San Diego stretches over nearly 350 square miles of beachfront and city, nature reserves and vibrant multicultural enclaves. The options for lodgings are nearly as varied as the terrain, from a pet-friendly, boutique-style high-rise to a historic grande dame in the heart of downtown. Here are the ones we love.
Best for: Pet friendly
Just north of the Gaslamp Quarter, Kimpton’s Alma treats pets almost as well as their human companions. Expect all the basics and then some—even if you’re traveling with non-traditional critters (past guests have included a flying squirrel and a snake).
The contemporary 20-story property has decor inspired by the city: a beachy palette, south-of-the-border textiles, graffiti-style murals in some rooms, and street culture artwork, such as a skateboard wall installation, in common areas. Among the three restaurants (the rooftop Leave of Absence bar is due to re-open spring 2024), the Desmond draws locals for chef Jason Neroni’s winning culinary creations (try the octopus al pastor and fish crudo), while the casual Café is a good choice for steak frites and charcuterie.
Good to know: Rooms on the 15th floor and above have the best city views and select ones have balconies. Two parks are within walking distance: Horton Plaza Historic park (two blocks away) and Neighborhood Park (seven blocks).
Best for: Wallet-friendly
Among the budget options in Mission Valley’s “Hotel Circle,” it’s hard to miss Kings Inn’s crown-shaped, plum-hued 1959 sign. The family-owned motor lodge tips its hat to the mid-century (stone siding and angular rooflines) but renovations have brought 21st-century necessities (free Wi-Fi/gym) and sunny rooms.
Affordable parking ($15/day) and proximity to popular sites—Balboa Park, Mission Bay, Pacific Beach, and Old Town are five- to 15-minute drives away—make this an attractive extended stay option. The two onsite themed restaurants are just as popular with locals as they are with visitors. Stop by the kid-friendly Waffle Spot for diner fare and festive Amigo Spot for cocktails.
Good to know: Hotel guests get 10 percent off at both restaurants.
Best for:Travelers with kids
The modest-sized check-in area and living-room-like lobby hint at this Mission Bay resort’s laid-back family vibe. The property has an open, easy-to-navigate layout which makes it easy for parents to keep young ones in sight while enjoying activities, such as biking, kayaking, and morning yoga. Ample green space allow for outdoor games. Paved paths lead to a narrow beach, where children can splash in calm bay waters. Grownups have perks too, including a spa, nightly live music, andpool with bayside views.
All the rooms come with patios or balconies and sliding glass doors that let in
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