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Best Places in San Diego to Find Great Gifts

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The holidays are just around the corner and will be here before you know it. Savvy San Diego shoppers are already taking to the streets to tackle their holiday shopping lists – and that can mean long lines at popular shopping destinations. But holiday shopping doesn’t have to be tortuous. There are lots of unique, fun boutiques and niche holiday shopping destinations around the city, if you know where to look. Whether you’re staying at a hotel in downtown San Diego, or in one of the hotels by the San Diego Airport, check out some of these hidden gems – you may save time and find gifts with distinct appeal!

For Her
Tijon: This La Jolla perfumery specializes in unique, hand-blended fragrances. Pick up a pre-made bottle or buy your loved one a “fragrance creation experience” – a unique class that lets her mix her own custom perfume!

For Him
Timothy Meier Designs: Cufflinks are making a comeback and this Gaslamp Quarter boutique, situated among dozens of Gaslamp Quarter Hotels, is leading the way. Meier specializes in art-inspired pieces with clean lines and modern appeal. From Celtic knot cufflinks to chunky cut steel rings, Meier has countless designs to choose from.

For Foodies
Leaf & Kettle: Situated in Delmar Highlands, this high-end tea shop specializes in everything from artistic tea kettles to tea-infused spa items. They also have tea samplers full of spicy, refreshing, and robust brews.

For Stylistas
Noon Designs: This quirky chain of boutiques – with a storefront in Point Loma – specializes in handmade jewelry, greeting cards, home goods and body products. Snap up a pair of minimalist chic Swarovski crystal hoop earrings for next to nothing.

For Quirky Folks
Sew Loka Handmade: Sew Loka is a leading local artisan collective comprised of seamstresses and other makers. Find fluffy throw pillows made from T-shirts, handmade Mexican sugar skull purses and more. Visit their Facebook page to find pop up shop locations throughout the city.

For Kids
Hillside Artisans Children’s Boutique: This Mission Hill boutique prides itself on searching the globe for one-of-a-kind children’s items. The result is a shop brimming with handmade wooden train sets, costumes, doll houses, you name it – all at reasonable prices.

If you’re planning on spending some time in San Diego this December, bring an extra suitcase for all the awesome, unique gifts you will find while holiday shopping for your loved ones. Don’t wait too long to book your room at the Pacific Inn San Diego, centrally located near the airport, downtown, and Little Italy. To learn more about promotions and packages offered this holiday season, call 1-800-571-2933 to speak with a Reservation Manager today.

 

Top San Diego Holiday Travel Tips for Families

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From packing your kids’ luggage, arranging transportation, checking into flights and booking an affordable hotel near the San Diego Airport, we know that crossing off items on your family vacation checklist can seem daunting, especially when you’re traveling over the busy holiday season. Here are some simple suggestions on how to make your family vacation a little less stressful, from start to finish.

Tip #1: Look for Free Events

Most families understandably need to travel on a budget, and San Diego offers plenty of fun activities during the holidays that don’t cost a penny. During the first weekend of December, Balboa Park’s December Nights is a popular festival for tourists and locals alike. All the major museums are open for free and you’ll get to enjoy lots of live music, dancing, light displays and exotic foods from across the globe. Your family can also enjoy the Big Bay Balloon Parade around New Year’s Eve, which is larger than the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in terms of balloon floats.

Tip #2: Dress Appropriately

San Diego remains pretty mild during the holiday season with average November highs of just under 70 degrees and average December highs of 65. It’s preferable to bring a light jacket and long pants no matter where you are. Prepare on layering when you head out in the morning since this is also the start of the rainy season.

Tip #3: Visit Theme Parks Over the Holidays

One of the most popular destinations is Jungle Bells at the San Diego Zoo. As you stroll through the zoo, you can see lighted sculptures, enjoy a special version of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and take a ride on the Twinkle Light Trolley. SeaWorld San Diego is also going all out for the holidays, bringing in snow, sleds and Santa as the theme park transforms in “SnowWorld.”

If you’re interested in getting a discount on admission into both the zoo and SeaWorld while also saving at a nearby hotel, call the downtown San Diego Pacific Inn at (619) 232-6391 and ask about our available discounts.

San Diego’s Top Holiday Craft Fairs

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When it comes to holiday craft shows, San Diego has the best of the best. Not only will you find that perfect gift for everyone on your list, but you’ll have fun too. If you’re visiting from out of town and plan on doing a little holiday shopping, don’t forget to book your downtown San Diego hotel room and pack an extra bag in your luggage so that you’re able to easily bring your new goodies home with you!
The Local Color

The kid zone is filled with activities, and you’ll find over 20 vendors selling everything from crafts to antiques. The atmosphere is filled with the talents of DJs Ikah and Claire Love. It’s held at The Glashaus Art Studios on Barrio Logan’s Main Street, November 17th from 11 am to 3 pm, and proceeds go to the Museum School.

Annual SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off

Join the crowds on December 7, from 11AM to 5 PM at the corner of 32nd and Thorne in North Park for an entire afternoon devoted to food, craft beer, music and shopping. Attendees will be delighted by the delicious chili samples and competition, a beer and wine garden, the SoNo Kids Fun Fest, live music, and most importantly, dozens of vendors selling their unique handcrafted clothing, accessories and art.

South Park Holiday Walkabout

This festival, which takes place 4 times a year, is gearing up for their special holiday gathering on December 6, from 6 to 10 PM. During these walkabouts you’re able to experience the area’s local cafes, boutiques, bars and galleries as you stroll down 30th and Fern Streets. Those who choose to attend will have access to random drawing, prizes and discounts.

These fun, festive and family-friendly fairs shouldn’t be missed during your holiday vacation in San Diego, especially if you’re staying at a nearby San Diego hotel near Little Italy. Still looking for affordable accommodations? Check out the San Diego Pacific Inn. We’re currently offering up to 12% off on our already competitive room rates just for booking in advance. Call (619) 232-6391 today to see how much we could help you save.

 

Top Downtown San Diego Events in Nov. 2014

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San Diego November Events

San Diego is a really dynamic, exciting city to visit. Special events, with food, drink, entertainment, culture, and fun are happening every single day somewhere in the city. November is going to be full of a variety of special events that locals and visitors can partake in. Here are some of the worthwhile events according to the staff at the Downtown San Diego Pacific Inn:

Nov. 5 – Dec. 7 | Del Mar Racing: New Extended Season

Nov. 7 – 16 | San Diego Beer Week- A whole lot of beer, food, and events!

Nov. 17 – 23 | San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival- The area’s largest wine and culinary event

Nov. 19 – Dec. 23 | Dr. Seuss’ “How The Grinch Stole Christmas!”- At the Old Globe theatre

Nov. 23 | Thanksgiving Jazz Festival- World-class bands perform at the Town & Country Hotel

If you are visiting San Diego for the first time, check online for San Diego events and activities that are happening on a daily basis. You can get a really quick and comprehensive look at just about everything that’s happening all around the city in mere minutes if you do a little research this way.

If you’re staying at a top-rated budget inn such as the Pacific Inn hotel in Little Italy San Diego, front desk staff would also be more than happy to help you map out your vacation itinerary. Staying in the heart of Downtown San Diego and Little Italy offers guests a seemingly endless amount of daytime fun and nightlife options just outside of the hotel’s front doors.

For information on Pacific Inn’s availability and exclusive discounts, call (619) 232-6391.

 

How to Plan the Best Downtown San Diego Business Trip

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Downtown San Diego Travel Tips

Downtown San Diego is home to a vast array of restaurants, nightlife and business ventures. If you’re headed to San Diego for business reasons, there are some surefire ways to ensure you have a stress-free and fun trip to America’s Finest City.

Location, Location, Location!

If you are planning a business trip to downtown San Diego, then naturally you want to stay in the heart of the city. Why deal with traffic and a commute when you can simply wake up and walk to your destination? Book a room at one of the convenient hotels near the San Diego Convention Center allowing you quick access to everything in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Hotel Business Amenities

When selecting a hotel, make sure that they offer the business amenities that you need to have a successful trip. For example, the Downtown San Diego Pacific Inn offers free in-room amenities such as: wireless internet, a coffee/tea maker for those early mornings (or late nights), refrigerator and microwave, an iron and ironing board and a laptop-size safe. We also provide a complimentary breakfast every morning so that you can fuel up before a day full of meetings.

