Southern California Culture

Exotic Birds?  Sure, we have them.  Free Flight in Del Mar is an exotic bird sanctuary open 7 days a week.  They maintain a sanctuary that shelters, nurtures, and resocializes parrots.  The public is inspired to educate themselves for the well-being of exotic birds.  There is a large pond with koi that was originally home to rescued flamingos.

Belmont Park in Mission Beach is an old-time amusement park built-in 1925.  Right on the beach, it still feels like the old-time boardwalk entertainment area.  They now have a FlowRider and Flow Barrel, which can give riders the sensation of riding ocean waves. There is laser tag, a zipline, rock climbing and plenty of eateries.  Free parking and admission.  858-488-1549

Carlsbad Strawberry Company allows you to pick your own strawberries.  Open from 9-5 daily, visitors get to pick fresh, sweet, lovely berries.  A great family experience.  Just around the corner from the famous Carlsbad Flower Fields.

San Diego’s First Jail, at the San Diego Police Headquarters, was built in 1939 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Keeping with San Diego culture, it has been named the “The Headquarters” which has become a premier shopping and dining experience along the waterfront.  There is a fully restored 8-cell jail block which houses photos and a lot of police memorabilia.  Come and see, and walk out of the JAIL!

Antique shopping is a great way to spend a day and find lots of interesting, fun items.  La Mesa, Ocean Beach, and Carlsbad village have plenty of places to explore. Ocean Beach has one full street where one can browse.

Swap meets are a terrific way to find great treasures. The famous Kobey’s Swap Meet is huge and filled with tons of treasures, produce, local souvenirs, jewelry gifts, clothes, and lots of live entertainment.  There are lots of food trucks with food from around the world.  It is open every Friday-Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The San Diego Botanic Garden is 30 minutes north of San Diego in Encinitas.  This 37-acre wonderland shows off its rare bamboo groves, desert gardens, native plants, along with Mediterranean climate landscape, a succulent garden, fruit and herb gardens, and coast sage natural areas.  The kids can visit the Hamilton Children’s Garden, which has a petting zoo, crafts, and scavenger hunts every month.  760-436-3036 for more information on hours.

SeaWorld San Diego has impressive killer whales, seals, and all kinds of marine life.  SeaWorld also hosts thrill rides and dozens of daily shows.  There is now a wildlife sanctuary that rescues injured animals and birds, rehabilitates them, and then releases them into the wild.  Open daily, bus route #9.

The Mission San Diego de Alcala and the neighbor Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, are interesting to see.  They were the first European settlement from 1769.  They have a historic Church, a museum with various historical items and a gift shop.  The Mission also houses the oldest cemetery in North Country, along with statues, fountains and beautiful gardens.  Bus route #14, or Trolley Green Line.