San Diego Theme Parks

San Diego is the 8th largest city in the United States and second largest in California. It is often referred to as “America’s Finest City” for its great hotel accommodations, mild year-round climate, pristine beaches and abundance of entertainment.

One of the major attractions and most-loved destinations in the city are the various theme parks which feature thrilling rides, fun shows and delicious foods. Here is a list of some of those theme parks that the kids and the kids-at-heart will surely enjoy.


Legoland California in northern San Diego County is filled with towering LEGO statues. It opened on March 20, 1999. It is composed of nine sections -The Beginning, Explorer Island, Heartlake City, Fun Town, Castle Hill, Miniland USA, Imagination Zone, Pirate Shores, and Land of Adventure. A Sea Life aquarium which opened in 2010 can also be found adjacent to Legoland. This Lego wonderland is full of fun water rides, hands-on activities and entertaining shows.



SeaWorld San Diego, the first SeaWorld park, opened on March 21, 1964 is one of the best theme parks in San Diego for its thrilling water rides, entertaining shows and a variety of beautiful sea creatures. It also features a variety of educational shows and exhibits including “Turtle Reef” and the “Shark Encounter.”


San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park San Diego, California houses around 4,000 animals of 800 rare and exotic species in a beautiful 100-acre tropical garden. It is a timeless attraction for all ages featuring spectacular bioclimatic exhibits like Monkey Trails, Absolutely Apes, Ituri Forest, Rain Forest Aviary, Polar Bear Plunge, Gorilla Tropics, Sun Bear Forest and Tiger River. The zoo also has the largest population of the endangered and lovable Giant Pandas in the U.S.


San Diego Zoo Safari Park

 The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, formerly Wild Animal Park is a 730-hectare zoo in the San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego, California. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in San Diego County visited by 2 million people annually. The park houses a large array of over 2,600 animals, some wild and endangered. The park is noted for its California condor breeding program, the most successful program in the United States.

Photo credit: Ryan Summers (Flickr)
Photo credit: Ryan Summers (Flickr)

20 thoughts on “San Diego Theme Parks”

  1. It’s been a long time since I went to San Diego. It’s good to know what the attractions are. I’m sure the family will enjoy going to Legoland and Sea World!

  2. First off, I live a couple hours away and did not know that San Diego is the 8th largest city in the United States and second largest in California. – the Zoo and Sea World are just WOW! Great images and great that you shared this info!

  3. I lived in Southern CA for a few years back in the late 80’s but never made it to San Diego. My Army buddies always wanted to visit the LA area and once to SanFran… If I ever get back to the West Coast I am visiting San Diego.

  4. We’ve been to all these places and they are great! The Safari was the least interesting for me because everything was really so far away and at the time the kids got really impatient. Great post!

  5. There are so many fun parks to go to! I am headed to California this summer, and I think we’re going to go to the zoo. I can’t wait! We may check out some of your other recommendations while we’re there 🙂

  6. I believe I’ve been to the San Diego Zoo when I was a baby, but I don’t remember it, so I would LOVE to visit there again, as I would all these awesome parks! I’ll definitely have to keep an eye out for my next opportunity to go!

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