Arranging Airport Transfers

Although San Diego International Airport is just a few miles from downtown, it is best to be aware of your transport options.

TaxisUpon arriving at SAN,follow the signs to the Transportation Plazas, where a Transportation Coordinator will place you in the first available taxi.

Shuttles – A variety of private shuttle companies operate from the Transportation Plazas across from Terminals 1 and 2, as well as from the curb at the Commuter Terminal.

Public Transportation – The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System operates convenient bus service to downtown on Route 992. The service operates from 5 AM to 11:30 PM, departing every 15 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends.

Don’t let the fact that you’re coming to this great city for business stop you from having a good time! The Pacific Inn places guests in the heart of downtown San Diego Little Italy which is full of top-rated restaurants and nightlife options. In-between obligatory businesses lunches and meetings with clients, it’ll be easy for you to see some of the city’s top sights.

Call (619) 232-6391 or click here to schedule your reservation today!

 

Guide to San Diego Beer Week & Top SDBW Events

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San Diego Beer Week hotels

San Diego Beer Week is a fun annual event to celebrate local craft beer and the city’s thriving brewing culture. With San Diego, CA being touted as the Craft Beer Capital of America, there is certainly no shortage of places to grab a handcrafted cold one, especially during beer week. So don’t wait to book your Little Italy San Diego hotel near all the action and read below for more information on what to expect!

When is It?

The 2014 Beer Week takes place from November 7 to 16, with multiple events sprouting up throughout the county. Top SDBW events include:

  • 12th Annual San Diego Brewers Guild Festival on Nov 7 and 8 at the Broadway Pier
  • The Brew Your Own Beer Lunch on November 7 at Karl Strauss Downtown
  • Brews, Views and Chews on November 10 at Tom Hams Lighthouse
  • Craft Beer and Bites on November 13 at SILO in Makers Quarter
  • The Beer Garden on November 16 at the Lodge at Torrey Pines

A list of all events can be found at sdbw.org. The main events of this celebratory week include the opening and closing parties. If you’re only able to select two events to attend, the Guild Fest and the Beer Garden satisfy appetites for good beer, fresh food and a fun atmosphere every year.

Guild Fest: Guild Fest is a two day event at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego and is the official kickoff of San Diego Beer Week. Attendees can sample beer from over 50 San Diego County breweries while raising funds for the Surfrider Foundation, Fight ALD, and the San Diego Brewers Guild. A variety of tickets are available for Guild Fest, including a two day pass and a VIP ticket with unlimited beer samples, unlimited food samples, and a commemorative glass.

The Beer Garden: The Beer Garden closes San Diego Beer Week on November 16 from noon to 3 PM. This event, which takes place at the Arroyo Terrace of the Lodge at Torrey Pines, brings the city’s best breweries and local chefs together to celebrate the craft beer movement. With one admission fee, attendees will be able to enjoy unlimited tastings of delicious and unique beer and food pairings from 24 local breweries and 12 chefs.

Don’t miss out on everything that SDBW has to offer during your upcoming San Diego vacation. For an affordable and conveniently located hotel, call the downtown San Diego Pacific Inn at (619) 232-6391. Pacific Inn is located just 1 mile from the Guild Fest at Broadway Pier and we’re currently offering advanced booking discounts of up to 12% off!

 

Family Theme Park Survival Guide

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San Diego Family Theme Parks

If you are planning your San Diego family vacation and have 1 or 2 local theme parks on your itinerary, it’s important to plan ahead, especially when you have young kids in tow. Certainly you are hoping your day will be relaxing and free of stress; however, a theme park trip can quickly escalate into a whirlwind of temper tantrums, crankiness and excess spending if you’re not equipped with these essential Theme Park Survival Tips, provided by the staff at the San Diego Pacific Inn & Suites.

Top San Diego attractions such as SeaWorld, LEGOLAND California and the San Diego Zoo attract tourists in droves. That is why it’s so important to pre-plan your trip to these major parks to get the most out of what is supposed to be a fun-filled day.

Parking

The parking lots at theme parks can be some of the most sinister places on the planet. They are expensive, huge, and a terror to navigate with a mini-van full of excited children. Before you go to your theme park, research the layout of the park and know exactly which parking lot will be your best location. If possible, purchase your parking pass ahead of time.

