Saturday, April 10, 2010

12 California Vacation Deals

San Diego ZooHere is a list of some of the best California Vacation Deals. This list is intended to help you plan your vacation on a budget this summer.

San Diego

1. San Diego Zoo Membership
When you sign up for a San Diego Zoo as an Diamond Member you get 4 free tickets. 2 - for the Zoo and 2 for the Wild Animal Park if you sign up as a Diamond member. They also have the option of Member Plus-one. This means that the primary member can get anyone in at one time. So 4 people can get in to each location (Zoo and Wild Animal Park) in for the price of one membership. Usually we pay $99 a year for a membership. If your going to the WAP a lot buy parking as it is not free like the Zoo.

2. Sea World Annual Pass
Right now in 2010 Sea World has a special where you can "pay for a day get a year free." This means that the second year annual pass is free with a ticket purchase this year. Sea World

3. Balboa Park Museums
Every Tuesday is Free day. The first Tuesday of every month is free day for some of the main museums and Science Center. Just Google "balboa park free tuesday" and you will see the calendar. Residents of San Diego must show ID to get in on these days. This is still a great bargain and Balboa Park is a fun place to take photos. Take a walk along El Prado on a sunny day and you will see lots of places to take pictures.

4. Beach and Embarcadero
If all you do is go to La Jolla shore and then walk along the Embarcadero at sunset you will have a great day. The Embarcadero has some great sea food restaurants and leads into the Gas Lamp district. You can also visit Sea Port Village for some treats and shopping.

Los Angeles

1. The Getty Center
The Getty has amazing views and gardens. Not to be confused with the Getty Villa which is the world class museum in Malibu. The Getty Center is up on the hill with 180 degree panorama of Los Angeles. Of all the places in L.A. this is a place you must visit to get the best of what L.A has to offer. The museum is free but park costs a fee. Some times they have free parking after 5 p.m.

2. California Science Center
Kids love this place and best of all admission to Science Center permanent galleries is free. Admission prices for the IMAX Theater are based on age group. It does cost to park so check our their website at

3. Griffith Park
If your going to visit L.A. you must visit Griffith Park. This is one of the iconic attractions in Los Angeles and admission is free. Griffith Park Observatory

4. Tide Pools
The best part about going to the beach with kids is visiting the tide pools. In L.A one of the best spots is the tide pools on the Palos Verdes pininsula. Google "Abalone Cove Shoreline Park" for directions.

Orange County

1. Beaches and Piers
There are lots of beaches in OC but some of the best ones are towards the southern part of Orange County. Dana Point, Crystal Cove State Park and Crescent Bay are some of the quietest beaches with clear water. Walking along the pier at sunset is very romantic. Beaches with Piers are Seal Beach, Huntington, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. Here is a map of Orange County Beaches.

2. The Great OC Park
Visitors to Orange County may not know about Orange County Great Park. Formerly El Toro Marine Base the decommissioned base was turned into an open space with art and attractions. You can get more info here: Orange County Great Park

3. Sawdust Art Festival
If you like strolling through art exhibits then the Laguna Beach Sawdust Art Festival is a great way to spend a summer day. Associated with the Summer festival is the Winter Fantasy. Tickets are required both but are inexpensive.

4. Window Shopping
Visiting Orange County is not complete with out a shopping trip. Not for those on a budget but its fun to walk around and window shop and get a bit to eat in the food court. Besides the best movie theaters are at the shopping malls. You can view our map of O.C. Shopping malls but to help you make the decision easy just visit Fashion Island or Irvine Spectrum.

Please let us know if you have any more great ideas.