You don't need to take a long course to safely operate a small powerboat, but you do need a boat. Seas The Day is on a mission to make the thrilling experience of taking the wheel on the open seas a part of their clients' tours. Guides are there to provide narration and as much instruction as needed before turning over the driving responsibilities for each 15-foot Wahoo Powerboat to their customers and turning them into speedboat captains as they navigate San Diego Harbor's 12-mile expanse.
Out on the water, you'll have the option to steer right up to the USS Midway aircraft carrier and tour the Coronado Bridge as views of the downtown skyline and Mexico's border come into view. You may even meet a sea lion or a dolphin, perhaps just long enough to witness the two realizing they're actually crazy about each other.
To complete the visual, check out this behind-the-waters video. The subjects will likely look familiar, since the speedboat captains that day happened to be San Diego Padres players R.J. Alvarez and Jesse Hahn.
Step into to a bird's house. Get eye-to-eye with a moray eel. Greet a sea turtle as he swims up to say hello. The Living Coast Discovery Center isn't a nature museum?it's a chance to hang out with Southern California's plants and animals on their own turf. The Discovery Center's "living, breathing, flapping, buzzing, and splashing home" sits on the 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, the ideal location for exploration of the region's most memorable residents in their native habitats.
A walk-through aviary encompasses the tidal slough habitat of black-crowned night herons, red-breasted mergansers, and endangered clapper rail chicks, freshly hatched from the in-house breeding program. Bald and golden eagles await up-close encounters at the Eagle Mesa, but the rays get even closer: an interactive touch pool puts the aquatic creatures beneath your fingertips. Raptor Row hosts the Center's rescued birds of prey, all of which have injuries or other conditions that prevent them from surviving outside the refuge on their own. Visitors are also free to pursue their own wildlife adventure along the center's 1.5 miles of walking trails.
Among its two facilities in La Jolla and downtown San Diego, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego houses an array of works made since 1950. Head here and you can explore everything from Pop Art and minimalism of the 1960s and 1970s to conceptual pieces from the last half-century, headlined by contemporary-art luminaries such as Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.
Major figures aside, the MCASD strives to spotlight mid-career artists still looking for their big break, as well as pieces by Latin American artists and emergent talent. Between the museum's collection and rotating exhibitions, there are galleries that accommodate paintings, photographs, films, and multimedia installations. Outside both locations, there are more site-specific installations and sculptures by artists such as Richard Serra and Marcos Ramírez ERRE, whose father created the Caps Lock on the day his son was born.
There’s more to the place than its exhibitions: the museum engages visitors with events and programs such as art-making sessions and artist lectures. Held three evenings a year, the Thursday Night Thing series includes talks, hands-on activities, live music, and cocktails, all based on the latest museum exhibitions.
In 1991, the eponymous founder of Losina Art Center, Olya Losina, moved to La Jolla from Moscow, where she was raised among a vibrant artistic community and served as the art director for the Soviet Union's largest multilingual publishing facility. Losina's fine-art methods, which she honed while obtaining her master's degree at Moscow University, focus on teaching art as a science. While helping her students at the center to work toward mastery of portraiture, the human form, landscapes, and still-life subjects, she performs exercises that aim to reach them on a subconscious level. Together with Losina, the students examine the conscious thoughts that often intrude upon creative expression. They approach the artistic consciousness as a surgeon would approach a brain when trying to dislodge catchy pop tunes from the frontal lobe. With obstructions cleared, pupils find themselves able to work freely and efficiently.
Ghostly Tours in History's passionate guides unlock a portal to the paranormal, leading visitors to haunted and eerie sites around San Diego's Old Town district and Gaslamp Quarter. Depending on the tour, stops include Victorian mansions, the Whaley House, known graveyards, and even unknown graveyards, below which lie the bodies of restless souls. Featured on both the Travel Channel and the Fodor’s Top 400, the company offers walking tours as well as bus and limousine tours for guests tired from giving their assigned ghost a piggyback ride.
In keeping with the historical nature of the tours, each guide dons a period costume and alter ego, ranging from reformed vagabonds to pioneering entrepreneur cowboys. In reality, the cast of guides is equally as diverse, encompassing trained actors, students, a Navy serviceman, and past and present members of the San Diego Historical Society.
The historic fountain at the east end of Balboa Park’s El Prado pedestrian walk is a lure for visitors, thanks to its majestic and cooling spray. But a quick turn to the right is the entrance to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, another local draw. For the young, it’s a two story, interactive science playground. For the young at heart, there are sophisticated displays, rotating exhibits and the new, NanoSeam IMAX Dome Theater. Films splayed across the 76-foot wraparound screen plunge viewers into the depths of the sea and out into space, through jungles and between skyscrapers around the planet. Resident astronomers also create new shows monthly, using the latest SkyScan System software. The café near the entrance takes care of hungry visitors with a modest menu, a few tables indoors and patio seating in front of the fountain.