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.
This club is a prime spot to hear new and cutting edge music in San Diego. Bands such as Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Alanis Morissette have been among the previous guests. Local bands play here as well, primarily featuring a punk-rock flavor. In addition to music, the club offers pool tables, an enclosed smoking patio, vintage pinball and video games. A stage and dance floor provides plenty of room to dance. Meanwhile, the full bar serves a long list of beverages.
Located right along the Navy Pier in downtown San Diego, the USS Midway Museum lends deep insights into naval aviation and one of the important chapters of American history. The museum is home to the iconic USS Midway, which has been one of the country's oldest aircraft carriers. A famed naval museum in the United States, it also shelters an arsenal of other significant carriers, most of which were crafted in Southern California. The museum is complete with simulators, myriad deck exhibits and the stirring Battle of Midway theater. The museum has also been a host to an array of private, media and sporting events.
Fun for adults and kids, this museum-on-water is the focal point of San Diego's historic Embarcadero Promenade. Comprised of several painstakingly restored historic ships, it is a tribute to the sea-faring age. One of the ships showcased at Maritime Museum of San Diego is the Star of India (1863), a stunning vision that graces the coastline as the world's oldest actively-sailed, square-rigged ship.
One of the most important ballparks of Major League Baseball (MLB), Petco Park is a baseball fan's haven and the base of the San Diego Padres. Its unique architectural layout is an ode to the region's geography and its natural allure. The framework of the stadium resonates of the surrounding peaks while the steel edifice and enclosing structures are designed like canyons. Landscaped with indigenous plants and featuring a lush area picnic hill, this magnificent stadium boasts to have the best seats for not only sports lovers but also concert goers.
This bar is housed in the oldest building in the Gaslamp Quarter. Come and mingle with beautiful people and groove to either live music or a DJ with tunes from the 1970s through the 1990s. Hardwood floors, soaring ceilings and a 40-foot long mahogany bar give a touch of elegance and class. There are three levels, all offering a large number of beers and delicious cocktails.
The San Diego Opera continues its tradition of offering world-class productions. As a theatrical experience, watching plays here is top notch and of particular note is the state-of-the-art Opera House itself. Equipped with a Digitext screen above the stage, the audience can follow along with an English translation. Although it can be argued that opera is as much a sensual exercise as it is intellectual. Whether you understand the words or not, the music, the vocals, and the visuals serving to create a production far greater than the mere sum of its parts.
If you wish to enjoy power-packed live music then the Music Box is your place to be. This fantastic club has a very busy calender with performers like Robert DeLong, Julieta Venegas, David Cook and Ginuwine entertaining local music fans. The venue is simply impressive with a massive LED screen that gives you a great view of the stage and the artwork that surrounds this place puts you in the right mood for the evening that is yet to follow. There is a bar on site that has all the necessary arsenal to keep you in high spirits throughout the evening. Music Box also has VIP rooms along with an intimate lounge for after-show drinks.
Looking for a night out with friends? Hop in at the Voodoo Stage, located in the House of Blues San Diego. This upscale bar with stylish interiors hosts the greatest events in town. With varied themed nights and private parties held here, you are assured a night full of fun and excitement.
This venue was built in 1929 and was the largest movie theater in California until 1985, when it was renovated for $6 million and became home to the San Diego Symphony. The symphony has been in service for the over 97 years. Many renowned conductors have led the symphony. Call ahead for exact timings.
Mad House Comedy Club is an iconic venue in San Diego that has been the forerunner in California's comedy scene since the last many years. Entry to this comedy club is strictly restricted to people above 18 years of age. Apart from enjoying hilarious shows of seasoned comedians from across the country, you can treat yourself to a hearty meal and unwind sipping your favorite drink while at Mad House comedy Club. Many popular TV shows and stand up specials of well-known comedians have been filmed here. Open mics are hosted here between Sunday to Wednesday every week at 09:30p.
Vine Idea are wine excursions that visit various wineries throughout San Diego county, with the focus of introducing people to California's newest side of wine country. Each excursion includes a visit to at least two wineries in Escondido Valley, Ramona Valley, and Julian; and they usually include five to six one ounce pours of their most exclusive or award winning wines. For those who would like to book an all day excursion, they must do so months in advance to allow time for booking of transportation and at vineyards. Vine Idea is also able to accommodate private excursion or groups of up to 35, but they recommend the smaller the group the more intimate the experience.