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Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax Tree in La Jolla

Even if you didn’t know that Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) had been a La Jolla resident, you might catch yourself thinking, “That __ reminds me of a Dr. Seuss drawing,” as you explore the coastline. Keep a lookout for a tall windblown Monterey Cypress tree as you walk through Ellen Browning Scripps Park – it’s said to have inspired the endangered Truffula Tree species in Dr. Seuss’s book – The Lorax.

After locating the “Lorax Tree” take time to think about this quote taken from the book. The Lorax book is about the importance of protecting the environment. However, the same quote could be said for other matters that are important within your family. Use the opportunity to have a purposeful discussion with your family. 

Our Beyond the Zoo Guides aren’t just about where to go in San Diego. Each guide also includes activities and talking points to help you create meaningful family memories. Sign up now to receive a new guide each month!

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Beyond the Zoo Guide to La Jolla

We’ve got a brand new guide to family fun in San Diego! Begin your day with a self-guided walking tour along La Jolla’s picturesque coastline. See marine life up close at Birch Aquarium and enjoy beach life in La Jolla Shores before choosing just the right spot to watch the sun set.

Download our free Beyond the Zoo Guide to La Jolla to plan your visit and follow along at InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. This guide pairs well with the Beyond the Zoo Guide to Torrey Pines & Solana Beach.

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Beyond the Zoo Guide to Torrey Pines & Solana Beach

New release! Travel with us through Torrey Pines and Solana Beach for a full day adventure along California’s beautiful coastline. From hiking trails to the beach, our latest Beyond the Zoo Guide was created for families who enjoy nature and spending time together outdoors.

Download our free Beyond the Zoo Guide to Torrey Pines & Solana Beach to plan your visit. You can also follow along at InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

We release a new Beyond the Zoo Guide each month. Are you subscribed?

Our guides aren’t just about where to go in San Diego. Each guide also includes activities and talking points to help you create meaningful family memories. Previously released guides include Ocean Beach & Point LomaSan Diego By the Bay, and Barrio Logan

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A History of Barrio Logan – Chicano Park (Part Two)

Our belief that understanding the past is essential as you explore Barrio Logan is especially true as we take a look at Chicano Park. Chicano Park, a U.S. National Historic Landmark, has the largest outdoor mural collection in the United States. But it’s not the size of the collection that makes the park special.

The Colossus mural originally created by Mario Torero, Mano Lima, and Laurie Manzano.

Part One of A History of Barrio Logan ends with a community in crisis. Interstate 5 and San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge construction removed 5,000 homes and businesses. Over 10 years the population had shrunk from 20,000 to 5000 residents. Spirits were both crushed and ignited as residents began demanding their rights. Open spaces in Barrio Logan had otherwise disappeared. Barrio Logan residents requested that the land under the bridge be turned into a park for the community. The city agreed to a park in 1969. Five months later bulldozers were spotted where the park was to be built. It was April 22, 1970. Instead of the park, they were there to break ground for a California Highway Patrol station.

In an oversimplification of events, residents and demonstrators mobilized peacefully but forcefully to take back the land which they had been promised. They occupied the land for twelve days until the city agreed once again to build a park. Community vision for the park included turning concrete freeway supports into works of art depicting Chicano culture. Artists began painting murals in Chicano Park in 1973, and though it would take several years until completion, the park and murals continue to stand as a symbol of the community.

Additional Articles & Resources: chicanoparksandiego.com, Explore the Murals of San Diego’s Chicano Park, An Iconic San Diego Park Is Now a National Historic Landmark

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Barrio Dogg: Chicano comfort food takes the shape of a hot dog

Barrio Dogg at 2234 Logan Ave is self-described Chicano comfort food. Packed with flavorful ingredients, these elevated street hot dogs take a cue from international recipes, but are uniquely Barrio Dogg’s own creations. Go ahead and take a peek at their menu.

Popular menu items are the El Xolito and El Pueblito washed down with a Mexican Coke. We also recommend the elotitos side dish. Families will appreciate the $6 kid’s meal.

