Every year we look forward to IFMA's World Workplace conference. Traveling around the country, meeting industry leaders and learning about the latest in the FM world is such an experience. However, this year we're a bit more excited than usual, because IFMA couldn't have picked a better location than warm, sunny and beautiful San Diego! Even though we know you'll be busy soaking up the rays, err, I mean the sessions, here are some local hot spots to try to make time for while you're visiting the West Coast.
1. Balboa Park
hours: no set hours
distance: 2.5 miles from convention center
Home to many of San Diego's museums and most popular attractions, including the San Diego Zoo, this park is worth visiting even if just to walk along the grounds. As the nation's largest urban cultural park, even larger than New York's Central Park, it was placed reserve in 1835 and was dedicated to public recreational use. The 1,200 acres are home to over 15 museums, performing arts venues and manicured gardens. The park offers complimentary tours three times per week, on Tuesdays and Sundays at 1pm or Saturdays at 10am. If you're a film fan, you might find it interesting that many of the scenes in Citizen Kane were filmed at this gorgeous site.
2. San Diego Zoo
hours: 9AM to 6PM
distance: 3.5 miles from convention center
If you happen to have your family with you this trip, or you just love animals, it doesn't get much better than the highly awarded San Diego Zoo. Ranked the #1 zoo in the world, yes the world, it houses over 3,500 rare and endangered animals representing 350 species. Don't worry, all of your favorites are there, like lions and tigers, but they also are home to lesser known creatures that aren't normally found in your typical zoo. The park is quite popular and they are proud to have the largest zoological membership association in the world. They're also celebrating their 100th anniversary this year, so there's sure to be some special events going on this fall!
3. Gaslamp Quarter
hours: no set hours
distance: 0.5 miles from convention center
Gaslamp Quarter National Historic District, is an area of restored late 19th and early 20th Century Victorian buildings in downtown San Diego. The area is close to the San Diego Convention Center, and extends from Broadway to Harbor covering 16 1/2 blocks. Nearly 95 historical buildings still remain and many have been converted to local boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs. Originally named, "New Town" during the 1880s, the city put in 50 gas lamps to light up the streets and the current name stuck. Although in the early 1900s the area was full of scandal during prohibition, the district is absolutely safe today and full of tourists and locals alike. If you feel like taking a stroll, try completing National Geographic's self walking tour, found here.
4. Petco Park
hours: 10AM to 5PM (tours 10:30, 12:00, 3:00)
distance: 1 mile from convention center
While there's no baseball being played during the conference, the park is still worth checking out, especially if you're a ball fan, like our Director of Marketing, Tiffany! Known nationally for it's beautiful location, the Padres note the park, "celebrates the sea, the sky, the natural beauty, cultural diversity and unique spirit of the region". During the year, the park offers guided tours seven day a week that take you through the ins and outs of the stadium. During the tour, visitors will see "writer's row" in the press box and have a chance to explore the Padres dugout. You will also get a glimpse into a luxury private suite and the warning track.
hours: no set hours
distance: 5 miles from convention center
If you have a few extra days in America's Finest City, you should consider putting Coronado on your list. Often mistakenly labeled as an island, Coronado is actually a suburb of San Diego that is situated on a peninsula. It is home to the "best ranked beach in the U.S." and is a major tourist destination year-round. Don't miss their downtown district on Orange Avenue, where there are streets packed with local shops and restaurants. Also, this year is their first annual beer best on October 8th! If you're a history buff, take a stroll around the historical Hotel del Coronado or visit one of the city's theaters, some of the oldest in the nation. There are also places to rent bikes and plenty of water-based activities along the coastline for the more adventurous visitor.
6. USS Midway Museum
hours: 10AM - 5PM
phone: (619) 544-9600
distance: 0.8 miles from convention center
If you're a history or aviation buff, this is the stop for you. Rated the #1 attraction on Trip Advisor in all of San Diego, this museum features over 60 exhibits with 29 restored aircrafts and a flight simulator. Walk along the decks of the longest-serving Naval aircraft carrier of the 20th century, while getting a peak into the crew's sleeping quarters, engine room and the primary flight control deck. Be sure to stop and chat with the docents while you're there! They're noted as one of the best parts of the entire experience on Trip Advisor.
We would love to know which stops you add to your World Workplace trip! Let us know on our Facebook page, or stop by booth #1041 during the event and invite us along!