Spring Exploration in the Great Outdoors

Anza_BorregoApril showers bring May flowers… and hopefully some warmer temperatures so you and your family can enjoy inexpensive outdoor explorations.

Old Man Winter refuses to exit gracefully this year.  Many parts of the country are still buried under snow and ice, including my neck of the woods.  However, in some states spring is well underway and with the change of seasons comes a host of affordable travel opportunities that allow you to conquer cabin fever without going broke:

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park:  California’s largest state park is located roughly two hours northeast of San Diego.  It boasts more than 110 miles of hiking trails that provide phenomenal views of vibrant spring floral displays and other horticultural offerings including mountain daffodils, towering ocotillos with fiery spines of scarlet blossoms, and a host of other colorful wildflowers.  The park’s 600,000 acres are also home to hundreds of butterflies that flock to the desert during the annual floral pageant.

Balboa Park:  From April 25-28, San Diego’s Balboa Park comes alive with pops of color from more than 100 floral exhibits.  During Art Alive 2013, designers from around the world travel to the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park to create floral renditions of famous paintings and sculptures.  A family of four can peruse the entire spring exhibition for less than $30 and museum members get in for free.

San Diego Zoo:  If your kids are too young to appreciate spring’s flora and fauna, then consider a trip to the zoo.  The San Diego Zoo offers affordable single-day passes for families which provide access to new exhibits, including the Conrad Prebys Australian Outback display, which showcases the wonders from the Land Down Under. You and your kids can venture through a eucalyptus grove and discover species from wombats to wallabies and kookaburras to cockatoos. The Australian Outback exhibit also features impressive views of the Zoo’s Queensland koala colony – the largest koala colony outside of Australia.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.