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An Insider’s Guide to the 2014 San Diego County Fair

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Beginning on June 7 and running for nearly a month, the San Diego County Fair delights Southern Californians and visitors alike – and has been an annual attraction since the 1880s. Beginning as a strictly agricultural exhibition space, the fair had different names and locations until settling in at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, where it has remained since 1936.

While plenty of animal and commercial exhibits remain, the emphasis at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is on entertainment, fun and food. The theme this year is “The Fab Fair”, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles arriving in America.

Read these tips to make your San Diego County Fair experience more enjoyable and don’t wait to schedule your stay at one of the cheap hotels in downtown San Diego.


Daily passes are available for purchase at the fairgrounds and several San Diego area merchants offer discount coupons on specific days. A pass for the entire run of the fair is an economical buy for enthusiasts, and the $24 ticket is available at area Albertson’s grocery stores. Children under 5 are always free, and the 6-12 age group gets free admission on two Tuesdays. There are many other deals and discounts offered which can be viewed at sdfair.com.


Public transportation via train or bus means you don’t have to hassle with driving, but if you take the car, ample parking is available at the grounds for $10. Insiders know that free parking with a complimentary shuttle is located at Torrey Pines High School, MiraCosta College in Cardiff, and the Horsepark on El Camino Real in Del Mar.

Music and Entertainment

The fair is full of musical acts and entertainers from morning until night, including bands of national note as well as amateur talent competitions. Many of the shows including some of the biggest acts are free with your fair admission. A complete line up of the entertainment scheduled is viewable online at the fair’s website.

Food, Food, Food

One of the best things of any fair, and it’s no exception here, is the broad selection of fun and unique fair foods. No matter your taste of budget, you’ll find plenty of food and beverage options at the fair. Be sure to bring money for your favorite fried foods, ice cream, turkey legs and cotton candy.

Just for the Kids

There are many games and competitions geared towards children, who are admitted free on two Tuesdays: June 24 and July 1. Popular food stands will be selling reduced size kids’ portions at discounts this year and you can also look for “Kids Meal Deals” signs throughout the fair for other targeted refreshments. Family Funfield, located in the infield area of the track, has special exhibits, entertainment and attractions that are family-oriented.


A host of services are designed to make your visit more enjoyable including picnic areas, ATMs, information booths, stroller and wheel chair rental, and a lost and found.


From the South, take Interstate 5 (the San Diego Freeway) twenty miles north of downtown until you reach the Via de la Valle exit, turning left on Via de la Valle until you reach Jimmy Durante Boulevard, where you will take another left. Follow the signs and parking personnel from that point.

Make transportation and accommodations easy by grabbing a cheap hotel near San Diego airport. Marina Inn and Suites is a top and trusted budget inn located near freeway access to the fairgrounds, top local attractions and of course, the San Diego Airport. Make the most of your summer vacation by booking at room with family friendly amenities at Marina Inn.

For more information on our available vacation packages and room discounts at Marina Inn hotel San Diego, call us at 1-800-571-2933.

Advance Booking

14 Days - 12% Off

7 Days - 10% Off

3 Days - 8% Off

Zoo & Seaworld Discount

15% OFF

With any purchase of
Zoo or Seaworld tickets

Weekday Discount

10% OFF

Stay any day
Sunday - Thursday

Other Discounts

10% OFF

AAA, Military, AARP
Other Package

Marina Inn San Diego Pet Friendly Hotel Marina Inn San Diego Hotel Accepts AAA Members

Call: 1-800-571-2933
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