California Travel Articles
San Diego Rich In History, Things To See And Do
Linknet Places - December 30, 2005
**Follow the Founders' Trail to relive the early history of San Diego
The Founders' Trail consists of seven historic sites in the San Diego area where you can learn about the early history of the area.
The earliest inhabitants of the San Diego area were Native Americans. Mission Trails Regional Park includes 3000 acres of countryside preserved much as it was when the Kumeyaay people hunted and harvested here hundreds of years ago.
The Cabrillo National Monument marks the place where Juan Rodriguez stepped ashore in 1542 and claimed the region for Spain.
It wasn't until 225 years later in 1769 that the first Franciscan missions were established in the area. Junipero Serra Museum, Mission San Diego de Alcala, and Mission San Luis Rey all display this era in the development of the San Diego area.
The Mexican era began in 1821 when Mexico won its independence from Spain. This was the beginning of the era of giant ranches displayed at Rancho de los Pinasquitos and Rancho de Guajome.
The Mexican era ended in 1848 after the two year war between Mexico and the United States and the California territory was transferred to the U.S. Revisit this era in local history at the visitor center at San Pasqual, the site of the only major battle of the war fought in the San Diego area.
**San Diego to host World Baseball Classic Finals
The first ever World Baseball Classic is set to begin on March 3, 2006. Sixteen countries or territories are committed to the event. It begins March 3 in Japan's Tokyo Dome and will end with an inaugural champion crowned on March 20 in San Diego's PETCO Park.
Those teams so far confirmed have been divided into four pools for the first round. They include: Pool A -- China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea; Pool B -- Canada, Mexico, South Africa, U.S.; Pool C -- Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico and possibly Cuba; Pool D -- Australia, Dominican Republic, Italy, Venezuela.
The two big "maybes" for the tournament are the team from Cuba and Alex Rogriguez. The Cuban team has been told by the U.S. Treasury Department that it cannot participate because of U.S. laws governing financial transactions with Cuba. Rodriguez has said he will likely not participate because of divided loyalties between his birthplace (Dominican Republic) and his adopted home (U.S.) Both issues are the subject of much speculation and are currently being negotiated.
**San Diego's Balboa Park largest U.S. urban cultural park
Balboa Park in San Diego is home to 15 major museums, several performing arts venues, 12 gardens, and many other cultural and recreational attractions including the San Diego Zoo. Visitors can access 13 of the parks attractions buy purchasing a "Passport to Balboa Park" for just $ 30.
The Passport is good for for seven days and guests can visit the Museum of Photographic Arts, the Japanese Friendship Garden, Mingei International Museum, the Museum of San Diego History, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego Art Institute: Museum of the Living Artist, San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum, San Diego Model Railroad Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Man, and San Diego Natural History Museum.
Visitors also can upgrade the Passport with a one-day deluxe admission to the San Diego Zoo for a savings of about 50%. Passports are available at the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
**Things to see and do around San Diego
The California Center for the Arts 2005-2006 Performing Arts Season presents exciting performances by classic celebrities, jazz legends, opera performances and Broadway favorites. Attend performances at either the Center Theater or the Concert Hall of the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.
Whale watching season runs from mid-December to mid-March in San Diego County. More than 15,000 California gray whales head south from Alaska to the warm water breeding areas of Baja California. A glassed-in observatory at Cabrillo National Monument, on the panoramic Point Loma peninsula, is a great place to watch the whales. You can also examine whale exhibits, and listen to presentations featuring the whales and their habitat. Whale-watching tours are available from local boating companies throughout the season.
San Diego Beach Scene - Visit San Diego's beaches for a wide range of experiences. The Continental Shelf extends many miles offshore, protecting the area from localized North Pacific storms and swelss from the Southern Ocean. The temperate climate makes San Diego's many beaches safe and pleasant all year-round. Three distinct beach areas offer variety of experience and scenery. The North County coast features sandstone bluffs and fine beaches from Torrey Pines to San Onofre. The Central Coast is marked by dramatic headlands at La Jolla and Point Loma with the impressive waterways of Mission Bay in between. In the South Bay, the beaches of Coronado and the Silver Strand make San Diego one of the world's great seaports.
The Museum of San Diego History is located in Balboa Park. The museum presents the diverse history of the region, with interpretion of San Diego's growth since the 1840s. Attend public lectures, workshops and educational programs presented in the museum's 100-seat Thornton Theater.
The San Diego Zoo is one of the great zoos of the world. It is part of Balboa Park. Zoo features include
* Monkey Trails and Forest Tales, an elaborate habitat housing more than 30 species of exotic and endangered birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians from Afica and Asia.
* The Giant Panda Research Station - the zoo houses four giant pandas in an area built especially for them. The pandas are in San Diego as the result of an agreement between the Zoo and the Chinese government.
* Absolutely Apes houses the orangutans and siamangs who have been a major feature of the zoo for many years. The animals inhabit a naturalistic area where they can climb, swing, and live in the same terrain as they would in the wild. Visitors can get up close and personal with the curious and playful apes when they choose to sit on the mulch right at the viewing window.
* Other features include Tiger River, Flamingo Lagoon, Polar Bear Plunge, Sun Bear Forest, and a children's Petting Zoo
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