San Diego Zoo | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Baseball, Beaches, Family Travel, Food, Golf, Groups, San Diego, on 31 August 2021, by , 0 Comments

When we think of California, it’s not uncommon to fill our heads of images of the Hollywood sign, celebrities, and the infamous traffic jams of Los Angeles; however, the city of angels isn’t the only prime travel destination within the state. 

San Diego has a rich history and a laidback style to match. Not only is it the birthplace of California, but it’s also one of the first spots where Europeans stepped ashore on the entire west coast. Beyond its history, San Diego has a mass appeal that will allow everyone to find something within the city that they enjoy. 

So to help jumpstart your next trip to San Diego, here are ten must-see places you can quickly cross off your bucket list!

Ten Things To Cross Off Your San Diego Bucket List

  1. San Diego Beaches – You can’t make a trip to California and not visit the beaches, and San Diego is no exception. The water is perfect for swimming, surfing, and lounging around reading a good book. If you’re looking for relaxation, San Diego has the beaches for you. Pacific Beach, La Jolla Shores Beach, and Sunset Cliffs, to name a few.  

  2. LEGOLAND California – Let your creativity and imagination run wild with the whole family. Take in the movies, interactive rides, and Lego designs that overtake this popular destination. You can even try your hands at your own LEGO creations at any number of building activities. (Pictures are from my visit in October 2019.)

3. Balboa Park – The nation’s largest urban cultural park. There are plenty of trails, play areas for kids, as well as museums. Street performers line the streets to help give you a real sense of modern renaissance and entertainment.

4. San Diego Zoo – Who doesn’t love a zoo, and with more than 3,500 animals on-site, it’s easy to get lost in the jungle and enjoy a day with the animals. Learn more about conservation efforts, and the rare and endangered plants and species occupy the 100-acre zoo.

5. SeaWorld San Diego – Families flock far and wide to take in the wonders of SeaWorld. With its mixture of outdoor aquarium and theme park, there are plenty of rides, sights, and attractions for the entire family.

6. San Diego Bay Tours – San Diego Bay is the hub spot for major water-related adventures, so why not take in the harbor and book a tour by boat. This is a relaxing way to end your day or kickstart a day of exploring. Tours can be completed on Jet boats, Hornblower cruises, speed boats, and many others.

7. San Diego BreweriesBrewery tours are always a hit for those 21+, and San Diego has its fair share of breweries to wet your whistle. With nearly 200 breweries in the area, there’s always a fresh beer that you’ve probably never tried before.

8. San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park – This nearly 6,000-acre underwater park contains various habitats such as kelp beds, sand flats, and rocky reefs. The waves are calm and gentle enough to snorkel below the water’s surface for a day of swimming with sea creatures and exploring the surrounding sea caves.

9. Mission Bay – Mission Bay is another great locale for water sports. Not only are there boat rentals, paddle boarding, and other leisure activities, but there are also trails for walking and hiking, and a camping area to set up camp over a long weekend.

10. Annual San Diego Events – Like most major cities, San Diego hosts a variety of one day and weekend-long events that occur annually. These include things such as the San Diego County Fair, Comic-Con (see images below!), as well as the Padres Major League Baseball Season (Petco Park – you can do a tour or see a game!). Even if you’re not attending these events, you may want to plan accordingly because of increases in traffic and travel accommodations being few and far between.

Which of these bucket list items are you looking to cross off on your next trip to San Diego? Are there any other San Diego must-sees that didn’t make our list? Be sure to let us know when you call today to start planning your next vacation!

You can reach us by phone 727.748.4077, email: or using our contact form. We’re ready to help you explore San Diego!

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Posted in Baseball, Travel, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, on 13 June 2014, by , 0 Comments

CoryLooking for a unique foodie treat in NYC, then a Food on Foot Tour is a must!

Meet Brooklyn native Corey Taylor, whose passion for food turned into a dream job. He introduces New York visitors to non-tourist neighborhoods, by foot and subway, so they can experience what it’s like to eat and travel like a New Yorker.

