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What’s New in San Diego for Meeting Planners and Delegates

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 host and attend their next meetings. Recognized by the authoritative Meetings Information Network as one of the Top 3 meetings destinations nationwide for 2022, San Diego has everything that meeting pros prize — and so much more.

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 destinations. And with new hotels, venues and domestic/international 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 2022:

Hotel News

Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

This longtime favorite on the shores of San Diego Bay recently debuted the first phase of an $88 million renovation, highlighting the property’s 130,000 square feet of flexible venue space. Besides more than 1,000 rooms, the Sheraton now boasts 46 meeting spaces, from the 14,000-square-foot Pacific Jewel Ballroom and 9,880-square-foot Silver Pearl Ballroom to more intimate spaces with fully modernized electronics and virtual options. The hotel also offers five on-site dining destinations, an advanced air filtration system, ample parking and numerous other amenities.

Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado, known for its Victorian architecture and seaside magnificence, is a beauty that has long offered an elegant and iconic experience for meetings and events. That experience has now been elevated through a $400 million renovation, including an upgrade to the grand front entrance, the addition of 142 new luxury guest rooms and the addition of 29,000 square feet of event and meetings space.

The centerpiece of the renovation is the Southpointe Center, a state-of-the-art facility featuring a 15,000-square-foot clear-span ballroom with approximately 10,000 square feet of pre-function and breakout meeting space. The venue also opens onto a 14,000-square-foot Great Lawn, with views of the historic Victorian building, and includes a loading dock and kitchen. These venues offer not only panoramic ocean views but a safe and unique space for outdoor events. Most of the renovations are now complete and open for guests to enjoy. Completion of the Southpointe Center is expected in Fall 2022.

Town and Country Resort

Located in the heart of Mission Valley, the Town and Country Resort has completed a $90 million renovation that complements its 50-year history with a fresh midcentury-modern feel. As part of the extensive project, much of the hotel has been completely rebuilt. The practically new property includes 675 renovated guest rooms and suites as well as 258,100 square feet of renovated meeting space, including a 41,000-square-foot exhibit hall and a 24,000-square-foot ballroom. There are two new pools, one with a water slide, and stylish restaurants and lounges, as well a redesigned lobby and outdoor venues.

The Legacy Resort Hotel & Spa

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 such as 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.

Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown has 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.

New Restaurants and Breweries

The up-and-coming Pure Project has opened its fifth and latest (not to mention largest) taproom in North Park, with 20 varieties of beer on tap and a backyard vibe that includes porch swings, love seats and picnic tables. There are eats available, too, thanks to a rotating fleet of food trucks.

Birdseye has landed in La Jolla with a wide-ranging international menu at the freshly renovated Cormorant Boutique Hotel. The rooftop establishment offers specialties from empanadas to burgers to flatbreads, along with craft-cocktail selections.

Hudson & Nash, which opened in May, is the Hilton San Diego Bayfront’s new on-site, waterfront restaurant concept inspired by a classic Pacific Coast Highway road trip. With a something-for-everyone menu, the kitchen sources fresh ingredients from regional purveyors alongside beverages that span coastal-inspired cocktails, California coastal wines and craft beers from local breweries.

From Johnny Rivera of Hash House A Go Go and Great Maple renown comes Wolf in the Woods, a long-awaited Mission Hills restaurant that bills itself as offering a new take on classic and modern New Mexican aesthetics. The menu blends Native American, European and Hispanic influences, with a wine bar, tapas menu and more.

Wild‘N Out is the new “eatertainment” hotspot from movie/TV star (and San Diego native) Nick Cannon. The expansive, indoor/outdoor complex in Downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter takes its name from Cannon’s VH1 show, and offers everything from sports-themed arcade games to bottle service to a full menu of food and entertainment.

Kemmen in North Park is the latest restaurant from the owners of the excellent Muzita Abyssinian in University Heights. Their new venture likewise serves Eritrean and Ethiopian specialties, with lots of vegan and vegetarian menu options.

Draft Republic’s new San Marcos brewery and restaurant is a full-scale entertainment destination, with live entertainment, a golf simulator, shuffleboard, even bowling lanes! Part of the ever-burgeoning Cohn Restaurant Group, the place offers an expansive tap menu as well as a full range of casual food items.

Also new in the Gaslamp is Happy Does, a place named for a Kenny Chesney song and boasting a sprawling bar and outdoor space, with plenty of pub food to complement the libations.

Tony Hawk, the world-beating pro skateboarder and favorite son of San Diego’s North County, is teaming with chef Andrew Bachelier (formerly of Jeune & Jolie) to open Chick & Hawk in the beachside Leucadia community of Encinitas. The place, slated to debut in late summer 2022, touts a “fast-fine” menu concept that will include everything locally sourced seafood and vegetables to (yes) fried chicken sandwiches.

