Staycation Memories at the Historic US Grant Hotel
Being on vacation doesn’t always mean journeying far from home. In fact, a lot of the time it’s quite the opposite when you pick a part of your city that you don’t visit often. For us, this means a downtown San Diego hotel, about 15 minutes or so from our house.
Sure, we attend events, sightsee and go out for dinner in downtown San Diego but it’s a truly different experience when parking at the luxurious US Grant Hotel for a few days, which we did courtesy of Starwood’s My Summer Story campaign. The goal of the campaign was to encourage people to make summer months stand out from the rest of the year with cool vacation or staycation memories.
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A Hotel Named After A U.S. President
$1.9 million was a lot of money back in 1910—and that’s how much it cost to build the US Grant Hotel, named by Ulysses S. Grant, Jr. in honor of his father, President Ulysses S. Grant. The downtown San Diego hotel has experienced ups, downs and ownership changes throughout the years but has a fascinating history.
Fourteen U.S. Presidents and countless celebrities have stayed there over its 100-year life. It was also a speakeasy and a place where women’s rights were won. Now, after careful restoration reminiscent of the original hotel, the US Grant is better than ever. An unexpected benefit of our recent stay was that my 6-year-old was interested in the history behind the downtown San Diego hotel so I found myself Googling all sorts of presidential trivia to share with her.
US Grant Hotel Location
This San Diego luxury hotel is across the street from Horton Plaza and within walking distance to many of San Diego’s best restaurants. It’s close enough to the downtown buzz, yet far enough away so that noise and chaos isn’t an issue. There is underground parking accessible via 4th Avenue.
Stunning Rooms With Original Artwork
Our Signature Suite was perfect for the two of us. This photo just about sums it up. To be totally honest, we didn’t leave the suite much. Between the living area, in-room dining, comfortable beds and really cool vibe, we had a blast just hanging out. We hadn’t had a chance to chill together in a while.
Delicious Dining Options
We did venture down to the famous Grant Grill for an early dinner in the lounge area. I love that the kids menu has presidential trivia on it and beautifully-presented grilled vegetables. Though, being the sophisticated 6-year-old that she is, the charcuterie board was her order. I highly recommend it. The Grant Grill now features a waffle brunch on Sunday that basically has every sort of sinful, homemade topping you can imagine putting on a waffle including a variety of sugars, banana caramel sauce and so much more. We sampled it at a Neiman Marcus brunch the following day (more on this fabulous event later).
For the times when you just don’t want to leave the room (and with a setup like we had, it’s entirely possible), in-room dining has a range of options. It was nice to actually sit down at the dining room table above and eat a proper hotel breakfast together.
Things to Do in or Near the Gaslamp Quarter with Kids
The US Grant can call a taxi for you if you don’t have a car.
- Shop at Horton Plaza across the street.
- Walk to a variety of award-winning Gaslamp Restaurants. I can’t think of restaurants I wouldn’t take my daughter too (we tend to dine early, however, at happy hour) but a kid favorite is Chocolat Cremerie, which has a ton of gelato and casual eats. It’s walkable.
- Visit the Children’s Museum which has plenty of hands-on activities that kids love.
- Attend a Padres game at PETCO park when they are in town.
- Explore Seaport Village on the harbor with its entertainment, restaurants, shops and even the USS Midway Museum. This is walkable, but going by car is better for young kids.
- Drive to Balboa Park, the nation’s largest urban cultural park, about 10 minutes or less away.
In the end, our summer story involved enjoying quite a bit of local San Diego flavor, in addition to some airplane travel. But for families looking for a luxurious, comfortable place to park the family in downtown San Diego–the US Grant Hotel is a perfect choice.
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