Day 1 You'll See:
- Museum of Making Music
- San Diego Zoo
- Balboa Park
Day 2 You’ll See:
- Cabrillo National Monument
- USS Midway Museum
- Seaport Village
- Evening Performance (choose between San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, Old Globe Theatre, California Ballet, La Jolla Playhouse, or San Diego Repertory Theatre.
San Diego has it all, from the best local and live concerts to the greatest Broadway and regional theater performances, making it the perfect destination for your performance group! Explore the most popular cultural hotspots and entertainment districts to get your fill of star-studded and talent-filled performances, or take it easy and relax at any of the many recreation sites dotted along the waterfront and your itinerary. This trip is all about you, so make sure you and your group are having the time of your lives while learning about and listening to some of the best local shows!
Museum of Making Music
The perfect first stop for your group is here, in Carlsbad, at the Museum of Making Music. Created in 1998, this museum aims to showcase and celebrate the music industry through exhibits, innovative concerts, and broad-based educational programming. The Museum of Making Music provides opportunities for cultural enrichment while preserving our musical heritage through the special displays and exhibits permanently on display, or traveling through. The permanent display here shows hundreds of vintage instruments, audio and visual clips, and a vibrant interactive area that features historical milestones, popular music, and personal insights of the musical eras throughout history. Your group can take part in a 1 to 2-hour tour that will give you much more complex depth and insight about the music product industry, as well as receive interesting anecdotes and history lessons along the way. You will even learn about various successful and unsuccessful music business practices and see nostalgic recreations of famous music stores. If you are here during one of their twice-yearly special exhibits you may have the chance to see concurrent musical presentations or workshops with national, international, or local musicians as well!
San Diego Zoo
Voted the number one zoo in America, welcome to your next stop at the San Diego Zoo! This 100-acre animal sanctuary is located just north of downtown San Diego in beautiful Balboa Park. Here your group will find 3,700 rare or endangered animals spanning across 650 species, as well as one of the most impressive botanical collections with over 700,000 exotic plants. The animals you will see here cover everything from anacondas to zebra, and everything in between! Your group may choose to take a tour while here, which comprises of a 2-hour entertainment-filled educational adventure going behind the scenes in the park. You will ride a shuttle cart into off-exhibit areas to help take care of the animals and learn fun facts and interesting stories about the residences of the zoo. Don’t be afraid to work up an appetite because eating at Alberts here at the San Diego Zoo is a true treat! A restaurant in a treehouse, Alberts offers guests an open deck dining area with views of a private waterfall! If you have time today or later in your trip try to make it to the Zoo Safari Park, 30 minutes away, but well worth the trip with over 1.5 million specimens and 3,500 species in this expansive wildlife sanctuary alone! Both locations are full of fun, facts, and performances that your group is going to love!
Balboa Park (Spreckels Organ Pavilion)
The last stop on day one of your San Diego performance adventure is at Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in the nation. Within this park, your group will see 15 major museums, a handful of various performance art centers, several gorgeously landscaped gardens, and the San Diego Zoo. While here your group is in for a huge treat, literally, as you prepare for a show from one of the world’s largest outdoor pipe organs, the Spreckels Organ. Donated by John and Adolph Spreckels in 1914 for the highly anticipated Panama California Exposition, this unique organ features 4,725 pipes ranging from pencil size to 32 feet! The organ is housed in an ornate vaulted structure with highly embellished gables within the stunning pavilion. There has been a San Diego civic organist putting on free weekly shows (over 62 concerts/events per year) since 1917, currently featuring the talented organist Dr. Carol Williams. These one hour long outdoor concerts date back to WWI Sunday sailor services as well as WWII recitals and lectures, the area filled with rich history and culture. This Austin Pipe Organ and surrounding Albright designed pavilion is a local and tourist favorite alike, popular especially during festivals and holiday events, as you will easily see why during your visit!
