It may be freezing in most parts of the country, but as I type, the temperature is 72 degrees and sunny in San Diego. Many LGBT tourists usually overlook this wonderful city for its glitzier neighbor to the north, but San Diego offers a variety of LGBT friendly attractions, neighborhoods and nightlife destinations which should not be considered when planning your next West Coast holiday. Here are some really cool things to do while visiting “America’s Finest City”.
San Diego Zoo - Founded in 1916, the Zoo has been an icon in San Diego for nearly 100 years—and an absolute must-see in Southern California. Spend the day visiting beautiful habitats that are home to gorillas, eagles, tigers, sun bears, Asian leopards, rare reptiles, and exotic birds. Visit the Australian Outback to delight in the zoo’s colony of 24 koalas, and travel along Panda Trek to experience giant pandas and other animals that share their bamboo forest habitat. Guests can enjoy a guided tour on a double-decker bus or the scenic view from the Skyfari aerial tram.
La Jolla - The La Jolla coastline varies dramatically, from 300-foot sea cliffs, to rocky reefs, to secluded coves and wide golden sandy shores. Although La Jolla’s picturesque coastal landscape makes portions of the beach inaccessible, the views are beyond spectacular, as waves and whitewater break onto rocky outcroppings, as seals and sea lions gracefully navigate safe landing onto their protected cove. La Jolla Shores is a mile-long crescent of prime sandy beach favored by active beachgoers of all interests. Anchored by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography pier, this is perfect place for visitors interested in scuba diving and kayaking. At night it comes alive with the glow of beach fires.
Balboa Park - Often referred to as the "Smithsonian of the West," Balboa Park is the largest urban park with cultural institutions in the United States. 17 museums devoted to topics as varied as anthropology, art, aviation, natural science and technology are spread throughout the pristine gardens and historic Spanish Colonial architecture. Balboa Park was originally called "City Park," but was renamed after Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, in honor of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, held in the Park that year. Balboa Park was declared a National Historic Landmark, and a National Historic Landmark District in 1977 and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Wine Country – San Diego county is home to over 100 wineries and growing. San Diego actually has more distinct microclimates than any other single county in the United States; it has grapes growing on its coastline and canyons; its mesas and mountains; even in the desert. It has grapes growing at sea level and at every level up to 4,200 feet (which is one of the highest vineyards in the state). San Diego's Mediterranean climate—typified nearly all year long by hot days, cool nights and ocean breezes—plays a large part in making San Diego so suitable for grape growing. San Diego is home to two recognized American Viticultural Areas: San Pasqual Valley and Ramona Valley. The wines produced in these regions are gaining recognition around the world for their quality, concentration and rich aromas.
USS Midway Museum - Located in downtown San Diego, the USS Midway was America’s longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century. Today, the interactive museum is an unforgettable adventure as guests walk in the footsteps of the 225,000 young men who served on Midway. Visitors will explore a floating city at sea, the amazing flight deck and its 29 restored aircraft and flight simulators. Visiting Midway is a once-in-a-lifetime experience in San Diego, known around the world as "Navy Town, USA."