Where to Stay in San Diego: The Best Neighborhoods and Hotels for Every Type of Traveler

San Diego downtown area seen at nighttime
Photo: Courtesy of Hilton San Diego Bayfront

A trip to San Diego is always an exciting prospect, and planning is the first part of the fun. Whether it's a solo visit, family vacation, couples getaway, or special event celebration, San Diego offers the perfect place to stay and the ideal neighborhood to use for your home base. No doubt you'll enjoy San Diego's beaches, downtown, harbor, museums, and attractions, but choosing the right home away from home will get you started on your trip in the best way. Here's where to stay in San Diego, with options suitable for every type of traveler and budget.

Where to Stay in Mission Bay and Beach Towns

The beach will be a key feature of a family trip to this part of California, and Mission Bay offers plenty of sandy shores, ocean waves, calm bays, water sports, sailing, and harbor cruises. SeaWorld San Diego will likely be on the agenda and getting there is convenient from this part of town. Bike paths, picnic areas, swimming areas, and hotel pools fill the day, and a family beachside bonfire will end it in true San Diego style.

The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

Tropical landscaping and décor create an elegant atmosphere, and with a patio or balcony for every room, views are guaranteed. A sandy beach on Mission Bay, refrigerators, a coffee bar, pool, jacuzzi, and bike rentals make this hotel a convenient and luxurious family place.

3999 Mission Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92109

To book: catamaranresort.com

Aerial view of Paradise Point Resort near Mission Bay
Courtesy of Paradise Point Resort

Paradise Point

This family-friendly resort on Mission Bay near SeaWorld San Diego features five pools, a mile-long beach, tennis courts, bonfire pits, a 9-hole putting course, beach cruisers, two waterfront restaurants, and a private marina on its 44-acre island. Bungalow-style rooms are set among lagoons and tropical gardens.

1404 Vacation Road, San Diego, CA 92109

To book: paradisepoint.com/resort

Bahia Resort Hotel

Less than five minutes from SeaWorld San Diego, the Bahia Resort Hotel is set on a private 14-acre peninsula on Mission Bay. Amenities include a junior Olympic-sized swimming pool, an arcade, tennis courts, shuffleboard courts, beachfront cabanas, and complimentary cruises on the Bahia Belle, its Mississippi-style sternwheeler.

998 West Mission Bay Drive, San Diego, CA 92109

To book: bahiahotel.com

Where to Stay in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter

This vibrant downtown neighborhood is the place for nightlife, with plenty of nightclubs, live music, comedy shows, rooftop bars, gastropubs, and late-night dining to keep visitors busy. It's a blend of historic and modern, with lively streets, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants ranging from casual to upscale. Choose one of the Quarter's hotels for a delightful stay and an easy walk back at the end of a big night out on the town.

Andaz San Diego

Set in a historic 1913 building and updated in contemporary style, Andaz San Diego, operated by Hyatt, offers guestrooms and suites, a pool, private cabanas, the STK restaurant steakhouse, and a rooftop bar and lounge with views of the city skyline.

600 F Street, San Diego, CA 92101

To book: hyatt.com

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego rooftop pool at night
Courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

The rock vibes begin with the lobby lounge and continue through a stunning rooftop pool bar and urban garden, state-of-the-art fitness center, and high-tech amenities, such as each room's integrated plug and play sound system. Complimentary Electra bicycles and dining at Nobu add to the fun.

207 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

To book: hardrockhotelsd.com

Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Conveniently located near the Convention Center and Petco Park, this pet-friendly boutique hotel boasts a roof garden and Level 9 Rooftop Bar with cozy fire pits for chilly evenings.

509 9th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

To book: ihg.com

Where to Stay in La Jolla

Coastline views, stunning beaches, and a mountain backdrop make La Jolla ideal for a romantic getaway. Swimming, snorkeling, and browsing elegant boutiques are popular pastimes, then there's the fun of watching the seals on Children's Pool from the cliffs above.

The Lodge Torrey Pines

For a special stay, the elegant Lodge Torrey Pines offers early California Craftsman style with expansive public spaces boasting fireplaces, overstuffed furniture, and leather chairs, as well as views of the Pacific and Torrey Pines Golf Course. A poolside cabana and dinner with a view of the coast at A.R. Valentien would make a perfect romantic getaway.

11480 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037

To book: lodgetorreypines.com

La Valencia tower in La Jolla
Courtesy of La Valencia Hotel

La Valencia Hotel

Set amid fashionable shops, galleries, and world-class museums atop La Jolla Cove, the Mediterranean-style La Valencia Hotel offers luxurious accommodations, romantic courtyards, Spanish mosaics, ocean views, and lush tropical landscaping.

1132 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037

To book: lavalencia.com

La Jolla Shores Hotel

Set directly on the beach for a romantic oceanfront stay, La Jolla Shores Hotel's amenities include an outdoor heated pool, a Jacuzzi, and a range of water sports rentals. And what could be more romantic than watching the sunset from the beach or your private balcony?

8110 Camino del Oro, La Jolla, CA 92037

To book: ljshoreshotel.com

Where to Stay in Downtown San Diego

Yes, staying downtown is ideal for first-time visitors. Minutes from the airport, with easy access to public transportation, Balboa Park, the waterfront Embarcadero, Seaport Village, harbor cruises, skyline views, and restaurants, staying downtown offers a great introduction to San Diego.

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

This hotel boasts a waterfront location near Seaport Village, with a resort-like feel in the midst of downtown. First-time visitors will love having both views of the sea and a convenient location with access to everything they want to see in San Diego.

1 Market Place, San Diego, CA 92101

To book: hyatt.com

The US Grant, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego

This historic hotel, part of the Marriott Luxury Collection, dates to around 1910 — its major renovation retained its vintage style and elegance. Visitors can enjoy cocktails in the Grant Grill Lounge. A spa, fitness center, and luxurious guest rooms and suites also make The US Grant a popular choice.

326 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101

To book: marriott.com

Pendry San Diego

Pendry hotel lobby in Downtown San Diego
Courtesy of Pendry

This modern hotel offers a spa, rooftop pool, and several dining and entertainment venues, including a beer hall and fine dining restaurant. The Pool House, the property's rooftop lounge, provides poolside service, and San Diego first-timers will love watching the sunset from the pool or hot tub.

550 J Street, San Diego, CA 92101

To book: pendry.com

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles