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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.

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.