Where to Stay in San Diego

My best memory of San Diego is the breathtaking sunset at the beach while surfers were chasing the elusive big waves of the Pacific Ocean. This city has a lot of things to offer to both locals and visitors. Its Balboa Park is a historical gem covered in lush green while the world-renowned San Diego Zoo is a child’s paradise. The Gaslamp Quarter is a place to go to unwind from a day’s toil. And the border to Mexico is just a tram ride away from downtown.

San Diego is spread out. Just like any other city in California, you’ve got to have a car to get around. But you can ditch your car if you’re staying in one of these five¬†independent hotels, where places of interest can be reached on foot.

Photograph by The Author
Photograph by The Author

1. Red Roof Inn

This hotel is proud of its accommodating staff who are ready to help to make your stay comfortable. Right at the heart of downtown San Diego, Red Roof Inn is just under a 5-minute walk to the Gaslamp District, where you can find all forms of absolute entertainment and unforgettable dining experience. The waterfront is nearby, where a leisurely sunset walk can be a romantic way to end the day. Here, your kids and pets stay at no additional cost. Each room has a mini-fridge, flat-screen TV, microwave, and coffee maker.

2. The Dana on Mission Bay

If you’re looking for a family-friendly resort hotel, The Dana on Mission Bay is your best choice. The SeaWorld San Diego is less than a mile away – just follow the pedestrian path sign installed in the vicinity or take the hotel’s free shuttle transport. The beautifully maintained, tropical landscape will make you feel close to nature. The hotel has two outdoor pools, a seasonal pool bar, a restaurant, and two hot tubs. Some of the rooms here are overlooking the marina. Nearby, you’ll find a bike that will lead you to all public parks in the area.

3. San Diego Marriot Marquis and Marina

If you have the money to splurge on everything luxurious, the  Marriott Marquis and Marina will never let you down. With an amazing and spectacular view of the city, the ocean and the marina, you’ll be wishing it’s your home forever. The hotel has its own restaurant, tequila bar, fitness center, full-service spa, and outdoor pools. The San Diego Convention Center, venue for the world-renowned Comic-Con International, is next to this 4-star hotel. Walk a few steps from the hotel and you’ll be right at the entrance of Gaslamp Quarter.

4. Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa

This is your ideal hotel if you don’t want a throng of people found in most of California beaches. Located at the edge of Mission Bay and hemmed in with lush tropical gardens, Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa is a relaxing getaway far from the madding crowd. While kids are busy joining in the sand castle building and crafts at Kids Camp, the adults can take water tours by kayak, paddleboard or water ski. Rent a bike or Segway from the hotel and you’ll be on your way to explore further outside and other beaches in the area.

5. 500 West Hotel San Diego Downtown

For those who are looking for inexpensive accommodations, 500 West Hotel in downtown San Diego is the answer. This is a European-style hostel that offers dorm rooms for shared occupancy and a shared kitchen for guests. Most of the rooms have a flat-screen TV and a telephone. The hotel is within walking distance to restaurants, shops, and bars. Adjacent to the building is the tram that goes to other parts of the city and to the Mexican border.

With a tropical-like climate, you could never go wrong visiting San Diego, America’s Finest City, any time of the year!


A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

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