Long weekend we used for south California looking for better weather, means no rain. We went to San Diego – close to Mexican boarder to see the best zoo in USA. From us is about 7- 8 hrs drive. Long way 🙂
San Diego Zoo
Zoo is big and if you are with kids you can choose 2-day pass. We bought 1-day pass: tip: try to find some discounts, because one tickets is $56. 1 day pass include skyline and tour bus. Before enter download app with zoo map, which help you to show route. We used app and paper maps (there are after you enter – take it). We started from visit from left side and cover part by part and right side where is polar part we left on the end. We went back to skyline and took gondola to top and we saw polar part. Skyline is ok, not too great view from the top, but if you want relax this is good. We did not take bus tour, it takes 35 minutes and driver is a guide. If you cover by foot you don’t need take a bus, but if you want some more information then take it. Our visit took around 5hr 30 min but we had just small break for coffee. Be ready for huge lines for food. It was long weekend so lot of people but not too crazy.
We really like this zoo, they have lot of animals and we loved aviaries part when you can go inside between birds. They are flying over your head. There is beautiful collection of birds from Asia, Africa and Australia. For us was the best part of zoo. Animals are close to you so even with phone you can take nice photos, but take camera.
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
On the way to Anza-Borrego we stayed in Julian, small town but in nice area. It is historic town. Beautiful view of mountains and desert. Close by (around 8 minutes) is nice vista point for sunset. If you have time there is golden mine with tours. We were too late and was close. We stayed in old hotel from XIX century – Julian Gold Rush Hotel. They have nice breakfast with granola and eggs. They gave fruits and some yogurt. Coffee was good.
Next day we went to Borrego Springs to see amazing sculptures. There is more then 170 sculptures around the city in the desert. You can find dinosaurs, dragon, cats, horses, eagle, scorpion, elephants, camels, turtles. Sculptures are close to paved road but you need go off roads.
If you like off road you can choose some roads in park. We did Sheep Canyon and for sunset Fonts Point, where you can see nice view of badlands. We spent just one day but if you have more time try some hikes. Try to check weather before. There can be very hot. Better go there in winter, spring for blossom and fall.