In less than two weeks, we will all reunite at one of my favorite events—SHRM! This year, I’m not only looking forward to the sessions, the expo and the networking, but also to spending time in the beautiful city of San Diego! So in anticipation of SHRM 2010 I thought it’d be fun to put together my top ten list (in no particular order) of must do’s in sunny San Diego, which by the way is named after Saint Didacus and not whatever Ron Burgundy thought it meant. So if you’re ready, here we go…
- Unleash your inner animal at the San Diego Zoo. When you think of San Diego, the first thing that pops into most people’s minds is the zoo, and for good reason. The zoo in Balboa Park is one of the largest (107 acres) and most progressive zoos in the world. Dedicated to conservation, the San Diego Zoo offers you the opportunity to see some amazing species in their own habitats such as the Koala, Komodo Dragon, and the Giant Panda. If you do head over to the zoo make sure you have comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, and most definitely a camera. Also while you’re in town—check out Nighttime at the Zoo. *Kid Friendly
- Imagine old Hollywood on Coronado Island. An easy drive from the zoo, head over the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and prepare to go vintage as you experience the charm of the city of Coronado. Home to the fifth best beach in America according to the Travel Channel and the famous Hotel del Coronado (aka The Del) a former getaway for old Hollywood and US Presidents, this resort style hotel is just as breathtaking as it was when it first opened in 1888. The Del is a National Historic Landmark that should not be missed. For you film buffs, let us know if you recognize this famed hotel from the classic Billy Wilder comedy, Some Like It Hot. For you non-beach bums—rent a bicycle and tour around the island. Be sure to stop in the quant shops for a great taste of small town America. *Kid Friendly
- Party on the Pacific Beach Strip. This popular beach strip is known for having a low-key surfing scene by day and a bustling bar scene by night. During the day, you can experience the true beach bum lifestyle by lying on the beach, swimming in the ocean or strolling along the ocean front boardwalk. As soon as the sun goes down, get ready for some fun because Pacific Beach “PB” is home to countless dive bars, live music venues and dance clubs.
- Experience first class shopping in La Jolla. Located 15 minutes from downtown San Diego, La Jolla is an exquisite combination of a southern European resort atmosphere and Southern California fun. In addition to the beautiful scenery, sandy beaches, adorable harbor seals and fine dining, La Jolla is also home to an array of high end shopping retailers! True paradise if you ask me!
- See a show at Sea World. Best known for Shamu, Sea World is a great way to get up close and personal (ladies, if you do plan to get close be sure your hair is in a bun) with marine life such as Dolphins, Orcas, Pacific Walruses, Penguins, Sharks, and of course Whales. For those of you not so interested in the marine life there are also attractions and rides such as Journey to Atlantis, Wild Arctic, Bayside Skyride, Shipwreck Rapids, and more. Stick around for the fireworks display that goes off each night at 9:50 p.m. *Kid Friendly
- Experience the Gaslamp District Nightlife. Often referred as San Diego’s “party central,” the restaurants, bars and nightclubs come together to form a nightlife that rivals any city in the country. A few of my personal favorites hot spots are:
- Altitude Sky Lounge, an upscale lounge which allows you to surround yourself with San Diego’s glittering skyline twenty-two stories in the air. Take in the unforgettable views and gaze down onto home plate in Petco Stadium.
- Stingeree, a nightclub and dining venue that sets the standard for San Diego nightlife. Rated one of the top ten new bars in the country by MSN, this three story nightclub offers the ultimate blend of high style and excellent service, and features a floor-to-ceiling waterfall, rooftop cabanas, fire pit and VIP lounge.
- On Broadway, a high-energy night club that boasts over 30,000 square feet of ultra luxurious and modern décor complete with 9 different spaces, a computer light show and a 90,000 watt sound system.
7. Witness cougars on the prowl in Del Mar. This exclusive area boasts pristine beaches, gourmet dining and unique shopping, but is most recognized for being a haven for “cougars” on the prowl (cougar = urban slang for a woman who looks young, dresses young and dates young).
8. Hike Torrey Pines State Park. Take in all the beauty that Torrey Pines State Park has to offer. Explore over 2,000 acres of preserved land that includes the rare and elegant Torrey pine tries, miles of unspoiled beaches, a beautiful lagoon and stunning overlooks. If you choose to take a trail leading to Black’s Beach, just beware that once you get past Flatrock, clothing is optional!
9. Take in a baseball game at Petco Stadium. This ballpark is truly spectacular in every way, combining the timeless traditions of baseball with state-of-the-art fan amenities and breathtaking views of San Diego. And with a winning record this year, this is an exciting time to see a Padres game!
10. Recreate the famous scene from Top Gun at Kansas City BBQ. A landmark restaurant known for its role in the 1986 Tom Cruise film, Top Gun, where Goose and Maverick belt out “Great Balls of Fire” is a must-see attraction in San Diego.