Sample the Experience Of Sunny San Diego

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Pocket
WhatsApp
U.S.S. Midway CV-41(Photo by Kevin Harber)
U.S.S. Midway CV-41(Photo by Kevin Harber)

I love San Diego. The weather is perfect and so it is possible to enjoy many outdoor activities, year round. I’ve been to San Diego many times, with family and with just my husband, and there’s always something new to experience.

Here is a smattering of things you can do in San Diego and the environs.

It’s fun to get around by trolley to visit many of the attractions. The hop-on, hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour operates during the day and stops at 11 sites: Old Town State Park, Cruise Ship Terminal/U.S.S. Midway, Seaport Village, Marriott Marina/Convention Center, Horton Plaza, Gaslamp Quarter, Hilton Bayfront, Coronado Ferry Landing, Coronado/Mc P’s Irish Pub and Grill, Balboa Park (El Prado)/San Diego Zoo and Little Italy. Your ticket allows you to board the trolley at any time between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (5 p.m. in summer). Trolleys depart every 30 minutes from each location.

San Diego’s baby panda Xiao Liwu in a tree (Photo by Nathan Rupert)
San Diego’s baby panda Xiao Liwu in a tree (Photo by Nathan Rupert)

If it’s wildlife you’re looking for, San Diego provides ample opportunity. The world-famous San Diego Zoo is located in town and is one of the stops on the trolley. A big attraction at the zoo these days is the Chinese giant panda cub Xiao Liwu who was born in July 2012. Xiao Liwu is on display from 9 a.m. to noon daily. Only 1,600 giant pandas are believed to exist in the wild and the zoo is home to four of these endangered species.

Thirty miles northeast of the city, San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an 1,800-acre preserve where African and Asian animals roam in environments similar to their native habitats. A tour aboard an open-air tram, Journey Into Africa, travels the perimeter of the park’s African Lion Camp, Heart of Africa and Nairobi Village.

Back in town at SeaWorld you can observe the 1-year old killer whale, Makani, and take photos of him at the underwater viewing area. There’s a show featuring bottlenose dolphins, pilot whales and human divers and aerialists.

Don’t want a wall between you and your wildlife? Gray whales make their annual journey from the Bering Sea to Baja and you can take a trip in a kayak to see them out in the open water. The company Hike Bike Kayak provides the two-person kayak and a naturalist. It’s hard to predict how close these gentle giants will come—perhaps they’ll be half a mile or just a few feet away. You’ll get a wet suit, floating devices and helmet; paddling is for 10 to 15 minutes at a stretch with stopping time for the naturalist to talk about the marine life you are seeing.

Another interesting guided tour is a ride in a 1920s biplane, the kind of plane that Amelia Earhart flew. The five-tour options range from a 20-minute “Barnstormer Flight” to the 60-minute La Jolla Coaster with views of Del Mar, La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Mission Bay, SeaWorld, San Diego Bay, Coronado and Point Loma.

Old Town State Historic Park marks the site of the first Spanish settlement on the West Coast and brings to life San Diego as it was between 1821 and 1872. The six-block park features 12 acres of historical sites with shops, restaurants, museums, a theater and several carefully preserved or restored historic adobe and wooden buildings, including a schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, San Diego’s first newspaper office, a stable and carriages and more. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the park hosts “Living History” activities, including staff donning period attire to lead historic tours, games and demonstrations such as blacksmithing.

For the more disreputable history of San Diego you can explore the Gaslamp Quarter in the heart of downtown. This 16-block section was founded in 1867 when San Diego was the Wild West and Wyatt Earp ran three gambling halls in this notorious “red light” district. Brothels, Bites & Booze is a guided walk through the Gaslamp Quarter that reveals the layers of San Diego’s history from the notorious Stingaree period (between the boom of the 1880s and the cleanup in 1916). It was as recent as 1986 when the last brothel closed in San Diego. In between the history lesson, the guide brings you to restaurants to sample some of what the city
has to offer, such as Mediterranean, Japanese and Mexican cuisine.

Hotel del Coronado(Photo by S.D. Dirk)
Hotel del Coronado(Photo by S.D. Dirk)

Don’t forget the beaches. Coronado Beach is recognized annually as being one of the best beaches in the country, a vast expanse of white sand where you can spend the day building sandcastles and enjoying recreational activities such as paddleball, kite flying and volleyball.

And there’s more: Balboa Park, called the “Smithsonian of the West” for its large concentration of cultural institutions; Mission Bay with separate, designated areas for sailing, power boating, fishing, swimming and water skiing; the San Diego Padres stadium; Legoland; the Maritime Museum of San Diego with several historic sailing vessels, including The Star of India, built in 1863 and the world’s oldest merchant sailing vessel still in operation today; Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve with eight miles of trails and guided nature walks amongst these rare pine trees.

Visit the San Diego Tourism Authority’s website at www.sandiego.org for more ideas and information.

 

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Pocket
WhatsApp

Never miss any important news. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Leave a Reply

Never miss any important news. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Recent News

Editor's Pick

x