Zoos and aquariums in laid-back San Diego.

Travel + Leisure
May 31, 2012

San Diego offers a much more relaxed, family-friendly vibe than L.A., and you won’t miss out on great restaurants and beautiful, oceanfront boardwalks. It’s also a relatively painless drive down the coast, and there’s much less traffic upon arrival.

SeaWorld San Diego

This marine-inspired theme park has activities for kids of all ages, including several water rides like Shipwreck Rapids, a tube-style rafting adventure. Aquariums and permanent exhibits, such as Turtle Reef and the California Tide Pool, allow for up-close encounters with the animals.

San Diego Zoo

Corvette Diner

Drop into the lively diner, for midday burgers and onion rings served by sassy waitresses.

Sammy's Woodfired Pizza

Order the barbecued-chicken pizza at this local favorite of everyone from grandmas to surfer dudes.

Catamaran Resort Hotel

The hotel takes full advantage of its waterfront location (relaxed sports rule these waves; rooms have coastal views) on kid-friendly Mission Bay, which has 19 miles of beaches.

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