We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

Which San Diego hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
1,150 posts
145 reviews
Save Topic
Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

Our family (2a/2c) are planning on a 3 night stay in San Diego. At this stage we know that we want to visit San Diego Zoo/Balboa Park area. We will also do a trolley tour of the main San Diego sites. We are unsure yet if we will go to SeaWorld. We are planning on flying in from San Diego and picking up a rental (if we need to).

Based on us wanting to go to the San Diego Zoo which part of San Diego should we stay in? Our budget is around $150-175 per night which hopefully willl include a complimentary breakfast to keep costs down.

Hotel recommendations would also be appreciated. We have already looked at the Old Mission Inn (?) and that seems OK for the four (4) of us.

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
22,164 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

This hotel has been recommended her for families with a car.

Another option that is very populat with familes is the Homewood Suites Liberty Station. Free parking & breakfast, family rooms, and some free dinners. But it really depends on you and your needs. Most importantly your budget per nigt.

Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
1,150 posts
145 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

Budget up to $200 per night but would prefer less if possible. Location and safe accom is more important at the end of the day and if this means that we need to pay for parking as well then we will happily pay the extra.

Having not been to San Diego before we are unsure of whether the Downtown/San Diego Bay area or the Old Town area is where we should be given that we are only in San Diego for a few days.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
59,104 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

There is no one correct area for your trip.

The Old Town area has Old Town State Park with its old buildings and reproductions, little shops ,restaurants and easy access to bus,lightrail , and hopon hop off bus tour. Our 4th graders spend one week at the state park learning about California history. There are several motels in the area which are reasonably priced.

Old Town is about 4stops on the lightrail north of downtown.

Our small bayfront downtown is only 2 miles from the airport.

Some of the hotels have bay views. There are large modern highrise hotels and some smaller lower priced ones as well. There is a mall, lots of restaurants, stores etc. It would be a bus ride to the zoo/Balboa Park or you could use the hop on hop off bus tour to get there as well.

In downtown you can also walk along the bayfront and see the ships docked and take a harbor tour or our passenger ferry which goes across the bay.

From Old Town you'd take the lightrail and then a bus to get to the park/zoo.

Either place would be fine for your family. It all depends on if you'd like a city atmosphere(downtown) or a more low key perhaps a bit more touristy atmosphere.(old town)

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
22,164 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

Please know that no one is going to recommend that you stay in an "unsafe" location. With or without a car.

Old Town is very busy and many tourists. Liberty Station is attached to a beautiful park (where my sister walks her dogs) and is next door to a nice neighborhood and a place with places to eat (where locals go). Close to water (no beach) but her grandkids go to a park with a view on the water on Shelter Island.

Edited: 02 January 2012, 13:50
San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
22,164 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

I failed to mention staying Downtown. If you stay Downtown you can get away without having a car depending on where you want to go and what you want to see. You will have access to public transportation and can walk to the Bay. Very easy to get to the Zoo / Balboa Park w/o a car. Also if you decide to go to SeaWorld you can hop on the Trolley to Old Town stop and take a bus or taxi from there.

Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
1,150 posts
145 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

Thanks for the very informative posts. Both downtown and Bayfront have their advantages. I think the decision will come down to which hotels are offering the best deals.

If I can please ask one more question - what is the distance between Old Town and Downtown? Thanks again for your help

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
59,104 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

Downtown and bayfront can be the same thing.

There are bayfront hotels in our downtown.

The distance by car between old town and downtown is about 8min.

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
22,164 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

Depending on your starting / ending point is approx 5 + miles.

Cairns, Australia
Level Contributor
1,150 posts
145 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

Thanks @elizzie4000

Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
25,711 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Hotel advice (soory I know this has been asked over and over

I like the Old ton area for Family, many good positives has already been mentioned, but let me give you a few links. First off, the main websites about the area...

http://www.oldtownsandiego.org/

http://www.oldtownsandiegoguide.com/

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=663

Here is one suggestion for a Hotel in your budget range, the Fairfield Inn Old Town. (Just changed names yesterday). (Comes with a nice free breakfast).

marriott.com/hotels/…

http://www.hioldtownhotel.com/

Of course, there are many other options, but at least a place to start.

If you opt for the Fairfield Inn, you more than likely won't need a rental car, as they provide free shuttles to the Airport, Santa Fe Train Station, the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld. Plus easy access to public transit (Old Town Transportation Center and the San Diego Trolley). Plus the local Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus is based in Old Town.

http://www.trolleytours.com/san-diego/

Also, just to clarify, with a car, the Liberty Station area is a good choice, but NOT a good choice without a car.

If you opt for the Fairfield Inn, look into their specials, they normally charge for parking, but they have a package deal that offers free parking, along with a $25 Gas Card.