Thousands of years ago, Native American tribes settled the San Diego region, including the expansive coastline and interior Cuyamaca and Laguna mountain ranges. Portuguese and Spanish explorers claimed San Diego for Spain in 1542 and 1602, eventually establishing California’s first mission in what is now called Old Town San Diego. Today, visitors to San Diego come to relax on the beach, surf the region’s famous surf breaks, dance in downtown’s upscale nightclubs, visit wineries or use the city as a convenient gateway into Baja California. Staying at a San Diego hotel with shuttle transportation can reduce time spent navigating the area’s numerous freeways.
Downtown San Diego
Downtown San Diego offers a variety of entertainment options for visitors, including the baseball stadium, Balboa Park museums and gardens, and the trendy Gaslamp Quarter -- which features fine-dining restaurants, hookah bars, underground salsa clubs and mom-and-pop Mexican eateries serving authentic street tacos. At the Best Western Bayside Inn, courtesy shuttles transport guests to the airport, bus station, train station and cruise ship terminal. Guests purchasing packages to visit the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and other attractions may also access shuttle transportation in some instances. There’s an outdoor pool and hot tub, and guests receive passes to a nearby upscale fitness center.
San Diego Bay
At the busy San Diego Bay, visitors can watch cruise ships steam into port, sailboats races, fishing charters heading back to the marina, or Navy vessels performing drills. On clear days, Mexico’s foothills are visible just past the elegantly arching Coronado Bridge, which connects the slender peninsula to downtown San Diego. The San Diego On-The-Bay Holiday Inn, located near the cruise ship terminal, offers special parking packages for hotel guests and complimentary shuttle rides to the airport, train station, cruise dock and trolley station. Guests can ride the free shuttle to area attractions.
Centrally located Mission Valley provides convenient access to downtown San Diego, Old Town’s numerous Mexican restaurants and historical sites, nearby golf courses and three major shopping centers. The Days Hotel at Hotel Circle offers free parking, discount tickets to SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo, LegoLand and Disneyland in addition to complimentary shuttle transportation. The kid-friendly hotel has an arcade, heated outdoor pool and laundry room. Rooms come with a mini-fridge, microwave, TVs offering free Disney Channel shows, free wireless Internet access and Nintendo games (guests must pay extra for this perk.)
Mission Bay anchors three of San Diego’s primary beach communities: laid-back Ocean Beach, the Mission Beach boardwalk community, and party-friendly Pacific Beach. It’s a relaxing place to kayak, sail, jog along the boardwalk, or rent beach cruisers. Complimentary shuttles transport arriving and departing visitors to the cruise ship terminal, and guests can book free shuttle transportation to nearby SeaWorld. Airport and train passengers can book shuttles for a small fee. Guests can access two swimming pools, two hot tubs, a private marina and discounted access to the well-maintained, surf-themed Wavehouse Athletic Club.
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