SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld in San Diego is the original marine theme park, featuring killer whales, dolphins, shark encounters, manatee rescue, and Journey to Atlantis.

A Colorful Turtle at SeaWorld San DiegoA Colorful Turtle at SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego in California is the original SeaWorld, though there are now others in Orlando in Florida and in San Antonio in Texas. SeaWorld's star attractions include whales, dolphins, shark encounters, manatee rescue, and the fun ride: Journey to Atlantis. 

How Long to Spend at SeaWorld San Diego?

Plan to spend one full day, at least, if you want to see everything SeaWorld has to offer. Two days is even better, but you can squeeze the highlights into one day if you plan carefully. As soon as you arrive, make sure you get not just a map of the park but also a timetable of show times. 

SeaWorld San DiegoSeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld Shows

You must definitely see the Dolphin Discovery show, and we laughed right through Clyde and Seamore's Risky Rescue. Personally we could have skipped Pets Rule! but lots of people loved it. Our advice: on no account miss the Dolphin Discovery, then fit in as many of the other shows as you can manage. We even went back to watch some of them a second time!

SeaWorld San DiegoSeaWorld San Diego

Show and Tell

We'll tell you what we discovered about the shows – get there early and don't sit near the front. Of course some folks love getting soaking wet, but if that's not your thing or you've got cameras, sit well back.

Our Pick of San Diego Guides

Fodor-San-Diego-Travel-Guide-2023.png

Out of season there's usually room for everyone in the large show theaters, so it's less of a problem, but when it's busy the late-comers might not get a seat. If you're not sure then ask someone – but do not miss the big shows. 

Manatee Rescue

A Manatee at SeaWorld San DiegoA Manatee at SeaWorld San Diego

We love manatees, so for us this is a must-see. We watched manatees in the wild in Florida, so to see these magnificent creatures up close was amazing. The manatees at SeaWorld San Diego are Florida manatees that have been rescued after injury or which aren't ready to be back in the wild, so they're well looked-after with a huge, natural environment to swim around in.

SeaWorld Rides

The Shipwreck Rapids Ride at SeaWorld San DiegoThe Shipwreck Rapids Ride at SeaWorld San Diego

We had a full day at SeaWorld and didn't even do any of the rides. We preferred to spend time with the shows and the up-close encounters, watching the dolphins and sea otters at the Rocky Point Preserve. But if you like adventure rides then Journey to Atlantis has been the most popular attraction ever, since SeaWorld first opened its gates in 1964. Shipwreck Rapids isn't far behind, and there were lots of laughing faces coming out of both those rides when we walked past.

Penguins at SeaWorld San DiegoPenguins at SeaWorld San Diego

Location

You'll find SeaWorld San Diego about 5 miles northwest of downtown, and just a 15-minute drive from either San Diego International Airport or San Diego Zoo. To get to SeaWorld head west on I-8 till you get to the end – just stop before you hit the Pacific Ocean. 

More Information
For full information on what there is to do at SeaWorld San Diego, and to find out about current opening hours and ticket prices, visit the SeaWorld San Diego website. Here you can not only buy tickets online but even plan your full San Diego vacation package.

Other San Diego pages

  • San Diego Zoo is in Balboa Park, San Diego, California has been called the best zoo in the world and is the most visited zoo in the United States.

    San Diego Zoo

    San Diego Zoo is in Balboa Park, San Diego, California has been called the best zoo in the world and is the most visited zoo in the United States.

  • Visiting Balboa Park is one of the best things to do in San Diego, California, as the park is home to San Diego Zoo, several museums, and beautiful gardens.

    Visiting Balboa Park

    Visiting Balboa Park is one of the best things to do in San Diego, California, as the park is home to San Diego Zoo, several museums, and beautiful gardens.

  • Cheap flights to San Diego with Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, WestJet and other airlines from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.

    Cheap Flights to San Diego

    Cheap flights to San Diego with Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, WestJet and other airlines from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel brings you a travel guide to Coronado, near San Diego, the perfect place to relax for a few days either before or after your drive.

    Travel Guide to Coronado

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel brings you a travel guide to Coronado, near San Diego, the perfect place to relax for a few days either before or after your drive.

  • Things to do in San Diego include visiting the world famous San Diego Zoo, touring the city's outstanding Wild Animal Park, whale-watching and visiting museums.

    San Diego Things to Do

    Things to do in San Diego include visiting the world famous San Diego Zoo, touring the city's outstanding Wild Animal Park, whale-watching and visiting museums.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel recommends good cheap motels in San Diego including Super-8, Motel 6, Travelodge and Days Inn.

    Good Cheap Motels in San Diego

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel recommends good cheap motels in San Diego including Super-8, Motel 6, Travelodge and Days Inn.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel recommends the best time to visit San Diego, giving the city’s weather and climate month by month and season by season.

    Best Time to Visit San Diego

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel recommends the best time to visit San Diego, giving the city’s weather and climate month by month and season by season.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel recommends the best museums in San Diego, including art museums, science centers, historical museums, and motor museums.

    Best Museums in San Diego

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel recommends the best museums in San Diego, including art museums, science centers, historical museums, and motor museums.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel guide to where to eat in San Diego from fresh local seafood to Mexican, Italian, fine dining and the best fried chicken in the US.

    Where to Eat in San Diego

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel guide to where to eat in San Diego from fresh local seafood to Mexican, Italian, fine dining and the best fried chicken in the US.

  • Whale watching trips and tours in San Diego are one of the California city's best activities but you can watch the whales from the San Diego shoreline too.

    Whale Watching from the San Diego Shoreline

    Whale watching trips and tours in San Diego are one of the California city's best activities but you can watch the whales from the San Diego shoreline too.

  • San Diego whale watching tours like this from Hornblower Cruises let visitors get up close to see gray whales, dolphins, sea lions and other wildlife.

    San Diego Whale Watching

    San Diego whale watching tours like this from Hornblower Cruises let visitors get up close to see gray whales, dolphins, sea lions and other wildlife.

  • San Diego in Southern California is a major travel destination and this page from Pacific Coast Highway Travel has visitor information and best things to do.

    San Diego

    San Diego in Southern California is a major travel destination and this page from Pacific Coast Highway Travel has visitor information and best things to do.

  • Here are facts and figures about Balboa Park in San Diego, which is bigger than New York's Central Park and contains 19 gardens, 17 museums and 14 restaurants.

    Balboa Park in Facts and Figures

    Here are facts and figures about Balboa Park in San Diego, which is bigger than New York's Central Park and contains 19 gardens, 17 museums and 14 restaurants.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel's website recommendations on Where to Stay in San Diego include reviews of budget and luxury hotels in downtown San Diego.

    Where to Stay in San Diego

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel's website recommendations on Where to Stay in San Diego include reviews of budget and luxury hotels in downtown San Diego.

  • The San Diego Museum of Art is in Balboa Park, San Diego, and is the oldest and biggest art museum in the city with a fine collection of Spanish art.

    San Diego Museum of Art

    The San Diego Museum of Art is in Balboa Park, San Diego, and is the oldest and biggest art museum in the city with a fine collection of Spanish art.



Recent Articles

  1. Pacific Coast Highway night closures end

    Feb 27, 24 10:16 AM

    A 6-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County that had been shut at night since Feb. 5 due to storm damage has been repaired, the California Highway Department of Transportation, or Calt…

    Read More

  2. Malibu Canyon Road Reopens Five Days After Mudslide

    Feb 27, 24 10:16 AM

    Crews worked for several days to clear 500 cubic yards of mud, rock and debris that blocked Malibu Canyon Road.

    Read More

  3. From celebrity chef to winemaker - Curtis Stone's next move

    Feb 27, 24 10:16 AM

    He’s the Melbourne-born chef turned international small screen success story, now Curtis Stone has given us a rare glimpse inside the ranch renovation that is setting him on a new career path.

    Read More