Calling all dogs, cats, lizards, hamsters, birds or whatever other pets you want to bring down to the Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade this weekend! This parade is going to be unlike any other because come Sunday, animals of all shapes and sizes are going to be flocking to the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego with eager owners in tow.
The parade will start at 3 pm on Sunday, December 8 at the Hilton Gaslamp Park at 401 K Street. Owners are encouraged to dress up in festive costume, along with their furry or feathered friend, and enter one of the many costume contests. Winners will be announced at the Pet Parade Awards Ceremony and will receive prizes and a certificate. Contestants will have an opportunity to win in the following categories:
- Cutest Critter
- Best Non-Canine Pet Costume
- Best Costume Made out of Duct Tape (be sure not to hurt any fuzzy animals!)
- Best in Show
- Ugliest Christmas Sweater
- Best Group Costume
- Best Costume Duo
- Best Dog Costume
- Best Pet Holiday Costume
If you left your pet at home during a San Diego vacation and you don’t want to participate in the parade, you can always watch the entertaining spectacle from the sidelines and join in on the fun at the Pet Expo from 1 p to 5pm at the Hilton Gaslamp Park. Guests will receive a free goodie bag and have access to over 20 booths and maybe a treat or two, for both you and your four-legged companion.
Registration for the parade is now open and available for $15 for you and your pet. The day of the event registration will be open at 12:30 pm for $20. The parade will start by heading north from the expo on Harbor Dr., near Little Italy and the San Diego Convention Center, before turning left on 5th Ave. The group will then be guided to march left on E St and left on 4th Ave. in order to circle back to the Hilton Gaslamp Park for the Pet Expo.
If you’re looking for an affordable pet-friendly hotel that’s near downtown San Diego, look no further than the Marina Inn. Just give us a call at 1-800-571-2933 or visit marinainnsd.com and let our Reservation Specialist know your pet is coming along so we can make sure we accommodate both you and your companion.
Did you know that San Diego’s average wintertime high temperature is 65 to 69 degrees and the average low doesn’t typically drop below 48 degrees? This is why a San Diego vacation in the winter is perfect for those that want to escape the cold and avoid the San Diego summertime tourists while still enjoying the same perks.
Here’s how to enjoy a winter vacation in America’s Finest City:
Don’t skip all the beautiful beaches just because the water might be a bit frigid. You can buy or rent an affordable wetsuit to enjoy some surfing, swimming and snorkeling along San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline. Pack up a picnic and enjoy the sunset at La Jolla Shores, Sunset Cliffs, or Del Mar’s Seagrove Park. You can also round up some family and friends for a bonfire at Mission Bay or Coronado.
Theme Parks are usually less crowded during winter months but still offer the same amount of fun. In fact, many local attractions turn into Winter Wonderlands, bringing in real snow and special shows to celebrate the holidays. Pick a weekday to ensure the lowest lines possible and enjoy the rides and games at SeaWorld, Legoland, Belmont Park or the San Diego Zoo.
Catch the myriad of holiday events happening around the county! You can go ice skating on Coronado Island, watch America’s largest balloon parade at the San Diego Bay, participate in Balboa Nights at Balboa Park and experience drive-through Christmas Lights at the San Diego Fair Grounds. The options are seemingly endless.
Stay tuned to Marina Inn’s blog as we cover upcoming holiday events in San Diego and how to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to vacationing in this wonderful city. And if you’re looking to book an affordable room downtown for your winter getaway, call a Marina Inn reservations specialist to ask about our discounts and availability: 1-800-571-2933.
Veterans Day is a national federal holiday to show respect for all of the men and women that have fought in our country’s military. This day also signifies the end of World War I, which officially ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Honoring our nation’s veterans is very important and San Diego will be celebrating today with a Veterans Day Parade through the city’s historical Gaslamp district. The parade will include a marching band and The Band of Pride tribute to veterans.
However, it’s important not to forget about all the men and women who are currently serving this country overseas. There are many ways the people of San Diego can help our city’s military make it through a long deployment in another country.
- Adopt a U.S. Solider. Visit www.adoptaussoldier.org to “adopt” a U.S soldier who is currently overseas. You can send them a one-time care package or offer to keep in regular contact with them.
