San Diego is situated along the southernmost portion of California's coast, so it's a prime spot for fun in the sun for teens. The beaches and amusement parks make for an ideal place for teenagers to be active and entertained. Whether you are visiting or are a permanent resident, your teens will love the carefree atmosphere of San Diego.
Sea World (seaworldparks.com) has Shamu the killer whale shows, sharks, dolphins and nightly firework displays. Your teen might be interested in the dolphin interaction program that allows participants to get close while trainers teach a bit about dolphin training. The San Diego Zoo (sandiegozoo.org) has premier animal exhibits, including giraffes, elephants, tigers, lions, flamingos and a large reptile house. San Diego Safari Park (sdzsafaripark.org) has exotic animal exhibits in a large, natural habitat.
The San Diego Maritime Museum (sdmaritime.org) restores and maintains historic ships for viewing and education. The Star of India is a part of the collection and is the oldest active ship dating back to 1863. The USS Midway Museum (midway.org) is a retired aircraft carrier open for tours displaying aircraft, artifacts, flight simulators and interesting facts about the ship. Balboa Park (balboapark.org) is home to dozens of museums and the San Diego Air and Space Museum includes a working replica of Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and many other air- and spacecraft.
The city of San Diego (sandiego.gov) maintains several beaches, many of which are great for surfing and swimming. La Jolla Shores (no website; La Vereda Street; 619-221-8899) is ideal for teens with a mile of sandy beach and an adjacent park where teens can play sports. Pacific Beach (no website; Gamet Avenue; 619-221-8899) is a popular beach for surfers and wave runners. Mission Beach (no website; Mission Boulevard; 619-221-8899) provides sandy beaches, a park area and many shops nearby.
Arcades and Game Centers
Right along Mission Beach is Belmont Park (belmontpark.com), which has amusement rides, midway games, arcade games, wave machines, laser tag and lots of food. Ultrazone (ultrazonesandiego.com) provides an intense laser tag experience with fog machines, loud music in multi-level play. Nickel City (nickelcitysandiego.com) features more than 75 games and costs only nickels to play. It has driving and shooting games, redemption arcades and classic games that can be played for free.
- Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images