Come hungry! You’ll spend about $20 on these 3.5 – 4.5 hour tours, picking and choosing the items you want to sample from each of the food stops. You may have to wait a few minutes while the food is prepared, but it’s well worth it! While waiting, Corey will fill you in on the local history of the restaurant and the area and you get to mingle with the other travelers in your group.

A few of tours offered:
East Village Block Party:
Six food stops in the East Village
Go West: Midtown neighborhood tour away from the tourist areas with multiple cuisine stops including at least one sweet stop.
Food for Baseball Fans Package: Fill up on great eats on your way to Yankee Stadium and watch them play.

And many others…check out their website for all tours, times and prices.

cupcakesI’ve been on the Food for Baseball Fans tour and it was absolutely amazing and I highly recommend it! We stopped for pizza, deep fried Oreos and Twinkies, Chinese food, cupcakes, and hot dogs before heading to Yankee Stadium. Once we arrived at the stadium, Corey gave us a brief tour and some of the stadium’s history. Corey knows his stuff.



Put on your walking shoes, grab your Metro Card (subway card) and bring some extra napkins– IT´S TIME TO EAT!!

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Posted in Baseball, Sports, Travel, Uncategorized, on 28 March 2014, by , 0 Comments

bigstock-Baseball-Pitcher-Throwing-ball-48332405Opening Day is right around the corner and the Boys of Summer are back! Baseball is my second favorite sport, next to hockey, (of course!). So to help kick off the 2014 MLB season, here is some information on one of my favorite baseball stadiums, home to the Detroit Tigers!


Comerica Park

CoPaI’m a native Detroiter and though I miss going to “The Corner” (Tigers Stadium, where the Tigers played until 1999, was at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.), Comerica Park is quite the venue for baseball. None of the seats in the three leveled stadium are obstructed allowing for a clear view of the field as well as Detroit’s skyline.

All guests can enjoy a walk through Tigers history via the “Walk of Fame” on the concourse. Make sure you take a moment to visit the statues of former Tigers greats Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Willie Horton, Al Kaline and Hal Newhouser. It’s okay to come with a non-baseball fan as there’s plenty for them to see and do. For cigar aficionados, check out the 1940s-style Cigar Bar with over 20 cigar varieties. And for the young ones, or fans in training, be sure to take a ride on the 50-foot Fly Ball Ferris Wheel and the Comerica Carousel. Oh, and if you’re there on a Sunday, kids under 14 ride for free. (There’s so much more than baseball going on here.)

Look to Center-field when the Tigers hit a home run. Their “Liquid Fireworks” (think Bellagio fountain) are synced to music and help everyone celebrate. At night, lights are added to the celebration! It’s a lot of fun to see.

I’ll highlight some of my other favorite parks in the weeks to come. Thought about a baseball road trip? Let us know, we’d love to help you plan it! Which baseball stadium is you favorite? Answer in the comments below.

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Posted in Authors, Baseball, Books, Football, General Travel Information, Girlfriend Getaways, Seattle, Travel, Uncategorized, on 4 February 2014, by , 21 Comments

Seattle Skyline

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLVIII champs!

Whether you’re a football fan or not, Seattle is a great place to visit. Not only is it the coffee capital of the US (Starbucks anyone?), home to Amazon, Microsoft, and Nordstrom, it also has some really great things to see and do.

Have you been? My first visit was in September 2012 and I was amazed at all there was to do and see in the city. Our four-day weekend was packed and we still didn’t get to see everything.

Here are just a few things to take in while in Seattle. Join as we walk down memory lane:

Day One:  Space Needle, EMP Museum, Science Center

Day Two:  Bainbridge Island, Underground Tour

Day Three:  Edgewater Hotel, Pike’s Place Market, Pioneer Square

Day Four:  Safeco Field, Agrosy Harbor Cruise, Seattle Aquarium

If you’ve been, where or what do you recommend visitors see or do? If you haven’t and wanted to visit, what is your “must see” while there?

