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San Diego Conference Sites: ICA Excursions

Posted By Michael J. West, Monday, May 1, 2017

The past four issues of the ICA Newsletter have highlighted some of the sites (and sights!) in San Diego, places that you might want to explore during your stay at the 67th Annual ICA Conference this month. But you don’t have to do your exploring on on your own! ICA is offering seven excursions for conference participants and their guests. You will have a chance to see—and actively engage in—what San Diego has to offer, joined by your fellow ICA attendees as well as authoritative guides.  
 
You can register for any of them here. 

The World Famous San Diego Zoo. (Thursday, 25 May) 
Located in the city’s Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is one of the largest, most famous and acclaimed zoos in the world. It occupies 99 acres (40 hectares) of the park and contains over 3,700 animals of over 650 species, which were brought together out of exotic animal exhibitions that formed parts of the 1915 Panama-California Exhibition. (You can find more information about the zoo, and specific exhibits therein, in the March issue of the ICA Newsletter.)  
 
The ICA excursion to the San Diego Zoo is a 5-hour trip. It includes transportation from and to the Hilton San Diego Bayfront; admission to the zoo, including all exhibits and shows—among them a colony of African penguins, the newest inhabitants; and unlimited use of the Guided Tour bus, as well as of the hop-on/hop-off Kangaroo Bus and the Skyfari Aerial Tram (which goes nonstop from one end of the zoo to the other, offering a bird’s-eye-view of the property in the process). US$98. 
 
BORDER TOUR: Field Trip to Friendship Park. (Saturday, 27 May) 
Friendship Park is not what we usually mean when we say “park”—a green space with recreational facilities, a pleasant oasis of nature and leisure within an urban enclave. It’s a much more fraught environment, whose defining feature is a steel fence. Friendship Park marks the border between San Diego, USA and Tijuana, Mexico. It is a place where people from both countries go to meet and communicate with their friends and family across the border.  
 
However, access to that cross-border communication has become increasingly difficult over the years since its 1971 opening; in addition to the heavily reinforced border fence (which limits both visibility and personal contact), the U.S. Border patrol only opens the park to the public for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. It is during the Saturday window that ICA is offering this tour of the borderland, a unique take on this year’s conference theme of “Interventions: Communication Research and Practice.” US$60. 
 
Guided Coronado Island Walking Tour. (Monday, 29 May) 
Coronado Island is not an “island” at all. It’s across an inlet on the San Diego Bay from downtown—technically a separate municipality, but nearly adjacent to the Hilton San Diego Bayfront (across the famous Coronado Bridge). Coronado is a resort community, most famously home to the Hotel del Coronado. It’s an enormous Victorian beach resort, often the host of U.S. presidents and other celebrity clientele. (It was a prominent setting for the iconic 1959 American film Some Like It Hot.)  
 
But Coronado is not only its resorts. It’s also remarkable for its home architecture—Victorian mansions as well as the American Craftsman style (a simplified reaction to Victorian). One of these was the house in which L. Frank Baum wrote the classic children’s book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In addition, Coronado is the home of Coronado Beach, the popular Bayfront beach that was named the best in the United States in 2012. (You can find more information about Coronado Beach in the April issue of the ICA Newsletter.) The walking tour will include all this and more. $US61.  
 
Salk Institute Guided Tour. (Friday, 26 May) 
Founded by Jonas Salk in 1960 (5 years after he’d introduced his polio vaccine), the Salk Institute is a biological and biomedical research institution that enjoys a reputation as the fines of its kind in the world. There are 850 scientists working in the fields of neuroscience, plant biology, and genetic/molecular biology across the Institute’s 27-acre (22 hectare) facilities. 
 
The facilities themselves, as an architectural specimen, are of as much interest to visitors as is the cutting-edge research happening inside. Salk commissioned renowned American architect Louis Kahn to design a La Jolla campus beautiful enough to attract the best and most prestigious scientists from around the world. (In Salk’s words, Kahn should “create a facility worthy of a visit by Pablo Picasso”; Picasso’s onetime companion and muse, Françoise Gilot, would eventually marry Salk.) The buildings are constructed from concrete made of volcanic ash, and are remarkable for their symmetry, their simple straight lines and angles. It is a favorite of architecture lovers from around the globe. US$53. 
 
 
Balboa Park Museums. (Saturday, 27 May) 
Balboa Park is the 1200-acre (490 hectare) public park that anchors downtown San Diego. As noted above, it is home to the San Diego Zoo; it also houses seasonal flowers, trees, recreational areas and green spaces. In addition, fifteen museums reside within the park, including the San Diego Air and Space Museum; the Museum of Man; the Automotive Museum; and the Timken Museum of Art.  
 
ICA’s excursion to Balboa Park includes transportation to the park (about 4 miles from the Hilton San Diego Bayfront); a guided tour of the park itself; and admission to any four of the 15 museums there—participant’s choice. (You can find more information about Balboa Park and its museums in the March issue of the ICA Newsletter.) US$91. 
 
 
Kayaking in La Jolla. (Thursday, 25 May) 
La Jolla is a beachside community in San Diego, a favorite spot for vacation homes owned by affluent easterners. Naturally, it boasts a formidable number of beaches (as detailed in the April issue of the ICA Newsletter), including La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Cove, and Children’s Pool, all regarded as world-class beach destinations. 
 
ICA offers you the opportunity to see all of these, and the entire La Jolla coast—in a kayak. On the two-hour guided tour, you will paddle past the cliffs and into the sea caves that line the shore catching glimpses of the exotic marine wildlife that lives there---including the famous sea lions that make Children’s Pool Beach their home. US$80. 
  
San Diego City Tour with Lunch in Old Town. (Friday, 26 May) 
The guided bus tour of San Diego includes much of what’s been discussed above (Balboa Park, Coronado, La Jolla). But it also includes famous and picturesque neighborhoods like the Gaslamp Quarter and Old Town San Diego (where there will be a group lunch). In addition, there will be a one-hour harbor cruise in San Diego Bay. US $109. 
 
There is something here for almost everyone—but registration closes on 8 May. Act fast! 

Tags:  May 2017 

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