Located in the southwestern corner of the United States, the city of San Diego is the second most populous city in the state of California. The city has a reputation as being one of the most beautiful coastal cities in the entire country, and one visit to it confirms that line of thinking. San Diego has a long history of being a military area, especially with its extensive ties to the United States Navy, but also sharing a great deal of its past with the United States Marine Corps. and the United States Coast Guard as well. In the late 1990s and the early part of the new millennium, San Diego went through a housing boom as it became one of the focal point places where people desired to relocate to. San Diego has always been popular with tourists and locals alike, here are five great places to visit for anyone coming to the San Diego area.
1. Balboa Park
Easily one of the most famous and most visited parks in any urban area, Balboa Park is packed with a great many attractions that would satisfy even the most discriminating visitor to the city of San Diego. The park is home to miles of paths and walkways, acres of green playground areas, and many must-see exhibits all in one area including the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Museum of Man, the San Diego Art Institute, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the Natural History Museum, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Botanical Building, the Timken Museum of Art, the Alcazar Garden, the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, the Old Globe Theatre, and the Balboa Park Golf Complex. There are few urban park developments that can compare in size, scope, or attractions with San Diego’s Balboa Park.
2. The USS Midway
One of the key attractions in the San Diego waterfront is the USS Midway. The Midway was constructed in 1943 and served the United States as a wartime aircraft carrier in many major arenas, the last of which was the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s. After being decommissioned, the historic ship has rested at dock in San Diego since 2004 and serves the area as both an attraction to see as well as a floating museum and memorial. Visitors have access to a small portion of the USS Midway’s deck for free, but can also pay a fee to enter and tour one of the last floating World War II era aircraft carriers open to the public. Among the many areas open to public viewing are the flight deck, hangar bay, mess hall, bridge, primary flight control, officer quarters, enlisted men’s quarters, sickbay, an dthe engine room. The hangar and flight deck are also filled with many restored naval aircraft dating back to World War II. The USS Midway is available for private meetings and other events, but is booked well in advance for obvious reasons. A visit to the USS Midway is perfect for anyone interested in either maritime history, military history or American history in general.
3. Torrey Pines State Reserve
A great place in San Diego to escape urban development and tourist activity is the Torrey Pines State Reserve. This is a nature reserve set aside for the public to enjoy that sits right on the coastline. The reserve is filled with hiking trails from which visitors can view the beautiful Pacific Ocean and sometimes even wildlife like dolphins and migrating whales. One of the best places in San Diego to get out and stretch your legs in.
4. SeaWorld San Diego
One of the most famous attractions in San Diego is also one of the most popular, and for good reason. SeaWorld San Diego offers more than just a glimpse into life in the Pacific Ocean that San Diego sits on, it offers an up close look at the daily lives of the creatures that live beneath the surface of the world’s oceans. Visitors can interact with a number of undersea creatures and children will especially find the opportunities for hands-on learning extremely fascinating. From the kids areas that are focused on introducing little minds to the world of the oceanography, to the major event and show areas, SeaWorld San Diego offers something for every visitor lucky enough to choose it as a place to go.
5. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
One of the most interesting ways to experience an area that a traveler is new to is to see what life was like there in the distant past. The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park offers just such an experience to its visitors. The park recreates what life was like in and around the San Diego area during the early to mid 1800s when settlement and expansion of the area was vibrant and lively. Visitors to the park and surrounding area are rewarded with a look into history that many people pass by on a daily basis without even knowing it is available to them. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is a true treasure that must be seen and appreciated by both San Diego locals and first-time visitors to the area alike.
A visit to San Diego is well worth it for almost any individual, couple or family. There are enough attractions offered by the city and the surrounding area to fill a travel itinerary of almost any length of time. San Diego offers great attractions including historical and cultural pursuits, outdoor recreational opportunities, and of course shopping too. San Diego is also home to some of the more popular classic tourist attractions in the country like SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo. When considering a destination for a long weekend or an entire vacation, many people would be well served in selecting San Diego, California as their destination of choice.