Top Five Secret Spots in San Diego

If you’ve recently moved to the San Diego area for a new job, school or an internship, you’ll want to stop sightseeing like a tourist and start living like a local. Get off the beaten path and discover a whole new world of possibilities with the best secret spots in San Diego. From hush-hush restaurants to the underground art scene, we’ve compiled a list of everything to do and see in the San Diego area that’s not on every tourist’s to-do list.

#5. Cave Swimming at Luscomb’s Point – Have you ever dreamed of taking a dip in a gorgeous coastal cave? Well now you can at San Diego’s Sunset Cliffs at Luscomb’s Point. Head west on Interstate 8 until you come to the end. The southern end of Luscomb’s point is located parallel to Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. You’ll see a narrow passage on your left near Monaco Street. Inside, you’ll find a massive cave with shallow waters and a stunning view of the local sunset. Ahhh, paradise.Cave Swimming at Luscomb’s Point#4. Talking Trees at UC San Diego – Artist Terry Allen created an art installation on the University of California’s San Diego campus. Made with three historic eucalyptus trees, Allen’s piece, appropriately titled Trees, creates a cacophony of sound for viewers to appreciate. You’ll hear musical chants, ducks quacking, and spoken poems. Find them near the Geisel Library. Magic is real, folks.Talking Trees at UC San Diego#3. Free Pork at S & M’s – As one of the city’s best butcheries, Sausage and Meat’s serves delicious carnivorous grub of all varieties. Check out their twitter page to get the “Safe Word of the Week.” It gets you two free servings of their featured meaty dish. Travel to the East Village to get your weekly supply of succulent pork, bacon and sausage.

Free Pork at S & M’s

#2. Brews at the Zoo – Yes, you can enjoy a range of scrumptious craft beers at the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Located in the Lost Forrest, Albert’s is serving some refined culinary creations paired with an unbeatable selection of international and local brews. You’ll find dozens of offerings that will please any beer aficionado. Hanging out with the animals is better with a drink in your hand.

Brews at the Zoo#1. Old Fashioned R & R – Are you suffering from screen overload? Maybe it’s time to go back to another time. At the Old Town Cosmopolitan Hotel, you’ll find 18th Century-style bedrooms, furnishings and dining rooms. Marvel in the building’s antique architectural design. Built in 1827, this historic monument transports its guests to a world free of texts, calls, and pay-per-view. Plus, you’ll find some of the most surprising dishes and cocktails at their restaurant and bar. Take a load off by turning your screen off.

Old Fashioned R & R

5 Top Music Venues in Portland, OR

Always (unfairly) overshadowed by Seattle, Portland has long been an unsung American musical mecca. Producing legendary acts like the Wipers, the Thermals, and Elliot Smith, as well as modern indie favorites like the Decembrists and the Shins, Portland has a musical history to be proud of, so it’s no surprise that the city is jam-packed with awesome venues. Here are a few of our faves:

Doug Fir Lounge
SE Portland
It’s attached to the Jupiter Hotel, but don’t let that fool you. This place is MUCH more than your average hotel bar. The warm, inviting décor of the Doug Fir Lounge (like an ultra-modern log cabin) is enough to earn it a place on any list of Bridgetown hotspots. Offering cozy fire pits and plenty of seating, as well as specialty cocktails and some truly remarkable New American pub fare, this is a great place to hang out even if you’re not interested in live music. But missing a show here would be a mistake. The venue regularly hosts major national indie acts as well as up and coming hometown heroes, and it does it all in a wonderfully intimate underground space.

830 E Burnside St, Portland, OR. (503) 231-9663

Columbia River Gorge
Doug Fir Lounge
Owned by craft-beer giant McMenamins and featuring a hotel, restaurants, a movie theater, two golf courses, a winery, distillery, brewery and brewpub, Edgefield is much more than a live music venue. But what really brings Portlanders to this sprawling estate just outside the city are the summer concerts on the lawn, where you can spread out on the grass and enjoy major touring acts like Wilco and the Flaming Lips in a gorgeous outdoor setting.

