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Situated between downtown San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, South Bay is a region that includes the diverse communities of San Ysidro, Chula Vista, Otay Mesa, National City and Imperial Beach. The area is also home to the vast San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex. As a meetings destination, many planners may not have it on their radar but the accommodations, attractions and venues in South Bay will gladly welcome groups.
Approximately nine miles from Chula Vista, San Diego International is the closest airport to South Bay. Travelers can also fly into McClellan-Palomar International in Carlsbad (36 miles) or General Abelardo L. Rodriguez International in Tijuana, Mexico (nine miles). Rental cars or arranged transportation are musts for getting from place to place.
Hotel venues in Back Bay include Chula Vista's Comfort Inn & Suites and the Ramada Inn San Diego South, which are a short distance to the Chula Vista Marina, PETCO Park and Qualcomm Stadium. In Imperial Beach, out-of-towners can check into the Travelodge San Diego South Bay and the Super 8 San Diego/Imperial Beach. National City offers several options, such as the 180-room Clarion Hotel, the 65-room Howard Johnson Express Inn and the Rodeway Inn. San Ysidro also has affordable accommodations, such as the America's Best Value Inn and the Best Western Americana, as does Otay Mesa with the Comfort Suites and the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites.
The San Diego Convention Center is the main meeting destination with 2.6 million gross square feet, 615,701 square feet of exhibit space and 204,114 square feet of meeting space. Chula Vista also features several facilities that can accommodate groups. Surrounded by a 316-acre wildlife refuge, the Chula Vista Nature Center features outdoor and indoor areas for private events. National City has the Victorian-inspired Granger Music Hall, featuring banquet facilities and the distinction of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There is also the family restaurant/sports bar Buster's Beach House, offering a banquet room that accommodates 175 for cocktail receptions and 100 for a seated dinner.
Group dining venues include the Waterfront Grill at Pier 32 in National City, which specializes in seafood and American dishes, and features four spaces that can accommodate up to 120 people. For a taste of the Philippines, Villa Manila on East 8th Street will welcome reservations for up to 120 guests. In Chula Vista, Frida Restaurant in Otay Town Center puts a modern spin on Mexican, while Villa Capri serves Italian in its private dining room that fits 20 and patio, ideal for parties of up to 80 guests.
Downtime offers the chance for exploration. The outdoors is a big part of South Bay's appeal with the Chula Vista Nature Center, Otay Mountain Wilderness and Tijuana River Estuary Center highlighting the flora and fauna of the area. Sun, sand and surf are the draws at Imperial Beach, while National City is not too far from major San Diego attractions like the Gaslamp Quarter and Seaport Village.
Find more on Cvent.com about San Diego event venues and San Diego meeting planning.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
General Abelardo L. Rodriguez International Airport (TIJ)
Approximate taxi fare: $30.58 USD
McClellan-Palomar Airport (CLD)
Approximate taxi fare: $184.56 USD
San Diego International Airport (SAN)
Approximate taxi fare: $85.85 USD
Photo Credit: San Diego Tourism Authority
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