Spanish Village Art Center

Arts Center in San Diego

Behind the Natural History Museum is a grassy square with a magnificent Moreton Bay fig tree (sorry, climbing is prohibited). Opposite there’s an enclave of small tiled cottages (billed by park authorities as ‘an authentic reproduction of an ancient village in Spain’) that are rented out as artists’ studios, where you can watch potters, jewelry makers, glassblowers, painters and sculptors churn out their crafts.

By Spanish Village and the zoo entrance there’s a 1910 carousel with most of the original hand-painted animals, and a miniature railroad offering three-minute, half-mile rides.