GoodBar, Point Loma’s popular neighborhood bar, reopened its doors in April after a two-year hiatus. The bar now features new cocktails and dishes, refreshed décor and regular comedy performances. The menu includes small bites, sandwiches and burgers, and cocktail options that include the Rosecrans Mule, Good Ol’ Fashioned and the Loma-Rita.

Madam Bonnie’s, located in the historic Hotel Lester building, opened in May featuring a menu of protein-driven plates, such as Crispy Skin Porchetta, Prime Rib, Garlic & Thyme ½ Organic Chicken, salad, sides and rotating fresh seafood specials. The libation menu includes cocktails named after iconic women from the ‘20s through the ‘40s, such as Amelia Earhart, Valentina Ramirez and Clara Bow, plus a variety of wines and a daily selection of draft beers.

Slated to open in June, Marisi Italiano in La Jolla will feature a menu rooted in regional dishes from the whole of Italy, including handmade pasta and hearth-cooked meats and seafood. The international and highly intense cocktail program features an array of Italian aperitivos, homemade limoncello, rare spirits and an Italian pilsner made specifically for Marisi.

In June, the popular San Diego restaurant group CH Projects unveils its newest concept, Part Time Lover, a hi-fi listening bar and record store in the hip North Park neighborhood. A cultural hub rooted in music, Part Time Lover will feature specially curated soundtracks, pastries, coffee and cocktails inspired by Japan’s listening-bar culture.

Also opening in June, Tao Group Hospitality’s LAVO San Diego will bring Italian cuisine to San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. LAVO San Diego caters to locals and visitors alike, featuring 235 seats and occupying a prime corner in the lively neighborhood. Guests can expect a boisterous dining experience juxtaposed with a laid-back, yet sophisticated, Southern California flair. The restaurant will first be open for dinner, followed by lunch and brunch later this summer.

Slated to open in June, Mission + Garnet is a 4,000-square-foot restaurant space with six distinct food concepts under one roof. Situated at the intersection of Mission Boulevard and Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach, the venue will house three of local restaurateur Scott Slater’s existing fast-casual brands: the healthy salad shop Head Lettuce, Spitfire Tacos, and breakfast burrito outpost Early Bird. Joining them will be a yet-unnamed gourmet churro outfit, a sandwich shop based around whole cuts of meat, and an outdoor hot dog stand that will feature a bacon-stuffed, all-beef hot dog that Slater developed for Slater’s 50/50.

Set to open in August, Fisher’s San Diego will bring an "avant-garde" Mexican seafood style of cuisine to San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. Guests can expect to find an oyster bar, seafood bar and the freshest and finest shellfish available on dry land. Fisher’s other locations are mostly in Mexico, making San Diego its first U.S. eatery.

Arts and Culture News

The much-anticipated Comic-Con Museum has finally opened in Balboa Park, just in time for San Diego Comic-Con International 2022 — the first full edition of that massive pop-culture happening in three years. The museum has transformed the 1935-vintage Federal Building into a shrine for all things comic-book-related and (much) more, with exhibits devoted to everything from superheroes to sci-fi franchises, plus movie screenings and other special events. It’s the ideal year-round complement to Comic-Con, which brings celebrities, movie-studio honchos, mom-and-pop merchants and thousands of fans from around the world to the San Diego Convention Center.

Now reopened after a three-year renovation, the beautifully re-envisioned Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park— dedicated to folk art and more — boasts additional exhibit space, a new courtyard and outdoor terraces and a flexible theater space. It also offers two new dining options, both presided over by the accomplished Urban Kitchen Group: the sleek ARTIFACT, inspired by ancient methods and ingredients and taking its cues from the museum's exhibitions; and the more casual Craft Café, with a range of made-to-order and grab ‘n' go items.

After a five-year closure for sweeping renovations, the flagship La Jolla location of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) has reopened with double its previous space and a breathtaking design meant to showcase not only the museum's 4,700-piece collection but its stunning setting on the edge of the Pacific. The expansion brings the museum's size to 101,200 square feet, with greatly expanded gallery spaces as well as multiple indoor and outdoor meeting and conference options.

The San Diego Symphony’s permanent bayside concert venue, The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, opened along Embarcadero Marina Park South just steps away from the San Diego Convention Center in Downtown. The stunning new home of the symphony’s popular annual Summer Pops series, this architecturally striking and acoustically superior outdoor stage allows the symphony to showcase a wider variety of musical presentations. The venue is also available for special events.

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