The United States' largest urban cultural park is also one of the world's most scenic, with a dazzling array of museums, entertainment venues, botanical gardens and architectural landmarks. The world-renowned San Diego Zoo is just one of the many treasures nestled within the verdant expanse of this 1,200-acre (490-hectare) park, set aside as a reserve for public use as early as 1835. The 1915-16 Panama-California Expo and the 1935–36 California Pacific International Expo left behind a wealth of architectural jewels strewn across the park, including the California Building fashioned after the typical design of a Spanish Colonial Church and now home to the San Diego Museum of Man. Fifteen museums, award-winning theaters, an antique carousel, a miniature railroad and the Spanish Village Arts Center come together at Balboa Park to celebrate the cultural diversity of the state and its inspiring natural landscape.
A sailor's delight! Relax while a licensed captain takes you on the sail of a lifetime with Sail San Diego. Or for the more adventuresome, you take the helm! Cruise through the blue waters of San Diego Bay and see the city from a whole new perspective. During January and February, you can also board their 'Marine Biologist's' boat to get up close and personal with migrating whales.
The centerpiece of the blissful Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo is a prolific destination for adults and children alike. Spread over 98.84 acres (40 hectares) of diverse landscapes, the zoo is home to an excess of 3,500 fauna that belongs to 650 species or subspecies. Established in the year 1916, it is one of the few non-profit wildlife conservation zones to nurture the highly-endangered Giant Panda. Laden with man-made habitats that emulate various topographies from around the globe, the park's most-visited exhibits includes the Monkey Trails, the Polar Bear Plunge, Elephant Odyssey, Tiger River, Koalafornia and the Panda Trek. Virtually every nook and corner of the zoo is made conveniently accessible by the beloved Skyfari, a gondola system that spans across nearly 75 percent of the property.
Near the man-made islands of Mission Bay, this beach runs along Mission Boulevard and boasts a fabulous boardwalk. One of the best places in San Diego to soak up the city's beach lifestyle, this is an unsurpassed area for people watching or building sandcastles. For a faster pace, rent a bike or in-line roller skates or better yet, take a ride on Belmont Park's world-famous wooden roller coaster. Whatever attraction you choose, be prepared for large crowds and limited parking at Mission Beach.
Known as the harbor for the first European voyageurs to ever step foot in California, Point Loma is an attraction of great historic importance. Often described as the place where California began, this seaside community of San Diego overlooks the San Diego River to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south and the Old Town to the east. Today, Point Loma is home to two important military bases, a university and a national cemetery. Proximity to the bay attracts surfers, sport fishers and yachts from all around the world.
Having played host to more than 130 million visitors since its inauguration in 1964, it is safe to say that not only is SeaWorld San Diego’s leading tourist attraction, but also one of the most well-appreciated marine-life park in the world. A real-life underwater realm, this 189-acre (76 hectares) facility is home to nearly 26 diverse ecosystems that host a succession of themed entertainment programs. Riddled with interesting features, the Bayside Skyride, the Journey to Atlantis, Dolphin Point, Turtle Beach, Shark encounter and Wild Arctic are some of SeaWorld's most prominent attractions. The establishment stands by its founding principles of education, entertainment, research, and conservation and hence helps preserve highly endangered marine fauna such as Pacific walruses, Emperor penguins, Beluga whales, and Guadalupe fur seals through their acclaimed guardianship programmes.
See the majestic California Gray Whale while whale watching on the San Diego coast. Along the way you'll see famous and historic sights of the San Diego Bay, such as the Navy Submarine Base, NOSC, and the Cabrillo National Monument and Point Loma Light House. Although people mainly see Gray whales, at times the tour has also spotted Orcas, Fin Whales, Finbacks, Blue Whales, Humpback Whale and Sperm Whales. In addition to whales, you'll witness many varieties of marine life including dolphins, sea lions, Mola Mola (sun fish) and marine birds such as Brown Pelicans, Sea Gulls and Blue Herons.
Explore the azure waters of San Diego bay with a memorable marine excursion with Marietta Yacht. A swanky whale watching sailboat, Marietta offers an airy ambiance for a private party or a cocktail evening. Its sprawling sun-splashed deck promises some spectacular views of the neighboring landscape. The spacious reception lounge indoors is an idyllic spot for school functions, harbor sightseeing tours and other intimate ceremonies.
The two parks are by the marina and are often used by tourists and fishermen alike. Outdoor concerts are often held here in summer. You can even fly a kite if you want to! The Embarcadero 'Marina' Park Pier or South Embarcadero Park Pier is located over the bay's mud bottom which makes it ideal for fishing. Its a great spot to fish because of the eel grass. Good angling can also be had close to the shoreline rocks. Restrooms are adjacent to the pier. Metered parking, a picnic area and basketball courts are near-by in the park. Handicapped parking and restrooms are also available.
Located in San Diego in California, Spruce Street Suspension Bridge was built in the year 1912. Set across the Spruce Canyon, this footbridge is listed as a San Diego Historical Landmark. Take a walk along this suspension bridge and enjoy the stunning views of the gorge and the picturesque valley. This area is home to several historical houses that can be explored.