Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014 - 40

Tour
Stop

Zoo Survival

BALBOA
PARK

SKILLS

P

Spanish Village Art Center

science; photography; Mexican, Latin
American, and African-American art;
and natural history, to name a few. The
air and space museum houses the only
authentic flying replica of the Spirit of
St. Louis. The model railroad museum is
the largest in North America, with more
than 28,000 square feet of scale model
railroad layouts. Tour members can gaze
on Mayan monuments in the Museum
of Man and see more than 200 artists in
working studios at the Spanish Village
Art Center.
The Marston House, a 1905 Arts and
Crafts home on five acres of gardens,
is considered one of the nation's most
important. More gardens include an
award-winning rose garden, a tranquil
Japanese friendship garden, and a soaring botanical building that houses more
than 2,100 tropical plants, from orchids
to carnivores. Also popular is the formal
40

DESTINATIONS

/ JULY-AUGUST 2014

Alcazar Garden, known for its ornate
fountains and bright annuals.
On Sunday afternoons visitors can enjoy
the rumblings of one of the world's largest
outdoor pipe organs, whose pipes range in
height from that of a pencil to 32 feet.
Guests can also catch a show at several
venues, including the Old Globe Theatre,
one of the country's leading regional
theaters, and the Marie Hitchcock Puppet
Theater.

A World-Class Menagerie

There's no visiting Balboa Park without spending a day at the San Diego
Zoo, a rolling landscape covering 100
acres and housing more than 3,700
exotic, rare, and endangered animals
in naturalistic habitats. The pandas,
polar bears, and koalas draw enamored
crowds, though almost every animal
that comes to mind is on view, from

hippos to hummingbirds (which flit
around visitors in the Hummingbird
House).
A 35-minute free narrated tour on a
double-decker bus gives the lay of the
land. It's available for groups of 20 or
more with advance notice. A scenic way
to save on walking is the soaring Skyfari,
which whisks guests who aren't afraid
of heights from one end of the zoo to the
other, offering a stunning view.
At the Polar Bear Plunge, watch Chinook, Kalluk, and Tatqiq frolic like kids
both on land and underwater. Bird lovers
should wing it to the Scripps Aviary,
where they'll find themselves inside a
lush rain forest, complete with waterfalls
and more than 130 African birds.
At the end of the day, guests may want
to cap their visit with a show, dinner in
nearby Little Italy, or a short jaunt to the
beach to watch the sun set over the Pacific.
While sneaking a peek at their photos,
they'll likely be planning their next trip to
this peaceful urban treasure.

SHUTTERSTOCK (ART CENTER); KEN BOHN/COURTESY SAN DIEGO ZOO.

lan your tour so that guests
can visit the zoo early in
the morning, when the
animals are usually active and the
lines shorter. Panda fans should
visit those animals first to avoid
lines. The zoo is large and hilly;
visitors should wear comfortable
walking shoes.



Destinations Magazine - July/August 2014

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