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Experience new and renovated hotels, restaurants, breweries, arts and culture venues, and more in the nation’s top meeting destination.
Meeting planners and delegates alike are always looking for the “hot” destination to hold and attend their next meetings. Recognized by global travel authority Lonely Planet as a Best in Travel pick for 2021, there is no better place to look than San Diego.
From 17 different museums in Balboa Park, the cultural heart of San Diego, to restaurants serving global cuisine in 100 diverse and colorful neighborhoods, San Diego continues to be recognized as one of the top nation’s top travel destinations. With new hotels and domestic flights complemented by exciting additions to the destination’s cultural, culinary and craft beer scenes, meeting planners and delegates have all the right ingredients for a perfect San Diego meeting.
Here are some of the new happenings to be enjoyed in San Diego in 2021.
The Town and Country San Diego in Mission Valley completed a $90 million renovation incorporating its rich 50-year history with a fresh mid-century feel. The practically new property includes 675 renovated guest rooms and suites, three stylish new restaurants and a new 10,000-square-foot pool complex.
Town and Country’s 258,000-square-feet of newly renovated meeting space includes the Golden State Hall, 40,700 square-feet; Town and Country Ballroom, 24,000 square-feet, and plenty of other meeting rooms for groups to spread out.
The Bahia Resort Hotel on Mission Bay completed a multi-million-dollar renovation. The hotel’s 313 guest rooms received major upgrades with new design improvements complementing the Bahia’s beach-meets-Morocco theme. The renovation also includes upgrades to the Bahia’s dining areas, grounds and event spaces.
Meeting attendees can enjoy the refreshed Mission Bay Ballroom’s 20,000 square-foot space, featuring panoramic views of Mission Bay as well as new carpeting, wall coverings and large chandeliers.
The San Diego Mission Bay Resort, formerly the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, completed a $21 million renovation. Located on Mission Bay, the Mediterranean-style resort transformed its 357 guestrooms with enhanced technology, expanded amenities, all-new custom furniture, and more. The resort offers a 4,000-square foot outdoor pool area, tennis, spa and fitness center, restaurant and watersports rentals.
The bayside resort offers more than 16,000 square feet of interior meeting and function space and 9,600 square feet of outdoor meeting space.
The Legacy Resort Hotel & Spa is a new luxury hotel and conference center in Mission Valley. The Legacy Resort features 126 guestrooms, The Spa with a variety of internationally inspired spa treatments, and two restaurants. On the 18-acre setting, guests can visit the Legacy Center, which offers unique attractions and exhibits like a 100-foot long, 16-foot tall replica of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
The Legacy Conference Center has a 6,000 -square foot Ballroom with a large open foyer and 500-seat theater with state-of-the-art audio visual.
The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter in downtown completed a $17 million refresh. All 442 rooms and 8 suites boast a fresh, new look with enhanced features like the Westin Heavenly Bed 2.0. The property also has a new lobby reflecting a resort-style aesthetic, new restaurant and bar, and revitalized rooftop pool and Garden Terrace with new Sun Deck and outdoor games.
The Westin’s 19 meeting venues include the 9,064-square foot California Ballroom. Total meeting space is 35,000 square feet with 9,000 square feet outdoors and 26,000 square feet indoors.
Lumi by Akira Back in downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter is an energetic rooftop concept featuring modern Japanese fare by Michelin-starred chef Akira Back. The restaurant’s unique atmosphere combines traditional Japanese architecture with modern design elements and pops of color enhanced live DJ beats. Lumi offers modern Japanese cuisine with Nikkei and Korean influences.
Huntress in the Gaslamp Quarter is under the helm of Executive Chef James Montejano, who worked at the Michelin-starred restaurant Michael Mina. Huntress is a contemporary steakhouse with a modern and chic design. The second-floor mezzanine features a Japanese whiskey bar with one of the largest selections of whiskey in the nation along with an intimate wine tasting area.
The architecturally striking Portside Pier along downtown’s scenic Embarcadero offers stunning San Diego Bay views and four dining options. The Brigantine Seafood and Oyster Bar features an extensive menu of surf and turf entrees, and the popular Miquel’s Cocina serves authentic Mexican cuisine. Guests can enjoy tasty pub fare and local craft beers at the casual Ketch Grill & Taps and savor an expresso and creamy gelato at Portside Coffee and Gelato.
The Presley is a spacious outdoor restaurant and bar in historic Liberty Station. The Presley features more than 2,000 square feet of outdoor dining space, three bars, swing seating, and fire pits. The restaurant serves elevated American classics, and the drink menu includes a wide variety of specialty cocktails.
San Diego-based Puesto Mexican Artisan Kitchen & Bar opened its newest restaurant, Puesto Cerveceria in Mission Valley. In addition to Puesto’s famous Mexico City-style tacos, mariscos and shared plates, Puesto Cerveceria features new menu items like wood-fired enchiladas and a full brewery focused on Mexican lagers.
Pure Project Carlsbad Brewery & Tap Room opened in Carlsbad in coastal San Diego North County. Pure Project is a member of the 1% for the Planet Network, donating 1 percent of topline sales to environmental organizations working to protect the planet. Pure Project Carlsbad offers an upscale yet relaxed setting, onsite production in barrels and casks, and a rotating tap list with a wide range of offerings including favorite IPAs and barrel-aged creations.
Fortunate Son in trendy North Park pays homage to American Chinese takeout classics. San Diego native chef Tony Guan draws on his Chinese-American heritage and chases the elusive energy of wok hei with playfully updated ingredients complemented by traditional spices and techniques. Dishes are accompanied by chef Guan’s large pantry of house-made condiments.
The much-anticipated Comic-Con Museum is slated to open in late summer 2021 in Balboa Park. The new museum will be a place where audiences can connect with the magic of Comic-Con year-round. Museum-goers can expect 25,000 square-feet dedicated to rotating exhibits; a 6,000-square-foot education center; 4K video theater and presentation space; gift shop; learning-focused labs, and classes and seminars.
The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park is slated to reopen in Summer 2021 after completing a major reconstruction project. The $52 million project will transform the museum along Plaza de Panama creating a newly designed community gathering space. It will also feature a new education center and spacious upper level galleries. Restored historic spaces like the Bell Tower will also be opened to the public. Also planned is a multipurpose theater space for performances, lectures and special events.
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) La Jolla campus is slated to reopen in Fall 2021 after completing a major expansion project. The expansion will nearly double the building’s size from its existing 57,000 square-feet to 101,200 square-feet total, allowing for the dedicated display of MCASD’s celebrated permanent collection of more than 4,700 objects in all media alongside the presentation of temporary exhibitions.
The San Diego Symphony’s permanent bayside concert venue, The Shell, opened along Embarcadero Marina Park South just steps away the San Diego Convention Center in downtown.The new home of the symphony’s popular annual Summer Pops series, the architecturally striking and acoustically superior outdoor stage allows the symphony to showcase a wider variety of musical presentations. The venue will also be available for special events.
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