Friday, October 23, 2015

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California).

by Stacey Kuhns

 

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns


On Saturday, October 17, 2015, my friend and I decided to head down to the San Diego Harbor area and check out the new Waterfront Park, the Maritime Museum, and Anthony's restaurant.

We had planned to park in the parking lot across from the Star of India, but quickly realized that was the area the County turned into the Waterfront Park, so we wound up in a pay lot ($10) attached to the Waterfront Park.

This is a truly amazing area for parents with young children. It is directly across the street from the Star of India ship. I am sure the Waterfront Park gets extremely crowded on hot days.

It is open from 10:30-7, but there are no fences around it. There is security so the area seemed very clean and safe. The Waterfront Park  extends out on both sides of the County Administration Building.

There are shallow long fountains for kids and adults to play in. Behind the fountains is a playground with a multitude of play equipment. In front of the fountains is a very large grassy area. (To get an overview picture of the Waterfront Park, go to Google or your browser and type in San Diego Waterfront Park.) 


Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

We had a buy one, get one free coupon for the Maritime Museum  from the Entertainment coupon book. I would not recommend the Maritime Museum for anyone with physical disabilities that would prevent them from climbing backwards down stairs, crawling through holes on submarines, and climbing around the ships. I was under the impression the Maritime Museum was just that, a museum housed in a building. Boy, was I wrong! It is a cluster of ships, including two submarines that you can explore.


Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns


The ships are impressive inside and out. Many people are familiar with the Star of India, but have not seen or heard of the other ships that make up the museum. The ships offer amazing views from the decks of the San Diego downtown skyline, the Waterfront Park, the Coast Guard building, one of the US Navy buildings, and a fantastic view of the jets coming into Lindbergh Field and landing. 


Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns
The Star of India

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

Below:  the indoor upper deck of the Berkeley. Gorgeous wood seats and stained glass windows. 

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

Kid Friendly 

The small children we saw with their families really seemed to be enjoying climbing all over the ships, ringing bells, checking out the cannons, pretending to steer the wheels, and looking at all the model ships in the exhibits on board.

They also loved climbing onto a box and looking through the periscope on the Soviet Submarine. All the exhibits were well labeled and many were easy for children to understand. 


Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns


Below: Torpedo loading area on the B-39 Soviet submarine. 

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns
Writer/Photographer, Stacey Kuhns in the B-39 Soviet Submarine

Below: Very narrow hallways and the circular "doors" in the Soviet sub that you need to crawl through to get to the next section. There are about four or five of these to crawl through and one of them has a lot of hardware around it which resulted in a good knock on the head for me.

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

After exiting the Soviet submarine, we saw this beautiful jellyfish in the water below.

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns
Hammocks where some of the crew slept.


Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

Below: Depiction of passengers on the Star of India.

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

We broke for lunch, in between seeing ships (you have a hand stamp to get on the ships), and ate at Anthony's. There were many families eating there with small children. It is not as pricey as some may think and really, is the only restaurant right next to the Maritime Museum (there was an outdoor food service area there also). From the time we walked into Anthony's until the time we left, the service and friendliness of the staff was exceptional. The manager came over twice to make sure everything was great, the bus boy was at our table with refills right before we finished our drinks, and the food was excellent.

I tried the Manhattan Clam Chowder (the only thing I would not get again as there were way too may potatoes in it,) but everything else was wonderful. We tried the calamari appetizer (ask for it with the tartar sauce which is delicious). They bring hot rolls to your table as soon as you sit down, with an amazing garlic sundried tomato butter. Yum!

My friend loved his fish and chips with shrimp (and the shrimp were good sized), and I had a shrimp and crab Louie salad which was piled with shrimp and crab.

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns

All and all, it was a wonderful afternoon on the water in beautiful San Diego. On the way out of downtown, we rode by the Wyatt Earp Gambling Hall and Hotel (which is supposed to be haunted). I have never seen it before and was stunned by the beauty of the building.

Fantastic Family Things to do in Downtown San Diego (California) by Stacey Kuhns


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