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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.

San Diego’s 7 Waterfront Areas

The San Diego Bay is lined with seven waterfront areas along 34 miles of spectacular Southern California shoreline. Each area offers unique restaurants, shopping, marinas, hotels and parks that prove to be a great outing for families, couples or solo travelers. View the public art, walk along the miles of beaches, or rent a bike or car to soak in all seven sights in one fell swoop.

1. The Embarcadero

The Embarcadero is a wonderful walkway with restaurants, hotels, tours and museums, all set against the beauty of the Bay and the downtown cityscape. You will find the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, an architectural gem that hosts events when ships are not in port, and further south is Seaport Village featuring bistros, restaurants and boutiques. The Embarcadero Marina Park is divided into two sections: North and South. Embarcadero Marina Park North is found just after Seaport Village and Embarcadero Marina Park South is adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center. If you’re staying at a downtown San Diego hotel near Little Italy, you can easily walk to the Embarcadero and back, enjoying the views all along the way.

2. Harbor Island

This “island” is right next to the San Diego Airport, close to downtown San Diego. The park-like setting allows you to view the sweep of the Bay and the skyline of the city. You can enjoy a day of pampering at luxurious hotel spas or grab delectable fare at Sierra Pacific Restaurant & Bar or the functioning Tom Ham’s Lighthouse. For classy cocktails head to Tapatini-Tapas & Martini Bar or opt for C-Level which sits directly over the bay for unbeatable views.

3. Shelter Island

Shelter Island may have been created to accommodate military ships 50 years ago, but today it is one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions. This resort-style peninsula features world-class dining, nightlife and scenery. Touted at San Diego’s “Hawaiian getaway”, many locals even make an effort to staycation here! From spa services and shopping to outdoor concerts and parties, this waterfront destination truly has it all. We recommend starting your afternoon with drinks and appetizers at Vessel Restaurant & Bar before grabbing dinner at Bali Hai Restaurant and eventually ending the night with drinks and dancing at Humphrey’s Backstage Lounge.

4. Imperial Beach

If you enjoy San Diego’s beautiful, year-round weather, you must not miss a visit to the uncrowded beaches here. Watch the surfers, lie out in the sun or enjoy a dip in the refreshing Pacific Ocean. The adjoining wetlands and the Tijuana Estuary are full of wildlife for viewing. You can take in the public art, public parks and nearby shopping for a fun-filled day in IB. Further south, you will discover the Dunes Park with a spectacular view of the Coronado Bay Bridge.

5. Coronado

Coronado is San Diego’s “enchanted island” and is something not to be missed. To get here, you’ll either have to drive across the beautiful bridge or take an affordable ferry. The island has a quaint village where you can visit shops, restaurants and art galleries. Visitors are urged to enjoy the award-winning beach where you might see Navy Seals in practice, savor fine dining options at such places as Mistral and Peohe’s, and catch the stunning San Diego sunset from Hotel Del Coronado’s outdoor lounge.

6. Chula Vista

San Diego locals enjoy the uncrowded Chula Vista bayside marinas, parks, and restaurants. The Bayfront Park offers plenty of space for picnics, play or a leisurely stroll. Oftentimes you can find a classic car club sponsoring an event where vintage vehicles are put on display. Don’t miss the Nature Center where you can learn about the Bay, local wetlands, marine life, and geology of the San Diego area. Once arriving at Chula Vista’s waterfront, visitors can participate in everything from pier fishing and boating to casual dining and bird watching.

7. National City

Here you will find a working waterfront with world trade activity, naval operations and maritime ship building. The 5.5 acres of Pepper Park can be found alongside the channel, where you can view the Bay and the hustle and bustle of activities that take place at the marine terminal. While you’re in the area, don’t skip town before grabbing a famous In-N-Out Burger, milkshake and fries combo just down the street!


As you can tell, there is more than enough to see and do along San Diego’s many waterfront areas. Pick a few to explore that are close to your affordable hotel. If you’re interested in staying just blocks from the San Diego Bay and less than two miles from the Embarcadero, call (619) 232-7551 to book your stay at the Marina Inn- one of the top hotels in Little Italy San Diego.