Anonymous asked in TravelUnited StatesSan Diego · 1 decade ago

Mission Bay area fun?

Going to Mission Bay area for a Wedding in July. My 9 year old son and I will be staying at the Dana. Anybody have an opinion on the best things to check out in the area? We were considering, Sea World, the Aquarium and/or LegoLand. Trying to keep the cost to a minimum so any insider tips on how to get into these places cheaper would be great too. This trip is breaking my budget!

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I just love Mission Bay what a great place. Be sure to check out the Mission Bay board walk. They have several rides and a very fun old roller coaster. Old and wooden I love ridding it! They also have some surf shops and "quick" cheap places to eat. The beach here sometimes can get a little crowded on weekends but, they have life guards which is very nice! They also have picnic tables and showers. Legoland is fun, I would contact the San Diego visitors center they have coupons for Sea World and Legoland, they used to sell discount tickets, I do not know if they still do it but, they have a great visitors packet with maps and coupons for food, places ect that has saved me ALOT of money! Sea World is OKAY, I was a little dissapointed, they have 4 rides there and only 2 are free if your son wants to ride the other ones they will cost you about $7 each. Also parking is expensive, and the prices are very expensive, if you want to save money I would go to Legoland and then maybe the Scripts Aquarium also known as the Birch aquarium. Very nice aquarium you get the fish experience and it is a lot cheaper. Again contact the visitors center and they have discounts. Also both of these places give discounts to Military personal. The San Diego zoo of course is great one of the best in the country. Really neat and they have Pandas! Again check the coupon book saved us at least $10. I know the zoo can get expensive they have packages, check out their website for more prices.

    Here are some websites that might help you:

    This site has discount tickets:

    On this site they have buy one Legoland ticket get one free check this site out!

    Okay here are a few more sites:

    Here are some of the attractions websites for more info on times ect....

    Here are some other things that I love to do in San Diego:

    Maritime Museum of San Diego

    A world class adventure for the whole family, the Maritime Museum of San Diego features one of the world's finest collections of historic ships. The museum's impressive fleet includes the world's oldest active ship Star of India, H.M.S. Surprise from the Academy Award winning film "Master and Commander," the 1898 steam ferry Berkeley, the 1904 steam yacht Medea and the B-39 soviet-era Russian attack submarine. On board you will find fascinating exhibits on maritime history, exploration and warfare including an interactive children's play area. Enhance your visit to the museum by choosing a trip on San Diego Bay aboard an authentic 1914 Pilot Boat or a day sail aboard the revenue cutter Californian-the State's Official Tall Ship.

    You might be interested to know that they are having a specail feature called Pirates of the Pacific.....What little boy does not like pirates!

    Birch Aquarium at Scripps

    Birch Aquarium at Scripps strives to teach visitors about Scripps research and the ocean world through magnificent marine habitats and interactive exhibits for all ages. The most popular features include a stunning 70,000-gallon kelp tank featuring colorful sea life, a fascinating shark reef with dozens of species, and three living tide-pools where visitors can touch and learn about creatures such as brilliant sea stars, hermit crabs, and lobsters. Come see the mysterious leafy sea dragon and the extroverted two-spot octopus. Stay for the dive shows where Scripps divers take the plunge into the kelp tank for a half-hour show about “underwater” San Diego. Plan to return for the new exhibit, Feeling the Heat: Climate Challenge, opening May 19!

    Firehouse Museum, The

    Antique firefighting equipment: fire engines, pictures, helmets and memorabilia displayed in San Diego's oldest firehouse

    Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

    With exhibits to touch, virtual reality to experience, IMAX films to watch and fun to be had, The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is an educational, entertaining experience for visitors of all ages.

    We feature seven galleries of exciting, hands-on science exhibits, as well as major traveling exhibitions. Our 76-foot IMAX Dome Theater, the first in the world, presents the biggest films on the planet, plus planetarium shows and more. Its unique configuration wraps the audience in images and provides the illusion of being suspended in space. Ride COMET IMPACT, the 23-passenger motion simulator ride, and plunge into the unexplored world at the bottom of the ocean. KID CITY offers interactive fun and learning for preschool-age children (infants through age six). Plus, the Nierman Challenger Learning Center offers the experience of living and working in space.

