Attractions

San Diego is home to many of Southern California's popular tourist attractions that provide fun, exhilaration, education and excitement for adults and children of all ages.

Old Towne San Diego

Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo
Since 1983 Old Town has been the appropriate setting for San Diego's largest Cinco de Mayo Celebration. The 1862 Battle of Puebla, in which Mexico won its ind......
The Flavors of Old Town
Old Town has over thirty full service restaurants from traditional Mexical cuisine, Italian, Sushi and American favorites.

Today in Old Town
This cultural and historic area is a virtual mecca for shopping and fine dining; Historic sites, museums and galleries...
The Whaley House
Thomas Whaley came to California during the Gold Rush. He left New York City, and arrived 204 days later in San Diego

Ghostly Legends
According to the Travel Channel's America's Most Haunted, the Whaley House is the number one most haunted house in the United
Old Town Tours
There are several types of tours to choose from. With a town as rich in culture as Old Town you could easily take more then one of these.

Events in the State Park
Calendar of events in the Old Town State Historic Park: Stagecoach Days, 4th of July, two page pdf listing of events for the whole year.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel and Restaurant
is now open following a three year renovation - Visit soon and plan to have lunch or dinner, you will relish the attention to every detail

Mormon Battalion
The soldiers of the Mormon Battalion were the first American Military sent to San Diego, after the war, to protect its borders. The Battalion

Historic Sites
California State Parks owns and operates a number of original and reconstructed buildings as part of Old Town State Historic Park. In
The Founding of California
The history of Old Town is a fascinating story that begins with it being the birthplace of California.

Dia de los Muertos
Old Town San Diego will hold its second annual event honoring this historic and cultural celebration. The Day of the Dead...
Old Town Art Festival
Enjoy museum quality art and sculpture as you stroll through Old Town with all of it's history and charm. The Old Town San Diego
2011 Tequila Trail
The Kick off event for the Spirits of Mexico. Tequila and mexican cuisine tastings at 10 of
Old Town's favorite restaurants. Don't miss...
Bazaar del Mundo
You'll enjoy entertaining mariachi and folkloric dance performances throughout the day as well as

The OTSD Guide provides information about Old Town San Diego attractions, restaurants, shopping, hotels, history and community events.

Within walking distance there are a great many places to shop and dine with unique products and a quaint atmosphere. Bazaar del Mundo, Fiesta de Reyes, the Old Town Market and many boutique shops offer a variety of uncommon gifts. Discover Old Town by visiting the many historic sites and learn about San Diego history.

Gas Lamp District

The beauty of San Diego, it's clear, was in the eye of the beholder. The mission of Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation is to tell the stories of the visionaries - artists, if you will, who saw the beauty in a barren land and worked to shape the masterpiece that has become San Diego, California.

The Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation (GQHF) is the "curator" of the Gaslamp Quarter - a 16 1/2 block district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Through its operation of the William Heath Davis House Museum and Park, the GQHF promotes the educational, historical and cultural development of the historic Gaslamp Quarter.

Wild Animal Park

This is the Zoo of the future. Animals roam and interact with one another in over 2000 acres. The animals are all truly happy. There is a lot to see and do. Since this is 35 miles out of the city you will need to rent a car or take a tour to get there. We highly recommend this attraction. The must see exhibits include the all new lion habitat. We witnessed 5 lions cuddling within inches from us. You should also take some time to feed giraffes. The featured attraction is a 1 hour narrated train ride, that takes you through the various habitats, you should do this no matter what. Our favorite was dining at the restaurant in the Heart of Africa habitat. You can eat outside and have an amazing view of the habitat.

World Famous San Diego Zoo

This is probably the most famous Zoo in the world, and placed San Diego on the map for many tourists. They have several exhibits that are not available at other zoos, such as being able to watch panda bears. You should also take some time to view the Mountain Gorilla habitat, as it's one of the best in any zoo. When we attended there was a baby gorilla entertaining the humans while annoying his siblings.

Other Attractions:

Whale Watching

San Diego has Grey whales that pass through as they migrate annually from the end of December through the end of March. Unfortunately we stayed in San Diego in mid-December and therefore missed this opportunity. In the past I have seen Belugas, and Humpbacks in the wild, and there is nothing like whale watching. If you have never done this, I highly recommend you take a day to go out in the ocean and enjoy yourself.

HELGREN'S COMPLETE SPORTFISHING CENTER and SPORTFISHING FLEET

Is located along a scenic stretch of the Southern California Coastline in beautiful Oceanside , California ( San Diego North County ) just south of Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. Helgren's Sportfishing trips offer a variety of daily scheduled, or charter activities for individuals or groups: Deep Sea Fishing Trips, exciting Sea Life Whale Watching Adventures, and relaxing Oceanside Harbor Coastal Excursions . Helgren's is also a provider of Burials at Sea and Ocean Memorials, serving families and funeral professionals throughout the area. Whatever your needs, Helgren's will provide you with the professional, courteous staff you should

Expect from a quality landing.

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

This is one of the most under recognized attractions. They are a research station with a nice public exhibit. This aquarium has various types of sharks such as nurse, leopard, horn, angel, and much more. They have an outside pool that enables you to touch tide-pool animals and to see them in their natural habitat. Once you're done with this you should enjoy the spectacular view, as it directly overlooks the ocean. What the aquarium specializes in is raising its own coral reefs, and these are spectacular. You'll see reefs from various parts of the world. They also do a lot of sea horse breeding, and it's amazing to see the various types of sea horses, some of them have adapted in unique and strange ways when it comes to camouflaging themselves. A must see for ocean and nature lovers.

Balboa Park

This is the heart of the city. Balboa has 13 museums and the World Famous San Diego Zoo. The San Diego Museum of Man and the San Diego Natural history museum look very impressive. We tried the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and are sorry to report that we were very disappointed. Many of the interactive exhibits were small, outdated, or simply non-functional. Unless you have kids you might consider skipping this museum. You should take some time to simply walk around Balboa Park to enjoy the fine architecture.

Sea Port Village

This is a nice little area that surrounds the harbor. Take some time to walk around and visit some of the stores. There are plenty of places to dine. Once you have enjoyed an hour or two strolling you can visit an old aircraft carrier turned museum. Visiting this museum should take a maximum of an hour and a half. You can also choose to do a 1 or 2 hour harbor tour. We took a tour offered by blowhorn, and were disappointed. This was advertised as being an educational narrated tour, but instead turned out to be narrated by someone who obviously had too much to drink and was making failed jokes. This turned out to be annoying, and made the entire 2 hour trip long and uninspiring. At $20 a person it's certainly not worth the money. The admission prices vary by institution. Memberships are also available for purchase from the museums and performing arts organizations, offering an opportunity for visitors to support these San Diego cultural treasures on an annual basis. Admittance to the Park grounds is free. The Botanical Building, outdoor gardens and some additional attractions are also offered free of charge.

Passport to Balboa Park , San Diego's best cultural value, offers visitors the chance to experience 13 museums in the Park, with savings of more than 50% and the convenience of a one-time purchase. The Passport is valid for seven consecutive days, and includes one admission to each of the 13 attractions. The Zoo/Passport Combo includes the Passport to Balboa Park plus one-day deluxe admission at the San Diego Zoo, all for one low price.

 

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