Summer Fun | Island Palms Hotel and Marina | San Diego, California

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Beautiful scenery, unparalleled dining, and fast-paced nightlife make San Diego a good choice for a romantic getaway. Here are our picks for what to enjoy with your special someone in America’s Finest City.

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Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina

With multiple pools, tennis courts, complimentary bike rentals, massage services, and a private marina, the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina has everything you need for a fantastic summer vacation in San Diego. Island Palms is located right along the coast of Shelter Island, which means you’re just steps away from a number of exciting activities on the water! It’s also close to other great areas like Point Loma, downtown San Diego, and the Gaslamp Quarter. Book a romantic getaway with the Simple Pleasures Package, which includes water view accommodations, champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and breakfast in bed.

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Blue Wave Bar & Grill

Indulge in California coastal cuisine at the Blue Wave Bar & Grill. Choose a table inside their elegant dining room, or relax outside on the deck overlooking the pool and marina. Grab a homemade quiche or breakfast burrito to start off your day, or enjoy fresh fish for dinner – we love the Seared Scallops, served with shellfish risotto, grilled asparagus tapenade, and parmesan cheese. You can get specially priced craft beer, cocktails, wines, and appetizers (like chowder fries and salmon tacos!) at their Island Time happy hour, every day from 4-7 pm. You won’t go hungry.

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Sunset Cliffs

Between Ocean Beach and Point Loma you’ll find Sunset Cliffs, an area that’s exactly what it sounds like – a stretch of coastline with plunging cliffs that looks especially beautiful during sunset. Sunset Cliffs is only about a 10-minute drive from Shelter Island, so it’s perfect for a quick outing. Go for a walk or jog right along the cliffs, or pack some snacks for a romantic sunset picnic.

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Gaslamp Quarter

Alonzo Horton arrived in the San Diego Bay in 1867, purchasing land and kicking off the development of the area we now know as downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp Quarter. This year, the Gaslamp Quarter celebrates its 150th anniversary. Learn about San Diego’s past and see historic buildings on a walking tour of this unique area.

Today, the Gaslamp Quarter is San Diego’s premier spot for nightlife. Enjoy a night out on the town by exploring a few of the area’s restaurants, bars, and clubs. Start out at The Tipsy Crow, comprised of three different levels: The Main, a pub-like area, The Nest, a cozy lounge with fireplaces and pool tables, and The Underground, with music and dancing.

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Petco Park

Catch a Padre game at Petco Park while you’re in town! The ballpark, located downtown, is a fun place to explore whether you’re a baseball fan or not. Skip the hot dogs – plenty of local eateries have set up shop in Petco Park, so you can try some of San Diego’s best grub (and beer). Grab a juicy hamburger at Hodad’s, Mexican fare at Carnitas’ Snack Shack and Lucha Libre, or amazing sandwiches at Gaglione Brothers or Board & Brew. You can view the game schedule here.

Discover Downtown San Diego | San Diego, California

San Diego is famous for its pristine beaches and year-round perfect weather. In the heart of the city, however, you’ll find a vibrant urban paradise. It’s filled with historic landmarks and popular attractions including the bustling Gaslamp Quarter, home to hotels, boutiques, restaurants, and evening hotspots. Stay in Downtown San Diego and immerse yourself in the culture of this beautiful Southern California city.

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Omni San Diego Hotel

The Omni San Diego Hotel is a 21-story luxury property in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. It’s steps away from the San Diego Convention Center and offers stunning views of the San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline. Enjoy the sunshine on the outdoor terrace, complete with a pool, fire pits, and rooftop lounge. The hotel also is connected to Petco Park by a convenient sky bridge. Experience a Padres game with extra touches of luxury and convenience when you book the Beer, Bratwurst, and Baseball Package. It includes deluxe accommodations, Upper Infield or Field Box tickets to a San Diego Padres game, two beers and two bratwursts at Zumbido, overnight valet parking, and complimentary peanuts and crackerjacks.

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Petco Park

No visit to downtown San Diego is complete without catching a Padres game! Petco Park, the home of the San Diego Padres, is a stunning baseball stadium that’s also a popular venue for concerts and events. The recently renovated park includes a new HD video board, additional seating areas, and a multitude of restaurants and breweries. San Diego is famous for its booming craft beer scene, and Petco Park lets you sample some of the city’s finest brews in one place. On the field level, you’ll find plenty of delicious eateries to fill up between innings. Phil’s BBQ is a San Diego staple serving up legendary barbecue with their tangy, signature sauce. For dessert, stop by Baked Bear, a local chain that’s known for their ice cream sandwiches made with fresh baked cookies. View the Padres schedule and purchase tickets online.

