When to Visit San Diego
Since San Diego boasts sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s and 70s all year round, there's no bad time to visit the city. You'll find the warmest weather and the driest skies from July through September, and you might want to pack a light jacket if you visit during the winter months.
When it comes to the perfect balance between weather and crowds, September and October are often the best months to plan a visit. The weather tends to be warm, while crowds are usually small. March and April are also great times to visit, as the weather is just starting to warm up, but crowds are still light. Summer is typically a great time for families to visit, but keep in mind that hotel prices tend to be higher from June through August.
Time your visit right, and you can attend any number of events in this festival-packed city. February brings Condor Con, a long-running fantasy and science fiction convention, while the colorful and vibrant San Diego Carnival happens right before Mardi Gras. The San Diego International Beer Festival welcomes brew lovers from around the world each June, while the Festival of Sail delights sea-loving visitors each Labor Day. In November, don't miss the decadent San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, and mark your calendar for the stunning San Diego Bay Parade of Lights in December.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in San Diego, CA:
San Diego, CA: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below are 3 charts illustrating avg. nightly cost trends by star rating class in San Diego, CA. Browse these illustrations to evaluate the most cost effective months to book a room in San Diego for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotels in San Diego
4 Star Average Prices: $197.24
With its upscale neighborhoods and high-end attractions, San Diego has no shortage of luxury hotels. Take your pick, from centrally located hotels with gorgeous bay views to resort hotels on the outskirts of the city.
The US Grant, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego
With well-appointed rooms, an on-site spa, and a convenient location, the five-star US Grant, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego has it all. Enjoy a great night's sleep under Egyptian cotton sheets and down comforters, pamper yourself with the hotel's designer toiletries, and indulge in a massage at the spa. When you're ready to explore San Diego, you'll find Balboa Park, the San Diego Opera, and other top attractions at your fingertips.
The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
For a luxurious hotel with a location that can't be beat, choose The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter. Located in the heart of this fun neighborhood, the hotel is within easy walking distance of attractions like Copley Symphony Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Seaport Village. Sleep soundly on the Westin's legendary pillow top beds, indulge in a night of room service, and relax in the in-room spa tub. Work up a sweat in the fitness center, take a dip in the outdoor pool, or book a body treatment at the on-site spa.
The Lodge at Torrey Pines
If golf is the name of your game, look no further than The Lodge at Torrey Pines. Located on the edge of La Jolla, this luxury hotel boasts one of the most stunning golf courses in the area. Relax in the hotel's plush beds or on your room's private balcony, and dine at one of the two on-site restaurants. Plan a day at Torrey Pines Golf Course, treat yourself to a massage, and toast to a great trip at the poolside bar.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar
At the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, you'll get the best of both worlds, as the hotel offers quick access to both golf courses and beaches. Stay in one of the comfortable rooms equipped with a minibar and espresso maker, and pamper yourself with a facial or massage at the on-site spa. Book a tee time at the hotel's golf course, swim in one of the four outdoor pools, or hop on the shuttle for a trip to the beach.
Cheap Hotels in San Diego
3 Star Average Prices: $146.04
San Diego welcomes visitors with a wide range of budgets, and the city has plenty of cheap hotels to choose from.
Days Inn Mission Valley - Qualcomm - SDSU
Situated near Qualcomm Stadium and San Diego State University, Days Inn Mission Valley - Qualcomm - SDSU features a convenient location at a low price. One of the cheapest hotels in San Diego, the Days Inn offers spacious rooms, a business center, and free self-parking. Breakfast is complimentary each morning, making this one of the best values in the city.
Howard Johnson Inn - San Diego
Located just a mile from San Diego State University, the Howard Johnson Inn - San Diego offers basic rooms at affordable rates. Rooms include comfortable beds for a great night's sleep, 39-inch LED TVs for you to catch up on the news, and microwaves and refrigerators that make breakfast a breeze. The hotel also features complimentary Wi-Fi so you can plan last-minute trip details and a seasonal outdoor pool open during the summer months.
Rodeway Inn National City San Diego South
One of the most affordable options in San Diego, Rodeway Inn National City San Diego South is located just a mile from Southcrest and National City. Rooms feature refrigerators and microwaves to make snacking easy, along with complimentary Wi-Fi to keep you connected. When you're ready to explore the neighborhood, you'll find plenty of great bars and restaurants just a short walk away.