Be sure to check out our Seattle Pinterest boards for more pictures of our visit!

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Posted in Baseball, General Travel Information, Seattle, Uncategorized, Unique Getaways, What's Up With Maria, on 11 October 2012, by , 0 Comments

It’s our last day in Seattle and there is still so much to see and do! Since our flight was scheduled for late afternoon, we had the opportunity to visit three more attractions before leaving for the airport.

Safeco Field

First stop on our last day was a tour of Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team. I love sports, so doing a stadium or park tour is always fun. For my sister, who’s not a sports fan, not so much, but she was quite a trooper!

These tours provide a behind the scenes look at the goings on in professional baseball. We walked through the tunnel outside the visitor’s locker room then out to the field. (How else can you make it onto the field and not be arrested?) After our short stop on the field, our tour continued to the Key Bank Diamond Club, the press box, and then we spent some time in the owner’s suite. (One thing that stands Safeco Field apart from other stadiums is its retractable roof. It can open or close in seven (7) minutes!)

View from the Press Box

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Posted in Anaheim, Authors, Baseball, Football, Hockey, Uncategorized, What's Up With Maria, on 31 July 2012, by , 12 Comments

The Romance Writers of America conference was AMAZING! Not only did I get to sit in on and moderate incredible panels, I got to meet some of my favorite authors, too! And the literacy fundraiser was a complete success raising over $50,000 for three Orange County charities:  ProLiteracy Worldwide, Read OC, and Literacy Volunteers – Huntington Valley.

I’m a die-hard sports fan and got to meet Jaci Burton who pens the Play-By-Play series sports romance books for football, baseball, and hockey. Her newest football book, Playing to Win, comes out September 4th.

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Posted in Baseball, Girlfriend Getaways, Shopping, Uncategorized, on 29 June 2012, by , 8 Comments


What could be better than spending a weekend with the girls shopping? And I’m not talking about your local mall; I’m talking about the mall to end all malls, The Mall of America.  This incredible place, which is celebrating its 20 year anniversary this year, has over 520 stores on four floors. It boasts 21 restaurants that include Tony Roma’s, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Ruby Tuesday and Buffalo Wild Wings, which gives you nearly unlimited cuisine choices.

This fabulous mall was actually built on the former site of Metropolitan Stadium. In fact, the home plate plaque is located in the Nickelodeon Universe, exactly where home plate was in the stadium. Another memento from the Mall’s former resident is a red painted chair, marking the longest home run, hit by Marmon Killebrew in 1967.

This is definitely not your mother’s shopping mall! Shopping aside, the Mall of America is home to several great attractions, including the Minnesota Sea Life Aquarium that offers the chance to on only view sharks, stingrays, turtles and many other beautiful sea creatures, but host special events as well.  Here you can plan a sleep over, participate in scuba diving and even hold a birthday party.  If you’re more of an adventurer, check out the Nickelodeon Universe indoor theme park where you can ride roller coasters, participate in a ropes course or play miniature golf course.   And if you are so inclined, you can even get married here, at the Chapel of Love on the 3rd floor.

So whether you and your girlfriends are gearing up for some serious shopping or are looking for a great place to have fun and relax, let Ingenious Travel put you on the road to the Mall of America.

What is your favorite store to shop with the girls?


Image Source: cliff1066

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Posted in Baseball, Football, Golf, Hockey, NASCAR, Tennis, Uncategorized, on 25 May 2012, by , 5 Comments carloscappaticciBabe Ruth’s Jersey, worn in 1920 when he was with the Yankees,  sold for $4.4 million dollars just the other day?  This set a record as the highest price paid for any item of sports memorabilia.  And it’s not just the Sultan of Swat’s jersey that has a heavy price tag; his home run balls, his bats and even his contracts command huge sums at auctions.

