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Best Green Spaces in San Diego

If you’re heading out to sunny San Diego, it’s guaranteed you’ll spend quite a bit of time outside. However, if you aren’t familiar with the area you might miss out on some of the city’s best green spaces. During your stay, make time to explore the following areas, selected by the friendly staff at the Marina Inn, a cheap San Diego Convention Center hotel.

Mission Trails Regional Park
Encompassing nearly 6,000 acres of green space, this park provides plenty of opportunities to ride, hike, walk or simply enjoy a family picnic right smack dab in the middle of one of the most scenic areas of San Diego. There’s also a campsite (Kumeyaay Campground) within the park if you’re so inclined.

Grape Street Dog Park
The city’s largest play area for pooches, Grape Street Dog Park near the downtown area includes 5 acres populated with wide lawns, eucalyptus trees, and cascading water fountains. You’ll also find benches and picnic tables, ideal for a day in the park with your furry friend.

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve
Nestled between Rancho Penasquitos and Sorrento Hills, this particular San Diego green space offers some 4,000 acres of land encompassing 14 different types of habitats and a waterfall. Wander along the 40 or so miles of multi-use trails and you’ll discover many rare and endangered animal and plant species.

Waterfront Park
Waterfront Park, located near inexpensive San Diego airport hotels, offers themed gardens and a central plaza with a seating area where you can take some time to soak in your surroundings. The park also includes broad plazas with elevated terraces, a children’s play zone, picnic areas, and plenty of well-maintained green spots.

Del Mar Mesa Preserve
Del Mar Mesa includes more than 900 acres of protected habitat and open space. The area also has more than 10 miles of biking, hiking and riding trails open to the public where you can enjoy the beautiful, green surroundings found here.

Balboa Park
Named for Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Balboa Park is an easily accessible green space that offers something for just about everybody who happens to be in San Diego. The 1,200-acre park is home to the San Diego Zoo, natural vegetation zones, green belts, a botanical garden, a Japanese friendship garden, walking paths, a huge fountain, and tons of museums.

Now that you’ve got a full itinerary, you just need a place to stay. Let the Marina Inn & Suites in San Diego take care of that for you. We make booking easy and quick, dates are flexible, and we have the best rate guaranteed. Give us a call at 1-800-571-2933 to speak with a friendly Reservation Manager today!

Seeking San Diego: Discover the City’s Most Charming Areas

San Diego is not just about beaches and whale watching tours. The city has many vibrant and colorful neighborhoods tucked away in San Diego’s coolest districts, offering everything from kid-friendly attractions to business hubs. While you’re staying in town, the staff at the Marina Inn, an affordable San Diego Airport hotel, recommends spending some time exploring these distinct San Diego neighborhoods.

Just a few minutes north of downtown, you’ll find Hillcrest, the lively LGBT hub of the city. This happening urban district offers some of the city’s best dining options (the brunch at Hash House on 5th is legendary) and nightlife for all tastes every night of the week. Every Sunday Hillcrest puts on one of the best Farmers’ Markets in town, and there is even an old-fashioned trolley that shuttles people up and down the main drag for free Thursday – Sunday from 6pm-10pm, with extended hours for certain events and festivals.

Little Italy
Little Italy is a tiny urban district in San Diego offering a chain of delicious Italian restaurants, pizzerias, cafés, and dessert shops. On Saturdays, Little Italy hosts a large Farmers’ Market, as well as additional events, street fairs, and fests throughout the year. Its also home to quaint galleries, furniture stores, breweries, and boutique Little Italy hotels.

La Jolla
This elegant and lavish beach community is a favorite of both tourists and locals alike. La Jolla is home to the University of California San Diego, Museum of Contemporary Art, Birch Aquarium, the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course, and the Scripps Institute. Aside from stunning coastal views, guests coming here can indulge in excellent restaurants, souvenir shops, boutiques and coffee shops.

Old Town-Mission Valley
Mission Valley is the heart of San Diego’s historic district and home to the first Spanish settlement in California. Just a few minutes from the Presidio of San Diego, is Old Town. Old Town is the oldest San Diego neighborhood and has preserved some of the rich history at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Visitors can tour original buildings, eat authentic Mexican food, or partake in Cinco de Mayo festivities every May.

Come explore the many wonderful communities in San Diego. Reserve a room at the Marina Inn in San Diego, and put money you save towards fun local activities! We offer a variety of discounts to ensure every guest has extra vacation funds for the things that really matter. Call us today at 1-800-571-2933 to speak with a Reservation Manger.

