Where to sleep in San Diego, the best areas

If you have decided to visit the first city of California here are some tips on where to sleep in San Diego, nicknamed "the most beautiful city in America"!

San Diego is considered by Californians to be an almost sacred territory, and for good reason: America's Finest City (the most beautiful city in America) 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, not far from the Mexican border, has over three million inhabitants and is the eighth largest city in the country. Known for its research pole in biotechnology, its leading role in trade with South America and the numerous naval bases of the US Navy, which has stationed its warships here, it is also known for its mild climate, and its beautiful beaches which attract Americans as well as tourists from all over the world.

San Diego's tourist spots are quite sparse, making it impossible to stay in an area close to all the attractions. For this reason, we recommend that you read the characteristics of each neighborhood and, based on your preferences, decide where to sleep.

Where to sleep in San Diego

Where to sleep in San Diego, the best areas

Bathed in sunshine throughout the year, San Diego encompasses a cluster of vibrant urban neighborhoods and quiet coastal towns. The main attractions are spread over a large area, so your stay will depend on your interests and the reason for your visit.

If you are here to see the main monuments of the city, the Town center it is an excellent base. If sun, sand, and sea are at the top of your list, you can stay northwest of the city in one of San Diego's coastal areas, such as Pacific beach, Mission Beach o Ocean Beach.

For a luxury vacation, La Jolla is the best option. And if your main goal is to keep the kids entertained, the city offers a number of family centers close to SeaWorld and the attractive Balboa Park, which is home to the zoo in San Diego, the botanical gardens and an impressive array of museums.

Like most cities in California, finding a San Diego hotel while on vacation can be a difficult task. Even more difficult, if the travel dates coincide with a large convention or an important event. For this reason, it is advisable to book in advance. By doing this you will have the possibility to choose the area and the hotel that you like the most, at the best price.

Downtown San Diego


If this is your first visit to San Diego and you plan to see all the major attractions and soak up the vibe of the city, staying downtown is your best bet.

The best neighborhood to stay in Downtown is Gaslamp Quarter, the epicenter of San Diego's cultural and entertainment life. However, it is not always possible to find accommodation here, because if your vacation coincides with a large convention, the rooms may be sold out.

In this case we recommend that you stay at Little Italy o Marina. Located right on San Diego Bay, the Marina is an ultra-touristy spot not to be missed. Here you will find a beautiful promenade, where you can visit the USS Midway Museum, an abandoned aircraft carrier now accessible to tourists, as is the sculpture "Unconditionnal Surrender“, Famous work by John Seward Johnson, inspired by a photo celebrating the end of the Pacific War in 1945.

Downtown is perfect if you're planning on use public transport to visit other parts of the city, since the center is very well connected.

Keep in mind that accommodation here is much more expensive compared to other areas and in the vast majority of hotels you will be charged for parking. If you are planning to rent a car, it may be best to stay elsewhere.

Ocean Beach e Mission Beach


Staying in Ocean Beach or Mission Beach is ideal if you are traveling with your family and you want to enjoy the beach in a quiet place.

Su Mission Boulevard (in front of the beach) you will find a large number of resorts ideal for staying with children and enjoying outdoor activities, water sports or visiting SeaWorld. Ocean Beach, is perhaps less touristy and maintains a small-town feel with its own pier and beautiful beach.

These two neighborhoods are located in the coastal part of San Diego, so they are ideal if you intend to enjoy the beach, but they can be uncomfortable if your purpose is to visit the city of San Diego. On the other hand, you can find quite inexpensive accommodation here.

  • Find a Mission Beach hotel

The island of Coronado

Where to sleep in San Diego, the best areas
Where to sleep in San Diego - Hotel del Coronado -

It is the place preferred by couples, as beautiful hotels can be found here. Known as Isla Coronado (it's actually a peninsula), it overlooks the San Diego Bay. It can be reached by ferry, water taxi or crossing a bridge.

Her beach is one of the most beautiful on the coast and includes numerous luxurious hotels and beautiful villas. In fact, the island is known for being one of the most expensive neighborhoods and only those on a budget can stay here.

Cycle paths, typically Californian, follow the coast and allow you to reach the various places of tourist interest on the island. If you have time during your visit to Coronado, discover the fabulous Vacation Specials, in the spectacular Victorian style, an architectural marvel that you have probably already seen in the film "Some Like It HotWith Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe.

A little anecdote: the military base of the island of Coronado is the one where the movie Top Gun was shot.

  • Find a hotel in Coronado

La Jolla


If you plan to enjoy the beach but want to do it with a bit of glamor, we recommend going to La Jolla. Known for its fantastic beaches and stunning sea views, La Jolla is one of the most famous coastal cities of California. Here you can sunbathe, swim, surf and stroll through its beautiful boutiques.

It is also home to Torrey Pines State Reserve, a rugged and wild coastal park, where you can walk more than eight miles of trails, watch whales migrate off the cliffs, and enjoy windswept beaches.

Its palm-lined streets, villas and luxury hotels give La Jolla an upscale vibe and make it one of the best areas to sleep in San Diego. Due to its natural beauty, accommodation prices in La Jolla are quite high.

This is perhaps the most beautiful area in San Diego. However, it's located at the northern end of the metropolitan area, which means you'll have to traverse the city to get to the vast majority of San Diego's tourist attractions. La Jolla has few bus stops, so it is recommended rent a car to move to other areas of San Diego.

Some tips for booking accommodation

After trying several booking websites, we have come to the conclusion that to book accommodation in San Diego the best platform is booking.com, as it is the largest online booking site in the world and offers the ability to cancel your reservation for free in the vast majority of its hotels.

The city of San Diego is, in general, a fairly quiet and safe place, as it is a very popular place for families and children. You can walk with total peace of mind both day and night. However, there are some areas where it is best not to stay. It is recommended to avoid the Logan neighborhood e Skiline. These are the most dangerous areas in San Diego.

Where to sleep in San Diego, the best areas
San Diego, California, USA -
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