- Donate or volunteer at Homefront San Diego. This non-profit organization provides help to military families in a time of need, from delivering food to repairing a fence.
- Donate or volunteer at San Diego MOM (Military Outreach Ministries). This outreach organization does monthly food drops for lower ranking military families in San Diego.
- Hire a Patriot. The San Diego founders of hirepatriots.com, which received The Congressional Medal of Merit, and hiremarines.com designed these sites to help military members find extra work when they get back home from deployment.
For more ways to help, aside from heading to the San Diego International Airport and flying overseas to visit the dedicated service members, you can go to sandiegotroops.com for a list of more local organizations.
Since San Diego is one of the biggest military towns in the country, it’s important that we thank our current and past military members for their service on Veteran’s day and continually throughout the year. Do you have a family member or friend who has served? Just send them a thank you note. Don’t know anyone personally? Get connected to a soldier and let them know they’re appreciated and that their service means something to you. A little gesture can go a long way.
At Marina Inn Hotel and Suites, we’re saying “thank you” by offering a 10% military discount on already low prices. To ask about our rooms and to book a reservation, please call 1-800-571-2933. And from Marina Inn to our military, thank you!
Would you like to celebrate Christmas with Shamu? Well you can from November 16 through January 4! San Diego SeaWorld is soon going to transform into a winter wonderland complete with more than 6,500 square feet of fresh snow every day. Kids will have the opportunity to make snowmen and snow angels or even go sledding. Some other seasonal attractions at Sea World’s Christmas Celebration include:
- Santa’s Cottage: Bring the kids to meet Santa in his festive cottage and take a picture with the whole family. Visitors will also have a chance to decorate cookies and meet a few of Santa’s elves.
- SeaWorld’s Christmas Tree of Lights: Every night SeaWorld’s famous 320-foot Christmas tree will be lit up and visible from all over San Diego. This bright and delightful tradition has been going on since 1969!
- Breakfast with Shamu and Santa: Make reservations early for this special treat. For $16 to $26 a person you and your family can enjoy a delicious breakfast with Santa Claus, right next to Shamu’s enclosure.
- Santa’s Reindeers in Training: Two of Santa’s reindeer will be staying a SeaWorld this holiday season. The two friendly reindeer, named Jingles and Winter, can be seen at their corral right next to Santa’s cottage.
With so many families planning a San Diego holiday vacation this year, SeaWorld will surely get a little crowded. If you don’t want to battle the masses in their parking lot, there are other transportation options:
- If you’re coming from Downtown San Diego you can find the green trolley line stop near Petco Park and then get off at the Old Town Trolley Station. From there just take MTS BUS route 9 Pacific Beach via Sea World / Ingraham Stand get off at Sea World.
- Amtrak also offers affordable public transportation options for those who are traveling from the coastal communities of San Diego.
For a family-friendly place to stay near the theme park, that also offers discounted SeaWorld admission tickets, contact Marina Inn at 1-800-571-2933. We’d be more than happy to provide affordable accommodations during your holiday travels!
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Fiesta de Reyes, a bright and festive shopping and dining district in the center of the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, is celebrating Irish-Mexican Day this Saturday, November 9. San Diego’s Irish-Mexican Day honors the Irish immigrants of the legendary artillery unit, Saint Patrick’s Brigade, who fought for Mexico during the Mexican-American War in the 1840s.
Part of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion song even goes as follows: “From Dublin City to San Diego, we witnessed freedom denied. So we formed the Saint Patrick Battalion and we fought on the Mexican side.” The Saint Patrick’s Brigade became one of the Mexican Army’s most highly decorated brigades during the Mexican-American War.
This free event, which runs from noon to 3 pm, will feature traditional Irish music and more authentic Mexican food than you can imagine. Last year the event also included a bagpiper’s parade and dancing. After the event you can browse the 19 shops in Fiesta de Reyes or grab some more food at one of three world-class restaurants: Barra Barra, Casa de Reyes or Cosmopolitan.
Local U.S. military from Old Town’s nearby MCRD are encouraged to come and participate in the festivities and soak up some Mexican-American history while we all pay patronage to those that were lost and those that are currently serving in our country’s military.
