We like higher end accommodations; will be with husband; traveling in September and have a week or so. We love history, art, and local foods!
In my opinion, the best high-end hotels in the San Diego area, from north to south:
1. Park Hyatt Aviara Resort: In Carlsbad, 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego. Self-contained resort with spacious rooms and good views of the ocean in the distance. First-class golf course and three very good to excellent restaurants onsite with several other restaurants within a short drive. Good value for the quality.
2. Rancho Valencia: In Rancho Santa Fe, 30 minutes from downtown. Very expensive and exclusive Relais & Châteaux all-suite property. Mediterranean style with two excellent restaurants and several others a short distance away. Beautiful, luxurious accommodations on 45 acres.
3. The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe: Historic property in the heart of the village of Rancho Santa Fe with spacious grounds and excellent accommodations. Very good restaurant onsite and several others within walking distance. A recent renovation of the property has brought it back to greatness. Good value for the quality.
4. The Grand Del Mar: Exclusive, expensive, luxurious property rated No. 1 in San Diego on TripAdvisor. It's located just inland from Del Mar and La Jolla, about 25 minutes north of San Diego. Two excellent restaurants, several casual dining venues, plus a nightclub.
5. La Valencia Hotel: Historic hotel in the heart of La Jolla Village, overlooking the ocean, about 20 minutes north of downtown. Recently renovated to a very high standard. The least expensive rooms are small. Two excellent restaurants onsite and many others within walking distance. One of my favorite properties in the area.
6. THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego: Downtown San Diego. Historic hotel with an excellent restaurant and within walking distance of everything downtown. Excellent restaurant and bar.
7. The Westgate Hotel: A downtown hotel which is unlike anything else in San Diego. The antique-filled lobby has the look of a luxurious hotel in Paris. Large elegant rooms, an excellent restaurant, a great bar, afternoon tea in the lobby, and the best Sunday brunch in the area.
8. Omni San Diego Hotel: A modern downtown hotel adjacent to the Gaslamp District and overlooking Petco Park. Many rooms have views of the bay. Walkable to many restaurants.
9. Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego: Large, modern, high-end hotel on the Bay with magnificent views from upper floors. Many restaurants a short walk away. Excellent location.
10. Coronado Island Marriott Resort & Spa. On Coronado, just across the Bay from downtown. Terrific views from the bay view rooms across the Bay to downtown. Coronado has a small-town feel and several excellent restaurants, just minutes from downtown.
Historic sights and Museums to see:
1. Balboa Park is a 1200 acre jewel adjacent to downtown. It contains more than a dozen museums, including the The San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Man, and the Timken Museum of Art. The park has open space areas, natural vegetation zones, green belts, gardens, walking paths, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
3. The Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542, the first time that a European expedition arrived at the west coast of the USA. There are excellent views of the bay, downtown, and the coastline down to Mexico, an old lighthouse, a visitors center with exhibitions, and hiking paths.
4. Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the oldest Mission in California, was established by Father Junipero Serra in 1769. The Mission site includes gardens, graveyards and ruins of the original structure, as well as a serves as an active parish church, the fourth on the location.
5. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park preserves and recreates Old Town San Diego as it existed during the Mexican and early American periods, from its settlement in 1821, through 1872.
Have a great trip!
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San Diego is fantastic! I have a few favorite areas:
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If you've never stayed at the Hotel Del Coronado, you're missing a lifetime, iconic experience on so many levels. We were there again last year and it's only gotten better over time. This is the hotel featured in Marilyn Monroe's Some Like It Hot (though they said it was in Florida). If you can't stay there, at least go for lunch by the beach. The Fish & Chips is so fresh and delicate that you'd want to return just for that alone. (Sigh)