Where to Stay in San Diego: Best Areas & Hotels. North America 2021.
Bathed in year-round sunshine, San Diego is home to many vibrant city blocks and laid-back beach towns. The best attractions are scattered over a large area, so staying there will depend on your interests and the reason for your visit. If you’re here to see the city’s main attractions, the city center makes an excellent base. If sun, sand, and sea are high on your list, you might want to stay northwest of town in one of San Diego’s pine beach towns like Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, or Ocean Beach. For an excellent seaside departure, La Jolla is an excellent choice. And if your main goal is to show kids a good time, the city offers many family-friendly resorts close to SeaWorld and attractive Balboa Park, home to the San Diego Zoo, Botanical Gardens and an impressive array of museums. Whether you’re on a budget or looking for a luxury romantic weekend getaway, the following guide will point you in the right direction.
Where to stay for sightseeing.
San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
If this is your first visit to San Diego and you plan to see all the top attractions and soak up the city’s vibe, downtown is the best place to stay. Top attractions in the city center include the Gaslamp Quarter and the Horton Plaza, with their restaurants, shops and lively entertainment venues. Other popular tourist areas such as Coronado Island and Balboa Park are just a short drive away.
If you are looking for a luxury property in the city center, the Omni San Diego, located in the Gaslamp Quarter, offers spacious rooms. Fitness Centre; and a heated pool with palm trees and jacuzzi. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate the footbridge that connects the hotel to Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres. Also in Gaslampam and just five minutes’ drive from Balboa Park, the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown is housed in an elegant 1920s-style building with high ceilings and impressive architectural colors.
The Old Town is another popular sightseeing spot – especially if you’re on a budget. This 12-acre state park was the site of the West Coast’s first Spanish settlement and offers a taste of old San Diego, with heritage costume tours, museums, shops, art galleries and restaurants. If you’re looking at your wallet, the family-run Old Town Inn with a lovely pool is a little further out of town but fits both SeaWorld and Old Town. The rate includes free parking and a continental breakfast. In a few minutes you can reach the city center via a trolleybus.