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When the sun goes down, downtown San Diego turns into an after-hours playground. Omnia San Diego delivers the ultimate nightlife experience with rooftop cabanas, a modern lounge area, and a vibrant dance floor. Owned by the Las Vegas-based Hakkasan Group, Omnia Nightclub brings high-end style to the Gaslamp Quarter. The recently opened venue boasts an impeccable design and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. Omnia San Diego boasts a rotating roster of world-class DJs, including Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, and The Chainsmokers. The nightclub celebrates its 1-year anniversary this month with a three-day celebration beginning on May 19th. Purchase a VIP Bar Package online to receive expedited entry and a $50 credit to use at the bar.

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The Mission

Recover from your night on the town with brunch at The Mission. The local eatery offers hearty, health-conscious dishes at affordable prices. The original location opened in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood and grew from a coffeehouse to a full-scale restaurant. Now with three locations across San Diego, The Mission remains a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The menu focuses on simple, fresh ingredients with playful presentations. We love their signature Mission French Toast made with cinnamon bread and topped with fresh berries. Dine on the patio to take advantage of the beautiful weather.

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Horton Plaza

After brunch, treat yourself to an afternoon of shopping at Horton Plaza, a colorful outdoor mall in the middle of the Gaslamp Quarter. The five-story structure is known for its whimsical design with mismatched levels and colorful architecture. Browse the diverse selection of over 130 department stores, designer boutiques, and souvenir shops. Stop by the food court for a quick lunch, or grab a healthy snack from Jimbo’s, a San Diego grocery chain that offers locally grown, non-GMO products. After shopping, sit back and enjoy a show at the adjacent Balboa Theatre.

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Balboa Theatre

The extraordinary Balboa Theatre has been a San Diego landmark since 1924. After several changes in ownership, the property was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places before closing for over twenty years. This historic theatre reopened in January 2008 with beautifully restored finishes and modern interior renovations. Since then, the Balboa Theatre has received numerous awards and accolades. It was recently named one of the “15 World’s Most Spectacular Theatres” by CNN Travel. View the online calendar for the full schedule of upcoming shows.

Gaslamp Quarter | San Diego, California

Whether you are in San Diego for a long weekend, convention or staycation, you can always find something to do in the historic Gaslamp Quarter. The Gaslamp Quarter covers approximately 16½ blocks in downtown with 94 Victorian-era buildings that feature some of the best restaurants, shops and nightclubs in the city. The next time you are in town, check out a few of our favorites things to do downtown.

Morning on the Waterfront

It’s going to be a busy day! Start your morning off with a sunrise run or walk around the waterfront. If you are staying at the Manchester Grand Hyatt or the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina Hotel, all you have to do is walk out the back door to start your waterfront run at Seaport Village. If you are staying in the Gaslamp Quarter, the best way to reach Seaport Village is to cross along 1st Avenue and then head south to make your way to the waterfront. From Seaport Village, you can explore the waterfront all the way around to Harbor Island and beyond.

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Breakfast at Café 222

After your morning run, we always like to stop at Café 222 for a wholesome, home-cooked breakfast. We recommend the Tamales and Eggs or the 5-Grain Waffle with Granola. Café 222 also makes an assortment of fresh-baked goods daily to go with your soy latte.

Shopping in the Gaslamp

With more 130 stores, Westfield’s Horton Plaza is a must stop for savvy downtown shoppers. Get your shop on and enjoy an upscale, outside shopping experience that will get you in the mood to further explore the other boutiques in the Gaslamp Quarter. As you exit Horton Plaza on the East Side, you can stroll up and down 4th and 5th Avenues to finish up your shopping marathon. You’ll find an assortment of local boutiques offering urban-chic clothing, modern furniture and great home accessories.

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Pool Time Drinks

Not a shopper? No worries. Nothing says relaxation like fresh margaritas by the pool at the Hotel Solamar. Get away for the day, or the weekend, and enjoy the perennial San Diego sunshine. Located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, call ahead and reserve your own poolside cabana. Read a book, swim, or mingle with the poolside crowd. You will have fun in the sun all day long.

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Dinner & Theatre

No day is complete in the Gaslamp Quarter without some great food and memorable entertainment. San Diego has not always been known for its upscale eats and culture… but do we have a surprise for you! Bring your dressy casual threads and take your special someone out on the town for an evening you will remember.

Start at Bice restaurant on 4th Avenue. You will enjoy true Italian hospitality, an outstanding wine list, and an enticing world of complex entrée combinations – true Italian cuisine. And be sure to ask about the gourmet cheese bar. Bice was named Open Table’s Diners Choice Winner for 2015. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Westside

After a relaxing dinner at Bice, you can enjoy a vibrant and intimate production of West Side Story, America’s favorite love story, at the Grand Horton Theatre. Enjoy Bernstein & Sondheim’s musical masterpiece filled with great songs like Tonight, Somewhere, When You’re a Jet, I Want to Be in America, and Maria. This ‘don’t miss’ production is directed by Deborah Gilmour Smith with musical direction by Partick Marion and choreography by Colleen Kollar Smith. Get tickets today.