Our Location: San Diego, CA, USA
Sunshine, beaches, tacos, cold beverages, and great content!
The 2014 IA Summit will be held in San Diego, CA. The hotel is in a brilliant location just a short distance from the attractions of the San Diego Harbor, the fantastic restaurants and shops of Little Italy, The Gas Lamp District, and more.
The Conference Hotel
The IA Summit program and workshops will be presented at the beautiful Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina.
1380 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, California 92101
If you are local and not staying at the Sheraton, there is parking at the hotel. A full day costs $22; or pay $6 for the first hour and $4 for every hour after that.
If you’re flying in, there’s a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel. It runs every 20-25 minutes between 4:45 am and midnight.
Get to Know San Diego
San Diego is not only one of California’s most beautiful cities, but one of its most welcoming. You’re sure to encounter plenty of friendly people and plenty to do both in the city and along the harbor and beaches.
The Quick Lowdown
To get an extensive preview of the best neighborhoods, hangouts and restaurants in San Diego we highly advise you check out the San Diego Urbanist Guide.
San Diego boasts some of the best food and drink on the west coast. Foodies will not be disappointed.
Here are some recommended eateries and attractions, as curated by local volunteers:
LIBERTY STATION/POINT LOMA
- Stone Brewery (the largest restaurant in San Diego, with great beer & food)
- Old Venice: Outdoor Patio for bigger Group/Good Italian
OLD TOWN/MISSION HILLS
- Shakespeare’s Pub
- Cafe Coyote: Good Mexican food with swimming-pool-sized Margaritas.
- Starlite Lounge: Fun, trendy place for dinner and drinks.
- Brooklyn Girl Eatery: Great food/ smaller party
- Casa Guadalajara: Decent Mexican/Big group room
- Lucha Libre Taco Shop: A smaller place with tacos to die for. And a Ron Burgandy trash can.
- El Camino: big group tables on the patio/good Mexican food/great margaritas
- Prep Kitchen: could handle a smaller group/ excellent food
- Queenstown Public House: Great atmosphere/Good Food and drink/Large Patio and Group Room
- Craft & Commerce: Small but good food and Excellent drinks
- Cucina Urbana: Smaller location/ kinda fancier
- Coronado Brewing Tasting Room: Beer/Snacks
- The Strip Club (Brazilian Steakhouse)
- Yardhouse: Has private room downstairs for a large group
- Karl Strauss: Large Room/Table (but not our best beer)
- Tavern Bowl: bowling/sportsbar
Besides great food and drink San Diego has other great attractions for families, groups, and individuals we have gathered a few for you.
- Children’s Museum downtown
- Scripps Aquarium
- Corvette Diner
- USS Midway
- All Balboa Park Museums
San Diego Fun Facts
Originally designed as a nudist colony during the 1935 California-Pacific Exposition, Zoro Gardens is nested just west of the Ruben H. Fleet Museum and Science Center in beautiful Balboa Park. Today, you must be clothed but be sure to come by this local stop for migrating butterflies with full blooms of larvae and nectar plants. Also near by: The Prado restaurant, The San Diego Zoo, Minguei Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, Aerospace Museum.
In addition to Ballast Point, a tasty local brew, the Waterfront serves up rich history of Little Italy. Established in 1933 by Chaffee Grant and Clair Blakley, San Diego’s first tavern hosted Oil company employees and local fishermen and, one time, Wyatt Earp stopped by for a brew. Today, the Waterfront hosts local business folk and neighborhood locals amidst breathtaking Little Italy. Also near by: Mona Lisa Italian Deli, Soso Limited, Harley Davidson Dealership.
The Naval Training Center in Point Loma was one of the US Navy’s largest sailor training facilities reaching a peak of 33,000 sailors during WWII. The Naval Training Center helped shape San Diego into a major port for the Navy – Naval Base San Diego is now the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, consisting of 49 Navy ships and 213 individual commands.
Constructed in 1921, the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture of the Naval Training Center reflected the richness of San Diego’s history. Since the base was decommissioned in the 1990’s, more than 50 original buildings have been preserved and serve as the backbone for what is now Liberty Station.
Just two miles from the IA Summit hotel, you can walk through art galleries, salons, and shops of Liberty Station to sample the beers of San Diego’s most famous craft brewery,Stone Brewing, or sit down for a bite to eat at their World Bistro & Gardens. If you are looking for a great view of the city, head farther out the peninsula to Cabrillo National Monument where, in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to set foot on the West Coast of the United States.
Once used to smuggle Chinese immigrants and contraband whisky during Prohibition, Sunny Jim Cave has been a fun tourist attraction in the heart of downtown La Jolla since the 1920s. There are seven sea caves along the cliffs of La Jolla but Sunny Jim is the only one accessible from land (through the historic Cave Store). If you want to see the other six, rent kayaks or SUP boards in La Jolla Shores, then paddle along the cliffs and through…yes through…the caves. You might even catch a glimpse of our resident leopard sharks and our state fish, the bright orange garibaldi.
