See & Do
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The O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference will be held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego located on the beautiful San Diego waterfront. The hotel is within walking distance to Horton Plaza, the Gaslamp District and Seaport Village.
The centerpiece of San Diego's revitalized downtown is Horton Plaza, an 11.5-acre multi-level shopping and entertainment complex, with 196 shops, restaurants, three major department stores, a 14-screen cinema, and a performing arts theater. If you've forgotten to bring something with you to ETech, chances are you will be able to find it among the many stores at the Horton Plaza. Browse the Horton Plaza Directory to view all available merchants. 324 Horton Plaza, 619-239-8180.
The Gaslamp Quarter is one of Southern California's premier dining, shopping and entertainment districts, where you will find an eclectic blend of food, fun and culture - all within one of San Diego's most historic areas. Stroll past the Gaslamp's charming Victorian-style commercial buildings constructed between 1873 and 1930. Sample busy happy hours at local pubs or dine at one of more than 90 restaurants offering cuisine from around the world.
Seaport Village is a treasure of 72 one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants where everyone can find a little something special, all within walking distance to the Hyatt, the Marriott, the San Diego Convention Center and the Cruise Ship Terminal. Currently Seaport Village features 54 specialty shops, four major restaurants and 13 international eateries built on 14 acres fronting San Diego Bay. Meandering footpaths lead visitors by a restored 1895 Looff Carousel, ponds, a graceful lagoon, beautiful fountains and lush, colorful landscaping. An adjacent eight-acre Embarcadero Park North provides visitors access to 22 acres of parkland. 849 West Harbor Drive, 619-236-4014.
The city's most famous attraction is its 100-acre zoo. Nearly 4,000 animals of some 800 diverse species roam in hospitable, expertly crafted habitats that replicate natural environments as closely as possible. Walkways wind over bridges and past waterfalls ringed with tropical ferns; elephants in a sandy plateau roam so close you're tempted to pet them. The zoo is at its best when you wander its paths, such as the one that climbs through the huge, enclosed Scripps Aviary, where brightly colored tropical birds swoop between branches just inches from your face, and into the neighboring Gorilla Tropics, where animals live in enclosed environments modeled on their native habitats. The zoo's simulated Asian rain forest, Tiger River, has 10 exhibits with more than 35 species of animals. Ituri Forest -- a 4-acre African rain forest at the base of Tiger River -- lets you glimpse huge but surprisingly graceful hippos frolicking underwater, and buffalo cavorting with monkeys on dry land. At the popular Polar Bear Plunge, you can watch the featured animals take a chilly dive. The lush, tropical environment at Absolutely Apes, where orangutans and siamangs climb, swing, and generally live almost as they would in the wild, is lined with 110-foot-long and 12-foot-high viewing windows that offer a unique opportunity to view these endangered apes close up. The San Diego Zoo houses the largest number of koalas outside Australia, and they remain major crowd pleasers, but these and other zoo locals are always overshadowed by the pandas and especially the baby pandas that result from the work being done by the zoo's department of Conservation and Research for Endangered Species. The zoo's newest exhibit, opened in mid-2005, is Monkey Trails and Forest Tales. Spanning three acres, this multilevel exhibit represents African and Asian forests and is the largest and most elaborate animal habitat in the zoo's history. Park Blvd. and Zoo Place, Balboa Park, 619-231-1515.
Balboa Park is the nation's largest urban cultural park. Home to 15 major museums, including the Centro Cultural de la Raza, Japanese Friendship Garden, Musuem of Photographic Arts and the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes—all in the beautiful and timeless setting of this must-see San Diego attraction. Visitor's Center is located at 1549 El Prado, 619-239-0512.
After 47 years of worldwide service, the retired USS Midway began a new tour of duty in 2004. Launched just after the end of World War II, the 1,001-foot-long ship was the largest in the world for the first 10 years of its existence. Now it serves as the most visible landmark on the north Embarcadero and as a floating interactive museum -- an appropriate addition to the town that is the home of one-third of the Pacific fleet and the birthplace of naval aviation. Start on the hangar deck, where an F-14 Tomcat jet fighter is just one of several aircraft displayed onboard. Through passageways and up and down ladderwells, you'll get to see how the Midway's 4,500 crew members lived and worked on this "city at sea." While the entire tour is impressive, you'll find yourself saying "wow" when you step out onto the 4-acre flight deck -- not only the best place to get an idea of the ship's scale, but also one of the most interesting vantage points for a view of the bay and the city skyline. The museum also includes changing displays of aircraft, a flight simulator, and interactive exhibits focusing on naval aviation. 910 North Harbor Drive, 619-544-9600.
