Far Away Friday V2

Hi all! I asked my friend Meredith who lives in San Diego to do today's Far Away Friday. I went once as a kid, and would love to take big R there one day! 

From major tourist attractions, such as the world famous San Diego Zoo, to quaint neighborhood picnic spots, such as Spreckles Park in Coronado, the options are endless for families looking to have fun in San Diego!

When Allena asked me to write a guest blog post to highlight all that San Diego has to offer, I immediately said yes! We had a blast being out and about with our daughter Emilia and think that you’ll really enjoy the following list:

First stop:
San Diego Zoo: There are two campuses, with the main zoo being in the heart of the city in Balboa Park, and Sarfari Park, which is about a 45 minute drive northeast to Escondido.  Both are outstanding, but if you are just visiting for the weekend, the location in Balboa Park is perfect. The San Diego Zoo is home to thousands of different animals found in all corners of the world. Flamingos, a favorite of Emilia’s, are the first thing you will see when you walk through the gates. The zoo is organized by geographic areas, with “Africa Rocks” being the zoo’s newest exhibit.  It features lemurs, large cats, and even African penguins. “Asian Passage” is home to the world famous pandas, “Northern Frontier” has three massive polar bears, and the “Australian Outback” has the cutest Koalas. All of the exhibits have interactive features and fun learning games throughout, so your kiddo will never get bored.  
Things to know if you go:
·      1-Day Pass and 2-Day Passes are available, plus additional options.
·      Active Duty Military are free.
·      Children under 3 get in free.
·      Plan on going for at least half a day or longer.
·      Bring snacks, lunches, water, etc. – the cost of food and beverages there are pricey.
·      Parents, they do offer local craft beer and wine.
·      Pack sunscreen and wear hats.
·      Bring your camera, there are lots of great photo ops!
 Second Stop:
Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla: Brad and I love going to the aquarium and now find a whole new joy in it as we are seeing everything through Emilia’s eyes. The aquarium is divided into three sections. The first section features numerous fish in multiple tanks and highlight the diverse marine life found off the California coast. A second section is located outdoors, where you can get your hands wet while interacting with small sea life in the petting tank while also taking in the most gorgeous views of La Jolla and the Pacific. There is another outdoor area that includes a tank where they feed fish, sharks, and rays. Kids will love the “Boundless Energy” exhibit, which is a fun, interactive way for children to learn about how the sun, wind and waves can be alternative sources for energy. Other exhibits during our visit were “Mexican Seas” and “There’s Something About Seahorses.”  We especially loved the seahorses!  The aquarium is the perfect size and in a great location…you can head there in the morning and then go to lunch around La Jolla Cove when you finish.

After the aquarium, we headed down to La Jolla Cove to see the seals and sea lions hanging out right off the shore, and headed to lunch at one of our favorite spots, Duke’s in La Jolla.

There are tons of parks all around San Diego, but one of our favorites is Spreckles Park in the village of Coronado. The city does a really great job of keeping all of the parks clean and safe. Emilia isn’t old enough to go down the slides, but she loves to swing in the bucket swings. She loves to watch the other kids playing. We like to take a blanket, have a picnic and hang out for a while, especially if the weather is nice. One great feature about this park is that they have a swing that is handicap accessible, so everyone can join in the fun!
San Diego is also well known for its gorgeous beaches!  While they are all fantastic, we just love taking our golden retriever, Walter, to the dog beach in Coronado. It’s a blast to watch him and the other dogs romp around in the waves. There are also dog friendly beaches in Ocean Beach and Del Mar.
Other easy-to-do things around San Diego:
·      The USS Midway, a decommissioned Navy Air Craft Carrier that is open to the public for tours.
·      The museums at Balboa Park, including the Air and Space museum and Natural History museum
·      Del Mar Fairgrounds (numerous events during summer months)
·      Mission Beach Boardwalk, a great place to check out the laid back San Diego vibe
·      Cardiff by the Sea, a charming sea-side neighborhood with beautiful beaches and great casual spots to eat.

Thanks Mer! Interested in writing a Far Away Friday post? Let me know!