If you’re visiting San Diego from out of town or have family coming in for an MCRD graduation, click here for information on the affordable Marina Inn hotel near Old Town San Diego. Marina Inn & Suites is just seven minutes away from Old Town and five minutes from the MCRD. You can also call our Reservations Specialist at 1-800-571-2933 to ask about our military discounts!
The downtown district of San Diego is recognized as the hub of the entertainment and nightlife, offering endless options for clubs, bars and more once the sun sets. However, what if you’re traveling with young children? Maybe you’re looking to enjoy San Diego in the morning? What are your options? As one of the cheap hotels in downtown San Diego, we know a thing or two about savings, and have created a short list of fun things you can do in the morning that won’t cost your entire vacation budget.
- Catch a movie. We’ve all watched the prices for movie screenings skyrocket in the past years, making going to the movies a less desirable activity. Fortunately, the United Artist Cinema at the Horton Plaza Mall in downtown San Diego is currently offering a discounted ticket price of $6.50 for all screenings before noon. Check out the latest flicks and enjoy deep discount and a modern theater with all of the amenities for the total movie-going experience.
- Tour Balboa Park. At 1pm on Tuesday and Sunday, Balboa Park offers a free walking tour. While the tour doesn’t take place too early the morning, the grounds are open 24 hours so you can enjoy the park before it gets too crowded. Plus, a majority of the museums open at 10am so grab a coffee, head over early and enjoy the park!
- Stroll along the embarcadero. If you’re an early riser and are not sure what to do in the morning, stroll along the San Diego Harbor and enjoy the views. Those staying at nearby San Diego Harbor hotels also have a variety of options for breakfast on the bay. Stick to local mom-and-pop restaurants to keep dining costs low!
- Grab breakfast in Little Italy. Little Italy is overflowing with authentic Italian cafes which serve coffees, pastries and more. You’ll be able to watch as the shops begin to open and can enjoy them morning relaxing on the patio.
Planning a trip to San Diego? These are only a few of the many affordable things you can do in America’s Finest City. And of course, to save on your hotel reservations, don’t forget to contact the Marina Inn in downtown San Diego and take advantage of our year round hotel deals.
How is your family going to celebrate Halloween this year? Carving pumpkins and trick or treating? Heading downtown to Seaport Village for the annual Halloween Bash on the Bay? If you don’t want to stay near San Diego Gaslamp Quarter for Halloween this year, no problem! Celebrate this year’s spookiest holiday, the annual Brick-or-Treat Nights, at the Legoland California Resort. One of the top family-friendly events in San Diego, you can count on a ton of fun, fright and festivities.
The spooky and fun nights take place every Saturday and Sunday in October, meaning plenty of time to check out the park’s thrilling rides, haunted mansions, Halloween themed shows and Lego creations. The highlight of the event is the Brick-or-Treat trail which is comprised of 10-stations where younger visitors can find tasty (and healthy) treats, win prizes and encounter a variety of surprises!
On Saturdays, Brick-or-Treat also hosts costume contests for children 12 and under. The lucky winners will receive a 4 Resort Membership Passes and a gift basket! And don’t forget to bring your camera, as there will be plenty of opportunities to capture your memories with Legoland’s crew of skeletons, ghosts, scarecrows and more. With live shows, dancing, Halloween displays and fireworks, you can’t deny the fun of Legoland’s Brick-or-Treat Nights.
If you are traveling to San Diego for the holiday and have accommodations near the San Diego International Airport, you can make the most out of your theme park adventure by taking advantage of Legoland’s extended Halloween hours. Certain portions of the theme park will be open for late night revelers including the Land of Adventure, Immigration Zone and Safari Trek. Activities here will include a dance party and pumpkin patch building contest with special glowing nighttime treats.
Now you’re left with one thing! How to buy tickets for Brick-or-Treat Nights! The answer is simple. Click here to visit the official Legoland website and purchase tickets online. Evening admission from 5pm to 9pm is only $30 and full day admission to Legoland and SeaLife is a discounted $59. Hope to see you there!
