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San Diego Parks (cont)
Agua Caliente County Park
|County Highway S2 north of I-8, San Diego
County (858) 694-3049
||This 910-acre park is home to a natural hot
springs that creates an indoor and outdoor pool. The site includes 140
campsites, hiking trails, and picnic areas that are open from Labor Day
to Memorial Day. The county-run Agua Caliente airstrip is nearby the
Anza-Borrego Desert State park
|Five miles north of I-8 on Highway 79, San
Diego County (760) 767-5311
||Anza-Borrego Park is known for its beautiful
wildflowers that bloom in the springtime for two to six weeks. It is
recommended that you call ahead to find out the approximate times it
would be best to visit. Aside from that time of year, the park has over
500 miles of unpaved road and 110 miles of hiking trails open to
horseback riding and off-road vehicles. Two-thirds of the park is
designated wilderness and a visitor’s center is open daily from October
||El Prado from Sixth Ave. San Diego (619)
||The San Diego Union-Tribune states, “Nothing
epitomizes the extraordinary diversity and unity of [San Diego] as much
as Balboa park, perhaps our greatest, goodest place. It captures the
ecological, cultural and sociological diversity of our region in a
manner with which we can all identify.” Created for the 1915
Panama-California Exposition, Balboa Park celebrated the opening of the
Panama Canal. The park’s scene, near downtown, spans 1,200 acres and is
one of the largest inner-city parks in the country! The masterpiece that
is the Old Globe Theatre, world-famous San Diego Zoo, the Starlight
Bowl, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, many museums, an 18-hole golf course,
and the 25-court Balboa Tennis Club all reside within the park’s
assortment of instructive and common establishments.
||3146 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach (619)
||This park, which is on the water’s edge, is home
to a multitude of shopping sites, restaurants, and the famous Giant
Dipper Roller Coaster as well as “The Plunge” swimming pool.
|Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
||12551 Highway 79, San Diego county (760)
||This drastic park features wide meadows, amazing
pine and oak forests, and wonderful scenes of the Anza-Borrego Desert.
The 25,000 acre park is situated 40 miles east of San Diego and includes
over 100 miles of hiking and equestrian trails as well as camping
facilities. It can be easily found via Interstate 8.
||One Lego Dr., Carlsbad (760) 918-5346
||Legoland is a great theme park for children ages
2-12. The 128-acre park is made of brightly colored bricks that resemble
the internationally renowned Danish toy manufacturing company, “Lego” is
the first of its kind in the United States.
Kids a number of attractions to entertain an entire day in the park. In
Imagination Zone kids can enjoy playing with the original Lego’s
themselves. Castle Hill is home to rides and attractions for an older
child. In Fun Town a child can earn their very own Legoland driver’s
license and at the Ridge they can have fun with a maze and sky ride.
Village Green is the place with figures from children’s story tales as
well as life-size jungle animals created only of Legos. As is evident,
children’s creativity and imagination will abound at Legoland.
|Old Town State Historic Park
||San Diego Ave. and Twiggs St., San Diego (619)
||Old town is most popular for the Bazaar del Mundo
including many shops, popular Mexican restaurants and musical
entertainment. The park is the site of the early 19th century settlement
of San Diego and five of the original adobe structures, a historic
blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, newspaper office and stable still sit on
the park today. Over 6 million people visit Old Town each year.
|Palomar Mountain State Park
||County Route S7, Palomar Mountain (760)
765-0755; (800) 895-4427 for Downhill Bicycling Info
||In the winter, during the cold season, Palomar
Mountain Park is the popular spot for amusement in the snow. In the
summertime when it's warm and throughout the rest of the year, visitors
come for camping, picnicking hiking and bicycling. Skilled cyclists can
take the Palomar Plunge, an 18-mile ride right down the mountain. It's
certain that no pedaling is needed for this bike-ride. The amazing park
includes 1,897 acres covered with conifers that are so enormous it may
feel like you are actually in the Sierra Nevadas. The Palomar
Observatory also features a 200-inch Hale telescope as well.
|San Diego Wild Animal Park
||15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido (760)
||This 2,000 acre park near Escondido is home to a
vast number of wild animals including rhinos, giraffes, elephants, and
deer. If a safari adventure is what you’re searching for, the animals in
this park live as wildly as they would in their natural habitats in
Africa or Asia.There are multiple sources of entertainment to a visitor
of the park.
There are regular shows and informative speeches on the range and
variety of the park’s wild birds and animals. For an up-close and
personal photo opportunity, the 1.75 mile hiking trail and caravan tour
aboard a safari truck are great. The 5 mile long Wgasa Bush Line
monorail lasts about 55-minutes round trip and holds an extremely
relaxing way to watch the animals within the park. The Heart of Africa,
a new exhibit, allows people to walk among the animals of Africa as if
they were right on a safari.
The Wild Animal Park and the San Diego Zoo are run by The Zoological
Society of San Diego. Summer, evening, and holiday hours are all
available at each park.
|San Diego Zoo
||2920 Zoo Dr., San Diego (619) 234-3153
||The Gorgeous San Diego Zoo is one of the most
popular and highly praised zoological parks in the world. It keeps over
4,000 rare and exotic birds, animals and reptiles that can all be viewed
at the 100-acre tropical garden site. One of the Zoo’s most admired
exhibits is the pair of giant panda’s that are currently on loan from
China. A world leader in the proliferation of rare and endangered
animals, the Zoo’s Center for the Reproduction of Endangered Species is
very proud of a rare baby panda born in August of 1999.
The Zoo has strategically planned out numerous exhibits including: Hippo
Beach, Tiger River, Gorilla Tropics, Polar Bear Plunge, Scripps Aviary,
and the new Ituri Forest. Now the animals are provided with a natural,
bioclimatic setting to live in.
Tours are often taken in open-air double decker busses for a relaxing
and entertaining view of the park. There are regular performances of the
Wild Ones show, a children’s petting zoo and a baby animal nursery. The
popular Sea Lion show also presents an exciting performance to entertain
||500 Sea World Dr., San Diego (619) 226-3901
||The increasingly popular attraction that is
SeaWorld holds five major shows and a number of exhibits of sea turtles,
bat rays, seals, a dolphin feeding pool and an aquarium. Located right
on Mission Bay, SeaWorld finds that the care and comfort of their
animals is their number one priority. Visitors can view a 20 minute
video on JJ, a baby gray whale that rescued by SeaWorld and later
released into the wild in 1998.
People also see the Penguin Encounter where numerous different penguin
species live in a unique and carefully created world for penguins. The
Shark Encounter and Manatee Rescue are areas where one could visit and
learn about the dangers facing these creatures. Almost 20,000 mammals,
fish, reptiles and birds live in the marine park , for example the
exciting Shamu and his killer whale friends that star in the Shamu Show.
Recently added to SeaWorld is the visited adventure ride, Shipwreck
Rapids, where Visitors can enjoy a simulation of a remote island where
the escape route is full of raging rapids and roaring waterfalls. The
attraction has a dining area along with even more chances to interact
with various animals.
|Torrey Pines State Reserve
||North Torrey Pines Rd. south of Carmel valley
Rd., Del Mar (858) 755-2063
||This reserve is world-renowned for the most rare
of trees, the Torrey Pine. They are grown solely on this 1,750 acre plot
of land and on Santa Rosa Island, which is about 170 miles northwest.
The area contains beautiful views from lookouts 300 feet above the sea
as well as walking trails down the bluffs that lead to the beaches
below. Torrey Pines State Reserve presents some of the most refined and
unique scenery along the San Diego coastline.