Fun Things to Do in San Diego

The Gaslamp Quarter, a short walk from the San Diego Convention Center, has an eclectic mix of nightlife, shopping and dining. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Tourism Authority.
The Gaslamp Quarter, a short walk from the San Diego Convention Center, has an eclectic mix of nightlife, shopping and dining.
(Photo courtesy of the San Diego Tourism Authority.)
Balboa Park is home to nature trails, cultural centers, museums and the San Diego Zoo. Photo courtesy of the City of San Diego.
Balboa Park is home to nature trails, cultural centers, museums and the San Diego Zoo. (Photo courtesy of the City of San Diego.)

While there is plenty to keep you entertained, educated and inspired inside the San Diego Convention Center during Emergency Nursing 2023, you won’t have to travel far to enjoy some of the best sights and activities the city has to offer.

“San Diego is the ultimate destination for Emergency Nursing conference attendees looking for a complete experience,” said Kavin Schieferdecker, chief sales officer for the San Diego Tourism Authority. “Our vibrant Gaslamp Quarter is an epicenter for unforgettable culinary and nightlife experiences, while our breathtaking waterfront area provides a picturesque backdrop for indulging in the city’s beauty.”

Whether you take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront near the convention center or do a bit more exploring, there are plenty of options within walking distance or a short ride via public transportation, taxi or ride-share.

Jamie Garcia, CMP, MS - ENA Meetings Director
Jamie Garcia, CMP, MS
  • The convention center is at the edge of the Gaslamp District, a roughly one-mile neighborhood consisting of restaurants, nightclubs, a comedy club, a magic lounge and theaters. The shopping ranges from jewelry to cigars to souvenirs.
  • Seaport Village is a 14-acre complex designed like a century-old harbor town. Look for unique boutiques, restaurants and outdoor attractions, such as a historic carousel hand-carved in 1895.
  • Board a ferry near the convention center for a quick ride to Coronado Island, where much of the film “Some Like It Hot” was shot. The picturesque island has beaches and parks, along with a mix of vintage and trend-setting shops and restaurants.
  • The USS Midway Museum, the longest-serving U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, was decommissioned in 1992 and opened as a museum in 2004. Visitors can take self-guided audio tours to explore planes, helicopters and bombers; sleeping quarters; flight simulators; and the control tower.
  • Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre public park that features nature trails and gardens, restaurants, and a variety of museums and cultural centers devoted to air and space, art, natural history, veterans, women, Comic-Con and more.
  • Animal encounters are quite common in San Diego. More than 14,000 rare and endangered animals call the world-famous San Diego Zoo home. You’ll find seals and sea lions sunbathing and playing around La Jolla Cove. And whale watching offers a majestic sight for both tourists and locals.
  • San Diego is made for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and many other trails and parks around the city. Kayak at the La Jolla Sea Caves. Explore the Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Beach Board Walk or the city’s quaint neighborhoods from the seat of a bicycle. Or take a moment to relax by taking in the 360-degree vistas of San Diego from the Cabrillo National Monument or Mount Soledad.
  • For baseball fans, the San Diego Padres are in town the weekend of the conference, hosting the St. Louis Cardinals at Petco Park, across from the convention center.

“I think everyone is going to love the location in San Diego and being close to the bay,” said ENA Director of Meetings and Events Jamie Garcia. “It’s very walkable.”

Schieferdecker also recommended the San Diego Trolley, the city’s light-rail public transit system, as an easy way to get around downtown and to other parts of the city. The Metropolitan Transit System website includes a Car Free San Diego Travel Guide and has information about routes and fares.

Register Today for Emergency Nursing 2023

 Registration for Emergency Nursing 2023 is still open! Level up with ENA and thousands of your emergency nursing peers in sunny San Diego on Sept. 21-23. Attendees can look forward to immersive experiences with hands-on learning opportunities, high-quality sessions, networking events and can’t-miss celebrations sure to propel their careers onward and upward.