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Tigrest Travel Blog

This is a blog about destinations, food and travel tips

Tag: san diego

San Diego skyline

USA West Coast Road Trip – best moments

San Diego skylineNow that a month has passed since we returned from our awesome USA West Coast Road Trip, it’s time to sum up and create a post on the things we liked. We had planned a lot of different destinations, so the trip was quite intense. I might have to think of few more posts on some specific locations and things we did. Here are some of the best moments and memorable experiences from our trip.





Our USA West Coast Road Trip route looked like this:

Map of our USA West Coast Road Trip

Rental car for USA West Coast Road Trip

We started by picking up our rental car for our USA West Coast Road Trip from Phoenix, AZ. Rental company we chose was Alamo and the car was full size. When we were picking up, we had a choice (Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Volkswagen Passat) and were advised to choose cars with California plates (car return was in Los Angeles).





So we picked Hyundai Sonata. The car was 2015 model, very nice and smooth. I really loved driving it on US roads. Total cost for almost two weeks was around 600$. There was no issue with returning the car at SNA airport – very quick and smooth!

Our rental car for USA West Coast Road Trip Hyundai Sonata 2015

San Diego whale watching with Flagship cruises.

We booked this trip while being unaware of the weather. As it turned out – it was almost stormy on that day, so we got to experience some really nasty sea sickness. Luckily, the staff recommended to take sea sickness pills (sold them on board) and we took them in time (30 min before the shaking began). When it started rocking, some people felt really bad. We went out in the ocean and spotted some small whales. On the way back, we also got to see dolphins and sea lions (they were sunbathing). The trip takes approx. 3,5 hours and is a great way to spend a morning (or afternoon). The ocean is incredible and the views are spectacular! A must for a proper USA West Coast Road Trip!

USA West Coast Road Trip - Marine animals in San Diego Bay

USA West Coast Road Trip - Whale watching in San Diego Bay
USA West Coast Road Trip - Dolphins in San Diego Bay USA West Coast Road Trip - Sea lions in San Diego Bay





Must visit for USA West Coast Road Trip – Venice Beach in Los Angeles

Our trip to Venice beach was rather spontaneous – we made it there just in time before the sunset. The promenade reminded us of a typical south European resort – souvenir shops, cafes, people relaxing, playing music and enjoying themselves. The beach is very wide and clean – perfect for long walks. It’s a place that needs to be in any town – where you can come and spend the evening alone or with a friend.

USA West Coast Road Trip - Venice Beach, Los Angeles USA West Coast Road Trip - Venice Beach, Los Angeles USA West Coast Road Trip - Venice Beach, Los Angeles USA West Coast Road Trip - Venice Beach, Los Angeles

Cirque Du Soleil in Las Vegas

Visiting Las Vegas was high on our list during our USA West Coast Road Trip, but not for the casinos or party – we really wanted to see the shows. So on our first morning we went to one of the numerous Tix4tonight booths and stood in line before the opening. Surprisingly, we were not the only ones. The company is selling show tickets for the same night (sometimes for tomorrow as well) with nice discount (up to 50%). While you are in line, customer service reps help you pick the right show. After standing in line for half an hour and listening around, we decided to go for Cirque du Seleil show called Mystere. They were giving a charity show and therefore there was to tax charged. Two tickets cost us just under 100$. On the minus side – we had to get to the casino where the show was played right after buying these “tickets” to exchange them for actual tickets at the ticket office. The show was held in Treasure Island.

USA West Coast Road Trip - Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas USA West Coast Road Trip - Cirque du Soleil Mystere in Las Vegas

USA West Coast Road Trip - Cirque du Soleil Mystere in Las Vegas    USA West Coast Road Trip - Cirque du Soleil Mystere in Las Vegas

Flagstaff 

The things that I remember about Flagstaff are – fantastic BBQ ribs and very cold motel room. First – the ribs. It was time for dinner so I googled the best place to go out for bbq. The place we picked was called Satchmo’s and the ribs were AMAZING! If only I had a power to eat more, I would! About cold rooms – weather in March is still quite chilly (especially when you have just been to the desert), so at nights it dropped so much, that we had to keep the heating on (it was noisy). Here is a tip – visit Flagstaff in summer!

USA West Coast Road Trip - Flagstaff motel on our USA roadtrip USA West Coast Road Trip - Flagstaff motel

Grand Canyon

There are hardly any words to describe Grand Canyon properly – one just has to see it! It is powerful, majestic, breathtakingly enormous. One day is hardly enough to explore it. To see the best of it you need to hike, of course. We made a small hike just down the Kaibab trail. Really short one but enough to see the beauty and changing landscapes.

Later we visited some of the famous viewpoints – Grand View, Yucca Point and some others. It was a really great, but also exhausting day. I would totally recommend vising GC from Flagstaff – it’s an easy 1,5 hour ride. There is an entrance fee – 30$/car, and it is valid for 1 week. Totally recommend visiting as part of your USA West Coast Road Trip!

