Looking to stay at an inn that evokes the true spirit of San Diego ? Try the Spanish-Colonial Revival-style Balboa Park Inn (3402 Park Blvd., 619/298-0823, www.balboaparkinn.com , $100–250). This funky boutique hotel offers 26 unique rooms and suites with names like Harlequin and Emma’s Diary, each beautiful in its own decorative style.
Smaller rooms just offer a simple bed-and-bath setup, while the more numerous suites offer multiple rooms, kitchens, decks, and often more than one bed.
Balboa Park Inn is the perfect place for families looking for moderate prices and the attractions of Balboa Park . Situated just north of the park, you can walk from the inn to the San Diego Zoo . The quiet neighborhood isn’t much for nightlife, but offers peace for visitors who long for a good night’s sleep.
Another small, stylish charmer is the Hillcrest Inn (3754 5th Ave., 800/258-2280, www.hillcrestinn.net , $120–150). Situated in the up-and-coming Hillcrest neighborhood within a few minutes’ drive of Balboa Park , this small hotel offers entirely acceptable rooms at reasonable prices. While amenities aren’t luxe, you will get a TV, refrigerator, microwave, and clean private bathroom, as well as access to the hotel’s outdoor spa.
If you can snag an unmetered on-street parking spot, take it, since parking at the inn costs extra. Luckily, lots of restaurants, shops, parks, bars, and clubs are within easy walking distance of the inn, so you may only need to park once.
Only a few blocks’ walk from the center of the Hillcrest neighborhood, Kasa Korbett - Hillcrest Bed and Breakfast (4050 Front St., 800/757-5272, www.kasakorbett.com , $110–130) expresses a gentle residential charm that’s hard to find in the bustling downtown. Pick from one of four charming little rooms, each done with a distinct theme and color palate. (The Gulf Coast Room is pink—you’ll love it or you’ll hate it.)
Rooms here sleep one or two people; all have private baths and charming amenities. In the classic B&B tradition, no TVs or DVD players can be found in the guest rooms, and the setup is generally better for couples enjoying a romantic vacation than for families on a beach trip.
Enjoy the hospitality of your host, Bob, who can provide you with the best recommendations for what to do, where to eat, and what to see in Hillcrest and beyond. Parking off-street is free, and weekly rates are available.