When it comes to shopping in San Diego the options are seemingly endless. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to look through bayside boutiques, stroll through an open air mall among the biggest brand names, or even scour through secondhand antiques, San Diego has it all. If you don’t have time to enjoy all of the shopping this city has to offer, hopefully this list of the top malls and shopping districts will help you narrow it down.
- Fashion Valley Mall is an open air mall in Mission Valley and is the place to go to get brand names like Gucci, Hugo Boss and Prada. The two story mall features a movie theatre and food court on the top floor but if you’re looking for more formal dining you can make reservations at The Cheesecake Factory or True Food Kitchen. We also recommend signing up to become a “Mall Insider” on their website before vising so you can get the scoop all new trends, store specials and mall events.
- Horton Plaza in the heart of Downtown San Diego is another great option but with its prime location comes difficulty parking. The good news is that the first three hours of Horton Plaza parking are free if you get your parking ticket validated when you make a $10 mall purchase. This five level mall can easily become a maze so we recommend downloading the Westfield Mall app on your phone to make navigating a little easier. This eclectic shopping plaza offers a multitude of shops and you can even catch a live comedy show on the top floor at Madhouse Comedy Club! For the month of October you can also purchase a $5 Bright Pink Book of savings with the proceeds going to the support and prevention of breast and ovarian cancer.
- For a special and unique experience many flock to the Seaport Village shopping area next to the bay to peruse the 50+ small shops. This beautiful and quaint outdoor shopping village is a great place to window shop, eat at a bayside restaurant and listen to live music in the food court. They also host weekly events that are great for the family or for a date, including their free Sunday concert series from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
For an affordable place to drop after you shop, check out the Downtown San Diego hotel Marina Inn & Suites. To ask about our weekly specials or to make a reservation, please call 1-800-571-2933.
Expensive “boutique” San Diego fitness classes are on the rise, including laugh yoga and aerial silks. When did it all get so complicated and so pricey? The downtown San Diego hotel, Marina Inn, wants to bring it back to the basics and show visiting and local San Diegans how to work out while having fun and saving their hard earned cash.
- “Play out.” Instead of looking at fitness as work, consider bringing the kids to one of the many Balboa Park playgrounds for a play-inspired sweat sesh. With five beautiful playgrounds to choose from there is sure to be plenty of wide open space, Morley Field even has a 2-mile fitness track. Join your kids on the playground to get in a great workout while having a good time. Here’s an idea for a fun “play out” circuit: swing across the monkey bars two times, 10 incline push-ups against a park bench, knees-to-chest on a an unmoving swing.
- Convention Center. The San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) is an adult’s fitness wonderland. Running the 100-step staircase will surely get your heart rate soaring and if you continue to the observation deck you will be well rewarded with spectacular San Diego Bay views. The SDCC is also close to breezy bayside jogging trails that take you through the South Embarcadero Park or Seaport Village. Since all of these workouts are free of charge, we consider this one of the Convention Center discounts you can’t pass up.
- Free yoga. San Diego is home to a plethora of free fitness classes, one of the most common being yoga. Lululemon offers free yoga classes every Saturday morning in San Diego, Carlsbad and La Jolla but they’re first come first serve and fill up fast. Corepower Yoga also offers free beginner classes Saturday through Monday at their Hillcrest, Mission Valley, La Jolla and Point Loma locations (check studio for specific times).
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San Diego has been making a lot of changes throughout the years to ensure that this city is as eco-friendly as possible. Solana Beach has banned plastic bags, rebates are being granted for adding solar panels to your home or for driving an electric car, and large construction projects around the city are trying to leave a smaller carbon footprint.
The recent renovations taking place at the airport is one of those eco-friendly projects. The San Diego International Airport began major renovations earlier this year in an attempt to not only modernize their facilities but to also create a “greener” and more efficient airport. The San Diego Airport Green Build Project aims to utilize alternate sources of energy, reduce emissions and increase water efficiency. The upcoming San Diego Convention Center expansion is also going to follow suit by maintaining their LEED certification, the international rating system for green building. The expansion design features a plethora of sustainable features including a solar chimney and a water filtration system.