What to Do on Coronado Island in San Diego

Coronado Island is treasured among locals and draws throngs of visitors every year, and when you cross the bridge, you immediately understand why. The island, which is also home to a naval base on the far end, is a great place to spend the day. No matter what season you visit San Diego, Coronado offers families, friends, and couples plenty of things to do. Here are a few picks from the staff at the Marina Inn in San Diego to get you started.

Bike Along the Bay
With the beautiful California weather and amazing natural beauty, Coronado Island is a great place to get out and go biking. Cruise along the scenic Coronado Bike Loop for amazing views for the bay and downtown San Diego. There are several places to rent traditional bikes as well as 4-person surrey bikes.

Visit the Beach
This one is a given. Even in the winter, the beach on Coronado is sure to stun. The Travel Channel regularly features Coronado as one of the best beaches in America thanks to the shimmering mica in the sand and rolling dunes that open to an exceptionally wide beach.

Shop in the Downtown Area
You can enjoy a variety of quaint and trendy shops in the downtown area. There are numerous specialty shops as well as art galleries featuring local artists. While visiting the downtown area, you can pick up some souvenirs to take home or a pair of flip-flops for the beach.

Relax at Babcock & Story Bar and Grill
Located in the magnificent Hotel Del Coronado, Babcock’s is a great place to enjoy a cocktail and the hotel’s elegant surroundings. Most evenings there is live music during cocktail hour, and the concise selection of apps and meals, although spendy, won’t disappoint.

The Coronado Municipal Golf Course is one of the best public golf courses in the entire country. It features wide fairways, spectacular greens, and equally amazing views of the beach, bay, and Coronado Bridge. The Coronado Bayside Grill onsite is a great place to enjoy lunch and a cold beer after a round of golf.

Heading to San Diego? Can’t afford The Del? (No worries, most of us can’t either). Head over to the Marina Inn. Our wallet-friendly hotel near the San Diego Airport, Little Italy, and the Gaslamp Quarter has plenty to offer, like comfy pillow-top beds, a fridge and microwave in every room, and the best rate guaranteed. Call us today at 1-800-571-2933 to inquire about our great rates and reserve your room!

Where to Taste San Diego’s Best Brews

With spectacular views of the ocean and a number of popular attractions, San Diego is a popular place for visitors. The city is also home to the most microbreweries in the country, making it an ideal destination for beer connoisseurs. If you’re all about the brew, pack your pint glass, prepare your taste buds, and book a centrally located hotel near Little Italy or the San Diego Airport to be near some of San Diego’s best microbreweries.

Green Flash Brewing Company
Green Flash produces beer with a Belgian flavor made by a professional brewmaster. If you’re coming to San Diego soon, you can indulge in the limited edition Palate Wrecker. The Imperial India Pale Ale has six pounds of hops in each barrel and goes through an intricate double-brewing process.

The Lost Abbey / Port Brewing
Lost Abbey serves fruity and tart brews, specializing in barrel-aged beers and blended three-year-old lambics. Guests can hit the tasting room to try a variety of beers, or take a free brewery tour for an in-depth look at the brewing process.

Stone Brewing Co.
Founded in 1996, Stone Brewing Co. has established a reputation for its craft beer. Popular favorites include the white IPA, oatmeal stout, and black wit. Whatever your beer preference, you’ll find something to quench your thirst at Stone.

AleSmith Brewing Company
AleSmith Brewing Company serves beer that is often described as crisp and clean. The well-liked X Extra Pale Ale pushes beer boundaries with a mild bitterness and pine and citrus notes.

Rip Current Brewing Company
Rip Current Brewing Company is known for serving quality beer in a variety of styles including porters, abbey-style beers, and imperial stouts. The impressive selection is also available as double and triple-strength brews.

Mother Earth Brew Co.
As one of the only organic breweries in San Diego, Mother Earth Brew Co. prides itself on crafting delicious Belgian style beers served with complimentary popcorn available to each customer.

San Diego is considered the West Coast spot for microbreweries and there’s just no better beer selection than that located in this sunny city. Make the Marina Inn & Suites in San Diego, CA your first choice hotel while visiting. When you book with us it’s quick and easy, your credit card isn’t charged until check-in, and we have the best rate guaranteed. To reserve your room, call 1-800-571-2933 to speak with a friendly Reservation Manager today.

