San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the nation, boasting one of the largest collections of rare and endangered animals in the world. It covers 100 acres in Balboa Park and has more than 12,000 total animals, including leopards, jaguars, red pandas, giraffes, elephants, and koalas (the largest collection outside of Australia).
If you visit San Diego, we recommend taking the Skyfari Aerial Tram, which runs around the park, taking passengers from one end to the other while providing a bird’s-eye perspective of the exhibits below.
This 1,200-acre park serves as the city’s cultural center and also serves as the home for the world famous San Diego Zoo. It is located in downtown San Diego and is a nice area for a picnic, a walk or bike ride. There’s magnificent Spanish-Renaissance architecture to take in and many gardens. There’s also the Botanical Building, which houses more than 2,100 permanent plants, including impressive collections of tropical plants and orchids.
Mount Helix Park
A lovely natural retreat from the neighboring urban sprawl is Mount Helix Park. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the area, including San Diego, thanks to its high elevation. There are picnic spots, benches, and an amphitheater on the property, which organizes a number of events all year round.
The Yawkey Trail is around 0.25 miles long, and while you stroll along it, you’ll get the chance to see some of the park’s natural attractions, as well as its flora and fauna.
Carlton Oaks Country Club
The golf course at the Carlton Oaks Country Club is appropriate for players of all skill levels and offers enough challenges to make your game enjoyable and intriguing. This championship course’s 18 holes have six sets of tees with varying lengths, a creek, lakes, and forests to add beautiful scenery to your game and challenge your skills. There is a driving range, a putting green, and a chipping green in the practice area. There are lessons offered, and a pro golf shop is located there.
La Mesa is best known for its seasonal festivities and its charming downtown area on La Mesa Boulevard, often known as “The Village.” When you stroll through The Village, you will likely feel transported back in time, to the days when sharing an ice cream float with a significant other is a perfect day! There are many small businesses in and around La Mesa, as well as lovely city parks and family-friendly events.
Snowfall is extremely frequent in the mountains surrounding San Diego, especially at the higher altitudes. However, in the previous 125 years, the actual city of San Diego has only seen snow five times, with the most recent occurrence occurring on February 14, 2008.
Where would you find snow? These two locations are an hour away.
LAGUNA MT (1 HOUR)
This mountainous town in the Cleveland National Forest, which is almost 6,000 feet above sea level, is one of the greatest sites in San Diego to see snow because it receives the most snowfall in the entire county. A general store, regional eateries, log cabins, a campsite, and even a resort are located nearby.
PARK AT CUYAMACA RANCHO (1 HOUR)
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is a fantastic destination for a day trip and a nice spot for playing in the snow. The best option for visitors is to enter the park by obtaining a day pass at the park entry rather than parking in turnouts along the roadway.
More than 100 miles of well-marked paths are popular among hikers. If climbing isn’t your thing, the drive alone is worth it to take in the vistas of the wonderfully lovely region with its snow-capped mountains. Another option is to create your own snow angels.
Alex Smith – NFL Quarterback
Alex, a graduate of Helix High School, was selected first overall in the draft and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He began his NFL career as the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback, but is now retired.
Bill Walton – NBA Legend
Bill was an NBA “most valuable player,” led the Helix High School basketball team to 134 straight victories, and guided UCLA to two NCAA championships.
Barry Zito – Major League Baseball Pitcher
He’s a former Major League Baseball pithcer, who played for the San Francisco Giants after winning the American League Cy Young award while playing for the Oakland Athletics. Barry studied at Grossmont High.
Ellen Ochoa – Astronaut
She took the helm of the Discovery Shuttle during four of her space flights. She is the Johnson Space Center’s current deputy director.
Dennis Hopper – Actor, Writer and Artist
Helix High School graduate, well-known actor, Oscar nominee, and prolific photographer, sculptor, and artist.