Where to Stay in San Diego: Best Hotels

where to stay in san diego

San Diego is a city that offers up beaches, blue skies, and surfing opportunities. The vibrancy of this metropolis can be seen in all its cool urban neighborhoods where you’ll find museums to visit or clubs with world-class DJs spinning tunes for your listening pleasure. But there’s more than just fun stuff here; San Diegans know how important history has been in shaping what America looks like now so make sure you take the time to explore these historic districts while visiting our beautiful town!

Founded in the mid-1700s by Spanish explorers, San Diego is referred to as California’s birthplace; it was here that Europeans first set foot on what would eventually become America’s West Coast. From its beginnings as a Mexican fort over 200 years ago (although the settlement wasn’t established until 1769), this city has grown into the 8th largest metropolitan area just north of Mexico with many ties still holding strong between both countries’ heritageacies.

Map of San Diego

San Diego is a fantastic city for children of all ages. There’s always something to do when you visit, whether that’s playing on the beach or taking a trip into Balboa Park and museums!

It may be hard deciding where your day should start but don’t worry – I’ve got some great ideas as well so read through my article carefully: “5 Ways To Spend A Perfect Saturday In San Diego”

San Diego is a friendly place – the 20th safest city in America and it even boasts an LGBT-friendly district called Hillcrest. With plenty of places to stay, including budget hostels for world travelers as well as motels which are perfect if you’re only visiting briefly or luxury resorts with historic boutique lodging options there’s sure to be something that will suit your needs!


The Downtown area of San Diego is home to Victorian-era buildings and excellent nightlife in the historic Gaslamp Quarter; scenic roads, boutique stores, delicious eateries. Little Italy also has great attractions for tourists who want something different than what downtown offers them. The Seaport Village with its many shops plus waterside dining options makes this part perfect if you’re arriving by plane or train because there are trolleys that can take you around!

If you’re looking for accommodation in downtown San Diego, the northeast border should be your first stop. Beyond Interstate 5 lies Balboa Park – home of big attractions like Zoo and Museum where visitors will find high-end accommodations that are more reminiscent of their natural habitats than most other parts of town!

Where to Stay in Downtown, San Diego

  • Hotel Pendry: is a great place to stay if you want to be in the thick of things. It puts guests close by popular attractions like Petco Park and USS Midway Museum, as well as more serene locations such as Spreckels Organ Pavilion or Old Town Inexperience Districts. If your travels take up all day long, this hotel has plenty going for it with six bars/restaurants along Gaslamp Quarter Boulevard where people come alive after dark when they finally get some rest before heading out again tomorrow morning!
  • Horton Grand Hotel: is a beautiful 4-star hotel that offers elegant fittings and fixtures, with antiques in the rooms. Enjoy evening drinks at their on-site bar or morning breakfast by taking advantage of its breezy New Orleans-style courtyard!
  • Gaslamp Plaza Suites: The historic buildings in the Gaslamp Quarter are a few minute’s walk from this 4-star hotel. Bars, restaurants, and cafes line the streets around it making it easy to explore what else is going on while you’re here! The rooms at our Plaza Suites provide guests with classic touches that will make them feel right at home as well – one of which includes free continental breakfasts served daily on top of their usual room service menu options (all available 24 hours).
  • Staypineapple at Hotel Z: is the perfect spot if you’re looking for a unique stay in San Diego. With only nine rooms, this hotel offers an alternative to more traditional accommodations around town and has cool colors with natural tones throughout! Complimentary bike rentals make it easy to explore while seeing all of Gaslamp Quarter’s highlights such as breweries or museums- not to mention that there are free cupcakes here too! And don’t forget pet lovers–your furry friends will love staying at one of our hotels just like humans can enjoy them.


Tolerant and liberal, Hillcrest is a great place to stay when you are in San Diego. It’s not too far from downtown but it still has the convenience of trolley stops so getting around town shouldn’t be an issue!

A lot of northern entrances into Balboa Park can be found here as well which makes visiting all those exhibits easy – including at their top notch zoo (which I recommend).

This part of San Diego is a great place to be if you’re looking for some local color. The area has plenty going on, with many cafes and restaurants dotting its streets as well as hotels that won’t break your budget! There are also hostels where travelers can meet other international visitors like themselves who will offer advice about what locals recommend doing while visiting this fascinating city in California.

There’s really something here everyone would enjoy; even those staying at more expensive accommodations should consider checking out these cheaper options because there might just end up being someone they know traveling through town too (especially during Pride Week).

Where to Stay in Hillcrest

  • ITH Colive Balboa Park: This friendly hostel is more than just a place to stay, it’s also an awesome opportunity for travelers like you and your friends (both guys AND girls!) To meet new people doing what we love! The dorm rooms here have all the necessities needed from good sleep hygiene tips in bedsheets that say “sleep tight” right on top of them. But don’t forget about exploring outside – there are cafes galore; gay bars within walking distance or NASTY CLUB OVER THERE if our Portuguese buddies aren’t talking long enough 😉

Old Town & Mission Valley

If you’re looking for old-time San Diego, then the Old Town district is a perfect place. It borders on airport property and has some mid-range options that are housed in historic buildings. For even more convenience there’s also a trolley stop -OldTown! This Civil War Park was founded as part of Spanish California but it now showcases our city’s history with all kinds of museums inside (and outside).

