San Diego

National Parks

San Diego, California - Accommodations

The San Diego metropolitan area is smaller and less congested than Los Angeles, so it is easier to find a wide variety of accommodations that are within easy access of downtown and the major attractions. San Diego International Airport, the beaches, amusement parks, historic sites, shopping areas, entertainment venues and other attractions are all located within a 30-minute drive of the city center.

If you do not have an automobile, it would be easiest to seek accommodations in the downtown area where the public transportation provides easy access to many attractions. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of accommodations located near downtown. Unfortunately, there are very few budget-priced hotels downtown. If you have an automobile, you can take advantage of the great selection of hotels located in Mission Valley or in the Mission Bay area. Bargain accommodations are easier to find in these areas.

San Diego Accommodations Map

Here are the areas in San Diego where the greatest concentration of accommodations can be found:

Mission Valley area hotels
Mission Valley is located just seven miles north of downtown San Diego along Route 8. It is a commercial area with numerous hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and bars. You can find plenty of budget-priced and moderately-priced accommodation in this area. It is only a 15 to 20 minute drive from Mission Valley to downtown, a ten-minute drive to the Old Town District and 15 minutes to Sea World or to the Pacific Ocean Beaches.
Mission Bay area hotels
Mission Bay is a park-like area surrounding a picturesque inlet at the western end of Route 8. It is less than ten miles from downtown San Diego. Sea World Amusement Park and Belmont Amusement Park are located there. Several marinas are on the bay and the beautiful golden-sand beaches of the Pacific Ocean are at its western edge. You can find a nice selection of budget-priced and moderately-priced accommodations.
Downtown San Diego hotels
Downtown San Diego is a surprisingly uncongested area. It has a beautiful esplanade along the shores of San Diego Bay, a refurbished older neighborhood known as the Gaslamp District and a larger more modern area with a variety of businesses and shopping facilities. You can find higher-priced hotels along the bay and in the Gaslamp Quarter or more moderately priced hotels in the downtown area. Budget-priced hotels are hard to find.
Coronado area hotels
Coronado is located on the peninsula that protects San Diego Bay from the Pacific Ocean. Much of it is occupied by US Naval facilities, but the remainder offers some of the nicest beaches in Southern California. There are a few hotels in Coronado including the grand and elegant Victorian resort known as the Hotel del Coronado. If you want a truly classy place to stay near the beach, this historic establishment is a good choice. Rooms are fairly expensive at $249 to $399 per night.
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Written by: Mike Leco
Top Photo Credit: © Mike Leco /
Photo Description: La Jolla is located along the Pacific Ocean, north of San Diego. Its rugged coastline attracts many vacationers.