2010-03-07T08_16_38

Four Fantastic Things to Do in San Diego

San Diego offers many possible things to do. Here are four venues to consider for a day out and about with the family. Originally published on Associated Content.

San Diego is a wonderful place to visit and an extraordinary place to live. The Southern California weather is invariably sunny, the beaches are sandy, and the Pacific Ocean inviting, though bracingly cold. Finding things to do to occupy your time in San Diego is a delight but the diversity of choices can make the decision making difficult. Here are some guidelines on the most popular sites and activities which will hopefully make your own decision making a little easier.

San Diego Zoo. San Diego has a fine zoo. Next to Balboa Park close to down town San Diego you will find the zoo. Incidentally, Balboa Park has a large number of museums which you might be interested in visiting. Unless you are desperate, or the weather is being particularly difficult (which is rare in San Diego), give the museums a miss. They are the types of museum that you would expect from a city with very little history and a wonderful climate. Small, under stocked, and generally ignored by all but the most eager culture seekers. Your time will be much better spent at the zoo or the other attractions listed here. The zoo contains a panda or two, (depending on the state of East-West relations), lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, meerkats, and indeed all of the animals that you would expect. The atmosphere at the zoo is easy going and pleasant. A great time to visit is early in the morning, around feeding time. Get yourself and your party a bus-top tour, you will see each of the animals before the stress of the day's visitors, breakfasting with their fellow inmates. It is a fascinating and memorable experience.

SeaWorld. Considerably more commercial than the zoo, but entertaining nevertheless. You will find some interesting killer whale shows with banter, splashing, and enough crowd interaction to renew your faith in human kind or make you nervous, depending on your disposition. There are sharks, penguins, and a scary, white water ride or two. Every evening in the summer there is a firework show for those with the stamina to last through a day fueled by the rampant commercialism and the fast food.

The Wild Animal Park. The San Diego Wild Animal Park is quite a way inland and North of San Diego. It is definitely worth a visit though. The inland location tends to mean high temperatures in the summer and a degree of safari realism which may be lost on some visitors. On entry to the Wild Animal Park you will find yourself equipped with a map (as for the zoo and Sea World) and you can begin to plan your day or wandering and viewing. There are interesting lectures and interaction sessions, not quite as glitzy as those at Sea World but informative nonetheless. In addition to the animals, that tend to be somewhat further in the sweltering distance than at the zoo, your abiding memory of the Wild Animal Park will be of lengthy distances covered on foot with little water. Certainly you will burn calories and potentially you will learn about species endangered in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a great day out!

Legoland. Next on the list of treats is Legoland. Here the commercialism is somehow tinged with a degree of Nordic socio-capitalism. The cities of the world, film stars, pyramids and all manner of objects are depicted in small plastic bricks. In addition to the model fun, there are animations, and rides that can divert you and the family for happy hours. The queuing tends to be civilized and un-stressful though. So if it is a choice between Disneyland, further along route 5, and Legoland, choose Legoland every time.

So there you have a top four suggestions Zoo, SeaWorld, The Wild Animal Park, and Legoland, in the order of preference, in my opinion. Each is worth at least a day and you will not regret the investment. Avoid the museums, choose from this list, and you won't go far wrong!

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