The Mission Valley area is where you’ll find more accommodation, and it’s also an excellent place for shopping. The San Diego River runs through this part of town so make sure to check out Fashion Valley or Westfield mall!

Where to Stay in Old Town & Mission Valley

  • Hilton San Diego Mission Valley: is a four-star hotel that offers guests modern amenities. In addition to the outdoor pool and fitness center, there’s also an on-site restaurant serving up California cuisine in case you get hungry while driving through town! If seeing animals at close range isn’t enough for your little ones they can enjoy playing with other children from all over America who come visit the zoo too; it only takes about three miles away so this will make their day even better than expected!
  • Kings Inn: With its calm but stylish rooms, this 3-star hotel is a blast from the past. Each room at this 1960s themed accommodation features vintage black and white photographs depicting the history of the local area; it’s situated just off Interstate 8 which makes it suitable for anyone watching their expenses while on a California road trip with two restaurants available to eat in or take away – one that serves Mexican food triple combination as bar/restaurant along side live music venue!


Coronado is a popular tourist destination that has been in operation for decades. The city administers itself as its own separate entity, and it’s known throughout southern California as an excellent place to spend your vacation time!

Coronado has such a variety of places to stay that you’re sure to find one for your liking. Some examples include the Hotel del Coronado, a historic wood-built hotel right on Beach Street (built-in 1888) with rooms starting at just $119 per night! Another great spot would be RV parks further south along the spit where Bay and Pacific Ocean facing stretches can enjoy some time by the sand as well–Silver Strand State Beach Area is perfect if either one sounds like something up their alley too.

Getting to Coronado is easy from San Diego proper, either via the Coronado Bridge or one of two ferries. The Fifth Avenue Landing near Gaslamp Quarter makes for a scenic approach while if you’re more interested in sightseeing then take a ride on Broadway Pier where you can see some historic sites like Santa Fe Depot and be right downtown after only 10 minutes!

Where to Stay in Coronado

  • Hotel del Coronado: The iconic Hotel del Coronado is located in a historic building dating back to the 19th century. The rooms are modern and minimalist, with color pops of design-led furnishings that make you feel like royalty on your stay here! There are seven restaurants including two outdoor pools as well as spa amenities such as an infinity pool overlooking San Diego Bay—perfect for relaxation or entertaining guests who want some peace and quiet without being too far away from all its perks (and remember: this hotel has been refurbished by star power).
  • Coronado Island Marriott Resort: is a hotel located on an island across from San Diego’s main skyline. The views of this beautiful metropolis are stunning, with some guests reporting that they can see ships in the distance while sitting by one of three outdoor pools! If you’re feeling tired after exploring all day or want to get back into town ASAP then take advantage of our free ferry service just ten minutes away – it will bring us right over there so we don’t have far walk up and down stairs either like other hotels do at night time when it’s difficult for someone who has been walking around during daylight hours

Point Loma & Ocean Beach

Curving around from the north, Point Loma and Coronado shelters San Diego proper from the Pacific Ocean. The northern part of this peninsula has a bohemian vibe with its beachy feel which is enjoyed by tourists who come here for surfing or sunbathing in between all their other fun activities! You can even find budget hotels that will suit your needs alongside some waterfront villas perfect if you want to really get away on vacation without any distractions like phones ringing off-course and people constantly trying out new recipes at home – almost as good (or bad) without having someone waiting back home wondering what’s happened yet again while they were gone 😉

Point Loma is a great place for hiking and scenic views. Not only does it have Cabrillo National Monument, but also Sunset Cliffs National Park which offers amazing sunset-watching opportunities!
I recommend staying here if you are looking to get away from the hustle-bustle of downtown San Diego without having too far to drive or fly into your next destination.

Where to Stay in Point Loma & Ocean Beach

  • USA Hostels Ocean Beach: is the place to stay if you are looking for some seriously budget accommodation and a social environment with your fellow travelers. You can choose from an affordable dorm bed or private room, get chatting in our free wifi hotspot, enjoy all of our amenities including transport hubs where shuttles stop on-site while staying here – it doesn’t matter what country they’re coming from because we’ll take them wherever there’s going- as well as partake into one helluva good time by marveling at how beautiful this area surrounding us really is!
  • Humphreys Half Moon Inn: is a delightful beach house that features both modern and traditional designs. The guest rooms are beautifully appointed, with wooden shuttered windows in the tropical design of an appealing yet calm atmosphere for travelers to enjoy while they’re away from home. Amenities include substantial flat-screen TVs as well as microwaves or coffeemakers so you can make yourself at home after long flights! And don’t forget about your own private patio out front– Guests love taking advantage of all this hotel has on offer; splashing around during hot summer days by poolside (complete with bar!), enjoying international cuisine inside their restaurant-like setting right downstairs…or renting one our many kayaks/paddleboards).

