7 New California Attractions to Visit in 2022
Ready to venture into 2022? Whether you’re planning a day trip to the area, a weekend on the road, or a SoCal getaway, several new California attractions are set to open over the next 12 months. Among the temptations: a deep dive at the Monterey Aquarium, the new Comic-Con Museum in San Diego and the largest Native American museum west of the Mississippi.
Peaks of the Presidio Tunnel, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
New York City has its High Line, the famous urban park built atop an elevated railway line, where walking paths intertwine with performance spaces, gardens and art installations. And San Francisco has the High Line designer for a 14-acre national park extension set to open atop the Presidio Parkway road tunnels this spring.
As drivers zip through the tunnels below, heading to – or from – the Golden Gate Bridge, tourists and locals will soon frolic in the green spaces above. The new Presidio Tunnel Tops Park, which will connect the historic Presidio Center to the waterfront’s Chrissy Field, will feature walking paths, gardens, gathering spaces, a plaza with food service and vantage points with stunning views over the city, the bay and that famous orange bridge.
A two-acre “outpost” will provide children with a wilderness-inspired play area that represents the Presidio’s forested, coastal cliff and dune ecosystems, complete with climbing walls, “log piles”, an electrical tunnel and a giant fallen tree. The latter is an old white oak that has been sanded, carved and hollowed out so that children can play inside.
Details: The park is slated to open in May, with free admission every day. Follow the progress on www.presidiotunneltops.gov.
Into the Deep, Monterey Bay Aquarium
You saw the jellyfish, otters and the kelp forest. Now, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is diving deep in its next special exhibit, “Into the Deep: Exploring Our Undiscovered Ocean,” which opens this spring. The exhibit explores the darkest parts of the ocean and the animals – including bloody comb jellies and giant isopods – that live there, using robotic submarines to bring the creatures to the surface where you can. see them in screens that recreate those depths. conditions.
No one has done this before. It took years for the aquarium’s applied water science department to design a system capable of pumping, cooling and altering the chemistry of seawater to mimic the deep-sea habitat – and it did. work, in turn, was based on decades of research.
Details: The Monterey Bay Aquarium is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily by reservation at 886 Cannery Row in Monterey. The high seas exhibit is scheduled to open in April. Admission is $35-$50, and proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test is required for all guests, ages 12 or older; www.montereybayaquarium.org.
Comic-Con Museum, San Diego
The new Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park opened the first of its exhibit spaces over Thanksgiving weekend, but the full 25,000-square-foot, three-story extravaganza is set to celebrate its grand opening in July. The Comic-Con Museum will fill this space – formerly occupied by the sports-themed San Diego Hall of Champions – with rotating comic book and pop culture exhibits, an education center, a 4K video theater, special events and , of course, a gift store. You can’t go home without a graphic novel and a designer t-shirt or 12, can you?
Details: Phase one is over ($20 tickets), but you’ll want to wait until summer for the whole feast at 2131 Pan American Plaza in San Diego’s Balboa Park; https://museum.comic-con.org.
Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza, Palm Springs
This desert mecca will soon be home to the 5.8-acre Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza in downtown Palm Springs, which explores the history and culture of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. The centerpiece of the plaza will be the 48,000 square foot Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, the largest Native American museum in the western United States. Spring.
Details: Initial plans for a fall 2020 opening have been put on hold, but they’re back on track for 2022. Learn more at www.visionaguacaliente.com/culturalplaza.
Sesame Square, San Diego
Do you have toddlers? San Diego’s new Sesame Place theme park is set to open in March with seven “Sesame Street”-inspired rides, a musical playground, a daily parade. Cookie Monster, of course, and Hooper’s Store and the steps of 123 Sesame Street. And 11 water attractions, including water slides and a 500,000 gallon wave pool.
Why so much water in an amusement park inspired by Manhattan and centered on the Muppets? The theme park is located in the former Aquatica water park in Chula Vista. And it belongs to SeaWorld.
Details: Sesame Place will be located at 2052 Entertainment Circle in Chula Vista; https://sesameplace.com.
Ferrari Building, LEGOLAND California Resort
A Lego-style Ferrari F40 is the star of this “build and run” attraction opening this spring. Kids can build their very own Ferrari, test drive it on one of three racing circuits – pine derby style – then digitally scan their cars and take part in a virtual race that runs through Ferrari’s Pista di Fiorano research and development track in Italy. Vroom!
If you haven’t been to Carlsbad Amusement Park since pre-pandemic, you’ll also want to know about a new “country” that opened there last year: The Lego Movie World, where everything is, of course, awesome. There are several rides, including Emmet’s Flying Adventure: Masters of Flight, a Lego-style simulated flight through Middle Zealand, Cloud Cuckoo Land, Pirates Cove and other fictional movie filming locations.
Details: Tickets start at $90 and reservations are required. The same goes for masks for anyone aged 2 and over indoors. The park opens at 10 a.m. most days. Find timetables and details at https://www.legoland.com/california/.
Redwood SkyWalk, Eureka
The pandemic has had a blurring effect on the weather, so we’ll sneak this awesome new SkyWalk here, although it actually opened last summer when we weren’t going anywhere much. Eureka’s Sequoia Park Zoo has launched North America’s first redwood canopy walk that lets you view this ancient forest up to 100 feet above the ground via walkways, suspension bridges and platforms observation and interpretation. (How tall are the trees? The tree canopy rises up to 250 feet.)
There are no stairs. You scale the heights of the SkyWalk via a long ramp, and there’s a wide turning point at one end, making the quarter-mile walk ADA-accessible except for a half-mile segment. optional 369-foot adventure with a square open-mesh deck.
Details: Tickets ($13 to $25) cover admission to the zoo and SkyWalk. Weather permitting, the zoo is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday at 3414 W St. in Eureka; https://redwoodskywalk.com.