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Off the Beaten Path in San Diego

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New Attractions for Tourists

San Diego is famous for its beautiful weather, tourist attractions and premier dining. Almost every guide book will recommend a trip to the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and La Jolla Cove. And after, if budget permits, will encourage you to stop at Donovan’s Steak and Chop, Blue Point Coastal, Oceanaire or Fleming’s for a first class meal and an unparalleled dining experience.

However, what if you’re looking for something off the beaten path? That’s where we come in. The Pacific Inn offers a list of our favorite “hidden gems” of San Diego. Whether it’s your first, second or tenth time visiting San Diego, check out these “not-as-popular” but just as exceptional, attractions, activities and restaurants:

  • Mount Soledad – Mount Soledad is the perfect landmark for the outdoorsy vacationer. Climb to the peak of Mount Soledad and take in some of the most breathtaking views of San Diego’s coastal shoreline. On clear days, visitors can enjoy the 360 degree view which includes the entire city of La Jolla, all the way to the edge of Mexico. Additionally, at the top of the hill sits a cross, acting as a memorial and tribute for our nation’s fallen soldiers.
  • Whaley House – If you love paranormal activity, the Whaley House in Old Town San Diego is a must stop for visitors. While the area attracts tourists for its Mexican and Latin inspired cuisine, visitors should consider touring the Whaley House premises. Ranked in the number one position on the “America’s Most Haunted” show on the Travel Channel, you’ll have to see for yourself if the historic 1800’s home is truly haunted.
  • 30th Street in North Park – Are you a foodie or mixologist? Maybe you’re both! Either way, anyone with a serious passion for gourmet food and drinks will fall in love with the colorful neighborhood of North Park. The neighborhood’s main drag, 30th Street, is overflowing with bars, breweries and gourmet eateries, all with a whole lot of flair. For those staying in a more popular area such as downtown San Diego, worry not, as a simple hop on the SDMTS or a short taxi ride can get you to and from North Park in no time.
  • 3rd Corner in Ocean Beach – This premier wine bar and bistro is tucked away amongst Ocean Beach’s dive bars and coastal retail shops. Once a small wine shop, the eatery began serving small plates and soon an expansion became necessary to accommodate its growing popularity. The true California Bistro menu can be paired with more than 800 and champagnes from around the world, guests enjoy fantastic food for great prices. Love brunch? Stop by on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 3pm and enjoy Bottomless Mimosa Brunch which includes a decadent entrée, all for less than $20 per person.

Need a place to stay during your trip? Reserve a room at the cheap Pacific Inn in downtown San Diego. Although our convenient downtown location isn’t necessarily off the beaten path, you can travel to any desired sites and attractions with ease. Plus, our affordable accommodations ensure you’ll have plenty of cash left to spend on dining and entertainment. For more information about our hotel deals, rates and availability, contact a Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933.

Guide to San Diego Beer Week

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Guide to San Diego's 5th Beer on the Pier Event

San Diego Beer Week officially kicks off with the Brewer’s Guild Festival this Friday and Saturday. Appropriately named “Beer on the Pier,” the brew tasting event will take place on the Broadway Pier in Downtown San Diego.

This event is a short 12 minute walk from some of the top Downtown San Diego hotels, like the Pacific Inn, which is perfect for those who plan on using all of their 15-20 beer taster tickets. Friday’s $75 VIP Brewery Takeover tickets include unlimited beer and food tasting and an opportunity to get to know local brewing experts. A combo ticket, good for Friday and Saturday, is on sale for $100, or you could opt for general admission which is $40 for 15 samples. For an extra hour of tasting and 5 more beer ticket, purchase the premiere pass for $55.

You can purchase tickets online at www.brownpaperbag.com or get your general admission tickets at the door. If you feel like going to soak up the experience without soaking up the suds, designated driver tickets are $50 for Friday and $25 for Saturday’s event.

This downtown festival, which is less than two miles from San Diego’s Horton Plaza, is bringing in live music to entertain beer aficionados as well as food trucks to satiate those alcohol-induced munchies. Another bonus is that all beer drinkers receive a free commemorative glass, in which you’ll have the opportunity to sample everything from the hoppiest of IPAs to smooth and rich porters from some of the best local breweries.

The Brewer’s Guild Festival is just the start of a 10 day long series of beer events designed to celebrate San Diego’s growing microbrewery industry. There will be exciting tasting events and parties throughout the county, all of which you can find on the SDBW website.