USA West Coast Road Trip - Grand Canyon Kaibab trail USA West Coast Road Trip - Grand Canyon Kaibab trail

Grand Canyon Kaibab trail Grand Canyon Kaibab trail

Palm Springs

Our last small adventure on USA West Coast Road Trip was a ride through an endless desert and finally arriving in Palm Springs for the night. To be honest, I always liked the idea of oasis, so Palm Springs was a natural choice. It’s hot and reminds of a resort, kind of get away spot. It’s very different from other places we visited – you can feel that people come there for holiday. Having said that – it should be no surprise that the first thing we did was to jump in the pool. What a great way to finish long day of driving!

Palm Springs pool
Palm Springs ice coffee Palm Springs motel

Palm Springs motel

Although our trip was amazing in almost any way, it was still so good to be back home! Traveling helps you realize how much you value the people and places. Sure, sometimes you may realize it was so much better somewhere you just visited. In this case you might need to move on, change your home for a new one. For us it was a moment of realizing that home is the best place on Earth – a place you always want to come back to!

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Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets and Zoo review

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

We continued our adventure in San Diego with visiting the famous Zoo. Make sure to arrive early, as it get’s crowded. I also recommend purchasing tickets in advance – online. You will receive a map at the gates. We decided to take advantage of Go San Diego Card for really Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets – and got really great deal on the ticket price! Compared to gate price of $54, we only paid around $30.

The Zoo is very large in size, so in order to enjoy all the animals, more than one day is needed. We managed to squeeze most of it in one day due to tight schedule. There is an option to use tour bus inside the zoo, which may be a good idea if you are not into long walks. Luckily there is enough shade to hide from the sun.




The animals are truly wonderful and they are kept very well. We really enjoyed seeing a panda, even though there was a huge line. The Zoo is making a great job by preserving and breeding these amazing animals.

One my personal favorites was cheetah and lab together in one cage – they are animal ambassadors – raised together, they are kept separately from other zoo animals, play and live together as friends.

Here are some photos from our visit :

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets San Diego ZOO

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets - panda

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest

Cheap San Diego Zoo Tickets

photo by tigrest



Read next:

Cirque du Soleil experience in Las Vegas

vegas

Our Cirque du Soleil experience started with a proper research. We were only for 1 day in Las Vegas, so it had to be a good show for limited budget. For me, visiting Cirque du Soleil was one of the main reasons for coming to Vegas. Among other things, like casinos and nightlife, these shows are a true highlight and a must see for anyone visiting Sin City for the first time. Read the rest of this entry »

Grand Canyon experience

grand canyon

Our visit to Grand Canyon was in early March 2016. The weather was getting warmer already and it was a perfect day for a nature walk. It was a dream to see the beauty of this nature phenomenon, so we planned whole day for this visit. Read the rest of this entry »

USA Roadtrip – best moments

Now that a month has passed since we returned from our awesome road trip in the US, it’s time to sum up and create a post on the things we liked. We have packed a lot of different destinations, so the trip was quite intense. I might have to thing of few more posts on some specific locations and things we did. Here are some of the best moments and memorable experiences from our trip. Read the rest of this entry »

How to spend 3 days in San Diego: Part 1 – SeaWorld

One of the best attractions in San Diego is certainly SeaWorld. This amazing park has tons of attractions, not to mention all the great shows. The park is quite big, so it’s best to arrive early. This way you can secure good parking as well.



San Diego seaworld

Friendly personnel at the gates will hand you a map with the schedule of all the shows. All of them are great and it’s possible to see all in one day. Start you tour with a walk through the park, visiting various aquariums. The first show we saw was sea lion show. The animals are wonderful and well trained! It was funny and entertaining!


San Diego seaworld

photo by tigrest

I would also highly recommend seeing the Orca (Shamu) show, there is a possibility to even see them underwater, and if you are lucky, they might come close enough for a perfect photo! They are actually quite curious!

San Diego seaworld

photo by tigrest

The park and the shows are similar to Loro Parque in Tenerife. For people who enjoy seeing sea animals in perfectly designed aquariums this will be a true highlight!

One of my personal favorite attractions was being able to feed gliding rays and sea lions – all you need to do is purchase some fish. I was even able to touch a dolphin!

San Diego seaworld

photo by tigrest

San Diego seaworld

photo by tigrest

Some visitors might enjoy roller coasters, although they are not particularly big and fast as in other parks. If you are here longer, you might get a chance to revisit the park, as the ticket is valid for 2 days.


San Diego seaworld

photo by tigrest

All in all, it was a great day and a lot of new adventures. The animals very amazing! The weather could have been better though, t was raining from time to time and in the park there are hardly any shelters, only in aquariums. So keep in mind and bring your own umbrella, unless you want to buy one as an expensive souvenir.

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