Courtesy of San Diego Air & Space Museum
Sometimes one of the following happens:
- You hate Comic-Con.
- Your kids or friends hate Comic-Con.
- You have Thursday, Friday and Sunday badges, but not Saturday.
- Your Comic-Con trip is actually a half-Con, half-family vacation.
In which case, it helps to know what else is around, especially on the nerdy side. Balboa Park is your ideal destination here.
San Diego Air & Space Museum is always interesting, but is made especially so at the moment by its Ripley's Believe It or Not exhibit. You can also stand in a wind tunnel and flight simulator, see military aircraft and generally celebrate the world above us.
San Diego Natural History Museum lets you see dinosaur exhibits, real pirate treasure, shark movies and a collection of more than 200 skulls.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center has all of the following:
ILLUSION: Nothing Is As It Seems - "a mind-bending new exhibition that playfully combines techniques used by magicians and explored by neuroscientists to uncover the many ways our minds are fooled by sensory deception."
Perception: See Beyond the Illusion "combines magic and science to create effects that no one thought could ever exist. Jason Latimer, the World Champion of Magic, combines jaw-dropping illusions with physics, psychology, chemistry, mathematics and technology."
NASA’s Destination Station multi-media exhibit "immerses visitors in the story of the International Space Station (ISS). Visitors will learn about the 24/7/365 space-based research that brings results down to Earth to play a role in their lives."
Hidden Universe will take you "on an extraordinary journey deep into space. Through IMAX cinematography, the deepest reaches of our universe are brought to life with unprecedented clarity through stunning, high-resolution images captured by the world’s most powerful telescopes—seen on-screen for the first time."
And if you really want to detox from all the Comic-Con loudness and crowds, there's always the beach. In addition to taking the ferry to Coronado and enjoying that beach, you can also go to Mission Beach and Ocean Beach. My recommendation is to do Mission if you're looking for activities, nightlife/bars or you're with kids; Ocean if you want someplace a little quieter to hang out with friends.