Those staying near Balboa Park and the Gaslamp in downtown San Diego can also check out some nearby SDBW participants including Hamilton’s, Monkey Paw, Carnitas Snack Shack, and Ritual Kitchen. One thing’s for certain, residents and visitors will definitely have plenty of options when it comes to an ice cold brew!

Car Sharing Services Gain Popularity in San Diego

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Ride sharing is a great option for San Diego visitors.

If you are visiting San Diego, you’re probably faced with the age old question of should you rent a car? For most visitors, it comes down to price and convenience. Your vacation budget and how much you’re willing to spend, as well as what area of San Diego you are staying in are going to be key factors in helping make a decision.

For instance, if you have a larger vacation budget, you may opt to stay in a central area such as downtown San Diego, not far from the SAN Airport. Then, you can walk or cab to a variety of activities, allowing you to skip the rental car. On the other hand, if you have a more limited budget, staying further from the city center may allow you to save on your accommodations and reserving a rental car will allow you travel on your own schedule. What if we told you there was a new way of travel that gave you the best of both worlds?

Ride sharing, also known as car-sharing services are taking San Diego and other major cities such a San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta and New York by storm. Ride sharing makes transportation accessible to individuals with a simple smartphone app. All you have to do is request a ride and a driver will arrive at your destination within minutes to take you to your desired destination. While it sounds like a cab, the drivers are people just like you, and their fares are significantly less.

In San Diego in particular, you can expect a ride to be almost a third less of what it would cost from a typical cab. A few well known services in San Diego are Uber and Lyft. Both provide transportation throughout the San Diego County. This type of transportation was introduced to provide car-reliant metro areas with large college populations (where transportation might not be preferred), a more efficient travel solution. However, in addition to being great for locals, it’s also a great option for visitors.

Visitors who are interested in staying downtown can opt for more affordable hotels outside of the Gaslamp Quarter and do not have to worry about the expensive daily rate for renting a car as a car-sharing service can get you from the airport to your downtown hotel or the San Diego Convention Center for about $9 including tip! And if you’re going a few blocks, you can expect fares to be less than $5. Everything is cashless making the transaction even more convenient.

So the next time you’re in a new city, check to see what ride sharing services are available and if you’re visiting San Diego, think about skipping the rental car!

6 Reasons to Visit San Diego in the Fall

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San Diego is known for its sunshine, beautiful beaches and laid back surf culture. However, that doesn’t mean that summer is the only great time to visit America’s Finest City. If you’re planning an end of the year trip, you really should consider San Diego as a destination. Need some convincing? Here are the top 7 reasons to visit San Diego in the fall.

  1. Weather. Although we can’t promise clear blue skies, San Diego generally doesn’t get too much rain. You’ll likely still be able to do a variety of activities during your trip and the chances that you’ll be hindered by storm weather make taking a gamble worth it. Plus, unless your other options for a fall vacation include a few tropical destinations, finding great weather is a problem you’ll run into in most places.
  2. Price. San Diego during the fall is the perfect for budget vacationers because it is considered “off-peak” season. Prices for downtown hotels and rental cars will likely be offered at a cheaper price in order to entice visitors to stay. You can stay at a clean, centrally located hotel, for prices around $75 a night. Who can beat a deal like that?
  3. Attractions. Many of the San Diego attractions in San Diego are just as beautiful during the fall as they are in the summer. Plus, with places like the San Diego Zoo, it’s often better to come during the cooler months as this is when the animals will be the most active. In addition to the zoo, other attractions vacationers can still visit during the fall include SeaWorld, Balboa Park, Little Italy and Old Town.
  4. Events. With a variety of holidays scattered throughout the fall and early winter, a visit to San Diego allows visitors to enjoy a variety of highly anticipated events that only come around once a year. A few of our favorite annual November and December events include San Diego Beer Week, the Old Globe Theatre’s production of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, San Diego Thanksgiving Dixieland Jazz Festival, Holiday of Lights in Del Mar and Balboa Park’s  December Nights.
  5. Restaurants. The restaurants in San Diego highlight cuisines from around the world at price points comfortable for all visitors. Many restaurants and eateries also change their menus seasonally, using only the freshest produce. Enjoy some of the area’s top fall produce, seafood and more.
  6. Crowds. No matter where you go in San Diego during the fall, there is likely going to be less people. So whether you’re heading to a theme park or checking out some of area’s local attractions, there won’t be as many people checking them out with you. You’ll get to take advantage of the same great events without having to worry about waiting in long lines.

