La Jolla gets noticed by meeting planners for its upscale ambiance—from high-end dining to cultural activities to its enticing beaches. This coastal town is also home to renowned institutions like the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Stephen Birch Aquarium & Museum and the University of California, San Diego. A drive down the main drag of Prospect Street will take passengers past high-end shopping and fine-dining options. Hotel venues in La Jolla are also top order.
The city is about a 15-minute drive from downtown San Diego and the San Diego International Airport (a major hub for Southwest Airlines). Buses do serve La Jolla, but it's not on the red trolley line nor is it a Coaster train stop. The taxi fare to downtown and the airport is about $50.
The Executive Learning Center at Estancia La Jolla features ergonomically advanced meeting space and can accommodate groups of up to 550 people; it is proximal to the University of California, San Diego, and the Salk Institute. The downtown San Diego Convention Center is regularly voted among the best by national industry publications. The facility is noted for being among the greenest, and can host small meetings and large conventions.
Among La Jolla's notable hotel properties is the Lodge at Torrey Pines. This Craftsman-modeled hotel, with 170 rooms and 13,000 square feet of meeting space, rests next to the 18th hole of the Torrey Pines Golf Course (site of the 2008 U.S. Open, where Tiger Woods bested Rocco Mediate in a sudden-death playoff). Other hotel venues in La Jolla include the iconic La Valencia, the posh Grand Colonia Hotel and the artsy Hotel Parisi boutique. La Valencia Hotel (The Pink Lady) sits on the coast and has been offering Old-World charm since 1926; Hotel Parisi is a "Zen elegant" retreat that has 29 suites, including one that has hosted pop legend Madonna.
Fine-dining venues in La Jolla include the Marine Room. Opened in 1941, it quickly became famous, as pounding surf created dramatic displays against the restaurant's windows. Roppongi has had a solid reputation for a wide range of seafood dishes and recently added a sushi menu. And George's at the Cove has a national reputation and also added the California Modern room, which offers fresh, local, seasonal ingredients.
For attendees with a bankroll, La Jolla is a fave for shopping. There's apparel (Ann Taylor, Banana Republic), jewelry (Charriol, Prospect Fine Jewelers), art galleries, antique shops and specialty stores. Those who get tired of flashing their credit cards (and who doesn't?) can walk down to the shore and check out the colony of sea lions that calls The Children's Pool its home.
Visit the following pages to learn more about San Diego event planning and San Diego area event venues.