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Head to the San Diego Zoo and Gaslamp Quarter for Fall Fun
Autumn is a great time to visit the San Diego Zoo. With kids back in school, crowds have thinned and shoulder-season hotel discounts abound. And cooler fall temps encourage the zoo’s animal residents to be more active.
For many zoo-thusiasts, baby animals are a popular first stop. The San Diego Zoo has several this year, including little elephants, a rhino, camel, langur monkey and an okapi. The show stealer, however, is the baby panda that lives in Panda Canyon.
For a condor’s-eye view of the zoo, hop aboard the Skyfari Aerial Tram. This is a great way to scope out the zoo’s terrain, from the huge koala colony in the Down Under exhibit to the elephants, lions, jaguars, sloths and camels in the Elephant Odyssey section.
An odyssey into San Diego’s past can be found in the trendy, revitalized Gaslamp Quarter. This lively district is the historic heart of downtown San Diego. And it’s only a three-mile drive from the zoo. In the late 1880s, this former rough-and-tumble area was a magnet for gamblers, rowdy sailors on leave, and ladies of the evening. Its dissolute landscape of gambling halls, including three run by Wyatt Earp, bordellos and saloons caused the area to be shunned by San Diego’s more upright citizens.
Today, however, the Gaslamp’s specialty shops and boutiques, fine restaurants, and colorful history attract a wonderful mix of visitors and locals, all of whom seem entirely respectable. When the sun sets, the streets come alive. The old-fashioned gas lamps begin to glow and more than 70 sidewalk cafes come to life.