If you are a frequent traveler to San Diego, you may think that you have experienced most of what San Diego has to offer. However, there is more than meets the eye. There are a number of San Diego spots that are just waiting to behad. The following are several interesting spots that only San Diego locals would know about.
Queen Califia’s Magical Circle
If you are drawn to the peculiar, the Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is sure to pique your interest. Artist Niki de Saint Phalle left her mark on San Diego with this colorful sculpture garden that is located in Escondido’s Kit Carson Park. You will have to do some exploring in the park to find it, but once you do, you will be glad you did. The sculpture garden consists of nine large sculpturesthat are contained in a colorful maze. The shimmering colors will surely have you mesmerized. This sculpture garden is open daily with free admission on Tuesdays, Thursdays and the second Saturday of the month.
Salt Mountains in Chula Vista
Have you ever seen a salt mountain? Well, if you haven’t, head over to the Chula Vista shoreline where salt mountains are abundant. The salt mountains are made from local salt ponds, and many of them stand at over 40 feet high! They are so tall that you can see them from the Bayshore Bikeway. The salt mountains are one of the best places to visit in San Diego and have great historical importance as they are part of South Bay Salt Works which was founded in 1871 and is San Diego’s second oldest commercial business. You can tour the South Bay Salt Works building to experience what it was like back in the 1800s during the Industrial Revolution.
Spruce Street Suspension Bridge
Located in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood is an old suspension bridge that was used to connect the neighborhood to the other side of Kate Sessions Canyon back in the early 1900s. While this bridge is no longer needed for practical reasons, it does offer a fun, thrilling experience. It is your typical pedestrian suspension bridge that sways from side to side as it hangs over the canyon. The suspension bridge is sturdy as it is suspended across the canyon by cables. If you are looking for a free thrill while in San Diego, this will do the trick!
Let Us Help You Find Places to Visit in San Diego
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Everywhere you turn in San Diego, you’re confronted with history, culture, nature and beauty. Out of all the places to visit in San Diego, these 5 are sure to be experiences you’ll never forget.
Observe a grunion run
Observe a what? The grunion run is a unique, incredible type of fish. These fish are famous for their remarkable spawning behavior, which evokes an “I don’t believe it!” response from people seeing or hearing about it for the first time.
Grunion leave the water at night to spawn on beaches during the spring and summer months. For four consecutive nights, beginning on the nights of the full and new moons, spawning occurs after high tides and continues for several hours. As waves break on the beach, grunion swim as far up the slope as possible.
Spawning occurs from March through August, and occasionally in February and September. Peak spawning is late March to early June.
Expert tips: The times given for each date reflect the probable two-hour interval during which a spawning run may occur. The second hour is usually better. The best runs normally occur on the second and third nights of a four-night period.
Learn more about grunion run times at the California Wildlife website.
Watch the colors at Sunset Cliffs
Dedicated in 1983, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is a 68-acre park stretching along the Pacific Ocean along Point Loma. You can enjoy a number of activities at the Park, but it’s best known for its inspiring panoramic views. From the cliffs, the California Gray Whale can be seen migrating annually from the Bering Sea to Baja California.
Becaue of the views, Sunset Cliffs is one of the most unforgettable natural places to visit in San Diego. Sunset Cliffs Park at Ladera Street is an excellent location for sunset viewing. Sunset Cliffs at Luscomb Point is another prime sunset viewing location.
Get up close and personal at the U.S. Olympic Training Center
Who doesn’t get excited and inspired by the Olympics? For anyone who’s ever cheered on Team U.S.A., one of the most extraordinary places to visit in San Diego is the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. The facility is dedicated to preparing and developing America’s future Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
The Center has sport venues and support facilities for archery, beach volleyball, BMX, canoe/kayak, cycling, field hockey, rowing, rugby, soccer, tennis, track & field, triathlon, and cross-training abilities for various winter sports.
Even better, you can enjoy guided tours (Saturdays at 11am) or self-guided tours (daily 9am-5pm).
The guided tour includes an overview of the history, purpose and general facts about the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. Self-guided tours will lead you down the mile-long Olympic Path. Maps with points of interest are available at the Visitor’s Center.
Go on safari at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
The world-renowned San Diego Zoo is a major attraction for visitors to the city. But you can take your animal experience a step further with the incredible Sand Diego Zoo Safari Park. A ton of exhibits and interactive activities and shows are available, but the star of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is, of course, the safaris. Whether you choose a pre-designed safari or create your own behind-the-scenes safari, you’ll have animal encounters that’ll stand out in your memory for a lifetime.
Experience incredible whale watching
We recently wrote about whale watching in San Diego. Whether you encounter blue whales or gray whales, it’s a majestic experience to be so close to these incredible animals. You will never forget seeing a whale breach the ocean in the wild.