There are some great sightseeing opportunities available in San Diego. It is the 2nd largest city in California and the 8th largest in the USA, so there is plenty to explore while you are attending the SIVB World Congress. You could catch the trolley for a ride to Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo or Old Town San Diego; eat at Seaport Village; board the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum; or rent a car and visit some of the most famous amusement parks such as SeaWorld, Legoland, or Disneyland. We hope you can take some time to explore one or more of these attractions while visiting San Diego.
With its 17 museums, gardens galore, storied theater and music venues, Balboa Park could be considered the granddaddy of California’s cultural districts. Established more than 150 years ago, the park is the cultural heart of San Diego and is a must-visit destination where you can explore everything from art to science to history to horticulture in this iconic 1,200-acre urban park. Visit the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Old Globe Theater and more.
Old Town Trolley Tours
The hop-on hop-off tour is a great way to explore some of the most popular spots during your vacation. For more than 25 years, Old Town Trolley Tours has taken visitors through the city, exploring Old Town, Gaslamp Quarter, Embarcadero, Balboa Park, Coronado and more. Stay on the trolley for the full two-hour tour and learn fun and interesting facts about San Diego or get off at any one of the 11 stops and strike out on your own. When ready to head to the next location, just return to the stop and a trolley will swing by and pick you up. There are 1 and 2 day ticket options available through their website.
USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is an unforgettable adventure for the entire family. Docked along the Embarcadero, the USS Midway Museum is San Diego’s maritime treasure. It is the longest-serving U.S. Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Relive nearly 59 years of world history as you explore the massive engine room, sleep quarters, galley, brig and more with a guided audio tour. The four-acre flight deck has more than 20 aircraft—kids, big and small, enjoy the climb-aboard cockpits and flight simulators.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Explore where the wonders of the ocean come alive! The mission of Birch Aquarium is to provide ocean science education, to interpret Scripps Institution of Oceanography research, and to promote ocean conservation. Perched on a picturesque bluff in La Jolla, the aquarium features 60+ tanks of colorful marine life, including dazzling coral reefs, thrilling sharks, undulating jellyfish and three outdoor, living tide pools. An interactive museum showcases research discoveries on climate, earth and ocean science.
San Diego Zoo
At our world-famous Zoo, you’ll discover more than 650 rare and exotic species in a beautiful 100-acre tropical garden with more than 700,000 exotic plants. Spectacular bioclimatic exhibits like Monkey Trails, Lost Forest, Elephant Odyssey, Gorilla Tropics, Sun Bear Forest and Tiger River house endangered species in enclosures that mimic their natural habitats. Beyond viewing the vast range of animals, you can take a three-mile guided bus tour, ride the sky tram, or interact with the adorable creatures at the children’s petting zoo and baby animal nursery.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Formerly known as the Wild Animal Park, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an extraordinary experience—an up-close chance to experience wild nature at its best. The Safari Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 3,000 animals representing more than 300 species. Its renowned botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.75 million specimens. Over half of the Park’s 1,800 acres have been set aside as protected native species habitat. It is located in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido, California. Throughout the 1,800 acre preserve, animals from Africa and Asia roam freely over vast expanses of land as they would in their native habitats. Wear comfortable walking shoes and plan on a full day of exploration, so you can watch a cheetah run at full speed, come face to face with an African lion or gaze up at majestic eagles, noble owls and rare Andean condors.
SeaWorld San Diego and Aquatica San Diego
Spread across 190 acres on beautiful Mission Bay Park, SeaWorld is known for its amazing animals, interactive attractions, aquariums, rides, beautiful landscaping and education programs for all ages. Unforgettable experiences begin immediately at SeaWorld’s interactive arrival experience, Explorer’s Reef. Guests enter under an iconic wave sculpture and are immediately immersed into an undersea adventure where they can touch a shark, interact with a ray and feel tiny cleaner fish gently nibble at their hands. Little explorers will be delighted with our all-new realm, Ocean Explorer, featuring five new children’s rides and three new animal encounters to help unlock the ocean’s deepest mysteries. Next, you can travel the short distance away to Aquatica and enjoy 7 water slides, 2 pools, a lazy river and more!
Legoland California Resort and SEA LIFE™ Carlsbad Aquarium
2015 brings new adventures and new friends to LEGOLAND® California Resort! An 8 feet wide LEGO® Star Wars™ Death Star Model Display made completely out of LEGO bricks has been to LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland. Stroll through the LEGO horse stables. Cool off in the Heartlake Fountain. The Resort features more than 60 rides, shows and attractions and there’s so much to do. The resort is home to the expanded LEGOLAND Water Park featuring the LEGO Legends of CHIMA™ Water Park. Right next-door is SEA LIFE® Aquarium. At SEA LIFE™ Aquarium, you’ll find undersea creatures like sea stars, sharks and stingrays, along with interactive discovery zones.
The Disneyland Resort
If you want to take a day trip, make the 90-minute drive to say hi to Mickey Mouse and his friends while visiting Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, the Downtown Disney’s shopping district and more! Come early to the meeting or stay late to visit one of California’s classic tourist attractions. Ride the Haunted Mansion, fly with Peter Pan, drive into Cars Land and play in Pixar Pier. You can even travel to another galaxy visiting the newly-opened Galaxy’s Edge, which makes you a character in the Star Wars movies.