San Diego’s Top Family Attractions

by Red Hunt

San Diego is about as far south as you can go in California before reaching Mexico. The city is one of the 10 largest in the U.S., yet it is also one of the 10 safest. In other words, San Diego has all the big city attractions without all the big city worries — and it’s ideal for families!

San Diego sprawls, making a rental car a necessity for most families. The good news is that you can easily fill up an entire week in sunny San Diego by visiting a different family attraction each day.

As it is right on the Pacific Ocean, San Diego offers seemingly endless beaches. Oceanside Beach and the beaches in Carlsbad get my top picks for their family-friendly shores. Don’t forget to take the kids to the Children’s Pool beach in La Jolla too, where they can watch seals playing in the water.

The USS Midway, a massive aircraft carrier that is now a tourist attraction, is another great family-friendly attraction that is entirely unique to San Diego.

But the biggest family attraction is the multitude of theme parks: The San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND and San Diego Safari Park are each worth a full day of exploration.

And if you want to save some money don’t forget to grab a 3-for-1 pass or Fabulous Four to these parks.

For non-family adventures, San Diego comes alive at night and it is also perfectly suited for anyone who wants to have some fun in the sun during the day.

When it comes to a day of eating and drinking with friends, San Diego has a few essentials. First, you must try some fish tacos from one of the seemingly hundreds of small shops that can be found virtually everywhere in San Diego.

You also have to hit up either Phil’s BBQ or Hodad’s. They’re both institutions, so expect line-ups. Hodad’s gets my personal pick for best quick eats in the city – grab a bacon burger and strawberry shake and you’ll forget about how long you lined-up.

Something else to know: San Diego is a craft beer paradise. So when it comes to drinking, you must embrace the local brews. You can ride around town in a private military vehicle, visiting different breweries all day, or you can keep it simple and join the local crowds at popular places like Pizza Port in Ocean Beach or Carlsbad.

Last, but not least, if you’ve got some extra time in San Diego then consider a weekend trip to Tijuana, which is literally right across the border. Or get a more authentic Mexican adventure by heading further south to places like Ensenada.