Good Nite Inn Chula Vista
Located just a half mile from the scenic Chula Vista Nature Center, Good Nite Inn Chula Vista has clean rooms at great prices. Rooms include either two queen beds or one king bed, and most offer great views of the surrounding area. Take a dip in the outdoor pool, or head straight for the beach, just minutes away. Just two blocks from the hotel, the convenient trolley takes you straight to the center of Chula Vista.
2 Star Average Prices: $117.72
Which San Diego hotels have real discounts?
San Diego hotels offer numerous discounts, including AAA rates, military rates, senior rates, and group rates. Discounts for AAA members are relatively common, and hotels like The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter and the Days Inn Mission Valley - Qualcomm - SDSU offer a 5 to 10 percent discount on basic rooms with two double beds or one king bed. Hotels like the Howard Johnson Inn - San Diego and the Rodeway Inn National City San Diego South offer military rates for fully equipped rooms. At The US Grant, A Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego and most other San Diego area hotels, group rates tend to be lowest in December.
Best Value Hotels in San Diego
When you're looking for the perfect balance between price and accommodations, you'll find several great options in San Diego. You'll get the best value from the following hotels.
Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Airport/Liberty Station
When you're looking for a great value near the San Diego International Airport, the Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Airport/Liberty Station is the place to be. All rooms are suites and feature a separate sleeping area along with a kitchenette, refrigerator, and stove. Breakfast and evening receptions are complimentary.
Hyatt Regency La Jolla
For the best value on the beach, you can't beat the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. Rooms are clean and modern, and the hotel complex also features an outdoor pool, outdoor tennis courts, and a fitness center. Shopping and the beach are both just steps away.
Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Downtown
Situated in the heart of San Diego, the Four Points by Sheraton San Diego Downtown is just minutes from Little Italy, the San Diego Opera, and the Gaslamp Quarter. With spacious rooms, free Wi-Fi, a complimentary airport shuttle, and a convenient location, this hotel offers unbeatable value.
Holiday Inn San Diego-Bayside
Located near Harbor Island and Shelter Island and just two miles from San Diego International Airport, the Holiday Inn San Diego-Bayside offers good value. Rooms feature comfortable beds, spa tubs, and refrigerators. The hotel offers a complimentary airport shuttle to make your trip to and from the city a breeze.
Plan Your San Diego Stay Around These Attractions
Whether you visit San Diego for a conference, wedding, or bachelorette party, be sure to make time for some of the city's top attractions. Start your sightseeing at family-friendly Balboa Park in central San Diego, where you'll find ample green space, the San Diego Zoo, the Old Globe Theater, the Spanish Village Art Center, and much more. Next, stroll through the 16-block Gaslamp Quarter, which is packed with vintage buildings filled with shops, restaurants, and nightlife. Pick up the Old Town Trolley Tour here to get a better look at the city.
When you're ready to hit the beach, stop by Coronado Beach, a popular spot with space for surfing, boogie boarding, swimming, and sunbathing. In northwest San Diego, don't miss Mission Beach, a fun stretch of white sand with plenty of boardwalk attractions to boot. For one of the city's most secluded beaches, pack your hiking boots and swimsuit and head to Torrey Pines State Reserve, a top pick for easy trail hiking and swimming on Black's Beach.
A visit to San Diego Recapped
Serve up some cocktails and luxuriate with views of the Pacific Ocean right before your eyes as your toes sink into the white sand. This is how an idyllic San Diego vacation pans out for the traveler looking for an ideal California getaway. San Diego's attractions encompass a wide gamut of playgrounds and leisure palaces fit for all ages. The world-famous zoo and SeaWorld enable animal lovers to get up close and personal with assorted creatures. For a look at California during its fresh days as a Spanish mission site, visit the Mission San Diego del Alcala. Established in 1769, it was California's first ever Christian church. As night falls in San Diego, go for drinks at the bars of historic Gaslamp Quarter, downtown's main attraction. The checkered past of the famous neighborhood included its own share of stories of debauchery but since its big revamp in the 1970s, the Gaslamp Quarter has become San Diego's main nightlife scene thick with clubs and restaurants.
'Thank God I arrived the day before yesterday, the first of the month, at this port of San Diego, truly a fine one, and not without reason called famous.'
