Club Wyndham Harbour Lights
Club Wyndham Harbour Lights is in San Diego, California. I have traveled to the area before and feel excited about being able to visit again. I know already that want to use the Go Pass again and visit the zoo as well as several other areas.
The go pass is available in many areas but with San Diego on my last trip I found it a money saver if you were going to try to do or see a lot every day. If you are slower in pace and want to only have one key experience a day, then the value of a go pass may be less for you. These passes let you visit many attractions all for one daily fee. The more days you use one the pass the lower the daily cost. So, I will purchase a 2 day pass as I did on my last trip and start to take advantage of it when I hit the ground running after my day of arrival.
Video by California Through My Lens
Day One Travel & Arrival
San Diego, for me, means a flight across the nation coast to coast. Norfolk to San Diego (ORF to SAN) can be less than a 6-hour flight. It all depends on your layover and connecting flights. San Diego Airport is a nice modern airport. There are two terminal buildings and a great deal of available parking.
The San Diego Airport is one that you have likely seen in many movies and TV shows. It has an iconic arrival area that has been filmed hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
San Diego is a great area to visit not just for the activities but also the amazing weather. The average temperature ranges from 66 to 77 degrees based on the time of year for the daily high. The lowest temperature reaches 49 in December, with the rest of the year staying in the upper 50s or higher for the lows. When traveling, the average person may want to have a light jacket for nighttime or a favorite sweater if that is our thing. I think windbreaker style jackets were made for this region. Lightweight, but they stop the wind from making you feel cold after the sun goes down.
All that great weather means San Diego is an amazing location to visit and stay.
After my flight, I arrived at the airport and then grabbed my rental car for the trip to the resort. The resort itself is just 3.6 miles from the airport, so if you are not renting a car, getting there is easy and cheap. For me, it was only about a 10-minute drive door to door.
The resort itself is right next to a restaurant that so many enjoy, especially the ladies called the Melting Pot which is a neat experience if you have not been. The entire meal and experience is around Fondue. The Melting Pot even shared a special dinner for two experiences that many really enjoy for a romantic special night.
On this trip I am solo, so I will probably not drop in for a meal, but it is a fun location.
The resort itself is literally the next door on the block up from that restaurant. You can unload your bags in the front, then park in the back if you like. I had already looked online at the location so I pulled up and parked in the back of the building then came in through the doors, bags in hand to check in.
The resort offers 1-bedroom villas and studios. I opted for the larger 1-bedroom accommodation. It was almost 1,000 sq ft, so it was a great comfortable size.
The smaller studio rooms are from 500 to 600 sq ft in size. So still very nicely sized units.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- Washer/Dryer In Unit
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Steam Room
- Fitness Room
- Laundry Services
Day Two to the Zoo
I think the San Diego Zoo, is the most amazing zoo in the United States. I know that is a heck of a statement but it is ran very well, and is so large that I stand by the statement. The scale of the zoo is impressive. I think it is much closer to a theme park in size than what we think of as a zoo. The zoo is about 100 acres, but there is also a San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is over 1,800 acres.
Before visiting, you can experience a virtual visit via many of the live webcams. Just be warned, these web cams offer a great view of the animals living, and playing and that can be addictive.
Before I headed to the Zoo, I wanted to have a nice breakfast. About 4 blocks away from the resort is the Donut Bar. This spot is so popular if you are ordering by the Dozen, you can purchase your donuts the day before and pick them up the next morning.
A writer for Forbes was quoted as saying that the Donut Bar is “The Gold Standard for donut shops”. I can say I was happy with my two donuts, for sure.
Near the resort has so many great restaurants and bars that I can see myself eating most meals within walking distance.
Next I head to the Zoo. First going to the main zoo site, then I will check out the amazing Safari area. Since I have the Go Pass, the price is included with that pass. The one-day pass plus, which includes a 4D movie most will want to see, is $68 a day. Price but again, this is one of the world’s best Zoos and your money directly supports all the amazing work that they do here.
You start your zoo journey at the Front Street Gate that is protected by a large lion statue. You can then go in either direction that you want, but I started moving right and headed to the Outback Area, then on to Africa. After the Africa section, you can visit the Elephants then move on to Alaska. Each part of the park follows a theme and the animals from those related regions.
Included in my pass was also the Safari Park. This amazing Zoo maintained Safari Park is one of the largest and best run I have had the opportunity to visit.
Here I also chose to do a full wildlife Safari. I chose the deluxe Safari which the site describes this way.
Spend even more time with your favorite wildlife! On this 90-minute safari, you’ll venture into habitats representing Africa and Asia for up-close views of giraffes, rhinos, and many other species. Enjoy amazing photo opportunities while learning about how caring for wildlife here helps us to conserve wildlife around the world.
Day Three, seeing more of the area
Sea World is where I chose to start the day thanks to my Go Pass. Since it brings down the cost of each place you visit, I find that I am eager to do and see more on my trip.
Sea World San Diego
Here, Sea World seems special. I love Sea World in Florida near Tampa, but the San Diego location seems special for some reason. Like the zoo, the park is over 100 acres in size and offers rides and experiences that any nature lover is sure to enjoy.
When I go to Sea World, I think about the shows. The amazing staff trainers that learn to work closely with dolphins, and even killer whales, are impressive. The shows they work out with these beloved animals are great to see and fun for the whole family.
There is so much to do and see and Sea World that it would be easy to spend an entire day here just seeing things, riding rides, and watching a few of the amazing shows like the Orca show. I loved the shows and also enjoyed the Journey to Atlantis ride so much I went again and again.
Next, I took a self-driving speedboat tour of the local harbor. I was not aware that was even an available thing. But they are, and it is a blast. While I might not have tried this without the Go Pass since it was about $70, since it was included, I did and I had a ball. Each small speedboat can hold up to 3 people.
They take you on a 1.5-hour trip around the harbor, seeing many of the best things to see from the harbor itself.
Finally, I used my Go Pass for a tasting of a flight of 5 beers at a local brewery experience. It was just enough,, so I knew that I wanted a few more of the bourbon barrel aged beers before I left.
San Diego is a city that I could likely spend weeks in and truly enjoy every minute. There is so much to do and see that you can not see it all in even weeks’ time. This is my 3rd time and I keep trying new thing but also going back to favorites like the Zoo each time.