12 Best Historic Hotels in San Diego, California

My city doesn’t really have a long and extensive history compared to many other cities in the United States or the world. For us, 200 years ago feels like the distant, barely inhabited past, and 100 years ago feels ancient.

With that in mind, historic San Diego County hotels are worth considering because they have locations in special buildings, have hosted US Presidents, served as movie sets, or interesting stories.

Originally intended as a fishing and hunting resort for the very rich, in the beginning, most of its guests arrived by train — a 7-day journey from the east coast at the time.

Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton

It was built on the site of the former Horton House hotel. Facing demolition in 1979 as its former glory had long faded, it was extensively renovated and re-opened in 1985.

THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego

Grand Colonial Hotel opened in 1913 as La Jolla’s first hotel. The hotel had a drugstore inside, which became a gathering place for locals (the pharmacist there was the father of Gregory Peck).

Grande Colonial Hotel

The Weissmuller Olympic Pool was designed by Johnny Weissmuller, the champion Olympic swimmer who also played Tarzan in movies in the 1930s and 1940s.

Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club, and Bungalows

In the 1980s, they were demolished to make way for the Horton Plaza shopping center, which opened in 1985 (and recently closed). Horton Grand Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Horton Grand Hotel

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