San Diego Tourist Activities
San Diego International Airport, or the Lindbergh Field Airport with the IATA code of SAN, is located just three miles from central San Diego, in the American state of California. The airport is busy, handling almost seventeen million passengers per annum, and is regarded as the second busiest single-runway airport in the world. Its passengers can take advantage of the many facilities within the terminal buildings, and have access to several forms of ground transport, including rented cars, which are best for exploring the wonderful attractions of the airport. San Diego attractions include amusement parks such as Belmont Park, the San Diego Zoo, Mission Beach and the Birch Aquarium at Scripps.
California has several important cities, and San Diego is regarded as one of them, alongside Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is a state to the western side of the country, and runs along the coastline just north of the border between Mexico and the United States. San Diego is to the south of California, just fifteen miles from the border. The city is very popular for tourism, as it has many attractive features. It is well known for its superb beaches, natural harbor areas and tourist attractions, some of which are of a historical nature and others which are fun for the whole family. The neighbourhoods within the city also boast a spectacular array of first-class restaurants and shopping opportunities, and a large number of hotels, with various price ranges. Several hotels are nearby to the San Diego International Airport, while others are found in downtown San Diego, Mission Bay, Old Town, the Mission Valley District and the Gaslamp Quarter.
The city covers an approximate area of 324 square miles, and has a population of over 1.3 million inhabitants, who mainly speak American English. The summer months are warm and the winter months are mild, with temperatures averaging 18 degrees Celsius. Its climate is actually described as Mediterranean-like, which is perfect for its magnificent beaches. A few of the notable districts within the city include the Downtown District, which overlooks the beautiful harbour, the Hillcrest District just north of downtown San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter District, recently redeveloped and now famous for its art galleries, shopping locations, restaurants and night spots, the La Jolla District, one of the wealthiest areas of San Diego complete with its own lovely beach, Mission Bay District, another wonderful area for those who want to swim or stretch out on the sand and the Old Town, one of the tourist draw-cards of the city and the location of several museums and the Old Town State Historic Park.
The main attractions of San Diego are family-friendly outings. Belmont Park is the only amusement park located alongside a beach in California, and is found at 3146 Mission Boulevard. The park was originally built in 1925, but has since undergone much improvements, and was reopened in the late 1980’s. It’s favourite features are the Giant Dipper, the original wooden rollercoaster and The Plunge, which is one of the original swimming pools of the park and which is now even considered to be a landmark. Water fun is also plentiful at Knott’s Soak City at 2052 Entertainment Circle. It is a water amusement park with a huge wave pool, over twenty water slides and a wonderful artificial river.
Animal lovers visiting San Diego have several options. For an interesting variety of sea creatures the Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the answer. It is a very notable aquarium, and highly regarded, filled with extensive exhibits with sea creatures that usually live along the California Coast and which are found in the Pacific Northwest. Over sixty tropical tanks are of interest as well. The aquarium also boasts an outdoor tide pool with some spectacular views, and a sea horse exhibit, which is extremely popular. Further lovely marine life can be viewed at SeaWorld San Diego. Here many fun-filled aquatic shows are presented that include the antics of dolphins, otters, sea lions and killer whales. SeaWorld San Diego can be found at 500 Sea World Drive.
Furthermore, the San Diego Zoo is one of the city’s best attractions, and is located at 2920 Zoo Drive. The zoo was founded in 1916, and is therefore regarded as historic, and boasts a variety of over 4,000 animals from local and exotic locations around the world. Several endangered species can be viewed as well. Attractions of San Diego also include Mission Beach. There is plenty of space here to soak up the sun, enjoy a splash in the sea or to play some games. Various water sports are very popular as well. Visitors will also enjoy the boardwalk between Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.
San Diego has a large selection of museums which are well worth the time to browse. The Aerospace Museum is amongst the family favourites, as it features a number of hot-air balloons, military aircraft and bi-planes, as well many interesting exhibits relating to space. There is also information regarding the country’s aviation history. This museum is found at 2001 Pan American Plaza. The Model Railroad Museum is a fun attraction as well, with six permanent model railways that specifically relate to the history of transportation in California. The San Diego Natural History Museum, founded in 1874, features a movie theatre and a large atrium, while the Maritime Museum is home to a couple of historic ships. The Star of India is one of the popular vessels found at the museum, and is known to be one of the oldest ships in the world that is still seaworthy. Further museums that should be on the visiting list include the Junipero Serra Museum, the Museum of San Diego History and the Museum of Man.
The city of San Diego is also popular for its landmarks and monuments, which include the Old Town State Historic Park, the Cabrillo National Monument and Whaley House, and to escape from busy city areas, visitors and locals often enjoy the green spaces of Balboa Park, the Japanese Friendship Garden, Mission Bay Park, the Mission Trails Regional Park and the Torrey Pines State Park.
Although San Diego attractions are sure to keep any tourist fascinated, there are places nearby that cannot be missed. They include Legoland California, Disneyland Resort at Anaheim, the San Diego Wild Animal Park and Coronado, a lovely peninsula to the south of San Diego featuring scenic beaches and other attractions. Further details for the San Diego region are available at information desks within San Diego International Airport, and at tourist centres in the city.