San Diego At A Glance Referred to as many as being the only area in the United States with perfect weather, San Diego remains the oldest port on the West Coast. Complete with a well known Naval Base and a high level of tourism, this breathtaking city continues to dominate the economy. Aside from offering high mountains, deserts, and over 70 miles of the world's most renowned beaches, San Diego also offers other great attractions such as Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and Wild Animal Park. For art lovers, there are many different museums and even the Shakespearean play at the Old Globe Theater. Throw in the fact that San Diego has more championship golf courses than any other area in the world, and you have a city ready for anyone's imagination. As a tourist city or a place to call home, San Diego is one place you should at least visit. The night life here rivals that of Las Vegas, giving you something for everyone in the family. Young or old -- San Diego is the one city that you'll never find boring. Things to Experience in San Diego Visiting San Diego for the first time can be quite overwhelming, especially when you consider that there are so many things you can do. Deciding where to go and what to do can be quite time consuming, which is where we can help. Below, you'll find the 8 best spots in San Diego -- things you simply must experience. 1. Hitting the beach. No matter what season you visit, the beach is one area that personifies the entire San Diego lifestyle. Whether your watching the tide come in or soaking in the sun, the beach is where the action is. From Mission Beach to the Belmont Park rollercoaster -- make sure you hit the beaches here. 2. Trying a fish taco. Although it may sound a bit weird, the fish taco is one of the best foods in San Diego. Deep fried, battered fish encased in a corn tortilla is one of the foods that once you try it the first time -- you'll crave anytime you come back! 3. Going to Mexico. It's no secret that San Diego borders Mexico, with Tijuana being a metropolis in its own right. Visting Tijuana or Baja Mexico is perfectly safe day or night, no matter what you have heard. Keep in mind that they have their own laws, bring your passport, then enjoy everything that this foreign paradise will provide you with. 4. Take a ride on the trolley. San Diego doesn't have the best public transit system, yet they do have the well known trolley. The highways here can be quite intimidating, making the trolley the ideal way to travel. If you want to learn more about the city, simply buy an all day trolley pass -- you'll see more of San Diego this way than you ever thought possible. 5. Visiting the Pandas. While Sea World and Legoland has their share of animals, the San Deigo zoo is no stranger to Pandas. The zoo is a tourist attraction, with the baby Su Lin, which is quite a feast for the eyes. When you visit the San Diego Zoo, visit in the morning -- when the pandas are most active. 6. Balboa Park. After you check out the pandas, take a trip to the jewel of the city -- Balboa Park. The atmosphere is breathtaking here, no matter when you visit. If you visit on Tuesdays however; you'll find that most museums have free admission. After you visit a while, dine at the Prado Restauraunt and experience great food in a great setting. 7. Gaslamp and the nightlife. The Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego is the place to be for dancing, eating, or just people watching. You can experience the best of life in San Diego here, with food to fit every taste. 8. The Old Town. While historical San Diego isn't always apparent, a visit to the Old Town State Historic Park can bring back the past. There are snippets of Old San Diego found everywhere you look here. Although there are many fine restaurants here, make sure you visit the Old Town Mexican Cafe, as it serves the best Mexican food around San Diego. Considering how San Diego is one of the best cities in the United States, its really easy to tell how popular the city is for tourists. Among the many accomplishments behind San Diego, let's take a look at several facts behind this amazing city. Fact 1: Inside the city limits of San Diego, more than 1 million people live there. This makes the city the second largest in California and the sixth biggest in the entire United States! For the city to be this big, the residents still have that hometown experience -- which is quite amazing! Fact 2: No matter what type of year it is, it's never the wrong time to visit. The weather is near perfect year round, giving you the chance to experience everything to offer here. With an annual high of 70 degrees and a low of 55 degrees, you can pretty much go swimming year round. Fact 3: If you visit between December -- March, you can catch some glimpses of the impressive gray whale. All along the coast or on a cruise, you can catch this very amazing mammal. Fact 4: If you travel just 23 miles south, you'll be in the beautiful city of Tijuana. What was once thought of as dangerous, happens to be an amazing place of Mexican hospitality, with great restaurants, shopping, and a pleasing nightlife. Fact 5: San Diego offers an amazing array of flowers and roses. With the climate being dry, it's the perfect conditions for roses, wild daises, and other exotic flowers. With different flowers in the winter and summer months, avid flower lovers will fall in love with everything San Diego has to offer them. Fact 6: It's no secret that one of the biggest attractions to San Diego are the beaches. Make sure you read the signs though, as the beauty behind the beaches vary almost as much as the rules do. Fact 7: When it comes to nightlife, San Diego has something to please everyone. From country dancing to singing in a bar, the city has a very happening nightlife. No matter what you like to do at night, San Diego has it all -- and probably a bit more. Fact 8: The most