Destinations / North America

Where to Stay in San Diego: Best Areas & Hotels from $90

San Diego is one of California’s most beloved coastal gems, known for its year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches and family-friendly attractions. However, if you dig a little deeper into “America’s Finest City”, you’ll discover a burgeoning craft beer scene, buzzing nightlife and plenty of outdoor adventures.

With over 400 million annual visitors to HotelsCombined, we’ve tracked down the best San Diego neighbourhoods and nearby hotels, whether you’re a first-time visitor or seasoned traveller. Nestled in San Diego’s diverse neighbourhoods, the luxury retreats boast easy access to the city’s top attractions, as well as luxe spas, outdoor pools, gourmet restaurants and city or ocean-view rooms.

Gaslamp Quarter

Photo| Shutterstock | OXANA MILITSINA

San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods, full of 19th-century buildings housing restaurants, shops and clubs. In addition to being the epicentre of San Diego’s nightlife, the lively area is a cultural hotspot home to theatres, art galleries, symphony halls and concert venues.

Tips for Visiting the Gaslamp Quarter

  • Visit the USS Midway Museum to see the 20th century’s longest-serving aircraft carrier.
  • Hop aboard a one-hour tour of San Diego Harbor to see the city’s stunning waterfront sights.
  • Snag tickets to a game at Petco Park and cheer on the San Diego Padres MLB team.

Best Hotels near the Gaslamp Quarter

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

Photo| Hard Rock Hotel San Diego | Provided by HARDROCK HOTEL SAN DIEGO

Set in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is a rock n’ roll-themed hotel with spacious suites. Studio suites feature one king or two queen-size beds, private patios and stocked mini bars, while VIP Rock Star Suites add rock memorabilia, separate living rooms and private terraces with city views.

Enjoy stunning city views at Float, the lively rooftop lounge with a pool, or enjoy cocktails on the terrace of 207. Maryjane’s serves classic American lunch favourites and NOBU is known for its A-list clientele and fresh sushi.

Nearby Attractions:

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 202 – USD 553
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: 207 5th Avenue, Downtown San Diego, San Diego, United States

Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Photo| Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Overlooking 5th Avenue, Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter is steps away from the Gaslamp Quarter. It features a state-of-the-art fitness centre, outdoor heated pool and sundeck, as well as an on-site restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and international cuisine. Don’t miss the Italian food and vegetarian-friendly dishes at Toscana Cafe & Wine Bar.

All rooms come with flat-screen TVs, pillow-top mattresses and mini fridges, while loft-style Executive rooms add city views from French balconies. For more space, upgrade to a Suite with a separate living area.

Nearby Attractions:

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 119 – USD 536
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: 401 K Street, Downtown San Diego, San Diego, United States

Hotel Location

Little Italy

Photo| Shutterstock | GABRIELE MALTINTI

Little Italy is a lively, pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood where you can dine at alfresco restaurants, brewpubs and cocktail bars. Browse trendy clothing boutiques, listen to live music at popular venues or kick back and people watch on the picturesque piazzas. Don’t forget to admire views of the bay at Waterfront Park.

Tips for Visiting Little Italy

  • Head to India Street for authentic Italian cuisine, particularly at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto.
  • Fill up at eateries in “Top Chef Alley”, including Born & Raised, Juniper & Ivy and The Crack Shack.
  • Support small family farms at the weekly Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market, where you can purchase artisan handcrafts.

Best Hotels near Little Italy

Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Downtown/Bayside CA

Photo| Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Downtown/Bayside CA | Provided by ICE PORTAL

Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Downtown/Bayside CA is a Little Italy hotel just two blocks from San Diego Bay. Take advantage of the spectacular rooftop pool, 24-hour market and on-site restaurant, Bayside Kitchen + Bar, which serves SoCal-inspired comfort food.

Spacious rooms feature one king or two queen-size beds, blackout curtains, flat-screen TVs and Keurig coffee makers. Want a room with a view? Stay in the 1 King Bed with San Diego Skyline Views or 2 Queen Beds Harbor View for stunning San Diego views.

Nearby Attractions:

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 139 – USD 306
Guest Rating: No Rating
Address: 2137 Pacific Highway, Harborview, San Diego, United States

Residence Inn by Marriott San Diego Downtown

The waterside Residence Inn by Marriott San Diego Downtown is located in Little Italy, a short drive the San Diego Zoo. It offers a complimentary airport shuttle, fitness centre and heated outdoor pool, as well as a 24-hour market and evening social events.

It’s easy to make one of the chic suites your next home away from home, as they feature comfortable living areas, fully-equipped kitchens and HDTVs. Got the family in tow? Upgrade to a Larger Studio with a sofa bed or a spacious 2 Bedroom Suite.

Nearby Attractions:

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 219 – USD 484
Guest Rating: 8.3
Address: 1747 Pacific Highway, Harborview, San Diego, United States

Hotel Location

La Jolla

Photo| Shutterstock | DANCESTROKES

La Jolla is a beautiful seaside area with award-winning restaurants, renowned golf courses and a rugged coastline. It’s one of the most popular beach destinations in California, offering a wide range of outdoor activities, along with boutique shops, museums and art galleries.

