Mission Bay, the community on the northwest edge of San Diego, is joined to a sandbar to Mission Beach, which is celebrating its centennial in 2014. Meetings that want to mix business and pleasure are drawn to the area's prime resorts in easy access to Mission Bay event venues like world-famous SeaWorld San Diego and Belmont Park, which features a vintage roller coaster, amusement arcades and has a major remodel under way.
Mission Bay is a 20-minute drive from San Diego International Airport, which is served by 23 airlines that provide nearly 600 daily flights, including 50 nonstop to cities in the U.S. and abroad. Seven airport shuttle services ferry people to the Mission Bay area, along with several taxi cab companies.
Several large hotels and resorts with extensive convention facilities and stunning waterfront settings stand at the ready to welcome meeting groups. The two largest fotel venues in Mission Bay are the 462-room Paradise Point Resort & Spa, which has 38,000 square feet of meeting space, and the 430-room Hyatt Regency Mission Bay & Marina, with 30,000 square feet of space. Other sizable options include the 357-room Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa, with 26,900 square feet of space; the 314-room Bahia Resort Hotel, with 24,000 square feet; the 312-room Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa, with 15,000 square feet; and The Dana on Mission Bay, which offers 271 guest rooms and 6,000 square feet of meeting space.
Possibilities abound with the variety of special off site event venues in Mission Bay. There are romantic settings, such as a moonlight cruise around the bay on the Bahia Belle, a Mississippi-style riverboat, and a beachside barbecue right on the ocean, along with hot spots like the Mission Bay Yacht Club and the upscale restaurant JRDN at the ultra-hip Tower 23 Hotel on the beach.
Mission Bay is home to some of San Diego's most popular attractions, which welcome private special events. The multitude of options at SeaWorld includes pavilions and Dine with Shamu the whale and the new Explorer's Reef area. Belmont Park has two beachfront venues designed for corporate events that have revamped as part of its recently overhaul; Wave House, a beachside outdoor event center with a simulated surfing platform, and a rooftop venue with expansive ocean views at the recently reopened Cannonball, an elegant seafood and sushi restaurant.
Mission Beach and connecting Pacific Beach offer fine-dining restaurants with sweeping Pack Ocean views, intimate eateries for casual beachside fare, and a variety of ethnic restaurants. For casual delicious fare try California Kebab & Beer Garden, featuring local craft beers; The Mission, known for its great coffee and vibe; Konos Cafe, a favorite breakfast spot among locals; and Rubicon Deli, a hip place with traditional deli favorites like pastrami, Swiss and sauerkraut, and prime rib French dip sandwiches. For beach style fine dining, check out The Patio on Lamont Street, a cozy restaurant with a hip attitude and food made with fresh local ingredients. At Belmont Park, along with revamped Wave House Bar & Grill and Cannonball restaurants, there is the brand new Draft, which serves an extensive selection of craft brews and an inventive menu of shared plates with its view of the Pacific. A new option in the area for planners is Karl Straus Craft Beer Tasting room, where a group can stage a fun delicious event catered by local Phil's BBQ.
The community is also at the heart of a city-owned 4,600-acre man-made aquatic playground that is the largest park of its kind in the world. A quintessential Southern California playground, Mission Bay Park is ideal for water sports on both its gentle bay waters and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. The network of waterways, islets, and inlets is rimmed by a 27-mile shoreline of sandy beaches. Mission Bay event venues embrace the coastal lifestyle, as do the groups convening here. There are ideal conditions most days of the year for everything from surfing, boogie boarding, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and sailing, to riding a waverunner, jet skiing, jet boating, and water-powered jetpacking. On land, the sport craze continues, with biking, skateboarding, skating, jogging and walking on the paths surrounding the bay and along the boardwalk on the ocean in Mission Beach.