There’s No Place Like Home: Your SD Staycation Guide

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In San Diego, you don’t have to go too far to relax and vacation while rejuvenating from a stressful week. Plan a staycation with your family or friends to soak in where you live and really experience San Diego as a non-local for the weekend. We are lucky enough to live in a city that is a vacation destination. And being a tourist in your own home is never a bad idea. This means that when we have a few extra days off of work, we don’t need to go far to escape to paradise — because paradise is right outside our door. If you have a few free days, take a staycation and leisurely explore your own city.

The best vacations (and the best staycations) have a balance of activities ranging from complete relaxation to total adventure. We’ve compiled a list of the best places to get some rest as well as some thrills all without leaving our city.


If you don’t want to sleep in your own bed during your staycation, there are a lot of unique, local hotels that offer all the amenities and comfort of home but with the luxurious feel of travel. We recommend the 60’s pool party feel of The Pearl Hotel. Located in Point Loma, The Pearl is close to beaches, breweries, and other local gems (not that you would ever have to leave the premises of the hotel to have a good time). They also host “Dive-In Movies” near the pool: Cult classics are projected onto a screen above the vintage, oyster-shaped pool all summer, so you can enjoy a movie while relaxing in the water.

Or, there’s the ever-iconic Hotel Del Coronado. This year, Hotel Del Coronado has officially been open for 130 years. This beachfront resort allows guests you to escape reality while embracing your home. At “The Del” you can experience surf camps, take bike rides on the beach, and enjoy various events 24/7.

On September 21, 2018, take movie night to a different level with a Movie on the Beach. The film, Blue Crush will start at 7:30 pm, just after the firework show at 7:20 pm. Enjoy your stay at a place that always has something going on, such as Restaurant Week, beach front spin classes, and mermaid aerobic workout classes. Get pampered in your hometown with your family, while taking a step back to unwind and explore activities that you never knew existed at “The Del”.

Nothing says romance and relaxation like a trip to Coronado. With the quaint houses and the dainty shops, Coronado provides the ultimate staycation experience. Explore the shopping, hang out at the beach, and head back to the Hotel del Coronado to wrap up each day. Spending a night or a weekend on Coronado feels like spending a week in the tropics.


A staycation wouldn’t be complete without a little (or a lot) of R&R. Since staycations don’t offer the distance and the general feeling of “out of sight, out of mind”, a day at a spa could be just what you need to get your mind off of any worries that are close by. Sometimes all you need is a good massage and a sauna to keep you calm and help you slow down your pace. At Paradise Point Resort and Spa you’ll get to relax and enjoy all the amenities you deserve.

This 44-acre island in San Diego, makes you feel as if you are secluded from the rest of the world, all while being in your own backyard. This island escape is perfect for anyone wanting a local getaway with family and friends. If you are looking to spend a weekend riding bikes, indulging in various glamorous spa packages, while taking a dip in one of their 5 different pools, or playing a round at their 18-hole golf course, this is the spot for you. There is truly something for everyone, and pampering yourself will be a breeze with different activities to make the whole family happy.


People sign up for some crazy things when they are on vacations in foreign places. But why not sign up to do something a little crazy and adventurous here at home? Skydive San Diego offers tandem jumps and memories that will last a lifetime. There’s no need to wait to mark this one off of your bucket list, Skydive San Diego is located just 25 minutes from downtown. The sky is calling!

As Halloween approaches, be prepared to embrace your love of ghosts and all things spooky. The infamous Whaley House is the perfect activity if you are looking for something to get you in the mood for the scariest season. This mid-nineteenth century structure is a museum that was formally home to Anna and Thomas Whaley. The history of this home attracts people from all over the world for their tours of exciting adventure with history as its validation. Thomas Whaley used to call on spirits from inside the home, giving this museum its eerie vibe. This is the perfect way to discover history in your own home and spend the day (or night) trying to figure out if you believe in ghosts.

For something more scerene, visit Balboa Park & Japanese Friendship Garden.  This special garden shows the friendship between San Diego and Yokohama in a beautiful environment and a setting for a perfect day off. This inspiring garden is meant to educate and bring people of different backgrounds together. Complete with koi ponds and a luscious greenery, be prepared to discover new cultures and people in San Diego. Embrace the gorgeous weather and spend the day here with your loved ones who will equally be in awe of the stunning views and beautiful culture.

And we can’t forget about one of the best zoos in the world, the San Diego Zoo. It is a must-stop.

Home to over 3,000 animals, the San Diego Zoo is a great way to spend a family stay-cation. You can even be a part of the Wild Night Out-21 and up experience,  where hanging out with the animals will have your grinning ear to ear. Don’t miss their newest exhibit Africa Rocks, that features unique animals that are decedents from the Africa homeland. There are always numerous events, shows, tours, and experiences available with over 100 acres of your favorite animals and furry friends.

For more of a romantic, relaxing adventure, San Diegan’s can hop onto a Hot Air Balloon to watch the sunset from the sky. Sky’s The Limit Ballooning Adventures offers different locations and times for you to choose to float off into the sky.

These establishments and activities will fill your staycation with relaxation and excitement. You will feel the same sense of adventure that you would if you had vacationed in an exotic location, with the added bonus of falling in love all over again with the city you call home.

"When asked, 'How do you write?' I invariably answer, 'one word at a time.'"-Stephen King

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