For an amazing American holiday, soak up the sun and admire the scenery in San Diego. On the coast of California, a stay in San Diego is the best way to make the most of the gorgeous Pacific Ocean. Gaslamp's neighbourhood, namely Gaslamp Quarter National Historic District, located at the heart of San Diego, is the best area to stay.
Eight blocks long (from Broadway to Harbor Drive) and two blocks wide (from Fourth to Sixth Avenue), it gathers the best of San Diego's vibrant beach culture atmosphere. Here you will be spoilt for choice with a wide variety of restaurants, bars, shops and nightclubs.
When the sun is shining so brightly in San Diego, you will want to be out and about walking. Other highlights you will be able to visit by just walking a short distance from San Diego's downtown include San Diego Zoo, BalBoa Park, Seaport Village, Petco Park and The Aircraft Carrier Museum. The public transport system includes buses, trolleys and commuter rails which make all the top tourist destinations easily accessible if you don’t feel like walking. Staying central in the Gaslamp neighbourhood is the best way to enjoy San Diego and everything it has to offer.
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Around Gaslamp quarter, the downtown area has many activities on offer. The central place to go here is the Horton Plaza, a massive outdoor shopping complex featuring restaurants, shops and cafes as well as a great nightlife scene. The further away from the Gaslamp quarter, the cheaper hotels become, but prices are quite steep because of the central nature of the location. This is a perfect area for all kinds of holidays as there are family friendly activities including a Children’s Museum, as well as fun bars and clubs for younger travellers. The area is charming with its Victorian architectural styles and there is always plenty to see and do here.
If the hustle and bustle of downtown or the Gaslamp quarter is too much, this is a luxurious alternative location to take respite. A ferry ride across from or a short drive to the mainland, this island has a very relaxed vibe. The beaches are clean and there are quaint shops and al fresco style eateries in the main street. Hotels are a little more fancy and little more expensive, but well worth it if you’re looking for a relaxing San Diego holiday.
This is a very budget friendly area with cheaper hotels available. The location is still fantastic and has easy access to the main city centre. The upscale Fashion Valley mall will delight shopaholics and there are plenty of walking tracks to get out and enjoy the sunshine.
Close to Mission Valley is the first Spanish settlement on the U.S West Coast. Old Town retains the early Spanish heritage and celebrates it, which makes it a very vibrant place to stay. It features a well-preserved state historic park and 12 acres of insightful museums, art galleries and shops. The Mexican cuisine here is unbeatable. Accommodation in hotels here is affordable and relaxed, and most hotels offer discounts on Old Town Heritage Tours to learn more about the Spanish settlement and ongoing culture.
For the younger crowds looking for a party destination, this is the place. Staying fit and active while on holiday is easy here with stunning water side paved tracks perfect for walking, jogging or skating. Surfing is a lot of fun here for beginners through to experienced surfers. Belmont Park has amazing carnival rides and a 100-year old roller coaster called the Giant Dipper. Staying here is affordable and fun and there are hotels and hostels to cater for a range of budgets.
East Village and Little Italy
East of the Gaslamp quarter, this is an emerging cultural precinct that features fantastic restaurant choices and live music venues. It has a very vibrant atmosphere and multicultural elements to it. It boasts the best Italian cuisine in the city. Hotels are plentiful and affordable here and access to the main city centre is easy to achieve through public transport.
North of the downtown area, this is one of the city’s most visited neighbourhoods. The parklands offer beautiful garden spaces which make for a perfect atmosphere for an afternoon stroll or family picnic. This is also where the San Diego Zoo is which houses nearly 4,000 animals. Other attractions include the Old Globe Theatre and popular San Diego museums. Accommodation here is comfortable and affordable. Even if you don’t stay in this area, you will certainly pay it a visit while in San Diego.
This is a more affluent stretch of the coastline that features calm waves crashing into the beautiful serene shore. Luxurious hotels are available with upscale rooms and designer boutiques making it appealing for a romantic getaway or indulgent vacation. The La Jolla Playhouse and the Museum of Contemporary Art make this a cultural experience as well as a relaxing one.
South of downtown, this is the home of Hispanic culture and community which creates a vibrant multicultural atmosphere. There are plenty of authentic Mexican eateries and a flourishing arts scene in Chicano Park. Staying here will be an excellent cultural immersion experience and a unique way to spend a holiday in San Diego.
North of the downtown district, this is a lively and active area to stay in. It is very pedestrian friendly making it easy to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine while staying fit and healthy while on holiday. Hotels are in close range to a number of eateries from fancy restaurants and more casual dining. There is a great shopping culture with vintage clothing stores as well as chic boutiques. This area has something to please anybody, and still easy to access the main city centre.