    The Fleet is located at the east end of the Prado, the main thoroughfare through beautiful Balboa Park. Sometimes referred to as "The Smithsonian of the West," the park houses almost all of the city's museums, as well as theatres and other attractions – including the San Diego Zoo. Since its opening, The Fleet has been the best-attended museum in the city and a Top 10 attraction in San Diego.

    Very cool place!!!!!!

    San Diego Air & Space Museum

    Recently designated as California's Official Air & Space Museum and Education Center, this Smithsonian Affiliate features historic aircraft and spacecraft, Smithsonian and many one-of-a-kind artifacts! Rotating special exhibits, multi-media displays and exceptional hands-on educational programs. Free guided tours available with admission. Tours of the Museum's famous restoration center also available.

    Boys love planes and stuff I think that he would like this!

    San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum

    Experience Midway Magic aboard the historic USS Midway aircraft carrier! Open daily 10am-5pm (ticket booth closes 4pm), downtown waterfront.

    Here is a list of FREE things to do in the area:

    Having fun in San Diego doesn’t require a lot of money. In fact, many things to see and do in San Diego are absolutely free. With 70 miles of beautiful beaches, near-perfect weather year-round, and a variety of magnificent settings countywide, San Diego offers a fun and inexpensive getaway during all seasons of the year.

    Following is a list of 25 free activities found in San Diego year-round:

    1. Head to San Diego’s many beaches, all free to the public, to swim, body surf or hang-ten. Play in the sand, collect seashells or just bask in the sun.

    2. Visit La Jolla Cove and see the magnificent sunset on the ocean. La Jolla Cove is one of the most spectacular natural settings in the world.

    3. Visit Seaport Village during the weekends for free entertainment and hours of leisurely strolling and window-shopping. Or just sit in the grass and gaze at passing yachts and ships on picturesque San Diego Bay.

    4. Stroll through the 16½-block historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego and view the renovated turn-of-the-century Victorian architecture, home to boutiques, art galleries, specialty shops and more.

    5. Fly a kite along the grassy field in the Tecolote Shores of Mission Bay Park, a 4,600-acre aquatic park. Here, away from trees and overhead wires, friends and family gather to launch colorful kites into the bay breezes.

    6. Enjoy free organ concerts at 2 p.m. on Sundays at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion in Balboa Park. The Organ Pavillion features one of world’s largest outdoor pipe organs, a San Diego landmark since 1914, where organists play traditional favorites, waltzes and show tunes on enormous 32-foot pipes.

    7. Visit Old Town and witness the living legacy of San Diego history. Guests are also invited to wander free through Old Town’s historic buildings, including the blacksmith shop, Seeley Stables, Stewart House, Estudillo House and the oldest schoolhouse in San Diego.

    8. Bike or jog along Mission Bay Park’s many trails. Joggers and walkers share more than 20 miles of scenic running paths that wind through sunlight and shade near the shoreline and feature workout courses at planned stations along the route.

    9. Visit the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista for a free tour of the 150-acre facility, including training fields and tracks, athlete dorms and the Otay Lake Reservoir. Tours are offered daily from the Copley Visitor Center between 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m-3 p.m. on Sunday.

    10. Stargaze outside the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park on the first Wednesday of every month. The San Diego Astronomy Association sets up huge telescopes to offer guests a great view of all the stars in the night sky.

    11. Take a scenic, one-hour drive to Mt. Laguna. Once there, hop out for an invigorating hike and enjoy the fresh mountain air whispering through the pines.

    12. Step back in time with a stop in Julian, a century-old gold mining town in the Cuyamaca Mountains. Pick up a free map at the Chamber of Commerce for a self-guided walking tour of the area’s historic sites and later enjoy a slice of homemade apple pie – a Julian specialty!

    13. Grab your picnic basket and head to Torrey Pines State Park where you can watch talented and daring hang-gliders do tricks in the strong winds that sweep along the coastline cliffs.

    14. Cross the border into colorful and exciting Tijuana, Mexico. Entrance is free, the people are friendly, and the shops offer unique gifts and apparel as well as great window-shopping.

    15. Rollerblade, skateboard or bicycle along the Mission Beach Boardwalk, a scenic 3-mile boardwalk along picturesque Mission and Pacific Beaches.

    16. Visit Mission Trails Regional Park to explore the cultural, historical and recreational aspects of San Diego. Stop at the Visitor’s Center and learn about the wonders of nature and the people who once lived on the land. Or, roam through the park’s 40 miles of natural and developed hiking and biking trails.

