Weekend Trip To San Diego Using Priceline Express Deals
Priceline Express Deals
After living in San Francisco for eight years, I couldn’t believe we still hadn’t visited San Diego - our sunny, beach loving cousin down south! We turned to Priceline Express Deals to find us a great deal on a hotel there. If you haven’t heard of Priceline Express Deals - basically you choose a star rating hotel in the part of town you want to stay which will get you up to 60% off. The only catch is that you only find out the hotel after you’ve booked. This might seem scary to book an unknown hotel but we use this all the time when we travel and here to share with you our San Diego Priceline Express Deal experience!
We picked a 5 Star Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter since we wanted to be centrally located and have the amenities of a top rated hotel. After booking, Priceline revealed that we landed The US Grant, A Luxury Collection Hotel, for 45% off the retail price! This famous hotel was built by Ulysses S Grant Jr, son of the 18th US President. Same famous guests who have stayed here include Woodrow Wilson, John F Kennedy, George Bush, Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, and now us! :p
Greeted by the expansive, bejeweled lobby - this was a great place to meet friends, hangout, or read a book.
The second floor has portraits of all the US Presidents and First Wives who stayed here.
Finely appointed rooms with outrageously comfortable beds and linens. We loved how quiet all the rooms were since we’re light sleepers!
This was one of the most swanky hotels we’ve ever stayed in! I promise you’ll be happy with Priceline Express Deals!
Things To Do In San Diego
Old Town San Diego
Old Town San Diego is considered to the birthplace of California since it was the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement, built by Father Junipero Serra in 1769. This park recreates what life was like in the mid-1800’s during the Mexican American period. Some of the highlights include the Whaley House, Wells Fargo History Museum, Casa De Estudillo, and the Junipero Serra Museum.
There are several Mexican themed dining options here. Pictured above, Casa de Reyes, has nice Mexican American food along with great ambiance.
We loved walking around the restored buildings - it felt like a bygone era.
One of the more interesting finds was this Tobacco shop that had all different kinds of pipes, cigars, and tobacco products. We even bought one of the empty cigar boxes because it was so beautifully decorated!
Visit Coronado Island
Coronado Island is home to one of the most famous hotels in America - Hotel Del Coronado. Even if you’re not staying here, you are welcome to walk around the hotel grounds and beach area while admiring the beautiful architecture of the hotel!
When it was built in 1888, the hotel was originally intended to be a hunting and fishing lodge. It’s also rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Kate Morgan. In fact, the room she stayed in is the most requested room in the hotel! Guests swear to the paranormal activity in and around the room. Liberace was also discovered while he was playing piano here!
Grab a beach chair and pretend it’s the 50’s all over again.
It’s worth spending a half day or a whole day on the beach here!
One of San Diego’s up and coming neighborhoods - North Park has a eclectic mix of coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, and vintage shops for you to discover.
Everyone loves hugs and high fives. Amirite?
One of the most eye catching stores in the neighborhood - Pigment is a visual feast with everything from cookbooks to candles.
Make sure to snap a shot at the pink gradient mural right outside Pigment.
One of the great things about San Diego was all the wondrous street art adorning random store walls and power boxes.
The famous Greetings from San Diego mural is also in the North Park neighborhood!
Always long the epicenter of Mexican-American culture in San Diego, the Barrio Logan neighborhood has quickly also become an outlet for modern Chicano/Mexican American art. The neighborhood tends to attract a wide variety of artists. As you walk around, you’ll see evidence of their artwork everywhere.
Just outside Salud! Taco Company (amazing tacos btw), there is a gorgeous mural of Frida.
In the 1960’s when construction of the Bridge started to encroach in the local park - artists painted large scale murals all over the pillars to keep the park theirs in a way. Today this park is called Chicano Park and has the largest collection of Chicano murals in the world.
For some great coffee in a Chicano themed shop - make sure to stop by Por Vida.
What To Eat in San Diego
One of favorite restaurants and discoveries during our time in San Diego - Lola 55 is the brainchild of former professional soccer player and food industry executive Frank Vizcarra. With a mesquite wood and charcoal burning grill - executive chef/business partner Andrew Bent (of Chez Panisse and Enrique Olvera’s Criollo) creates smoky layers of flavor that is hard to duplicate and something you need to taste! It was so good that we came here three times to eat everything on the menu! For the quality of the food, prices are extremely reasonable with tacos starting at $2.75 and delicious ribeye steak tacos topping out at $4.25. Our favorites were the Lola beans (from the founders mother’s recipe), Elote corn bowl, ribeye taco, and pork belly taco.
The beautiful light filled interior matched the cheery colors and food bursting with flavor!
Corn Elote Bowl pictured in the center! Easily our favorite thing here!
The pork belly taco - perfectly cooked with smoky pineapple and frisee to even out the heaviness of the dish.
With the matcha craze still going on all over the country - Holy Matcha delivers in spades with it’s friendly service, Instagrammable decor, and matcha-licious creations.
A delicious find - Nomad Donut has some of the more interesting flavor combos I’ve seen in a donut shop. For example, the Honey Ginger Sesame Kimchee Bacon donut elicits a double take and much contemplation. And yes.. we definitely tried it.. the donut had a nice brioche moist texture with just the right amount of ginger, honey, and sesame flavor. The kimchee was there too but just a hint - which was the right amount.
The Crack Shack
Richard Blais, of Top Chef stardom, has a gourmet fried chicken eatery right next to his famed Juniper and Ivy Restaurant. We just had to check it out and so should you! If you like juicy chicken, bursting with flavor, covered in the right condiments, and sandwiched between two perfect bread buns - Crack Shack is somewhere you should be.
So much yum going on here.
The fries might just be even better than the chicken here.
Lucha Libre Taco Shop
You can’t come to North Park and not come to this cheeky ode to Mexican pro wrestling. It’s full of colorful masked wrestlers, art from local painters, and great tacos! I especially loved the ringside table complete with wrestling bell and announcers mic.