ASGA San Diego Survival Guide

Published in the January 2013 Issue Published online: Jan 06, 2013 Symone Kennedy
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The American Sugarbeet Growers Association Annual Meeting is coming to beautiful San Diego, on Feb. 6-7, making San Diego the place to be for sugarbeet industry professionals. The Hilton San Diego Bayfront is sure to be packed with industry professionals taking advantage of the amazing opportunities provided by the annual meeting.

But you won't always be in sessions. You have to leave at some point, if only to get something to eat. So for those who are unfamiliar with the San Diego area, we have created a list of top places to go and some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your visit to the city.

About three miles from the Hilton San Diego Bayfront is Balboa Park, the nation's largest urban cultural park and a San Diego must-see. The 1,200-acre park boasts 17 museums (including the San Diego Air and Space Museum and the San Diego Natural History Museum), nine performing arts centers, 19 gardens (including the award-winning Rose Garden and historic Botanical Building), the San Diego Zoo, plus restaurants, walking paths and other amusement and recreational opportunities. The Balboa Park Visitors Center has the most current and comprehensive information about the park's activities and attractions so you can plan your visit around what you most want to see.

Also near the Hilton San Diego Bayfront is the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Here, the present meets the past as Victorian-era buildings and modern skyscrapers stand side by side, housing more than 100 of San Diego's finest restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and retail shops. The Gaslamp Quarter also contains theatres, art galleries, symphony halls, concert venues and museums. And when your feet get tired, consider hiring one of the taxis or pedicabs that can easily be found throughout the Gaslamp Quarter.

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to live a life at sea, consider visiting the USS Midway Museum. The USS Midway is the longest-serving U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. Visitors can explore the galleys, officer's country, sleeping quarters and the four-acre flight deck. Admission includes a self-guided audio tour to over 60 locations from the engine room to the control tower, narrated by Midway sailors who lived or worked on the ship.

For authentic Mexican cuisine and culture, Old Town is the place to visit. Old Town San Diego is known as the birthplace of California and teems with a lively, authentic atmosphere. Follow the aroma of freshly made tortillas to any of the many cantinas and enjoy live mariachi music as you immerse yourself in local history.

Of course, no mention of San Diego is complete without at least a passing reference to Sea World. Shamu and company are still thrilling audiences year-round in addition to Sea World's other shows, aquariums and attractions.

Some things to keep in mind as you're exploring this fascinating city: finding parking is a challenge in many areas, so the use of public transportation in the form of trolleys and taxis is encouraged. There is also a water taxi to locations like Coronado Island, Harbor Island and Shelter Island. Some restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter are strictly age 21 and up. And as in any big city, it's always better to travel in groups at night.