Warm greetings from sunny San Diego! Whether NAFSA's 2014 Annual Conference & Expo is your inaugural trip to San Diego or you are a return visitor, I am confident that you will quickly discover why it is no secret that San Diego has been given the distinction of "America’s Finest City."
Over the next few months, I look forward to sharing with you some of the must-sees of this great city, which just may convince you to come for the conference and stay for a vacation!
Conference Location: Downtown San Diego
Welcome to a vibrant urban paradise! San Diego is a city of distinct neighborhoods, each with its own personality and flavor. At the heart of San Diego is its downtown, a modern and historic mix of buildings in the Gaslamp Quarter. During the day, downtown is a hub for business and industry mixed with cultural attractions. Adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center, on the west edge of downtown, is the Embarcadero district. The embarcadero boardwalk hugs the east side of San Diego Bay, and is home to the San Diego cruise terminal, the Navy Pier, and Seaport Village, great places on the water to grab lunch and shop for some San Diego souvenirs. When the sun goes down, downtown San Diego comes alive with trendy night clubs, pubs, sizzling music venues, and sky-high rooftop restaurants—all promising an adventurous and memorable night on the town.
San Diego: The Beginning
Upon landing in San Diego Bay in 1542, Juan Cabrillo claimed the entire area for Spain, forming the basis for the settlement of Alta California 200 years later. The Presidio and Mission of San Diego, founded in 1769, formed the first European settlement in what is now California. In 1821, San Diego became part of newly independent Mexico, and in 1850, it became part of the United States following the Mexican-American War and the admission of California to the union.
The San Diego International Airport (SAN), also known as Lindbergh Field, is located on the San Diego Bay, a close three miles (4.8 km) from the heart of downtown San Diego and the San Diego Convention Center, site of NAFSA 2014. San Diego maintains non-stop flights throughout the United States, as well as to Mexico, Canada, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
San Diego is famous for 12 months of perfect sunny southern California weather. In May and June, the average daily high is a balmy 71 degrees Fahrenheit (22 Celsius), and evening lows hover around 60 degree Fahrenheit (16 Celsius). Pack your sunscreen for sunny days and a light jacket for evenings, as the nights can get cool by the water and coastline.
The San Diego Trolley is a reliable, safe, and convenient way to maneuver your way around San Diego. You can purchase a day pass for the trolley for only $5! The Convention Center is on the "green line," and a short ride to a number of fantastic San Diego attractions. Often called San Diego's "moving landmark," the trolley is also a fun way to get around. The trolley serves historic Little Italy, Old Town, Fashion Valley, Petco Park, and many other popular San Diego destinations.
- Registration for NAFSA's 2014 Annual Conference & Expo in San Diego, California, opens March 3, 2014, at 12:00 p.m. (EST). In order to apply the early-bird discount, NAFSA must receive your registration form by April 18, 2014. Registrations received after that date will be processed at the regular rate.
- All hotel reservations must be made directly with the NAFSA 2014 Housing Bureau. All conference hotels offer nonsmoking rooms and suites are available. Visit www.nafsa.org/ac14housing to book your hotel online beginning March 3, 2014.
- Have you "LIKED" NAFSA on Facebook? Get Connected! Go to https://www.facebook.com/nafsa.
Bradley Moon is the Local Arrangements Committee (LAT) communications chair for NAFSA’s 2014 Annual Conference & Expo. Bradley was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, and spent a number of years living, studying, and working abroad. He earned his master’s degree from Hawai`i Pacific University in Honolulu and began his higher education career in in 2005 after touring with Cirque du Soleil throughout Europe and North America. Moon is currently the assistant director of international recruitment and communication at San Diego State University, having worked for Hawai`i Pacific University and the University of Hawai`i - Leeward Community College.