Tips for Visiting La Jolla

Best Hotels near La Jolla

Pantai Inn San Diego

Photo| Pantai Inn San Diego | Provided by LEONARDO

Pantai Inn San Diego is set along the La Jolla coastline, offering spectacular Pacific Ocean views. This beachfront getaway features Balinese-inspired decor, an inviting courtyard and fire pit, as well as in-room spa treatments and complimentary breakfast.

Stay in a Studio Ocean View room for a wet bar, king-size bed and semi-private patio with ocean views or upgrade to a One Bedroom for a separate living area and private patio. One and two-bedroom cottages are ideal for families and groups, adding Jacuzzis, fully-equipped kitchens and fireplaces.

Nearby Attractions:

  • La Jolla Cove (400 metres)
  • Children’s Pool Beach (500 metres)
  • Cuvier Park (750 metres)

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 314 – USD 566
Guest Rating: 9.8
Address: 1003 Coast Blvd S, La Jolla, San Diego, United States

Scripps Inn

HotelsCombined visitors rave about the views at Scripps Inn, which is steps from La Jolla’s world-renowned coastline. It offers an intimate setting with only 14 rooms, which have outdoor lanais, fireplaces, kitchenettes and Keurig coffee makers. Upgrade to an Ocean Vista Suite for a private balcony with ocean views.

The pet-friendly hotel is perched on Whale Watch Point, where you can catch a glimpse of migrating whales in winter. Enjoy complimentary breakfast, then sign up for one of the tour packages, such as whale watching, surfing or kayaking.

Nearby Attractions:

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 217 – USD 387
Guest Rating: 9.1
Address: 555 Coast Blvd South, La Jolla, San Diego, United States

Hotel Location

Hillcrest

Photo| Gettyimages | SAMUEL HOWELL

Only a few kilometres from the bustling downtown, Hillcrest is the centre of San Diego’s LGBTQ+ scene, home to gay bars and playing host to the annual Pride parade. The colourful neighbourhood is pedestrian-friendly, with blocks of highly-acclaimed restaurants, bars, second-hand clothing shops and brunch spots.

Tips for Visiting Hillcrest

  • Go shopping at Flashback and Buffalo Exchange for one-of-a-kind vintage finds.
  • Indulge in red velvet or sweet potato pancakes at the popular brunch spot, Snooze.
  • Browse vendors selling fresh produce and artisan treats at the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market.

Best Hotels near Hillcrest

Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast

Photo| Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast | Provided by BOOKING.COM

Wake up in the vibrant Hillcrest neighbourhood while staying at Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast, which includes a daily “heart healthy” buffet breakfast, off-street parking and complimentary Wi-Fi. Best of all, you’ll also have access to 24-hour beverages and chocolate chip cookies.

There are eight rooms to choose from, including the San Diego Suite with a Smart TV, air conditioning and an outdoor deck with a barbecue. The Old Town Room is adorned with handmade treasures by indigenous artisans, while the romantic La Jolla Suite has a two-person Jacuzzi.

Nearby Attractions:

  • Urban MO’s Bar & Grill (280 metres)
  • Bronx Pizza (400 metres)
  • Balboa Park (1.3 kilometres)

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 143 – USD 265
Guest Rating: 10
Address: 3845 Front Street, Hillcrest, San Diego, United States

The Lafayette Hotel Swim Club & Bungalows

Photo| The Lafayette Hotel Swim Club & Bungalows | Provided by ICE PORTAL

The Lafayette Hotel Swim Club & Bungalows is a legendary hotel near Balboa Park, welcoming guests since 1946. Featured in the movie, Top Gun, the hotel has an Olympic-sized pool surrounded by sun loungers and a signature restaurant, Hope 46, serving classic American cuisine and a Weekend Brunch. 

Stylish Manor rooms boast bold decor, plush pillow-top mattresses and LCD TVs, while Poolside rooms have direct access to the pool. Families will appreciate the bunk beds, chalkboard wall and refrigerator in the Suze Suite, while Bungalows add extra space with two or three bedrooms and separate living rooms.

Nearby Attractions:

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 90 – USD 259
Guest Rating: 8
Address: 2223 El Cajon Boulevard, University Heights, San Diego, United States

Hotel Location

Coronado

Photo| Shutterstock | DANCESTROKES

Most visitors flock to Coronado to enjoy its white-sand beaches consistently ranked some of the best in the United States. In addition to its coastal scenery, Coronado’s laidback atmosphere and collection of shops, art galleries and theatres make it one of the most alluring areas in San Diego.

Tips for Visiting Coronado

  • Stroll the palm-lined pathways and visit open-air restaurants at Coronado Ferry Landing.
  • Discover the rich history of Coronado at the Coronado Museum of History and Art.
  • Enjoy fun in the sun at Coronado Central Beach, Coronado Dog Beach or Silver Strand State Beach.