Public Transportation

You could also consider getting a hotel near your desired attraction and using public transportation to avoid all parking lot-related obstacles. For example, if the zoo is on your vacation to-do list, you could reserve a room at one of the hotels near San Diego Zoo, such as the Pacific Inn which is located less than 4 miles away. From Pacific Inn, you can easily take the Blue line bus route #215 from the Santa Fe Depot Transit Center towards SDSU, departing at Park Blvd and Zoo Pl.

Outline Your Day

Before entering the park, ask each child what their number one activity is. Looking at a park map, plan out the best route to make sure that every family member feels like a part of the vacation planning process. This way, no one will leave the park disappointed.

Pack the Essentials

There are some things you must bring to a theme park if you want to avoid paying exorbitant park prices. These items include water, aspirin, sunscreen, sunglasses, diaper items, and snacks. Pack a backpack the day before your theme park trip and leave it next to your downtown San Diego hotel door to ensure you don’t forget it.

These simple tips should help you avoid some common theme park pitfalls during your family vacation in San Diego. The staff at Pacific Inn truly hopes you have a wonderful, fun and affordable vacation. If you’re still looking for local accommodations, don’t hesitate to contact us at (619) 232-6391 if you’re interested in seeing how much money we could help you save during your stay in San Diego.

 

Spa Week 2014 – Top 3 San Diego Spa

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Cheap massages in San Diego

Want to live like a king or queen during your San Diego vacation without the price tag that usually comes along with a lavish lifestyle? Spa Week 2014 is giving locals and travelers alike the opportunity to enjoy top-notch spa services for a fraction of the price. Spa Week is a national biannual event, taking place for the second time this year on October 20-26. Spa Week was designed to give local businesses a chance to showcase their special treatments at a discounted rate of $50. From massages and pedicures to facials and acupuncture, you’re sure to find it all during Spa Week.

If you’re staying at one of the affordable Gaslamp Quarter San Diego hotels, you’ll need to make sure that you choose a conveniently located spa that offers just the services you want in the best suited atmosphere. Here are the top locations that really stand out due to their quality services, all-star ratings and convenient location.

Artesia | 40 5th Avenue

Patrons of Artesia can choose to enjoy a classic, enzyme, or microdermabrasion facial — amongst others — or settle for deep tissue massages and hot stone therapy. And if the choice is too hard to make, just turn to the variety of spa packages and additional treatments Artesia offers: There’s bound to be some combination of luxuries you simply can’t deny.  During Spa Week, choose between a hot stone Swedish massage, facial with microdermabrasion or Guava Paraffin Pedicure for $50 each.

Nature’s Spa by Jurlique at Hotel Palomar | 1047 5th Avenue

This beautiful spa uses only natural ingredients sourced from their farm in Australia, allowing you to rest assured that you’re getting pampered with premium products. Swing by during Spa Week for a $50 Swedish aromatherapy massage, revitalizing facial with extractions or a gel manicure with a glass of champagne.

Sweet Cheeks Beauty Bar | 540 Grand Avenue

Sweet Cheeks is located in the beautiful coastal city of Carlsbad, offering a slew of discounted services for interested vacationers. This whimsical boutique style spa has everything from waxing to massages on their service menu. During Spa Week you can enjoy an affordable Custom Massage with Peppermint Foot Treatment, Custom Facial with Blueberry Detox Enzyme Peel or Brow Shaping, or an Express Facial and Honey Almond Body Polish for $50.

For a complete list of participating salons and spas, visit spaweek.com. And don’t forget to book your downtown hotel room at the Pacific Inn San Diego soon so that you can begin enjoying your cheap Southern California relaxation vacation. Give us a call at (619) 232-6391 to find out how we could help you save even more money during your vacation!

San Diego Kids Free Month: Best Picks for Downtown Travelers

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Free Family Fun in San Diego

In an effort to appeal to families with children, for the whole month of October San Diego is offering free admission for kids to more than 100 activities as long as there is a paying adult. Locals and visitors alike are able to get into some of the city’s biggest and best attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and a variety of hotspots located near family friendly hotels in Downtown San Diego.  Pacific Inn, one such hotel, has compiled a list of the top participating locations near Downtown San Diego.