2126 SW Halsey Street, Troutdale, OR. (503) 669 8610

Old Town/Chinatown
Tucked away in a little alley on SW Ankeny St. this hidden gem offers great food, a killer happy hour and loud live music with a hip, dressed-up-dive-bar atmosphere. And when we say intimate, we mean it. Valentine’s only seats about 40 people, so be prepared to squeeze on in as you take in the sounds of some of Portland’s best local acts.

232 SW Ankeny St, Portland, OR. (503) 248-1600

Jimmy Mak’s
Pearl District
Jimmy Mak's
Looking for a great jazz club in Portland? Jimmy Mak’s is the place for you. Featuring cozy seating a great menu, and the cool, dimly lit atmosphere you want in a classic jazz lounge, this Pearl District hotspot has become the go-to destination for cold drinks and hot jazz in Bridge City (Down Beat Magazine even listed it in their top 100 places in the world to hear jazz).

221 NW 10th Ave, Portland, OR. (503) 295-6542

Old Town/Chinatown
While today it might just be your average indie rock club, Dante’s deserves to be on the list due to its history alone. In the late 70’s and early 80’s the club was called the Metropolis, better known as ‘The Met,’ and it played host to the likes of Portland punk pioneers and grunge forefathers, The Wipers, while also serving as a popular hangout for the cross sections of the city’s more colorful communities (it was also famously one of Courtney Love’s favorite early hangouts). Stop by any given weekend for reasonably priced drinks and cutting edge comedy, cabaret and, of course, Rock n Roll.

1 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR (503) 226-6630

The 5 Best Hikes in Portland

If you’re in Portland and you love the outdoors, then you’ve come to the right place. With gorgeous state parks and dazzling mountainous views, Portland has a huge variety of trails, paths and day trips that will take your breath away. Get some fresh air and explore endless natural beauty with the best hiking trails in the Portland area.

# 5. Forest Park – (

owlWith over 5,000 acres of forests and lush greenery, Forest Park offers plenty of outdoor adventure for the whole family. You can find miles of hiking trails that lead you through a vast range of stunning landscapes. The park also features Discovery Hikes led by local experts that help you get the most out of your trip. Plus, they have annual Herb Walks where students explore the power of natural medicine with local herbs.

# 4. Marquam Nature Park – (

marcumAs the third largest natural park in Portland, Marquam offers over 193 acres with miles of mild to rigorous hiking trails. Located just south of downtown, it’s the perfect excuse to get out of the city. The park prides itself on its commitment to maintaining and preserving natural wildlife. Follow the right trail and you’ll see all kinds of animals in their natural habitat.


# 3. Taulatin Hills –

tualatin hillsWith both recreational facilities and sprawling outdoor trails, Taulatin Hills has something for everyone. In particular, Rock Creek Trail is a sight to see with 3.5 miles that lead you through a series of woods, meadows, and wetlands. The cemented trail is great for biking, running and wildlife viewing. When you’re done, you can stop by Taulatin Hill’s many public pools and nature centers.

# 2. Wapato Greenway Loop –

wapatoWith a modest distance of just over 2 miles, Wapato is great for a half-day trip or an outdoor picnic. You’ll pass by open fields, marshes, swamps, and thick forests. Visitors frequently catch glimpses of local birds, beavers on the river, and stunning native plants such as the illustrious red elderberry. Easy on the legs and spectacular to the eyes, Wapato stands out as one of Portland’s true natural wonders. Bring a lunch and you’ll want to stay all day.

# 1. Powell Butte Nature Park – (

powell600 acres of natural wonder are waiting! Powell Butte Nature Park is one of Portland’s most prized outdoor possessions. Endless trials and awe-inspiring vistas give you plenty to see. Powell Butte is actually an extinct volcano that towers over the park’s expansive forests and meadowlands. Bring your camera because hikers tend to see plenty of wildlife. Make Powell Butte a priority on your Portland to-do list. It’s worth the trip.


