San Diego County is blessed with undeniable riches and the perfect climate to enjoy them. Outdoor enthusiasts can snorkel, go mountain biking or play golf. Wildlife is another big part of the region's allure, with some of the world's best zoos and wild animal facilities open all year-round, migrating whales off the coast from late December to March and hawks soaring in the sky throughout the year. San Diego is also an urban playground, with its restaurants and late-night music scene along Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter, its world-class theatres and museums and, for an all-American sporting occasion, baseball at PETCO Park. Add beautiful bays, Coronado Island, as well as fun neighboring communities and beaches and you've got an unbeatable destination.
Birch Aquarium At Scripps La Jolla
Peek at a dazzling variety of marine life, including anemones and starfish, in rock pool "touch pools" at this excellent aquarium, linked to a marine research facility. The Hall of Fishes represents more than 60 habitats, from the cold Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and the Caribbean.
The new children's museum San Diego
Encourage the kids to think, play and create with innovative hands-on exhibitions. This brand-new museum also has green credentials, with environmentally friendly architecture and practices.
Mission San Luis Rey De Francia Oceanside
The King of the Missions is the largest in the chain of 21 missions throughout the state. Major renovation is underway; look for a re-created open-air laundry (lavan-deria) and the new interpretive gardens.
Oceanside museum of Art Oceanside
Gaze at everything from classic landscape paintings to neon sculpture and art quilts. The new Central Pavilion expansion is a two-story modernist gem.
San Diego ZOO San Diego
Get a chance to glimpse back in time at the all-new, $44 million habitat set to open in Spring 09. On display will be animals, such as lions, wild horses and Asian elephants, related to creatures that roamed the region some 10,000 years ago.
SeaWorld Adventure park San Diego
Meet playful Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, sea lions and stingrays, which you may feed by hand at designated times (check the day's schedule in the morning).