San Diego offers something for everyone. Below are some options for you to explore while you are in town.
Balboa Park is the Crown Jewel of San Diego. It it a gorgeous place to just stroll and enjoy the sunshine but it also has seventeen museums, a botanical garden, and is home to the world famous San Diego Zoo. As luck would have it, IABS is happening at the same time as the annual Cherry Blossom Festival at the Japanese Friendship Garden.
The IABS Saturday Banquet is taking place in the Park at the Museum of Photographic Arts starting at 6.30pm but trolleys will start running from the hotel to the park at 4pm for those conference attendees that want to explore a bit before dinner. If you’re in the mood for a pre-banquet snack or drink stop by Panama 66 in the San Diego Museum of Art’s Sculpture Garden.
Cost of a rideshare from hotel to the Park: <$10
OLD TOWN SAN DIEGO
The birthplace of California, Old Town is filled with shops, restaurants and bars as well as the State Historic Park showcasing the history of the region. Have a (delicious!) margarita at any of the three restaurants in Fiesta de Reyes while you soak in the sunshine.
Cost of a rideshare from hotel to the Old Town: <$10
VISIT THE BEACH
Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are great places to walk along the water and take in the sights. Both have plenty of dining options.
Cost of a rideshare from hotel to the beaches: <$25
Right across the bay is gorgeous Coronado Island. A wonderful place to ride bikes, stroll the beach and visit the world famous Hotel del Coronado. I recommend their Sun Deck for an amazing view and a relaxing beverage followed by a stroll down to dog beach. The island is accessible by ferry or car.
Cost of a rideshare from hotel to Coronado: <$15
The Embarcadero is the pathway that winds along the bay and it is filled with sightseeing options. Take a cruise of the bay and then have a tasty snack, stroll Seaport Village, or visit the USS Midway Museum. If you’re hungry there are some great options at The Headquarters.
Cost of a rideshare from hotel to the Embarcadero: <$8 (less than a mile walk)
Liberty Station is a revitalized former military barracks (some Top Gun scenes were filmed there!). It has so many options for meals, drinks and coffee including the Liberty Public Market, Stone Brewing Bistro and Gardens and (my favorite) Buona Forchetta.
Cost of a rideshare from hotel to Liberty Station: <$12
CABRILLO NATIONAL MONUMENT
Cabrillo offers tide pools, a light house, the monument and amazing views of San Diego.
Cost of a rideshare from hotel to Cabrillo: <$25
Just a few minutes up the coast, La Jolla offers loads of sights, shops and restaurants. The Cove has amazing ocean views and sea lions lounging. Restaurants can get busy so reservations are recommended.
Cost of a rideshare from hotel to La Jolla: <$25
HIKE TORREY PINES STATE RESERVE
Get your cardio in with a hike that takes you to the top of the bluffs down to the Pacific Ocean. Astounding views and dolphin sightings!
Cost of a rideshare from hotel to Torrey Pines: <$30
SAN DIEGO MISSIONS
California has 21 Missions scattered through the state and San Diego county is home to five of them.
The Little Italy neighborhood is about a mile away from the hotel and is a great place to stroll and relax. Here are some great dining options:
Ironside Fish & Oyster
Craft & Commerce
CHICANO PARK AND BARRIO LOGAN
Chicano Park is a National Historic Landmark filled with over 80 paintings, murals, and sculptures on seven acres. The park is located in the Barrio Logan Neighborhood which is home to a cultural district, some great galleries, Border X Brewing and some of the best tacos in the city.
Cost of a rideshare from hotel to Barrio Logan: <$8
SELF-GUIDED BEER TOUR
San Diego is the craft beer capital of the country and many breweries have tasting rooms in the North Park neighborhood. Here is a MAP with all of your options. Start at either end and you will find plenty of great restaurants along the way.
Cost of a rideshare from hotel to North Park: <$10
In addition to craft beers, coffee is becoming a big scene in San Diego. Here are some of the best-each with multiple locations around town:
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters
West Bean Coffee Roasters
SOME OTHER LOCAL FAVORITES
With so many great places it’s hard to list them all so here are a few more personal favorites:
Donut Bar: Open for morning donuts and evening donut and beer pairings (prepare for a line in the am)
Cantina Mayahuel and Blind Lady Ale House in the Normal Heights neighborhood
Hamilton’s Tavern, Kindred and Buona Forchetta in the South Park neighborhood
ENJOY! But don’t forget-conference sessions are ALL DAY Friday, Saturday and Sunday MORNING