Off topic: Travelling to San Diego - Any advice on hotels?
Thread poster: María Alejandra Funes

María Alejandra Funes
Local time: 19:18
English to Spanish
+ ...
May 2, 2005

Hello all,

I will be travelling to San Diego in two weeks and need some advice on where to stay. While my husband will be attending some business meetings, my 18-month old son and I will be touring around My idea is to visit the Zoo and Seaworld. What area do you recommend me to stay? Downtown or ...? Any ideas about a good (and non-expensive) hotel? I would also like to stay in a place from where I can easily move around and there is no need for a rental car.

All your suggestions are very welcome! Thanks in advance


[Edited at 2005-05-02 22:30]

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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:18
Member (2003)
English to German
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San Diego is not a walking town May 3, 2005

Hi Maria,

I've been living in SD for more than 16 years. It definitely is not for walking. There are buses and a few trolley lines, but it might take you 2 hours to get somewhere a car would get you in 20 minutes. There is a sightseeing trolley with day tickets that allow you to get on and off at any stop (as far as I know), but I couldn't find any quick information at the moment. Your hotel should have the information, though. This trolley goes to Seaport Village, Downtown, Old Town, the Zoo etc. I don't think it goes as far north as Sea World, though.

Hotels in Downtown will be either rather expensive or pretty run down. Again, if you had a car you could stay at a decent motel (a couple of years ago I had visitors stay in a motel two blocks from the beach for a decent price in La Jolla).

San Diego is a beautiful town with lots of stuff to do, but a car is more or less essential.

Good luck

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United States
Local time: 16:18
French to English
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or shuttle service May 3, 2005

Heike is right but some hotels offer shuttle service (you will probably have to pay).

I did find one that offers service to both:

Free scheduled shuttle service available to the San Diego Zoo and Sea World.

Lafayette Hotel & Suites


(I think the reason they are so generous is because they are not located on the beach or in the downtown center)

[Edited at 2005-05-03 03:11]

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Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:18
Member (2004)
Italian to English
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Hotel Circle May 3, 2005

You will have so much fun! I was there for the first time a little over a month ago and it was great! If you really want a budget hotel, you can always check out Hotel Circle where there are about 15 or so hotels. It isn't the most attractive spot in San Diego (near the highway and full of hotels) but the hotels there are certainly cheaper than downtown. With AAA, we paid about 118 USD a night at the Holiday Inn (wireless internet included) compared with 180 USD for a hotel downtown (can't remember which one now - we didn't book ahead). Most of the trip, however, we did stay outside of the city itself which is great if you want more of a beach holiday. Renting a car was no problem either. We went through Budget and ending up paying about $100 for four days. If you're thinking of crossing over into Mexico, however, be careful which car rental place you go through because Budget, for example, won't let you take the rental car with you and you're stuck with Mexican transportation which doesn't run as late as they say it does at the parking lot on the border (found that out the hard way!). Keep in mind, though, this was all back at the end of March and prices may have gone up since we're heading into summer.

Have a fabulous time!

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Gabriela Tenenbaum  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:18
English to Spanish
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San Diego May 3, 2005

Hola Ale:

I've been there a long time ago and I remember it fairly well. We stayed at a nice hotel called Bay Club (not sure about the name but quite): amazing view, great food. Anyway, I'd suggest the Marina area. As the colleagues have already said it's not a handy city to go around on foot, especially with a toddler, but surely it's possible to organize some transport from the hotel to the different points.

Enjoy it and please, have a clam chowder there in my honour

Good luck!

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Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 15:18
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
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Info May 3, 2005

Hi María!

I've been living here in San Diego for about three years now and I have to agree with our colleagues: this is not a great city to go walking around on foot. You could take the bus to get to the heart of most comunities throughout the county, but it would be kinda hard for you to get to specific places where the buses don't go to.

There's some useful info at the Online Visitor's Guide that was put together by the local paper ( and you can learn more about places to see, good restaurants and hotels. You can do a search depending on the neighborhood you'd like to stay in, so you can find a hotel and a rent-a-car service around.

Also, if you're thinking about staying in San Diego after the 15th, you should consider coming to the PowWow that is going to take place at the Hilton San Diego Resort. More info here:

Have fun! And don't hesitate to contact me if you need anything.

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María Alejandra Funes
Local time: 19:18
English to Spanish
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Thank you! May 4, 2005


I would like to thank you all for the great suggestions!They are very helpful and I can assure you that, after reading your comments, we will definitely rent a car

Gaby: I'm sorry to disappoint you, but... I don't like clam chowder Maybe some calamari?

Rafaela: Thanks for the invitation, but I'm arriving to SD on May 18th.

Again, thank you very much! I really appreciate your tips


[Edited at 2005-05-04 03:12]

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