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Lesson 13


Advanced English
Lesson 13 - The City

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aircraft carrier   


San Diego Attractions

San DiegoSan Diego, California is a fabulous vacation destination with something for everyone. San Diego has shopping, culture, history, fun, and relaxation. It is located in southern California, 116 miles (186 kilometers) south of Los Angeles, near the Mexican border. It's a great family vacation destination or a place for a romantic getaway. Here are a few of the great attractions in San Diego.

San Diego Harbor - No visit to San Diego would be complete without a visit to the harbor. Stroll along the harbor on a sunny afternoon and watch the ships come in. Visit the Maritime Museum and tour its historical ships including the famous Star of India. Many cruises leave from the harbor area. Nothing is more romantic than a dinner cruise with spectacular views of the San Diego Bay. A newer addition to the harbor is the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, a retired aircraft carrier that has been converted into a museum. Explore the interior and learn what daily life is like for sailors aboard an aircraft carrier. On the flight deck you can view historic aircraft and even get inside the cockpit on some.

Seaport Village - Along the waterfront of San Diego there is a collection of stores and restaurants known as Seaport Village. It's a delightful area to shop and dine out with a glorious view of the San Diego Bay. The Fish Market restaurant next to Seaport Village is one of the best local restaurants for seafood and shouldn't be missed.

Gaslamp QuarterGaslamp Quarter - In the heart of downtown lies the Gaslamp Quarter, a historic neighborhood brimming with fabulous restaurants, shops, and Victorian-style hotels. While somewhat active in the day, the neighborhood really comes alive at night as San Diegans and tourists alike come to the area to enjoy its vibrant night life. The Gaslamp Quarter, which was built in the 1860's, gets its name from the gas lamps that were common in this era and are still present in this neighborhood.

Horton Plaza - Next to the Gaslamp Quarter, you can't miss the creative architecture and bright colors of Westfield Horton Plaza, a modern outdoor shopping mall. Horton Plaza was named after Alonzo Horton, the founder of what is now the Gaslamp Quarter and the man who is responsible for the current location of downtown San Diego. If you visit San Diego, be sure to spend some time exploring the over one hundred stores and services that occupy the mall's multiple levels.

MissionMission San Diego de Alcalá - The mission is the namesake for the city and marks its historic beginning. Spanish friar Junípero Serra founded the mission in 1769 thus beginning a settlement which would later become the city of San Diego. Mission San Diego de Alcalá was the first of the 21 California missions.

Old Town - Old Town San Diego is the original location of downtown San Diego and today contains renovated adobe buildings as well as shops, restaurants, and museums. It's a fun place to spend an afternoon seeing what life was like in the old west. You can visit the blacksmith shop and see how horseshoes were made or find out what life was like for students in the old schoolhouse. It's also a great place to dine on Mexican food. Some Old Town restaurants even have live Mariachi music on weekends.

Balboa ParkBalboa Park - Balboa Park contains 1,200 acres with gardens, recreational areas, and exquisite architecture in the middle of the city of San Diego. The buildings in the park were originally built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition but currently house a variety of museums. On any weekend you can find street performers or special events. If you're lucky, you'll visit the park on a weekend when there's a concert at the spectacular Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

San Diego Zoo - Inside Balboa Park lies the world famous San Diego Zoo. The park houses over 3,700 animals including a giant panda. The zoo is so large that you'll need to bring good walking shoes if you want to see all of the animals. If you don't feel like walking, the zoo offers a guided bus tour for an additional charge. The Zoological Society of San Diego also runs a safari park outside of San Diego in the city Escondido, California that is worth a visit. You can often buy discounted tickets to the zoo and the safari park as part of a package.

Sea World - Don't forget to visit Shamu, the famous killer whale, on your next visit to San Diego. Sea World contains a combination of amusement park rides and marine mammal shows that delight children and adults alike.

Coronado - Although people call it "Coronado Island," Coronado is actually a penisula near downtown San Diego. It is connected to the mainland by a small strip called the Silver Strand. Coronado is one of the most expensive places to live in the entire United States. The beautiful and historical Hotel Del Coronado, made famous by Marilyn Monroe's movie Some Like it Hot, lies on the southern end of the island. You can enjoy fabulous views of downtown San Diego from the northestern end of the island. The area of the island near the Hotel Del Coronado has clean, family-friendly beaches.

Select the attraction that is described in each sentence.

1. This attraction is inside Balboa Park.

2. A collection of stores and restaurants along the waterfront.

3. The Star of India ship and an aircraft carrier museum are here.

4. This was the original downtown San Diego but now contains stores, restaurants, and museums.

5. This was built for an exposition.

6. This would be a great place to go out at night.

7. You could see killer whale and dolphin shows here.

8. The name "San Diego" comes from this historic attraction.

9. People call this an island but it's really a penisula.

10. This is a modern shopping mall next to the Gaslamp Quarter.



Which of the San Diego attractions interests you the most and why? Write on a paper or on our blog.



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