San Diego, California: Family Attractions, Shopping and Dining
By Vange Tapia
To talk about San Diego is easy for me. Established by the Spaniards in 1769, it is one of the most visited cities in the United States and has been one of my favorite cities for many years. Now that I live in Los Angeles, my husband and I love to escape to San Diego from time to time on a less than two hour’s drive.
There’s so much to do that every time we go there the experience is different, and our last trip was no exception.
Fun Attractions for the Whole Family
Located about 30 minutes outside downtown San Diego we visited the sister property of the San Diego Zoo: the world-acclaimed San Diego Zoo Safari Park, one of the largest in the U.S. and the first to recreate animals’ natural habitats for animals to roam free. And get this! The Safari Park offers several Safari packages. The Caravan Safari took us inside the Safari Park’s field habitats in open-air trucks. You can even feed giraffes and rhinos. But that’s not all: With the Roar & Snore Safari, you can spend the night in tents provided by the Safari Park and be lulled to sleep by the murmur of the animals and tranquility of the evening under the starry sky. Next time for sure!
If you’re interested in theme parks, San Diego speaks for itself. Visit SeaWorld San Diego, a sealife-themed park with rides, shows and exhibitions, so you can interact with and learn about the marine world.
And north of San Diego in Carlsbad, find LEGOLAND California Resort, a fantastic kid-friendly park with rides and an aquarium. Can you imagine how fun it is to walk between buildings and figures built with millions of LEGOs?
Shopping in San Diego
Since the weather in San Diego is great most of the time, we enjoyed some outdoor shopping at Seaport Village, conveniently located near downtown along San Diego Bay. This place is great to walk along the waterfront overlooking the ships, boats and yachts among fun shops and restaurants.
Then we crossed the street to the beautiful Spanish-inspired architecture of The Headquarters at Seaport District. It’s hard to believe this was once a police station! Here we had a good time surrounded by independent boutiques and restaurants.
For purchases of renowned brands and exclusive department stores, we visited Fashion Valley Shopping Center, with over 200 shops, boutiques, cinemas and restaurants. If you thought only women shop, you’re wrong; I almost had to drag my husband out of Bloomingdale's.
Two Chefs, One World
To close the weekend, we decided to enjoy the Catch of the Day with the stunning and relaxing beachfront view at prestigious surf and turf restaurant The Marine Room in the exclusive area of La Jolla. Those responsible for the restaurant’s success are Executive Chef Bernard Guillas and Chef de Cuisine Ron Oliver.
With his warm sense of humor, Chef Bernard personally pampered us with Ahi Tuna covered with sesame seeds and black pepper, some juicy shrimp and a scallop dish that, as my husband Justin says, was battered by a sauce of clouds and marinated by glory; they had a truly heavenly taste. Delicious!
San Diego is known as the place where “Happiness is Calling”, and honestly... they are right!