Mission Beach

The best thing about Mission Beach is the shore, but there are other attractions worth exploring in this area. SeaWorld San Diego can be found here as well and it also hosts big hotels like The Hyatt with its spa resorts for visitors who want a mid-range or high-end experience while they’re on vacation. The accommodation options available range from budget-priced motels right up to five-star penthouses at luxury resorts so no matter what your travel needs may currently cover – you’ll find something!

The beautiful South Mission Beach area is just a stone’s throw away from some of Florida’s top attractions. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly beaches, an exciting night out with friends, or good old-fashioned relaxation in this quaint seaside town; there are plenty of options available to suit any need! The best way would be coming here all on your own though – no matter what time period it may be up until sunset because once darkness falls everything transforms into something epic: fireworks above while palm trees provide shade below as music soothes ears across sandcastles made by children who’ve grown too big but still remember their childhood games well enough not forget how much fun they were playing together…

Where to Stay in Mission Beach

  • Blue Sea Beach Hotel: is located just off the coast, steps away from where you can enjoy a refreshing swim and delicious food. The modern rooms feature well-decorated spaces in which guests feel at home while they soak up some rays or sink into one of our comfy chairs for an evening drink by the poolside – we’ve got heated ones too! Nearby Mission Bay has endless opportunities to keep your taste buds satisfied: head there first if seafood is what grabs ya’r interest (we have plenty), then venture out further than most folks might think necessary…to see all those awesome things San Diego has to offer 😉

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach is a popular spot for surfers, with its wide selection of beachside inns. Along the seafront, you’ll find budget-friendly to more luxurious accommodations that line up along here – perfect if want to stay in one place while visiting this part of San Diego! It also provides visitors many other things they can enjoy: shopping clothing boutiques or sipping cocktails on the boardwalk; practicing yoga by the shoreline (or talking about how good your day was at some bar).

Pacific Beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The town has an atmospheric nightlife, with pumping music spilling around every corner of the beachfront bars that line Pacific Street (known locally as PB). At any given time you can find people sitting on beaches enjoying their drinks or chatting away over bonfires while families enjoy playing near North Pacific’s lifeguards waiting in case anything goes wrong swimmingly!

Where to Stay in Pacific Beach

  • Tower 23 Hotel: is a four-star hotel that sits adjacent to the beach and has plenty of shopping options in close proximity. It’s perfect for anyone looking for an escape from reality, but also wants access into civilization when they need it most!
  • Surfer Beach Hotel: A low-key hotel that features clean, modern rooms and is fittingly located on the beachfront. Those who love sunbathing or surfing should definitely think about staying here! The affordable price tags will be enhanced with free drinks from lobby hot pots as well as an amazing location right next door for restaurants open late into the morning when you’re ready for more than just relaxation after your day out in nature’s beauty (and warmth). You can even stroll only a few minutes away where there are plenty of bars & clubs waiting to welcome back those whose night was finished early – but not before they enjoyed some alcoholically refreshing beverages at our own little watering hole too 😉

La Jolla

Walk the beat of your own drum in Pacific Beach, then take off for some adventure-filled bumming around La Jolla. You’ll find everything from budget motels to beachfront hotels that offer luxury accommodations – there are plenty of options here so you can be sure not only will it feel like home but also look good doing it!

La Jolla is the best place to explore if you are looking for a huge selection of shops, restaurants, and activities all in one location. It doesn’t get any more convenient than this!

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Where to Stay in La Jolla

  • Pantai Inn: The Pantai Inn sits on the edge of La Jolla and offers beautiful Bali-inspired boutique rooms with free continental breakfast. There are BBQ facilities for guests’ use as well! The staff here really strives to make your stay an enjoyable one; they want you coming back time after again because this place is THAT good – not just another hotel/motel where everything about them screams “this isn’t special.” Do yourself a favor: book at least two nights before traveling so that reservations can be confirmed in advance (especially during peak seasons)!
  • Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines: If you’re looking for a relaxing hotel with breathtaking views of the Pacific, then this is just what your heart desires. The rooms are clean and spacious; they come complete with balconies or patios that offer an unmatched oceanfront experience! If golf isn’t really one’s thing but Black’s Beach (a mile away)is on every travelers’ itinerary… no problem–they also have hiking trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve right next door which will keep them pleased while enjoying nature from start-to-finish.
  • Inn by the Sea: offers a laid-back, unfussy stay with cable TV and a coffee maker in every room. There are also outdoor pools to swim around at this 3-star hotel as well! If cultural experiences make up your itinerary then Inn is close enough walking distance from the Museum of Contemporary Art or if you want more coastline just outside the doorstep makes it perfect accommodations for visitors on any budget who want great value without compromising service.