San Diego may be best known for amazing beaches and year-round perfect weather, but curious visitors can find unusual, unexpected and unique experiences hidden around San Diego’s many corners.
From watching penguins swim and soaring above a nudist beach, here are 5 sensational experiences to see, do and taste in San Diego.
- Watch Penguins Swim with Sharks
Visitors can see penguins swimming and diving next to sharks at the San Diego Zoo’s Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks exhibit. Opened in July 2017, the Cape Fynbos habitat houses endangered African penguins who enjoy swimming alongside leopard sharks in an impressive 20,000-gallon seawater pool. The sharks are no threat to the penguins; in fact, they both enjoy eating fish, squid and crustaceans. The Africa Rocks exhibit spotlights the biodiversity found on the African continent in six habitats where leopards, lemurs, baboons, meerkats and crocodiles share the spotlight with the penguins and sharks.
- Build a Surfboard
Visitors looking for a true Southern California experience should hit the waves at one of San Diego’s popular beaches, and those seeking a more personalized experience should ride the waves on their own custom-built surfboard. Shaper Studio in North Park offers locals and visitors the opportunity to make and personalize their own surfboard. Their one-of-a-kind DIY surfboard workshops offer shaping and glassing lessons in private or group classes, which are open to all ages and experience levels. Reservations are recommended.
- Get a CBD Facial
Shop Good , an all-natural beauty shop and spa in the heart of North Park, offers a signature cannabis-oil (CBD) facial performed by a holistic esthetician. Using San-Diego- made CBD oils, the facial begins with a cannabis oil ingestible tincture, which is non-psychoactive, and continues with the application of antioxidant CBD oils on the face and body. The treatment is designed to reduce inflammation, hydrate the skin and calm nerves for a soothed complexion and a relaxed feeling. Other services available at Shop Good include a crystal healing facial, lymphatic drainage facial and cupping facial.
- Soar Above a Nudist Beach
Soaring above the 300-foot cliffs at Torrey Pines in La Jolla is a breathtaking experience on its own, but the unique location of the Torrey Pines Gliderport , a premier spot in San Diego for paragliding and hang gliding, makes the experience a bit more unusual. The Gliderport is located just above Black’s Beach, a small stretch of sand beneath the bluffs where clothing is considered optional. Flight lessons or tandem flights are available for those looking to enjoy the sights of San Diego’s orange-tinted cliffs, blue Pacific Ocean and the often-tanned nude sunbather.
- Sip 21-cent Sangria
Café 21 in downtown’s historic Gaslamp Quarter is known for its Instagrammable Bloody Marys, live music on weekends and food menu focusing on locally sourced organic ingredients. However, guests flock to Café 21 on the 21st of every month for a taste of their 21-cent organic sangrias. Available from 4-6 p.m. during happy hour, guests can select from a variety of six house-made sangrias from their sangria bar. Sangria flavors vary from white wine with peaches and persimmons to red wine with berries.
Happiness is calling in San Diego. For more information on San Diego’s offerings, including exciting vacation packages and valuable coupons for attractions, restaurants and more, visit the San Diego Tourism Authority's website at www.sandiego.org