attractive feature to San Diego is the zoo. The 100 acre zoo here houses almost 4000 animals all of which who have plenty of room to roam around. With pandas for everyone to see, the San Diego zoo is reason enough to give the city a visit. For more reasons than one, San Diego is the perfect city to visit. You can visit here with family or friends and know that you'll always have places to go and things to see. Winter or summer, San Diego is the one place you'll never find boring. The San Diego Zoo, located in San Diego California is one of the best zoo's in the United States. Serving as one of the main reasons to visit San Diego, the zoo houses nearly 4,000 animals. Also in the zoo, are the infamous pandas, one of the main reasons as to why the zoo is so popular. Among the many animals you'll find here are the pandas, giraffes, tigers, and basically any other animal that you can think of. The animals themselves have plenty of room to run and play, giving you all the space you need to view them in their active environment and best of all -- while they are at their best. Anytime you plan to visit San Diego, you should make sure you visit the zoo. Kids simply adore the animals here, while parents find them adorable. Even if you have never been to a zoo before, the San Diego Zoo can more than change your outlook. Once you enter the zoo, you can check out the animals, get some food, or just walk around. The park is enormous in size, having everything you can basically think of when it comes to animals. Once you visit, you may find yourself hating time when it comes time to leave! One of the biggest and most attractive features to San Diego is Sea World. Sea World is one of the most popular amusement parks and also happens to be one of the main reasons behind tourists. Anyone who visits San Diego has the intentions to visit Sea World -- or at least they should. Being famous for Shamu the killer whale, Sea World has the ability to entertain kids and adults for hours. There are many different animal shows here as well, along with other amusement park thrills. While Shamu is a must see, there are other animals here as well, that you simply have to see. Sea World also offers an exciting dolphin interaction program where you can get in the water and play with the dolphins. This is a great learning experience, especially for those who love dolphins. Dolphins are an integral part of Sea World, as there are literally hundreds of them here. Once you visit Sea World, you'll go below the surface and see life that you may have never before thought possible. You can feed the dolphins and other mammals, even count the teeth that a shark has! When you consider what Sea World has to offer, you simply can't compare it to any other amusement park. On the entertainment side of things, Sea World offers a haunted lighthouse and several other rides and shows for you to see. You can even get an all day pass here, which is great for anyone who is wanting to enjoy all that Sea World has to offer. New to Sea World is Believe. This is a new show that will show you Shamu like never before. It's a journey of wonder and magic that you simply must see to believe and appreciate. No matter what season of the year you visit, you'll be happy to know that Sea World is open year round. It does close on major holidays though, which isn't really a bad thing. As long as you don't visit on a holiday you can pretty much expect Sea World to be open. On a vacation, Sea World in San Diego will have something to please everyone. The kids will have plenty to do here, while you experience things that interest you as well. The neighboring areas to Sea World have plenty to offer you as well, from dining to many different sights to see. When the time comes for you to go on vacation you shouldn't pass up Sea World. It's in a great location with plenty of activities and things to see. Sea World can show you the creatures of the sea like never before -- which is reason enough to go. It's no secret to anyone that the coast of San Diego is the ideal place to watch the annual migration of the gray whale. Looked upon as one of nature's ultimate spectacles; the migration of gray whales is nothing short of breathtaking. The coastline of San Diego is one of their migratory points as they travel from the waters of the Arctic to the warmer regions of the Baja (California), where females also give birth. Every year, roughly 26,000 gray whales will make the long journey of 10,000+ miles from the Arctic to the Baja and back. If you look at this journey and compare it to any other mammal, you'll notice that the gray whale by far has the greatest amount of traveling at hand. If you've never experienced whale watching, you'll be happy to know that anyone will find it memorable -- young or old. Spotting a gray whale along the coastline is something that is truly a memorable moment, making you stop for a second and truly appreciate these awesome mammals. If you ask the Birch Aquarium in San Diego, you'll find that gray whales are seen most frequently from December through March. While they travel in dozens normally, it's nothing to see pods of them (2 -- 3) as they travel during migration. Throughout the coast of San Diego, you can easily spot these whales as they are somewhat slow swimmers. During their swimming, they will normally dive to a depth of 100 feet or more for a few minutes, then surface and blow. Then, they will do a few shallow dives, before making that deep dive again. When watching whales, figuring out this pattern makes the success of watching them all the more fun and exciting. While there are many common places to watch whales, nothing seems to compare to the excitement of watching them from aboard a cruise. There are many cruises that take place in San Diego, many of which offer unbeatable deals. From H&M Landing to the Birch Aquarium, cruises are some of the best ways to see the beauty