Another area of San Diego that is focused on caring for our natural resources is Little Italy. Every Saturday from 8am to 2pm they host one of the city’s most popular farmer’s markets. This large market showcases only local produce and encourages residents and tourists alike to support organic local farmers.
Little Italy is also a main hub for Car2Go, which is a low-emission car sharing service. These smart cars are fuel efficient and when in electric drive mode do not emit any CO2, carbon monoxide, soot, particulate matter or pollutants. The cars can be picked up or dropped off at tons of places around San Diego with no commitment and are extremely safe. This is a great option for small families considering the plethora of affordable kids’ activities in Little Italy.
If you want to reduce your own carbon footprint, here are some suggestions that the Downtown San Diego Marina Inn came up with: start your own garden, consider composting your trash for soil, recycle, and install solar panels and energy efficient light bulbs.
What are two things that San Diego has a lot of? Coastline and shopping.
San Diego has 70 miles of coastline and with temperatures averaging in the 70s, there’s not a bad time to hit the beach. The stretch of coastline is diverse as the type of beaches it offers as well as the type of people.
Both Coronado and La Jolla offer up some of the most beautiful views and if you cruise the coast you’re bound to find some secluded nooks and crannies. For example, the beach spots at Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach are part of the 68-acre Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. The cliffs and shoreline here are some of the most breathtaking and one of the reasons this beach is among the most photographed in the world.
If you looking for family-friendly San Diego beaches then be sure to skip Mission Beach and Black’s Beach. Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are famously touted as San Diego’s party on the Pacific Ocean. While drinking alcohol on San Diego beaches is no longer allowed, that doesn’t stop the PB party crowd from coming out in droves dressed in next to nothing.
At Black’s Beach sometimes they are dressed in nothing. This Torrey Pines beach is the unofficial nude beach of San Diego. Nudity isn’t legal in public anymore but that doesn’t stop some nudists, or naturalists, from putting on their birthday suit and catching some rays.
If you’re looking to purchase some new clothes instead of watching people take of their old ones, check out some of the top notch shopping San Diego has to offer. For boutique and designer labels the best place to go is downtown La Jolla or Fashion Valley Mall. For diversity and the potential to snag a good deal, try the Carlsbad Outlets or give the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter shopping options a chance. The Gaslamp District has everything a shopper desires: a mall, boutiques, bargains and specialty shops.
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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.
You don’t need to get on a boat to go “island hopping” in the sunny city of San Diego! While the county’s three islands aren’t really islands at all, they offer some of the same views and luxuries. San Diego’s Shelter Island, Harbor Island and Coronado Island are easy to explore as they are just man-made peninsulas attached by narrow strips of land.
Shelter Island in Point Loma makes the most of its 1.2 mile long stretch of land. The small space features beautiful bay-side spas and hosts the well-known Humphreys Concerts by the Bay series. The outdoor concert location is attracting big-name bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Dianna Krall during the month of September.
Harbor Island, just south of Shelter Island, is another small piece of land just under two miles long, and is known for the myriad of boats docking at its coast, as well as a still-functioning lighthouse. Named Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, the historic landmark doubles as a restaurant and is easily considered one of the top San Diego harbor restaurants.
Coronado Island, also known as “The Enchanted Island”, is the third and most affluent of all the county’s manmade peninsulas. You can head to Silver Strand beach to witness some of the nation’s most beautiful sunsets along with some Navy SEALs training near the water.
All of these “boutique islands” have been designed for resort seekers who don’t typically mind a big price tag. But if you plan your trip in advance and seek out affordable activities in San Diego, you can still island hop on a dime.
A great way to save money is to avoid staying at the pricey island hotels. A cheap downtown San Diego hotel that is just minutes from the city’s “islands” will provide you with ability to easily travel to all of the islands, without breaking the bank. Call the Marina Inn downtown hotel at 1-800-571-2933 for more information about our affordable rates and reservations.
The Port of San Diego is the fourth largest port in California and an economic gold mine for the city of San Diego, but it also offers a plethora of free family-friendly events with a beautiful view of the big San Diego Bay.
