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Is your family ready to break out of the typical family vacation box? Beach trips, amusement parks, and historical sites offer great locations for family vacations. However, what if your family could have it all? Visiting San Diego can do just that! Here are 6 fun places to take your kids while visiting San Diego.
San Diego Zoo
You have probably heard about the San Diego Zoo for, well, forever. The San Diego Zoo is known worldwide for its conservation efforts. Visiting San Diego would not be complete without a trip to the San Diego Zoo to take in all the wonderful animals and work taking place to protect them. Of course, you will find your elephants, giraffes, and other zoo regulars. However, the hippos, meerkats, and koalas seem to be crowd-pleasers.
Want to know the best part? Your San Diego Zoo trip can be enjoyed with a cool adult beverage. Yep! A serving or two of wine or locally brewed craft beer can make this zoo trip like no other. Both kids and adults can enjoy being outside in the beautiful Southern California weather at the San Diego Zoo. Be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes and your camera to capture some memories of monkeying around and kickin’ it with the cool cats.
Read More: 10 Tips For A Toddler Friendly Road Trip
When visiting San Diego with your kiddos they must be included in creating some of the itineraries for the trip. Steer them towards Balboa Park as it has something for everyone in your family. San Diego is no exception when it comes to the beautiful California weather. A park day should definitely be included in your travel plans. Balboa Park has a perfect mix of indoor and outdoor attractions that are sure to meet the needs of your family.
Balboa Park houses several indoor attractions in case the weather does not cooperate, such as the San Diego Air and Space Museum, Fleet Science Center, and San Diego Model Railroad Museum to name a few. Kids (and adults) of all ages will love interacting, learning, and adventuring through all of these interactive places. If there is a plane enthusiast in the group be sure to have lunch at the Alaska Airlines Flight Path Grill located in the San Diego Air and Space Museum. Enjoy planes flying overhead as they prepare to land at San Diego International Airport.
Popular outdoor attractions in Balboa Park include the world-famous San Diego Zoo, a ride on the Balboa Park Miniature Train, a lush and tranquil Japanese Friendship Garden, the Balboa Park Carousel, and the Pepper Grove Playground. Jump aboard the miniature train and take a ½ mile ride around Balboa Park. Balboa Park Carousel was originally built in 1910 and is a lovely option for family photos. Be sure to include a trip to the Japanese Friendship Garden. Lovebirds can admire the beauty hand in hand while the kids take turns counting the Koi. What better way to spend the day visiting San Diego than exploring all that Balboa Park has to offer?
In case the kids are missing a vacation with rides, souvenirs, and attractions, head over to SeaWorld San Diego. SeaWorld is home to many enchanting animals such as orcas, beluga whales, dolphins, and sea lions. SeaWorld San Diego offers many opportunities to get up close and hands-on with animals. Feed the sea lions and stingrays, interact with dolphins, and meet a two-toed sloth.
If the kids are itching for an amusement park experience while visiting San Diego, no worries. SeaWorld San Diego has plenty of ride attractions including a roundtrip Skyride over Mission Bay where you can enjoy breathtaking views. Hop on the Electric Eel or Manta roller coasters to get your adrenaline fix. The smallest members of the family won’t feel left out in the Sesame Street Bay of Play where there are rides, shows, and play areas. If shows are more your speed, don’t dare miss out on Clyde and Seamore’s Sea Lion Shows. Hint: They call it a splash zone for a reason.
Read More: How To Take Great Family Vacation Photos
Hotel Del Coronado
Take a beach day while visiting San Diego. Don a polka dot bikini and travel back in time at the Coronado. The hotel is a timeless piece of art and National Historic Landmark that transports you to another era. Soak in the beautiful architecture and charming decor. The soft sand beaches provide a great place for the family to swim and play with the stunning hotel in the background. The Hotel Del Coronado has hosted numerous presidents, celebrities, and film crews. Consider staying at the hotel for their luxurious accommodations along with many attractions including the spa, shopping, dining, and surfing experiences that are offered.
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Oh, La Jolla. How we love thee. Visiting San Diego should always include a day trip to La Jolla. Enjoy climbing and sightseeing on the cliffs, snorkeling, kayaking, or taking a refreshing dip in the La Jolla Cove. Wherever you adventure to in La Jolla, the seals and sea lions are surely close by. Depending on the time of year and location in La Jolla, you may be swimming in (or with) seals and sealions. These beautiful creatures are typically abundant on the shores, offering visitors a once in a lifetime opportunity to see them in their natural habitat.
Not so outdoorsy? No worries! There is plenty of shopping and dining to be had in La Jolla while visiting San Diego. If you are going to plan a stop here be sure that it’s for happy hour. If the sand, salt, sea, and breeze aren’t enough, oysters, cocktails, and wine will have you feeling fine.
There is even something for the history buff in the family while visiting San Diego. The USS Midway is a must. Be amazed at the pure size of the vessel, not to mention everything it has to offer once onboard. A trip aboard the USS Midway will give your kids a chance to complete the Junior Pilot Program. This program is designed to keep the kiddos engaged and have them explore the ship. Upon completion of all the tasks for the Junior Pilot Program, little ones can turn in their assignment for grading and a mini ceremony to receive their wings.
The USS Midway offers guests a chance to go below deck, tour the hanger, and go atop the flight deck. The ship’s below deck level will give you a firsthand look at areas like the chow line, wardroom, sick bay, chapel, and engineering room. The hanger deck will give guests a chance to check out WWII aircraft and even climb into the aircraft cockpit trainers. Once on top of the flight deck, you will have beautiful views for picture opportunities. The flight deck allows visitors a chance to touch and photograph restored fighters, bombers, and helicopters. A day on the USS Midway is sure to be a family crowd-pleaser while visiting San Diego.
Visiting San Diego is the perfect family vacation destination. There is something for everyone. There are so many fun and exciting attractions and festivals that happen throughout the year. Be sure to research the area and events before visiting San Diego to get the most out of your visit. There is no doubt that once you visit San Diego you will be booking a flight to return soon.
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