Best Attractions in San Diego - Part II
Balboa Park is the nation's largest urban cultural park. It is the home to 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts, and classes—all in the beautiful and timeless setting of this must-see San Diego attraction.The largest cultural complex west of the Mississippi, San Diego's Balboa Park is sometimes called the "Smithsonian of the West" for the concentration of cultural institutions within its boundaries.
If you plan to visit more than one or two of the many attractions here, think about buying the Balboa Park Passport, available at any of the 13 attractions it gets you into. If you're looking for an even better deal, you can take a free tour or get free admission on Tuesdays. Free admission is on a rotating basis, with two to five locations participating each week.
Old Town San Diego, the first European settlement in what is now California, is often called the state's birthplace.Old Town San Diego is an attraction for many San Diego residents as well as tourists. Within Old Town there are three Park Agencies: State, City and County, all of which have historic sites operated as museums. Visitors go to Old Town for shopping - some of the shops carry very nice handicrafts - or to have a big platter of tacos and enchiladas washed down with a margarita. While there, try to look past all that and poke around inside the historic buildings, imagining life in early California. History aficionados will find plenty of interest, but most people come to shop and eat in the restaurants.
In the historic Gaslamp Quarter, consisting of 16½-blocks around Fourth and Fifth Avenues, grand Victorian-era buildings are home to more than 100 of the city's finest restaurants, 35 pubs and nightclubs and 100 retails shops, as well as theaters, art galleries, offices and residential/work lofts. When the sun sets, this downtown neighborhood attracts thousands of diners, shoppers, theatergoers, and nightclub patrons.
Seaport Village is a 14 acre waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment complex recreating a harbor side setting of a century ago. It includes different kind shops, casual dining eateries, fine dining waterfront restaurants. It was opened in 1980. Seaport Village is built on landfill over Punta de los Muertos (Point of the Dead) where the Spanish expedition of 1782 buried those who had died of scurvy. In later years it was a railroad yard where goods and other products were unloaded from ships and loaded aboard trains for shipment east. Seaport Village broke ground in 1978 and opened in 1980. Quaint maritime buildings. Fourteen acres of coastal paradise. Sweeping panoramas of San Diego’s Big Bay. Weekly music and entertainment. All of it made even better by that everyday San Diego sun. Whether shopping, dining or just strolling, Seaport Village provides it all. Everything under the sun.
With seventy miles of sand and surf, there's plenty of space away from the other San Diego attractions. San Diego beaches are great in any season. Winter is often too chilly to get in the water, but a sunny winter day is still a good time to go for a waterfront walk, and winter Pacific storms sometimes bring sensational waves.
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