As the temperatures drop over the next few months and you start thinking about how nice it would be to spend a few days somewhere warmer, you might want to consider a visit to San Diego. Now, we’re not talking about Hawaii-like temperatures, but the average temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s through January and February may very well still be a lot better than wherever you are.
If there are kids involved in your getaway – and even if there aren’t – then one obvious San Diego attraction is SeaWorld. Located in the Mission Bay area a short distance north of San Diego International Airport and a few miles northwest of downtown San Diego, SeaWorld San Diego has offered a mix of education and entertainment for over 40 years. Have a “Dolphin Encounter” from poolside or get wet with the animals at the “Dolphin Interaction Program” or the “Beluga Interaction Program”. There’s also a nice collection of water-based rides and five shows starring “Shamu”, sea lions, dolphins and more. The latest addition to the schedule of shows is Blue Horizons, a mix of fantasy, dolphins, whales, birds, divers and aerialists. TheRealPlaces has information about hotels near SeaWorld San Diego, including over 15 of them within two miles of the fun.
About an hour’s drive along the Pacific Coast north of San Diego is Carlsbad, home of Legoland. It’s the first Legoland to be built in the United States and features over 60 rides, shows and attractions – many of them based on the famous Lego building blocks. Adjacent to the main park is Legoland Water Park, which includes the unique “Build-A-Raft River” where kids can customize their rafts with soft Lego bricks. Also next door to Legoland is the Sea Life Aquarium, another opportunity to get some educational value out of your vacation dollars.
Back to the south, if you’re looking for something a little more “upscale” for your vacation, the San Diego area is home to three 5-star hotels. The Grand Del Mar is a world-class resort in the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. It’s definitely an “away from it all” kind of place, designed to give you the feel of a Mediterranean estate. Andaz San Diego also offers some serious luxury, but in a very different setting right in the heart of downtown San Diego. The Andaz is a “boutique” hotel located in the Gaslamp Quarter District, which puts you within a reasonable drive of all the major attractions with the added benefit of thenearby San Diego nightlife. The U.S. Grant San Diego is also downtown and provides a more classic style of 5-star luxury. The hotel was built in 1910 by Ulysses Grant Jr., son of the Civil War general and U.S. president.
Additional attractions in San Diego include Belmont Amusement Park (the beachfront home of the “Giant Dipper” wood roller coaster), Petco Park – home of the San Diego Padres baseball team and Qualcomm Stadium – home of the San Diego Chargers and San Diego State University football teams. Located on the waterfront at the western edge of downtown San Diego, the San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal is the stepping off point for cruises all over the Pacific.