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Published on : Monday, April 18, 2016
From San Diego’s hottest dining neighborhood to a thriving new arts district and world-class attractions and activities, San Diego — “California’s Beach City” — offers something for every type of traveler. With sunny blue skies, a warm Mediterranean climate averaging 24°C, and 112 km of sparkling beaches, summer is an ideal time for families to discover the newest offerings around San Diego. Peel off those puffer jackets, pack the swimsuit and flip flops and dive into fun at the following new family-friendly attractions and activities.
Named the Top Zoo in the World by TripAdvisor, the world-famous San Diego Zoo celebrates its centennial anniversary all summer long with an uproarious new Wegeworth Bowl Centennial Show filled with music, video and animal ambassadors; a new centennial-themed Bus Tour Film Experience, featuring an exhilarating cinematic look at the zoo’s global conservation work to save species from extinction, and Nighttime Zoo (July 19-Sept. 5), when the zoo is open late with entertainment and animal encounters, culminating in a dazzling evening procession.
Now open at LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, the new LEGO Movie: 4D A New Adventure reunites the stars of The LEGO Movie — including Emmet, Wyldstyle, Unikitty, MetalBeard and Benny — in an all-new story that shows what happened after the blockbuster movie when a shady new character named Risky Business opens a theme park called Brick World, bearing a blatant resemblance to LEGOLAND. The short film plays several times a day with fun 4D effects such as wind, water, fog and more that bring the action bursting off the screen and into the audience. Opening in May 2016, the new ninja-themed Ninjago interactive ride will be the first in the world to utilize cutting-edge Maestro technology where guests can throw lightning bolts, move shockwaves, send ice soaring and emit fire balls with just a wave of their hands.
The newly opened iFLY San Diego delivers the dream of flight to thrill-seeking visitors with San Diego’s first indoor skydiving wind tunnel in the heart of Mission Valley. People of all ages and abilities can experience human flight in a safe, comfortable and fun environment. The indoor skydiving facility is a marvel of engineering that replicates the experience of skydiving, creating conditions that allow guests to fly on a smooth cushion of air with the help of iFLY certified flight instructors.
Coming in June 2016, Airborne San Diego brings two new indoor skydiving wind tunnels to downtown San Diego by Petco Park, as well as a Sky Lounge, viewing platforms, a café and bar.
For fun flights of another kind, the new La Jolla Zip Zoom in San Diego’s North County Inland region stretches more than a mile between four towering stations nestled in the foothills of Palomar Mountain and is the longest zip line in California.
A home run for the whole family, on July 12 top players from the American League and National League will converge in downtown San Diego as the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game takes the field at Petco Park. Visitors can celebrate baseball’s big day both inside and outside of the ballpark. The MLB All-Star FanFest (July 8-12) at the San Diego Convention Center features more than 40 attractions including batting practice with baseball legends, video game zones, taking photos with the world’s largest baseball and memorabilia auctions.
Want to eat like a Major Leaguer? San Diego Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman eats his way through Petco Park with a superfan.
Art & Sol
The San Diego History Center in Balboa Park joins the zoo’s centennial festivities with Lore Behind the Roar: 100 Years of the San Diego Zoo, the largest exhibition the center has ever produced, showing now through January 2017. Full of interactive features, visitors can “ride” a vintage zoo tour bus, hear stories from long-time zoo employees, live the life of a zookeeper, explore the extensive animal and plant collection and learn fascinating facts about the world’s most popular zoo.
Also in Balboa Park, the San Diego Museum of Art debuts its captivating new Art of the Open Air, an outdoor sculpture collection in the Plaza de Panama featuring the creations of 15 world-renowned sculptors including Auguste Rodin, Joan Miró and Alexander Calder. Also on view from Apr. 2–Aug. 2, 2016, the museum’s new exhibition Brueghel to Canaletto: European Masterpieces from the Grasset Collection features the works of leading Dutch, Flemish and Spanish still-life painters of the 17th century, a time known as the “Golden Age.” The selection of 40 paintings, never displayed publicly, includes landscapes ranging from masters like Jan Brueghel the Elder and Barent Avercamp to Canaletto, the greatest of all Venetian view-painters.
In July, San Diego becomes the center of the pop culture universe during Comic-Con, America’s longest, continuously-run comics and popular arts convention. To “marvel” at comics art minus the crowds, visitors can explore two unique venues in the newly branded ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station, home to nearly 120 museums and galleries, artist studios and other organizations showcasing San Diego’s creative community: San Diego Comic Art Gallery, San Diego’s first art space dedicated to sequential comic book art, and Comickaze Comic Books, one of Southern California’s largest and most diverse selection of comics, manga, action figures and more.
The much-anticipated grand opening of Liberty Public Market at Liberty Station, San Diego’s first year-round food hall, follows a path paved by iconic markets such as Vancouver’s Granville Island and Seattle’s Pike Place. The $3 million Point Loma project transformed a sprawling 1920s-era, warehouse-style building into an indoor-outdoor marketplace featuring select purveyors of cheeses, meats, baked goods, seasonal produce, locally caught seafood, wines, craft beer and more. Located on-site, the new Mess Hall restaurant sources nearly all of the dishes on the ever-changing menu from the market’s artisans.
Enjoy “la dolce vita” in Little Italy, San Diego’s hottest dining and nightlife neighborhood where celebrity chefs are making waves with the openings of Herb & Wood by Top Chef finalist Brian Malarkey, The Crack Shack by Top Chef All-Star winner Richard Blais and Bracero Cocina de Raiz by “Mexican Superchef” Javier Plascencia, showcasing San Diego’s signature Cali-Baja cuisine.
Visitors can say “aloha” to a new tiki bar opening this summer in Little Italy: the Polynesian-inspired False Idol will be tucked secretly within the newly renovated Craft & Commerce restaurant, spearheaded by famed tiki bar owner and rum aficionado Martin Cate.
Flights to San Diego are easier than ever for Canadians. On June 2, 2016, Air Canada Rouge begins flying daily non-stop flights from Vancouver (YVR) to San Diego International Airport (SAN), through Oct. 16, 2016. WestJet also begins new non-stop service from Vancouver to San Diego on June 16, 2016; Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays through Oct. 20, 2016.
San Diego is a two-nation vacation destination, with Tijuana, Mexico, located just 17 miles from downtown San Diego. At the new Cross Border Xpress, connecting Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) directly to a new facility in San Diego via a secure pedestrian bridge border crossing, air passengers can connect to a wide range of direct flights 24 hours a day to more than 30 destinations in Mexico.