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12 Places You Should Know In Downtown San Diego
posted June 26, 2005


1. The Convention Center -- If San Diego the weekend of CCI becomes Nerd Vegas, this is the strip and Fremont Ave rolled into one gigantic building. You'll notice it's approachable at each end, from First and Fifth avenues.

2. The Marriott -- Long a meeting-place for pro on pro breakfasts due to its proximity to the convention center, and also a frequent host for late-night get-togethers because of its dimly-lit lounges, and a few times even the host of a run-over event or two just because it's there, in 2006 the Marriott returns as a con hotel.

3. The Hyatt -- The hotel past the Marriott that looks like two giant electric razors hitting the sky. The hotel bars inside and upstairs and lounge area outside are prominent comics industry late-night gatherings.

4. Seaport Village -- A lot of people go down here for lunch and find it less crowded and more easygoing than the Gaslamp district.

5. Rail stop for Little Italy -- This is on here just to show you how not very far you have to go to get to one of San Diego's other fine neighborhoods. There's no reason to get locked into only doing stuff a half-mile from the con itself. In fact, if you know you'll have a large dinner group some night of the show, consider seeking reservations outside of the immediate vicinity.

6. Horton Plaza -- A multi-floor shopping area and kind of general food court. The area's most convenient camera shop, Ritz Camera, is on the second floor near the entry on the west side of the mall as you're looking at this map, or to your left if you take First from the Westgate or Westin to the convention center passing by Ralph's.

7. Ralph's Supermarket -- The only major supermarket in the area. A lot of people pick up lunches or breakfasts here. It's also open late night, so a lot of drunks will get stuff here to take back to their rooms.

8. Gaslamp Quarter -- San Diego's nighttime entertainment district, including restaurants and clubs galore. It stretches all the way up to Broadway from Harborview on all of 5th and chunks of 4th and 6th (maybe not officially 6th).

9. Petco Park -- The new baseball stadium.

10. The Picadilly -- Artcomics America's favorite southern California dive bar.

11. Post Offices -- There's a little one across the way from this 11a in the circle and I think a fuller service one at the 11b. I use 11a every year to mail stuff home ahead of me.

12. Fed Ex/Kinko's -- You never know when you're going to need one. This is sort of far, but not horribly so if you need to ship something Fed Ex or get some copies done.