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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!


Top Halloween Events in the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

San Diego is rolling out the spookiest, most spectacular stops for Halloween in the notorious Gaslamp Quarter this year. A vacation to America’s Finest City for Halloween will thrill and send chills up your spine, especially when you’re able to score a hotel near the Gaslamp Quarter right in the midst of all the action. Here are some of the top downtown San Diego events taking place during Halloween this year:

The Haunted Hotel

This haunted house on Market Street is considered one of the best and spookiest in America. You’ll get a chance to visit Freddy Krueger’s gruesome workshop, take the Hellavator down to unknown depths and try to escape the out-of-control disease outbreak that’s turning people into zombies. This scary stop is open most nights until 1 AM through November 1.

San Diego Zombie Crawl

If you love Halloween more for its parties, then you’ll love the Zombie Crawl in the Gaslamp Quarter. One ticket will give you access to the top Halloween parties in the neighborhood’s best bars and clubs. Costumes are definitely welcome and all participants receive a “hunting permit” map with all the listed events. This takes place on Halloween night and anyone over the age of 21 can purchase a ticket.

San Diego Monster Bash

The city’s largest and best Halloween party can also be found in the Gaslamp Quarter. Centered on the corner of 7th and Market Streets, this enormous block party goes on for eight blocks in any direction and includes five stages with some of the best live acts in the area. Themed sections include the VIP Villain’s District and the Wicked Woodlands, and this all lasts from 6 PM to 12 AM. If you think your costume is a cut above the rest, you can enter the costume contest and compete with other masqueraders for a chance at a $5,000 cash prize. This fantastic event is only open to people 21 and older.

San Diego Gaslamp Quarter Halloween Hotels

If you don’t want to have to worry about assigning someone to be DD or arranging for costly transportation, book a cheap downtown San Diego hotel for Halloween weekend. The San Diego Marina Inn is a great option with frighteningly low room rates and a convenient location within walking distance of the Gaslamp Quarter at 1.5 miles away. Plus, we serve our hotel guests a free breakfast each morning!

For more information on our availability and complementary amenities, call (619) 232-7551 or click here to reserve your San Diego Halloween weekend room before we sell out! Book today and get 15% off when you enter promo code 14DAB during check out.

Downtown San Diego Shopping Guide

San Diego is known the world over for its beautiful beaches, mild California climate and hip dining experiences. But something that may not be as well known to travelers is the unique shopping atmosphere that the downtown area offers. When planning a visit to San Diego, shopping opportunities should be a definite addition to the list of “must do’s.”

Perhaps the most well-known area in downtown San Diego is the Gaslamp Quarter. Although famous for its upscale restaurants, trendy nightlife, and affordable Gaslamp Quarter hotels, this historic spot boasts over 100 retail shops that fit every shopper’s need. With views of San Diego Bay and Petco Park, shoppers will enjoy such gems as The Wine Bank, Inc., which houses hundreds of both rare and high-demand wines, and Eden Boutique which features a unique collection of men and women’s clothing. Popular with both tourists and locals alike, the Goorin Brothers Hat Shop first opened their doors in 1895 and today they still use the same fine craftsmanship to create their hats as they did back then. For a truly nostalgic experience, head over to the Chuck Jones Gallery, where the famous Warner Bros artist has his one-of-a-kind works of art on display. Just keep in mind that most Gaslamp retailers close at 9 PM.

Located within the Gaslamp Quarter on 4th Avenue is Horton Plaza- a colorful and architecturally unique shopping mall featuring a dog park, a 24 Hour Fitness and a newly opened natural grocer, Jimbo’s Naturally. While many of the shops here are akin to a typical mall, there are also a few upscale stores like Louis Vuitton and Coach. Horton Plaza also serves as one of the largest downtown parking garages and with a minimum validated purchase of $10 in the mall, parking is free for up to 3 hours. Horton Plaza is conveniently open daily from 10 AM until 9 PM.