What more reason could you need to visit San Diego this fall? Visit www.pacificinnsd.com to check out our current hotel deals or call 1-800-571-2933 to speak to a Reservation Manager and start planning your autumn vacation!

From Out of State and Don’t Know where to Stay in San Diego?

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San Diego travel tips for out of state visitors

San Diego attracts thousands of travelers and vacationers from around the nation each year. However, if you’re not from the Golden State, you may have not have a single idea of where you want to stay. Plus, depending where you’re from, the high costs of accommodations and attractions in California might surprise you! So here are a few suggestions for where to stay based on the most popular reasons for visiting San Diego, as well as some insider tips on how to save on hotel rates.

Adventurous vacationer.
If you’re coming to San Diego for a vacation, you’ll likely get the most out of staying in or near the downtown district of San Diego. In addition to the endless nightlife of the famous Gaslamp Quarter, there are a variety of attractions to enjoy including the USS Midway, San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park and for sports fanatics, Petco Park. You’ll be within a few blocks of all the 24/7 action with options including restaurants, bars and entertainment.

  • Insider savings tips: If you’re trying to save money, reserving a room near Petco Park in neighboring areas like Little Italy will ensure additional savings, while still providing the same great accommodations. Plus, you’ll only be a mile or two from the Gaslamp, an easy cab or bus ride away.

Beach bum.
If you love the beach, San Diego’s more than 70 miles of pristine coastline creates the ideal place for you to vacation. Choose from great beaches including Coronado, La Jolla, Mission, Pacific and Ocean beaches. Coronado and La Jolla are upscale beach communities, whereas Mission, Pacific and Ocean beaches are more laid back and are great for students and families. Almost all of the beaches have renting companies along the shore as well, so if you want to try your hand at surfing, snorkeling, kayaking or whale watching, you’ll have plenty of options.

  • Insider savings tips: Staying on the beach will be the most expensive option, typically starting at $150 a night and depending on the area and your dates of travel, can be as expensive as $350. If you’re looking for affordable accommodations near San Diego beaches, staying in central San Diego near Hotel Circle or downtown gives you easy access to the beaches, all about 10 minutes away by car.

Family fun.
There are so many wonderful family attractions, museums and theme parks in San Diego including the Zoo, SeaWorld, the Children’s Museum, the Wild Animal Park and Legoland. Talk with your kids about the attractions they’ll want to see most so you can make sure to make the most out of your visit. Those flying into the San Diego Airport will be able to access all of these attractions either by rental car, taxi or private transportation.

  • Insider savings tips: Do your research before you decide where to go! If you’re on a tight budget, certain parks are more expensive than others and some attractions like the San Diego Zoo include free parking while others do not. If you choose to stay at a San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld preferred hotel like the Pacific Inn, be sure to ask about discounted admission tickets.

Curious student.
San Diego is home to three major universities so you have plenty of options if you’re scouting campuses for the upcoming school year. San Diego State is located the furthest from the airport, more inland toward Mission Valley. University of California San Diego is located in La Jolla and University of San Diego sits perched atop a hill in the neighborhood of Morena. All can be explored in a day or two (depending on your pace) and each offers their own campus tour designed specifically for prospective students.

  • Insider savings tips: If you have a flexible schedule, travel during the week as the costs of hotel rooms will be lower than on the weekend. Additionally, because students apply for university in San Diego’s non-peak season, try to plan your trip around this time to take advantage of the lowest hotel rates.

Ready to start planning your San Diego vacation? Click here or contact the Pacific Inn & Suites directly at 1-800-571-2933 to learn about current hotel specials and upcoming rates and availability. We offer a variety of hotel deals throughout the year to make sure our guests are able to use their savings for the countless attractions and events that take place in our beautiful city. Make the most of your vacation with the Pacific Inn and take advantage of our complimentary amenities including parking, wireless internet, daily breakfast and more!

Best Haunted Houses Based on Fear Factor

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If you’re deciding where you should go for your fall travel destination this month, consider San Diego! San Diego has Halloween fun for all ages, including over five haunted houses throughout the county. Pacific Inn has narrowed down the list of our favorites and we’re telling you where they are, what ages should go, and what to expect.

