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San Diego, California, is a sparkling jewel by the sea. Well known for its temperate climate, San Diego is warmed by the sun during the winter and cooled by offshore breezes in the summer. The area abounds in exciting year-round activities for the locals and visitors alike. Following are ten great places to enjoy in the San Diego area.
Things To Do In San Diego
Enjoy your trip to San Diego. There are so many things to do that it may be difficult for you to make a choice about what your day’s activities are going to be. Go ahead, just pick, and have fun.
The San Diego Wild Animal Park
Do you love looking at wildlife, but dislike looking at cages? The San Diego Wild Animal Park is the place for you. There are six areas where animals roam that you can visit via the park’s train or by a special photo caravan. You will see animals including Ugandan giraffes, Indian rhinos, and sable antelopes. The park boasts spectacular gardens at the Kupanda Falls Botanical Center. The Condor Ridge features North American animals, including rare California condors and bighorn sheep.
Who can forget Legos? Visit the park and enjoy over fifty rides, several of which have no minimum height requirements for the younger set. There is even a particular area for the little two-year-old tykes. The park offers shows for kids-of-all ages such as ventriloquists and a working, water-spraying real-live fire engine. Legoland has special events lined up, so check to see what is happening there before you visit.
How do you feel about sharks? At Sea World, you can walk through a 280,000-gallon tank full of sharks as they swim lazily around you. For a switch of gears, there is a snowy wonderland full of six types of cold-weather penguins. Check out the manatees to see if you think that they can be mistaken for mermaids. There are also shows, rides, and Shamu the Killer Whale all for your enjoyment.
Del Mar Race Track and Del Mar Fairgrounds
The Del Mar Race Track, Where the Surf Meets the Turf, is a world-famous horse racing track with a season running from late July to early August. The Del Mar Fairgrounds, next door to the track, hosts the annual San Diego County Fair, open from early June to early July. The Fairgrounds offers other events all year, including the thrice annual Del Mar Antique Show, the Lexus Golf Fest, and the International Gem and Jewelry Show.
Hotel Del Coronado
The Hotel Del, a National Historic Monument, was built in 1888 and stands today as a symbol of elegance and grace. Tucked away on Coronado Island, the Hotel Del offers guests accommodations in a Victorian building, towers, cabanas, or cottages by the sand. The Hotel Del is well known for its delicious Sunday and holiday brunches. While you are there, you might spot the ghost of Kate Morgan, a young woman who mysteriously disappeared from the Hotel in 1892.
Old Town San Diego and State Historical Park take visitors back to San Diego of the 1800s. There are a number of historic buildings to explore, from San Diego’s first newspaper office to a blacksmith shop. Wander through the area’s shops and stop in a fine restaurant for a bite to eat.
A former red-light district, the Gaslamp Quarter has been renovated and restored to its Victorian Era glory. Full of galleries, restaurants, and nightclubs, the Quarter can entertain you all day and all night long. The Gaslamp Association also hosts an annual Mardi Gras Celebration, an Easter Bonnet Parade and Hat Contest, and a Jazz Festival, along with other special events.
You can spend days at Balboa Park, America’s Largest Urban Park. With roughly 1,200 acres, Balboa Park has museums, horticulture, and playgrounds. There are free concerts every Sunday at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, using the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ, and free puppet shows Wednesday through Sunday at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater.
Museums include the San Diego Aerospace Museum, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Art. The Old Globe, with three acclaimed theatres, offers fifteen productions annually. Go online and look up Balboa Park on your favourite search engine to get detailed information on the many activities that you and your family can enjoy at the Park.
San Diego Zoo
Listing the San Diego Zoo separately is a bit of a cheat because the Zoo is located in Balboa Park, but the Zoo deserves a special mention all of its own. The San Diego Zoo is currently home to three giant panda bears, one of only three locations in the United States where you can see these rare animals. You can also see polar bears, sun bears, macaques, and bonobos, also called pygmy chimps, at the zoo.
There are even special sleepovers where you and your family can spend the night at the zoo and experience several adventures. The Zoo offers combination packages with the Wild Park, Sea World, and other attractions, so check online to save money while you plan your trip.
Beaches, San Diego Area
It is probably unnecessary to mention that San Diego has terrific beaches, but they do. Torrey Pines State Beach is a three-mile stretch below the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course. Be careful, Black’s Beach on the southern end of State Beach is a well known nudist beach. Farther south, kayakers and snorkelers enjoy La Jolla Cove after a morning of La Jolla shopping. Take a break from the water at Belmont Park in Mission Beach and take a ride on the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster.