A few months back we planned a trip to San Diego, a destination our then 5 year old son, F, had been dying to go to so he could see the world renowned zoo and their white tigers. We planned it during his spring break, and booked it all.
And then discovered that I had the week wrong – and whoops, we found out when we got there that the zoo didn’t actually have white tigers and San Diego, which is known for year round amazing weather was forecasted to have storms that they hadn’t had in months. I am not sure what went wrong with our planning there but alas, it happens, and we rolled with it. Turns out that sometimes even under the least ideal circumstances good can come out of it if you just push through!
On our first day we headed out to Balboa Park, with sunny skies and threats of rain later in the day. Balboa Park is home to many museums, including the SD Art Institute, SD History Museum, and the SD Museum of Man. There is a carousel, a miniature railroad, a children’s garden and of course the Zoo.
We wanted to save the Zoo for a full day and with the skies looking as if they may erupt we headed to SeaWorld, which is about a 20 minute drive from the Zoo. You can pay for up-close parking ($20) or regular parking ($15). If you are there early or on a day with potential bad weather? Don’t pay the extra money. We paid for regular parking and we were just as close as the up-front parking.
*If you are planning on attending more than one attraction I highly recommend their 3 for 1 (or 2 for 1) ticket packages. We did the 3 for 1 and had tickets for unlimited visits to the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and the SD Zoo Safari Park.*
SeaWorld, with cloudy skies, was empty. We had the park to roam around in, ride rides without any wait, front row views of all the animals, and lots of space for our kids to, well, be kids. While we did not see a Shamu show we did see every other exhibit there in the 5 or so hours we were there – and it never once rained!
With kids fighting jet lag and tired feet we headed back to our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, which was in an ideal location next to SeaWorld and close to the airport, and grabbed some dinner, where L, 2.5, showed that even for the most hearty child travelers jet lag is no fun!
Next up – The San Diego Zoo Safari Park and La Jolla!