San Diego summer getaway

What to do, where to stay, and where to eat in the city's three best neighborhoods for summer fun

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San Diego bikes

The perfect San Diego day starts with a cruise along sunny Pacific Beach.

Andrea Gomez

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  • San Diego inn

    Britt Scripps Inn

We all know San Diego, right? Endless summer and endless tourist attractions: the zoo, Shamu, and all that coastline too.

But summer in San Diego isn't just about the beach. The opening of the San Diego Padres' new ballpark has helped reinvigorate downtown, which bustles with clubs and restaurants.

And few cities anywhere in the world can boast of an urban oasis with the architectural and botanical grandeur of Balboa Park.

Cool waves, baseball, and a touch of Europe too.


We have focused on three great summer destinations in San Diego: Pacific Beach and Mission Beach, which lie north and west of Mission Bay, respectively; downtown's Gaslamp District and East Village neighborhoods, 10 minutes from the airport; and Balboa Park, on the northeast edge of downtown. August is high season, and rates at many area hotels drop after Labor Day. For additional information, contact the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau (619/236-1212).


Britt Scripps Inn. Elegant 1887 Queen Anne Victorian is perfectly situated for exploring Balboa Park. From $415. 406 Maple St.; or 888/881-1991.

Hotel Solamar. Hip, urban hotel across the street from Petco Park is also home to rooftop hot spot Jbar. From $319. 435 Sixth Ave.; or 877/ 230-0300.

Tower23. The hotel brings a new level of style to the funky Pacific Beach scene. Equally stylish is its steak and seafood restaurant, Jordan ($$$$). From $369. 723 Felspar St.; or 866/869-3723.


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