Senior Citizen's Guide digital books
Senior Citizen's Guide

Destination: San Diego

I have often said that if I ever relocate out of Pittsburgh, I'd like to move to San Diego. Money magazine recently rated San Diego as one of the top three vacation spots in the United States. This ranking has given some credence to my affection for this lovely city in Southern California.

Once a sleepy mission town, the San Diego of today is a busy, thriving urban area blessed with one of the most perfect climates in the nation, a rich cultural mix and a steadily diversifying economy. I am told that San Diego ranks as the sixth largest metropolitan area in the country.

Located near downtown San Diego in Balboa Park, the 100-acre San Diego Zoo offers a peek at thousands of rare and endangered animals to more than 3 million visitors annually. Giant pandas from China are the star attractions of the zoo. The setting, landscaping, and the botanical collection of the San Diego Zoo are what make viewing animals housed outdoors a unique and pleasurable experience.

LEGOLAND California is the Danish toy manufacture's (LEGO® Company) first park in the United States. The Park is located just 30 miles north of San Diego in the beautiful seaside community of Carlsbad—famous for its flower fields. LEGOLAND California offers family rides, shows, restaurants, and shopping. The park is well suited for pre-teen children, so it is a great place to have fun with your grandchildren!

Imagine a place where you can run on sandy white beaches. Tee off alongside the Pacific Ocean. Dine in a historic setting. Visit exotic Mexico. Get splashed by a killer whale and feel like a kid again. And, a trip to San Diego isn't complete until you've seen the city's biggest star - Shamu, the whale, at Sea World, San Diego.

Bazaar Del Mundo, Old Town, is an oasis of shopping and dining pleasures that awaits you at this festive marketplace in the heart of historic Old Town. The margaritas at the bazaar restaurants are truly "award winning." The fiesta spirit culminates in the Bazaar's lush garden courtyard featuring entertainment every day of the week including marimbas, mariachis and Hispanic dancers. Seaport Village is another perfect place to spend a day shopping.

The Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California is situated along 26 oceanfront acres on Coronado Island. A national historic landmark, The Del is considered one of America's most beautiful resorts. Built in 1888 and recently restored, the resort has a rich and colorful heritage. Visit the Del to watch a spectacular sunset while sipping a drink on the patio bar.

Disneyland is just an hour and a half north of San Diego. The Disney organization has truly mastered the art and science of operating and managing a theme park. On the way to or from Disney from San Diego, I highly recommend taking Route 1 N exit at Dana Point and driving about three miles to the Ritz Carlton — a grand three-story hotel that sits on the cliffs overlooking the ocean with a winding pathway down to a perfect beach setting. Wow! what a setting!

I stayed at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla. Its location right on Route 5 offered great access to all points of interest. Carla Garcia, the Manager of Guest Services at this fine facility, went out of her way to help me organize the busy itinerary that I had set for myself and my family. I know I will be drawn back to San Diego not to far into the future and I'll let her coordinate things for me again.

Check out these helpful travel associations...

American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA):
1101 King Street,
Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-739-2782

Cruise Lines International Association:
505 5th Avenue, #1407, New York, NY 10017; 212-921-0066

U.S. Department of Transportation: Contact this agency to file a formal complaint against an airline if you feel you haven't received a satisfactory response from the airline. Send your written complaint to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Consumer Affairs, I-25, 400 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20590; phone: 202-366-2220.

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