Make the most of the beaches, harbors and shopping districts while in San Diego for 19th International Congress June 14-18, 2015
Contributed by Irene Litvan, MD
San Diego, CA, USA
Congress Local Organizing Committee Chair
On behalf of the Congress Local Organizing Committee, we look forward to welcoming you to beautiful San Diego in June 2015.
The city is located at the southwest point of California. San Diego’s beaches along the Pacific Ocean are usually buzzing with surfers, beach-goers and sightseers. In addition to beaches, San Diego has many interesting and easily accessible attractions such as the Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Old Town, SeaWorld, La Jolla Cove, Soledad Mountain, Coronado Island, and Cabrillo Point.
The Gaslamp Quarter is an excellent place to start your visit in San Diego. It is the historic heart of San Diego, where you will find many restaurants, bars, shops, and buildings with renovated 19th-century facades. Nearby locations of interest are the multi-level mall at Horton Plaza, Petco Park baseball stadium which is home to the San Diego Padres, the Convention Center, and Seaport Village.
From downtown, you can drive across the 2-mile long Coronado Bay bridge or take a ferry to the isthmus of Coronado, a luxurious resort community with a naval station. The massive Victorian-style Hotel del Coronado situated on the beach will catch your eye, is well worth a visit for a stroll along the white-sandy beach, a drink at the outdoor bar overlooking the ocean, or shopping at some of the stores inside the hotel.
When you return from Coronado, stop at the Seaport Village where you will find diverse shops, restaurants and outdoor entertainment featuring live performances. From here, you can take a Seal Tour in which an amphibious vehicle takes you for a 90-minute, narrated ride through the streets before splashing into the San Diego harbor for a cruise. When you return to land, make your way to Balboa Park for a relaxing stroll or to visit the gardens, museums, and performance venues.
At Balboa Park you will be able to visit the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Natural History Museum and the Old Globe Theatre, modeled after the English venue where Shakespeare’s plays were first performed. Adjacent to Balboa Park is the San Diego Zoo, which is home to thousands of animals representing over 800 species in beautifully landscaped enclosures that replicate their natural habitats.
From Balboa Park drive north about 10 miles to visit the La Jolla Cove which is a protected marine reserve and one of California’s most accessible diving locations. With an average depth of 20 feet, the 6000 acres of underwater park is also great for snorkeling. Ever-present are the spectacular, bright orange Garibaldi fish – California’s official state fish and a protected species. Farther out are forests of giant California kelp and the 100-foot-deep La Jolla Canyon. At the nearby La Jolla Shores beach you can take a kayak tour to explore the coves. Before leaving the area enjoy a short stroll to Seal Beach where you can see seals and sea lions up close. Some of them might even pose for a (selfie) picture!
Nearby, at the top of Soledad Mountain, you can enjoy a panoramic view of San Diego, its beaches, and the ocean. You will need a few hours to enjoy SeaWorld where you can encounter a variety of marine animals including penguins, sharks, and whales.
San Diego is an exciting city offering diverse activities on land and at sea. We look forward to hosting the 19th International Congress and hosting you at the meeting in June!