Cabrillo National Monument
Start day two out with a relaxing yet informative visit to the Cabrillo National Monument, located within the Cabrillo National Park. Step onto this ground just as explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo did in 1542, as the first European to discover and explore the United States West Coast. Here your group will find the story of widespread 16th-century exploration, as well as a wealth of culture and gorgeous natural resources throughout the park. Start at the visitor's center and view the many exhibits, films, or ranger-guided programs to learn about the interesting insights into Cabrillo's history. Visit the "Age of Exploration" here, or head over to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse built in the 1880s to view the "Stood Watch" exhibit. After learning the lightkeeper culture head over to the historic military building to learn the WWI and WWII history of Fort Rosecrans. After learning all you can about this location, take advantage of the two-mile bayside hiking trail with the best harbor and San Diego region's natural views. The intertidal ocean ecology here includes classic anemones, octopi, and spongy dead man’s fingers, there is even a spot for whale watching! This park literally has it all, from historical exploration information, war and maritime education, to some of the best natural landscapes around!
USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is the perfect destination to experience life at sea without actually leaving the port. This museum is working to become America’s living symbol of freedom by preserving the historic USS Midway and the legacy of those who serve, inspire and educate future generations, as well as by entertaining museum guests with interesting information about one of America’s longest-serving aircraft carriers. This floating city at sea allows your group to walk the footsteps of the 225,000 Midway sailors for an unforgettable learning adventure. Take a self-guided audio tour narrated by the sailors themselves and let the carrier's history come to life for you as you explore the over 60 exhibits and 29 restored aircraft. If you are feeling particularly adventurous you can participate in the "Take to the Sky" attraction, in which you will climb aboard one of two of the onsite realistic flight simulators. There’s even a Midway themed gift shop that allows your group to walk away with any book, replica model or historic souvenir from the carrier you can think of! Learning never seemed so fun!
Get ready for some serious retail therapy and seaside relaxation at this 14-acre waterfront shopping, dining, and entertainment complex, Seaport Village. This recreation of a harbor side setting from a century ago opened in 1980 and has grown into a complex with 54 shops, 13 casual dining establishments, and 4 fine dining waterfront restaurants. Located in downtown San Diego, this location is only 5 minutes away from the airport and cruise lines and connects to the convention center, hotels, and the USS Midway Museum. Enjoy the 4 miles of cobblestone pathways that are delicately bordered by ponds, lakes, fountains, and lush landscaping, or head over to the quarter-mile-long boardwalk along the San Diego Bay. Historically this beautiful location was the Punta De Los Muertos, or Point of the Dead where the bodies effected by the 1782 Spanish Expedition scurvy epidemic were buried, followed by a paradise of commerce as a railroad yard. Your group will love exploring the unique shops selling items such as clothing, kites, hot sauce, coffee and books. You’ll even have the opportunity to see a monthly live music event, commonly featuring blues, jazz, country, or swing. Everywhere along the street, you will see several various street performers and artisans creating caricatures, painting faces, or helping children board the 1895 antique and hand-carved carousel, making this festival like the atmosphere a true vacationer's paradise!
Evening Performance (choose between San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, Old Globe Theatre, California Ballet, La Jolla Playhouse, or San Diego Repertory Theatre.)
End your night with an outstanding performance of your choice in the salty sea-filled nighttime air of San Diego. Head over to the internationally acclaimed Tony award-winning Old Globe Theater for an encore deserving play, listen to the sweet sounds of the San Diego Symphony at the historic Copley Hall in the Jacobs Music Center, or catch a ride over to the National Opera Center America to hear a performance by the famous San Diego Opera group. You can also catch a classic or modern work like the Nutcracker or Great Gatsby by the impressive San Diego Ballet, or see great regional theater productions like The Hunchback of Notre Dame at La Jolla Playhouse. Last but not least your group can also choose to head over to the San Diego Repertory Theatre for an intimate, exotic, or provocative local production on any of their three downtown stages! The options are practically endless, making sure to please every single performance loving soul in your group!