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With sunshine and warm temperatures year-round, plenty of family-friendly fun, foodie finds in every neighborhood, and your choice of beaches, you'll find something to love in San Diego. More from this guide...
I love San Diego, SeaWorld is one of my favorite places to visit because of the great activities that encompass not only family activities but for singles and couples as well. Another cool place is Balboa Park, I love going to the museums and visiting the fountains. I think this city is awesome because its close to all attractions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below are the GSA reimbursement limits for hotel spending in San Diego, CA excluding taxes per night. See gsa.gov for more details.
Applies to San Diego
|Season Begin||Season End||Lodging Rate||Meals & Incidentals|
|October 1, 2018||December 31, 2018||$160.00||$71.00|
|January 1, 2019||July 31, 2019||$174.00||$71.00|
|August 1, 2019||September 30, 2019||$160.00||$71.00|
Below are reviews of the city of San Diego, CA from an actual visitor's perspective.
Enjoyed the climate, the friendliness of people. Many good restaurants. It's ocean and it's mountains add a beautiful surrounding to explore the city
The weather was nice. It was not hot.
The weather, choice of restaurants, recreational activities available.
I liked the location of the hotel-Hotel Circle-and we were close to many of the various food establishments at the next exit.
The Trailer Park After Dark is another hidden gem of the Gaslamp District!!!! Fun atmosphere and great drinks!!!We also had dinner at Searsucker Restaurant on 5th Street.... Delicious!!!
San Diego: I have an unique opinion as I am not a tourist, nor do I live in San Diego. I like it here, I used to live here. For the most part this city is exactly the same as it was 20 years ago. With the exception of a few new names on buildings, nothing new here. But that isn't a bad thing. Most of the people are nice and friendly. This is a college and military town that somewhere along the line in the 60's or 50's became a large city. At heart SD is still a fun little town right next to the water.
We spent an afternoon at mission beach.
Good hotel, great location and wonderful staff.
I've always loved San Diego so I'm biased. Greatest city in America. Maybe the world.
Lots of fun things for my team to do.
We were there for a tournament and busy with thatthe location was great and everything was easy to get to
The weather of course was great, as well as the shuttle service and the hotel accommodations.
Walk ability to restaurants, our meeting space etc.
Restaurant, activities were great very pleased with everything.
Weather downtown great for those without a vehicle.
Weather was great and a plethera of site seeing to do, awesome restaurants overall very nice atmosphere.
Plenty of sites to visit and things to do.
The perfect location to easily walk to restaurants, tourist sites, and even the airport (if someone wanted to.) San Diego was a great place for our conference.
The Gaslamp Quarter offers more places to eat than you can fit into one week. Everything is very walkable and easy to get to. Some of the restaurants are a bit cozy and are not really equipped to handle groups over 4 people, but they'll certainly try to accommodate you if you're willing to wait.
Best city in America!
San Diego is a great city, so much stuff to do, with events daily somewhere in the city and the weather can't be beat, 70 and sunny everyday.
Close to everything! Very easy to get an Uber!
It is a beautiful place with very friendly people. Enjoyable visit for anyone.
Attractions, food, theme parks, minimal traffic, beach, and my hotel stay of course!
Cool weather, so many attractions and things to see.
I have been here multiple times so nothing specific. My traveling companion fell and broke his ankle in two places. EMS response was good and Scripps Mercy Hospital ER and all other departments and personnel were outstanding.
Overall great, would visit again.
San Diego is an excellent place to visit; there is such a variety of activities, everyone can find something they like to do. From beaches, restaurants, zoos, theme parks, shopping, and sporting events, there's never a dull moment in beautiful San Diego.
REALLY ENJOYED THE AIR CRAFT CARRIER, SEA WORLD.
Beautiful city with plenty of things to do
The scenery! So much to do and appreciate. The city is so clean.
Easy airport access and was not crowded this time of year.
San Diego is a great vacation location. There is so much to do with great lodging and food choices.
San Diego has awesome food, a plethora of activities, beaches and parks- you'll never be bored!