Secret Places in San Diego Even Locals Don’t Know About

There’s plenty to do in San Diego year round, and visitors rarely, if ever, leave feeling disappointed with the city. But there is more to this sunny paradise than SeaWorld, the Zoo, and amazing beaches. Whether you’re a local or just visiting for a long weekend, check out these secret spots hand selected by the staff at the Marina Inn and Suites in downtown San Diego.

A Cave with a Guestbook
In the hills of Torrey Pines, there is a small hidden cave with just enough room for one person. It is rather difficult to get to, but if you make it, you can sign the guestbook in the cave. Enter the general area through the Torrey Pines Glider port parking lot and then hike north.

1,000 Beers Downtown
At Krisp Beverages and Natural Foods, a health food market, you will find a large, hidden beer supply. With more than 1,000 craft brews as well as a wide selection of homebrewing supplies, this store–also known as The Best Damn Beer Shop–has been kept under the radar since its inception.

A Victorian Village
Tucked away in the outskirts of Old Town, you will find an enclave of historic homes dating back to the late 19th century. This neighborhood, known as Heritage Park Victorian Village, was moved from its original location and restored to preserve its classic Victorian architecture. One of the houses now serves as a tearoom, while another houses a Victorian porcelain doll collection.

A Mushroom-Shaped Beach House
This guesthouse is located on Black’s Beach and is connected by funicular to the main residence, which is on the cliff 300 feet above. The whimsical structure is only accessible from the south, over slippery and rugged rocks, and during low tide (unless, of course, you are lucky enough to be staying there).

A Hidden Euro Cafe
It’s easy to miss the narrow entrance to Finch’s La Jolla. Once inside, you will walk down a romantic European-style walkway to the small, quaint courtyard where you will dine under twinkling lights while being entertained by a live guitarist.

The plane tickets are booked, the itinerary now completed, and all that’s left is booking a great place to stay. Make it easy on yourself and reserve a room at the Marina Inn in San Diego. The Marina Inn offers flexible dates, around-the-clock customer service, and a best rate guarantee—making it one of the most affordable places to stay near the Gaslamp Quarter. Call a friendly Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 to inquire about our great rates and reserve your room today.

January Events in San Diego for the Whole Family

If your family plans to visit San Diego in January, there is no shortage of fun, affordable things to do that are sure to keep the kids happy and the parents relaxed. Here are a few staff favorites from the amiable employees at the San Diego Marina Inn.

The Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure
The Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure takes place daily in January and February, and offers a unique way to see the sights while the family competes as a team. The hunt starts in Old Town, runs through Little Italy, and leads your family to the War Memorials at the waterfront. Using promotional code SDMAG at, $39.20 will cover the cost for a team of two to five people. The event spans 2.4 miles and runs 3-3.5 hours. Additional costs associated with the scavenger hunt include trolley fare.

The New Children’s Museum
From kiddie cooking classes to sculptures designed for climbing, The New Children’s Museum on Island Avenue in downtown San Diego offers a plethora of options for family fun. On Sunday, January 18, families with kids of all ages can enjoy the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra, which features talented teen musicians. Tickets for the show are $10 each.

Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Festival
Also on Sunday, January 18, is the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Festival. Head to the downtown waterfront for the festivities, which will include a parade with fabulous floats, music from area high school bands, and drill team performances. This event is free of charge.

Big Bay Whale Days Festival
Big Bay Whale Days Festival is held for just one day only on Saturday, January 25. Check out the walk-through whale display, participate in whale-centered art projects, and get an up-close view of live sea creatures! The festival is free and also features a number of giveaways, and a variety of food and entertainment.

San Diego Sunroad Boat Show
Don’t miss the San Diego Sunroad Boat Show at the San Diego Convention Center and the San Diego Marriot Marquis Marina. This event, slated for January 23-26, invites families to enjoy a sail on the bay, activities for the kids, and live music. The cost is $12 for adults, and kids under age 12 get in free.

Now that you’ve got a list of fun, budget-friendly family activities to do while in San Diego this January, it’s time to reserve a room. Whether you’re looking for something right in the middle of the action, or a hotel near SAN airport, the Marina Inn has you covered. We offer quick and easy booking, flexible dates, a best rate guarantee, and a great Kids Suite with bunk beds. Call a friendly Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 to inquire about our great rates and reserve your room today.