While you are in La Jolla, you might want to visit the Birch Aquarium, check out the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, shop the boutiques and galleries of Prospect St., bark at the seals in La Jolla Cove, or dine at George’s at the Cove for one of the best sunset views in San Diego.
Located in historic Old Town, the Whaley House Museum is one of San Diego’s oldest and most famous post-statehood houses. The building started as the town’s granary and later became the San Diego municipal courtroom. The two-story house and store addition were added by the namesake Thomas Whaley in 1857.
The Whaley House is also listed by the United States Department of Commerce as an authentic haunted house and is featured on most of the local San Diego ghost tours. Built on the site of early San Diego’s public gallows, and scene of numerous deaths and angry confrontations, the Whaley House is home to several ghosts including Yankee Jim and more than a few members of the Whaley family.
While you’re in the neighborhood be sure and visit Old Town San Diego Historic Park, shop for luchador masks at the shops of Old Town Market, pick up hand-made tortillas at Old Town Mexican Café, and sample one (or several) of the over 1000 tequilas at El Agave Tequileria.
San Diego has a long history of surf culture; even San Diegans who don’t surf can probably tell you the best breaks, best surf shops, best fish tacos…it’s part of our community identity. When you enter the lineup on the 70 miles of beaches in San Diego county, you could just as easily be sitting next to a city council member or corporate CEO as you could a pro surfer. Here is a small sample of the local surf culture.
Trestles is a Southern California surfing legend located at the border of San Diego and Orange Counties. You’ve got to earn your waves at Trestles, with a long hike in from the parking lot and fierce competition from 50+ other surfers in the lineup, many of them experts and even professionals. Trestles works best on a good south to southwest swell, and when it’s on, a session at Trestles can be epic. By comparison, the slow, easy rollers just down the coast at Old Man’s are perfect for newbs or longboarding veterans.
With arguably some of San Diego’s best waves, Black’s Beach can be found at the southern end of Torrey Pines State Beach and north of La Jolla Shores. Black’s is famous among surfers for big winter swells, however it is better known to the rest of the world as San Diego’s nude beach. Although nudism is unlawful in San Diego, it has persisted at Black’s for decades with the only real deterrent being the hike to get there. For the most part, surfers and nakes (surfer for nudist) are the only people motivated enough to make the hike to Black’s, so if these aren’t your motives, you might want to think about heading to La Jolla Shores instead.
Swami’s is named for the Indian-styled Self-Realization Fellowship complex on the bluff. It is another San Diego surfing legend with a well-defined peak and a crowd beyond its capacity. Swami’s makes just enough of a bend in the coast to pick up a little extra swell energy so it’s always a bit bigger and better than its neighboring breaks.
La Jolla Shores is one of San Diego’s best beaches and probably the best spot to learn to surf. In a long crescent cove, protected from the prevailing southwest wind, The Shores provides gentler, smaller waves that are made for longboards and beginners. La Jolla Shores also offers the best rental and surfing lesson options so get out there and rip the stick!
While Swamis, Trestles, and Blacks might be more famous breaks, Windansea is arguably the center of surf culture in central San Diego. Surf legends like Pat Curren, Skip Frye, Endless Summer’s Mike Hynson, Mickey Munoz and Rusty Miller counted Windansea as their home break. Famous for its palm-covered Surf Shack, originally constructed in 1946, Windansea Beach is a beautiful beach park with great views of the coast and close-in waves featuring our local surfing talent. Don’t be surprised however if one of the local grommets confronts you with the phrase “You flew here, I grew here”.
Located in Oceanside, at the Northern tip of San Diego County, The California Surf Museum serves as an repository and resource center for the sport of surfing by capturing, preserving, and chronicling its art, culture and heritage for the education and enjoyment of future generations. The California Surf Museum’s permanent surfboard exhibit includes wooden boards from the early 1900s to today’s modern boards.
Bird’s Surf Shed is more museum than surf shop. Open to the public, the shop features hundreds of boards strung up in a 1940s Quonset hut and is run by local surf celebrity, Bird (natch). Not too far from the IA Summit in the Morena district of San Diego, Bird’s is a great place to visit surfing history and pick up some less-touristy memorabilia.
Ray Street is the cultural epicenter of San Diego’s emerging North Park arts community. It is one of the most culturally rich districts in San Diego and is home to many pop and lowbrow art galleries and studios. Ray Street is home to The Ray at Night art walk, San Diego’s largest and longest-running monthly art walk drawing over 1500 people to the small street on the second Saturday of each month…which unfortunately is not when you are here.
North Park, especially the 30th Street corridor, has revived San Diego’s Uptown area and become our center of urban culture. North Park is the home of San Diego’s Farm-to-Table movement, home to the craftiest of craft breweries (Hess Brewing in particular), home to curled mustaches and logger beards, home to the most plaid shirts and page boy hats in Southern California, and home to some of the finest bars and gastropubs in the city. Our indigenous hipsters live in North Park. In fact, it was named as one of Forbes Magazine Hippest Hipster Neighborhoods in the US (wait…is Forbes hip?).