Hotels in La Mesa

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What you should know about La Mesa

The suburb city of La Mesa is reckoned to be one of San Diego's best-kept secrets, happily living up to its motto of “The Jewel of the Hills.” Those hills, lush canyons, and looming mountain once formed the backdrop to endless plantations of lemons and oranges. These days, this quiet but diverse neighborhood is better known for its strong community spirit, quaint downtown area, and thriving restaurant and craft brewing scenes.

Hotels in La Mesa

As a rather tranquil neighborhood, sandwiched between some better-known San Diego districts, hotels in La Mesa can claim to be among the city's most affordable. Most are found strung along the streets flanking the San Vincente Freeway, as it runs up towards Sun Valley Golf Club. Some of the best accommodation in La Mesa is found in its well-regarded chain hotels, like the Best Western Plus La Mesa, or the Holiday Inn La Mesa. Others may be more basic, but they are eminently affordable and proud to be unpretentious—for example the Rodeway Inn, which is nicely back-dropped by Mount Helix.

Things to see in La Mesa

Mount Helix is the one landmark that looms over the rolling residential areas of La Mesa, and is well worth a visit in its own right. It is surrounded by lovely parkland, with an amphitheater at the very summit, where occasional performances are held. The views from here can be spectacular, especially at sunset. Another natural wonder to make a bee-line for is the Lake Murray area, in the north of the neighborhood. Here you can idle away the hot days so typical of La Mesa, cooling by its waters, perhaps hiring a boat or kayak, and trying your hand at a casting line. La Mesa has plenty of historic buildings scattered around its older districts, but it's most interesting historical attraction is probably the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum. This is housed in the Depot, the oldest building in La Mesa, complete with a hulking steam engine straight from the Age of Rail.

Good for budget travelers

If you're looking for an inexpensive neighborhood as a base for your wider San Diego exploration, then La Mesa certainly fits the bill. La Mesa hotel rates are extremely affordable, both for the city-center brand-name chains and the budget motels along its freeway. It is also a well-connected area. From motels in La Mesa the budget traveler can easily strike out—west along the historic Mission Valley, to San Diego's picturesque Old Town, or north past Lake Murry to the spectacular Mission Trails Regional Park.

How to get to La Mesa

La Mesa lies some 15 miles east of Downtown, but has good connections to it and to San Diego International Airport. If you're driving from the airport, simply head north along the I-5, then take the I-8 all the way to La Mesa. There are also 2 light railway lines, run by San Diego Trolley. The Orange Line starts at the America Plaza Trolley station, a short hop from the airport on bus route 992. It passes through southern La Mesa. The Green Line, in contrast, travels through the northern part of the neighborhood. Between them you are well served for travel in La Mesa, even if you're here without a car.