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Mission Valley, San Diego Travel Guide

Mission Valley Summary


  • Beautiful weather (average daily temperature is 70 degrees)
  • Easy access to SeaWorld and to Mission Bay beaches
  • Several golf courses, including the 27-hole Riverwalk Golf Club
  • Old Town historic district, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and Presidio Park
  • Qualcomm Stadium, where the San Diego Chargers play
  • Great shopping
  • Parking is cheaper and easier than in other areas


  • Far from downtown San Diego
  • You'll need a car to see any tourist sites
  • No luxury hotels in the area
  • Only golf courses and shopping malls in the immediate neighborhood
  • Hotels are directly off the highway

What It's Like

Mission Valley was the first Spanish settlement in California (founded in 1769), but few traces of that era remain visible nowadays. The area is now a major shopping and entertainment center, with three huge shopping malls, several golf courses and dozens of hotels lined up along the highway. It's home to Presidio Park and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, both listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a short drive to Sea World, Downtown San Diego, and the Mission Bay beaches. There is nothing within walking distance from any of the hotels, but the proximity of the Interstate 8 makes it easy to get to the tourist sites.

Where To Stay

There are numerous hotels in the area, most of which are budget and mid-range properties. For quicker access to Old Town and Downtown San Diego, choose a hotel in Mission Valley West. But if you're more interested in shopping, stay in Mission Valley East, where most of the malls are.

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