San Diego provides the best weather & location for all ages to enjoy whatever their hearts desire!
San Diego has a very relaxed, safe feeling with great dining options. Generally, an easy going vibe.
A must visit to Old Town, the zoo, and all the awesome beaches and parks!
ENJOYED SEA WORLD, SAN DIEGO ZOO, USD, AND THE BEACHES. PRETTY EASY TO GET AROUND. THE MIDWAY AREA WAS GREAT.
Beautiful city, wonderful weather, and friendly, helpful people.
Beautiful weather and beaches, Old Town and Gaslamp District, Hillcrest, and tons of food for all to enjoy. The beaches are well kept and have lifeguards. We enjoyed Belmont Park, Sea World, walking down Old Town and hanging out for happy hour at Gaslamp. There is so much to see and do. The Zoo, the museums, Safari Park included.
We had a Harbor Cruise (Flagship), which was very informational and enjoyable. All of our activities were fun and informative. The weather was perfect, and everyone that we dealt with to arrange our activities and follow them through were most helpful and friendly. We had two college tours (UC San Diego and CSU San Marcos), and those tours were extraordinary. All in all, a very successful trip for our high school students.
Loved the accessible public transportation and drivers were very helpful.
The Hornblower event was very nice and the restaurant we ate at was very impressive. That was about all I was able to enjoy, that's why I want to go back.
Toured the USS Missouri, and the fender guitar factory. Good restaurants, too.
San Diego- number one destination in the west!
People were helpful with directions and the convention center was a blast. The news about the San Diego police cracking down on the homeless right before SDCC was less than a pleasant experience. Don't disrupt people's lives just to make tourists like me feel better when we are spending money on frivolous things. Let us decide how we feel about that.
The weather, beaches and Balboa park was great! Gay pride was awesome and unforgettable!
I live in San Diego and coordinated a Family Reunion. My family enjoyed their stay at the Handlery Hotel and so many attractions they visited, like the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Wild Animal Park, Old Town, Whale Watching Tour, Beaches of San Diego Tour, Trolley Tour of San Diego, Mission Bay Park at De Anza Cove where we had our family picnic, Cabrillo Monument and the Point Loma Point.
We liked the Waterhorse Dive Shop where we went on a chartered boat to three scuba diving spots.
All the many different things to do plus the weather!!!!
Old Town is fun, a lot of restaurants to choose from and very fun atmosphere.
San Diego offered our group a large variety of things to do. Great restaurants, clubs, wine tasting near by, and oh the weather couldn't have been better. Thank you San Diego.
Beaches, stunning sunrise and perfect weather.
The Corvette Diner in Point Loma is the place to go for a fun rowdy crowd at dinner. Singing, dancing waitresses and waiters, a DJ playing your favorite tunes on request and amazing food. Kaminski's on on Poway Road has some of te best BBQ I've ever had. They do a 16 cook on their Carolina pulled pork, Texas style brisket and more. I had lunch there but they have bands play at night and tons of huge TV's for the sports fan.
Weather. It's always nice in San Diego.
Always have a great little getaway to SeaWorld. With cranky young children wanting to rest after a long day, it's pleasant to have an accommodating hotel nearby and there are plenty in San Diego.
We have been coming here for over 15 years, just a great place to relax. Prices are getting higher though!
Love its location, beauty and weather. Too much traffic and there always seems to be a lot of road construction but don't see any traffic improvement. Most of the time when visiting we park car and either walk or take the transit system. Too crowded.
Great birds! We had a fantastic and successful birding trip to San Diego.
Variety or restaurants and bars in the downtown area.
San Diego has good weather. There's a lot of shops and variety of restaurants.
Always a great city to visit
I loved the weather. I would like to be able to move there.
We live here but our wedding guests loved it. Mission Valley has so much to offer, lots of restaurants, central location and if you forgot to pack something, Target is right there!
This city has great energy. Everyone is outside doing different activities, like boating, biking, running, and surfing. The food is amazing. There are a ton of great restaurants downtown and in Coronado island. If you can't have fun here, you're doing something wrong. It's probably the best city in the United States.