Where to Stay in San Diego: a Local’s Guide to the Best Neighborhoods

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San Diego is a city on the Pacific coast of California known for its beaches, parks and rich military heritage. It has Coronado and La Jolla, which are the two best family beaches in the whole country. The city is on the northern Mexican border and thus has a Mexican influence over its cuisine, culture, museums, monuments and theatres and low rise houses.

The Balboa Park, Embarcadero, USS Midway Museum, Point Loma, La Jolla are some of the most popular tourist attractions in this cosmopolitan city. It is also a star favorite among Mexican food lovers with its Burritos, best fish tacos, enchiladas, and some great seafood. If San Diego is on your travel list, and you are confused as to where to stay and what the best neighborhoods in town are, we have got you covered. Here is a list of the best neighborhoods in San Diego.

Where to Stay in San Diego


1. La Jolla

This upscale neighborhood is home to many San Diegan celebrities. It is famous for its South California beaches, La Jolla caves, Mount Soledad, Birch aquarium and a couple of museums.

Why stay here: Great beach, sumptuous Mexican food in 25 eateries around the place.

Where to stay:  La Jolla Riviera Inn that provides all the conveniences and luxuries of La Jolla in a residential setting. Good for walkers, and close to major tourist attractions.

Also Read: Top 10 Tourist attractions in San Diego

La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites- Located along the Coast Boulevard, it is closest to the La Jolla seashore with a great terrace and room views.

2. North Park

This is a vibrant and lively downtown neighborhood in San Diego. It is popular for its nightlife, cultural sites, and quirky restaurants and bars.

Why stay here: This place is at walking distance from many cultural hubs like Balboa Park, the North Park Theater, and the Ray Street Arts District.

Where to stay:  Berkshire Motor Hotel-Located in Cajon Boulevard, it offers fully-furnished family suites. It is very close to several piano bars, clubs, and theatres.

The Lafayette Hotel-Located in Cajon Boulevard, this hotel offers a great holiday experience with its swim clubs and bungalows. It is conveniently located near all shopping, entertainment and business centers.

3. Coronado

This is a popular choice among couples and located around the San Diego Bay. It is a resort city, actually a peninsula, connected to mainland San Diego by the Silver Strand State Beach. It is one of the best beaches in the US and a great place for joggers, cyclists, and runners.

Why stay here: Great beach, and close to several parks like the Sunset Park, Coronado Tidelands Park, Fidler’s Cove Marina, and RV Park, and Grand Caribe Shoreline Park

Where to stay: Crown City Inn Coronado– This hotel has the beach at its doorstep and has an outdoor pool and an on-site restaurant. It offers pet-friendly guest rooms.

Best Western Plus Suites Hotel Coronado Island- This hotel is located within 1.6 km of Coronado city center and the Coronado City Beach. It offers a full hot breakfast, an outdoor heated pool and great rooms.

4. Old Town

 Old Town and Mission Valley are 2 convenient and popular neighborhoods side by side and located close to the airport. They are known for 18th-century Spanish architecture and historic places. This is the hotspot for Mexican food and Mariachi Band.

Why stay here: San Diego State Park, Sheriff’s Museum and Education, El Campo Santo, Whaley House Museum, are all close by. Several reputed food joints in the vicinity make it a vibrant living place.

Where to stay:  Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Old Town is located near the Sea World Area and is popular for its excellent location and service, large, luxurious rooms.

ii). Cosmopolitan Hotel-This is the oldest hotel in San Diego with Victorian-style rooms, lounges, and bars, close to the State Historic Park.

5. Gas Lamp Quarter

One of the sub-neighborhoods of San Diego’s downtown area, Gaslamp Quarter is San Diego’s premier entertainment hub. The buildings are built Victorian style along with futuristic skyscrapers. The streets are filled with art galleries, theatres, museums, shopping venues, and nightclubs. Horton Plaza is a prominent shopping place that attracts the shopaholics to its retails stores.

Why stay here: Most famous sightseeing venues, like the Gaslamp Museum, Old City Hall, Faro de Point Loma, Parque Nacional Cabrillo, Balboa Theatre, The Spanish Village, and USS Midway Museum, are close by. This is the venue for the rich Mardi Gras carnival and Street Scene Music Festival.

Where to stay: Staypineapple at Hotel Z, in Downtown San Diego. It offers accommodation for pets also and Free use of bicycles for traveling through the city. Downtown San Diego, which is a great choice for travelers interested in harbors, restaurants, and food, is just 400 m away.

Gaslamp Plaza Suites, Downtown San Diego This is a historian European style hotel and among the best in town, with a great restaurant and wine parlor, offering multi-cuisine fine dining. The San Diego Zoo is about 3 km from here.

6. Carlsbad

Carlsbad is an affluent seaside community known for its seven miles of coastline, Tamarack Surf Beach, its great golf clubs, and, Legoland. It is located north of Del Mar and Encinitas.

Why stay here: Lego land California theme park, Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, Flower Fields with acres of blooming colorful flowers.

Where to Stay: Tamarack Beach Hotel– This hotel is located just in front of the beach. It offers great views and a fitness center with a games room.

Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara– This is a great hotel with two outdoor swimming pools, restaurants, and a health spa. LEGO LAND California is just 6.4 km away from the hotel.

Besides the above-mentioned neighborhoods, Hill Crest, Ocean Beach, and Mission Bay can also be great holiday spots where you can stay. Wherever you go in San Diego, you will always find a lively and welcoming place to stay in and enjoy a spectacular holiday.

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