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Five Alternatives to San Diego's Hotel Circle


San Diego’s Hotel Circle is right along Interstate 8, just east of the 5 freeway. As such, it’s a central location for visitors and business travelers, with a plethora of inexpensive hotels. Unfortunately, it’s also not very walkable or pretty. Why not stay at a place that lets you park your car and make your way on foot - or never leave the property?

The Kona Kai Resort and Spa, near Shelter Island, offers a complete resort experience, with a variety of package that will appeal to those looking for a beach weekend or week. There’s no getting around the fact that this is a pricey hotel; with a AAA discount, summer rooms are offered at roughly three hundred and fifty dollars a night. The package deals, which can include tickets to Sea World or the San Diego Zoo, help soften the economic blow, as does the sheer beauty of the property. Beyond the spa, there’s a marina and private beach; marina slips, kayaks, and SUPs available for rental.

Paradise Point is another destination resort in the San Diego area. Located in the Mission Bay area, this property is close to Sea World. There’s an on-site spa, a fitness center, and five pools; in addition, patrons can while away an afternoon exploring the forty-four landscaped acres by either foot or by bicycle (rentals are available.) The marina offers rentals of speedboats, kayaks, and other watercraft, but also surfing lessons. Paradise Point isn’t cheap, but with rooms available in the two hundred dollar range, it’s a nice option for that special weekend or week.

Downtown San Diego has a vibe all its own, combining big-city sophistication with the romanticism of its “Gaslamp Quarter.” Petco Park is in this neighborhood, as is the Convention Center; the USS Midway Museum and Seaport Village are a bit further, but still walkable. A number of unusual chain hotels can be found here. Hotel Indigo, with its ninth floor Rooftop Bar, fitness center, and great amenities including Aveda products, is a relative steal, with prices in the one hundred and fifty dollar range. Part of the Hotel Indigo chain (a subsidiary of IHC hotels), the property bills itself as international and pet-friendly.

San Diego was once the “tuna capital” of the Western United States, with the Pacific Tuna Canning Company opening in 1911. An influx of immigrants from poverty-stricken areas on the Italian peninsula contributed to the creation of “Little Italy”, one of the few surviving such neighborhoods in the United States. Smaller boutique hotels such as the Porto Vista and the Urban Boutique offer rooms for below one hundred and twenty-five dollars. While you probably won’t be spending time lounging poolside or renting watercraft, you will be within walking distance of restaurants, brewpubs, wine bars, art galleries, boutique shopping, and nightlife.

Whether you decide to relax at a resort or spend your time immersed in culture and nightlife, there are many wonderful places to stay in San Diego outside of Hotel Circle. Because there’s so much to see, you might plan a succession of weekends, each one with its own theme and hotel choice. Happy travels!

Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, 509 9th Street, https://www.ihg.com/hotelindigo/hotels/us/en/reservation#scmisc=header_6c

Kona Kai Resort and Spa, 1551 Shelter Island Drive, www.resortkonakai.com

Paradise Point Resort and Spa, 1404 Vacation Road, www.paradisepoint.com

Porto Vista Hotel, 1835 Columbia Street, www.portovistasd.com

Urban Boutique Hotel, 1654 Columbia Street, www.urbanboutiquehotel.com
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Content copyright © 2015 by Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. . All rights reserved.
This content was written by Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. . If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Korie Beth Brown, Ph.D. for details.

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