Explore San Diego


Welcome to San Diego! Known as “America’s Finest City,” San Diego sits perched on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. An ideal year-round climate, miles and miles of immaculate white sand beaches, and an abundance of cultural attractions make San Diego an ideal destination for visitors around the globe — and the perfect backdrop for AAIC 2022.

Check out our top recommendations for things to do in San Diego, then build out the rest of your itinerary with the help of the San Diego Tourism Authority.

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From tide pools teeming with aquatic life to over 150 canyons and world-class museums, there is no shortage of essential San Diego sites.

  • Located in nearby Balboa Park (pictured above), the historic San Diego Zoo is home to a vast collection of exotic plants and thousands of rare and endangered animal species, including gorillas, tree kangaroos and “Grandma,” the Galapagos tortoise who celebrates her 138th birthday this year.
  • The Cabrillo National Monument features miles of trails offering incredible views of the city and ocean, protected intertidal habitats and the restored Old Point Loma Lighthouse.
  • The San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park offers more than 20,000 pieces, including works by Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keefe and Diego Rivera.
  • Made famous as the luxurious locale for the 1958 classic “Some Like it Hot” starring Marilyn Monroe, the Hotel Del Coronado and adjacent Coronado Beach are beloved San Diego landmarks.

In the Neighborhood

The San Diego Convention Center is located in the heart of downtown, just minutes from some of the city’s most famous destinations, making the AAIC 2022 the perfect place to kick off your adventures.

  • Take a short walk down Fifth Avenue to arrive at the Gaslamp Quarter. With a nod to its Victorian-era roots in its name, this district features some of the city’s best restaurants, shopping and entertainment, all within 16 square blocks. (0.4 miles / 0.6 kilometers from the San Diego Convention Center)
  • Follow the Embarcadero (pictured above), meaning “to embark” in Spanish, as it curves along the San Diego Bay waterfront. The paved promenade showcases the city’s rich maritime history and amazing views of the Pacific — climb aboard one of the historic docked ships, grab a fish taco or relax in the grass in the adjoining Downtown Waterfront Park. (0.8 miles / 1.3 kilometers from the San Diego Convention Center)
  • Stroll through Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre natural and cultural respite within the city, boasting 17 museums, lush botanical gardens, and a full roster of arts and entertainment options. (1.6 miles / 2.6 kilometers from the San Diego Convention Center)

Food and Dining

San Diego is home to thousands of eateries, serving cuisine from across the globe. Local produce grown in Southern California is the star of the show, featuring avocados, limes and oranges.

  • Try local specialties like carne asada fries from Lolita’s Mexican Food ($) or a wagyu burger and nitro fries from Swagyu Chop Shop ($$) in Pacific Beach.
  • See how Mediterranean flavors and local ingredients merge at Callie ($$$), an inventive new East Village restaurant headed by San Diego-native Chef Travis Swikard.
  • Enjoy a seared ahi taco or local halibut salad, or peruse the wide selection of freshly-caught fish at Blue Water Seafood Market & Grill ($$) in Ocean Beach.
  • Swing by The Original Sab-E-Lee ($$) in San Diego’s Linda Vista neighborhood for authentic Isaan (northeastern) Thai cuisine — and don’t forget to order a bowl of their famed Tom Yum Soup.
  • Sample fresh, Sinaloa-inspired dishes and ample portions of “tacos, tunes, and tequila” at Mission Hills’ La Puerta ($$).

Getting Around San Diego

No matter where you want to start exploring, San Diego’s transportation options can get you there. Learn more about traveling in and around San Diego.

Reserve a Hotel Room for AAIC

Make a reservation in the AAIC hotel block by July 7 to get priority access, attendee-only rates and easy group booking in four high-quality, conveniently located AAIC hotels.


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