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Balboa Park

This 1,200-acre park, which hosted the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, is home to many of San Diego’s museums and cultural attractions such as the Old Globe theatre, which hosts a summertime Shakespeare festival. Other highlights include the park’s iconic conservatory building with its serene lily pond, the Natural History Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, a darling carousel and miniature railroad train. Several gardens dot the grounds, a legacy of local resident Kate Sessions, who donated hundreds of trees to the park in exchange for using a portion of a land as a nursery. A free daily tram provides access to many of these attractions.

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Flower Fields

These 50 acres of ranunculus, billowing in the breeze of a North County hillside, see more than 150,000 visitors each spring. These extraordinary and colorful flowers, which were unknown in North America until an English horticulturalist arrived to the area with some seeds 60 years ago, can be admired via the designated pathways or a wagon ride through the fields.

Sea View -Day Trip: Zhujiajiao Ancient Water Village, Shanghai, China -Courtesy Joanne DiBona

La Jolla Beaches

La Jolla, the beachside community just north of the downtown area, has become iconic to the surfing culture of Southern California. The chaparral bluffs that form the coastline are a gorgeous backdrop to the beach, and the reefs create surfable waves from Windansea to La Jolla Shores. On a sunny day, it’s possible to walk the length of the coastline, starting from the landmark Surfing Hut on Windansea all the way to the Cove. Along the way, you’ll pass several parks and tide pools, plus an arts district full of galleries and museums. Near the end of the walk, you’ll reach the Children’s Pool, a beach with a large sea wall that blocks the surf and is home of over 200 seals. While you should never get too close to these seals, it’s quite a sight to see.

The Cove marks the end of this walk, and deserves special attention for its scenery and swimmable surf. This is where the La Jolla Underwater Park can be found, a 6,000-acre protected marine reserve that is home to a variety of species, from bat rays and garibaldis to the occasional great white shark. As a marine reserve, the section is free of boating and other motorized vehicles; however, kayaking is encouraged, and the diving is some of the best in California.

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Aerial View-Legoland , San Diego, California


This Carlsbad area theme park might seem like more of a kiddie attraction, but even adults will enjoy seeing miniaturized versions of the U.S. Capitol building, the skyline of San Francisco and dinosaurs built out of Legos. The adjacent water park is an ideal spot for cooling off during the summer months.

Old Town Historic Park

Old Town, the first European settlement on the west coast, has become a living museum of the original seventeenth-century village. While the rest of the city is developed around the neighborhood, the original church, Mission San Diego de Alcalá, still remains, as do five original straw and clay structures. Other historic buildings include an old schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, courthouse, and tobacconist. All ‘living museums’ give presentations on daily life in the original settlement.

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San Diego Zoo

With more than 3,700 animals and 700,000 plants, this sprawling zoo, which sits on 100 acres within Balboa Park, boasts an impressive collection of flora and fauna. Children and adults alike will delight in seeing pandas, condors, rhinos, jaguars and more. On weekends, visitors can feed the giraffes. Indagare’s Bookings Team can arrange a personal tour guide as part of a VIP experience with advance notice.

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San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The San Diego Zoo is one of the most important conservation societies on the planet, having saved the California Condor (a vulture and the largest North American land bird) from extinction by breeding them in captivity. The park, opened in 1972 as an offshoot breeding facility of the main zoo some 30 miles away, features open range exhibits where African and Asian animals live freely in environments identical to the wild. Covering over 1800 acres of land, the zoo boasts large ‘exhibits’—some of which are over three times the size of the entire San Diego Zoo.

Tours are given via car or monorail, as the grounds are too large to walk, and the experience is much like an African safari. Exhibits are divided by region rather than by species, so it’s not uncommon to see a family of giraffes strolling by a grazing rhino while gazelle drink from the watering hole nearby. The animals are free to approach the vehicles (the carnivores are kept separately).

The Gaslamp Quarter

As home to some of the best nightlife, restaurants and shops in the city, the Gaslamp Quarter is a buzzing hub of San Diego located downtown. The neighborhood is charming and quaint, having resisted the urban development that surrounds it (in part due to its previously seedy reputation as a “sailor’s entertainment” district, from which its name is derived). On the southern edge of the neighborhood lies the Convention Center, which is often crowded with visitors and street performers (Comic Con is huge here). To the east lies Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, where locals go for (they say) the best-tasting hotdog in the world. Game Day is a special time in the Gaslamp neighborhood, as thousands flood the area and restaurants host deals for fans heading to the ballpark.

The USS Midway Museum

Built into an aircraft carrier, the USS Midway Museum is one of the most unique in the country, displaying exhibits of America’s maritime past and present. The USS Midway was America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier (in operation from 1945 to 1992) before it moored in the San Diego harbor and opened as a museum in 2004. The museum makes a fantastic visit for anyone interested in military history and naval engineering.

Sea View -Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, San Diego, California - Courtesy San Diego Tourism Authority, Annie Pearson

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Named for the indigenous and rare Torrey pine tree, this 2,000-acre reserve of canyons and cliffs offers countless trails lined with wild flowers and chaparral, miles of unspoiled beaches and a lagoon that is vital to migrating seabirds. The ¾-mile Beach Trail meanders through the upper reserve before ending at the beach below. The relatively easy 2/3-mile Guy Fleming Trail offers two scenic overlooks with a variety of wildflowers, ferns and cacti along the way.

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