Where to stay in San Diego

Heading to California, just west of the Far West? Here’s where to stay in San Diego, nicknamed « America’s most beautiful city »!

San Diego is considered almost sacred territory by Californians: and for good reason, « America’s Finest City » is the historic cradle of the state, since it was the first place visited by Europeans when they arrived on the West Coast! This coastal city, just a stone’s throw from the Mexican border, with a population of over three million, is the country’s eighth-largest city. Known for its biotechnology research center, its leading role in trade with South America, and the many naval bases of the U.S. Navy, which stations its warships here, it is also renowned for its mild climate, and its beaches attract weekend loungers from the U.S., as well as tourists from the four corners of the globe.

So, curious to discover this metropolis open to the world? We’ll take you on a tour and give you the best tips for finding the accommodation of your dreams in San Diego.

Coronado Island

Coronado Island is linked to the rest of San Diego by a bridge, and features a number of luxury hotels lining the beach – one of the finest on the coast – and opulent villas, but only those on a comfortable budget will be able to stay in San Diego on the island, which is reputed to be quite unaffordable. Typically Californian bike paths run along the coast, giving you access to the island’s various tourist attractions, from restaurants to sunset views. If you have the time during your visit to Coronado, why not discover the fabulous Hotel del Coronado, with its spectacular Victorian style, an architectural marvel planted in this renowned seaside resort.

A little anecdote: the military base on Coronado Island is where the film Top Gun was shot. Perhaps you’ll bump into Tom Cruise there?

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Downtown and Gaslamp

In American cities, Downtown is akin to downtown, and unlike here at home, it’s not necessarily the best neighborhood; but when you’re looking for a place to stay in San Diego, Downtown is a lively and rather pleasant urban business center, where shopaholics can spend lavishly in the many shopping malls that dot its wide avenues.

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In addition, a charming little historic district, Gaslamp, is integrated into the monumental buildings that protect it from the sun at certain times of the day: here you’ll discover fantastic period buildings, perfectly restored and sometimes rented out by their owners as lodgings, and the gas street lamps that once illuminated 5th Avenue, the area’s main thoroughfare. For those wondering, these gas lamps gave the neighborhood its name! To visit the neighborhood, why not opt for the famous GoCar guided tour? This little car, equipped with a GPS, not only guides you perfectly, but also tells you the history of the city and its neighborhoods as you take a discovery-filled stroll.

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Located right on the edge of San Diego Bay, the Marina is an ultra-touristy place not to be missed under any circumstances. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of hotels where you can find a place to stay in San Diego right on the waterfront, but there are many other points of interest on site: a splendid waterfront, where you can visit the USS Midway Museum, a decommissioned aircraft carrier now accessible to tourists, as well as numerous sculptures: here, you can admire  » Unconditional Surrender« , the famous work by John Seward Johnson, inspired by a photo celebrating the end of the Pacific War in 1945.

La Marina is the neighborhood on San Diego Bay where you can admire the many yachts moored in the harbor, an atypical shopping mall and the city’s Maritime Museum.

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Old Town

Old Town is San Diego’s old town, now part of a historic park, Old Town San Diego State Park features many period buildings, including the Casa de Estudillo, one of California’s finest 19th-century mansions, but there are many other surprises in store for the curious!

Kitsch and fun, this neighborhood is an absolute must-see, but don’t expect to find a rental apartment to stay in San Diego in one of its colorful buildings: it’s impossible, nonetheless, an assortment of luxury hotels can be found in the neighborhood, just a stone’s throw from Seaworld San Diego, a renowned recreation center dedicated to marine life.

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