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Travel guide to flights & holidays in San Diego.


San Diego Holidays & Travel Guide

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San Diego Holidays Overview

San Diego, one of those few cities that is known to be free of clustered roadways and smog, is the second most populated city of California. The city boasts of a 77 mile coastline and is home to some of the most exotic beaches in the US. It is also famous as the place where the Europeans first settled in the year 1769. Easy going and affluent, San Diego’s economy skyrocketed with the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad and it also became a major military centre during the World War II.

It is quite possible to find skateboarders and wet suited surfers walking side by side with Chanel or Gucci clad ladies while in San Diego. What makes San Diego so special is that despite having to live in the shadow of Los Angeles all its life, it has still managed to emerge as one of the major tourist centres in the country and has an established identity, history and culture of its own.

One of the best experiences in San Diego can be found at the Mission Beach. It is known to offer a classical Californian beach experience and offers its visitors with beach volleyball, a boardwalk and an amusement park. Once tourists are tired of the sun and the sand, they can always check out one of the many bars or restaurants that surround the beach.

The city is not just about its beaches and beach activities. It is also known to be home to a range of activities and attractions that range from a historic Old Town to an ever growing number of cultural attractions in the Gaslamp Quarter and the Balboa Park. Those looking for excitement and entertainment need not look further than world famous icons such as Legoland, SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo. Other things to do in San Diego include hand gliding, surfing and diving.

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San Diego holidays - Top Places To Go

1. Balboa Park
1549 El Prado
What is it? Balboa Park contains one of the biggest groups of museums in the USA, many of them housed in magnificent Spanish-Mexican buildings, in addition to more than 85 Performing Arts and International Culture Organisations including theatres like the internationally acclaimed Old Globe Theatre, and several art galleries. The park also houses the world-renowned San Diego Zoo with more than 800 species in spacious re-created natural habitats. The oldest and most famous of the 15 museums is the Reuben H Fleet Science Centre with a big screen Omnimax Theatre and virtual reality simulator that transports visitors to outer space. Other museums cover a wide range of interests, including cars and motorbikes, anthropology, various forms of art, and natural history. The Spanish Village Art Centre provides a traditional ancient village setting for viewing sculpture, painting, glassblowing and pottery performed by crafts people in classic tiled-roofed studios. The park has numerous features and facilities including golf courses, hiking and cycling trails, promenades, extensive landscaped gardens and horticultural treasures, a Japanese Friendship Garden, fountains and restaurants, a pavilion for Sunday afternoon concerts and the world's largest outdoor organ. Hours of Operation: The visitor centre is open daily from 9.30am to 4.30pm (5pm in summer). Some museums are closed on Mondays, but the zoo, science centre and Spanish Village Art Centre are open daily Phone:(619) 239 0512



2. San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park
What is it? The San Diego Zoo is one of the city's biggest attractions and has a worldwide reputation for its enlightened management program, worldwide conservation efforts, natural animal environments and most notably its success in breeding endangered species in captivity for reintegration into their natural habitats (together with the Wild Animal Park north of the city). It is the only zoo to have successfully bred Chinese giant pandas in captivity. The zoo houses more than 4,000 mammals, birds and reptiles. Many rare and endangered animals roam simulated natural habitats, while tourists follow walkways and bridges, passing waterfalls, tropical forests, sandy plateaus, arctic tundra, and bird aviaries. The 100-acre (40-hectare) park can be explored on foot, on narrated open-air trams, hop-on-and-off buses, or above the ground on the aerial Skyfari tram or hot air balloon. One of the highlights is the Tiger River Asian rainforest with animal enclosures situated along misty trails enhanced by waterfalls and exotic plants. It features tigers, pythons, tapirs and crocodiles. Other highlights include the Gorilla Tropics, Sun Bear Forest, polar bears in a simulated freezer, and the Ituri Forest Exhibit that features African buffaloes, monkeys and hippos. There is also a Children's Zoo where small animals such as bunnies, goats and sheep can be petted, and the nursery where the latest arrivals are looked after. An outdoor amphitheatre has daily sea lion and other animal shows. Hours of Operation: Open daily from 9am to 10pm (Mid-June to mid-September), and from 9am to 4pm (mid-September to mid-June) Phone:(619) 234 3153



3. SeaWorld
500 SeaWorld Drive, Mission Bay
What is it? On the shores of Mission Bay is one of San Diego's best-known attractions whose mascot, the resident killer whale Shamu, has for many become synonymous with the city. SeaWorld is a leader in marine conservation and plays an important role in rescuing and rehabilitating animals found beached along the West Coast. It is also one of the world's largest marine entertainment parks and is a source of education as well as family recreation. The park is best known for its work with killer whales (Orcas) and dolphins, and the Dolphin Interaction Program provides the experience of feeding, stroking and wading with bottlenose dolphins (requiring advance booking and an additional fee). SeaWorld's favourite attractions are its arena shows that run throughout the day, highlighting the behaviours and talents of trained marine mammals such as sea lions, walruses, otters, dolphins and killer whales. Most of the exhibits are walk-through marine environments like the Penguin Encounter that passes through a glass-enclosed Antarctica with remarkable emperor penguins sliding over glaciers into the icy water. The walk-through glass tube that passes through the Shark House affords frightening face-to-face encounters. Adventure rides include the Shipwreck Rapids ride with its turbulent rivers and underground canyons, the exhilarating Journey to Atlantis and the virtual-reality trip to the world of beluga whales, polar bears and walruses of the Wild Arctic. During summer peak hours the shows and more popular exhibits can be very crowded with long queues. Hours of Operation: Open daily, but park hours vary according to the season. Generally open from 9am to 10pm (summer) and from 10am to 5pm (September to May) Phone:1 800 257 4268 or 800 380 3203 (recorded information)



San Diego holidays - Top Events


1. Mardi Gras

From 2007-02-20

To 2007-02-20

What is it? The last day before Lent every year, the Gaslamp Quarter erupts in an outdoor festival of purple, green and gold, the traditional colours of Carnival. Celebrations include live bands and dancing, Cajun food specials, block parties and flamboyant costumes. The evening's highlight is the Masquerade Parade that features bands, dancers, floats and thousands of colourful plastic beads that are thrown to the happy revellers. Where is it? Gaslamp Quarter



2. San Diego Street Scene



What is it? One of the biggest music festivals in California, Street Scene offers a weekend of brazen festivities with music, dancing, food and drink. Although the main focus is on the variety of musicians and bands of all styles, from rock, pop and reggae to blues and samba, there are also stalls lining the streets, theme lounges, karaoke stages and late-night clubs and restaurants. Where is it? Gaslamp, downtown



3. Dead Sea Scrolls

From 2007-06-29

To 2007-12-31

What is it? The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century, and one of the world's greatest treasures, discovered in 1947 in caves along the shores of the Dead Sea in Israel. Considered to be the oldest copies of the books of the Hebrew Bible, the scrolls are written on parchment and papyrus in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek written around 250 BC. For the first time ever, some of these will be on show, forming the largest and most inclusive exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and will go on to be exhibited around the world after San Diego. The exhibition includes scrolls of the biblical books of Isaiah, Psalms, Job and Leviticus, as well as the Ten Commandments; illuminated biblical manuscripts; and a collection of ancient artefacts. Where is it? San Diego Natural History Museum




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About This Page

Information on San Diego Holidays, San Diego Hotels, Holiday Packages in San Diego (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and San Diego Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.