Destination San Diego

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Destination San Diego

San Diego

In May 2018, more than 16,000 clinicians and researchers from around the world will convene in San Diego for the ATS International Conference. While the greatest attraction for ATS 2018 attendees will be hearing the latest advances in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine, San Diego is home to a number of can’t-miss sights to visit during your down time.

Balboa Park

Prices vary.
Balboa Park spans 1,200 acres that include something for everyone, such as miles of hiking trails, 17 museums, beautiful fountains, performing arts venues, must-see landmarks and attractions, lush gardens, and lots of eats to treat your palate! Check out the featured events and plan your visit.

San Diego Zoo

Multi-ticket options available; adult tickets start at $52.
Located within Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo has been an icon of the city for more than 100 years. This nonprofit wildlife sanctuary is home to over 3,700 rare and endangered animals from more than 650 species and subspecies, and over 700,000 exotic plants. Visit the San Diego Zoo website for ticket options and special experiences.

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Multi-ticket options available; adult tickets start at $52.
Continue your exploration of the animal kingdom at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, one of the largest attractions in San Diego County. The park houses an array of wild and endangered animals from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. Check out the various tours and experiences offered by the park.

Seaport Village

Free admission.
This 14-acre waterfront complex is a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex that links San Diego’s Bay and the city’s thriving downtown core. Boasting more than 70 shops, galleries, and eateries, as well as meandering walkways, beautiful plazas, and an historic, hand-carved carousel ($3 per ride), Seaport Village is a great place to unwind after a day of learning. Take a look at the lists of shops and restaurants, and check the entertainment calendar for the live music schedule.

Old Town San Diego

Prices vary.
For a taste of the city’s history and culture, head over to Old Town San Diego, the historic heart and birthplace of San Diego. Created in 1769, Old Town is the site of California’s first settlement with only a mission and a fort. The museums located in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park  (located at the northern end of Old Town) are free to the public and span the decades from California rule to the Mexican Period, and finally to the American Period. Old Town also hosts many events and nightly entertainment in many of the more than 25 restaurants located here. Take a peek at all of the historic sites located in Old Town San Diego and start planning your visit.

Belmont Park

Free admission; pay as you play.
Attention thrill seekers! From the Beach Blaster to the Vertical Plunge to the Control Freak, this historic oceanfront amusement park is sure to provide you with the adrenaline rush you crave. Roller coaster enthusiasts will want to take a ride on the park’s most iconic attraction, the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, a historic wooden roller coaster built in 1925. There are also a variety of other activities available, including escapology, laser tag, zip lining, rock climbing, mini golf, and much more. Visit the Belmont Park website for more details and ticket prices.

Maritime Museum of San Diego

Adult ticket: $18.
Established in 1948, the Maritime Museum of San Diego preserves one of the world’s largest and finest collections of historic sea vessels in the United States. Located in the San Diego Bay, the centerpiece of the museum’s collection is the Star of India, an 1863 iron bark. The collection of ships and exhibits are available for daily public tours.

USS Midway Museum

Adult ticket (online price): $18.
Climb aboard the USS Midway aircraft carrier and relive nearly 50 years of world history aboard the longest-serving Navy carrier of the 20th century.  This former naval vessel features an extensive collection of aircraft, as well as exhibits on the American military, ranging from the crew's sleeping quarters to a massive galley, the engine room, the ship's jail, officer's country, machine shops, pilots' ready rooms, primary flight control and the bridge high in the island over the flight deck.

The Flower Fields  at Carlsbad Ranch

Spend some time in one of nature’s wonders! For more than 60 years, the rolling hills of north San Diego County have transformed into one of the most spectacular and coordinated displays of natural color and beauty in the world. The nearly 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that make up the extraordinary colors of the Flower Fields just might be in bloom during the conference. Check in on the Flower Fields website for 2018 season dates.

Sunset Cliffs

Free admission.
What better way to cap off your day than with exceptional ocean and sunset views! Considered one of the most beautiful spots in San Diego to watch the sunset, Sunset Cliffs is approximately 12 miles from the San Diego Convention Center and is accessible by tram ($4 one way).