Top Things to Do in the Bay Area This Summer

bay area zooIf you’re relocating to the Bay Area, you’ll never have a problem finding fun, no matter where your interests lie! Whether the day ahead calls for something cool an
d calm indoors or it calls for fun excitement in the great outdoors, you’ll always have plenty of activities available. Music fans, theater goers, history enthusiasts, animal lovers, sports fans and more will be thrilled with what they can find to keep busy. Following are some of our favorite and most popular things to do in the Bay Area over the summer:

Aquariums and Parks

Aquarium of the Bay and SteSan Francisco Aquariuminhart Aquarium are both in San Francisco, and promise hours of aquatic fun and amusement. In addition, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great destination and is fun, huge, and educational. Spend a summer afternoon indulging in the stunning array of vibrant marine habitats as you view thousands of different marine fish, jellyfish, living coral, and more. Parks in the area that you won’t want to miss include Tilden Park in Berkeley, with pony rides, botanical gardens and swimming; Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, with tea gardens, boat rentals, a planetarium and more; and Vasona Park in Los Gatos, with picnic areas, bicycle paths and boat rentals. Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos has a carousel and train ride!


There’s no lack of museums in the Bay Area, so plan your day accordingly! The Children’s Creativity Museum at Yerba Buena Gardens offers loads of hands-on art activities for everyone, and kids love the nearby historic carousel and playground area. Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center offers special tours and crafts for families, and admission is always free. The Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos features aircraft of all kinds, along with special programs and holiday events. The Tech Museum is located near the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose, and the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito is very popular, too.

Biking Trails and Beaches

san francisco beachSome of the most popular areas in the Bay are the biking trails and beaches. You’ll find a great trail in Canada Road in San Mateo, which is closed to motorized vehicles from Edgewood Rd. to Hwy 92 along Crystal Springs Reservoir on most Sundays. Golden Gate Park offers a wide stretch of pavement to ride on when JFK Drive is closed to cars on all Sundays and holidays, along with some Saturdays. As for beaches, one of the most popular and most beautiful destinations is in Santa Cruz. The Natural Bridges State Beach offers nearby nature trails that lead through monarch butterfly habitats, and is a lively beach with great tide pools just a short walk from the main beach.

Zoos and Nature Centers

san francisco zooIn San Mateo you’ll find CuriOdyssey, which offers daily otter and bobcat feedings and more. Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek features petting circles with hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs, and you can witness feeding and training demonstrations and meet owls, eagles and hawks. If you’re in the mood to spend the day at a zoo, The Oakland Zoo is easy to walk around and is very affordable. This zoo also has rides and plenty of space for the animals. The San Francisco Zoo is beautiful, with a petting zoo and expansive playground.

No matter what your taste in activities might be, you’ll easily find hundreds of places throughout your new home in the Bay Area to have a great time. Restaurants and eateries are always nearby, and the beauty of the area is evident at every location you’ll visit. Have a blast this summer in the Bay Area!

Top 5 Things To Do in Portland This Summer

Portland is the place to be this summer! With warm weather in full swing, this great American city is filled with beautiful sights, good eats and amazing sounds. Whether it’s a much-needed vacation or you’re relocating to Oregon, check out these local hot spots to make the most out of your time in the Portland area.

visit forest park in PortlandForest Park
Calling all nature lovers, this expansive piece of land will whet your appetite for the great outdoors. As the largest wooded city park in the country, Forest Park has over five thousands acres of gorgeous natural scenery and plenty of wildlife. Take a hike on one of the many trails, fire lanes and forest roads. The mountains give you a great view of the entire Portland area.

Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival  Visit the portland-blues-festival
If you’re in the mood for some classic blues tunes, head to the waterfront in downtown Portland. This is one of the largest blues festivals in the country, featuring some of the biggest names in the biz. From July 2nd to the 5th, the whole city will be dancing to the beats of these legendary musicians. Plus, there’s great food everywhere you look.

Shakespeare in the Park Theatre in Portland
When summer rolls around, the city’s best actors take to various outdoor locations to perform some of Shakespeare’s finest. From The Taming of the Shrew in Washington Park to Macbeth in Lone Fir Cemetery, you can catch a range of performances across town. Free live theater is one of the best ways to soak up some culture and discover some of the city’s most beautiful locations

visit voodoo donut in portlandVoodoo Doughnuts
This doughnut shop is perhaps the most famous in the entire state of Oregon. With fun-filled creations such as the Bacon Maple Bar Doughnut or the Mexican Hot Chocolate Doughnut, your taste buds are in for a treat. Every bite is a moment to relish.