and tranquility of the traveling gray whales. The beauty of the gray whales can also be seen from many points of the San Diego coast, including the Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma or the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Beach. Along these points, you can see the whales as they make their travels. Whether it's a cruise or just watching from the coast, whale watching in San Diego is something you truly have to see to appreciate. You can take your kids, family, or even your friends. Whale watching can definately be exciting, all you have to do is plan your day and enjoy everything that the beauty of the gray whale will provide you with. Although San Diego has many things for grown ups to enjoy, it hasa lot of activities for kids to enjoy as well. Custom made for families, San Diego has plenty of public parks, nice weather year round, several museums, and many things for children of all ages to amuse themselves with. For kids who love animals, there's the well known San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Animal Park. The zoo is located in Balboa Park, while the park is located a bit north of the city. If you have the time, you should take a full day for your kids to enjoy the park and the zoo. If the traditional zoo makes your kids uncomfortable, the park is a great alternative. Kids of all ages also enjoy the world famous Sea World, which is home to Shamu the killer whale and several other marine animals and exhibits. Sea World has been a great attraction for kids for many years, showing them the marine life like never before. When it comes to the winter months, whale watching is a very popular activity. You can watch them from the coastline or take a cruise. Watching the gray whale is very amusing to kids, openening their minds to new possibilities. Balboa Park is a great place to visit as well, as it has a lot more than the San Diego Zoo. There are places for kids to explore, with the children's museum, the Fleet Science Center, and the Natural History Museum. Another popular park for kids is Legoland California, which is located north of San Diego. There are a lot of things to see in this park, with a majority of the park being built from the popular Lego blocks. Overall, this is one of the best and most quiet options for younger children. Hitting the beach is great as well, as San Diego has many different beaches for kids of all ages. On the beaches, kids can build sandcastles, rent boogie boards, or just enjoy the swimming that San Diego so proudly displays. Older kids will enjoy the true recreation mode for San Diego -- roller skating and rollerblading. Along Mission Bay there are great spots, along with playgrounds and parks. You can fly kites here as well, which is a great break from the ordinary. Amusement Parks are a great attraction in San Diego, with Belmont Park being very popular. There are many rides here, amusing kids for hours on end. The Giant Dipper and the Plunge are among the best, for younger or older kids. If San Diego is on your family vacation list, rest assured that there will be plenty for your kids to do on your stay. They will feel right at home with the many things to do -- while you your mate are occupied with plenty of things for you to do as well. Ocean Beach San Diego Located in the Ocean Beach Community, Ocean Beach is actually just south of the entrance to the Mission Bay channel. Located at 1950 Abbott Street, the beach is a very popular location in the summer. During the winter months, couples like to walk the beach and just bask in the presence. The Ocean Beach is wide in structure, about a mile long. Along the north end of the beach, you'll find a volleyb all court. During the summer, the court is always teeming with people playing volleyball while the sand around it is teeming with people watching. At the south end of the beach you'll find the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier. The Pier is open to the public with plenty of walking and fishing available. Located on the pier is a bait and tackle shop along with a restaurant. Although you don't need a fishing license to fish off the dock, catch regulations are enforced. If you walk to the south end of the beach you'll find many restaurants, surfing shops, and many other commercial shops and establishments. Although you can travel to the north end of Ocean Beach, it's mostly bordered by residents of the ocean area. The unique part of Ocean Beach is the Dog Beach, located at the north end. This sandy area is where dogs can run and play without a leash -- anytime -- day or night. Although dog owners are responsible for their dogs and the clean up of them, Dog Beach is actually pretty nifty for anyone who owns dogs. For your protection along the beach, lifeguards are out each and every day, year round. They are generally on duty from 9 AM until dark although you can check with them for their specific hours of operation. They are there for your protection and very willing to answer any question that you may have. Keep in mind while on the beach, California beaches do experience powerful rip currents. It's because of these currents that beaches in California experience over 1,000 rescues by lifeguards every year. To be on the safe side while in San Diego at Ocean Beach, it's always a good idea to swim near a lifeguard. For those who like surfing, surfing is permitted at Ocean Beach in designated areas. Scuba isn't recommended however, because of the lack of undersea life, heavy rip currents, and the surf. For swimming or enjoying the California lifestyle, Ocean Beach is a great place to go. It is a very popular place in the summer, drawing hundreds of thousands of people. If you long for a taste of the California lifestyle, make sure you visit Ocean Beach in San Diego. Cabrillo National Monument Located in San Diego California, the Cabrillo National Monument provides a