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Advice for San Diego newbie

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Bay Area, CA
posts: 41
reviews: 6
Advice for San Diego newbie


My wife and I are planning a trip to San Diego in May. We've never been there, so we're looking for advice regarding where to stay, restaurants, etc. We are in our 40's and we're not partiers, but would like to have a drink or two with dinner.

Our requirements for a place to stay are that it is clean & quiet. Those are must haves. On our wishlist for a room include an in-room jacuzzi tub and a walk-in shower. Neither of those are deal-breakers, but would be nice to have.

Thanks for any input!

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 16,112
1. Re: Advice for San Diego newbie

Hi maui - Welcome to the Forum

I can't help with the amenities in hotels but I do believe Riff M has mentioned that the Solamar had a jacuzzi tub. I imagine she'll come along to clarify.

As far as locations and that you'd like to be within walking distance to restaurants, cafes, places to have drinks the best locations are Downtown SD (where the Gaslamp is), Little Italy and last and for me least Old Town. These locations you can easily stay and not worry about having a couple of drinks at night. From Downtown & Little Italy you are also within walking distance to our Bay. If you stay in any of these three areas you can also take the Trolley to some sites and not worry about finding parking & paying for it.

Bay Area, CA
posts: 41
reviews: 6
2. Re: Advice for San Diego newbie

Thanks for your reply. I had read some of the reviews for the Solamar that said it was noisy. I had also read that the Gaslamp district is too loud and busy for light sleepers, so I would think we wouldn't want to stay there, unless those reviews are way off base?

3. Re: Advice for San Diego newbie

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San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 16,112
4. Re: Advice for San Diego newbie

There are many hotels in Downtown SD that aren't in the Gaslamp. The Gaslamp started on 5th Avenue and is spreading a bit to streets on either side. So you can still stay in Downtown and not be near the noise. I don't know what your budget is so I'll just throw out a few names. They will all be different in style so you'd need to check their websites to see what appeals to you. Again, I don't know about jacuzzis, etc.

There are 3 hotels on the Bay in Downtown away from the noise:

Manchester Grand Hyatt

Marriott Marquis Marina

Hilton Bayfront

In Downtown:

The Palomar is further away from the heart of things and would probably have the amenities that you want. I'd check reviews for noise as it is next door to the House of Blues.

The Omni

Hotel Indigo

Westin Gaslamp (quiet area even tho the name says Gaslamp)

Westin Emerald Plaza

US Grant

The Westgate

The Horton Grand

The W Hotel

Courtyard San diego

The Bristol

Hotel Sofia

Little Italy's options are more basic. Best Western Plus Bayside, the Residence Inn, La Pensione, Doubletree, etc

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 46,494
reviews: 61
5. Re: Advice for San Diego newbie


The Solamar is one of my favorite places for a romantic getaway!

The trick is to stay there during the week when the gaslamp is dead!!

I'd say Mon.-Wed.(perhaps even Sunday night) would be fine with no noise or partying going on!

I wouldn't stay on a weekend unless you were also into partying yourselves!

So. Cal
posts: 1,162
reviews: 18
6. Re: Advice for San Diego newbie

IF you like the idea of wanting to be near downtown I'd 2nd Elizzie's recommendations that are on the Bay.

We stay in downtown and love it, but there's plenty of noise all of the time- sirens, commercialized rooftop HVAC, music, cars, light rail, people etc. everything one would expect being in a city.

I'd suggest taking a look at the 1906 Lodge on Coronado Island. It's a lovely peaceful property and you'll have places to dine/ drink within walking distance.

Bay Area, CA
posts: 41
reviews: 6
7. Re: Advice for San Diego newbie

Thanks for the replies, everybody! We ended up booking a room at the 1906 Lodge.

Now, what are the must-see attractions and the restaurants we should put on our list? I'm not a seafood fan, but my wife is. Ideally, we would like to go to a nice restaurant that has steak & seafood at least one night during our stay.

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
posts: 16,112
8. Re: Advice for San Diego newbie

A short walk (sort of across the street) from where you are staying is Vigilucci's. They have seafood and steak and other non-seafood dishes. Some of their tables have a view.


If you want to pay the price you can look at the nearby restaurants in the Hotel del Coronado.

"Must see attractions" is subjective :) What do you WANT to see?

Zoo, SeaWorld, Museums, bay / marina walks, Balboa Park with many museums and gardens, the USS Midway, Cabrillo National Monument with it's stunning views, La Jolla, Torrey Pines State Park,.

Do you want to hike, bike, kayak, snorkle, take a harbor cruise or a brunch or dinner cruise?

Take a Coastal Drive for a couple of hours stopping along the way at various surf side towns with antique shops just off the road? Have a bite to eat along the way ...

Edited: 9:25 pm, April 01, 2013
Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 37,318
reviews: 348
9. Re: Advice for San Diego newbie

How many nights do you have?

So. Cal
posts: 1,162
reviews: 18
10. Re: Advice for San Diego newbie

I think you're really going to be happy with your choice! The Lodge is very classy and intimate.

I wouldn't call these musts, but a couple of fun things to do that might interest you are:

Riding bikes on the island; taking the ferry over to downtown is fun and you'll have beautiful skyline views. I'd recommend having dinner there one night even though you're not into the party scene(check ferry schedule though).

If you're there on a Sunday, and I'm not sure if they have kicked off the season yet or will by your arrival, on Sunday afternoons at The Del there's a great rock n roll band that plays on their outdoor deck. It's a lot of fun, us older folks are dancing around and there's one local woman who has to be in her 60's that can blow any 20 year old off the floor. You can't help but be happy watching her and she gets everyone on the dance floor. It's not a heavy party scene like the Gaslamp it's SoCal beach fun! This is more Goodbeer's excellent idea, so hopefully he'll come along and confirm the dates and band. I think the band is Joe's Garage or something.

A Padres game is a lot of fun if you're baseball fans.

If you come back and tell us your general itinerary of where you'll be heading it will be easier to recommend restaurants nearby.