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San Diego in the Spring: April Events Around Town

We know you’ll find plenty to do around San Diego, and if the weather is nice you might not even leave the beach. However, if you find yourself needing a break from the sand, here are some April events worth checking out.

April 1 – The Sleeping Beauty in Balboa Park

Sit back and relax at the Casa del Prado Theater in Balboa Park for a live performance of this classic story, which will feature student ballet dancers from SDCYB. Tickets start at $10.

April 3 – The Used at House of Blues San Diego

Alternative music fans can rock out to a live performance by The Used with songs off of their old albums, which include Lies for the Liars and In Love and Death. Find a hotel room in the Gaslamp Quarter and it will be a short walk to the show. Tickets start at $29.

April 10 – Fragile Waters

Photography enthusiasts can enjoy an exhibit of pictures that were taken by names including Ansel Adams and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly. The show is centered on the beauty and power of water, and the gallery will be on display at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Tickets start at $8.

April 13 – The Discovery of King Tut

This educational experience will offer a glimpse of ancient Egypt with over 1,000 replicas of tombs and treasures at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Tickets start at $8.

April 21 – Think and Drink Trivia

Enjoy drinking wine while playing trivia with other contestants. Think and Drink Trivia is an entertaining experience that offers awesome prizes to the winners. The event will be hosted at Winston’s Beach Club. Tickets are $2.

April 24 – Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Explore the city with other visitors and locals alike on a giant scavenger hunt. Clues will take you through Little Italy, Old Town, and near the waterfront. Tickets start at $9.

Spring is a great time to visit San Diego, but when the sun is out hotels start to fill up fast. Find a room at the San Diego Marina Inn & Suites and enjoy a great location, low rates, and the amenities of home. Call a Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 and book your room today!

Food & Wine Fests Around San Diego

Split your time in San Diego between the beach and a fun food and wine festival. The city hosts several throughout the year. Here are just a few coming up.

Spirit of Baja Tequila and Wine Pairing Dinner
April 10 at Westgate Hotel
Cost: $129

Need a little help with wine pairing? There’s no easier way to learn than to attend a dinner event like this, hosted at a hotel with some of the nicest Gaslamp Quarter accommodations in San Diego. You’ll be treated to a cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres made by Executive Chef Fabrice Hardel. Celebrity chef Flor Franco will handle the dinner and wine pairing part of the evening, which also includes tequila tasting. The largest importer of Baja wines, Fernando Gaxiola, will be doing some of the wine pouring.

3rd Annual VinDiego Wine and Food Festival
April 10-11 at NTC Liberty Station
Cost: $95

This annual event is considered one of the largest gatherings of wine aficionados in California. Guests will enjoy gourmet food and sample wine from top chefs and winemakers. The selection will include more than 300 wines, offering a wide range of flavors sure to be enhanced with the mouthwatering cuisine available to guests.

Fourth Annual San Diego International Wine Show
April 25-26 at The Paddock at the Del Mar Fairgrounds
Cost: Pricing unavailable

Enjoy a mix of Californian wines and international vintages at this 2-day event. Local chefs will also be on-site to demonstrate recipes sure to go with any of the wines served.

Junior League of San Diego Food and Wine Festival
May 2 at La Jolla Cove
Cost: $75

The theme of this year’s festival is the Kentucky Derby. While not required, attendees are more than welcome to wear their sun hats while sampling wine from more than 50 of the top restaurants in San Diego. Selections will include exotic cocktails, local craft beers and regional wines.

Ready to please your palate? Reach out to the San Diego Marina Inn. We offer guests flexible dates, no booking fees, and the best rate guaranteed. Discover which of our ongoing promotions works best for you by calling 1-800-571-2933 and speaking with a friendly Reservation Manager.

Learn a Little Something at These Historical San Diego Homes

San Diego has done a remarkable job preserving many of its unique historic buildings. The varied architecture includes examples built by colonial settlers and missionaries, fortune-seekers who came to California in the mid-nineteenth century, Gilded Age millionaires, and innovative Modernist architects. Many of these buildings were created as private homes; some of them still are, but others are now open to the public. Here are a few worth checking out, recommended by the staff at a premier downtown San Diego hotel.

Casa de Estudillo, 4000 Mason Street

Built in 1827, when the state was part of Mexico, this grand adobe mansion is a classic example of Spanish Colonial architecture. It became briefly famous in the 1880′s as the site of the fictional “Ramona’s” wedding, from the novel by Helen Hunt Jackson, and endured the ravages of tourists who literally took chunks out of the walls. The house was restored in the 1960s and is now open to the public.

Whaley House, 2476 California Ave

Known as one of the most “haunted” houses in San Diego, the Whaley House was built in 1857 in the Greek Revival style. Over the years, members of the Whaley family suffered numerous tragedies, and their spirits are said to lurk about the house today. Tourists can test the rumors themselves, as the house is now a museum.

Hubert H. Bancroft Ranch House, Spring Valley

Located in Spring Valley, about 20 minutes from several inexpensive San Diego Convention Center hotels, the Bancroft Ranch House was made out of the wooden beams and planks from a wrecked ship in the San Diego Bay. This was in 1863, which makes it the oldest Anglo-American structure in the area. It is now a museum housing Native-American artifacts.

Villa Montezuma, 11925 K Street

A beautiful example of the sumptuous “Esthetic” style, Villa Montezuma has a history as colorful as its paint job and remarkable stained glass windows. In its heyday, the mansion saw writers, artists, playboys, spiritualists, and musicians throw parties and practice their crafts within its walls. Sadly, this house is now closed to the public although a local group is working hard to reopen it.

William Heath Davis House, 410 Island Ave

Like several other old San Diego houses, the William Heath Davis House has made numerous appearances on ghost-hunting shows and tours, but there are many other reasons to visit this fascinating old place. Shipped from the East Coast and assembled in 1850, it is the oldest building in New Town. It is well preserved and open for tours daily.

Although the Marina Inn & Suites lacks historic charm, we make up for it with our great amenities, flexible dates, and low rates. We are an affordable hotel near San Diego Airport, offer complimentary parking and Wi-Fi, and offer a Kids Suite for families traveling together. Call us at 1-800-571-2933 to inquire about availability and our ongoing discounts.

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.