historic lighthouse with plenty of activities. There are great views here as well, with tidepools, flora and fauna, whales to watch, and even military history. The Monument offers hiking along designated trails, bicycling on paved roadways, and swimming within the park boundaries. Fishing is permitted here as well, with hook and line -- although only one fish may be taken. When walking the trails and exploring, make sure to be on the lookout for cliff areas, as they can be very unstable. A lot of visitors come to the National Monument to enjoy the breathtaking views of the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Because of this very reason, the park has become of the best harbor views anywhere in California -- or the world for that matter! The tidepools are great to see here as well, although you should always be careful. Even though they are great to admire, the surface may be very slippery. Anytime you are in the San Diego area, a trip to the Cabrillo National Monument is more than worth the time. You can walk the trails, have fun, or just enjoy the breathtaking views of San Diego that only the Cabrillo National Monument can provide you with. San Diego Wild Animal Park Aside from the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Wild Animal Park is the best place in San Diego to see animals. Over the spread of 1,800 acres, the animal park gives animals the room they need to roam and play. The animals here play just like they do in the wild, which almost makes you feel as if you are in their native of Africa and Asia. Throughout the 30 year history of the animal park, the Noah's Ark symbol of endangered species has grown to dozens upon dozens of animals. Now, every Arabian Oryx found in the wild is the descendant stock from the San Diego Wild Animal Park. In the park, there are many different paths you can take to visit the smaller animal exhibits. Although the smaller animals are a sight to see, the main thing to see is the hour long trip on the Bush Line Railway. Along the railway, you'll see animals that you'd never get the chance of seeing anywhere else, such as the white rhino and the rhinoceros. If you plan to visit the park in the summer, it's always a good idea to visit early. On a normal summer day, ten -- fifteen thousand people will visit the park. During the winter, the ratio is down as normally 2,000 people will visit. Although it's much colder in the winter, the park is less frequent with people looking to see the animals the park offers. You can find the animal park 32 miles north of Escondido in San Diego. The park is in a peaceful area, which makes things a lot better for the animals that live there. When visiting in the summer, it's a great idea to walk a while, then take the railway. After you have took the railway a bit, you can walk some more. It's also good to take plenty of sunscreen with you as well, as summer at the park can get very hot. Water is great as well, simply because the summer in California can be a bit of a scorcher. The San Diego Wild Animal Park is ran by the San Diego Zoological Society. The society also runs the San Diego Zoo, which is one of the most popular animal parks in the entire world. With the park and the zoo, the society does more than its part to bring the best of seeing the animals to you. The next time you are in San Diego or if you are visiting for the first time, the Wild Animal Park is a great place to visit. You can check out some truly endangered species and learn more about the types of animals that you'll see in this once in a lifetime opportunity. Pacific Beach San Diego Alive with the sea and plenty of activities for all that visit, Pacific Beach is a great place. With plenty of activities to offer visitors, Pacific Beach in San Diego has seen well over 26 million visitors! With numbers like these, you know you really can't go wrong by visiting. Aside from the wonders of the beach, the boutique shopping distric of Pacific Beach features hundreds and hundreds of choices to find treasure in the sand. With local names such as the L.A. Rack and Starbucks, this is truly a shoppers paradise. There are also new and retail clothing stores, salons, and many other stores to be found here in this shopping paradise. When it comes to the nightlife and exquisite dining, Pacific Beach has it all covered. The restaurant experience here is as diverse as the undersea life. You can find everything here from fusion Thai to gourmet pasta, seafood to hamburgers and virtually everything in between. When the sun starts to set and the tide changes, the Pacific Beach seems to come to life. There are dozens of nighttime high spots with dancing, live music, and some of the best beach bars in California. With most being found within walking distance of the hotels, Pacific Beach does it's part to simplify your experience. Arguably the best feature to Pacific Beach is the golden sands that California is so very well known for. The beach and the Ocean Front Boardwalk are both modest in their approach to offer bike and board rental stores, beach- front dining with great views, and plenty of green parks for you to experience. Being out on the sand, you can experience the thrill of horseshoes, the hot girls, dolphins playing in the water, and endless surf competitions in the summer. The summer is definately a little bit hotter when you are sitting in the ocean at Pacific Beach with your toes in the sand. With Mission Bay Park and the Historic Crystal Pier nearby, you'll always find something to do here. Mission Bay is a public park, offering the world famous Sea World, with plenty of amusement park r ides, undersea wildlife to see, and plenty of fine dining. On the other hand, the Historic Crystal Pier offers a taste of Southern California reinvented. A walk along the pier can bring back a taste of days gone by, coupled with the lifestyle that only California can bring. With a taste of the ocean and everthing in between, Pacific Beach makes for a great and unforgettable summer. Offering plenty of shops, fine dining, and California sand, this is one area of San Diego that should be visited -- time and time again!