As long as we have had organized sports, we have had sports collectors.  Whether it’s a group of boys trading baseball cards or corporations bidding hundreds of thousands of dollars, for the privilege of owning a one of a kind piece of sports history, if a sports figure touched it, it’s going to be up for sale.  There is always someone out there who is willing to pay the going price for the pride of ownership.

And it’s just not baseball that racks up these kinds of prices.   Until the sale of Babe Ruth’s jersey, a copy of James Naismith’s founding rules of basketball held the record with a $4.3 million dollar sale price.   Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves brought in a little over a million dollars when they were sold during an auction in conjunction with his 70th birthday.

So whatever you collect that is associated with your favorite sports, be it signed pucks, golf balls, tennis rackets, baseballs or footballs, if your favorite sports personality touched it, signed it or used it, you can buy it.

If you could have anything that your favorite sports personality used during a winning game, what would it be?

Image source: carloscappaticci

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Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized, on 27 April 2012, by , 6 Comments Scott TidlundWe’re all a little superstitious, I mean, come on who doesn’t have something special that brings us luck.  And professional athletes are known for their rituals and superstitions.   From the number on their jerseys, to the meal they eat the night before a game, baseball players have some very colorful and endearing superstitions.    Did you know…

Denny Neagle, who pitches for the Yankees, always goes to a movie the day he is supposed to pitch.

Jason Bere listens to the same songs before a game on the days that he is pitching

Wade Boggs is known for the fact that the night before each game, he eats chicken.  In fact his wife has over 40 different chicken recipes at her fingertips.

Larry Walker of the Colorado Rockies is well known for his devotion to the number 3.  His uniform number is 33, he practice swings his bat 3 time.  He was even married on November 3rd at 3:33 pm.

Some baseball players have a special restaurant that they eat in.  Mike Saccocio of the Montreal Expos insists on eating at a Long John Silver’s the night before a game.    And taping the plate before each swing is compared to knocking on wood.    And nobody ever talks about the possibility of a no hitter before or during the game.

Other superstitions include:

Not stepping on the foul line

Using a lucky bat or glove

Sitting in the same place on the bench in the dugout for every game

And lastly—Not washing a lucky article of clothing for the entire season.


What superstitions does your favorite baseball player have?

Image Source: Scott Tidlund

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Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized, on 6 April 2012, by , 5 Comments  Peter Dindinger

As we approach Baseball season, I thought it would be great fun to take a look back at what the nicknames of some of the famous baseball players were known by.

Hank Aaron – Hammer
Johnny Bench – Little General
Ty Cobb – The Georgia Peach
Dizzy Dean – The Great Man
Joe DiMaggio – The Yankee Clipper or Joltin Joe
Don Drysdale – Big D
Leo Durocher – The Lip
Lou Gehrig – The Iron Horse
Connie Mack – Mr. Baseball
Mickey Mantle – The Mick
Willie Mays – The Say Hey Kid
Joe McGinnity – Iron Man
Brooks Robinson – Hoover or The Vacuum Cleaner
Cal Ripken – Iron Man
Babe Ruth–King of Swing, The Sultan of Swat
Noland Ryan – The Ryan Express
Tom Seaver – Tom Terrific
George Sister – Gorgeous George
Ozzy Smith – he Wizard of Oz
Casey Stengel – The Old Perfessor
Carl Yaztrzemski – Yaz

Nicknames for Baseball players fall into several different categories.

Color – Michael Higgins, aka Pinky Higgins.
Physical characteristics – Mordecai Brown, aka three Finger Brown
Animals – Greg Madduz, aka Mad Dog Maddux
Ethnic Nicknames – Herman Long,  aka The Flying Dutchman
Titles and Ranks – Duke Snider, aka The Duke of Flatbush
Personality – Joe Knight, aka Quiet Joe
Food – John Candelaria, aka the Candy Man
Mechanical – Roger Clemons,  aka Rocket


Did your favorite player make our list?

Photo Source:  Peter Dindinger

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