Whether you’re in San Diego for a conference during the day or vacationing, spending a week or just a weekend in San Diego offers individuals and families a huge selection of entertainment, culture, and delicious foods. When I travel to San Diego, I enjoy staying downtown. Beyond the typical amusement parks, beaches, museums, and historical sites of the city, here are a few hidden gems nestled in the downtown area that you don’t want to miss on your next trip.
Where to Stay
The US Grant
326 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
This Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel is unique inside and out in the heart of downtown San Diego. The standard rooms are small but quaint with old world charm. Just walking up to the hotel in the evening makes one feel that they are in for a special treat without the snobbery. The exterior gives one a sense of royalty as the architecture is highlighted with a golden hue. The staff was knowledgeable as well as detail-oriented and approachable.
The US Grant is conveniently located within walking distance to the Westfield Horton Plaza. This hotel has the basic amenities, but you’ll want to venture out to enjoy the wonderful cultural delicacies nearby the Plaza and the NBC Building at 225 Broadway, located in the Horton Plaza district.
Where to Shop, Dine and Work Out
Westfield Horton Plaza
324 Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101
This is an interesting mall; some might call it an eclectic use of architecture and design. If you only have a few days in San Diego or a week for a convention, you’ll never need to go further than the Westfield Horton Plaza to meet all of your needs. Don’t go if you’re in a hurry, as the maze of escalators and levels may leave you dumbfounded. I saw this as part of its charm.
The Westfield has many options for your pleasure. Fast food or fine dining, over a hundred stores to shop on multi levels, exercise at 24 Hour Fitness Sport, movies at the Cinema Times, space to hold special events, and my favorite find, the San Diego Repertory Theater.
Unique Local Entertainment in Downtown San Diego
San Diego Repertory Theatre
79 Horton Plaza, San Diego, CA 92101
One of my greatest finds during my travels was this little theater at the main entrance to the Westfield Horton Plaza. The Rep is known for its small town theater with Broadway-quality productions. I was interesting in attending a Broadway production a few miles from my hotel. However, after looking at the cost of tickets and cab fair, I thought I would see the local production, and I was not disappointed.
I found that the Rep box office sold discount tickets for the same day production at a huge bargain. Tickets usually range from $29 to $53 with discounts for active military and seniors – call or ask at the box office. Students are only $18. I believe for the same day and the particular show I saw I was able to get the student rate. I won’t entice you to see the show that I saw because it doesn’t seem to be in production anymore. However, with the caliber of talent that was exhibited that night, I will return to see whatever is being performed on my next trip.