Seaport Village, located along the beautiful San Diego Bay, offers an eclectic mix of street performers, musicians and interesting stores. Shoppers will be attracted to such distinctive retail outlets as The Little Viking, a Scandinavian specialty shop; For Bare Feet, a novelty sock store; Hot Licks, which specializes in hot sauces, salsas and all things spicy; and the Upstart Crow, a bookstore and coffee shop combo featuring old, new and hard-to-find reads. Seaport Village’s original structure was once a jail, and throughout the area visitors will still find nods towards its notable past. Parking is free all day Sunday but the rest of the week will have paid validated parking. All shops are open from 10 AM until 9 PM.

For a culturally different experience, Little Italy offers shoppers an exceptional variety of one-of-a-kind Italian themed stores. With its modest store front, shoppers may inadvertently pass by Antica Rome Bazaar but stepping inside proves worthwhile with the shop’s beautifully handmade European style jewelry and accessories. Melodia Designs is home to elegant and sophisticated women’s clothing inspired by the fashion shows of Italy. Architectural Salvage has everything from antique stained glass windows and refurbished mirrors to rustic bathroom faucets. Each Saturday, Little Italy hosts The Mercato, a large outdoor farmers market featuring organic produce, local delicacies and fresh baked goods.

Visitors to downtown San Diego may come for the dining and nightlife but the endless shopping opportunities in the area provide plenty of entertainment during the day. Save money on your hotel stay by booking a room at the San Diego Marina Inn, allowing you a little more to spend on your mini San Diego shopping spree. The Marina Inn, located in Little Italy near Downtown San Diego, is currently offering exclusive discounts good for up to 15% off!

Click here or call 1-800-571-2933 to reserve your room today.

Tips for a Relaxing San Diego Vacation in Little Italy

Vacations are meant for relaxing. If you have chosen San Diego as your vacation destination, plan to spend some time in the Little Italy area for the epitome of relaxation in a downtown San Diego hotel near the Big Bay. This place feels far from the crowds yet is close to major San Diego attractions such as the Gaslamp Quarter, Marina District, Embarcadero, and East Village.

This historic area was settled by Italian, Sicilian, and Portuguese immigrants as a tuna fishing village. It has since become the place to go for all things Italian when in San Diego. Sights and smells of the beautiful foliage blend with the wonderful aromas of simmering Italian sauces created with imported spices.

For a complete day of pampering, start off with a massage at Flourish Bodywork on W. Fir Street. After relieving knots and sore muscles, head to Simply Skin located next door for one of the best facials in town. Visit the salon’s Yelp page to purchase a “$99 for $135” deal.

After being pampered at local spas, take a leisurely stroll through the gorgeous Amici Park or simply sit and relax with your favorite glass of vino at one of the many outdoor cafes while soaking in the ambiance. The entire area is family-friendly, clean, and safe, so walking is the best way to experience all of the Little Italy’s quirks. The main thoroughfare houses numerous small shops and boutiques for your shopping pleasure and eateries to suit every taste. Every Saturday, rain or shine, the Mercato Farmer’s Market takes over to provide locals with unique foods and wares for sale.

The Old Town Trolley Tours makes a stop here so hop aboard and enjoy a relaxing tour of other areas without the hassle of traffic congestion and crowds. For sheer relaxation and enjoyment, book a Little Italy San Diego hotel today!

Call the San Diego Marina Inn, a popular and affordable Little Italy hotel, at (619) 232-7551 for information on exclusive discounts, availability and in-room amenities.


Top San Diego Gaslamp Quarter Clubs

downtown-san-diego-clubsFrom swanky lounges and prohibition style pubs to booming clubs and entertainment venues, the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter has it all. If you’re visiting San Diego and looking to enjoy the nightlife scene, the 16-block Gaslamp Quarter is a must, especially if you booked one of the affordable Downtown San Diego hotels. Here are some of the top spots that are worth checking out:
1. The Tipsy Crow

Located in the heart of the Gaslamp District, the Tipsy Crow will meet your every club satisfaction and desire. There is a 7-day-a-week Happy Hour and during this time they feature what is called The Drink Exchange, where guests control the prices! There’s also an underground dance floor which it’s transformed into The Gaslamp Comedy Show at magical moments for fun and laughter. On Tuesdays, the Tipsy Crow features a new microbrew for your tasting pleasure, and there’s also the “nest” located upstairs which is available for private parties or lounge-style hangouts.

