San Diego Visit with Kids
No hassle traveling to San Diego
Eliminate family hassle with these easy-access San Diego staple attractions!
Across a continent decorated with sight-worthy landmarks, there’s still only one location which has deservingly earned the nickname “America’s Finest City”. Google the moniker and you’ll discover what a wide variety of locals and visitors alike have already discovered: San Diego’s sights and sounds render the distance between yourself and easy luxury a short one.
There’s only one thing better than discovering the finest that the Pacific Coast has to offer, and that’s the opportunity to experience San Diego alongside your family. Given the inherent complications in traveling alongside family members, you will be pleased to find out that San Diego hosts a range of family-friendly activities and attractions. Check out our assemblage of accessible attractions in the San Diego region, unrivaled staple sites that prove as hassle-free as they are sufficiently unforgettable.
Before you even leave on your fantastic vacation to the great state of California, consider these posts to get your trip started as smoothly as possible!
5 Must See Attractions in San Diego, CA to visit with Kids
1. San Diego Zoo
There’s certainly something to be said about the dozens of hidden, family-friendly gems that decorate the vicinity of Southern California. However, it’s simply not an authentic San Diegan experience without a trip to the San Diego Zoo, with the entire family. It’s a location that offers a virtual getaway entirely worth the investment, a new species around each new corner, and a collective awareness for habitat preservation that deserves its time in warm, San Diego sun.
Make acquaintances with the four-pawed residents of Panda Canyon, and take your time introducing yourself to the wide eyes and wider ears you’ll find waiting at the Elephant Odyssey. And rest assured that children will have more than enough room to run around while onsite. From the toddler-optimized Discovery Outpost, typified by a petting zoo and climbing structure, to the complimentary Skyfari Aerial Tram, where you’ll soar above the park’s busy animals in a matter of minutes. Take this opportunity to spend some quality time with the family underneath a friendly San Diego sky accompanied by the friendly residents of the San Diego zoo.
2. Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve
If your family is one which enjoying outdoor adventure, and you’re looking to make sunny San Diego your own at a pace comfortable for everyone, the trails of the Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve is entirely for you. First and foremost, you can gaze upon the wildly endangered species of Torrey pine indigenous only to coastal California and to select Channel Islands. More importantly, it’s a natural San Diegan landmark that proves as easily to access as it is to enjoy.
Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve is just a short drive from your stay in Southern California, a territory recognized by the state of California to exist only for the purpose of preservation, continuity, and the enjoyment of those who frequents its grounds. Only a cliff removed from the shoreline, you can gaze upon calm, lapping ocean waters, while surrounded by a portfolio of plant and animal species as unique as you’ll find anywhere.
One of only fourteen state territories elevated to a reserve status, Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve exists as far more than a well-manicured property worth your exploration. Check out the Visitor Center onsite, to learn more about the rich history that characterizes the grounds, and to familiarize yourself with the birds, mammals, plants, reptiles, even the geology, in the reserve itself. And stop by the Museum Shop before you leave, to take a memorable slice of the
reserve with you when you leave. It’s memories in the making for the entire family, at the Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve.
3. Balboa Park
Parents will be pleased to find an experience that blends awe-inspiring natural beauty and a dynamic educational opportunity at the Balboa Park. At the juncture of cultural immersion, artistic excellence, outdoor majesty, and scientific progress, Balboa Park houses a truly winning combination of attractions.
Looking to take the loved ones to a museum to beat a rainy day? At Balboa Park, you can try sixteen individual museums on for size. From the hands-on discovery opportunities at the Fleet Science Center to walls adorned with internationally acclaimed imagery at the Museum of Photographic Arts, the museums of Balboa Park do well to encapsulate history, culture, art, and prospective scientific adventure under its wing. Most come complete with family-friendly discount packages, and prove as easily accessible as the wide open outdoor spaces of the park themselves.
Speaking of the outdoors, there’s also something to be said for the wide-open environment that the park offers to visitors and locals alike. Etched by high-reaching trees and frequented by
acres of shade and soft grasses, Balboa Park ranks among the top locations for sunset-viewing, picnicking, or rejuvenation on your feet. Get outside and together with the rest of the family, venture through everything that the park has to offer. Walk the Cabrillo Bridge, get up close and personal with the El Cid Statue, gaze upon the Lily Pond near the Botanical Building; walk the Cactus, Alcazar, and Japanese Friendship Gardens, even catch a show at the outdoor events pavilion, a frequent performance spot for the San Diego Youth Symphony, Civic Youth Ballet, and Junior Theatre.
Meander across outdoor trails, wander through top-tier scientific and aeronautical museums, and lose yourself in professionally manicured gardens. Allow your family to slow life to a pace conducive to easy living, at Balboa Park.
4. USS Midway Museum
We can all but guarantee that no matter the age demographic, the family won’t want to miss witnessing the what was the world’s largest ship until 1955. And courtesy to hands-on, immersive tours, you can do more than appreciate the USS Midway, of the United States Navy: you can wander her deck yourself, the same decks which saw combat during the Vietnam War, and action during Operation Desert Storm. Introduce your family to an authentic piece of American history, via this well-accessible, floating naval experience.
Though the compact quarters of select aircraft locations may render inaccessible certain portions of the aircraft self-guided tour less feasible than others, entire families nevertheless have long since made a habit of discovering the ins and outs of the USS Midway, ever since it was opened to the public in 2004.
An attraction uniquely indigenous to San Diego, the USS Midway allows visitors of all sorts, seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Experience more than sixty exhibits on its oceanic premises. Additionally, the vessel itself regularly hosts a series of family-oriented activities onsite, so there’s always a well-organized immersive activity waiting when you arrive.
When you arrive above-deck, you’ll be greeted with the sight of twenty-nine individually restored aircraft of various aeronautical eras, preserved for the perpetual enjoyment of families exactly like your own. Whether it’s the hangar, the below-deck living quarters, the panoramic flight deck, or the flight simulator suited for all ages, the USS Midway is the near-perfect recipe for accessible, all-family fun in San Diego.
5. Old Town San Diego
For a leisurely introduction to historic, downtown San Diego, try Old Town on for size. Ride the trolley directly to the doorstep of so many top-notch restaurants, cafes, historic landmarks, and more, each perfectly suited to transport you back to a time before modern living.
Old Town San Diego is essentially a personalized downtown experience waiting to happen. If the family wants to take advantage of some well-timed wind gusts, you’ll want to visit Old Town’s iconic kite shop. When it’s time for a sweet treat, allow Old Town’s ice cream outlets to compete for your affections. There’s even a historic carousel still in full operation, when you’re not gawking at the uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean offered virtually from the streets themselves.
With more than fifty custom outlets in all, from internationally acclaimed eateries to award- winning historic venues, Old Town proves equal parts thrilling and rejuvenating, with a healthy, educational spin. Learn more about the foundation of America’s Finest City, all made unforgettable with some Old Town fudge in your right hand, and a playbill for Cygnet Theatre in your left.
Easy access, easier enjoyment in San Diego
In terms of fully accessible attractions, flexible scheduling opportunities, and the chance to experience premium sights and sounds together with the entire family, it doesn’t get much better than San Diego, California. Ensure your next family outing is an easy adventure, whether it’s across the Coronado Bridge, through the welcoming doors of the nearest In-N-Out Burger, or in pursuit of your family’s feet across white beach sands. Render your anxieties a thing of the past, and make memories with fast-growing children and the entire family, all thanks to this portfolio of accessible San Diegan adventures.
Finding a place to stay can be a hassle when you are travelling as a big group, check out Trip101 for recommendations on the best vacation rentals as well as activities for the family to make the most of your trip.
Be prepared for your trip to California with the kids! Check out these posts to make your trip a fantastic one!