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Staying Near the Airport for Comic Con: Pros & Cons

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Article Summary

  • The airport area includes Shelter Island (Nicer) and Point Loma (Cheaper)
  • The benefits of the area are it is cheaper, still has access to the Comic Con Shuttle and most hotels are less than five miles to Comic Con
  • The biggest cons are limited transportation options to Comic Con besides the Comic Con Shuttle and there won’t be much walkable from your accommodations

This article continues our series on different areas in San Diego in which you may be looking at a hotel for Comic Con. We have also written articles on staying in Downtown San Diego for Comic Con and for staying in Mission Valley for Comic Con. This article addresses saying near the San Diego Airport, which includes the Shelter Island and Point Loma areas. Let’s get to it. 

Staying Near the Airport for Comic Con? Sounds Inconvenient

Au contraire my naïve friend! San Diego International Airport is one of the most centrally located airports in the United States. The airport is just 3.7 miles from the San Diego Convention Center, where Comic Con takes place. The airport is within 2 miles of the outskirts of Downtown San Diego. Compared to other airports in major cities the San Diego airport is located quite favorably.

Additionally, there are actually a lot of hotels around the airport, and they are somewhat reasonably priced for Comic Con. Take this with a grain of salt because everything is expensive for Comic Con, but it’s a lot cheaper than Downtown. There are a few nicer hotels (Hilton’s, Sheraton’s, etc.) but in general there are 2-3.5 star hotels in the area such as Best Westerns and the equivalent in local hotel chains.  There are some good options though that you can snag for between $2-300 a night, which is about half the cost of staying in Downtown for Comic Con. 

Pros of Airport Area for Comic Con

  • It’s really not that far from Downtown and Comic Con. You can generally just take Harbor Drive from wherever you are staying in the area and take that all the way to Downtown. It’s actually a really nice drive, walk or bike ride as it rides the harbor the whole way and you will have great, scenic views nearly the entire way. There are wide sidewalks and bike paths along the way as it’s a very common pedestrian route.
  • The hotels are reasonably priced when compared to downtown. According to our hotel data the average price of hotels in Downtown for Comic Con is about $500 a night! Granted you don’t have the same convenience but the average price near the airport is about $250, with many hotels to be had for closer to $200 if you book early.
  • Your fees for getting from the airport to your accommodations will be really cheap. Most of the hotels in the area can be reached from the airport with a $5-10 Uber. Slight FYI: San Diego airport has no public transportation going from it but it does have a designated Uber/Rideshare area. It’s really convenient to get to and will have you on your way quickly.
  • You don’t really need to rent a car if you are staying in the airport area.
  • The official Comic Con Shuttle, which is free, runs from the area to Comic Con 24 hours a day once the convention gets underway. Even if your hotel isn’t directly on the Comic Con Shuttle route you can Uber, drive, bike or walk to the pickup and hop on there by just flashing your Comic Con badge.
  • There really won’t be too much within walking distance if you stay near the airport for Comic Con. You should eat when you get to Downtown and before you leave for the night. Once you get back from your Comic Con adventures you will have limited options outside of fast food.
  • There is no public transportation from the area to Comic Con. You thus really should rely upon the Comic Con Shuttle. I highly advise against driving so your best bet is definitely to use the shuttle.
  • There are limited upscale accommodations if that is something you are looking for – the nicest hotels are probably the Sheraton and Hilton in the Shelter Island area.

Cons of Airport Area for Comic Con

  • There really won’t be too much within walking distance if you stay near the airport for Comic Con. You should eat when you get to Downtown and before you leave for the night. Once you get back from your Comic Con adventures you will have limited options outside of fast food.
  • There is no public transportation from the area to Comic Con. You thus really should rely upon the Comic Con Shuttle. I highly advise against driving so your best bet is definitely to use the shuttle.
  • There are limited upscale accommodations if that is something you are looking for – the nicest hotels are probably the Sheraton and Hilton in the Shelter Island area.

How much can I expect to pay for a Comic Con hotel in this area?

In general the hotels are between $200 and $300 per night, with the average cost of hotels in the area currently at $257. If you know you are absolutely going to Comic Con you could look into the Comic Con Early Bird hotel sale. This is Comic Con’s first official sale of hotels where they get discounted rates at some hotels in Mission Valley and the Airpot areas. It is important to note that these hotels are nonrefundable so when I say only book if you are sure you are attending Comic Con I mean it. Anyways, Comic Con offers some pretty good deals for hotels in the airport area if this works for you: you can snag the Sheraton on Shelter Island by the marina for $219 a night plus tax. Compared to other deals for Comic Con weekend this is a solid deal. Even if you don’t book through Comic Con’s Early Bird sale you should be able to find something for around $200 a night in the area.

Deco Bike for Comic Con 

Getting to Comic Con from The Area

As I have mentioned your top option is probably the Comic Con Shuttle. It runs 24 hours a day starting at 7 a.m. on Thursday of Comic Con. The ride from the airport area is generally less than 5 miles depending on where you are staying so it won’t take you too long to get to Comic Con. This is by far your best option for getting to Comic Con in my opinion.

The next best option is using the bike share program in San Diego known as DecoBike. Never used a bike share? This is how it works:

  • You can pick up a bike at any of the Deco Bike racks throughout the San Diego area. You can see a map of all the locations here.
  • You can drop off the bike at any of the other Deco Bike locations.
  • If you don’t have a membership plan, which most of you won’t since you are travelling here for Comic Con, you will pay by hour. If you have the bike for less than an hour it’s just $7. If you plan to use the Deco Bike for the week you can get a weekly pass for $35, which is much cheaper than Ubering everyday.

There are tons of Deco Bike stations downtown near Comic Con, as there are throughout the Shelter Island and Point Loma area. This makes this a great option for getting to Comic Con. You could grab a bike near your hotel and ride it into downtown and drop it off at one of dozens of stops. The ride in is less than 5 miles, really flat, there is a dedicated bike lane, sidewalks and goes along the harbor so it’s a scenic ride. If you are the type of person who likes to bike you could definitely look into this as an option.

Do I need a rental car for Comic Con if I stay near the airport?

I personally wouldn’t rent one if I was staying near the airport. I would make due with the Comic Con Shuttle or bikes daily for getting around. I don’t think the car would be worth it.

Conclusion

As I’ve said many times, Comic Con accommodations come down to this: you can pay for the convenience of Downtown near Comic Con or you can save money by staying further away. One of the areas with cheaper hotels is near the airport, whether it is Shelter Island (nicer) or Point Loma (cheaper). If you are near a shuttle stop I would actually opt for this over Mission Valley, just because you are a bit closer to downtown and closer to the airport as well. Either option should save you a good amount of money over downtown for Comic Con.

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