2. Altitude Sky Lounge at the Marriott

Altitude Sky Lounge is one of the best places to catch a view of San Diego’s skyline, hence the bar’s name. Take the hotel elevator up to this rooftop bar for their wekkly Happy Hour where you get can steals on every day except for Saturday. Enjoy a peak into Petco Park where you can watch the Padre’s Game or head out at night dressed to the nines for a night of mixing and mingling with San Diego socialites.

3. The American Comedy Co.

The American Comedy Co. features A-list comedy in an intimate venue setting. Some of the best featured headliners include Tom Arnold, Doug Benson, Dave Foley, and Drew Carey. This 21+ venue serves an eclectic array of food and cocktails and was recently named’s “Editor’s Choice for fun things to do in San Diego.” If you’re vacationing in San Diego soon, you can purchase tickets to see Chris Franjola, Tom Green, Joel McHale and Nikki Glaser, all of whom have scheduled shows within the next month.

4. Side Bar

Side Bar is that perfect combination of lounge and nightclub, and be warned- no tennis shoes allowed. Side Bar is a self-proclaimed “ultra lounge” serving up hot beats, an impressive list of rotating DJs and sexy events on a weekly basis. You can get on their Guest List by messaging them on Facebook or consider signing up for their fun mixology class on the first Saturday of every month at 7 PM.

As you can see, San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter features some of the best places to get away and let your hair down while on vacation. You, too, can join the scene and see it at its liveliest. Whether you’re craving something swanky and slow or fast tempo and a little wild, you’re sure to find it in Downtown San Diego. However, keep in mind that parking downtown can be a hassle, so consider booking a room at a Downtown San Diego hotel near Little Italy, such as the San Diego Marina Inn. The Marina Inn is conveniently located 1.5 miles from the Gaslamp Quarter, allowing for a quick walk or taxi ride to the main bars and clubs. For more information on our affordable rates and available discounts, call (619) 232-7551.

Fun Water Activities in San Diego

san-diego-waterfront-funSummertime in San Diego certainly calls for some waterfront fun. Whether you like athletic activities like jet-skiing and snorkeling, prefer lounging poolside or would like to explore the city’s naval history, there is plenty of wet n’ wild fun to be had. Here are some of the top water-fill activities in San Diego:

Beaches and Bays

There is plenty of adventure waiting for tourists at San Diego’s oceans and bays. If you’re staying at a downtown San Diego hotel during your vacation, consider renting a boat, stand-up paddleboard, kayak, or wave runner from Seaforth Boat Rentals located on West Harbor Drive. This company also offers a variety of tours and lessons for beginners. Learn how to wakeboard, water-ski, kneeboard, or barefoot on the San Diego Bay, or sign up for their Sport Fishing Charter.

If you want to venture a little North, La Jolla Cove offers some of the best areas for snorkeling, scuba diving and caving.

Hotel Pools

Another relaxing way to enjoy the water in San Diego is by lying out and sipping on cocktails at one of the city’s top rooftop pools. Our favorite Gaslamp Quarter rooftop pools can be found at the Hard Rock Hotel, Hotel Solamar, RoofTop600 at Andaz, and LOUNGEsix. These swanky pool lounges boast private cabanas, a rooftop bar, and a mix-and-mingle ambiance.

Bayfront Museums

Rest assured there’s plenty to do if history is your forte. The USS Midway, a naval aircraft carrier in the bay, is San Diego’s famous floating museum where you can tour the ship and view exhibits about our country’s naval history. The Maritime Museum of San Diego is another gem for ocean and boat lovers also located along the San Diego Bay near Little Italy.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker, sun bather, or history buff, San Diego’s diverse aquatic attractions are sure to please every type of vacationer. When it comes time to book your hotel room, look no further than the San Diego Marina Inn. Not only do we offer competitive rates and exclusive discounts, but we’re also conveniently located just a few blocks from the San Diego Bay and less than two miles from the Gaslamp Quarter! For more information or to book your room over the phone, call Marina Inn at (619) 232-7551.