Family Travel: Fun in San Diego

May 12, 2016 0 Comments

Family Travel: Fun in San Diego

View of San Diego bay from the top floor of the Hyatt.

 

San Diego, California is a popular vacation destination for families for good reason. Gorgeous, mild weather combined with ocean breezes, yummy food and sailboat rides create the perfect family trip. 

This lovely city holds special meaning for me: my husband and I met and married in San Diego. We still have friends there and visit every few years. Last spring, we brought out kids with us and had an amazing time!

Here are some of our favorite things to do (with or without kids):

Gregory and I sailing in San Diego bay. Our other son was screaming at the bow of the ship because he missed nap time. 

We spotted a pirate ship!

1. Sailing in the bay.

Rent a boat, befriend someone with a boat, charter a sail. Do whatever it takes to try to get on the water! We usually sail in San Diego bay, because our friend's boat is docked there. There are also boat charters and rentals, sunset cruises and pirate ship sails in SD bay, Mission bay and all along the coast. Seeing the coastline from a boat, sipping fruity drinks, watching the aircraft carriers leave port and enjoying the sunshine is hands-down my favorite part of San Diego.  

 

Owen enjoying the fountain at Balboa Park

2. Balboa Park is a must-see.

Enjoy the various museums, theater, restaurants and fountains. Plus, it's near the zoo. The adjoining botanic gardens are well worth a visit. Pack a picnic (with kids) or eat at The Prado (without kids). 

 Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego

The cakes are as good as they look!

4. Extraordinary Desserts

After your Balboa Park visit, drive to Extraordinary Desserts in Hillcrest. Make sure your tummy is empty, because you're not going to want to share these amazing desserts. 

Fun at the beach in La Jolla. Brrr... the water is cold!

5. Explore La Jolla

We used to live 10 minutes east of La Jolla. Walking around the coast line, seeing the seals, and dipping our toes in the freezing water was part of our weekly ritual. I dream of retiring in La Jolla. One day! (Maybe.) After your walk, stop by George's for a drink on their patio. You can't beat the view.  

Boys looking cool in La Jolla

 Coronado California

 Gregory enjoying the beach 

6. Coronado

Drive over the majestic bridge to the island of Coronado. Stroll the main street, looking at shops and finding the perfect restaurants for lunch. Admire the gorgeous houses and dream of living in one of the most beautiful spots in the country. There's a park with a playground, and if you're lucky, they'll have their art fair or farmer's market when you're visiting. The beach is wide and has a dog area. The water can be chilly, so only plan on swimming in the warm summer months or you'll turn into an ice cube. There's a reason surfers wear wet suits (even in the summer!). Coronado isn't really a surfing beach. There are plenty of other spots for that. The beauty of Coronado is the white sand, small waves, clean(ish) bathrooms and family fun. Watch fighter jets to touch and goes on the neighboring Marine base. Our kids loved this beach!

If you're visiting Coronado without kids or with older kids, stop by the playhouse on Main St. My husband and I would try to go every few months on date nights. Afterwards, grab a drink at a local restaurant or take a late-night walk on the beach. 

Ocean Beach Pier California

Playing by the Ocean Beach pier

 

7. Ocean Beach

Walk the long, long, long pier and watch the surfers waiting for the next wave. Stop for lobster burritos at XX, and stroll the main street. The people watching is the best in OB. You might catch someone making a wedding-cake of a sand castle. Shop the cute shops along main St. Dont miss the flea-market thrift shop XX at the west side of the street. You're sure to find a treasure!

 These are just a few of my favorite spots in San Diego. But, know that however you decide to spend your vacation in SD, it's sure to be amazing.