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USATourist News Magazine by Elizabeth Blair
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USATourist News Magazine

March 2010 - San Diego, California
San Diego Skyline

Point Loma offers a fantastic view of the San Diego skyline.
© San Diego CVB

In this issue:

Welcome to the March 2010 issue of USA Tourist. Last month we ventured across cities in the southern United States. We made a quick mention of San Diego, but this month we're going to go into more detail about this perfect year-round city.

The nation's largest urban cultural park

Balboa Park is an impressive park loaded with things to do. Not only is the San Diego Zoo found here, but also 15 major museums, performing arts venues and gardens. Admission is free to the park grounds, Botanical building, outdoor gardens and some attractions but there is a fee for the remaining attractions. Bargain tip: The Passport to Balboa Park offers visitors access to 14 museums in the Park (and savings of more than 50%) and is valid for seven consecutive days. The pass allows admission to each of the 14 attractions.

Animals and more animals

After visiting the zoo, you can catch even more animal sightings at the Wild Animal Park. You will be amazed by the 1,800 acres (730 ha) and the number of wild and endangered animals. Many species are from Africa, Australia, Asia, Europe and North and South America. The Journey into Africa tram is one of the park's highlights as it explores the expansive African exhibits. If you plan to visit both the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park you can save a few bucks by purchasing the multi-park passes which grants access to both attractions.

San Diego Zoo Tickets http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/San-Diego/San-Diego-Zoo-Best-Value-Ticket/d736-3097ZOO_TR
Wild Animal Park Tickets http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/San-Diego/San-Diego-Zoos-Wild-Animal-Park/d736-3097WAP_TR

Giraffes at Animal Park

A visit to the Wild Animal Park can make you feel like you're
on an African Safari.
© San Diego CVB

Theme Parks for All Ages

Legoland is certainly geared toward the youngest generation but it's still a great way to spend the day. The creative Lego masterpieces are amazing to observe and there are plenty of rides for adults to enjoy. Located at the Legoland California Resort is the new SEA LIFE which provides hands-on learning about the ocean and its creatures. Rumor has it that Florida will be home to the world's largest Legoland by the end of 2011.

SeaWorld is another themed gem. One highlight is Shamu the Killer Whale - an entertaining show that every visitor should see. Some of the other fun exhibits and activities include the extensive penguin exhibit, feeding the dolphins, touching starfish and more.

Seaworld Tickets http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/San-Diego/SeaWorld-San-Diego-Ticket-with-Transport/d736-315008
Legoland Tickets http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/San-Diego/Legoland-California/d736-3618LEGO

While new attractions are always opening, one of the most popular closed last year, the Anheuser-Busch hospitality center where visitors could enjoy free beer samples. The other locations in Florida also closed their doors.

Belmont Park is located on the surf and sand in Mission Beach and is a very inexpensive way to spend the day, with its free parking and free park admission. Visitors can enjoy traditional and contemporary amusement park rides for much cheaper than the other theme parks. But there's more than rides. Visitors have fun at the glow-in-the-dark miniature golf, arcade, mirror maze and lazer maze. A unique attraction is riding the FlowRider and FlowBarrel "wave machines" and the chance to climb one of two coconut trees.

Enjoy the view from the water

San Diego has such a spectacular skyline and it's even prettier from the water. Harbor Cruises are offered daily, year-round and if you're visiting at the right time of year you may be able to get in on whale watching. The best months for whale viewing are December through April.

Whale Watching Cruise Tickets http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/San-Diego/San-Diego-Whale-Watching-Sailboat-Cruise/d736-5003WHALE
Whale Watching Kayak Tour http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/San-Diego/La-Jolla-Whale-Watching-Kayak-Adventure/d736-3654WHALE

Travel Warning: The border town Tijuana has always made the perfect day trip. It's a short and inexpensive trolley ride away. However, we would not recommend visiting Tijuana any time soon. Last year the Department of State issued a Travel Alert to update security information for U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico because of the increasing drug-related violence in border towns, like Tijuana.

Since we're urging you not to cross the border, we have the perfect place for you to enjoy some Mexican culture north of the border - in San Diego's Old Town. This quaint San Diego village has nearly a dozen Mexican Restaurants, various shops and the Old Town Trolley Tours. Tequila lovers will enjoy El Agave Restaurant and Tequileria which offers 500 different types of tequila - prices range from $5.75 to $175.00 per shot.

Seaport Village

Seaport Village is a place to shop, eat and enjoy
San Diego's beautiful weather.
© San Diego CVB

Beautiful beaches

The winter months are generally too chilly for a dip in the water, but don't be surprised when you still see surfers out enjoying the waves. While the beaches may not be filled with swimsuit clad people, the second the weather warms the crowds return. In the meantime, a sunny day is perfect for non-surfers to stroll along the beach or hunt for sea shells.

Tip: As of January 2008, alcohol has been banned from city beaches and bays unless an event permit has been issued. Some state beaches do still allow alcohol, but only if served in non-glass containers.

When you've had your fill of fun in the sun Seaport Village, in downtown on San Diego Bay is filled with over 50 shops, nearly twenty unique eateries and frequently outdoor entertainment.

Seaport Village Tour http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/San-Diego/San-Diego-City-Sightseeing-and-Seaport-Village-Tour/d736-3150SEAPORT

Fall attraction: If you visit San Diego during the autumn months and love to scream, the Haunted Hotel is San Diego's premier haunted attraction. It is located in the heart of the Gaslamp District and is open September through Halloween.

San Diego Airport

There are several airports in Southern California but if San Diego is your main destination you can't get any more convenient than San Diego International Airport at Lindbergh Field. The airport is less than 6 miles (10km) from downtown San Diego and has plenty of flight options including low-fare and regional airlines.

Thank you for reading this month's USA Tourist News Magazine. Next month we're heading to Orlando, Florida. So stay tuned for more tips and information!

Special Deals

Choose HomeAway vacation rentals for more room and amenities on your next San Diego trip.

Apollo RV Rentals offer quality rental recreational vehicles at very competitive prices across California.

The Comfort Inn and Suites hotel, convenient location near San Diego Zoo and Sea World.

San Diego Vacation Packages

Top Hotel Deals in San Diego

Find the perfect beach destination and stay with Choice Hotels

Over 50 San Diego discount tours, attraction and excursions available through our partner Viator http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/San-Diego/d736-ttd

Family Time at Four Points in San Diego

Southwest Airlines Vacations Best Golf Vacations

Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair

All photos provided by the San Deigo Convention and Visitors Bureau. http://www.sandiego.org/nav/Visitors

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