Torrey Pines State Preserve Located at the Northwest end of San Diego, within the city limits, Torrey Pines offers you over 2000 wild and natural acres. Along with the trees of Torrey Pines, there's a visitor center, miles and miles of trails, miles of beaches, and a lagoon that's a vital area for seabirds. The State Preserve of Torrey Pines not only preserves the trees but the salt marshes and waterfowl refuges as well. The Torrey Pines State Beach here stretches nearly four miles, from Del Mar to the sandstone cliffs of Torrey Pines Mesa. Also found here is Blacks Beach, located at the base of the 300 foot cliffs. The cliffs here offer paragliding, remote control gliding, and even hang gliding. At the north end of Blacks Beach, clothing is optional. To be on the safe side, always read the signs and follow the rules of the beach. With plenty to offer, Torrey Pines State Preserve is a great addition to the already vast area of San Diego. You can visit here from San Diego, as it's a short drive away. Torrey Pines has great beaches and plenty of trails for you to see. As a family trip, Torrey Pines is a great place to spend the afternoon on your once in a lifetime vacation. Coronado Island In San Diego Everyone in California knows that the best beaches in San Diego are on Coronado Island. Being linked to downtown San Diego by the Island Bay Bridge, Coronado is home to the SEALs training center and the Naval Air Station Coronado. A military powerhouse, the island of Coronado always has something going on. One of the best features to Coronado is the world famous Hotel Del Coronado. This Victorian style seaside hotel was established in 1888, and was easily one of the biggest and best hotels of that era. The hotel was hosted in the past by the infamous Marilyn Monroe and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The Hotel Del Coronado has some of the best service in California, along with breathtaking views of the San Diego area. The restaurant here is one of the best around, and even if you aren't staying here, you can enjoy a great meal. Each and every year, thousands of people visit Coronado just to stay at this world class hotel -- yes, it's that good. The Ferry Landing is also a great addition to what Coronado Island has to offer. The Ferry Landing Marketplace offers you 30+ shops, restaurants, and art galleries. You can walk around and check out what the marketplace has to offer, or enjoy a visit to the Tidelands Park. There are great places to walk and bicycle here, with awesome views of skyline San Diego. At sunset, this is one of the best places to be. On Tuesdays, you can find a farmers market here as well. The Coronado Beach is located here as well, along the Travel Channel. North of the beach there's the Best Weekend Getaway Beach. Even in the summer, the Coronado Beach isn't crowded, giving your family plenty of room to enjoy the splendors of one of California's best beaches. From the Glorietta Bay Inn in Coronado, you can take a walking tour. Tours leave several times a week, showing you everything the area has to offer. This is a great way to learn more about the area. Or, if you like, you can let someone else do the driving and try a pedicab tour. For the romantic, the Gondola Cruise helps to take the pressure out of life. A romantic spin through the canals of Coronado Cays can be quite the break from the ordinary. You can reach Coronado Island from San Diego by taking the Coronado Bay Bridge exit off I-5. By water from San Diego, you can take the Coronado Ferry that runs hourly from 9 AM -- 10 PM. Walking from the Ferry Landing to Hotel Del Coronado is a little over a mile. Seaport Village San Diego The Seaport Village of San Diego combines the best of waterfront shopping, dining, and overall family entertainment. While the Marina Park is here as well, nearby is the small but popular San Diego public park. In Seaport Village you'll find 14 acres of pleasure with more than 75 shops and galleries, restaurants, and eateries on the sidewalk. Even though the area is primarily targeted towards visitors, locals get the best of the best with the restaurants and their out of town company. The San Diego Pier Cafe is also here, which is one of the best known restaurants in the area. Located on the bay, the cafe provides seafood with breathtaking views. The Seaport village provides a great place to view Coronado and the Coronado Bridge, as it overlooks the harbor. Just a short stroll from the village, you have the San Diego Convention Center, Petco Park, and the Gaslamp Quarter. Providing plenty to do and plenty of things to see nearby, Seaport Village has it all going on. A visit here is unlike any other, as the city of San Diego will always have something unique to offer you and your entire family. Little Italy San Diego Little Italy in San Diego is rapidly evolving as an inner city neighborhood that's perfect to live in, shop, dine, or visit. The Little Italy offers great views of the bay, art and cultural festivities, and great food. The nearby street sign for Little Italy, created in 1999, signals that the area is the heart and soul of San Diego's inner community. The sign is truly a signal of peace, and can be found on India Street between Date and Fir. Each and every year, there are nearly a dozen festivals held in Little Italy. There are tons of holiday celebrations, music, and art expo's. During this time, Little Italy comes alive like never before. The heart of Little Italy is India Street. This street has plenty of outdoor cafes, restaurants, galleries, and specialty shops. Nearby Amici Park offers a playground for the Washington Elementary School and a community park that's complete