Portland Farmer’s MarketPortland Farmers Market
Make sure to stop at this local treasure at least once. You’ll find a huge selection of fresh produce, homemade goods, gorgeous flowers, and much more. With four locations across the city, including Portland State University and Pioneer Courthouse Square, chances are you’ll be just a short walk away from the city’s best local eats.

Staying long term in Portland, Oregon? Check out US Suites fully furnished apartments. We’d love to provide you with a “home away from home” solution to your corporate housing needs

Where to Go on Your Luxury San Diego Getaway

If you’re looking for an opulent beachfront getaway or an upscale downtown adventure, the jewel of Southern California awaits. Boasting an incredible selection of first-rate accommodations, world class restaurants, gorgeous sun-soaked shores and some of the best year-round weather in the country, San Diego is the perfect destination for your five-star vacation. Here are a few of our top recommendations for a luxury stay in America’s Finest City:

The U.S. GrantUS Grant Hotel San Diego

For metropolitan Luxury and downtown convenience, you can’t beat the U.S. Grant Hotel. Surrounded by the fabulous shopping, dining and nightlife of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy and beautiful Seaport Village, the U.S. Grant gives you premium access to the very best of San Diego. Featuring breathtaking suites, gourmet dining and a multi-million dollar fine art collection, this historic downtown destination features style and sophistication everywhere you look.

The Grand Del Mar

This sprawling Del Mar resort features tasteful suites and private villas, two award winning restaurants and San Diego’s only five-star spa. Whether you’re playing a round at The Grand’s private golf club, riding horses through the scenic California countryside, or indulging in a lavish massage and relaxation package, the Grand Del Mar is the perfect luxury retreat.
dinner at SearsuckerSearsucker

This casual yet elegant downtown restaurant, helmed by celebrity chef Brian Malarkey and located in the vibrant heart of San Diego’s trendy Gaslamp Quarter, serves up unique California cuisine that’s as refined as it is exciting. Serving fresh locally caught seafood and innovative mixology cocktails, Searsucker is the perfect spot to grab a bite before hitting the downtown nightlife scene.

Bertrand at Mister A’s

This place is a San Diego fine dining institution, and it’s easy to see why. Perched on the twelve floor of a Banker’s Hill high-rise, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the city and harbor as you indulge in Chef de Cuisine Stephane Voitzwinkler’s delicate and sophisticated take on French and German fare. Bertrand at Mister A’s is also great for an upscale brunch, but reservations can be tough to come by any time, so get yours in early.

George’s at The Cove

Feel like getting out of the city for a seaside bite? Head up to George’s in La Jolla for some elegant California Modern cuisine. A gorgeous upstairs ocean terrace invites you to dine on fresh seafood and crisp, one-of-a-kind cocktails as you listen to the waves break on the rocks below.


From casual bohemian fashion to elegant handmade jewelry, San Diego is home to some seriously fabulous shopping destinations. While you’ll find excellent spots just walking through downtown, other great walkable shopping streets in the area include Camino Del Mar, Girard Ave in La Jolla, and South Cedros Ave in Solana Beach, all of which feature cute, crafty shops, fashionable boutiques and charming little cafes and lunch spots.


San Diego is a beach lover’s paradise. From sipping margaritas at your seaside resort, to snorkeling in La Jolla cove, there’s no better way to relax and fall into the California lifestyle than a nice long day in the powdery white sands of the sparkling San Diego shoreline. Recommended beaches include Windansea beach in La Jolla, and Torrey Pines Beach in Del Mar which features dramatic cliffs and peaceful vistas.

NightlifeSan Diego Nightlife

San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter is the place to go for nightlife. This highly walkable district features upscale cocktail lounges, exclusive clubs and some of the city’s best concert venues. We recommend drinks at Vin De Syrah, a totally unique underground wine bar; dancing at FLUXX, which features a sophisticated atmosphere, non-stop dancefloor and world-renowned DJs; followed by a nightcap at Altitude Sky Lounge, a swanky rooftop club & lounge featuring outdoor fire pits and sweeping skyline views.