Check Out San Diego’s Growing Brewery Scene

San Diego has a reputation for its great beaches where visitors and natives alike spend time sunbathing, surfing and swimming. However, San Diego is developing a growing reputation as the home for some of the region’s best breweries. In fact, more than a dozen new breweries have opened in San Diego within the last few years. Book a hotel in downtown San Diego to be within stumbling distance of several of these great breweries, and remember to be responsible when getting to and from the rest.

Latitude 33 Brewing Company
1430 Vantage Court
#104, Vista
A little rye adds flavor to the brown ale and the vanilla porter at Lattitude 33, which are usually characterized as sweet, is more on the savory side. Handcrafted ales and lagers await you at the tasting room nestled along the “Beer Highway” in San Diego’s North County.

Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
Ballast Point Tasting Room & Kitchen
2215 India Street
Little Italy
From ales and lagers to an assortment of specialty spirits, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a San Diego brewery with a greater selection than Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits. The tasting room has 50 taps, plus a walk-up restaurant with plenty of dishes full of flavor. For just $5 you get three tastings. An added bonus of this brewery is its convenient location just steps from several cheap hotels in Little Italy.

AleSmith Brewing Company
9368 Cabot Drive
Owned by a certified Master Brewer judge, you won’t be disappointed with the quality ale you’ll find at AleSmith. A recently expanded tasting room provides an incentive to come and sample year-round and specialty brews. You’ll find a wide selection of brews on tap when visiting, and flavors are continuously added throughout the year.

Rip Current Brewing Company
1325 Grand Avenue #100
San Marcos
The ambitious and award-winning homebrewer who co-owns Rip Current Brewing Companycontinues to amaze and delight beer connoisseurs. This is the place for you if you want to try brews you won’t likely find anywhere else.

Stone Brewing Co.
Stone Brewing Liberty Station
2816 Historic Decatur Road #116
Liberty Station
If you want a full brewery experience, you won’t be disappointed with either of the two Stone Brewing Co. locations in the San Diego area. This location, however, is situated near several San Diego Airport hotels. Tours are available throughout the year. You can also try fresh farm-to-table cuisine and sample the new brews they roll out each month.

Bring a clean palate and extra room in your suitcase for a souvenir tasting glass. Book a room at the Marina Inn today and use the money you save for an extra tasting. Contact a Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 to learn more about current rates and upcoming promotions.

Your Guide to Fun Holiday Runs in San Diego

The magical time of year, full of festivity and family time, is rapidly approaching. A great way to enjoy the holiday season and run your way to health is to participate in one of many running events held annually in the San Diego area. Fun holiday runs encourage us to put down our electronic gadgets, celebrate the spirit of giving, and get involved in healthy family activities.

Whether it is a one mile run or a 5K, combining holiday vacations with destination races is growing in popularity. Crossing the finish line together after weeks of training is fun, exciting, and rewarding, especially when you know you’re supporting a worthy cause. So book your downtown San Diego hotel, lace up those running shoes and start training for one of these quirky holiday runs!

Save the turkeys 5k Crawl | Sunday, November 23

  • Walkers and runners of all ages celebrate Thanksgiving and help save turkeys.
  • Location: Active Campus, 10182 Telesis Court

Zombie Blood Run | F Friday, November 28

  • Flesh eating ghouls try to prevent participants from getting to the finish line as they maneuver their way through an interactive 1.5 mile zombie-themed obstacle course.
  • Location: Giant Paintball Park, Lakeside

Mustache Dache | Saturday, December 6

  • This 5K run raises funds and awareness for men’s health issues, especially prostate and testicular cancer. Thousands of men sport mustaches during “Movember” but the race is open to everyone.
  • Location: Mission Bay Park

Red Nose 5K Run/Walk | Friday, December 19

  • This 23rd annual charitable run raises money for two non-profit organizations: Fresh Start Surgical Gifts and Semper Fi Fund.
  • Location: Del Mar Beach, Powerhouse Park

Hot Buttered Run | Sunday, December 21

  • The 1K and 10K charitable holiday themed event with an island feel donates a portion of the proceeds to the Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter.
  • Location: Paradise Point Resort, 1404 Vacation Road

As you prepare for your fun holiday run, you’ll also want to prepare for where you’re going to stay in San Diego! If you’re looking for a comfortable, affordable and conveniently located San Diego hotel near the airport, book your room at the San Diego Marina Inn! All of our guest rooms come with an in-room refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker and wireless internet. And after your race you’ll be excited to lie down and relax on your pillow top mattress. Call Marina Inn today at (619) 232-7551 to reserve your room and don’t forget to ask about our available discounts.