This 144-acre preserve marks the site of the first European visit to San Diego, made by 16th-century explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo in 1542. The visitor center presents films and lectures about Cabrillo's voyage, the sea-level tide pools, and migrating gray whales. Exploring the grounds consumes time and calories; bring a picnic and rest on a bench overlooking the sailboats. A statue of Cabrillo overlooks downtown, where people gather to admire the stunning panorama over the bay, from the snowcapped San Bernardino Mountains, 130 mi north, to the hills surrounding Tijuana to the south. The moderately steep Bayside Trail (OPEN: Daily 9-4), 2˝ mi round-trip, winds through coastal sage scrub, curving under the cliff-top lookouts and taking you ever closer to the bay-front scenery. You'll see prickly pear cactus and yucca, black-eyed Susans, fragrant sage, and maybe a lizard or a hummingbird. The climb back leads up to the old lighthouse. The oil lamp of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse (OPEN: Daily 9-5) was first lit in 1855. The light, sitting in a brass-and-iron housing above a white wooden house, shone through a state-of-the-art, French-made lens and was visible from the sea for 25 mi. The western and southern cliffs of Cabrillo National Monument are prime whale-watching territory. A sheltered viewing station has a tape-recorded lecture describing the great gray whales' yearly migration from the Bering and Chukchi seas near Alaska to Baja California, and high-powered telescopes help you focus on the whales' water spouts. Whales are visible on clear days from mid-January through March, with the highest concentration in January and February. 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, 619-557-5450.
One of San Diego's best-known sites, the hotel has been a national historic landmark since 1977. It has a colorful history, integrally connected with that of Coronado itself. The Hotel Del, as natives call it, was the brainchild of financiers Elisha Spurr Babcock Jr. and H. L. Story, who saw the potential of Coronado's virgin beaches and its view of San Diego's emerging harbor. They purchased a 4,100-acre parcel of land in 1885 for $110,000 and threw a lavish July 4 bash for prospective investors in their hunting and fishing resort. By the end of the year they had roused public interest -- and had an ample return on their investment. The hotel opened in 1888, although it wasn't actually completed for another six years. The Del's distinctive red-tile peaks and Victorian gingerbread architecture has served as a set for many movies, political meetings, and extravagant social happenings. It's said that the Duke of Windsor first met Wallis Simpson here. The film Some Like It Hot -- starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis -- was filmed here. 1500 Orange Avenue, 619-435-6611.
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park recreates life in the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872. Five original adobes are part of the complex, which includes shops, restaurants and a museum. La Casa de Estudillo is a mansion built around a garden courtyard. La Casa de Machado y Stewart is full of artifacts that reflect ordinary life of the period. Other historic buildings include a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, San Diego's first newspaper office, and a stable with a carriage collection. San Diego became California's first Spanish settlement when a mission and fort were established in 1769. Corner of San Diego Avenue and Twiggs St.
More information about what to see and do in San Diego may be found at the San Diego Convention and Visitors' Bureau website.
With a wide variety of excellent ethnic & traditional restaurants to please everyone's palate and fit every budget, Downtown San Diego offers many fine establishments for formal, business and casual dining. Several restaurants, which are close to the Hyatt, are listed below.
901 5th Avenue, San Diego
Dakota Grill and Spirits in the Gaslamp Quarter is a local favorite, Dakota Grill and Spirits is a casual, yet upscale restaurant featuring mesquite grilled steaks and fresh seafood.
1023 4th Ave., San Diego
Great food, classic rock, world's largest selection of draft beer served in an upscale, casual environment. 100+ menu items created by award winning chef Carlito Jocson. House Martinis, chilled wine and spirits and signature island oval bar are offered daily at Yard House conveniently located in Downtown San Diego.