    17. Go scuba diving or snorkeling off San Diego’s shores and see spectacular creatures of the sea. La Jolla Cove offers some of the clearest waters on the California coast, as well as miles of protected underwater preserves to explore.

    18. Go bird watching at the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Located high above Torrey Pines State Beach, the area is home of the rare and ancient Torrey Pine as well as a beautiful protected habitat for swifts, thrashers, woodpeckers and wrentits.

    19. Stroll through Balboa Park and marvel at its beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. While there, take advantage of the park’s variety of offerings, including 15 museums (select museums free on Tuesdays), free daily park tours, public organ concerts (Sundays), and spectacular gardens (seven are free daily).

    20. Visit other museums around town that offer similar free days. In its La Jolla facility, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is free on the third Tuesday of each month; the downtown facility is free daily.

    21. Gather family, friends and firewood for a cozy beach bonfire at one of the beaches in San Diego County, including Coronado Beach, La Jolla Shores and Mission Beach.

    22. Explore the tidepools in Point Loma at low tide and get up close and personal with flowery anemones, scampering shore crabs, elusive octopus, spongy deadman's fingers and many other magnificent sea creatures.

    23. Drive to the top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla for breathtaking, 360-degree views of San Diego, including the gently curving La Jolla coastline and Mission Bay. Spectacular views of San Diego’s East County communities also await guests at the top of Mt. Helix.

    24. Visit the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and experience the natural beauty of the desert. The 600,000-acre park is one of the largest state parks in the United States and each spring, following winter rains, explodes into a rainbow of colorful wildflower blossoms.

    25. Take a scenic walk along The Big Bay, San Diego's "largest attraction." With 27 miles of waterfront featuring bayside parks, marinas, hundreds of shops and restaurants, and miles of promenades and bikeways, the Big Bay appeals to all ages and interests.

    Well I hope this helps you there is a ton of stuff to do in San Diego be sure to check out the websties I listed.....also be sure to go to the San Diego visitors site above and request your visitors packet for the coupons you can also purchase discount tickets to the places above there. I really would not go to Sea World and go to the Birch Aquarium, they have a lot more hands on stuff, less shows that are not geared to kids, and some really cool new stuff. I think you would enjoy it a lot and I think so would your son, that way you could spend more at Legoland! Have a great trip you will love it and you are going durring perfect weather time! You could always send your son to surfing lessions, all the board shops in Mission offer them and they are usually pretty cheap, would give you time to yourself and your son an experience he will never forget! Hope this helps!

  • 1 decade ago

    Dana is really nice and super close to Sea World. My daughter is 10. Legoland is far away and overpriced. Also Mission beach has a roller coaster, rides and an arcade and its close to where you will be staying. Its on the beach! Go low budget and just take him to the fun area of Mission beach and Seaworld and I am sure he will love it! The beach can be very entertaining for days. Try surfing..that is fun too!~

    Seaworld... look on their website or in an Entertainment book for deals.

    Aquarium is okay not great. The Zoo is awesome here. Balboa park is awesome and has a free museum each Tuesday.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Go down to Fisherman's Wharf where there's a Ripley's Believe it or not Museum that's so fascinating, my son and his buddy spent 1 1/2 hours there; in that same block is a "center island" where all types of food(but especially SEAFOOD) is served; Delish! Across the street from Ripley's is an old Penny Arcade that has actual working models-many of them! put your $$$ in and have some fun for a couple of bucks; down at the other end(a few minutes walk) is Pier 39 with tons of restaurants, shops, travel service desk; they have a couple hour tour by cable car that is FANTASTIC: The Golden Gate Bridge, Precidio, Haight Ashbury, China Town; good price! Also, Alcatraz! I had a ghostly experience there...but that's another story! Have fun!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There are lots of grassy areas by the Dana and beaches with fire rings so you can enjoy a bonfire on the beach if you want.

    Check out the San Diego Go Card for discounts:

    For into on the beaches and other things to do go to:

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  • 1 decade ago

    well, there is Belmont park, you could always rent or bring bikes and its always fun and great excersize to bike the trail there in mission bay. to get into sea world cheap....... you could if you are in the military. or if you want to go more than once get thefun card. u pay once and get to go there for the rest of the year.

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