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  1. #1
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    Default Only 1 morning in San Diego! What to see...?

    Our flight arrives the day before our cruise leaves on May 8. So I figure that we have one morning to see one of the sights. But which one....?

    We have a 3 year old and a baby. What would you suggest? Sea World, Legoland, or the zoo? Or something else?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If you only have the morning, I'd probably vote for the zoo of the 3 options you identified. It's close to the port so if you're staying in that general area you won't have far to travel. It's also located in Balboa Park so you could spend some time wandering around the park or even check out some of the museums if you are interested.

    You could also do the Seaport Village area for a few hours, or take the ferry across the bay and explore Coronado a bit (that would probably be my preference if the weather's nice).

    Have fun!

  3. #3
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    None of the above. Legoland is too far away. Seaworld and the zoo and not "one morning" destinations (nor is Legoland, for that matter).

    I would consider going to Balboa Park. As PP mentioned, there are museums to visit, places to walk, and just simple playgrounds to play on.

    Harbor Island also is nice. It is right by the airport. You can just walk along the island, or you can stop at the playground (there may be more than one, but I know there is at least one we visited when we had to drop off DH at the airport for his deployment).

    If you're willing to brave the locals, Sunset Cliffs Pier is worth a visit. It's nothing special compared to some of the fancier piers (Huntington Beach and Newport Beach come to mind), but we always liked to walk there. If you like burgers, go to Hodad's for lunch.

    Would your kids like to ride the trolley? Even if you don't need to GO anywhere, the trolley can be fun. It goes all the way to the Mexican border, or you can ride out past the stadium. I'm not sure how far it goes now; it's been a while since we lived in San Diego.
    DS '04 "Boogaboo"
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  4. #4
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    Depends on how many hours you have. If it really is just the morning, then yes I guess the zoo would be a waste of money. I don't know how much admission is since we have yearly passes. But I don't think it's worth it to just go for a few hours.

    Maybe the Scripps Aquarium in La Jolla? It is a small aquarium, but I think it's very nicely done. And there's a great view of the ocean from the "petting zoo" area where you get to touch the starfish and stuff.
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  5. #5
    Twoboos is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by sariana View Post
    None of the above. Legoland is too far away. Seaworld and the zoo and not "one morning" destinations (nor is Legoland, for that matter).

    I would consider going to Balboa Park. As PP mentioned, there are museums to visit, places to walk, and just simple playgrounds to play on.
    Quote Originally Posted by joules View Post

    Maybe the Scripps Aquarium in La Jolla? It is a small aquarium, but I think it's very nicely done. And there's a great view of the ocean from the "petting zoo" area where you get to touch the starfish and stuff.
    Totally agree with all this! Zoo/Legoland/Seaworld really are full day destinations. Balboa park is gorgeous!! So much fun stuff there, even without the zoo.

    Scripps Aquarium is always on our to-do list, and somehow we have never made it there!
    "I'm in charge of thinking of things before people know they need them." - Joan Harris, Mad Men (and mothers everywhere!)

  6. #6
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    If your heart is set on one of those three, and it really is just the morning, I'd go with the Zoo or Sea World, because of their proximity to the port (although my true vote is "none of the above"). But they aren't cheap. Sea World is smaller, but you would probably miss a lot of the shows. The zoo is really, really big. So you'd pay a lot and only see a few things. Balboa park is really nice, you don't have to go to the zoo. There's the carousel, which is beautiful, and a steam train next to it which is fun. There's also the Reuben H. Fleet Space Museum (I think it's still called that) in Balboa Park which has a hands-on science center. There are a bunch of playgrounds, and you can eat in Hillcrest, a cute neighborhood nearby.

    Seaport Village is nice if you like knick-knacky type shops. I think it's the same as a lot of other seaside shopping areas though. But I used to like going there with my mom and walking around when I went home for a visit.

    Oh, you could also try to tour one of the big naval ships! That would be totally cool, and obviously really close to the port.
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  7. #7
    Twoboos is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinFoxes View Post

    Oh, you could also try to tour one of the big naval ships! That would be totally cool, and obviously really close to the port.
    Ohhhh that would be SO cool! We visited one of the older ships instead the last time we were there. The ship that is in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies is usually docked there too, manned with "pirates." We also toured a sub and an old time ferry boat. Sorry but I am blanking on all the names right now! I'll see if I can find them.

    ETA: Old ship was the Star of India. Here is some other info on ships you can see:
    http://sandiego.about.com/od/familyf...front_walk.htm
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  8. #8
    Tondi G is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    I would vote for Sea World. You could do some of the feeding experiences (sea lions, rays, dolphins maybe), they have the Sesame Street Bay of Play for a couple of smaller rides and a big climbing thing (and water play area if it's warm enough bring towels and bathing suit). My boys really love Sea World and have since they were very little. If you decide not to visit a theme park then I would go to Seaport village, ride the carousel, take the ferry over to Coronado ... walk around, see the Hotel Del Coronado .... maybe play on the beach a little. You can rent surry bikes to cruise around a bit if you feel like it.... then ferry back and head to your cruise ship!

  9. #9
    Tondi G is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinFoxes View Post
    Oh, you could also try to tour one of the big naval ships! That would be totally cool, and obviously really close to the port.
    I don't know if I would do the USS Midway with a 3 yr old and a baby ... that ship is huge and climbing in the close quarters and up and down stairs might be a pain with little ones. The flight deck up top is cool though. It something like 16 or 18 bucks each and the little ones are free.

    http://www.midway.org/visitors

    looks like they have a new audio tour for families with children. when we went they wouldn't give my boys headphones to listen to the tour.... we shared with them but it was pretty boring. They did like climbing into the bunks and seeing the control room.... the flight deck was the most exciting part for them though.... the inside was only interesting for a little while and they were ready to see something else. http://www.midway.org/exhibits-and-a...ircraft-Museum

  10. #10
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    We were just in San Diego last week and went to the zoo with the kids--I highly recommend it. It is a little too big to cover everything in one morning, and it's hilly so there's a lot of walking involved. But they do have a tram ride that takes you around most of the zoo and that is a good way to see a lot in a short amount of time. Also don't miss the panda (head straight there when the zoo opens for the shortest line) because that is one of the unique exhibits about the SD zoo. The Children's zoo is nice too and has a petting area and a playground--my kids loved it. I think if you walked out to the pandas, then hit the polar bear, and ride the gondola back down to the main entrance (if you don't have a stroller) or walk back down through the elephant area, then did the tram tour, and finished in the children's zoo, that would be a very full and fun morning! There's a little steam train just outside the zoo too.

    There are lots of other options. Scripps Aquarium is great. Also there is a children's museum in San Diego--I haven't been there but it gets good reviews. Sea World and Legoland are fun but they're pretty expensive to go for just half a day (and Legoland is a bit farther away). Balboa Park is nice. Or you could go to the beach, either at La Jolla Cove (there are often sea lions that hang out there), Mission Bay or Coronado.
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