San Diego is a town that knows how to have a good time, and the “Big Bay” near San Diego’s cruise ship pier exemplifies the best the city has to offer in terms of both elegance and outdoor fun. Festive cruise ships often dock in San Diego en route to the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, Tahiti and the Panama Canal, according to the San Diego Cruise Port Authority, and the bay can be an interesting place to glimpse the town’s naval forces conducting helicopter, speed boat and air-craft carrier maneuvers. Staying at hotels near the San Diego cruise ship pier is an easy way to enjoy the area.
Located on nearby Shelter Island, the Hawaiian-themed Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites resort allows visitors views of the glittering San Diego skyline and busy marina. The resort offers special deals for guests staying the night before and after cruise trips, including free transportation to and from the airport and cruise ship pier. Relax by the tropically landscaped pool, jog the waterfront paths or check out the Sunday brunch buffet featuring champagne. In the summer, watch for outdoor music concerts and fireworks displays as locals gather in nearby parks and parking lots with picnic blankets and coolers to sneak peaks at the show.
Downtown San Diego’s only Forbes Travel Guide four-star-rated hotel, the historic US Grant Hotel, opened in 1910 and recently underwent multimillion dollar renovations. Check out the venue’s imported wool carpets, marble bathrooms, French art hanging in the hotel rooms and Art Deco furniture. Situated in San Diego’s sleek Gaslamp Quarter, the hotel offers easy access to the downtown district’s Horton Plaza shopping center and nightclub hot spots including Stingaree and The Ivy, where the city’s beautiful people gather to sip trendy martinis and hit the dance floor.
The Bay Club Hotel Resort in San Diego near the San Diego cruise ship pier overlooks a marina brimming with sailboats and pleasure yachts, allowing convenient access to the docks should you be interested in chartering a vessel for a quick trip around the San Diego Bay or nearby Point Loma to catch the sunset. In the summertime, it’s a fun way to watch local “Beer Can” sailboat races, where old sea dogs and yuppie sailors alike climb aboard sailboats for good-natured competition on the busy bay. The hotel offers numerous complimentary perks, including free wireless Internet, full breakfast buffet, airport or train station transportation, and local newspaper.
Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa is situated on San Diego’s Coronado Island, which is actually a peninsula connected to the mainland by the graceful Coronado Bridge. The 16-acre venue features horseback riding, snorkeling, multiple swimming pools, and rooms outfitted with flat-screen television sets and down pillows. It’s a quick trip across the bay to downtown San Diego, and you’ll enjoy the small-town charm and easy elegance of Coronado Island’s seafood eateries, pizza parlors and relaxing bars.
- san diego skyline image by Janet Wall from Fotolia.com