By LarryTaylor/Garden Grove Journal
In summer, driving to San Diego and La Jolla is entering a tourist paradise– great beaches, scenic coves, picturesque shopping locations, with recreational and cultural attractions abounding. Visiting the area for a day or more makes for a delightful family getaway.
The weather is warm and the beaches and coves are big attractions. For years we’ve stayed near the La Jolla Cove area, which is great for beach-goers and snorkelers. We’ve observed over the years that an increasingly popular activity is kayaking from La Jolla Shores beach toward the cove and sea caves some hundred yards away.
Many kayakers sign up for a tour provided by local rental companies. A guide gives instructions and then leads small groups, launching from the shore.
On the way to the caves, California sea lions can be seen sleeping on rocks or playfully swimming. There are seven caves, the last and largest is Clam’s Cave.
Unless conditions are rough, guides lead groups through it. On the way back, groups paddle out to kelp beds, looking for the bright orange garibaldi fish and searching for more sea lions.
Another popular family activity is visiting the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, one of the world’s largest zoos. This year, an excellent second option is to drive 35 miles north to the zoo’s Safari Park. Here animals from Africa’s savannahs can be seen in large open areas similar to their home ground. New at the park is the renovated lion area which features grassy expanses for lounging among magill palms and fever trees which provide shade and can serve as scratching posts. Several large boulders and elevated ledges have been added to give the three lion inhabitants more places to perch and keep an eye on happenings.
Also this summer the park has become a speedway where cheetahs, the world’s fastest species, are given full reign to race, going from 0 to 70 mph in just four seconds in the daily Cheetah Run. Each afternoon, cheetahs will run on a 330-foot straight track while chasing a mechanical lure attached to their favorite toy. Guests as close as seven feet away, could feel the breeze as the cheetah passes by.
Besides the feast of outdoor activities, there is a lot of food for the mind to be had in the San Diego-La Jolla area. Back at Balboa Park, the Globe Theater is holding its annual summer Shakespeare Festival with critics reporting this to be one of the best ever.
Celebrated actor Miles Anderson appears in two plays. In “The Tempest,” he plays Prospero, the outcast duke in one the Bard’s last plays. In Peter Shaffer’s 1979 play “Amadeus,” he portrays Salieri, Mozart’s 18th Century rival. This is a revival of the Tony- and Academy Award-winning work.
Rounding out the season, one of Shakespeare’s wittiest comedies, “Much Ado About Nothing,” features Benedick, an arrogant and confirmed bachelor, and Beatrice, his favorite sparring partner. They hide their infatuation beneath witty barbs; notwithstanding, love blossoms.
Meanwhile, in La Jolla, the 25th anniversary of Summerfest, the annual celebration of chamber music, featuring the country’s most talented performers, gets underway in August.Three weeks of concerts will include appearances by famed violinist Cho-Liang Lin, the acclaimed Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and the Tokyo String Quartet, considered one of the world’s supreme chamber ensembles.