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Fun Things To Do in San Diego, California

Many people feel that the best things in life are free - we do, too! And you’ll discover lots of fun, free things to do when you’re a guest at our Downtown San Diego hotel. We’re within walking distance of Little Italy and Seaport Village, two eclectic sections that are entertaining to stroll through and explore. Other cool nearby places to visit include Balboa Park, the country’s largest urban cultural park. Of course, we’re just a short drive from some of Southern California’s most famous attractions, such as the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld. And while they’re not free, they’re definitely worth the price of admission. Learn more about our neighborhood below.

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Gaslamp Quarter

Come to the Gaslamp Quarter and discover an architectural mix from the turn of the century. The Quarter features modern gaslamps, brick sidewalks, landscaping, galleries, theaters, hundreds of boutiques and shops, more than 100 restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and many beautifully restored buildings. Experience San Diego’s colorful past in this exciting, active urban setting. For more information, visit
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Seaport Village

San Diego’s ideal weather makes for taking in many fun outdoor activities. One of them is visiting Seaport Village. Enjoy more than 50-plus diverse shops and 17 unique eateries. Explore Seaport Village’s sprawling tropical grounds. Encounter four miles of tree-lined paths where a variety of entertainers-singers, dancers and magicians-do their thing. For more information, visit
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Little Italy

Little Italy represents downtown San Diego’s oldest continuous neighborhood business district. At one time, more than 6,000 Italian families lived and worked here, successfully turning San Diego into the center of the world tuna industry. Today, art galleries and specialty shops dot the neighborhood along with a wide array of restaurants, markets and cafés. Join us for Little Italy’s two annual events-ArtWalk and Carnevale. For more information, visit
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San Diego Convention Center

Situated on sparkling San Diego Bay in the heart of downtown San Diego and just 10 blocks from the 500 West Hotel,, the San Diego Convention Center features abundant, flexible space and five-star service. Events run the gamut from international conventions with trade shows and consumer shows to local trade shows and community events. The San Diego Convention Center is currently ranked 21st in size among the 375 convention facilities in North America. For more information and a list of upcoming events, visit
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Balboa Park

The largest urban cultural park in the country, Balboa Park boasts 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the unparalleled San Diego Zoo. Perfect for family vacationers, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts and classes-all in a supremely scenic setting. For more information, visit
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SeaWorld San Diego

Enter the wild world of SeaWorld San Diego and you’ll enter a world like no other. Come nose to wet nose with a dolphin. Thrill to innumerable attractions like “Journey To Atlantis.” Experience amazing shows like “Believe,” the visually stunning Shamu show that’s designed to awake your sense of curiosity and wonder. Or catch Shamu in a totally different light at his high-energy nighttime performance, “Shamu Rocks.” For more information, visit
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San Diego Zoo

The 100-acre, world-famous San Diego Zoo is located just north of downtown San Diego in Balboa Park. Explore more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing more than 800 species and subspecies. Discover a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants. For more information, visit
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Wild Animal Park

Nestled 35 miles north of downtown San Diego in the picturesque San Pasqual Valley near Escondido, California, the Wild Animal Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary encompassing 1,800 acres. More than half of those acres have been set aside as protected native species habitat. Encounter over 3,500 animals representing over 400 species and delight in an awe-inspiring botanical collection. For more information, visit
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USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway is the longest-serving aircraft carrier in the history of the U.S. Navy-a 47-year odyssey that spanned the end of WWII and the liberation of Kuwait in 1991. Learn all about this seafaring sensation at the USS Midway Museum at the Navy Pier in downtown San Diego. Enjoy 60 exhibits along with a one-of-a-kind experience “from boiler to bridge.” For more information, visit
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Old Town San Diego

Known as the “birthplace of California,” Old Town San Diego features 32 restaurants, 106 specialty shops, 12 art galleries and 27 historic buildings and sites. Take an Old Town trolley tour that captures the flavor of this popular destination. Or stroll through Heritage Park where you can view an amazing collection of Victorian homes. For more information, visit
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Coronado Island

Measuring approximately 7.4 square miles, the small “island” town of Coronado is situated in San Diego Bay. Connected to San Diego by the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and to the City of Imperial Beach to the south by State Highway 75, Coronado is the neighbor of Naval Base Coronado, which includes Naval Air Station North Island where the elite SEALS are trained. Enjoy Coronado’s award-winning beach and such landmarks as the Hotel Del Coronado, which gained fame in the Marilyn Monroe movie “Some Like It Hot.” For more information, visit
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La Jolla

From world-class shopping to one-of-a-kind dining. Shimmering ocean views to timeless landmarks. Beach culture to high culture. Each day, there's a new experience waiting for you. Welcome to La Jolla. Take it in. The jewel of Southern California sparkles in vacation sunshine year-round. Visit first class sights and attractions throughout the village and around the cove. Stay in gorgeous houses and take in the sweeping seascape. Indulge in all the beauty that's here, only a few minutes from downtown San Diego.
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• Coronado, CA - 7 miles
• Tijuana, Mexico - 27 miles
• Escondido, CA - 32 miles 

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• San Diego International Airport - 3 miles
• Santa Fe Depot - 2 blocks

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From San Diego International Airport. Head west. Turn left on North Harbor Drive. Turn left at West Broadway then make a U-turn at State Street. Hotel is at 500 West Broadway.