San Diego has so much to offer in the luxury vacation department, you really can’t go wrong no matter what you do, but try a few of the hotspots on this list and we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Staying long term in San Diego? Check out US Suites fully furnished apartments. We’d love to provide you with a “home away from home” solution to your corporate housing needs.

Top 10 Sights to See on the West Coast This Summer

If you’re planning a long-term vacation on the West Coast, or are relocating for the summer, you’ll want to know about some of the outstanding sights to see.  There are literally hundreds of contenders – places that command attention, locations that are breathtaking, and sights that are nothing short of extraordinary. To get the most out of your stay on the West Coast, it will help to plan your trip ahead of time. For this task, we’ve compiled a list of the Top 10 sights to see on the West Coast this summer, including the websites that will help you with your planning:

  1. Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California, is a storied, hilltop mansion that is open for tours, and is a popular place to go back in time as visitors experience dramatic architecture, stunning décor and more. On 127 acres of fountains, pools, terraced gardens and lush grounds, the castle is open daily at 9:00 a.m. each day.
  2. Balboa Park in San Diego, CA, is a 1400-acre site that has several museums, gardens, beautiful landscaping, historical buildings, and more. The architecture is of the Spanish-Mexican style, and you’ll enjoy the Museum of Man, the Botanical Gardens and lily pond, the San Diego Zoo, and much more.9cbdb536c6455e99756745b6e0e55196
  3. Mount Rainier National Park is home to Mt. Rainier, ascending 14,410 feet above sea level. With wildflower meadows, ancient forests and plenty of wildlife abound on the lower slopes,  there is no lack of dramatic, natural wonder here. The park is located in Ashford, Washington, near Tacoma, Olympia, and Seattle.
  4. Emerald Bay State Park, located in the Lake Tahoe, California area, is a sight not to be missed on a tour of the West Coast! With plenty of natural wonders, camping, boating, swimming, museums, geocaching, scuba diving, fishing, and much more, you’ll want to reserve at least two days for this park.
  5. The Gaslamp Quarter National Historic District is a unique area that has been restored to its 19th-century splendor. It’s a trendy area full of restaurants, galleries and shops, and runs from Broadway to San Diego Bay. The Gaslamp Quarter is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  6. Washington Park in Portland, Oregon, is another stop that you should consider. The park contains museums, a zoo, the Portland Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Hoyt Arboretum. The land was purchased by the city in 1871, and is located to the west of the center of Portland. You’ll want to reserve one full day for Washington Park!
  7. Pike Place Market is a public market center that includes farmers markets, crafts, specialty foods, and more. In fact, there are more than a dozen restaurants at the market, featuring fresh ingredients from local vendors. Don’t miss the fish tossing at the Fish Market! Established in 1907, the market is located in Seattle, Washington.
  8. Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument near San Diego, is the location where Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first landed on the West Coast in 1542. You can learn the story of his journey through exhibits and displays, and visit the large statue dedicated to him. Be sure to also visit the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which was built in 1858.
  9. A great national historic site on the border of Washington State is Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, a reconstructed fort and visitor center. The Pearson Air Museum is located here, as are many gorgeous historic homes that make up Officers Row. Hudson’s Bay Company established Fort Vancouver as a fur trading post, and today it is open to visitors from all over the globe.
  10. Pebble Beach Drive, also known as 17-Mile Drive, is a scenic loop that runs along the Monterey Peninsula in California. Lining the drive are famous golf courses, Bird Rock, stunning mansions, the Lone Cypress, and the Del Monte Forest. The road serves as the main road through Pebble Beach, so be aware that non-residents must pay a toll to use the road.

With hundreds of other options for your travels this summer, you’ll want to be sure to look into fully furnished apartments and short term housing for your accommodations as alternatives to the standard hotel stay. For more information on how corporate housing in San Diego, Portland, and other cities can be an advantage for your vacations, you can contact us at U.S. Suites! Happy Travels!

