SeaWorld San Diego
With a charming mix of rides and sea-life attraction, SeaWorld San Diego (500 SeaWorld Dr., 800/257-4268, www.seaworld.com, hours vary, adults $60, children $50) makes a fun destination for families. SeaWorld is navigable in half a day, even when taking the time to include some rides and shows.
Kids love meeting Shamu and his brothers and sisters in the killer whale pool just inside the park entrance. Also in SeaWorld you’ll meet sea lions, endangered sea turtles, dolphins, and other denizens of the deep.
On hot days, the river ride and splash-down roller coaster cool off overheated park visitors. Plenty of food concessions (including a coffee stand) revive weary families, getting them ready for more animal shows and action-packed rides.
If you want to have breakfast or dinner with Shamu at the restaurant looking out into the killer whale tank, advance reservations are recommended.
While SeaWorld offers great fun for small children, the laboriously cute decor, roller-coaster-style rides, and trained animal acts can get a bit tiresome for more sophisticated or outdoor-oriented adult travelers. The food in the park also caters to the younger set, and tends to be higher on fat content than quality.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition