Best Hotels In San Diego

So Much To See, When Do You Find Time To Sleep?

Elsewhere on this humble website we did the math and found that you could spend 3 weeks full-time staying in San Diego hotels, exploring the region, and not exhaust the possibilities. That assumes say 12 hours a day in activities or in moving from one destination to another.

What if you only have a week? You simply must spend more hours of the day having fun. If you have one week rather than three weeks, you must spend three times the amount of time, or 36 hours per day, in fun activities. If you are thinking along those lines, you will not need to worry about finding any San Diego hotels. For everybody else, pay attention.

We’ll center this discussion around the idea that you want to be close to SeaWorld. Since this fine theme park is pretty centrally located in the region, this will be helpful even if you aren’t going to SeaWorld.

SeaWorld is one of the major attractions in the San Diego area, so it’s pretty easy to get to the park from most of the reputable San Diego hotels. There are over 100 hotels within say 5 miles and another hundred or so if you go just a mile or two further away.

Of course there are fine San Diego hotels scattered throughout the county, but there are a few pockets to be found between downtown and the beaches just west of SeaWorld. You can find the hotels we mention on the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau website, along with a search function and nice map.

Let’s talk first about the closest choices to the theme park; here are a couple that are very close by. However, none are easy-walking-close like you can find at Disneyland, Knott’s and Universal Studios Hollywood.

First is the The Dana on Mission Bay resort, to which you could probably walk if you wanted. It lies less than a mile west of the park entrance; seems to be a very nice resort hotel.

The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay is another of the closest San Diego hotels, being located on the same spit of land as SeaWorld. Just a bit further is the Bahia Resort Hotel and Paradise Point Resort and Spa . You will likely use the shuttles or your own vehicle to get to the park, so being less than one mile is not necessarily that much better than being say 2 miles away. That opens up your choices a great deal.

There are smaller, beach-oriented places to the west in Ocean Beach and Mission Beach. There is another couple dozen hotels ranging from modest facilities to spacious resorts along Interstate 8 due east of Mission Bay. Most of these are located on Hotel Circle, a clever name if you ask me. Actually the street does create a bit of a lopsided circle as it loops along both sides of the freeway; so there is Hotel Circle North and Hotel Circle South.

There is another group of a half-dozen hotel grouped on the outskirts of Old Town San Diego; there reportedly is a bus that goes from Old Town to SeaWorld. You can get around pretty well if you stay within walking distance of Old Town, what with the public transit system giving that area a high priority.

Hotel Del Coronado BeachBy far the biggest group of San Diego hotels is in and around the downtown Central Business District. There are lots of attractions and destinations in downtown and, again, you can easily get up to SeaWorld and most everyplace else without necessarily using your own car.

Finally, we do need to mention Coronado, a charming city on the very end of a peninsula that is practically an island, which the town shares with the U.S. Navy. The Big Dog here is of course the Hotel del Coronado, a world-renown historic resort built in 1888. A few days at the Hotel del Coronado will be very memorable.

Check pricing and features at a number of prospective San Diego hotels. Find out about complimentary shuttles to the airport, train station or attractions; some charge a fee but it might be worth paying.

By the way, if you find that you’ll be visiting parks, attractions and beaches in both San Diego and the Orange County/Los Angeles area, consider staying in north San Diego County (Carlsbad or Oceanside), or in south Orange County (San Clemente). Right now our interest is San Diego so look at the half-dozen hotels and resorts clustered around Legoland in Carlsbad.

There is a nice Sheraton (not cheap) that provides its own entrance to Legoland; there is first-class golf nearby as well. You’ll find cheaper choices as well. The Oceanside Marina Suites is a nice mid-level resort on the end of the peninsula in Oceanside Harbor.

By staying towards the midpoint between San Diego and say Disneyland, you are looking at a drive of 45 minutes each direction if traffic is not too bad. It might be better to plan your days consecutively in San Diego for example, and them move up to the O.C./L.A. area for those attractions.