San Diego in Southern California is just over the border from Tijuana so it has a really Mexican feel. As the birthplace of California it’s brimming with history, especially in Old Town San Diego. The sights, smells, food and colours are a carnival for the senses.
I’d recommend hiring a GoCar for a fun and unique way to explore the city. It’s basically a bright yellow three-wheeler car that you drive like a motorbike (accelerate and break on the handles – no foot pedals). I’d recommend hiring for the day so you aren’t rushed and you can always return to your favourite spots.
We went back to the USS Midway – an aircraft carrier now converted to a museum – which really showcases San Diego’s long association with the navy. The GoCar GPS provides a commentary on the interesting historic sites as you explore, but there is also a good old fashioned hard copy map just in case you prefer it. One of the best things about the GoCar was the way everybody waved and smiled at us as we cruised by – we felt like royalty!
My other recommendations for San Diego include Sea World, which is famous for its Killer Whale (orca) show. I know people are divided in opinion about orcas in captivity, but I thought the show was amazing – just make sure you avoid the first twenty rows as this is aptly named “the drenching zone”!
For a food experience to blow your mind head to the Cheesecake Factory. Don’t be fooled by the name. They do all types of food and the combination of fantastic food, cocktails and friendly staff made for a truly memorable experience.
Next we were off to LA and Anaheim, the home of Disneyland, where we can all be young at heart no matter what the birth certificate says. Start the day with a ‘character breakfast’ in the company of Mickey, Minnie or your favourite Disney princess. You can opt for the traditional cooked brekky, but I recommend trying the peanut butter and jelly pizza or maybe worms and dirt (chocolate mousse with gummy worm lollies) – only in America!
After a day of Disney fun, make sure you see the evening parade of characters, and for all the Princesses out there – please take time to see the castle at dark. Seeing the twinkling castle lights was like a childhood dream come true.
Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth but there is certainly plenty more to see and do in Anaheim. California Adventure Park covers 29 hectares and has eight lands themed around Californian history and culture – but California Screamin’ is all about big drops, catapults and high speed thrills.
The local ice hockey team are called the Mighty Ducks and I’d highly recommend catching a game. The crazy enthusiasm of their supporters really brought the movies to life.
And finally, one last stop for anyone who loves a bargain. Just 40 minutes up the freeway to Citadel Outlet Shopping. You really will think you’re dreaming with all the big brand labels at prices to shock. And there’s no doubt that your suitcase will be screaming at the seams all the way home.
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