The nation's largest urban cultural park of over 1,200 acres and dubbed "The Smithsonian of the West," Balboa Park is home to 15 major museums, beautiful gardens and the San Diego Zoo. View the Dead Sea Scrolls, an exhibition of some of the world's greatest archaeological treasures including parchment and papyrus scrolls authored around 250 BCE to 68 CE. In addition, guests can now observe the park with a fascinating one-and-a-half-hour audio tour, available at the Park's Visitor's Center.
1549 El Prado, San Diego 92101 619 239 0512 | www.balboapark.org
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Travel through the Hall of Fishes and see more than sixty habitats featuring life from the cold waters of the Northern Pacific coast down to the Caribbean. Don't miss the 13,000 gallon Shark Reef tank, admire vibrant colorful coral reefs, and discover the Tide Pool Plaza, where a variety of animals including hermit crabs and sea anemones make their home. Finally, at the newest exhibit "Feeling the Heat, The Climate Challenge," fast-forward to the year 2050 for a broadcast of California's weather report and view stunning images from around the planet that offer insight into the staggering environmental changes.
2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla 92037 858 534 Fish | www.aquarium.ucsd.edu
Del Mar Race Track and Thoroughbred Club
The Del Mar Thoroughbred club, "where the turf meets the surf," is an American horse-racing track located at the nearby Del Mar Fairgrounds with over 40 days of thoroughbred racing every summer season. Ladies bring your hats for Opening Day, the place to see and be seen from July through September.
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar 92014 858 755 1141 | www.dmtc.com
The Flower Fields of Carlsbad
Experience one of San Diego's natural wonders as vibrant waves of color cover 50 acres of foothills and overlook the Pacific Ocean. The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is an annual display of horticultural beauty that opens in March where kids run and adults linger. Visit Sweat Pea Maze, stroll the Historic Poinsettia Display, and revere the American Flag of Flowers, a brilliantly hued flag composed of red, white and blue flowers strategically planted on a 300 by 170 foot hillside.
5600 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad 92008 760 431 0352 | www.theflowerfields.com
An interactive family theme park on 128 acres filled with rides, shows and attractions. Perfect for youngsters ages 3-11, sail the seas as a pirate aboard the galleon, man the fire trucks at Fun Town Fire Academy, or become an ace driver at the Volvo Driving School. The land of adventure, mystery and intrigue.
One Lego Drive, Carlsbad 92008 760 918 LEGO | www.legoland.com
Evenings come alive in the historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego. The Gaslamp District is an exciting 16-block area designated as a national historic district with Victorian-style buildings and an abundance of restaurants, nightclubs, lounges, galleries and shops.
Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market
The Rancho Santa Fe Farmers Market at Del Rayo Village Center offers fresh seasonal produce, artisanal foods and fresh preparations for the community. The goal is to promote local and sustainable agriculture, contribute to the success of local growers, and serve as a community gathering place. Choose from a variety of vegetables, greens, herbs, fruits, farm fresh eggs, artisanal breads, fresh cut flowers, oils, honeys & jams, gourmet tamales, fresh fish, pasta, cheeses, freshly roasted coffee beans, grass fed poultry, artisanal chocolate and gift items. Open every Sunday morning from 9:00am to 1:00pm, closed on some major holidays.
16079 San Dieguito, Rancho Santa Fe 92067 858 922 5135 | www.ranchosantafefarmersmarket.com
San Diego Polo Club
Home to U.S.P.A. competitions such as the Rossmore Cup and the Spreckle's cup, the San Diego Polo club has one of the longest seasons in the country, May through October, and features some of the world's finest players and horses. Sunday's pre-game events include picnics, tailgating, children's activities and a complete food and beverage service.
14555 El Camino Real, Rancho Santa Fe 92067 858 481 9217 | www.sandiegopolo.com
San Diego Wild Animal Park
Set foot inside the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, located in North San Diego, and be transported to one of the most exotic places on earth. The 1,800 acre wildlife park is home to thousands of animals roaming together on the vast open plains. You can hand-feed a gentle giraffe, traipse through a Congo Fishing Village, get face-to-face with big cats at Lion Camp and walk a 2 mile back-country path on the Kilimanjaro Safari Walk. Throughout Journey into Africa glimpse the amazing variety of animals living on earth's largest continent and develop a new appreciation for just how huge a rhinoceros or buffalo is.
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido 92027 760 747 8702 | www.sdzsafaripark.org
San Diego Zoo
The world-famous zoo features over 4,000 animals representing more than 800 species and subspecies of rare and endangered birds, mammals and reptiles. Observe exotic plants and explore the Ituri Forest, Giant Panda Research Station and the Polar Bear Plunge. The Monkey Trails exhibit is a habitat home to a variety of tropical rain forest inhabitants from the forest floor to the canopy. And, at Elephant Odyssey, learn how animals from all over the world are connected through their ancestral history in Southern California.
Park Blvd. & Zoo Place, San Diego 92112 619 234 3153 | www.sandiegozoo.org
Seaport Village, located on the harbor near the San Diego downtown Gaslamp District, features 50 plus one-of-a-kind shops, 17 unique eateries including award-winning restaurants, and entertainment on the Bay. Stroll the picturesque Village for a full day or just for an hour, and find "everything under the sun."
849 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego 92101 619 235 4014 | www.seaportvillage.com
SeaWorld San Diego
Enjoy Killer whales, dolphins, manatees and more at the water themed adventure park located near Mission Bay. Experience the innovative Shamu Rocks show, set to a background of rock 'n' roll music, the Dolphin Encounter, and the Sea Lions LIVE show.
500 Sea World Drive, San Diego 92109 800 257 4268 | www.seaworld.com
Unlimited choices for shopping are available among the charming oceanside villages from La Jolla to Carlsbad, featuring upscale boutiques and charming cafes. The Cedros Design District is just minutes from the resort in Solana Beach and offers an eclectic mix of boutique shops featuring home design, arts and crafts, jewelry, and clothing.
Share the excitement of thoroughbred horse racing at The Del Mar Racetrack or San Diego Polo Club, both just minutes from Rancho Valencia. Experience the pride of San Diego at an explosive Chargers or Padres game at the Petco Park in downtown San Diego.
Torrey Pines State Reserve
Located 15 minutes from the resort enjoy a picnic or hike at the Torrey Pines State Reserve. The 2,000 acre Torrey Pines State Reserve offers 8 miles of trails, a visitor center, and guided nature walks on weekends and holidays. Through the ups and downs of the trail, you will find stunning overlooks, peaceful trails and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and La Jolla Point.
12600 North Torrey Pines Road, San Diego CA 92037 858 755 2063 | www.torreypine.org