Top Things to Do In San Diego During The Holidays

san diego corporate housing

Experiencing corporate housing in San Diego over the holidays? Feeling like you’ve missed out on a “White Christmas”? Even the most majestic snowstorm outlives its welcome once you’ve spent months being cooped up indoors. Consider visiting some of San Diego’s highlights during the holidays. While most of the country is bundled up and scraping windshields, you can enjoy these activities while walking around in shorts and flip flops!

Hike It!
You can go hiking in San Diego at any time, even during the dead of winter. Cowles Mountain, the city’s highest point, is a favorite among locals, and there are countless trails in the surrounding Mission Trails Regional Park.

Imperial BeachSurf It!
You can experience year-round waves from Oceanside to Imperial Beach. Read more about Oceanside Beach and the variety of activities available here:

With a slew of world-class shopping centers located in Mission Valley and Fashion Valley, experiencing a shopping high can be one of the top things to do during the holidays. Located in the neighborhoods of North Park and South Park, you’ll discover many Mom & Pop shops selling locally-made products. Check out specifics here:

Whaley-HouseCheck out some of the historical sights
San Diego is rich in history, which makes visiting historical sights a top activity. For example, “Old Town” is located just north of San Diego’s downtown area. Visitors can explore the original site where missionaries settled. Authentic Mexican restaurants and the “haunted” Whaley House are just two sights that attract both tourists and locals.

Drink some of the world’s best craft beers
San Diego is considered one of the craft beer capitals of the world. For those looking to get a little more jolly, Stone Brewing, Alpine, Green Flash, Mission, and Modern Times are just a few of the revered breweries located in the city. You can read about the breweries at

Check out some events
San Diego hosts many events during the holidays. December Nights in Balboa Park invites attendees to gather and explore the park’s many museums. Another popular event is the SoNo Chili Fest, a street festival that showcases some of the city’s top chefs competing for the top chili title. Read about winter holiday activities here:

Relocating to the San Diego? US Suites offers corporate housing for your transition needs. View furnished apartment options now at:

Relocating: Establishing New Holiday Traditions

Holiday TraditionsWhen you and your family relocate to a city that is far from the people with whom you’ve spent many happy holidays, it can be difficult to keep a cheery spirit. If this holiday season will be the first for you away from “home”, you’ll need to keep a bright spirit and look at this as an opportunity to have some new, fun and meaningful family holiday traditions. The following are some tips to consider to keep alive traditions you’re used to and can be kept, and some tips on establishing new family traditions after relocating, whether you’ve moved into a single-family home in New York City or furnished apartments in San Diego.

The Importance of New Traditions after Relocating

Establishing new traditions, especially after relocating, can be an important way to connect with loved ones, make time for family and friends, and affirm a sense of well-being. It’s important to keep in mind that even when family circumstances (and locations) change, you and your family can adapt and alter traditions – even those that you’ve taken part in since childhood. If you are relocating across the country and you have children, you need to make sure you consider them in your efforts to establish new traditions to ease any uncertainty they may be feeling about holidays in a new place. Your kids can help you sort out new rules and ideas.

Continue reading

Family-Friendly Places to Visit in Portland

Rose Test Garden, Washington Park

Portland may have a reputation as a haven for the progressive adults among us, but there are plenty of places for family fun. Whether you and your family are staying for a while in corporate housing in Portland, or you’re visiting the City of Roses for a day trip, these spots will keep the kids happy – and the adults looking to extend their stay.

Parks and Gardens

The International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park should be one of your first stops for a relaxing and beautiful day out with the kids. Since 1919, the garden has been a “testing ground” of new rose varieties. Pack a picnic lunch and a blanket, then walk along the garden paths amid hundreds of types of flowers. It’s hard to take a bad photograph anywhere in the garden, so it’s a great place to go when you want to add to the family photo album.

Portland also has many beautiful parks and playgrounds. One of those parks is on Mount Tabor – an extinct volcano. During construction of the Mt. Tabor Park in 1912, workers discovered volcanic cinders which were later used in making the park’s roads. Are you living in Portland due to a long-term business project? Mount Tabor is a great place to explore. The park features picnic areas, play areas, a basketball court, dog park, horseshoe pit, walking paths – paved and unpaved – a picnic shelter, a performance stage, tennis courts, volleyball court, and wedding site.

Continue reading