Barrio Dogg is just one of many family-friendly food experiences suggested in our free Beyond the Zoo Guide to Barrio Logan. Automatically receive a new visitor guide each month when you subscribe to McLandia.com.

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Por Vida: A Barrio Logan coffee shop celebrating coffee, culture, and art

Por Vida’s tagline is cafe * cultura * galería. The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at Por Vida (meaning for life in Spanish) is the graffiti style artwork bearing it’s name. This without a doubt sets the tone as you step inside the coffee shop decorated with artwork and cultural icons. While the menu stands on its own as reason to visit Por Vida, you’ll also get a strong dose of art and culture. 

Let’s talk for a minute about the menu. My first introduction to Por Vida was through Instagram (@porvidacafe). During the heat of the summer it was the Spicy Lemonades that jumped off their Instagram feed and enticed us to pay them a visit. Our adventurous teens and the up-for-anything involving-food youngster were more than happy to tag along. The colorful spicy limonada (the spice comes from tajin) did not disappoint as a refreshing sweet and sour concoction. We were also impressed with Por Vida’s creative menu of speciality lattes. In addition to expected flavors like horchata and Mexican chocolate, there are canela y brown sugar, mazapan, la rosa, and dulce de leche lattes to choose from. We’ve been back since that first visit on a quest to explore the menu.

The owners of Por Vida are invested in Barrio Logan. Amongst other things, the empty lot next door to Por Vida is used for community gatherings such as the Barrio Logan Flea Market which showcases local artisans and food vendors. When we released our free Beyond the Zoo Guide to Barrio Logan one of our stated objectives was to share how history, art, food, and pride in cultural heritage make Barrio Logan a destination worth exploring. Por Vida is an example of how a community is made better by embracing these things and by lifting each other up to create a bright future.

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Visit a traditional Mexican panaderia in Barrio Logan

Traditional flavors of Mexico meld with trendy up-and-coming coffee shops and eateries in the Chicano neighborhood of Barrio Logan. In our free Beyond the Zoo Guide to Barrio Logan we suggest some of our favorite family-friendly spots. 

Panchita’s Bakery in Barrio Logan is a traditional Mexican panadería (bakery) that is similar to ones that our family enjoyed while visiting Mexico City. A modest storefront houses tasty breads, pastries, cookies, and desserts.

Panchita’s Bakery is self-serve and cash-only. Grab a tray and tongs on your way in and return to the counter with your treats to pay. With wholesale prices, it’s an inexpensive cultural experience for the entire family.

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Beyond the Zoo Guide to Barrio Logan

A new Beyond the Zoo Guide has been released! We are excited to share with you the history, art, food, and pride in cultural heritage that make the Chicano neighborhood of Barrio Logan a destination worth exploring.

We’ve created a half-day Barrio Logan itinerary for your family. We won’t be surprised though if you come back for more! Download our free Beyond the Zoo Guide to Barrio Logan to plan your visit. 

As always, our Beyond the Zoo Guides aren’t just about where to go in San Diego. Each guide also includes activities and talking points to help you create meaningful family memories. 

Sign up for our newsletter to receive a free Beyond the Zoo Guide each month! You can also follow along at McLandia.com, InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

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Ride the Historic Fair Park Carousel at Seaport Village

For just $3 you can ride a piece of American history at Seaport Village.

Whether you are young or young at heart, indulge your imagination on a carousel ride. We’ve included the Fair Park Carousel in our free Beyond the Zoo Guide to San Diego By the Bay as a memorable family experience that won’t break the budget. Plus, it’s steeped in American history and craftsmanship.

The Fair Park Carousel was built in 1895 by Charles I.D. Looff, a Dutch-American master carver famous for his hand-carved carousels (including the first carousel at Coney Island). He is also known for building roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and the Santa Monica Pier. Throughout its lifetime the carousel has lived in Texas (debuting in 1904), California, Washington, Oregon, and Ohio. It has been entertaining riders at Seaport Village since 2004.