SeaWorld San Diego. The original SeaWorld. Home to dolphins, orca, sea lions, turtles, and fun rides – basically everything one could ever wish for in a family attraction, all colourfully painted and conveniently packaged into a sprawling 8.9 ha complex situated on the shore of Mission Bay.
Surprisingly, given our previous long day of ship and sculpture browsing, Johann agreed to accompany me for my visit to this iconic San Diego attraction, and man, just as it was when I visited Disneyland and San Diego Zoo back in 2016, I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty for visiting this family wonderland without my girls beside me.
Having originally opened its gates way back in 1964, the SeaWorld of today is a big mix of things: animal theme park, oceanarium, outside aquarium, marine mammal park, and amusement park, and effortlessly swirls together entertainment, education and conservation, meaning that pretty much everyone should come out from a visit having found at least something to enjoy.
Given the park’s large footprint, it took some time to weave our way through the various exhibits and areas, and of course, the rides that could accommodate us we gave a shot (Shipwreck Rapids, and Journey to Atlantis were lots of fun!). The orca show was brilliant, the sea lions made me chuckle, and although we didn’t get to watch the dolphins perform, it was pretty neat to watch them swimming around with their newborns in the big amphitheater pool.
It’s a wonderful aquatic playground and personally it was cool to see a lot of species that I haven’t seen in real life before, like the beluga whale and walrus. Surprisingly, we also managed to remain dry for the majority of our visit – which is not necessarily a guaranteed thing!
With the day now starting to draw to a close, we exited SeaWorld and headed down the road to the Mission Beach Boardwalk, next to the famous wooden roller coaster of Belmont Park, where we grabbed a seat at the excellent Draft South Mission bar and grill, ordered some cold beer and set about catching the sunset while watching the big 2019 World Series finals with the rest of the sport loving crowd. So basically another perfect day out in sunny San Diego.