As Halloween approaches San Diegans are beginning to see the candy, costumes and creepy decorations come out in full force. If you have the kids in tow, here is a list of the top 3 family-friendly Halloween events in San Diego this month:
- Sea World’s Spooktacular. Through October 27th visitors are able to enjoy special Halloween inspired shows and even trick or treating! Kids are encouraged to dress up in costume and take photos with some of the theme park’s famed characters. San Diego Sea World parking can always be tricky, so be sure to show up early and know that weekdays are always less crowded.
- Old Town Trick-or-Treat. Old Town San Diego kid’s activities are bountiful and this is one of the best. On Halloween little ghouls and goblins are invited to trick-or-treat throughout the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Kids are treated to free goodies and candies but if your want a little “trick” you can go on special Halloween tours at the haunted Whaley House.
- Balboa Park Family Day. On October 26 from 11am To 3pm Over 12 museums at Balboa Park will open their doors for free for children 12 and under with a paid adult admission. Families will be guided on special and spooky Halloween tours and can enjoy storytelling and possibly some deliciously free treats.
If you’re visiting San Diego for Halloween and are looking for a family friendly cheap hotel in San Diego, Marina Inn is the ideal place to stay. We offer discounts on local attractions and 12% off for advanced booking. Call (619) 232-7551 today to book a room and don’t forget to ask about our kid’s suites!
San Diego has mid-70’s sunshine all year round which makes it a great place to visit come fall and winter when the masses of summer tourists leave and you want to escape the frost bite. Not only did we put together a list of the three must-see places in San Diego, but we also let you know when is best to go.
- San Diego Zoo- This internationally recognized zoo is home to over 3,000 animals including endangered species like the Panda. During the colder winter months the animals tend to be a little more active and are especially animated earlier in the morning. October is going to be the best time to visit the San Diego Zoo because not only do kids get in free with an accompanying adult, but they are also celebrating the birth of new giraffe, Okapi and flamingo.
- Balboa Park- This 1,200-acre park houses the San Diego Zoo along with 15 major museums, beautiful gardens and The Prado Restaurant. The Prado is one of many eateries participating in San Diego’s restaurant week making now through September 20 a great time to dine on a dime.Balboa Park also offers free admission to all San Diego County residentsand all active military and their family’s free admission to rotating museums the first four Tuesdays of every month.
- Petco Park- The Padres are wrapping up their season this month with some great promotions during their last five games. On September 20 guests receive a Padres BBQ set made by Phil’s BBQ and can view a fireworks display after the game. Bring the family to the September 22nd day game against the Dodgers for Kidfest at the Park, a salute to the military and team photograph signings. The first 25,000 fans at the last game of the year on September 26th will get a free Padres t-shirt. If you want to be near the action without being directly in it, you can watch the game at a Petco Park bar.
If you’re looking for a cheap San Diego hotel, Marina Inn and Suites is less than two miles away from Balboa Park and other major San Diego attractions. Call 1-800-571-2933 to speak to a staff member about reservations or to ask about the discounts we offer at local destinations like the San Diego Zoo and Sea World.
When visiting San Diego’s Gaslamp District, it can be hard to make a restaurant decision when there are well over 100 delectable options to choose from. While this area is home to some affordable San Diego restaurants it can certainly get pricey if you want to sample more than one place. The 21stAnnual Taste of Downtown on September 26 solves that problem.
Next Thursday from 5pm to 9pm attendees get the chance to sample all different types of foods at 45 different restaurants. Some of the participating eateries include the trendy Ra Sushi, swanky Ocean Room and chic Mediterranean at Meze.
Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 on the same say and include samples at participating restaurants scattered throughout the Gaslamp Quarter, Financial District, East Village and Horton Plaza. That’s why it’s a good thing your ticket also includes complimentary shuttle service around town so you can make sure you get to treat your taste buds at every location.
Taste of Downtown is a great way to experience the culinary diversity of San Diego, especially for those who are visiting on a budget. Often times, visitors and vacationers don’t have it in their travel itinerary to dine at more than a few of the top restaurants in the city. If you’re fortunate enough to be in town during the event, it is one you surely won’t want to miss out on.
For additional savings, the downtown San Diego Marina Inn offers 10% off weekday stays if you want to soak up your San Diego experience and stay for the top-notch after-hours nightlife.