In San Diego, there are two world famous
zoos, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park.
San Diego Zoo features the famous Giant Panda Bears and
Polar Bear Plunge (pictured above). These exhibits are awesome. Wild
Animal Park features vast expanses of land where animals
roam free in surroundings that mimic their native
Nearby Balboa Park features several
free museums, rose gardens and museums charging a small
fee. The incredible list of museums includes Centro
Cultural de la Raza, House of Pacific Relations,
Japanese Friendship Garden, Marie Hitchcock Puppet
Theatre, Marston House, Mingei International Museum,
Museum of Photographic Arts, Museum of San Diego
History, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego
Aerospace Museum, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego
Automotive Museum, San Diego Hall of Champions, San
Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Model Railroad Museum,
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Man, San
Diego Natural History Museum, Spanish Village Art
Center, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Starlight Theatre at
Starlight Bowl, Timken Museum of Art, The Old Globe,
United Nations Building, Veterans Museum and Memorial
Center and WorldBeat Center. Try El Prado restaurant for fresh sandwiches
and meals you won't forget. It overlooks a lovely
Not far from this collection of museums
is another set of museums, an historic location
designated as a California State Park, Old Town San
Diego. It includes a carriage museum, an actual
village of historic buildings atop a hill overlooking
the San Diego bay, shops, restaurants and lots of
entertainment with mariachis, senioritas dancing to
Spanish music and bands and shows mostly on weekends.
For the roots of San Diego, you have to
drive to the top of Point Loma. It is there that
Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo stood and scouted the
land that makes up this Mecca of tourism. Point Loma
includes a museum with a Fresnel lens, Cabrillo
Monument and two lighthouses, one atop the hill that
serves as a museum now and one at the bottom of the
hill, overlooking the San Diego bay.
San Diego loves its plants, flora and
fauna. It is a garden paradise that includes a love of
animals and sea creatures, cared for at SeaWorld.
Besides animal shows and thrill rides, this park
includes educational displays and information about the
care of world resources and the fish and animals that
inhabit them. Birch Aquarium in La Jolla is a
smaller educational facility with tanks filled with fish
and displays to look at and touch.
Legoland is a fun place built
around the Lego blocks construction toys. Located in
Carlsbad, where there are also seasonal flower fields
you can tour, the theme park includes kiddie rides and
plenty of changing stations for care of your youngsters
Quail Botanical Gardens in
Encinitas is known to maintain one of the best
collections of bamboo plants in North America.
Nearby Del Mar offers seasonal crowd pleasers such as Del Mar Race Track, overlooking the Pacific Ocean
where "the surf meets the turf."
Surfing is growing in popularity and
requires only a board and the ocean. Great San
Diego surfing spots include Encinitas, Blackie's,
Ocean Beach, Wind'n'sea Beach and Tourmaline
Beach to name a few.
Do you love piers? San Diego County piers
include Imperial Beach, Pacific Beach's Crystal Pier,
Ocean Beach, La Jolla and Oceanside.
Boats galore include dozens of cruise
ships, ferries, tour boats, fishing boats, military
monster vessels for touring, Star of India and
the Maritime Museum.
Do you love to shop? There are many
shopping malls that include Horton Plaza, Seaport
Village, Fashion Valley and even Tijuana, Mexico
for pottery, clothes and jewelry, to name a few items.
La Jolla Village enjoys a reputation for its
upscale shops that sell clothing, jewelry, lots of art,
shoes and more.
San Diego enjoys a fair share of world
class golf courses that include Torrey Pines Public
Course (the only public golf course on the PGA
tour), Coronado Public Course, La Costa Resort and dozens more. Near the Torrey Pines Golf Course is
Glider Port for hang gliding.
There are 21 historic missions stretching
the California coast from San Diego to Sonoma. San Diego
is home to the first mission built by Spanish monks
beginning in the late 1700's. Be sure to visit
beautifully-restored Mission San Diego and Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside. Both offer
If you want to see all the attractions
San Diego offers, you are going to need a month of heavy
duty touring. But for a day or week, you can get
started and enjoy the public transportation system that
will speed you along to your destinations. San Diego
Airport has national and international flights to
get you there fast. Taxis to the hotels and airports are
affordable and there are also car rentals at the
airport. Santa Fe Depot is nearby and includes Amtrak trains and a local
system between Oceanside and San Diego. Red Trolley
trains go up and down the length of the City of San
Diego to the Mexico border and commercial Orange
Trolley travels between six main attractions from
Coronado's famous Hotel del Coronado Resort to Old Town. Just a few blocks walking distance from
the train station is the Coronado Ferry to the
island of Coronado. Next to the ferry boat in the bay
are cruise and tour boats, as well. There's a fantastic
public bus system and a free Balboa Park tram. In
San Diego Zoo, you can ride a sky tram or take
the safari bus tour of the zoo, as you can also do at Wild Animal Park.
While visiting, you
can also drive to Orange County and Los Angeles to
enjoy more attractions such as Disneyland,
Disney California Adventure, Knotts Berry Farm, Universal Studios Hollywood, Hollywood Walk of Fame,
Magic Mountain, Studio Tours and Television Audience