Family Activities » San Diego, CA

Family Activities in San Diego, CA

Take some time off with the family and savor all that San Diego has to offer your brood.
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The Beaches

With 70 miles of coastline offering family fun for all, its no wonder San Diego is a beach-goers wonderland. Travel Channel’s best family beach in North America is here - Coronado Beach, home to beautiful white sands, calm waters, and the famous Hotel Del Coronado. Head north to Mission Beach to ride aboard the famous Giant Dipper wooden rollercoaster at Belmont Park and enjoy people watching amid this diverse crowd. Further north is one of Travel Channel’s most family-friendly beaches in San Diego County: La Jolla Shores. While your kids build sandcastles, you can take in the sights of the many surfers riding the waves – or learn to surf yourself! No matter your interest or activity level, your family is sure to love one of the many beaches is the area.

Torrey Pines State Reserve

If you're looking for a family friendly outdoor adventure in San Diego area, checking out Torrey Pines State Reserve should be on the list. The park is named for the Torrey Pines that can be found there, a rare and endangered species of trees.  There are plenty of hiking trails on the protected habitat that offer opportunity for bird watching and looking for wildlife, not to mention the awesome views overlooking the beach.  Almost all the hiking trails there are described as being fit for the beginning hiker so it should work for hikers of any age.  Check the parks website for activities that may be occurring during your trip such as their "Lil Rangers" and "Jr Rangers" programs.      

Point Loma Tide Pools

The Point Loma Tide Pools found at Cabrillo National Monument Park are a great place to visit on a family outing.  During low tide, the pools provide the perfect opportunity for looking for and viewing sea life such as anemones, shore crabs, and maybe even an octopus, among other sea creatures.  There are rangers and volunteers available to help you navigate the sensitive ecosystem and fully enjoy everything the tide pools have to offer.  It is an easy hike from the parking area down to the tide pools, and at only $5 per carload, this is an economical choice for a day outing as well.  Once you're done exploring the tide pools, the Point Loma lighthouse is close-by and would make a nice stop.

Santee Lakes

Santee Lakes offers a great outdoor excursion for the family. They now have floating cabins! Yes, cabins that are afloat. If you are not a tent camper or up for the floating cabin, there are other cabin options on dry land. There are plenty of play areas for kids. Everything is kept clean and is very well maintained. Daily vending of burgers and dogs and a General Store will keep your family nourished. During special event or holiday weekends seems like the best time to visit if you are looking for some fun. There are paved roads all the way around the facility, lots of wildlife, fishing paddle boat rentals, camp options and kayaking. 

Old Town

Visit Old Town and witness the living legacy of San Diego history. Old Town San Diego is nestled in heart of San Diego, with more than 150 shops, award-winning restaurants, museums, and historical sites just a short walk from the San Diego Trolley Transit Center and a short drive from most San Diego destinations. Visitors can wander free through Old Town’s historic buildings, including the blacksmith shop, Seeley Stables, Stewart House, Estudillo House and the oldest schoolhouse in San Diego. The Old Town State Historical Park maintains a collection of 19th century homes and businesses that give visitors a glimpse into colonial life in San Diego. It takes a little work to find the old adobe ranch homes, schoolhouse and graveyard spread among the occupied areas of the neighborhood, but it's well worth the effort.