Hornblower Cruises

When accompanied by an adult, children 12 and under gain free passage on any of the Hornblower San Diego Bay cruises that sail for one or two hours along the coastal waters. Guides offer narrations of the more than 50 landmarks found around the city. Vessels also travel to locations known to feature sea lions and bird species. Each ship also offers complimentary beverages and snacks.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Learning about the human body and looking at demystifying illusions are but some of the exhibits waiting for young guests at the science center. Various hands-on exhibits offer guests the chance to be an engineer while exploring a variety of sensory details. There is no doubt that the Reuben H. Fleet Center actually makes science fun.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

This museum welcomes guests to explore air and space travel through a number of exhibits that include historic planes, an ever fascinating Ripley’s Believe It or Not area, and a specially designed hanger just for kids. See equipment used by real astronauts and gaze in awe at the reproductions of actual Apollo and Gemini space modules.

Japanese Friendship Garden

Located in Balboa Park, the renowned facility welcomes families to tour the picturesque setting and learn a little more about the Japanese culture. The tranquil destination features buildings constructed using authentic Oriental architecture. The gardens boast plant life commonly found in native settings and includes a collection of unusual Bonsai trees. Other exhibits include a Koi pond that is sure to capture the interest of young visitors.

The San Diego Zoo

Also located in the beautiful Balboa Park is San Diego’s world-famous zoo. With at least one paying adult, children 11 years old and younger are granted free admission! Take advantage of this offer by booking a cheap San Diego Zoo hotel and taking your family to enjoy the animals, shows, exhibits and informational tours.

For a complete list of the Kids Free San Diego participants, visit sandiego.org/promotions/kids-free. And for a popular and affordable hotel located close to the above listed attractions, call San Diego Pacific Inn & Suites at (619) 232-6391.

 

What’s Trending in San Diego

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Trendy Lounge in San Diego

This past summer, Forbes and Sterling released a ranking of “America’s Coolest Cities”, with San Diego claiming the #6 spot. They were ranked based on such things as the city’s “foodie” culture, population growth and their art scene.

San Diego is undoubtedly a hip city, drawing in vacationers of all ages eager to check out the latest and greatest restaurants, museums, attractions and downtown San Diego hotels that make this city special. Here are some of San Diego’s current hotspots that are definitely worth adding to your vacation itinerary.

Starlite San Diego | 3175 India Street in Middletown, Mission Hills

When you walk into Starlite, you feel like you are walking onto a classy movie set or into a speakeasy with dark décor and romantic lighting. Their lounge area features an elegant bar, which is always staffed with friendly and knowledgeable bartenders. As far as food goes, they serve everything from a farm-fresh, mouth-watering brunch to late-night dinners. The Jidori Chicken with veggies and lemon cream sauce is delicious and their house specialty is a decadent pistachio-toffee ice cream sandwich.

Sidebar | 536 Market Street, Downtown Gaslamp Quarter

The glamorous art deco yet modern and sexy ambiance at this popular bar is created by mismatched furniture in worn leather, soft velvets, and silky blacks. Most unusual are the 30 deep red bird cages hanging from the ceiling, their notorious black brick walls, and artistic nude paintings. This 21+ venue is great for adults who are seeking a sexy place to mingle with local singles and young professionals. Don’t miss out on their Watermelon Cucumber Mojito, Shirley’s Dirty Orange and the Muddled Honeydew Melon Cocktail. A savory bar menu includes cheddar and smoked bacon stuffed hamburgers and a top sirloin Panini.

Art and Adult Libations

San Diego’s art scene has taken to appealing to the 21+ crowd with a multitude of museum gatherings. Whether you opt for a local art walk such as Ray at Night, which takes place every second Saturday in North Park, or you plan on heading to Culture and Cocktails at the San Diego Museum of Art on October 16, there are plenty of ways that San Diego is spicing up a typical museum outing.

If you want to be in the midst of the San Diego culture and art scene, be sure to stay at a hotel in Little Italy San Diego. The Pacific Inn is a great option due to our ideal location, affordability and available discounts. We’re within walking distance to some of the hottest new eateries, art galleries and boutiques. For more information or to reserve your stay, call (619) 232-6391 today.

 

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