While our beaches are the standout gem of San Diego’s tourist attractions, America’s Finest City also boasts world-famous amusement and water parks that host millions of visitors each year.
Buyer’s tip: If you want to visit multiple parks and save money at the same time, check out theme park passes that combine admissions to multiple parks in one purchase. SoCal CityPASS or the Go San Diego Card are two good options. You can also find deals on tickets through aRes Travel, Trusted Tours, and Costco.
San Diego Zoo – It’s world-famous and a zoo bucket list must-see. Visitors of all ages enjoy seeing more than 3,500 animals, including 650 rare and exotic species such as Giant Pandas, and the beautiful 100-acre tropical garden setting. If you just can’t get enough, there are special experiences and activities to keep you busy, including tours, animal encounters, and shows.
*Military families, seniors, AAA members, groups, and students are eligible for discounted tickets to the zoo and Safari Park.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park – The zoo’s Safari Park is a sprawling 1800-acre wildlife sanctuary 30 miles northeast of San Diego in the San Pasqual Valley. The reserve offers a safari experience with more than 300 African and Asian animals in natural habitats. Brand new as of May, the Walkabout Australia safari adds animals, including kangaroos and wallabies, and plants from Down Under to the park’s menagerie.
LEGOLAND California – You don’t have to be a Lego fanatic to enjoy this theme park. It is 128 acres of more than 60 interactive attractions, shows, and rides for kids aged 2-12. Next door are the LEGOLAND Water Park and SEA LIFE Aquarium for even more to do. New in 2018 are the LEGO® Star Wars™: The Force Awakens Miniland Model Display, Surfers’ Cove water park expansion, and recently-opened 250-room Castle Hotel.
*Visit the website for information on specials deals and packages as well discounted tickets for teachers and homeschooled students.
SeaWorld San Diego – For 54 years, this San Diego original animal theme park has been bringing amazing marine life experiences to the heart of Mission Bay Park. Today the park has dozens of aquariums, exhibits and shows, as well as rides (some wet), play areas, and animal interactions and tours including dolphins and whales. New in 2018 are the Electric Eel, San Diego’s tallest, fastest roller coaster, and a weekend Sesame Street Party Parade.
Aquatica San Diego – SeaWorld’s water park Aquatica in Chula Vista combines close-up animal experiences – including flamingos and turtles – with rides, slides, pools, and rivers for a truly one-of-a-kind water park. From a high-speed 375-foot slide to one of the largest wave pools in Southern California with more than 500,000 gallons of water, there is something for everyone.
Belmont Park – This beachfront amusement park offers uniquely SoCal kind of entertainment with pay-as-you-play carnival-style rides and activities, plus shopping and dining, on the Mission Beach Boardwalk. The Giant Dipper, the city’s oldest roller coaster, has been thrilling visitors since 1925. The recently added Sky Ropes Adventure invites participants to cross tight ropes, balance beams, and other obstacles
*Parking and admission to the park is free!