Lions, Beaches, and Ships, Oh My!
Trip Start Oct 22, 2010
4Trip End Nov 02, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
We awoke early for our zoo adventure to dreary overcast skies and a good chance of rain. Having faith in the San Diego weather reputation, we set out undeterred. The zoo is located in the spectacular Balboa Park and the parking was free. We entered the rather unassuming gates, and were blown away by the size of the map. A good tip would be to view the map online and plan your route because this place is just massive. We plotted a course and headed forward. As the day went on, the overcast misty skies quickly turned into the bright blue sunny skies San Diego is known for. We saw Lions, Koala Bears, Jaguars, Rhinos, Giraffes, Elephants, Kangaroos, and lots of other interesting animals that you would rarely, if ever see
The next morning took us to a beach that is regularly on the Travel Channel's Top 10 List, Coronado Beach. We had the wide beach practically to ourselves on this cool October morning. You can not help but notice the stunning Victorian Architecture of the Hotel del Coronado anchoring the beach. The Hotel was built by the original owners of the island back in 1888 and has been listed on USA Today's "Top 10 Resorts in the World". It is easy to see why it became a National Historic Landmark in 1977.
We left Coronado Beach and headed across the island to Coronado Ferry Landing. This is a great place as it has something for everyone. We grabbed a gyro and enjoyed sitting by the bay observing the best view of the modern San Diego skyline. The Ferry Landing has a variety of restaurants and art galleries under the swaying palm trees and amongst flowing fountains.
We then left the island and drove back to the mainland to visit Balboa Park
We left the park just before dark, headed to Little Italy to grab a pizza, then took a drive along the harbor. My son immediately saw a huge "pirate ship", so we stopped to check it out. This was the Star of India, part of the Maritime Museum, dressed up slightly for Halloween. The Museum was about to close for the night so we knew what we would be doing the following morning before heading out to LA. The next morning we checked out and headed to the Harbor and walked through 4 ships, including the one used in the Russell Crow film, Master and Commander. There was also a Cold War era Soviet Submarine which was really cool to walk through. The floating museum is great for kids and any history buff.
It didn't take long for San Diego to cast it's spell on us. The people were very courteous and helpful. There was a lot of things to do and see, and it seems like you can get anywhere you want to go within 10 minutes. The downtown area is modern and clean. It seems to be an active city with people jogging, biking, and generally spending time outdoors. And why wouldn't you want to spend time outdoors? Other than that first overcast morning, the weather was amazing. San Diego had some lofty expectations to live up to, and it did with ease.
Now it's time to hit the Pacific Coast Highway! Next stop, Newport Beach!