San Diego is one of those cities that is often overlooked by visitors coming from out of state or out of the country. Only a 2-hour drive (with no traffic) south of Los Angeles, SD has become one of our favorite family holiday destinations and it is no surprise how we keep going back there for a last minute city-break, here’s why:
It’s Always Sunny in San Diego
The weather is similar to Los Angeles where you can expect sunny days on a daily basis and somewhat a cooler breeze than Los Angeles. Any time of the year is always nice to visit San Diego.
Plenty of options for Affordable Hotels
We recently stayed at Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Bayfront, which was a pleasant experience as it was a fairly new hotel and the furnitures, amenities and facilities were still in mint condition. The hotel is walking distance to Seaport Village and located right across the USS Midway Museum. Another great feature of this hotel for families with children are the in-room kitchen and washer/dryer facilities located almost on every floor.
A daily breakfast buffet is also included with the room rates and be sure to show up early otherwise the restaurant can get pretty packed as it also hosts guests from Spring Hill Suites (they share the same lobby).
The only thing that was lacking from this hotel was the room-service, there was none, so if you expect in-room dining, use a food delivery app instead (Door Dash or Grub Hub) to order food from local restaurants.
We’ve also stayed at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina in our previous visit which had a great view of the Marina at sunset, excellent pool/fitness facilities and has more dining features in the hotel.
I probably would not stay in the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa again because the room was really old and could use a little bit of upgrade, it was completely different from the photos featured on their website. The location of this hotel was also far from downtown. Although, there is Hilton San Diego Bayfront which is located in Downtown SD and should have newer facilities (let’s hope it is not misleading).
Our next San Diego hotel wishlist would be The US Grant Hotel , a historic hotel located in downtown San Diego and a Luxury Collection Hotel part of Starwood Hotel Group (points alert!).
Seaport Village has the cutest collection of shops and waterfront dining, great for walks and just a nice day out in the sun.
Connected by a long beautiful bridge from San Diego, you can reach Coronado Island in a matter of minutes and to capture the best view San Diego skyline it is worth to visit Coronado Ferry Landing.
If you’re a sunset chaser, a stroll along Coronado Beach or the iconic Hotel Del Coronado would worth your every second.
What kid doesn’t like theme parks?
San Diego Zoo is probably the largest zoo we’ve ever been in and you would absolutely get lost without a proper map.
Sea World is another main attraction in San Diego and would be a great fun for kids. Although I have to support their decision in phasing out & canceling the Shamu (Killer Whale) shows. If you’ve seen the documentary Blackfish, you know what I’m talking about.
The New Children’s Museum
The New Children’s Museum in San Diego is probably our most recent discovery that we had thoroughly enjoyed. If you have children age 12 months to 9, they would absolutely love spending the day here. Children are encouraged to think, create and play in various activity and sensory rooms. Check out their website and you’ll see what I mean. Definitely worth every penny.
Little Italy & Old Town San Diego
If you’re a foodie and love to try a variety of cuisines, visit Old Town San Diego for authentic Mexican food and most importantly the atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re in Mexico (PS: Tijuana, Mexico is only a 30-minute drive from San Diego).
Little Italy in Downtown SD also has a good variety of restaurants (including Italian food) and other fusion food.