San Diego Beer Week 2014 – Top 4 Events

Celebrate San Diego’s fine craft beer tradition with ten days of special beer-related events throughout the county. Internationally known for award-winning brews, San Diego is home to over 90 breweries that have been giving traditional brewing countries like Belgium and Germany a run for their money at world brewing competitions. With so many amazing events packed into just ten short days, it can be hard to decide where to start when planning your San Diego beer vacation. That’s why the staff at the downtown San Diego Marina Inn, located just minutes from the opening Guild Fest party, put together this list of the top SDBW events.

Guild Fest, Nov. 7 | Broadway Pier

This event is the official kick-off to the 2014 San Diego Beer Week. Guests can purchase tickets that grant them access to over 50 local breweries, food trucks and much more! If you want to be treated like a king or queen, grab VIP tickets to get into the VIP Brewer Takeover and unlimited beer and food samples.

BYOB- Brew Your Own Beer Brunch, Nov. 7 | Karl Strauss Downtown San Diego

Hosted by the Karl Strauss team, this exclusive brunch gives you a close-up and hands-on tour of the brewery. Brew a beloved beer alongside a skilled brewmaster, indulge in inspired food pairings, and take home 22 ounces of the very small batch Peanut Butter Cup Porter.

World’s Biggest Bottle Share, Nov. 9 | 30th Street, from A to Adams

To commemorate beer week, the citizens of San Diego are teaming up with craft beer lovers everywhere to set a Guinness world record for the largest bottle share ever. Line up anywhere along 30th Street to participate in this historic event and rub elbows with master brewers and beer lovers alike. Registration materials include a wristband that allows you to cruise the length of 30th Street as you stop at multiple locations to share beer, buy from the bar and socialize over suds.

Bikes, Brews and Brats, Nov. 11 | Cal Coast Cycles

Get an intimate urban perspective of the San Diego sights with this scenic bike ride. Participants will receive a tune-up from Cal Coast Cycles and commemorative t-shirt at the beginning of the urban mountain bike tour which takes cyclists through Balboa Park and Mission Hills. At the end of the trek, you’ll be treated cold brews and bratwurst at the awesome after party at the Regal Beagle.

Keep in mind that these four phenomenal events are just the tip of the iceberg! For a complete listing of SDBW happenings, head to Don’t wait to book your San Diego Beer Week hotel as this annual celebration always draws in quite a crowd. If you want affordable and convenient lodging located in the center of it all, call the downtown Marina Inn hotel near San Diego Gaslamp Quarter at (619) 232-7551!

Things to do Around the San Diego Airport

Are you flying into or out of the San Diego Airport (SAN) and have a little time to enjoy the neighborhood? Lucky for you, there is plenty to see and do in San Diego near the airport without stressing about missing your flight. Grab a taxi or walk to these locales, all within three miles of SAN.

  • Hotel near San Diego Airport - If you have a room reserved at one of the nearby SAN hotels, such as the Marina Inn located just 2 miles away, you could head to your hotel to unpack and refresh before heading out.
  • Harbor Island Yacht Club – When you are in San Diego, try visiting the Harbor Island Yacht Club, only a mile from the airport. You can watch the boats sail along the bay or you can rent a yacht of your own for the day!
  • Go Car Tours – These small smart cars are a nice way to learn a little about the city on your own schedule. Each vehicle is equipped with GPS-guided Storytelling so that you learn about everything as you drive by. The Go Car Tour pick-up location is less than two miles away on Kettner Blvd. in Little Italy.
  • For art fans, the Scott White Contemporary Art is also in Little Italy. This popular but private gallery is available by appointment only. Call 619.546.0006 to schedule a viewing.
  • You could also enjoy viewing the historic ships along the San Diego Bay. Stop by for Family Days at The Maritime Museum or get a glimpse of the famous Star of India.

When traveling around San Diego, there’s always plenty to see and do, no matter how much time you have on your hands. If you’re flying in to San Diego and are in need of an affordable, comfortable and conveniently located hotel near the Gaslamp Quarter, reserve your stay at the downtown Marina Inn. Our hotel is located within 2 miles from several local attractions.
Click here or call (619) 232-7551 to reserve your vacation stay today!