729 4th Avenue, San Diego
The new Monsoon Exotic Cuisine of India features outstanding, authentic North Indian cuisine served in an elegant surrounding. Monsoon welcomes you with a spacious dining room featuring stunning paintings of India. Outdoor dining on the patio is a great way to watch the happenings of the Gaslamp and enjoy the the most intriguing Indian cuisine around!
801 5th Avenue, San Diego
Mister Tiki Mai Tai Lounge is a fun, hip spot for dining and sharing. Featuring Pacific Island Cuisine with a Poke and Sushi Bar, exotic cocktails and a fun lounge atmosphere. Enjoy the full tiki experience, from Pupu Platters to umbrella-garnished drinks. Mister Tiki is your late night dining spot.
802 5th Ave., San Diego
In 1985, Chef/Owner Ingrid Croce opened Croce's Restaurant and Bar as a tribute to her late husband singer/songwriter Jim Croce. Today this 'must visit' San Diego landmark not only recreates the warmth and energy from their days of performing together, but it continues to infuse great food and live music in a uniquely warm and inviting atmosphere.
672 5th Ave., San Diego
Located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego. Jimmy Love's occupies two floors of the beautifully restored 125-year-old historic 'Old City Hall' building. With capacity of 600 people, Jimmy Love's is one of San Diego's largest clubs featuring live entertainment nightly and has one of San Diego's most creative contemporary thought out menus.
544 Fifth Ave., San Diego
The Field is San Diego's most Authentic Irish Pub and Restaurant. As soon as you walk through the door you will be enveloped by the warm relaxing atmosphere of an old Irish country pub. The air is filled with the buzz of people engaging in the art of conversation, savoring the homemade food, and of course the best imported draft beers.
705 6th Ave., San Diego
Buca di Beppo is neighborhood restaurant where guests feast on family platters of real Italian specialties in a boisterous, celebratory environment that recalls the Italian-American supper clubs of the 1940s and '50s. It's the marriage of Italy's oldest cuisines and the bounty of America, rich in tradition yet alive with innovation.
Located in the Manchester Grand Hyatt
Sally's Seafood on the Water has long been a San Diego favorite with a prime location on the boardwalk overlooking the marina with panoramic views of the San Diego Bay for lunch, happy hour, sunset, dinner or cocktails.
In addition to incredible water views, Sally's offers fresh selections of seafood, as well as a variety of other artfully prepared dishes.
A Chef's Table, of European tradition, is placed within the kitchen for adventuresome guests who enjoy being inside the culinary action. Guests can enjoy a rare dining treat -- a gourmet feast that engages all of the senses. With advance reservations, six to twelve guests can engage as Chef Fabrice Tissier prepares a unique dining experience. The flexible menu is a unique aspect of the Chef's Table, tailored specifically to the tastes of the guests.
Located in the Manchester Grand Hyatt
Lael's has an attractive look and feel that is complimented by an enhanced garden room overlooking the marina location with flexible in-door and outdoor dining. The artfully prepared menu is offered for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Lael's offers the following dinner buffets: Thursday Night Prime Rib Dinner Buffet, Friday Night Seafood Dinner Buffet, Saturday Night Bayside Buffet and Sunday Champagne Brunch
Located in the Manchester Grand Hyatt
Ann Marie's Coffee House is a coffee lovers delight offering freshly brewed Starbucks Coffee, premium coffee drinks, specialty tea and a large selection of house-made pastries and desserts. It is just the place for a quick and easy breakfast or snack, as well as a delightful spot for relaxing and taking in the scenery with the morning paper.
Located in the Manchester Grand Hyatt
Redfield's Deli offers a casual and quick spot for freshly brewed Starbucks Coffee, premium coffee drinks, specialty tea and a large selection of house-made pastries and desserts. For lunch, Redfield's Deli affords you a quick option for sandwiches, soups and salads.
Redfield's offers Wireless Internet Access
The following web sites can help you locate more restaurants that are sure to satisfy your taste buds:
- Gaslamp District
- Dining Section of the San Diego Convention & Visitor's Bureau
- San Diego Restaurants.com
- Old Town restaurants
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