San Diego Halloween for Kids (Scare level: Low)

If you have little kids that scare very easy then Halloween Family Day at Balboa Park might be more up your alley. The scariest thing you’re going to witness here on October 29 is the doggie costume contest. Museums will be opening their doors for free (for children 12 and under), crafts will be made and costumes will be worn.

Halloween Fun for the Easily Frightened (Scare level: Medium)

The Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds offers something for everyone.So what can you expect at this haunted wonderland? A haunted hayride, the super spooky House of Horror, a Zombie Paintball Safari, and The Chamber maze (complete with a dead-bolted exit). As a token of appreciation for all the San Diego military men and women, Scream Zone has discounted tickets available at all of our local bases. Click here for additional information about military accommodations and discounts.

Haunted Houses for Adults Only (Scare level: High)

If you’re interested in going to downtown San Diego’s Haunted Hotel orThe Haunted Trails in Balboa Park we recommend leaving the kiddos at home. The terrifying actors that fill up the dark corners on these tours aren’t messing around; they think chainsaws and scary clowns are child’s play. The Haunted Hotel now features a “Walking Dead” dungeon that will have the hair on the back of your neck standing up, and The Haunted Trails takes you on a twisted one-mile stroll through the dark park which will surely get your heart pumping.

Other Options for Halloween Haunts

If you are thinking you want a thrill that’s a little more authentic, then stay near the historical Old Town San Diego where the Whaley House is waiting to give you chills. This is the city’s famous real haunted house and the house staff is throwing in extra Halloween surprises for tour guests during the month of October.

Need a place to stay that isn’t haunted? If you’re planning your trip to San Diego be sure to check out the Pacific Inn Hotel, where we guaranteeall of our guestrooms areghost free. Call 1-800-571-2933 to ask about our discounts and to make a reservation.

Natural Food Grocer Opens in Horton Plaza Mall

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Residents of downtown San Diego are elated as the first natural foods grocery store opened October 16th in the Horton Plaza Mall. Located on the second floor near anchor store Nordstrom, Jimbo’s Naturally hopes to provide downtown residents and visitors with a one-of-a-kind grocery store experience. Not only does the natural foods grocer offer fresh, organic products from deli and bakery treats to health and beauty aids, Jimbo’s was constructed under the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

The 28,000 square foot store will employ approximately 100 people and has a “cartveyor” system which will help shoppers travel from level 2 of the mall to level 4, where Jimbo’s has reserved parking spaces. So if you’re staying near Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego, we definitely recommend going to check out Jimbo’s. How many people can say they visited a green grocery store in the middle of a shopping mall?

The eco-friendly trend is spreading like wildfire throughout San Diego. The San Diego International Airport is undergoing a billion dollar project to enhance user experience as well as sustainability, and the San Diego Convention Center has recently approved plans to expand, also in line with strict environmental standards.

Want to go green while you’re vacationing in San Diego? There are plenty of environmentally friendly things to do near the San Diego Harbor during your visit such as bike ride or you can go for a hike through Torrey Pines State Park. Looking for something to eat? Dine at the farm to table Prepkitchen restaurant in Little Italy.

If you are looking for affordable accommodations in downtown San Diego, click here for more information about a preferred discount hotel or contact a Reservation Manager directly at 1-800-571-2933 to hear about current seasonal deals!

Top 5 Romantic Date Spots in San Diego

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Great date night destinations in San Diego

Just picture it: dim lighting, a sexy ambiance, soft glowing candles, and the sweet sound of music flowing in the background. If you’re looking for a new romantic spot to take your honey, or the best place to impress a first date, then read this list of the top 5 places to spend a romantic evening in San Diego.

  1. Balboa Park. It doesn’t get much more romantic than this. Balboa Park is full of beautiful flowers, lush landscaping, and prime picnic spots. Not to mention there are plenty of hidden grottos and gardens where you can sneak a kiss. If you want to keep the night going, the Pacific Inn hotel in San Diego near Balboa Park offers a luxurious in-room Jacuzzi suite.
  2. Seaport Village. This quaint little seaside shopping and dining town is a great place to go if you’re staying in one of the affordable San Diego hotels near Seaport Village. Couples can stroll along the bay hand-in-hand or grab a bite to eat at the San Diego Pier Café, which sits right above the water.
  3. George’s at the Cove. If you want a place where you simply can’t go wrong, this is it. George’s is famed for its magnificent ocean view on the outdoor terrace, where you’re almost always guaranteed a spectacular sunset. Its prime location in downtown La Jolla also makes this a great area for exploring bars and dessert spots after dinner.

