Best Of: Explore

    Pacific Beach
    SeaWorld

    A few things are synonymous with San Diego, and none more so than SeaWorld. At its heart, SeaWorld presents various entertainments in open-air amphitheaters and aquarium features where the performers are killer whales, dolphins, otters, sea lions, orcas and seals. Although pirouetting dolphin shows are surely as famous, SeaWorld’s most popular show is, without doubt, “Believe,” which stars Shamu, the killer whales that have always been the park’s mascot. Not only is it a showplace for marine life, but it also has a collection of exciting water rides. On that note, a new “Manta” coaster that swoops, dives and twists in a shape of a giant manta ray has been just added to the list over the summer. SeaWorld is only about a 20-minute car drive away from campus, and UCSD students can get about a $10 discount for the ticket at the UCSD box office — so head out and see what all the hype is about.

    — Ashley Kwon
    Associate Lifestyle Editor

    Poway
    Potato Chip Rock

    It’s in tourist brochures. It’s in lists of “free things to do in San Diego.” Most of all, it’s in the profile pictures of every one of your friends who has ever lived in “America’s finest city.”

    Potato Chip Rock is a strangely shaped natural formation on the peak of Mt. Woodson. It’s a rite of passage for San Diegans, and those passing through, to hike the trail and take a picture posing on its seemingly precarious tip (in reality, the rock is incredibly stable). The trail is harder than it seems: Although it’s only 3.1 miles to the top, the trek is uphill nearly the entire way, with only one rocky area suited for taking a break. The scenery itself is disappointing — scrub, dust, more scrub — but the views of the city below serve as reminders of San Diego’s natural beauty.

    Mt. Woodson is approximately 30 minutes away by car — parking is about $10 per car. Depending on the skill set of your group, expect to spend about four hours climbing up and down, and don’t forget the water bottles. Also important: When heading back to the parking lot, don’t take the trail that keeps going down. It seems counter-intuitive, but the last bit of the trail downhill goes up before reaching the end of the way. Most people forget this and wander in the opposite direction, only to realize that they’re 20 minutes away.

    — Angela Chen
    Editor in Chief

    Campus
    Smoke Spots

    The simple question of “Where shall I smoke weed this evening?” can be too often confounded by the presence of law enforcement or sheer indecisiveness. A change in environment is the cure — and there are many locations to choose from at UCSD. In the theatre district, there’s a quaint spot near William Wegman’s irony-tinged “La Jolla Vista View.” The basement floor of Mandeville’s Graffiti Hall is always a reliable hotbox, and during the day, the glider port cliffs near the golf course provide some pristine scenic alcoves. If you’re seeking nature, the canyon in Sixth College offers a pleasant garden-side lounge area, but nothing beats the expansive loop of peaceful hiking trails in the RIMAC woods — the best spot on campus to take a J on the way. See if you can find the tree fort overlooking Warren Canyon; rumor has it that it used to be a makeshift speakeasy before it was shut down by the police.

    — Ren Ebel
    A&E Editor

    Various Locations
    Record Shopping

    San Diego’s music scene is a bit underground, but between the cracks there are plenty of decent record shops for the vinylphile or casual collector. If you find yourself north, stop in at Lou’s in Encinitas. There’s also Cow Music in Pacific Beach, home to one of the most talkative and interesting shop owners you’re likely to engage in a three-hour conversation with. M-Theory in Mission Hills has them all beat in terms of friendly and accommodating customer service. If it’s time to get serious, however, Hillcrest’s rarity haven Thirsty Moon and the always well-stocked Record City are essential.

    — Ren Ebel
    A&E Editor 

    La Jolla
    Kayaking

    You picked a school by the beach — don’t go four years without taking a beach day. Even if you hate getting sand, well, everywhere, you can engage your outdoorsy side and see one of the coolest parts of the neighborhood by spending a morning kayaking at La Jolla Cove.

    Several rental outlets line a beachfront street several miles south of campus where prices are reasonable but vary depending on boat size and how long you plan to be out there.

    A one-hour rental for a double can set you back around $50, but you can save big by cashing in on special deals (do your homework and book early!). The kayaking area is home to a variety of marine life including seals, garibaldi fish and leopard sharks. Enjoy your surroundings, because after all, La Jolla Cove is part of the second-largest protected marine area in California. Bring your camera — a waterproof one.

    Kayakers can go it alone or in a group, but you’ll need to go with a guide if you want to paddle into the caves. At least three kayak rental outlets can be found on Avenida De La Playa between Camino Del Sol and El Paseo Grande including La Jolla Kayak and San Diego Bike and Kayak.

    — Zev Hurwitz
    News Editor

    Pacific Beach
    Thrifting

    The Cerebral Palsy thrift store is often overlooked in favor of its well-known Pacific Beach neighbors: Buffalo Exchange and Goodwill. But while Buffalo Exchange tries to sell secondhand clothing at prices more expensive than the original, and Goodwill has a plethora of ugly sweaters that aren’t shelved in the ugly sweater section, the Cerebral Palsy store usually has decent merchandise at decent prices.

    The store will often have 25, 50 or 75 percent discounts on the already marked-down prices, though the best part is the 10 percent student discount with valid ID.

    There is the requisite mass-market secondhand clothing, at cheaper prices than elsewhere ($5 Charlotte Russe and Forever 21 clothing, as opposed to original price at Buffalo), but the true highlight is the rack of vintage dresses. Though occasionally inundated with one too many unwanted wedding dresses, this section includes plenty of “Mad Men”-esque silk sheaths and 60s shifts. There’s also a solid selection of shoes (mostly women’s, including heels of all sizes and shapes) and jewelry (chunky costume bracelets and earrings are the specialty) that make it a good place to do Halloween shopping.

    — Angela Chen
    Editor in Chief

    Downtown
    San Diego Zoo

    The San Diego Zoo, one of the world’s largest, can be a little pricey on a student budget, but spending a day among California’s largest collection of exotic animals is well worth the admission fee. The zoo has just welcomed baby elephants, a giraffe and a giant panda named Xiao Liwu. Besides the ever-growing zoo family, a number of holiday themed events, such as “Breakfast with Santa” make this time of year perfect to visit. Public transportation from campus is very difficult so be prepared to drive. Zoo food is expensive, but security is lax about bringing your own so make sure you pack a bagg lunch. Saying the Zoo is huge is an understatement, so definitely plan to spend at least half a day there. Tickets run at around $40, but discounts are available through the UCSD Box Office. 2920 Zoo Drive in Balboa Park.

    — Zev Hurwitz
    News Editor

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