Downtown San Diego (pictured) as seen from the marina at Point Loma, a seaside community within the city limits
It's a great time to bring an incentive group to San Diego -- and not just for its beaches (though Fodor's Travel did name it one of the world's "10 Best Beach Getaways for 2016"). From new attractions to new hotels, San Diego and its surrounding regions make an ideal incentive offering this summer and fall.
The city's expansive arts and cultural area, located in the historic buildings at the former Naval Training Center, has recently been dubbed Arts District Liberty Station, and is home to almost 120 museums, galleries, artist studios, and fine restaurants. Incentive planners will also find numerous one-of-a-kind event spaces over its 28 acres. That's not the only large-scale attraction for groups. This past March saw the opening of Liberty Public Market, transforming a 1920s-era warehouse into a massive marketplace for local produce, meats, pasta, and fresh seafood.
In early May, InterContinental Hotel Group announced plans to build the 400-room InterContinental San Diego, which will have a rooftop bar, outdoor pool, and 23,000 square feet of event space near the Gaslamp Quarter. It is scheduled to open in 2018. And plans are under way to bring a Ritz-Carlton hotel to downtown -- marking the neighborhood's first 5-star property.
Groups can also take advantage of San Diego's hugely popular microbrew culture thanks to Kimpton's Palomar San Diego and Hotel Solamar, which now offer the "venture out" add-on, which includes a "Brothels, Bites, and Booze" historic Prohibition tour, along with food and beer tastings at some of the city's top microbreweries and restaurants.
Palomar San Diego is also giving groups full access to its luxe 5,500-square-foot Nature's Spa by Jurlique, with discounts on select treatments, while Hotel Solamar is offering private cooking classes with the property's chef or craft cocktail competitions led by the hotel's mixologist.
For a less conventional gathering, groups can consider The Abbey on Fifth Avenue. Located in a 10,000-square-foot Classic Revival structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this venue offers an ideal option for out-of-the-ordinary events.