Beware the Soak Zone, or at least wear quick-drying clothing when you visit SeaWorld in San Diego. When everyone's favorite killer whale sends up its signature greeting, those closest to the tank will be deluged by a wall of water as Shamu leaps out of the air and belly smacks back into the pool. The acrobatic mammal is a SeaWorld favorite -- indeed, its main attraction. But Shamu gets some serious competition in the cuteness department from some of SeaWorld's other creatures, especially the gentle, sweet-faced manatees and the waddling penguins. A number of shows besides Shamu's feature animal acts.
The park has a collection of rides that include water coasters, raft rides, and the Wild Arctic experience, where guests find themselves on a stomach-twirling simulated helicopter ride to a remote Arctic research station. If you care to take a stroll through shark-infested waters, check out the 280,000-gallon shark exhibit that features a 57-foot-long acrylic tunnel that allows you to walk right through a school of pointy-toothed predators.
Address: 500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego, CA 92109
Hours of Operation: Mar. - Dec., Hours vary
Admission: $48.99 adults; $38 kids
If you want to visit animals from all over the world, head to one of the best zoos in North America -- on the next page, learn about visiting the San Diego Zoo.
To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:
- Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
- Los Angeles City Guide: Explore the City of Angels -- Los Angeles is brimming with restaurants, shops, attractions, and the occasional celebrity hotspot.
- California State Guide: From north to south, California encompasses mountains, deserts, beaches, and vineyards. Learn about it all in our guide to California.
- Scenic Drives: For those who think getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.