Best Hotels near Coronado

Loews Coronado Bay Resort

Photo| Loews Coronado Bay Resort | Provided by LEONARDO

Perched on a six-hectare peninsula, Loews Coronado Bay Resort boasts three heated pools, a hot tub, spa and dry sauna. Tempt your taste buds with Southern California coastal cuisine at Crown Landing, then visit Cays Lounge to enjoy signature cocktails and local craft brews by the firepit or hit the beach for jet skiing, sailing or kayaking.

Rooms are adorned with island-chic decor and include flat-screen TVs, coffee makers and views of the Pacific Ocean, Coronado Bay or pool. Suites add private balconies and living areas, while the Presidential Suite includes a Peloton bike, fireplace and a baby grand piano.

Nearby Attractions:

  • Coronado Cays Park (1.1 kilometres)
  • Silver Strand State Beach (1.8 kilometres)
  • Imperial Beach Pier (7.1 kilometres)

Star Rating: 4*
Price: USD 257 – USD 988
Guest Rating: 8.8
Address: 4000 Coronado Bay Road, Coronado, San Diego, United States

Hotel del Coronado Curio Collection by Hilton

Photo| Hotel del Coronado Curio Collection by Hilton | Provided by HOTEL DEL CORONADO COLLECTION BY HILTON

Housed in a grand 1888 Victorian property on the beach, the landmark Hotel del Coronado offers stylish rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini fridges and Wi-Fi. Lavish Suites add extra bedrooms and ocean-view balconies, while the Family Suites are available with kids’ rooms and toys.

The opulent hotel features a luxury spa with ocean-inspired treatments, a swimming pool and several ocean-view restaurants and bars, including a pizzeria, beach taco shack and a gourmet food truck next to Del Beach. For a Prime Tomahawk carved tableside, head to Sheerwater restaurant.

Nearby Attractions:

Star Rating: 5*
Price: USD 329 – USD 2,602
Guest Rating: 8.1
Address: 1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, San Diego, United States

Hotel Location

Pacific Beach

Photo| Shutterstock | OXANA MILITSINA

Known as “PB” to locals, Pacific Beach is a laidback neighbourhood south of La Jolla and north of Mission Beach. A popular spot with surfers and shoppers alike, this alluring beach area caters to all types of travellers with lively beachfront bars and family-friendly attractions.

Tips for Visiting Pacific Beach

  • Rent a beach cruiser or enjoy a sunset stroll along the Ocean Front Walk.
  • Try your hand at surfing with San Diego Surf School.
  • Enjoy boozy slushies, signature cocktails and happy-hour specials alongside ocean views at PB Shore Club.

Best Hotels near Pacific Beach

Pacific Terrace Hotel

Photo| Pacific Terrace Hotel | Provided by LEONARDO

Pacific Terrace Hotel is perched on a sandy bluff overlooking the ocean, offering alluring beachfront accommodation with private patios or balconies. Rooms come with flat-screen TVs, refrigerators and mini bars, while Suites add Jacuzzis and separate sitting areas.

Get pampered with a massage by the pool, then make use of the complimentary beach buckets, shovels, toys, boogie boards and bikes. Enjoy a margarita by the heated pool, relax in the Jacuzzi or mingle with travellers at the firepit tables. A daily breakfast buffet and in-room dining are also available.

Nearby Attractions:

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 278 – USD 1,077
Guest Rating: 9.2
Address: 610 Diamond Street, Pacific Beach, San Diego, United States

Holiday Inn Express San Diego SeaWorld

Photo| Holiday Inn Express San Diego SeaWorld | Provided by LEONARDO

Located near Mission Bay, Holiday Inn Express San Diego SeaWorld offers affordable rooms with two queen-size beds, flat-screen TVs and refrigerators. Two Queen Suites with Sofa Sleepers feature sitting areas, complimentary bottled water and blackout shades. Connecting rooms are also available for large groups.

A complimentary breakfast buffet is included, as well as coffee and welcome cookies served in the Lobby. Swim in the outdoor pool or relax in the whirlpool, then visit nearby attractions, such as San Diego Old Town and Mission Beach.

Nearby Attractions:

Star Rating: 3*
Price: USD 118 – USD 158
Guest Rating: 8
Address: 4540 Mission Bay Drive, Pacific Beach, San Diego, United States

Hotel Location

Discover Sun-Kissed Southern California Scenery in San Diego

San Diego offers a flourishing restaurant and bar scene and scenic coastal hikes, along with iconic surf spots and a famous zoo. Its hotels offer inviting spaces to recharge with pampering spa treatments, SoCal-inspired cuisine and swimming pools.

Where do you want to stay in San Diego? Let us know in the comments below.

Author: Charity De Souza

Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.

Charity De Souza
Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, I have been travelling with my battered backpack full-time for over a decade. My favourite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland, wine tasting in Portugal, road tripping through Iceland, snorkelling in Indonesia and watching a sunset in the Sahara Desert.
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