Vacations are good for the soul and can greatly benefit families! After all, family vacations mean quality time and making memories that will be cherished forever. Deciding to do a family getaway is definitely the easy part, while picking where to go and what to do can be a bit harder. Look no further than California. A San Diego family vacation is just what the doctor ordered.
One of my favorite destinations for family trips is San Diego. There are so many things to do and see that make San Diego the perfect place for all ages! It’s also a wonderful destination for both weekend getaways and longer trips. No matter how long you choose to stay, I’ve gathered the top eight things for families to do in San Diego.
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You can even use code HOWDOESSHE to save an extra $10 off our 2-night or longer Southern California vacation package HERE. Now, on to the top eight things for families to do in San Diego:
Visit the beach.
This may seem like a no brainer, but you can’t miss a chance to watch your kids play on the beaches of San Diego. The county and city are home to more than 20 beaches alone, some with sandy shores that stretch for miles. A few of my favorites include Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla Cove and Coronado Central Beach. Whether you prefer tide pools, sandy perfection or jaw-dropping views, you’re sure to find it at one of the many beaches of San Diego.
Visit the San Diego Zoo.
If you haven’t been to the San Diego Zoo, you are missing out! The zoo is ranked as one of the best in the world and for good reason. On top of being one of the largest, the San Diego Zoo focuses on a diversity of wildlife. Your family will be able to see koalas, panda bears, monkeys, tigers, birds, reptiles and so many other species. I recommend hopping on one of the tour buses first thing to get an idea of the layout and plan which animals your kids want to see first! Visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Your kids will have a chance to experience their favorite African Plains animals at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The park is located farther inland than the zoo, but also features an amazing open air exhibit. You can even ride a tram to get an up-close look at the giraffes, rhinos, cheetahs and other African Plains wildlife. Your family will want to spend an entire day at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to experience all it has to offer, including a carousel and play area for the little ones.
Visit SeaWorld San Diego.
This park is perfect for any marine lovers in your family! You’ll be able to get closer than ever to dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, penguins and others. I love taking my time through each animal exhibit before watching some of the interactive shows. Your family will learn so much about the animals that SeaWorld helps every day. Plus, there are even fun rides like the Manta and Journey to Atlantis at the park. SeaWorld San Diego is a great mix of educational shows and thrilling attractions, making it fun for the whole family.
Visit Aquatica San Diego.
Aquatica is a sister park to SeaWorld and the largest waterpark in San Diego. If you’re traveling during summer, it’s one of the best ways to cool off. I love that Aquatica offers giant slides for the thrill seekers while still offering raft rides and play areas that your little ones can enjoy. You can even get a peek at some flamingos and freshwater turtles throughout the park. I don’t know why, but I think every kid has a better time when animals are involved.
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Visit the LEGOLAND California Resort.
Only a short drive from San Diego is Carlsbad. While known for its impressive flower fields in spring, the city is most famous for being home to LEGOLAND. Your kids (and you) will have an amazing time letting your imaginations run wild here. The rides are more suited for kids 2-12, but the models and life-size displays can be appreciated by any age. While my favorite part might be the apple fries, the immersive areas and playgrounds are hard to beat.
Visit the USS Midway Museum.
Want to make your San Diego family vacation educational? Look no further! The USS Midway Museum, voted one of the top things to do in San Diego, lets your family tour the longest- serving Navy aircraft carrier. There are even flight simulators, interactive exhibits and other aircrafts available for you to climb aboard. This may just be the first time you hear your kids talking about how much fun a museum was!
Visit Old Town, San Diego.
This is another way to sneak some education into your family trip, all while sampling some amazing Mexican food. Old Town is home to so many historic sights and more than 25 restaurants. Historic sites include the Mormon Battalion, Whaley House, Old Adobe Chapel and Plaza Viejo. I suggest a whole day here as you can try different restaurants and see more than just one site! You can also hop on an Old Town Trolley Tour to get a taste of all that San Diego has to offer, fun stories and history from your conductor included.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to book another family vacation to San Diego now! I love family trips in general and San Diego offers so much. Whether we spend a weekend there or a whole week, I know my family is going to enjoy it and create timeless memories.
Have you been to San Diego recently?
Are there any activities you would add to the list?