San Diego, California – Beauty and Conservation in California’s Fair Weathered South
Price Starting at $3,995.00
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San Diego is a place of outstanding conservation and research activities related to the preservation of the world’s rarest flora and fauna. This dedication is personified in the efforts of the San Diego Zoo, which has dedicated a substantial portion of its territory to preserving and preventing the extinction of endangered species. At the Torrey Pines State Park, rare plant species and stopovers for migrating birds are protected. Known primarily as an entertainment destination, SeaWorld is in fact a major funder of marine animal conservation and protection activities. These themes of conservation and preservation reverberate in the work being done in Quail Botanical Gardens, San Diego Wild Animal Park, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, and the California Wolf Center. A trip to San Diego is an experience in good stewardship of our world.
Degree of Difficulty –
Arrive in San Diego and make your way to your hotel, where at 3:00 PM the same afternoon, you will meet with your local guide in the lobby, who will then take you on an exciting city tour. Afterward you will attend a Welcome Dinner at the Harbor House Restaurant. COURTYARD MARRIOTT SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN.
This morning, visit the San Diego Zoo, home to 4,000 rare and endangered birds, mammals and reptiles, and 6,500 varieties of exotic plants. Highlights of your guided tour are the Ituri Forest, Giant Pandas, and Polar Bear Plunge. An 1,800-acre exotic animal and botanical reserve within the zoo is dedicated to the preservation and protection of endangered species. After lunch at the Zoo, drive to the 2,000 acre Torrey Pines State Reserve. Located within San Diego city limits, it remains one of the wildest stretches of land on the Southern California coast and protects the rare and elegant Torrey Pine, miles of unspoiled beaches, tide pools and a lagoon that is vital to migrating seabirds. The viewing platforms built at the bluff’s edge are excellent sites for observing the yearly migration of the Gray whales between December and March, as well as the dolphins that patrol the shores year round. Your evening will be at leisure. Enjoy dinner at one of the nearby restaurants or venture downtown to picturesque San Diego Bay. In the Gaslight Quarter, restored Victorian-era buildings are home to theaters, nightclubs and more than 70 restaurants. COURTYARD MARRIOTT SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN.
Visit SeaWorld San Diego which has been honored by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) many times for significant achievement in education, breeding and research of marine wildlife. Enjoy an informative behind-the-scenes tour of areas like the Animal Care Facility, the Dolphin or Killer Whale Training Facility, Wild Arctic or the Shark Laboratory. Make your way to Balboa Park for a tour led by the author of Discover Balboa Park, Pam Crooks. Pam’s tour will cover the history, architecture, horticultural and cultural aspects of the park. Afterwards, you may remain and explore the other Balboa Park museums at your own pace. You’ll marvel at the bevy of botanical delights to be found within Balboa Park. When the museums close at 5:00 PM you will be picked up and transferred back to your hotel. COURTYARD MARRIOTT SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN.
Drive to Quail Botanical Gardens today to discover one of the world’s most diverse and botanically important plant collections. Within this 30 acre park, California native plants, exotic tropical plants, bamboo and other unusual plant collections thrive. Afterward go on safari at the San Diego Wild Animal Park where animals roam in enclosures measured in acres rather than feet. This wonderful park was designed to maximize the comfort of the animals as well as to offer visitors an exceptional wildlife viewing experience. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour to off-exhibit animal compounds and a 55-minute guided Wgasa Bush Line Railway tour that will take you through deepest Africa and Asia. COURTYARD MARRIOTT SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN.
Travel east two hours into Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest desert state park in the contiguous United States at just over 600,000 acres. 500 miles of dirt roads, two huge wilderness areas and 110 miles of riding and hiking trails, provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to experience the wonders of the Colorado Desert. On foot, bicycle, or by car see washes, wildflowers, palm groves, cacti, and sweeping vistas. You will take a guided 45-minute garden walk around the grounds of the Center to look at some of the vegetation found in the park. Afterwards, enjoy a box lunch at a nearby picnic area before exploring the park by vehicle and on foot. You may see roadrunners, Golden Eagles, kit foxes and of course, bighorn sheep. Afterward, take an expedition to the California Wolf Center, located in the mountains of San Diego County. The California Wolf Center is a unique education and conservation center focusing on the North American Gray Wolf. They promote conservation of gray wolves and other wildlife through education, exhibitions, participation in captive breeding programs, and studies of captive-wild wolves. North American Gray wolves, Alaskan Gray Wolves and the rarest of all, Mexican wolves, are all subjects of the Center’s conservation and research activities. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner. COURTYARD MARRIOTT SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN.
Before leaving for home, take a last day to explore the diverse neighborhoods of San Diego on your own. There are many wonderful restaurants and shops within walking distance of your hotel. For sights further away, board the San Diego Tram that passes near your hotel. You will receive a list of suggested activities from your guide.
PRICING: Per person, based on double occupancy
Maximum group size: Although there’s no limit we suggest a maximum of 30 travelers.
YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES:
- Accommodations throughout as indicated, or similar.
- American breakfast daily; all other meals as indicated.
- The tour is led at all times by an experienced driver/guide. In addition, local guides will join the group as specified.
- Airport transfers.
- Transportation in 15-passenger Ford maxi-van. A maximum of 9 travelers will be accommodated per van.
- All park and admission fees.
- All applicable hotel gratuities and taxes.
- Complimentary baggage tags.
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