Newly Renovated Hotel near San Diego
Since it has 70 miles of coastline and gets year-round sunshine, San Diego is bound by physics to attract tourists. The city is known for its surf shops and laid-back citizens, to be sure, but there's more to its DNA than that. San Diego is located on the Pacific, just north of the Mexican border; you can get great fish tacos at local drive-in shops. Victorian-era buildings and gourmet restaurants make up the Gaslamp Quarter, a historical district in the center of town. Clarion Hotel South Bay, located 5 miles from downtown San Diego, has a free shuttle, which will drop you off at downtown areas and then take you back to retire to a quiet, contemporary guest room.
In the morning, stop by the Southbay Café for a complimentary American breakfast featuring eggs and fresh fruit. The Southbay Cantina also offers casual cuisine onsite; right by the hotel, you can also stop for a quick meal at a Chinese restaurant and a greasy-spoon-type diner.
Feel free to unwind in the property's outdoor pool or hot tub. Spacious guest rooms are spiced up with bursts of red fabric and feature homey amenities, including a refrigerator, microwave, and flat-screen TV.
National City, California: Historic City near the Museums and Electric Nightlife of San Diego
National City is situated about 5 miles south of San Diego proper. The famed Brick Row homes, built by Frank Kimball and located in the center of National City, are worth dropping by.
Make the trip into San Diego, though, for the beach and more historical places such as The Gaslamp Quarter, arguably one of the trendiest listings on the National Register of Historic Places. The area forms both the historic center of town and a hub of San Diego nightlife, with nearly 100 Victorian-era buildings now occupied by high-end boutiques, jewelers, and gourmet restaurants.
During the day, a stroll through iconic Balboa Park takes you past 17 separate museums, as well as the world-famous and much beloved San Diego Zoo. There's also the vibrant Spanish Village Art Center, a living gallery where local artists continuously produce pottery, handblown glass, and oil paintings for sale.
Farther north, in Old Town—site of the first European settlement in California—shops in Mission-style stucco buildings sell colorful wrestling masks, woven baskets, and maracas. Nearby stands The Whaley House Museum, dubbed one of the Most Terrifying Places in America by the Travel Channel. Ghosts of former residents are said to inhabit the rooms, which are filled with Victorian furniture, eerie dolls, and squeegees for ectoplasm cleanup.
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