with a bocce ball court. Bigger than the Little Italy neighborhoods in New York and San Francisco, San Diego's Little Italy keeps getting bigger and better. The waterfront district of San Diego is bouncing back with Little Italy, proving to be a great place for tourist attraction. San Diego Harbor Bay Tour As vast as the San Diego harbor is, a simple walk around it doesn't do it justice! To partake in the beauty that is San Diego Harbor, you need to take a tour of the bay. San Diego Harbor Excursion can help you do that, as they are the most established tour company throughout the bay. As a guest, they will treat you with as one of them, helping to bring your cruise to life. There are a few parts to the tour, ensuring that you get the most out of your time on the cruise. Tour of the North Bay On your tour of the North Bay, you'll see the North Island Naval Air Station, Shelter Islands, and even the Naval Sub Base. If you look closely, you'll also be able see the Cabrillo National Monument as well. The tour of the North Bay is around 12 miles in length and lasts about an hour. This is a fine tour for anyone interested in the Navy as well. During your tour the guides will explain everything to you as you see it. This way, you'll always know what's going on. Tour of the South Bay Your tour of the South Bay consists of the Star of India, the Naval surface fleet, Coronado Bay Bridge, and the shipyards. This is a very busy and hectic area, which makes a tour excellent to see everything that this area has to offer. The tour of South Bay is roughly 12 miles in length and also lasts around an hour. The guides will explain things here to you as well, ensuring that you know exactly what you are seeing. Tour of the Bay Those of you who are looking to see it all should go for the deluxe tour of the entire bay. You'll see everything covered in the North and South Bay, along with everything else the bay has to offer. The tour is around 25 miles in length and lasts around 2 hours. To get started on your tour, all you need to do is contact the Harbor Excursion. The price for the tour is very reasonable, considering everything you'll be seeing. If you happen to live in San Diego, taking the tour is easier than ever. Those of you who are visiting or on vacation should give the tour a shot as well. This way you'll get to experience everything that San Diego Bay has to offer you without having to walk around. And best of all -- tour guides will explain the sights to you -- so you'll never miss a second. Mission Bay San Diego Mission Bay Park in San Diego is the largest facility of its kind, offering over 4,600 acres with free recreational activities for visitors. What was once a sprawling swamp in the 1960's, was dredged and transformed into what is now a great attraction to the San Diego area. Across the 27 miles of bayfront, water activities are all over the place here. For beach lovers, there are 17 miles of oceanfront property, including Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. There are separate areas as well, for swimming, fishing, boating, and even sailing. Mission Park also offers free events such as volleyball, jetski, and many different types of competitions and exhibitions. For the children, Mission Bay Park offers a playground area with plenty of other things to do as well. Mission Park has always been an attraction, one that keeps people coming back for more. For those living in the area, Mission Bay in San Diego provides plenty of things to do. The location is great, with something always going on. If you plan to visit San Diego in the near future -- make sure you drop by Mission Bay and see what makes this area one of the best in the world. Old Town San Diego The Old Town San Diego Park serves as a way to recreate life in both the early American and early Mexican era of 1821 -- 1872. Perfectly situated in San Diego, the park helps to recreate what was once San Diego. No matter how you look at it, a trip to California isn't complete without a visit to the Old Town. Around the five adobes of the main complex, there are shops, a museum, and several restaurants. Around the garden courtyard, the La Casa mansion helps to bring back a taste of the Old Town. Just a short hop from there, the museum is full of artifacts that help to reflect on the life that was once the Old Town. The Old Town also has a blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, and several other historic buildings, including the first newspaper office in San Diego. This is truly a place to visit, especially for those who are wanting to learn more about the history of San Diego. The city of San Diego was the first Spanish settlement in California. This occurred when a fort and mission were established in 1769. Back in 1769, California was just beginning to get established, therefore it wasn't near the state nor the size that it is today. When visiting the Old Town Park, you should make sure to visit the Robinson-Rose House Visitor Center. This center is reconstructed now and displays a model of Old Town and the way it looked back in 1872. The model that is on display was created by Joseph Toigo. The Old Town Park also offers exhibits of the way things used to be, programs, and even guided tours. You can get a personal tour of the park, with a guide who will show you around and even explain things to you. During your visit to the park, you can also enjoy a picnic at one of the picnic areas or get something to eat from one of many vendors. There are supplies here as well, including restrooms. Those living in San Diego can find the Old Town Park on San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street. Being close to the main city, visiting the Park is easier than you may think. If you live in the city but have never been to the park, you should stop by and take a look. On a vacation or a visit from town, the Old Town San Diego helps to bring back