Our family recently traveled to San Diego for Spring Break and had a wonderful time! There is so much to do and see in San Diego and my boys would live at the beach if they were able to. We had a great time visiting the sights and sounds of the area and here are some tips for planning the ultimate San Diego vacation with your family.
Planning a San Diego Vacation
If you are considering taking your family to San Diego, plan to be there for several days in order to do as much as possible. There really is SO much to do! We had a great time.
Things to Do on a San Diego Vacation
We have been to San Diego a few times but never really took the time to visit many attractions other than the beach. On our most recent trip, we visiting SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and Legoland.
Other popular attractions include watching the sea lions at La Jolla Cove, touring the USS Midway, Whale watching, visiting the San Diego Zoo and Balboa Park, Old Town and Belmont Park.
Places to Stay in San Diego
I highly recommend staying on the beach or at least within walking distance of the beach in San Diego, especially when traveling with young children.
The main reason is that there is very little parking near the beach and all of the parking you might find will be made for teeny, tiny cars. Not a big suburban like our family needs! Parking our Suburban was one of the most challenging things about our entire trip!
But, also stay close to the beach so you don’t have to load up sandy, dirty kids into your car! Unless you like cleaning sand out of every crack and crevice in your car.
If you have a large family, check out HomeAway . It is really hard to find a hotel room in San Diego that will fit a family of 6, but we found the perfect little vacation rental just a couple of blocks from the beach. We loved it and had plenty of room to spread out. Plus, I saved a lot of money on food because it had a kitchen that we could use to prepare our own meals.
If you are looking for a great deal on hotel/ticket packages, GetAway Today is my go-to place for everything in Southern California. They will price-match any listed ticket prices and always have good deals. Plus, use code JoysofBoys and save $10 when you book a vacation package.
If you are looking to get in as many attractions as possible for the best price, the Go San Diego Card is a must! With 39 attractions to choose from, you can create your dream vacation for your family.
We received a couple of Go San Diego cards for our trip and they were so easy to use! I printed out my tickets in advance and just handed them at the gate, but you can also use the bar code from your phone and have them scanned at the different locations. You can choose, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 day passes and get up to a 50% discount on the attractions you choose to visit.
Once you activate your pass, you do have to use your passes on consecutive days so keep that in mind as you plan your vacation. The more days you purchase, the better the deals are you can get.
A Few More Tips on Visiting San Diego with your Family
- Bring GOOD shoes! People typically plan to visit the beach on a San Diego vacation, and your flip-flops are great for lounging near the ocean, but they are NOT good for visiting the attractions around San Diego. Bring good walking shoes if you plan on visiting any attractions because you will walk A LOT!
- Keep snacks handy for your kids. Kids get hungry without warning and if you’re enjoying your time at the beach or in line for a ride at Legoland, you don’t want to have to go searching for a snack. Keep a few small snacks with you for those moments of utter starvation that happen at the most inconvenient times.
- Talk about water/ocean safety with your children. Unfortunately our last day at the beach, we had to watch a rescue, turned recovery, mission when a group of teenage boys were swimming too close to the pier and were pulled under by a rip tide. One of the boys didn’t make it. The beach is fun, but can be very dangerous! Don’t get distracted if your kids are playing in the water and talk to them about staying safe in the water.
- Head to Old Town for some of the most amazing Mexican food you will ever eat!
- And of course wear lots of sunscreen! It isn’t always super hot in San Diego, but even on cooler days the sun can be brutal.
If you have been to San Diego, what tips do you have for visiting San Diego with your family?
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