If you want to have a romantic weekend, instead of just one night, consider booking an affordable romantic getaway at the Pacific Inn hotel in downtown San Diego. Call 1-800-571-2933 to book a room or to ask about the discounts we offer!

A Taste of Italian Culture

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Activities in San Diego Little Italy

San Diego’s Little Italy Festa is back again! This Sunday, October 13, the neighborhood of Little Italy will be celebrating all things Italian from 10am to 6pm. The festival in the streets is free and is expected to attract more than 100,000 people! Will you be in attendance?

If you’re fortunate enough to be vacationing near San Diego’s Little Italy, you must check out this annual event. One of the largest events hosted by the Little Italy Association, residents and visitors are provided with the opportunity to experience a piece of Italy here in sunny San Diego. From cannolis to cooking demonstrations, there will be a range of activities for the entire family to enjoy.

A few highly anticipated exhibits of the Festa include the Italian Motor Sport Show which will showcase some of top Italian automobiles. Car enthusiasts will love the collection of Lamborghinis, Panteras, Alfa Romeos and more. Of course, there is also the Italian chalk (gesso Italiano) contest, the star of the festival where teams will create unbelievable sidewalk masterpieces along Date Street. Other great events include a pizza-tossing contest, a mobile craft truck, a boccie ball tournament and a beer and wine garden.

If possible, the Festa recommends taking public transportation into Little Italy as parking in the small community can be difficult to find on a regular day! If you are visiting and in Mission Valley, Santee or Lemon Grove, the trolley has multiple stations in the area that will conveniently bring you to Little Italy. Those staying in downtown with accommodations near the San Diego Convention Center can take the green trolley line from the convention center station for 3 stops, exiting at the County Center/Little Italy stop.

Still need a place to stay near Little Italy in San Diego? Contact the Pacific Inn & Suites. We are located just a few blocks from where the Festa will be held and offer discounted rates year round. To see how much you can save when staying with us, contact a Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933.

Taste of Coronado in San Diego

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What’s better than sampling one restaurant in Coronado? Trying bites and beverages from over 20! The 4th Annual Taste of Coronado will take place in San Diego on October 16 from 5pm to 9 pm. Tickets are only $35 in advance and $40 the day of and include food and alcohol tastings from restaurants and bistros up and down Orange Avenue, located just 10 minutes from San Diego Gaslamp Quarter hotels.

Tickets can be purchased online or at one of two locations on Coronado Ave: Glorietta Bay Inn and BE Polished. If you decide to purchase your ticket online, on the day of the event you will need to bring your e-ticket to one of their exchange stations on Orange Ave so that you can receive your tasting card.

You get limited tastings with your card so how do you choose which places to stop at? The cheap downtown San Diego hotel, Pacific Inn, has put together a list of our favorite Coronado companies that are participating this year:

  • The bay front seafood restaurant Peohe’s is a no brainer. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for tastings of their melt-in-your-mouth fresh fish dishes, like crab stuffed tilapia and lobster bisque.
  • A locals favorite is Il Fornaio, which means “the baker” when translated from Italian. This authentic Italian restaurant and bakery is always producing house-made pastas, pizzas and “gelati e sorbetti.”
  • Nicky Rottens will surely mix up your pallet with their gourmet sports bar menu items, like garlic tater tots and “Rotten burgers.” If they offer a taste of their sweet potato fries with a maple syrup glaze, don’t pass it up!
  • When you’re ready for a drink just stroll by Wine a Bit for a taster of local San Diego wine and beer. If coffee is more your style, then check out Clayton’s Coffee Shop for a hot cup o’ Joe.

Whether you live in San Diego or are looking for some vacation fun close to hotels around the San Diego Airport, The Taste of Coronado promises to be a delicious and memorable experience. To book a hotel room close to Orange Avenue, call Pacific Inn at 1-800-571-2933 and ask a reservations specialist about our advance booking discounts!

Advance Booking

14 Days - 12% Off

7 Days - 10% Off

3 Days - 8% Off

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Zoo & Seaworld Discount

15% OFF

With any purchase of
Zoo or Seaworld tickets

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Weekday Discount

10% OFF

Stay any day
Sunday - Thursday

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Other Discounts

10% OFF

AAA, Military, AARP
Other Package

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