The GCSAA Golf Industry Show begins tomorrow! Hopefully you’ve bought your tickets, booked your hotel, and made a plan of action to see all the vendors. The location is hard to beat—the San Diego Convention Center boasts a gorgeous view of the bay, and with a mild climate and a 72% chance of sun on any given day, there’s no better place to attend a convention.
Should I stay at the convention or go surfing?
Of course, as one of America’s largest cities and a melting pot of snowbirds, students, and Navy sailors, San Diego’s unique vibe is sure to have something for everyone. Once the education sessions end and the booths all close, the real fun begins. Here’s our guide to help you use your time the best.
The Convention Center is adjacent to one of San Diego’s most famous neighborhoods, the Gaslamp Quarter. One of the oldest parts of the city, the stores have kept their historic roots, and the result is a vibrant downtown nightlife in a picturesque setting. Plus, the fresh seafood and countless steak houses will keep you full and satisfied.
McCormick and Schmick’s Steaks & Seafood San Diego
This regional chain consistently gets rave reviews for its top-notch, fresh seafood presented in a sleek, upscale atmosphere. In addition, their “Fresh List” changes daily and presents catches from around the globe.
619.645.6545 | Website
Lou and Mickey’s
This restaurant has much the same fare as McCormick and Schmick’s, but has the advantage of local clout. This charming restaurant is a “cross between a Chicago fish ’n’ steak joint and a Paris brasserie.” (source)
619.237.4900 | Website
Nobu San Diego
An exclusive national chain (other locations in New York and Miami), Nobu offers “New Style” Japanese fare. A restaurant for the adventurous and spendy, Nobu’s cutting-edge flavor combinations leave the sushi-enamored customer begging for more.
Union Kitchen and Tap
Another local favorite, Union Kitchen offers traditional Americana fare in a rustic, vibrant atmosphere. A great place to grab a beer and some hors d’oeuvres, Union Kitchen also boasts a bustling night scene, with live entertainment and DJ’s on the weekend.
San Diego is world-famous for its craft beer scene, boasting heavyweights like Stone Brewing Co. and local favorites like Green Flash. Whatever your tastes, from Stouts to IPAs, you’ll find it here.
Stone Brewing Co
One of the nation’s largest independent brewers, Stone Brewing Co offers over 70 varieties of beer. Sample four of their IPAs on tap at their J Street Tap Room in the Gaslamp Quarter, or make a 10-minute drive to their expansive brewery and restaurant in Liberty Station.
Another brewery with a national reach, Ballast Point award-winning beers often feature fruity infusions, perfectly blended with a traditional, hard flavor. Visit their Home Brew Mart to sample over 40 different beers or try your hand at brewing!
Of course, what would a golf-related business trip to a golf mecca be without actually getting out and playing the game? San Diego’s courses are rightly held in high esteem by golfers worldwide. Here’s our selection.
A perennial superlative for both what a municipal course should be and what any course should be, Torrey Pines is unique in that it actually stands up to its reputation. The wonderful thing is that anybody can play, as long as you can afford the tee time prices.
Aviara Golf Club
This one’s a little out of the way, but completely worth the drive. Rated the #1 golf course in San Diego area by Golf Digest, this Arnold Palmer course offers spectacular ocean views, gorgeous landscaping, and an unforgettable experience.
Balboa Park Golf Course
Though this one doesn’t hold a candle to the beauty and unsurpassed experience of the other two courses, this little municipal still hold plenty of enjoyment, and has the advantage of only being 5 minutes away from the convention center.
Mission Bay Golf Course
Another great municipal, Mission Bay is also only minutes away from the convention center. It also features stadium lighting, so you can stay the whole day at the convention and still have plenty of time of 9, or even 18, holes.
San Diego is a tourist magnet, largely due to its good weather, waterfront location, and plethora of amusement parks. But you don’t have to spend a day reliving your childhood at Legoland to enjoy your time; there’s plenty to do right in the city itself
One of the top attractions in San Diego, this retired WWII-era aircraft carrier preserves a bit on American history from an increasingly remote era. As you walk on the deck, you can almost imagine the energy and confusion of aircraft launching every three seconds to go win the war.
San Diego Zoo
With 3,500 animals, 650 species, a family of pandas, and guided bus and gondola tours, the San Diego Zoo pretty much offers the ultimate zoo experience. Located only 5 minutes from the convention center.
Also known as Central Beach, this famous stretch of sand starts at the Hotel del Coronado and extends north to Sunset Park. It can get pretty crowded, but its vast length ensures that there’s enough space for everyone.
It’s Fun in the Sun
Whatever you choose to do in San Diego, your time will be well-spent. From fine dining to world-class beaches, you’ll find something to tickle your taste buds or suit your fancy beyond the great relationships you’ll make at the GCSAA convention itself. Enjoy!