An added bonus is that any Big Bay attraction is free for kids under 12 with paid adult admission. This includes the Maritime Museum, whale watching at H&M Landing and various kid’s activities at Seaport Village.
The month of September brings a bunch of great events such as the Coronado Art Walk, a Latin Food Fest and the much anticipated Chula Vista Harbor Fest. From September 21 to 22, Harbor Fest will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Port of San Diego at Bayside Park with a Youthzone full of games. In addition to the many kids’ activities, the festival will include events like Baja Wine Tasting and a craft beer garden for the adults.
If you want to experience some San Diego history, visit the Port’s famous Star of India. This ship is the world’s oldest sailing ship and will be celebrating its 150 years of life in November with the event Once Upon A Star. The ancient ship will be decked out with lights before it sets sail in the bay while San Diego’s socialites dance the night away on the top deck.
To soak up more San Diego sun and history, you can drive just 5 minutes away to the flower-filled Balboa Park. While parking near Balboa Park can occasionally be an issue, it’s worth it to experience any of the 14 available museums.
If you’re looking for an affordable place to stay that is less than two miles away from all of the fun that the Port of San Diego has to offer, book at a room at the cheap downtown San Diego Marina Inn today!
The Marina Inn and Suites in Downtown San Diego offers a convenient and cheap place to stay in San Diego that is close to the airport and all the local action. Less than 5 minutes away, you can hop in a shuttle at the airport, arrive at our hotel, quickly unpack and start enjoying everything America’s Finest City has to offer.
If you want to grab a bite fresh off your flight, there are a lot of restaurants near the San Diego airport that are walking distance from our hotel. From classic American fare and authentic Italian Cuisine to premier steakhouses and seafood shacks, there is something sure to satisfy your cravings. And of course, you’ll want to fuel up before you hit the town.
The easiest and most scenic way to the heart of the hip and historic Gaslamp Quarter is the short 1.5 mile, 30-minute walk along the harbor. But if you have your dancing shoes on and prefer not to walk, the San Diego trolley has a stop just one block from our front door. Simply jump on the green line and for $2.50 you’ll find yourself in the midst of restaurants and nightclubs, as well as a variety of family activities in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
The last option we recommend is calling Yellow Cab of San Diego. While this is convenient, as they’ll pick you up right outside the hotel, it’s going to be the most expensive option at $10 for a ride downtown.
No matter what you choose, the Marina Inn is happy to help. To book a room, or to ask about our “Park and Fly” package, please call 1-800-571-2933.
It’s September already! What does that mean? The back to school season is just beginning. With San Diego being home to three major universities, there’s no city as active during this time of year. At the Marina Inn in downtown San Diego, we wanted to take the time to welcome incoming freshman to San Diego State (SDSU), University of California San Diego (UCSD) and University of San Diego (USD).
San Diego is a great place for you to spend the next four years of your life. While you may not be interested in visiting Legoland California or hopping on the rides at SeaWorld San Diego, there are plenty of non-tourist attractions to enjoy. Plus, with year round sunshine and more than 70 miles of pristine coastline, you really can’t go wrong.
Some of the top attractions for young adults include Pacific and Ocean Beach, La Jolla Cove and the downtown district of San Diego. While some of you may not be old enough for drinks at the bars in the Gaslamp Quarter, there are plenty of other activities including bay cruises, kayaking and surfing lessons, trips to Balboa Park and baseball games at the historic Petco Park.
For those who are coming down to San Diego without a car, the public transportation provides you with the opportunity to travel to various destinations throughout the county. Be sure to make use of the bus system, as well as the trolley system. If you are going to live off campus, living near a trolley station could benefit you greatly.
Interested in learning more about college life in San Diego? Come visit yourself and stay at the Marina Inn. Conveniently located in downtown San Diego, we are minutes from the airport and the three major universities in San Diego. As a preferred affordable hotel in San Diego, you are able to save your money for exploring, without sacrificing the quality or comfort of your room or suite. Start planning your San Diego adventure today!