Posts Tagged San Diego

Things to do at SDCC, Other than SDCC

Hotel del Coronado, circa 1900

I’d like to say that I’ve never been to San Diego Comic-Con. I will not this year and, even though it’s the holy grail of geek events, I can’t foresee ever attending. It sets off my anxiety just considering attending a con that massive. Though if this is the future, and you are my publisher or publicist reading this, I take it all back and would love to sit on that panel you landed for me.

I have, however, been to San Diego. As such I feel extremely confident giving one piece of advice to anyone and everyone going to Comic-Con: Enjoy San Diego. Yes, I know you’re there for the events, but stick around a few extra days and get out of the convention center (though it is an architecturally awesome convention center). A few tips based on my time there.

1) The Padres are in town the week after Comic-Con. At least, if you’re reading this immediately before Conic-Con 2012. Seriously, if you are even remotely a baseball fan, you need to go to a Padres game. They’ll be playing the Astros, so we’re talking two teams that have already combined for over 100 losses this year, but you’re not going for the quality of the baseball. You’re going for the quality of the stadium. Petco Park is an absolute gem of a baseball stadium, and is within walking distance of the convention center, right in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. Speaking of which…

2) You’re in the Gaslamp Quarter!  Well, you might not be depending on how long you waited to get a hotel, or how cheaply you made your reservations. But if you aren’t, you should be. Get new reservations for the extra days you’re staying. It’s a hip district with great food and is eminently walkable. Of course, there’s a few stops you’ll want to make outside the Gaslamp, so rent a car for a day or two, get out, and enjoy the fact that…

3) Coronado is a bridge away. Between the massive Naval station on the northwest point of Coronado and the golf course on the southeast edge is a community with beautiful beaches, parks, views of San Diego, food, shops, and just great places to cruise or walk around. Take Orange Avenue from one side to the other. It also features the Hotel del Coronado, which originally opened in 1888 and has hosted presidents and dignitaries throughout its history. Of course now that you’ve got that car, you probably want to drive it a little farther and find…

4) The San Diego Zoo earned every bit of hype. Seriously. Yes, it’s absolutely that awesome of a zoo. Do the sky tram while you’re there. Just…just do it, okay.

San Diego has been one of my favorite cities to visit, and it’s one I’m hoping to get back to some day. Not for Comic-Con, but just for it’s own sheer awesomeness. So don’t let me here that you went all the way out there just to stay in a convention center for a few days and leave again. Because that would be a crying shame.

Update: Meant to say this but, 5) EAT! Even if you’re only planning to do SDCC, at least get out of the convention center long enough to get some food. I won’t say it’s one of the great food cities of the world, but there are any number of fantastic meals to have. I’ve had some fantastic Mexican food in both the Gaslamp and in old town, seafood, and even wandered on a great sushi restaurant on Coronado that, no, I can’t remember the name of. Plus, there’s a recommendation down in the comments for a place called Hash House A Go Go which I have not tried, but now intend to next time I’m in town. San Diego is also the heart of Rubio’s country, a fast food Mexican place that I’ve enjoyed my few meal at, and has several Pinkberries, though they’ve now brought their tangy frozen yogurt to the East Coast.

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