a taste of the past. There is a lot to see here and a lot of historical value. All you need to do is stop by the park and see what you think about the way things used to be. Maritime Museum San Diego Since 1948, the Maritime Museum located in San Diego has served the city in many big ways. The museum here is dedicated to collecting and preserving the rich maritime heritage and historic values of the city -- then presenting it to the public. The biggest attraction to the museum is the historic ships. Here, you'll find five great examples of maritime vessels -- Berkeley, Californian, Medea, Pilot, and the Star of India. All across the museum you can find many examples of Naval technology and ships of the past. The guides at the Maritime Museum are very friendly and helpful, willing to answer any question that you may have. Nearby to the museum, you have several attractions and things to see. With the museum being in the downtown area of San Diego, it's very close to some of the other things that San Diego is so very well known for. If you happen to be on vacation in San Diego, make sure you visit the Maritime Museum. Kids love to see the ships on display, as well as the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, which is a short walk from the Maritime Museum. Downtown San Diego Gaslamp Quarter The Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego contains some of the most extensive and dramatically designed historic buildings in the area. Constructed between 1873 and 1930, these Victorian style buildings are truly a sight to behold. The Victorian era buildings found in the Gaslamp Quarter are home to night clubs, restaurants, theaters, and shops. A simple stroll down 4th and 5th avenue will put you at the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. Also found in the Gaslamp Quarter is the Horton Plaza and Horton Plaza Park. The Plaza is the first place in the United States to feature a water fountain containing electric lights; a true tribute to the designer Alonzo Horton. The Gaslamp Quarter received its name from the gaslamps that were used in the area around the early 1900's. During those times, gaslamps were the main source of light for the area that is now the vision of Modern Day San Diego. Now days, there are more than 130 stores and shops filling the Gaslamp Quarter. With everything from Macy's to Mervyns, Gaslamp Quarter has plenty for you to see and do. In Horton Plaza, you can find a multi screen movie theater that is sure to please movie lovers. For a wonderful experience, the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego shouldn't be overlooked. There is a lot you can do here, from fine dining to excellent shops. For a family vacation, San Diego has a little bit of something for everyone. La Jolla San Diego A sparkling jewel of San Diego, the La Jolla area is a picture perfect post card with several beaches along more than seven miles of coast against an array of rolling hills known as Mount Soledad. Being a part of San Diego, La Jolla is only 15 minutes from the downtown district. Along with beautiful scenery, the area also offers many fine restaurants, art galleries, hotels and resorts, and many other attractions such as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The Birch Aquarium is also a part of La Jolla, giving you the chance to enter the exciting world of sharks, living coral reefs, and many other undersea exhibits. This aquarium showcases the mysteries of the ocean and what actually lives there. The shoreline of La Jolla consists of rocky headlands seperated by pristine coves and sandy beaches. All along the beach, you can find many different hotels and resorts, designed to make your stay a little bit better. The North Pacific Beach extends to La Jolla, traveling from the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach. If you travel north of this area, you'll find yourself on the beaches of La Jolla. By going to the south end of the La Jolla shoreline, you'll find Windandsea Beach. Windandsea Beach has long had a reputation for surfers paradise, although the steep beaches and rocky cliffs can be very dangerous if you aren't aware of them. Close to downtown La Jolla, there is an area called Casa, which used to be a children's pool. Now days, the area has been taken over by seals and sealions. Although children can't swim here anymore, it's a great pastime to lay on the beach and watch them play. Traveling along the La Jolla shoreline, you'll find the tide pools. These pools are great to look at, although you shouldn't touch them. You should visit during low tide and be sure to wear rubber soled shoes, as they can get quite slippery. The cove in La Jolla is very beautiful, although one of the smaller beaches in San Diego. On either side of the cove, there are sandstone cliffs. This helps to add an isolated feel to the cove. Throughout La Jolla, the Shores Beach is the widest and longest beach. If you look off to the distance on the beach, you can see the Scripps Pier. Also on the beach, there are novice scuba classes held throughout the summer months. With plenty to offer you and your family, the beaches of La Jolla are among the best in San Diego. There's plenty to do and see here, with dining and swimming. For a great visit to the beach, La Jolla seems to simplify the best of life in California. Belmont Park In San Diego Located in sunny San Diego, the Belmont Park is one of the best amusement parks in San Diego. With plenty for the entire family, this Park has something for everyone. With rides for the entire family and basically everything in between, Belmont Park makes for a very exciting adventure. The most distinctive attraction in the Park is the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster. The coaster was built in 1925 and has been restored over the years. This coaster is truly one of a kind, as it offers quick drops, steep hills, and