the city in an eco-friendly way fast and easy. Call a Reservation Manager today at 1-800-571-2933 to find out about our availability and learn more about our central location, just minutes away from major San Diego attractions. Book your reservation today!

How to Plan a Successful Family Vacation

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Family Friendly San Diego

While there are a lot of things to coordinate when planning a family trip to San Diego, there are several ways that you can ensure your trip’s success. Check out these four tips by the San Diego Pacific Inn for making your next family vacation a happy one.

1. Cushion Your Budget
One of the most crucial elements to planning a great family vacation is to stay within your budget. Since there can be a number of unplanned expenses on your trip, be sure to leave some breathing room in your budget when you’re booking the essentials. This way, if you do have money left over towards the end of your trip, you may get to splurge for a fancy dinner, or, if an emergency arises, you have the financial flexibility to take care of it.

2. Check for Deals
Along with planning some wiggle room in your budget, you may want to look for deals on discount sites before coming. Groupon has deals for small groups, so you may be able to get a deal on tickets for the whole family to attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, or even Disneyland. Some companies offer special rates for groups of 5 or more people, so if you have a big family, don’t be afraid to ask for discounts before you purchase your tickets.

3. Invite a Friend
Traveling can be more fun for you and your children if they have a friend or sibling to share it with. If you will be traveling with just one child, consider having your child invite one of his or her friends along on the trip. While you will need to foot the bill for an extra person, having a friend along means that your child will be kept occupied, which means you can have some time to relax.

4. Get a Consensus
Another important step for making your trip successful is to make sure that everyone’s interests are given equal attention. Before the trip, make a list of all of the destinations in the city that are interesting to your family. Then, let everyone vote for their top 2 choices. Make sure to visit everyone’s top destination choice, and then try to squeeze in each person’s secondary choices if time allows. This way no one will feel left out, and everyone will get to do at least one thing that they’re interested in.

Planning family vacations is a challenge for most families, but picking a hotel that will work for your family doesn’t have to be. Reserve a room at the Pacific Inn San Diego and rest assured that your stay will be a comfortable and affordable one. Call a Reservation Manager today to learn more about our complimentary amenities and to find out about our availability. We look forward to welcoming you!

 

6 of San Diego’s Hidden Gems

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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!

 

Make the Most of Your Business Trip

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Business Travelers in San Diego

San Diego is a major destination for business professionals and for hosting conventions. Unfortunately, business travel often sounds more glamorous than it really is. It can be challenging to find time to see the sights and relax when you’re busy attending meetings or conferences. The following tips will help you make the most of your trip and enjoy some personal time away from work.

Plan Ahead
No matter how busy you expect to be during the trip, spend some time researching things to do in the city before you go. You can also email friends and colleagues who have been to San Diego for recommendations. Prepare a list of the restaurants, destinations, and events you hope to see while you’re in town so you have suggestions at hand if you can find time to get away.

Meet Clients at an Exhibition or Restaurant
If there’s something you want to see in town, plan to meet clients or colleagues there instead of in your hotel’s lobby. Meeting at the restaurant or museum maximizes your time and gives you an excuse to visit a location you otherwise would not have had time to see.

Add Extra Time
If possible, add an extra day or two to your trip to get in a bit of sightseeing. Arriving even a day early for a business trip gives you time to get settled in your hotel in downtown San Diego and explore.

Use Travel Time
A great deal of business travel involves merely waiting to get to a destination. Use your wait time on the plane or in the taxi to get through your work to-do list so you have more time to explore the city.

Get in a Workout
If your days are packed with meetings, nothing melts away the stress of work and travel better than getting in some exercise. When you have little downtime, take advantage of the beautiful San Diego weather to go for a walk or run before work and see the city up close.

Try New Foods
Instead of eating the lunch your company provides, suggest that your coworkers explore local restaurants near your hotel or business destination. Use Yelp and other review apps to find out where the locals like to eat. Work up the bravery to try some local cuisine, even if it’s out of your comfort zone. Nopales (cactus) tacos are a favorite at many San Diego Mexican restaurants.

Coming to San Diego for a work trip? Book a room at one of the top hotels in downtown. The conveniently located Pacific Inn is close to the San Diego International Airport, as well as local attractions, like the Gaslamp Quarter and the famous San Diego Zoo. Reach out to one of our Reservation Managers at 1-800-571-2933 for available dates, or reserve your room today!

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