Explore San Diego @ Twitchcon 2019
Submitted by: MissUSCbabe (Twitch Streamer & TwitchCon Artist Alley Booth Vendor)
It's that time of year and everyone's making plans for Twitchcon 2019. This year it will be in my beautiful hometown of San Diego, California! I'm excited to be able to return to my home turf for this event. If you want to get the most out of your upcoming trip or if you're wondering if making the trek to sunny Southern California is worth it, let me give you some ideas on the best local spots to check out while you're here. Twitchcon 2019 may be the main attraction, but I highly suggest planning to get out and see San Diego too!
Nestled in the heart of downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is the pride and joy of many native San Diegans. It's home to the world famous San Diego Zoo, which is truly one of the best zoos in existence and is a must see attraction. There's also many different high-caliber museums, a 100+ year old carousel and the peaceful Japanese Friendship Garden. The botanical gardens are small, but free and well worth going just to get a picture of the reflection pool and the botanical building in the background. You could spend an entire weekend exploring, so if you're not here on an extended vacation, pick whatever interests you the most and do that first. But trust me, whatever you choose, you won't be disappointed!
Seaport Village is a sleepy little shopping plaza right on the San Diego Bay. It's a few blocks from the convention center and has a lot of great eateries, shops and views galore. The waterside park is usually filled with kites of all sizes on the weekends and it's a great place to discover local artists and street vendors. Be sure to check this place out because sadly it's being torn down next year.
San Diego is well known for being a proud military town and if you've ever wondered what it's like to go on a giant aircraft carrier, be sure to check out the USS Midway Museum. It is a massive and impressive ship and it's extremely humbling to witness how shipmen lived, worked and served on this floating city. There's plenty of aircrafts to tour on board including a cockpit of an F14-Tomcat with "Maverick" and "Goose" labeled on the side to live out your own personal Top
Gun fantasy! There's an interactive audio tour, a flight simulator and a VR attraction as well. And the views of the bay are absolutely top notch!
Silver Strand State Beach, Coronado
Have you ever seen one of those "Top 10 Beaches" lists and really wanted to go but then realized they are all in some far off place you'll probably never be able to afford to go? I'm looking at you Fiji. Well, here's your shot because TwitchCon is a mere ferry ride or 20 minute Uber away from one of the top ranked beaches in the US and the world! Silver Strand is located on nearby Coronado Island. It is beautiful, clean and pristine. Late September is generally the best time for warm weather and warm ocean flows, so have a beach day!
Hillcrest is located downtown, just down the road from the more famous Gaslamp Quarter. It has great night life for anyone looking for LGBTQ friendly clubs, bars and restaurants. If you're a martini lover, Martinis Above Fourth has over 100 martinis on its menu along with some pretty great food and live entertainment!
The San Diego food scene has it all - it's fresh, it's fun and it's oh so delicious! So where should you plan to eat during your Twitchcon trip? There are seriously too many good places to mention, but here's what you should definitely check out while you're here:
Mexican: You can't go wrong with pretty much any taco shop or Mexican restaurant in San Diego. Seriously, it doesn't matter where you go, your tastebuds will thank you. This is the one type of food that you should look for a bit of a hole-in-the-wall type of taco shop - as long as it displays a blue "A" card in the front, you can expect excellent taste and good value while also adhering to all the local food handling laws. Be weary of anything that doesn't display that card or is less than an "A". On the menu, you must try the California Burrito, a San Diego specialty or a Surf and Turf burrito because it's the best of both worlds. And don't forget the salsa - muy caliente!
Seafood: San Diego gets some of the best seafood in the nation, and in some cases the world! Did you know that San Diego restaurants get the third best pick of the world's sushi? Japan and Hawaii get first dibs, then the west coast including San Diego. Seafood is pricey here, but it's so so so worth it! If you have never tried sushi, lobster or crab, this is definitely the place you want to have your first taste. But be warned, you may become hooked!
Farm-To-Table: Fresh, organic, tastes-like-home food is huge in San Diego. You will find many gastropubs and medium-fast food that serve it just like mom makes, only they use local ingredients and offer a hip atmosphere. San Diego is a health conscious city and you'll find a lot of the restaurants and eateries here reflect that - it is possible to eat healthy here while eating out if you want to! Be warned, the food is amazing, but some places offer smaller portions for a bigger price. Nobody said eating fresh and healthy was cheap, though I wish it was!
Breweries: It's no secret that the San Diego micro-brew scene has exploded over the last decade. And we've got a brewery or tasting room on practically every street corner to prove it! If you're into beer, you're in for a treat. Many tap menus feature more local beers than national or international varieties so be sure to try something brewed in sunny San Diego. If you're interested in visiting a tasting room, you can check out Stone Brewing or Ballast Point. There's also a fantastic downtown walking tour you could go on! The possibilities are endless but don't forget to be responsible and don't drink and drive.
Kitschy: If you're looking for funky, kitschy or iconic places, I've got a couple of suggestions for you.
Corvette Diner : A fun 50's diner playing golden oldies with waitresses dressed to the 9's. Be careful, they sometimes like to throw straws and bazooka gum at every table and you may be invited to get up and do the Chicken Dance with the entire restaurant! Get there early, it's usually packed on the weekends.
Kansas City BBQ: If you're a Top Gun fan be sure to check out this place. It's where that infamous "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" scene was filmed. I'll be honest, the food is only mediocre but it's still worth a visit if you're a movie buff.
TwitchCon gets bigger and better every year. Attending is a blast but making time for adventures outside the convention will truly make TwitchCon special for you. San Diegans are known for being a big city with a small town attitude - we're friendly, chill and like to make new friends and have fun. Don't be afraid to ask a local for directions or for recommendations because we tend to be a helpful lot. We love welcoming everyone to America's Finest City! Just be sure to bring your wallet...San Diego is expensive!
This will be my forth time attending TwitchCon and my third time supporting Wild4Games at his booth in Artist Alley. We will have unique art, wonderful smelling candles and streamers happy to make a new connection with you! If you plan on attending, make sure to stop on by and say hello - we would love to meet you!