insane speed! Belmont Park in San Diego also offers the endless wave, which is perfect for wave riders. The Flowrider offers hourly rides, even lessons for beginners. If waves aren't your sort of thing, you may find the raceway bumper cars or the Chaos enticing. Chaos resembles a ferris wheel, although it creates a random three dimensional rocking and rolling. Anytime you get on it, no two rides are every the same! For arcade enthusiasts, there is a family fun arcade and gamelords. This creates the ultimate gaming experience, keeping kids, teenagers, and even adults occupied for hours on end. Other rides at the park include the Vertical plunge, krazy kars, and the infamous "plunge". The plunge is a great attraction, and actually happens to be the largest indoor heated pool in San Diego. Perfect for swimming, diving, and just enjoying yourself, the plunge is a blast. To feel the sensation, the Crazy Submarine and the Trampoline can help you. To truly test your limits, the Rock Wall will offer a unique challenge. Anyone wanting to give it a try, can get to climbing the wall and see if they truly have what it takes to get to the top. Once you've had your fill on rides, there are plenty of other entertainment and events to keep you occupied. In Belmont Park, there is always something going on. With San Diego being a tourist attraction, you can bet the entertainment in Belmont Park is nothing short of spectacular. For the kids, Belmont Park offers some truly unbeatable deals on birthday parties or private parties. If you decide to have a party here, you can pretty much rent a chunk of the park for yourself. For kids, this can truly be an unforgettable memory. Closed Monday -- Thursday, Belmont Park is open Friday and Saturday 11 AM -- 10 PM and Sunday 11 AM -- 8 PM. Although the park is closed on major holidays, you can visit on the weekends and enjoy the best in entertainment. To round out your fun, make sure you do a little shopping and take in some of the food. Belmont Park in San Diego has great food and shopping, giving you more than a few reasons to visit the park and be amazed -- truly amazed. Mission Beach San Diego The area of Mission Beach is a stretch of the sandbar along the Pacific Ocean. Through Mission Beach, the main artery is Mission Boulevard. This Boulevard is a popular place to go in the summer or winter, as there are main shops and restaurants. Near Mission Beach, you'll find attractions such as Sea World and Belmont Park. Both amusement parks are well known, and very popular. Within the two you'll find rides such as the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, Chaos, Vertical Plunge, the Liberty Carousel, and The Trampoline. Mission Beach also gives you plenty of opportunities to participate in volleyball, tanning, surfing, skateboarding, and many other activities. There is also a local skating club, Skate This, which performs for free on the weekends with sick tricks and dancing. Even though nudity isn't allowed on the beach, alcohol still is. Thong bikinis aren't legal on the beach, although lifeguards and security personal normally don't make a big deal about it. With plenty of shops and restaurants, Mission Beach in San Diego is a great place to go. The beach is very warm and offers a sandy environment. If you like the beach with other perks to offer, Mission Beach is one place you should check out. La Jolla Caves Along with the beaches La Jolla gives the San Diego area, it also has some very nice caves. The caves of La Jolla are great for tours, exploring, or anyone wanting to see the best of La Jolla. Carved into the sandstone cliffs of La Jolla, there are seven caves. Most of the time, you can visit any seven of these caves by sea kayak. Although all but one are accessible by foot, you should be very carefully when minus tides sweep the area. The Sunny Jim Cave is one of the most popular and well known caves of La Jolla. You can enter through the Cave Store by paying a small fee. There are 145 steep steps to get through the cave, which is great for exploring and seeing the area. The cave store can tell you many things about the caves, including tours. If you plan to visit the La Jolla area of San Diego, the caves can be a great place to explore. Those of you who have kids coming along for the trip, should remember to be very careful -- as the caves provide a lot of beauty -- they can also provide a lot of danger as well. San Diego Convention Center On the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego, the Convention Center provides the best of facilities for trade shows, conventions, and even corporate meetings or all sizes. For breaks and outdoor events, there are landscaped terraces available that overlook the bay. The civic theatre in the Convention Center, offers 2,975 seats for meetings and formal assemblies. This helps to make the Convention Center the biggest and best equipped of all performing arts theaters in San Diego. With its great views of the water and city, the Convention Center is also convenient to hotels, shopping stores, and plenty of entertainment. Within walking distance you also have the Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Plaza, Petco Park, and Seaport Village. Held here, are events such as the International Auto Show, Boat Show, and many others. The San Diego Convention Center is located at 202 C. Street, in downtown San Diego. Undergoing e xpansion in 2001, the center doubled it's space. It now offers 500,000 square foot of exhibit space, 90,000 square feet of multi-function space, 72 meeting rooms, and now 90,000 square foot of glass enclosed pavilion. Those visiting the San Diego area or those who reside here should check with the Convention Center to see if there is anything going on. The Convention Center is a great place to visit -- especially if there is something interesting going on.
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