Junipero Serrra, one among the most famous European missionaries who helped find, found and settle California and Mexico, expressed his feelings upon arriving for the very first time in San Diego.
For good or better, San Diego likes to call itself the finest city America. Well, this may be a claim that is often contested with vigor and passion by residents of other cities, especially the ones on the East Coast of America, it must be conceded that San Diego will definitely feature in every compilation list of best American cities to live in, in terms of infrastructure, culture, standard of living, weather and development.
The one and only factor that could go against this city of immaculate neatness is the ever rising cost of living. In spite of that, tourists who are planning on visiting San Diego, either in isolation or as a part of a bigger trip of the West Coast can take great heart from the fact that accommodation in San Diego need not be overly costly, if you know how to cut it down in places.
This article should give a broad insight into the San Diego hotels scene for interested tourists.
Cheap, Neat and Comfortable
Most tourists have a deeply rooted misconception that lodging in cheap hotels is just akin to living in utter squalor or a state of abandonment. Well, it may well be half true, but some affordably pleasant hotels in San Diego can provide a welcome exception to this strange rule.
San Diego, as mentioned earlier, is one of the cleanest cities in the world, and hence, it must be a given that living in any hotel located within its city limits is tantamount to living in a neatly kept, tidy and hygienic place, no matter how low you are asked to pay for it.
Old Town Inn, in this regard, is a perfectly representative pick. It is small, neatly maintained, very tidy and located in a busy suburb. What's more, it will never cost you even half as much of what some luxury resorts might. In the same vein, Ocean Beach Hotel is another perennially packed cheap hotel that's located right next to the Pacific. Sands of La Jolla and La Jolla Cove Suites provide easy access to the sights in and around La Jolla.
Posh Hotels in San Diego
Being one of the most expensive cities to live in America, San Diego boasts of a large number of properties that are so excessively lavish that a five star status, at times, feels kind of incompetent and inadequate.
Of course, by the very virtue of being a luxury establishments, these will definitely set your bank balance back by a thick blow, but in the end, you will probably find it worth it.
Out of all such posh hotels in San Diego, Fairmont La del Mar, quite handsomely, steal the top spot away from its competitors. Manifesting the best of the best architecture of modern times, the hotel property is an eye soother in itself. Interior decor of the finest taste, over 5 restaurants reaching the heights of fine dining and comfortably opulent suites that present a full view of the Pacific mean that the whole deal is worth all the hundreds of dollars they charge.
In addition, La Valencia and Rancho Bernardo are two popular properties for tourists to let their hair down in.
Alternative Lodging in San Diego
It's true that San Diego boasts of over 500 hotel establishments of all kinds. It's also true that, in total, these account for over 40,000 rooms for tourists. But it is also true that every year, over 5 million tourists descend down upon this city to experience what the fuss is all about.
That means, available San Diego hotels are often overloaded, and that's precisely why, alternative lodging options have, in the recent past, mushroomed all over the city.
The most popular among these are summer houses and beach villas. These are just as comfortable as luxury suites but much cheaper in comparison. Also, tourists looking for alternative accommodation in San Diego can't go wrong with a slew of motels that dot the highways entering into the city.
Getting Around in San Diego
It was mentioned in the introductory part of this write up that San Diego is one of the finest cities in the United States, in terms of the efficiency, extent and effectivity of its infrastructure.
Therefore, it's quite predictable that it houses a great network of local trains and buses that virtually rule out the need for private transport, if one knows how to make the most of this splendid public transport system.
Tourists, however, cannot be expected to hop onto buses with no knowledge of the geography of the city at all. Therefore, hiring a private taxi for the day at a fixed fare is the best option for tourists to get around in San Diego. Renting a car for yourself will also be a good idea if you know how to tackle heavy traffic, and of course, if you hold a valid American driving license.
Best Time to Visit San Diego
The best time to visit San Diego is the 3 month window between March and May. These months typically feature a fractionally lesser footfall of tourists in the city, and so, you can hope to avoid standing in lines for the ticket at every place you go.
The fall season, August and September, can also be a great choice as most hotel rooms feature slashed down prices during this season, allowing you the luxury of wider choices. So, finding cheap hotels becomes even easier. Christmas season is, usually, a muted affair in this city, particularly because the winter season often brings with it seasonal rains that damper the whole holiday spirit.