San Diego thrives on its tourism industry. It’s location on the Pacific Ocean, along with its warm climate make the city one of the top holiday destinations on America’s west coast. Holiday makers always enjoy lazing on the beach, and San Diego has plenty of them to offer. Altogether there are 70 miles of coastline and loads of beaches to choose from.
Of all the city’s theme parks, the most popular is Sea World. To thousands of tourists, the word’s ‘Sea World’ and ‘San Diego’ go hand in hand. Since it opened in 1964 it has become of California’s most popular attractions. Other premier attractions include San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park.
To get a more a proper feel of the city you need to visit the different suburbs. La Jolla (Spanish for ‘The Jewel’) has beaches, breathtaking ocean views and is only 15 minutes from the city centre. The Old Town, which isn’t too far from downtown, is a tad commercialised but another pleasant district.
The city’s proximity to the Mexican Border means that when visiting the city, you can easily grace the South American country with your presence when staying in San Diego. Tijuana is only 20 miles south of downtown San Diego, and the border between the two countries is apparently the world’s busiest international border crossing.
500 Sea World Drive, San Diego, USA
Sea World is is synonymous with San Diego. Inside the 150-acre park are various exhibits to visit and shows to attend. You can also pet the dolphins, go on the 'Shipwreck Rapids' ride and go up the Skytower for a panorama of the city.
Opening hours vary from season to season; admission $44.95 for adults with the Skytower an extra $3.
, San Diego, USA
This park is home to San Diego's cultural life with one of the largest groups of museums in the whole country. But if you don't want to visit museums there are loads of other things to do.
Balboa Park is bigger than New York's Central Park and older than San Franciso's Golden Gate. Whether you walk around the gardens, watch a play (one of the theatres is outdoors) or just laze in the sunshine, chances are you will visit the park on more than one occasion.
Balboa Park, San Diego, USA
San Diego's world famous zoo in Balboa Park is home to approximately 4,000 rare and endangered species of animal as well as 6,000 rare types of plants. Some of the rare animals which prove to be extremely popular with visitors include Indonesian Komodo Dragons and giant pandas.
The best way to see the zoo in total is by taking a trip in the open top bus.
Open from 9am-6pm (10pm during the summer); admission $19.50 for adults.
, San Diego, USA
California's most southern city enjoys 70km of Pacific coastline. This results in a number of beaches to visit, some of the most popular being Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.
1875 El Prado, Balboa Park, San Diego, USA
Even though this center is primarily aimed at children, there is an IMAX theatre here as well as various virtual stimulators.
Open 7 days a week, opening hours vary between 9.30am and 7.30pm; admission $6.75 (general), $11.50 (gen + 1 IMAX film) and $15.00 (gen + 2 IMAX films).
2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, San Diego, USA
This aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography has public presentations, whale-watching expeditions and even scenes from the institute's current research programme's via a live cam.
Some of the fish which can be seen swimming around the aquarium include leopard sharks and octopuses.
Open daily from 9am-5pm; admission $9.50 for adults.
849 West Harbor Drive, San Diego, USA
San Diego's waterfront landmark has three separate plazas, or malls. If shopping isn't the reason you decide to pay the village a visit then you should enjoy watching the ships sailing across the bay or walking along the different paths.
Point Luma, San Diego, USA
This monument stands at the point where Cabrillo first landed in California. If you find the monument slightly disappointing, the view over the Bay and the city's skyline will make up for it.
, San Diego, USA
Full of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, the atmoshpere around this district is quite unique to the rest of the city and is not to be missed.
San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street, San Diego, USA
This area of San Diego is where Spain's role in the development of the state first began. In the area are the 'Presidio Mission', the Bazaar del Mundo (World Bazaar) shopping area and water fountains.